December 5 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
Thursday, November 29, 2012
THOUSANDS of pounds were spent creating an office for Sir Graham Bright in Huntingdon - even though the new Police and Crime Commissioner will be based in Cambourne.
Adaptations costing £5,500 were made to the space at Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Hinchingbrooke headquarters ready for the 70-year-old to move in when he started the post on Thursday (November 22).
But Sir Graham told staff at the former Police Authority that he was sticking to his campaign pledge of moving to South Cambridgeshire District Council’s office in Cambourne to remain neutral and independent from the force.
“I am the face of the public, not the police,” the former Luton MP said.
“I wanted to illustrate that by making myself neutral and make it easy for the public to come and see me.”
Rather than being in the same building as the officers he holds to account, Sir Graham said it was important he was not too close to the force on the ground to avoid the impression that he had “gone native”.
“I’ve got to be always looking towards the public, not towards the police,” he said.
Dorothy Gregson, chief executive Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, has already moved into Sir Graham’s new Cambourne office, with the 10 other staff set to follow.
Sir Graham said many people had encouraged him to locate his office in Cambridge or Peterborough but said: “The two are always vying with each other and I wanted to try and find neutral territory which was convenient.”
He added that there was “lots of space” in Cambourne and that it was it was “easy to get to and easy to park”.
A spokesman for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The new room we have created will be used as a meeting room for the PCC’s team when they are here at police headquarters.”