Controversial West Mercia police deputy 'will do a good job'

Worcester News: PLEDGE: Barrie Sheldon wants people to judge him on his performance as deputy police and crime comissioner for the force serving Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. PLEDGE: Barrie Sheldon wants people to judge him on his performance as deputy police and crime comissioner for the force serving Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

THE region’s new deputy police and crime commissioner has admitted he “can understand” the furore over his appointment – and has pleaded with the public to judge him once his time is up.

Barrie Sheldon, controversially appointed Bill Longmore’s number two this week, said he respects the views of people who have aimed criticism at the duo.

The 57-year-old former detective inspector was handed the role despite the watchdog-style Police and Crime Panel recommending it not go ahead.

He also said Mr Longmore, who originally hired him as his election campaign manager, did not make it widely known he wanted a deputy before the count because “he was not asked”.

In a call to your Worcester News yesterday, Mr Sheldon urged the public to take a view of them down the line.

“We’ve got a job to do for the people of West Mercia and we’ve got an enormous amount of work ahead of us,” he said.

“I would say to people, judge us in three-and-half-years. I am fairly confident we can move on from what I call a blip. Bill did hold some community meetings and told people ‘if I get elected this man will be working alongside me’, but he never used the words ‘deputy’, because he was not asked the question during hustings.

“We are not trying to be silent on anything, the last few days have been exceptionally busy. It’s gone from 6am to sometimes 10pm at night.”

He also said he accepts some criticism the rules surrounding the appointment of deputies could be tightened up. “I accept what people are saying, but you have to remember the process we have followed is laid down in the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011, and 19 PCCs across the country have got deputies.

“I know a couple are doing it via a more detailed process but I think you’ll find that’s in areas where the PCCs don’t know who to appoint.

“When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council?”

He also said Mr Longmore was “offended” by claims of cronyism, saying that during 11 years together at Staffordshire Police they “hardly ever spoke”. “I joined in 1975 and he retired in 1986, and it was just by fate that we got in touch again,” he said.

He said they got in touch via a Facebook page for retired Staffordshire officers, and Mr Longmore rang him up to say he’d “got an idea” for him.

“He said ‘I have an idea, can I discuss it with you’, so I went to see him and we took it from there. He said he was concerned no independents were standing yet.

“I hope that at the end of these three-and-a-half years we can show evidence to people to say ‘look, this is what we’ve done’. I intend to make a good job of it.”

During the interview he also took a swipe at politicians, saying much of the criticism “is political”, but admitted there was controversy from the public too.

“We’re getting on with the job and I hope people will judge us on what we do,” he said.

The Police and Crime Panel argued Mr Sheldon’s appointment should not go ahead, saying it was not “open or transparent” and that Mr Longmore had not spelt out what the role will be.

The panel also said it was “disappointed” it was not made known before the election what their plans were, and that the £50,000 salary Mr Sheldon is on was too random.

The duo are now drawing up a police and crime plan for the West Mercia force region.

Mr Sheldon retired from policing in 2004 and went on to lecture at Teeside University, before delivering a foundation degree to constables in Shropshire.

Following the interview he went onto Twitter to post: “Worcester News spoken to – let’s hope they start to focus on the real issues i.e drugs, alcohol, anti-social behaviour, policing, etc.”

Comments (18)

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5:34pm Sat 15 Dec 12

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

His comment "When David Cameron appointed his cabinet did he do it via a competitive process" is a tad disingenuous - his cabinet were in the main duly elected MP's. He appeared from nowhere! And although some politicians have voiced their opinion (probably when asked by the press) the majority of the critisism has come from the general public (or could he not be bothered to read the comments in ALL of the local newspapers that serve the West Mercia area).
His comment "When David Cameron appointed his cabinet did he do it via a competitive process" is a tad disingenuous - his cabinet were in the main duly elected MP's. He appeared from nowhere! And although some politicians have voiced their opinion (probably when asked by the press) the majority of the critisism has come from the general public (or could he not be bothered to read the comments in ALL of the local newspapers that serve the West Mercia area). imustbeoldiwearacap
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Sat 15 Dec 12

truth must out says...

“When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council?
No ....because all his cabinet were bona fide ELECTED members......!!!!
They were not 'Back door Billys'
Sheldon and Longmore keep saying they followed the correct procedure, maybe but they have duped a lot of people.
“When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council? No ....because all his cabinet were bona fide ELECTED members......!!!! They were not 'Back door Billys' Sheldon and Longmore keep saying they followed the correct procedure, maybe but they have duped a lot of people. truth must out
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Sat 15 Dec 12

jb says...

He also said Mr Longmore, who originally hired him as his election campaign manager, did not make it widely known he wanted a deputy before the count because “he was not asked”.
Why was he not asked? Because no one knew that he could hire an assistant. Disgraceful comment.
He also said Mr Longmore, who originally hired him as his election campaign manager, did not make it widely known he wanted a deputy before the count because “he was not asked”. Why was he not asked? Because no one knew that he could hire an assistant. Disgraceful comment. jb
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Sat 15 Dec 12

reflector says...

If this is the best that Mr Sheldon can come up with I would say that the critics of his appointment have been absolutely right.

To compare the way that his appointment has been handled with that of a ministerial post is too ludicrous for words. I don't hold much of a brief for any of the government but all those in the Commons are there because they have been elected.....unlike Mr Sheldon who got the job because he is a pal of Mr Longmore who incidentally attracted the support of around 5% of the electorate, hardly a ringing endorsement in itself.

I imagine there were a good many questions that he wasn't asked in his low key campaign (which as far as I know came nowhere near where I live). Does that mean that if he wasn't asked on an issue, he is free to do exactly what he likes?

I just pity for the future of West Mercia Police with these two at the helm for the next four years.
If this is the best that Mr Sheldon can come up with I would say that the critics of his appointment have been absolutely right. To compare the way that his appointment has been handled with that of a ministerial post is too ludicrous for words. I don't hold much of a brief for any of the government but all those in the Commons are there because they have been elected.....unlike Mr Sheldon who got the job because he is a pal of Mr Longmore who incidentally attracted the support of around 5% of the electorate, hardly a ringing endorsement in itself. I imagine there were a good many questions that he wasn't asked in his low key campaign (which as far as I know came nowhere near where I live). Does that mean that if he wasn't asked on an issue, he is free to do exactly what he likes? I just pity for the future of West Mercia Police with these two at the helm for the next four years. reflector
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Hack says...

Has Sheldon now become the public, quotable face of Longmore. No 2 fronting No 1?
Longmore could and should have done this differently. He didn't. For Sheldon to say judge at the end of the day is an empty remark, by then it's too late to bring either to account. They be gone. Old and with serious pensions.
Has Sheldon now become the public, quotable face of Longmore. No 2 fronting No 1? Longmore could and should have done this differently. He didn't. For Sheldon to say judge at the end of the day is an empty remark, by then it's too late to bring either to account. They be gone. Old and with serious pensions. Hack
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Doogie 46 says...

Like the MP`s and their expenses, Milliband and immigration, bankers and their bonuses - Longmore and Sheldon just don`t get it........
Like the MP`s and their expenses, Milliband and immigration, bankers and their bonuses - Longmore and Sheldon just don`t get it........ Doogie 46
  • Score: 0

7:34am Sun 16 Dec 12

TDH123 says...

Neither Longmore nor Sheldon seem to understand that one needs integrity in public office. It is insufficient to simpy say that there is no cronyism nor bias - from the outset Longmore should have stated that he was not capable of fulfilling the role without the assistance of a deputy. Longmore should have had a selection process to identify potential deputy candidates rather than giving the position to a friend. Perhaps Longmore did not wish to be over-shadowed by a deputy far more capable than himself!
Again, returning to integrity, they should be placing the role of PCC above their own interests. Both, or at least Sheldon, should stand down recognising that they have lost public confidence.
Neither Longmore nor Sheldon seem to understand that one needs integrity in public office. It is insufficient to simpy say that there is no cronyism nor bias - from the outset Longmore should have stated that he was not capable of fulfilling the role without the assistance of a deputy. Longmore should have had a selection process to identify potential deputy candidates rather than giving the position to a friend. Perhaps Longmore did not wish to be over-shadowed by a deputy far more capable than himself! Again, returning to integrity, they should be placing the role of PCC above their own interests. Both, or at least Sheldon, should stand down recognising that they have lost public confidence. TDH123
  • Score: 0

7:40am Sun 16 Dec 12

TDH123 says...

I forgot to say, if what Sheldon suggests is true, that he and Longmore hardly even spoke whilst serving as police officers and they met purely by fate more recently, it would seem that Longmore does not even know Sheldon very well - surely more of a good reason to have a proper and transparent selection process?!
I forgot to say, if what Sheldon suggests is true, that he and Longmore hardly even spoke whilst serving as police officers and they met purely by fate more recently, it would seem that Longmore does not even know Sheldon very well - surely more of a good reason to have a proper and transparent selection process?! TDH123
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sun 16 Dec 12

Bill Chapman says...

We're told "he never used the words ‘deputy’, because he was not asked the question during hustings". Ah, the public are supposed to be mind readers are they, supposing thatt the successful canduidate would abandon all principles of good conduct in public life?
We're told "he never used the words ‘deputy’, because he was not asked the question during hustings". Ah, the public are supposed to be mind readers are they, supposing thatt the successful canduidate would abandon all principles of good conduct in public life? Bill Chapman
  • Score: 0

11:21am Sun 16 Dec 12

thecigarman says...

Give the guy a chance people. if they fail then have a go. Stop moaning you grumpy ones.
Give the guy a chance people. if they fail then have a go. Stop moaning you grumpy ones. thecigarman
  • Score: 0

11:49am Sun 16 Dec 12

pronstar says...

Will you, ahem, journalists please stop saying 'Your Worcester News'?

Especially so when you are trying to make out you're on some sort of crusade for the good of the people.
Will you, ahem, journalists please stop saying 'Your Worcester News'? Especially so when you are trying to make out you're on some sort of crusade for the good of the people. pronstar
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Gerry Taggart says...

If these two cronies ignore the Police and Crime Panel, what is the good of that guardian?
If these two cronies ignore the Police and Crime Panel, what is the good of that guardian? Gerry Taggart
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Sun 16 Dec 12

brooksider says...

truth must out wrote:
“When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council?
No ....because all his cabinet were bona fide ELECTED members......!!!!
They were not 'Back door Billys'
Sheldon and Longmore keep saying they followed the correct procedure, maybe but they have duped a lot of people.
Incorrect, the cabinet contains 2 unelected persons, Lord Strathclyde and Baroness Warsi.

A true example of cronyism in action.
[quote][p][bold]truth must out[/bold] wrote: “When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council? No ....because all his cabinet were bona fide ELECTED members......!!!! They were not 'Back door Billys' Sheldon and Longmore keep saying they followed the correct procedure, maybe but they have duped a lot of people.[/p][/quote]Incorrect, the cabinet contains 2 unelected persons, Lord Strathclyde and Baroness Warsi. A true example of cronyism in action. brooksider
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Sun 16 Dec 12

reflector says...

brooksider wrote:
truth must out wrote:
“When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council?
No ....because all his cabinet were bona fide ELECTED members......!!!!
They were not 'Back door Billys'
Sheldon and Longmore keep saying they followed the correct procedure, maybe but they have duped a lot of people.
Incorrect, the cabinet contains 2 unelected persons, Lord Strathclyde and Baroness Warsi.

A true example of cronyism in action.
This of course is correct but as long as we have an unelected second chamber, sadly it will always be the case. But at least the vast majority of the Cabinet are elected MP's. In Mr Longmore's case, his entire Cabinet of one is an unelected 'mate.'
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]truth must out[/bold] wrote: “When David Cameron appointed his cabinet, did he do it via a competitive process, or Worcestershire County Council? No ....because all his cabinet were bona fide ELECTED members......!!!! They were not 'Back door Billys' Sheldon and Longmore keep saying they followed the correct procedure, maybe but they have duped a lot of people.[/p][/quote]Incorrect, the cabinet contains 2 unelected persons, Lord Strathclyde and Baroness Warsi. A true example of cronyism in action.[/p][/quote]This of course is correct but as long as we have an unelected second chamber, sadly it will always be the case. But at least the vast majority of the Cabinet are elected MP's. In Mr Longmore's case, his entire Cabinet of one is an unelected 'mate.' reflector
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Sun 16 Dec 12

More Tea Vicar says...

Doogie 46 wrote:
Like the MP`s and their expenses, Milliband and immigration, bankers and their bonuses - Longmore and Sheldon just don`t get it........
So well said.

The problem at the moment is that the whole political class seems to have just lost it.

I really can see what the Tories were trying to do here, in terms of getting some sort of democratic accountability and input into policing. But they made such a mess of it that the whole process is tainted.

Even if the current incumbent and the system in general do a good job, people will remember the Tories' mishandling of the electoral process, the vast expenditure when services are being cut, and the cronyism allegations.
[quote][p][bold]Doogie 46[/bold] wrote: Like the MP`s and their expenses, Milliband and immigration, bankers and their bonuses - Longmore and Sheldon just don`t get it........[/p][/quote]So well said. The problem at the moment is that the whole political class seems to have just lost it. I really can see what the Tories were trying to do here, in terms of getting some sort of democratic accountability and input into policing. But they made such a mess of it that the whole process is tainted. Even if the current incumbent and the system in general do a good job, people will remember the Tories' mishandling of the electoral process, the vast expenditure when services are being cut, and the cronyism allegations. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Ted Elgar says...

I don't see a problem with this appointment. The Worcester News' blatant distaste at the result seems to be sour grapes because the Tory didn't win and this has blossomed into the faux-rage we have now about the appointment of his deputy.
I voted for the independent precisely because he was independent.
Are we to believe that a Tory or Labour PC wouldnt have appointed one of his "pals"; e.g another career politician?
Carry on gnashing your teeth WN.
I don't see a problem with this appointment. The Worcester News' blatant distaste at the result seems to be sour grapes because the Tory didn't win and this has blossomed into the faux-rage we have now about the appointment of his deputy. I voted for the independent precisely because he was independent. Are we to believe that a Tory or Labour PC wouldnt have appointed one of his "pals"; e.g another career politician? Carry on gnashing your teeth WN. Ted Elgar
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Wed 19 Dec 12

DarrenM says...

No the Worcester News has many problems, and is pro establishment and govt agencies but i've never considered it biased towards any political party.

As for "Controversial West Mercia police deputy 'will do a good job'" No he wont', he was a lecturer in a now discredited Nu-Labour foundation degree program designed to destroy any independent thought amongst new recruits.

Also I would like to know - as they are both from Staffs police and would have been serving at the time, what, if any at all, involvement both him and Bill had with the Bridgewater Four case?
No the Worcester News has many problems, and is pro establishment and govt agencies but i've never considered it biased towards any political party. As for "Controversial West Mercia police deputy 'will do a good job'" No he wont', he was a lecturer in a now discredited Nu-Labour foundation degree program designed to destroy any independent thought amongst new recruits. Also I would like to know - as they are both from Staffs police and would have been serving at the time, what, if any at all, involvement both him and Bill had with the Bridgewater Four case? DarrenM
  • Score: 0

8:47am Thu 20 Dec 12

Ted Elgar says...

"Your" Worcester News was the only media outlet I saw putting a positive spin on Osborne's kick-in-the-teeth-fo
r-low-to-middle-earn
ers mini-budget (see grovelling story on fuel tax). Even the Mail thought it was awful.

If that isn't Tory bias, then I'm a Frenchman.
"Your" Worcester News was the only media outlet I saw putting a positive spin on Osborne's kick-in-the-teeth-fo r-low-to-middle-earn ers mini-budget (see grovelling story on fuel tax). Even the Mail thought it was awful. If that isn't Tory bias, then I'm a Frenchman. Ted Elgar
  • Score: 0
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