Northampton

Northamptonshire PCC Adam Simmonds spent £7m in role

Adam Simmonds
Image caption Adam Simmonds says he has added value while protecting front line policing

A departing police and crime commissioner spent £7m on items costing more than £500 during his tenure.

Northamptonshire PCC Adam Simmonds spent the money on projects such as the formation of a crime institute and improvements to a roundabout.

Sir Graham Bright, who oversees a similar sized force in Cambridgeshire, spent £4.8m.

Mr Simmonds said he could justify the expenditure as "necessary" and front line policing had not been reduced.

His total budget last year was £4.6m.

The Conservative PCC, elected in November 2012, did not stand for re-election, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. He has been replaced by fellow Tory, Stephen Mold.

Prior to his election, Mr Mold told BBC Radio Northampton: "I guarantee it would be cheaper under me."

Adam Simmonds' major projects as PCC

  • Formed the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, which aims to analyse policing methods and new ideas

The BBC analysed lists of monthly expenditure by the PCC office over £500.

The organisations which received the most money were Northamptonshire County Council, with £1.8m, and the University of Northampton, with £1.2m.

Mr Simmonds sanctioned spending £500,000 on a new roundabout outside the Wootton Hall police headquarters - a project run by the council.

He said he had authorised the payment towards the £2.7m scheme as he was acting as a responsible landlord and the road had been the site of "lots of accidents".

'Added value'

The cash also helped fund projects such as a fire and rescue cadet scheme, the children and young people's board, community safety schemes and drug and alcohol programmes.

The money paid to the university helped fund the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) - the first of its kind in the country - which researches and evaluates policing techniques.

More than £300,000 was also spent on advertising.

Adam Simmonds' spending

Based on expenditure over £500 during his time as PCC

£7.01m

Total spending as crime commissioner

  • £1.8m Spent on Northamptonshire County Council projects

  • £1.2m Spent with the University of Northampton

  • £300,000 Spent on marketing

In the three months up to the end of March, Mr Simmonds spent more than £2m.

In its last full year, the old Northamptonshire police authority - which was replaced by the crime commissioner model - spent £694,599.

He told the BBC the police authority was "a failed regime that managed a failing police force," and its lack of investment was "probably proof of the pudding".

He said he had not been expensive, adding: "You've got to say I've added value and protected my front line."

Chairman of Northants Police Federation, Gez Jackson, said Northamptonshire felt "a little bit like a guinea pig" for plans that might roll out nationally.

Northamptonshire versus Cambridgeshire

How the spending of two PCCs in similar sized forces differed

£2.18m

More spent by Northants PCC Adam Simmonds than his Cambridgeshire counterpart, Sir Graham Bright

  • £7.01m Expenditure on items over £500 between December 2012 and March 2016 in Northants

  • £4.83m Expenditure on items over £500 in the same period in Cambs

  • 1,229 Police officers in Northants

  • 1,362 Police officers in Cambs

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