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Freedom of Information requests by the Welsh Conservatives have uncovered that Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have spent in excess of £8 million on PR and staffing costs in the last four years.
The FOIs reveal that the PCC for Dyfed Powys increased their PR spend by over 280% in one year and the PCC for South Wales has nearly doubled their staffing budget over five years.
With Gwent Police unable to provide staffing costs for the four-year period and North Wales Police unable to provide the costs for the 2016-2018 period, it means the overall expenditure will well exceed the current £8.9 million total.
Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, said:
“These costs are criminal - for our Police and Crime Commissioners to spend in excess of £8 million on PR and staffing costs is utterly scandalous.
“It is incredible that the PCC for North Wales has spent more on PR than the other three PCCs combined. Ironically, the Police and Crime Commissioners’ astronomical costs on PR has created anything but good spin.
“This latest spending spree demonstrates just how out of touch Labour and Plaid Cymru are with taxpayers’ money – it’s simple: do not waste money when it is the taxpayer picking up the tab.
“I find it alarming how between 2018 and 2019 PR costs incurred by Dyfed Powys PCC increased by more than 280%. And yet at the same time the Commissioner was complaining about the financial pressures on the Police.
“Wales needs Police and Crime Commissioners who will cut down on these extraordinary high levels of waste that we have seen for the last four years and focus on doing what the public expect – creating safer streets for everyone.”
- Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) in Wales have spent over £250,000 on PR since 2016, with the North Wales PCC spending nearly £140,000 over four years – the highest in Wales and more than the other PCCs combined.
- Between 2017/18 and 2018/19, PR costs incurred by Dyfed Powys PCC increased by over 280% – from around £15,000 to over £57,000. This was an increase of over £41,000 on PR expenditure over one year, the largest increase of any PCC in Wales.
- Between 2015/16 and 2019/20, staffing costs at the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales increased by over half a million pounds (£521,000) – a 64.9% increase over five years.
- In 2019/20, the PCCs for South Wales, North Wales and Dyfed Powys spent a combined total of £2.66 million on staffing.
- The total amount spent on PR and staffing costs stands at £8.9 million