‘Cosiness’ questions after Herts police commissioner names deputy
PUBLISHED: 12:29 02 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:32 02 August 2013
CONTROVERSY has erupted after Herts’ crime czar selected a near neighbour with no previous policing experience as his deputy.
"This is a hugely diverse county. It would be nice if he [Mr Lloyd] didn’t employ somebody who is exactly the same as him."
Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd selected fellow Flamstead resident David Gibson – a former BBC journalist – as his number two.
Mr Gibson will earn £50,000 a year.
The commissioner’s choice was questioned by scrutiny board the Herts police and crime panel on Thursday, but members ultimately backed his appointment by a majority of eight to three.
The leader of Welwyn Hatfield Council, John Dean, sits on the board.
He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “David was questioned very seriously about his choice of deputy because of where he lives. They live in the same village and have other connections.
“The panel did make that point.
“We expressed our concerns that it was a bit cosy to pick someone [from the same] village who is also a neighbour, but David was convinced he was the best person for the job.”
Other members of the panel voiced their concern with the Labour opposition group leader of Herts County Council, Sharon Taylor, making her voice heard.
She said: “The fact the job description didn’t require any knowledge about policing or the criminal justice system, we felt was a bit odd.
“This is a hugely diverse county. It would be nice if he [Mr Lloyd] didn’t employ somebody who is exactly the same as him.”
Mr Gibson worked for the BBC for 27 years as a journalist and at managerial level.
The 50-year-old has been a parish councillor for more than a decade and a primary school governor for many years.
He is also a community first responder with the East of England Ambulance Service.
Mr Gibson was one of 14 applicants, and one of only four who were interviewed.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “I am delighted to welcome David Gibson. He was the best candidate in a strong field and will be an asset to my team and to the county.”
Commissioner Lloyd’s previous deputy, Dr Rachel Frosh, resigned in February after re-tweeting another user’s post that likened socialists to Nazis.
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