Police deputy gets job despite opposition

Sussex Police And Crime Commissioner''Katy Bourne
Sussex Police And Crime Commissioner''Katy Bourne

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has stood by her decision to appoint Steve Waight as her deputy, despite advice not to do so from the Police and Crime Panel.

The panel, which was set up to scrutinise decisions made by the commissioner on behalf of the public, met on Thursday (February 7) to consider the proposed appointment of Mr Waight as a full-time Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex.

After questioning Mr Waight and Mrs Bourne, chairman Cllr Brad Watson OBE, announced on Monday (February 11) that it decided not to recommend Mr Waight.

He said the panel believed he would not be able to devote enough time to the job because of his commitment to other local authorities.

The panel can only scrutinise a decision and has no power of veto.

The final choice of whether to appoint a deputy, and who that might be, rests with the commissioner.

Mrs Bourne said she was confident in Mr Waight’s ability and experience to fulfil the role, and decided to formally appoint him to the position.

She said: “I am grateful for the considerations of the panel regarding my proposed appointment.

“I have now carefully considered their points and have decided to formally appoint Mr Steve Waight as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

“I am confident that his proven ability and experience will enable him to fulfil the role to the high standard required for the people of Sussex.

“He has a proven track record at a senior level in police governance, public sector finance and working with local people and communities.

“In accordance with my drive for transparency and taking into consideration the concerns raised by the panel, I will continue to monitor his performance and time commitment and this will be available for public scrutiny.”

Cllr Watson said: “To those who might see this as creating a rift between the commissioner and the police and crime panel, I would say – nothing could be further from the truth.

“Our role is to act as a critical friend, and this is precisely what we have done in this instance.”