The new Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s office will cost the taxpayer more than £1.1 million in its first year.

More than £700,000 is set aside for the salaries of the 12-strong team with three employees receiving more than £80,000.

Conservative Katy Bourne was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner in November with just 15% of the electorate turning out to vote.

The new system, which was ushered in by her party, replaces the old Police Authority and sees her take control of the force’s budget and setting local policing principles.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that £1,184,000 has been set aside for the running of her office in its first year.

She will receive an £85,000 salary with her deputy, Steve Waight, on £45,000 a year.

Additionally the office’s chief executive Dan Steadman, is to receive £85,000, while the chief financial officer, John Eagles, is on £80,000.

The salaries of the remaining members of staff, who equal 8.5 full time roles, have not been made publically available.

However, if all on the same salary level, the six policy advisors, two press officers and executive assistant, receive £49,000 each.

'No increased costs'

A spokeswoman for the office said the overall salary bill included pension contributions and National Insurance.

She added that apart from the deputy role, all team members were transferred over when the Police Authority was abolished.

She said: “The Deputy role does not increase the PCC costs either as you need to take into account the fact that we are no longer paying allowances to the 17 members of the Police Authority.”

As well as being responsible for setting the budget and setting priorities, the PCC is also able to hire and fire chief constables.

Opponents have said that the move will lead to the politicisation of the police.

They have also questioned their legitimacy given the low turnout in November’s elections.

Ms Bourne said: “I inherited a small team of staff from the Police Authority who are working really hard to deliver for the people of Sussex.”

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