Should Cornwall's police commissioner have spent £7,617 on lip balms, magnets, sweets and pens? (From Falmouth Packet)
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Should Cornwall's police commissioner have spent £7,617 on lip balms, magnets, sweets and pens?
7:00am Saturday 12th July 2014 in News
Questions have been asked about Devon and Cornwall's police commissioner's expenditure of over £7,000 on lip balms, magnets, sweets and other items.
Tony Hogg spent £7,617 in 16 months on promotional products, according to the response to a freedom of information request by the BBC.
Mr Hogg's office said the "carefully-costed" spending on the items were to "encourage participation" from members of the public.
There have long been concerns over what mandate police and crime commisioners have after elections saw very low turnouts, between 10–20 per cent, sparking a debate about their legitimacy.
Nigel Rabbitts, of the Police Federation in Devon and Cornwall, which represents officers up to the rank of chief inspector, told the BBC: "How Tony Hogg spends money is an ongoing concern. Any increase in bureaucratic spending means less money for police officers in the community."
Mr Hogg's office said: "We have a responsibility to consult on a wide variety of issues with local people, and we believe that it is therefore appropriate to encourage participation by providing a range of literature about the work we do, and offer some small items that advertise our contact details.
"We are no different to many other public-facing, and funded, organisations in this regard."