Sussex police commissioner defends her controversial deputy choice

Katie Bourne

Steve Waight

First published in News by

Sussex's police commissioner has defended her choice of deputy despite his resignation less than six months later.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne told a panel of MPs it had not been a mistake to employ Steve Waight as her deputy.

Ms Bourne hired the West Sussex County Councillor as her deputy in February, despite her advisory police and crime panel advising against the move because they felt he did not have enough time for the role.

Mr Waight stepped down from the £45,000 role months later, citing personal reasons.

Yesterday Ms Bourne told the Home Affairs Select Committee that she could not be held accountable for decisions made by her colleagues but she could be held accountable for her own, which she stood by.

She denied claims by the committee she had “unfettered” powers to appoint her deputy, saying she had the same privilege as the Prime Minister and council leaders.

She said: “He stepped down for personal reasons and I respect him for that. It had nothing to do with his workload.

“If I had a better dialogue with the panel I would have been able to explain the reasons why I needed a deputy at that time.

“It was never a mistake, I absolutely stand by my decision to appoint him. It was the right thing.”

In a grilling lasting more than an hour, Ms Bourne denied suggestions that police and crime panels were “toothless” and said she found their scrutiny “very effective”.

The commissioner also said she was not concerned that residents did not know her name when questioned about the public awareness of her role.

She said it was positive that almost two-thirds of people in a national poll were aware they had a PCC – far higher than the awareness of the former Police Authority which her office replaced.

Comments (9)

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11:04am Wed 8 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The key to success for any leader is to listen.
She didn't like many of our city councillors.
The key to success for any leader is to listen. She didn't like many of our city councillors. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 12

11:08am Wed 8 Jan 14

Crystal Ball says...

Did she apologise for herself?
Did she apologise for herself? Crystal Ball
  • Score: 6

11:57am Wed 8 Jan 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Had hoped PCCs would bring a fresh approach to policing but events in Sussex and Kent tend to counter this view 18 months on.
Had hoped PCCs would bring a fresh approach to policing but events in Sussex and Kent tend to counter this view 18 months on. Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 10

1:13pm Wed 8 Jan 14

whatone says...

Clue number one: Waight wasn't even put on the short list of 6 Tory candidates for the PCC job.

Clue number two: "The Sussex police and crime commissioner has appointed her chosen candidate as deputy, despite the panel that scrutinises her work deciding not to recommend him for the post."

I guess that makes Katy clueless!
Clue number one: Waight wasn't even put on the short list of 6 Tory candidates for the PCC job. Clue number two: "The Sussex police and crime commissioner has appointed her chosen candidate as deputy, despite the panel that scrutinises her work deciding not to recommend him for the post." I guess that makes Katy clueless! whatone
  • Score: 9

4:00pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Andy R says...

What is a Katybourne? And what does it do?
What is a Katybourne? And what does it do? Andy R
  • Score: 2

6:24pm Wed 8 Jan 14

hoveguyactually says...

But if the panel were scrutinising her work, why is she still in the job?
But if the panel were scrutinising her work, why is she still in the job? hoveguyactually
  • Score: 7

11:21pm Wed 8 Jan 14

clubrob6 says...

Why cant people just admit when they have got it wrong,no one is perfect.but these days people with any kind of power wont accept when they are wrong.Under this woman crime is officially down in brighton & hove but in reality its massively up its just that we don't have many police on visable duty after dark to record any crime.Under this woman local police stations have closed and as I found out the online police report form just gets ignored so the public cant now easily report crime.Im sure these people think we the public are stupid.
Why cant people just admit when they have got it wrong,no one is perfect.but these days people with any kind of power wont accept when they are wrong.Under this woman crime is officially down in brighton & hove but in reality its massively up its just that we don't have many police on visable duty after dark to record any crime.Under this woman local police stations have closed and as I found out the online police report form just gets ignored so the public cant now easily report crime.Im sure these people think we the public are stupid. clubrob6
  • Score: 2

10:06am Thu 9 Jan 14

mimseycal says...

I have yet to see any way in which this Katy Bourne has made policing more accountable and responsive to public concerns.
I have yet to see any way in which this Katy Bourne has made policing more accountable and responsive to public concerns. mimseycal
  • Score: 1

2:14am Fri 10 Jan 14

NWOSpokesman says...

http://shadowsussexp
olicecrimecommission
er.blogspot.co.uk/20
14/01/katy-bourne-li
ves-dream.html
Read what the Shadow Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner has to say!
http://shadowsussexp olicecrimecommission er.blogspot.co.uk/20 14/01/katy-bourne-li ves-dream.html Read what the Shadow Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner has to say! NWOSpokesman
  • Score: 0

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