Deputy PCC hired to help during ‘unprecedented time’

John Smith has been appointed as Avon and Somerset police’s deputy PCC. Picture: Laura Hesketh

John Smith has been appointed as Avon and Somerset police’s deputy PCC. Picture: Laura Hesketh - Credit: Archant

Sue Mountstevens has announced the appointment of John Smith to assist her as deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

John, who was the former chief executive of the office of the PCC in Avon and Somerset, officially began his post on Friday.

As deputy PCC, John will support Ms Moutstevens with her increased workload in scrutinising the police service, community reassurance and partnership working arising from the national health emergency.

The purpose of the new role is to provide support to the PCC during the unexpected extension to her tenure, following the postponement of the election, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Mountstevens said: “I announced earlier this year that I would not be standing for the role of PCC again.

“Due to the unprecedented emergency that Covid-19 has caused, and the cancellation of PCC elections, I now have to remain Avon and Somerset’s PCC until May 2021.

“The demand on my role, and the small team in my office, has been overwhelming in this completely unprecedented time.

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“John will join me and my team to support our work and ensure the best policing and criminal justice services are delivered for our communities despite the challenges of this crisis situation.

“John has extensive knowledge and proven experience of working locally and regionally with the police service, criminal justice service and our wider partners.”

John went before the Avon and Somerset police and crime panel for a confirmation hearing where they recommended the appointment with majority support.

The panel is made up of independent members who support the PCC in her function of holding the police to account and also provide a role in scrutinising the PCC’s decisions.

John said: “I am excited to be supporting Sue in carrying out her role as PCC.

“I will work closely with the PCC team, the Chief Constable and his team and other key partners to make sure that local residents get the best possible police and crime services at this unprecedented time.

“I have been very impressed with the amazing work Avon and Somerset police have been doing in the last few weeks and very much look forward to working with them again.”