Sussex Police and Crime Panel: Statement on Deputy Police Commissioner appointment

The Sussex Police and Crime Panel held a meeting on Thursday 7 February at County Hall, Lewes, at which members were asked to consider the proposed appointment of Steve Waight as a full-time Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

However the Panel can only scrutinise the decision, and has no power of veto. The final choice of whether to appoint a Deputy Police Commissioner, and who that might be, rests with the Commissioner.

After questioning Mr Waight and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, the Panel went into closed session to consider its decision. The Chairman, Cllr Brad Watson OBE, announced today that the Panel had decided not to recommend the appointment of Mr Waight. Both he and the Police and Crime Commissioner have been notified.

Commenting on the reasons for the decision, Brad Watson said: “We were concerned that Mr Waight would not be able to devote enough time to this demanding job, given his commitment to other local authorities.

He added: “The fact that we felt unable to recommend the proposed appointment clearly demonstrates that the Panel is acting as it should – as a scrutiny body independent of the Commissioner.

“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.

“We will continue to work closely with the Commissioner, and respect any decision she makes.”