Chief appoints £56k deputy

Alan Charles, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.
Alan Charles, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.

DERBYSHIRE’S crime tsar has defended his controversial appointment of a £56,000-a-year deputy.

Alan Charles, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), has hired Hardyal Dhindsa as his number two in a move which has sparked a flurry of criticism.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said the appointment was likely to anger cash-strapped High Peak residents.

On the Buxton Advertiser website, one reader commented: “Another waste of ratepayers’ money at a time of great austerity for most people.

“They are not going to make a blind bit of difference to policing in Derbyshire.”

But Mr Charles, who aims to cut crime and deliver an effective police service as part of his £75,000-a-year post, defended the appointment.

He said: “I have a wide range of responsibilities in my role and I was seeking someone to help me deliver my election pledges and support my work.

“Hardyal’s previous experience, plus his excellent community links, will be enormously helpful.”

Mr Charles added that the total cost of running the office of Derbyshire PCC would be less than the former Police Authority.

Mr Dhindsa said: “This is my home county and I look forward to making a difference for all its communities.”

Both Mr Charles and Mr Dhindsa are Labour councillors at Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council respectively.