Police and crime commissioner given all-clear to appoint new deputy

Jason Ablewhite and Ray Bisby. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Jason Ablewhite and Ray Bisby. Picture: CONTRIBUTED. - Credit: Archant

A proposal by Cambridgeshire’s police and crime commissioner to appoint a new deputy has been backed by a panel.

Jason Ablewhite was given the all-clear to appoint Councillor Ray Bisby as deputy commissioner at a meeting of the county’s police and crime panel on December 19.

Mr Ablewhite announced in November that he would be proposing Cllr Bisby as his deputy commissioner, following the resignation in May of former deputy Andy Coles.

Mr Coles stepped down amid allegations surrounding his work as an undercover officer for the Metropolitan Police in the 1990s.

At the time, Mr Coles said he was “unable to comment” on the allegations but acknowledged that they were “significantly impacting” on his ability to fulfil his duties, leading to his resignation.

Cllr Bisby served with the Royal Ulster Constabulary for almost 20 years, with his work involving a local policing role and working with other partners, stakeholders and emergency services.

Following his retirement, he undertook a range of voluntary work with the prison service, local communities, schools and associations.

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In 2015 he became a councillor for Peterborough City Council, representing the Stanground South ward. In addition he sits on council scrutiny committees and is chairman of the corporate parenting committee.

The deputy commissioner’s role, which comes with a salary of £28,000, will be to support the commissioner in his role to hold Cambridgeshire Constabulary to account.

Edward Leigh, chairman and independent co-opted member of the Cambridgeshire police and crime panel, said: “Given Councillor Bisby’s experience, the panel felt he could act as complementary support to the commissioner. His experience in the police service will enable him to sense check the reality of policing matters from a distance, enabling him to inform a more strategic approach.

“We are confident that he will maintain operational independence between the role of commissioner and the constabulary.

“It was also felt that his experience as a councillor, and working with partners and stakeholders to understand issues, look for solutions and bring about change, will be beneficial in supporting, empowering and scrutinising others in the delivering of the commissioner’s plan.”

Mr Ablewhite added: “I look forward to Ray joining me at a time of significant change within the police and across public services as a whole.”

Cllr Bisby will start in the post in early January.