Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today responded to comments made by two of the candidates competing to take over the position next year.
Jane Kennedy announced in February that she would not be seeking re-election in May 2020 after serving two terms at the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Two candidates, former Deputy PCC Emily Spurrell and former Bedfordshire PCC, Olly Martins, are now putting themselves forward to become the Labour candidate for the role.
Jane Kennedy said: “These people are competing with each other for the Labour Party’s nomination in the forthcoming Police & Crime Commissioner elections in 2020 and neither of them took the many opportunities they both have had to raise their concerns with me directly.
“There is no community on Merseyside that does not feel the loss of the presence of police officers, PCSOs and staff caused by the deep cuts made during the policy of austerity. However, it is completely untrue to allege that Merseyside Police has no relationship with some of our most vulnerable communities. These comments are a shattering blow to the morale of the officers, PCSOs and staff who give their all every day serving the public of Merseyside.
“I am the only elected leader in the region who has successfully persuaded government Ministers to release more funds to services hit by the cuts, most recently £4.2 million to tackle serious violence and £3.37 million to establish a violence reduction unit in Merseyside. Whoever is elected next May, from whatever political party or none, will face a very serious challenge to maintain the budget for the police and also carry forward the long term fight against the endemic violence being experienced here.
“I will provide whatever assistance I can to my successor when the time comes.”