The new Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire said he ‘hit the ground running’ on his first day in the job – and that he’d already started to identify areas where the force can make further cuts.
Shaun Wright spent yesterday meeting Sheffield residents, joining officers on patrol and discussing priorities for the first time with the Chief Constable, David Crompton.
Mr Wright told The Star he was finding the post ‘challenging and daunting’, while Chf Con Crompton said he was comfortable with the prospect of extra scrutiny.
The Labour Party candidate was chosen in a controversial election which attracted a turnout of just 14.93 per cent.
But Mr Wright said he did not agree with the Electoral Commission’s decision to hold an inquiry into low polling figures nationally.
“There doesn’t need to be an inquiry, the low turnout was predicted. The government didn’t do enough to sell the positions,” he said.
Mr Wright visited Fox Hill Primary School and also called in at the Pakistani Muslim Centre in Fir Vale.
He said cuts had made staff ‘focus on the job in hand’, but that he will consider carefully where to make savings as the force comes under pressure to shave £15m from its budget.
“There are certain ideas but I need to talk to the Chief Constable about those,” he added.
Mr Wright said he couldn’t rule out continuing as local councillor for Rawmarsh, Rotherham, but promised the commissioner role will ‘always get his full priority’.
“Pretty much all of his pledges are priorities for the force,” Chf Con Crompton said.