Cost of Gwent Police rises by 2.66% as Crime Commissioner’s deputy, Paul Harris appointed

APPOINTMENT: Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Paul Harris

APPOINTMENT: Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Paul Harris

First published in Gwent news

THE Police and Crime Commissioner’s recommendation for his deputy was today approved by the Gwent police and crime panel.

Paul Harris will now take up his post alongside the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston.

None of the panel members raised any objections to Mr Johnston's former colleague being appointed to the £52,000 salary position.

Mr Johnston’s proposal that the amount Gwent residents pay for their policing through the 2013-14 precept should increase by 2.66 percent was accepted by the panel.

Mr Harris was a police officer in Gwent between 1976-1998 and left the force as a detective chief inspector. He has worked with the National criminal intelligence service and the serious organised crime agency on secondment in The Hague in the Netherlands. Prior to taking up this post Paul had worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Welcoming his deputy, Ian Johnston said: "Paul brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding of the role, as well as an excellent track record of getting the job done.

Paul Harris added: "I’m delighted to have been appointed to the post. This is a new and very challenging role with a real opportunity to make a difference for the people of Gwent.

Comments (31)

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3:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

youngashie says...

Welcome to my gang old buddie springs to mind.
Welcome to my gang old buddie springs to mind. youngashie
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

Decides to appoint a deputy without any permission from the electorate (even if it was very small) and he then he puts the cost to the taxpayer up, so much for an improved system, a money grabbing joke.
Decides to appoint a deputy without any permission from the electorate (even if it was very small) and he then he puts the cost to the taxpayer up, so much for an improved system, a money grabbing joke. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Michael Weedall says...

CONTROVERSY THAT'S ALL I SEE WITH THIS WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY WHAT ARE THESE OLD BUDDIES GOING TO DO DIFFERENT?
CONTROVERSY THAT'S ALL I SEE WITH THIS WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY WHAT ARE THESE OLD BUDDIES GOING TO DO DIFFERENT? Michael Weedall
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Fri 11 Jan 13

On the inside says...

Told you.
Told you. On the inside
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Harryhedghog says...

He was appointed today, the rise is to cover money already spent. Lets see what happens this year shall we.
He was appointed today, the rise is to cover money already spent. Lets see what happens this year shall we. Harryhedghog
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Dolieboy says...

Never mind, the cost will be covered by the increase in Council tax.
Never mind, the cost will be covered by the increase in Council tax. Dolieboy
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Robindabank says...

When you appoint an old mate the working relationship will never be objective. If either aren't cutting it they will never tackle it...
When you appoint an old mate the working relationship will never be objective. If either aren't cutting it they will never tackle it... Robindabank
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Alessi says...

The Gwent Police and Crime Panel examines the actions and decisions of Commissioner. The Panel makes sure information is available for you so that you can assess whether they are holding the Commissioner to account.
How many other people were interviewed for this post, and where was it advertised.
Seems to me that this is another stitch up that will be paid for from our Council tax. I don't want to pay an increase of 2.66%, Can I veto it please?
The Gwent Police and Crime Panel examines the actions and decisions of Commissioner. The Panel makes sure information is available for you so that you can assess whether they are holding the Commissioner to account. How many other people were interviewed for this post, and where was it advertised. Seems to me that this is another stitch up that will be paid for from our Council tax. I don't want to pay an increase of 2.66%, Can I veto it please? Alessi
  • Score: 0

9:56pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Dai the Milk says...

All so very predictable. Why do we take this lying down?
All so very predictable. Why do we take this lying down? Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

12:04am Sat 12 Jan 13

D Taylor says...

No-one else was interviewed but the PCC was within his rights to act in this way.

I have to say that this is not the way to run a public agency but there is nothing to prevent him doing it. I leave it to you to make your own mind up as to what you think of such a system.
No-one else was interviewed but the PCC was within his rights to act in this way. I have to say that this is not the way to run a public agency but there is nothing to prevent him doing it. I leave it to you to make your own mind up as to what you think of such a system. D Taylor
  • Score: 0

7:30am Sat 12 Jan 13

les1977 says...

So let's get this right.....they cut the number of frontine police officers, they freeze their pay, remove any enhancements, bonuses or overtime, yet this guy gets £52,000 salary..............
you gotta love this country.......SHOCKI
NG !!!!!
So let's get this right.....they cut the number of frontine police officers, they freeze their pay, remove any enhancements, bonuses or overtime, yet this guy gets £52,000 salary.............. you gotta love this country.......SHOCKI NG !!!!! les1977
  • Score: 0

10:00am Sat 12 Jan 13

scraptheWAG says...

what exactly do these people do?? would that not have been better spent on two pc to patrol the run down hovel that is newport
what exactly do these people do?? would that not have been better spent on two pc to patrol the run down hovel that is newport scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

10:44am Sat 12 Jan 13

coalpicker says...

Absolutely predictable ..The chief constable needs a deputy because that
is the guy who does the work, a chief
superintendent who wanted to be a chief
constable needs a deputy because of status. A previous chief superintendent
seeking the post of chief constable at Gwent said his rank was superfluous and should go, having secured the top job that suggestion was shelved . I should think the Gwent police upper
chamber have moved from despair
to one of great delight,control is complete and rock solid .
Absolutely predictable ..The chief constable needs a deputy because that is the guy who does the work, a chief superintendent who wanted to be a chief constable needs a deputy because of status. A previous chief superintendent seeking the post of chief constable at Gwent said his rank was superfluous and should go, having secured the top job that suggestion was shelved . I should think the Gwent police upper chamber have moved from despair to one of great delight,control is complete and rock solid . coalpicker
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Ian Johnston says...

Contributors to this site may wish to note the following:-

The proposed level of increase in the police precept element of the Council tax was welcomed ( and supported by a unanimous vote) by all members of the Police and Crime panel and indeed was well received by all Local Authority Leaders who I met on Friday afternoon.

Other Welsh PCC's are yet to set their Police Precept but when they do the Gwent 2.66% increase will be seen in perspective.

The setting of the precept for 2013/14 has NO connection to the appointment of the Deputy PCC despite the misleading headline in the local paper. The salary for the Deputy PCC was included in the transitional arrangements.

21 PCC's in England and Wales have now selected their Deputies- following the requirements of the Act of Parliament. Others are in the process of doing so. No surprises. Those elected on a Labour ticket have elected Labour councillors and those elected on a Tory ticket have elected Tory councillors.

It appears that some contributors have a real problem with a former senior police officer being elected as PCC. I find that really strange as the overwhelming majority of people I have spoken to voted for me BECAUSE I am a former police officer with experience of policing on a local and National level
Contributors to this site may wish to note the following:- The proposed level of increase in the police precept element of the Council tax was welcomed ( and supported by a unanimous vote) by all members of the Police and Crime panel and indeed was well received by all Local Authority Leaders who I met on Friday afternoon. Other Welsh PCC's are yet to set their Police Precept but when they do the Gwent 2.66% increase will be seen in perspective. The setting of the precept for 2013/14 has NO connection to the appointment of the Deputy PCC despite the misleading headline in the local paper. The salary for the Deputy PCC was included in the transitional arrangements. 21 PCC's in England and Wales have now selected their Deputies- following the requirements of the Act of Parliament. Others are in the process of doing so. No surprises. Those elected on a Labour ticket have elected Labour councillors and those elected on a Tory ticket have elected Tory councillors. It appears that some contributors have a real problem with a former senior police officer being elected as PCC. I find that really strange as the overwhelming majority of people I have spoken to voted for me BECAUSE I am a former police officer with experience of policing on a local and National level Ian Johnston
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Sat 12 Jan 13

scraptheWAG says...

Unfortunately Mr Johnson those of us who work in the private sector , I know we are a rare breed in Wales since devolution, have not had a pay rise in years and object to ever increasing council tax bills to fund a huge bureaucracy of publicly funded non jobs and those who seek to get their friends aboard the gravy train.
Unfortunately Mr Johnson those of us who work in the private sector , I know we are a rare breed in Wales since devolution, have not had a pay rise in years and object to ever increasing council tax bills to fund a huge bureaucracy of publicly funded non jobs and those who seek to get their friends aboard the gravy train. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Sat 12 Jan 13

coalpicker says...

Able defence by Mr Johnson , I too have met a few sycophants in my time Commissioner. As an old regular soldier who served in a very posh Dragoon Guards regiment I am very aware of esprit de corp , I do understand Police pride in their service and this as far as I am concerned is the nub of the criticism,
as I see the situation, the whole idea was to have a totally independent minded oversight, I do not believe that
can be achieved with an ex police officer in the post,by the same token a political apparatchik would have been
a total disaster ,party politics being what they are. But let us not forget the proof of the pudding is in the eating .
Able defence by Mr Johnson , I too have met a few sycophants in my time Commissioner. As an old regular soldier who served in a very posh Dragoon Guards regiment I am very aware of esprit de corp , I do understand Police pride in their service and this as far as I am concerned is the nub of the criticism, as I see the situation, the whole idea was to have a totally independent minded oversight, I do not believe that can be achieved with an ex police officer in the post,by the same token a political apparatchik would have been a total disaster ,party politics being what they are. But let us not forget the proof of the pudding is in the eating . coalpicker
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Robindabank says...

We are not twp! £52k may have been in the transitional arrangements. But unless this is a one year appointment it will have to be in the costs every year after.
We are not twp! £52k may have been in the transitional arrangements. But unless this is a one year appointment it will have to be in the costs every year after. Robindabank
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sat 12 Jan 13

D Taylor says...

I am firmly of the opinion that the PCC's job is not for an ex-policeman. Many of the electors seemed to think that they were electing someone to run the police rather than someone to watch what the police doing on their behalf. Therefore they voted for an ex-policeman. It's the job of the Chief Constable to exercise day to day contol of the police. It is the job of the PCC to set targets, budgets and monitor the performance of the force. In my opinion that would be best done by someone who has not been a senior officer in that same force and therefore can be open to new ideas and be objective without preconceptions that an old copper inevitably carries in his head.
I am firmly of the opinion that the PCC's job is not for an ex-policeman. Many of the electors seemed to think that they were electing someone to run the police rather than someone to watch what the police doing on their behalf. Therefore they voted for an ex-policeman. It's the job of the Chief Constable to exercise day to day contol of the police. It is the job of the PCC to set targets, budgets and monitor the performance of the force. In my opinion that would be best done by someone who has not been a senior officer in that same force and therefore can be open to new ideas and be objective without preconceptions that an old copper inevitably carries in his head. D Taylor
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Sat 12 Jan 13

scraptheWAG says...

it would have been better to spend the 70k a year he earns and the £50k that his buddy gets on three extra police officers to walk around the run down hovel. Having worked in the public sector i can imagine the police has huge amounts of management and very few foot soldiers.
it would have been better to spend the 70k a year he earns and the £50k that his buddy gets on three extra police officers to walk around the run down hovel. Having worked in the public sector i can imagine the police has huge amounts of management and very few foot soldiers. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Sat 12 Jan 13

scraptheWAG says...

it would have been better to spend the 70k a year he earns and the £50k that his buddy gets on three extra police officers to walk around the run down hovel. Having worked in the public sector i can imagine the police has huge amounts of management and very few foot soldiers.
it would have been better to spend the 70k a year he earns and the £50k that his buddy gets on three extra police officers to walk around the run down hovel. Having worked in the public sector i can imagine the police has huge amounts of management and very few foot soldiers. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

7:34pm Sat 12 Jan 13

YJT-YOT says...

I believe the PCC needs to be independent of Gwent Police, yet with the elected PCC - Ian Johnston, being a former Senior Gwent Police Officer, and the 'New' Deputy PCC also being a former Senior Police Officer of Heddlu Gwent Police, is definitely Heddlu Gwent Police version of Nepotism.
I believe all members of the Police and Crime Panel failed miserably by accepting the unwarranted pressure from Gwent PCC to install his close mate and former Senior Gwent Police Officer. Gwent PCC is worse than the other Labour and Tory PCC's who selected their councillor colleagues as their Deputy PCC - as he quoted, at least the Councillors who are allocated PCC Deputies are elected officials, whereas the Gwent PCC's Deputy is at best a top job for his mate and former Heddlu Gwent Police Colleague. Calling on the South East Wales Assembly Members to investigate this travesty of top job for my mate and former colleague - top job for his mate and former colleague. Ian Johnston I now regret voting for you, I voted for you because I thought you would be honest and treat the PCC position with the highest respect, yet what have you done, secured your mate and a former Heddlu Gwent Senior Police Officer a £52,000 a year a welcome New Years Gift.
In addition to taking advantage of the newly formed members of the Police and Crime Panel into giving your mate a £52,000 New Years Present.
I believe the PCC needs to be independent of Gwent Police, yet with the elected PCC - Ian Johnston, being a former Senior Gwent Police Officer, and the 'New' Deputy PCC also being a former Senior Police Officer of Heddlu Gwent Police, is definitely Heddlu Gwent Police version of Nepotism. I believe all members of the Police and Crime Panel failed miserably by accepting the unwarranted pressure from Gwent PCC to install his close mate and former Senior Gwent Police Officer. Gwent PCC is worse than the other Labour and Tory PCC's who selected their councillor colleagues as their Deputy PCC - as he quoted, at least the Councillors who are allocated PCC Deputies are elected officials, whereas the Gwent PCC's Deputy is at best a top job for his mate and former Heddlu Gwent Police Colleague. Calling on the South East Wales Assembly Members to investigate this travesty of top job for my mate and former colleague - top job for his mate and former colleague. Ian Johnston I now regret voting for you, I voted for you because I thought you would be honest and treat the PCC position with the highest respect, yet what have you done, secured your mate and a former Heddlu Gwent Senior Police Officer a £52,000 a year a welcome New Years Gift. In addition to taking advantage of the newly formed members of the Police and Crime Panel into giving your mate a £52,000 New Years Present. YJT-YOT
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Sat 12 Jan 13

D Taylor says...

No disrespect intended to Mr Johnston and others who put themselves forward as PCC's but this system is hopeless and needs to be thought through again from scratch.
No disrespect intended to Mr Johnston and others who put themselves forward as PCC's but this system is hopeless and needs to be thought through again from scratch. D Taylor
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Sat 12 Jan 13

nehpets snave says...

Log rolling comes to mind... We don't need either of these geriatrics who are probably pensioned up to the eyeballs... Jobs for the boys... Makes me pig sick...
Log rolling comes to mind... We don't need either of these geriatrics who are probably pensioned up to the eyeballs... Jobs for the boys... Makes me pig sick... nehpets snave
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Cwmderi says...

Under the over-all budget, I really don't understand how it will cost more to appoint a Deputy Commissioner, as there has been huge savings made to the Police Authority members allowances.
Many of them were in receipt of more than £10,000 pa plus expenses for doing very little.
Now that they have been sidelined by professionals, I believe they will only receive around £900 each plus expenses.
The cost of the Deputy Commissioner can be met from the savings made to just 6 of the vast number of members who sit on the Police Authority.
This being the case I see no reason, other than for operational matters, why the police precept (tax) should be increased.
Under the over-all budget, I really don't understand how it will cost more to appoint a Deputy Commissioner, as there has been huge savings made to the Police Authority members allowances. Many of them were in receipt of more than £10,000 pa plus expenses for doing very little. Now that they have been sidelined by professionals, I believe they will only receive around £900 each plus expenses. The cost of the Deputy Commissioner can be met from the savings made to just 6 of the vast number of members who sit on the Police Authority. This being the case I see no reason, other than for operational matters, why the police precept (tax) should be increased. Cwmderi
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Sun 13 Jan 13

scraptheWAG says...

i never understood why under labour council tax doubled while the service remained the same.
i never understood why under labour council tax doubled while the service remained the same. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Antiloquax2703 says...

Ian, Many people who worked with & for you as police officers in Gwent know & remember exactly how you worked - your in-crowd looked forward to support in their careers from you & hang the rest. It seems from your lack of nous in appointing a bloke who is your mate, things haven't changed. Many people can see through this & I hope that at some stage soon your unsuitability for this type of position will shine through. A Very Disgruntled precept payer who begrudges this commisioner & his so-called deputy every single penny.
Ian, Many people who worked with & for you as police officers in Gwent know & remember exactly how you worked - your in-crowd looked forward to support in their careers from you & hang the rest. It seems from your lack of nous in appointing a bloke who is your mate, things haven't changed. Many people can see through this & I hope that at some stage soon your unsuitability for this type of position will shine through. A Very Disgruntled precept payer who begrudges this commisioner & his so-called deputy every single penny. Antiloquax2703
  • Score: 0

11:41pm Sun 13 Jan 13

D Taylor says...

Cwmderi wrote:
Under the over-all budget, I really don't understand how it will cost more to appoint a Deputy Commissioner, as there has been huge savings made to the Police Authority members allowances.
Many of them were in receipt of more than £10,000 pa plus expenses for doing very little.
Now that they have been sidelined by professionals, I believe they will only receive around £900 each plus expenses.
The cost of the Deputy Commissioner can be met from the savings made to just 6 of the vast number of members who sit on the Police Authority.
This being the case I see no reason, other than for operational matters, why the police precept (tax) should be increased.
A strange post this. It suggests that because the appointment of a deputy PCC won't cause an increase in the precept that it is somehow not real money. It is real money. The people of Gwent have to pay it. It would have been nice to have a reduction in the police precept instead of an increase and not appointing a deputy PCC would have helped to achieve that.
[quote][p][bold]Cwmderi[/bold] wrote: Under the over-all budget, I really don't understand how it will cost more to appoint a Deputy Commissioner, as there has been huge savings made to the Police Authority members allowances. Many of them were in receipt of more than £10,000 pa plus expenses for doing very little. Now that they have been sidelined by professionals, I believe they will only receive around £900 each plus expenses. The cost of the Deputy Commissioner can be met from the savings made to just 6 of the vast number of members who sit on the Police Authority. This being the case I see no reason, other than for operational matters, why the police precept (tax) should be increased.[/p][/quote]A strange post this. It suggests that because the appointment of a deputy PCC won't cause an increase in the precept that it is somehow not real money. It is real money. The people of Gwent have to pay it. It would have been nice to have a reduction in the police precept instead of an increase and not appointing a deputy PCC would have helped to achieve that. D Taylor
  • Score: 0

8:37am Mon 14 Jan 13

Dai the Milk says...

A weak person surrounds himself (or herself) with like-minded people..............
but hey, hang on.......this is not a leadership role anyway. Isn't this job about overseeing the leader's (Chief's) performance on behalf of the public?
A weak person surrounds himself (or herself) with like-minded people.............. but hey, hang on.......this is not a leadership role anyway. Isn't this job about overseeing the leader's (Chief's) performance on behalf of the public? Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

10:59am Mon 14 Jan 13

The Red Claw says...

Whether you think the role and cost of a PCC is for the good or not, one thing is certain. This new Gwent PCC will be considerably better informed than the current chief cop. Ian Johnston, due to his previous history, will have plenty of ‘moles’ in place at all levels who will be only to keen to feed him ‘off the record’ and therefore probably fairly accurate info’. The chief cop on the other hand, will be spun, accurate or not, only what her immediate subordinates think she wishes to hear. She, in keeping with other chief cops, knows this herself but is probably quite happy with the situation.
Ex copper or not, he has been elected and I do quite like the idea that the current PCC is at least from Gwent. If it wasn’t for the chance of a chief’s post and the kudos that goes with it, most top cops would regard Gwent as a backwater fly speck on the map, situated somewhere out there in that wild, dark and rainy land ‘over the bridge’, where apparently, men paint themselves blue and sheep are fearful.
I do hope the PCC will have a pair of hairy round things large enough to question any issue brought to his attention as PCC, in as public and transparent a manner as possible. He has at least entered this particular debate earlier in this public comment section and whatever you think of him and his role, when was the last time a public servant at a high level thought fit to do that?
Whether you think the role and cost of a PCC is for the good or not, one thing is certain. This new Gwent PCC will be considerably better informed than the current chief cop. Ian Johnston, due to his previous history, will have plenty of ‘moles’ in place at all levels who will be only to keen to feed him ‘off the record’ and therefore probably fairly accurate info’. The chief cop on the other hand, will be spun, accurate or not, only what her immediate subordinates think she wishes to hear. She, in keeping with other chief cops, knows this herself but is probably quite happy with the situation. Ex copper or not, he has been elected and I do quite like the idea that the current PCC is at least from Gwent. If it wasn’t for the chance of a chief’s post and the kudos that goes with it, most top cops would regard Gwent as a backwater fly speck on the map, situated somewhere out there in that wild, dark and rainy land ‘over the bridge’, where apparently, men paint themselves blue and sheep are fearful. I do hope the PCC will have a pair of hairy round things large enough to question any issue brought to his attention as PCC, in as public and transparent a manner as possible. He has at least entered this particular debate earlier in this public comment section and whatever you think of him and his role, when was the last time a public servant at a high level thought fit to do that? The Red Claw
  • Score: 0

10:55am Fri 18 Jan 13

bucks says...

Some good debate and informed opinion for once.
The incumbent commissioner and now his deputy will never shake off the suspicion of being ‘in the force’. You only have to look at Operation Elveden and the Plebgate incident to see the extent of misconduct in office. It's no surprise that the public are sceptical of police integrity .

And lets not forget that the salary details in no way reflect the actual cost of employing these two, when their benefits package (pension, private health cover, car/travel allowances etc) are taken into account.
Some good debate and informed opinion for once. The incumbent commissioner and now his deputy will never shake off the suspicion of being ‘in the force’. You only have to look at Operation Elveden and the Plebgate incident to see the extent of misconduct in office. It's no surprise that the public are sceptical of police integrity . And lets not forget that the salary details in no way reflect the actual cost of employing these two, when their benefits package (pension, private health cover, car/travel allowances etc) are taken into account. bucks
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Lewis UK says...

Im sure 5 new Police officers on the mean streets of newport would be better money spent.
Im sure 5 new Police officers on the mean streets of newport would be better money spent. Lewis UK
  • Score: 0

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