MANY will be dismayed that our new police and crime commissioner Bill Longmore wants to hire a deputy on £50,000 a year.

There will also be disquiet that the man he wants for the job is a personal friend who was his publicity manager during his election campaign.

After all, we were told police commissioners would reduce bureaucracy and the cost of running our police forces.

Critics will point out that the combined salaries of Mr Longmore – himself on £75,000 a year – and his sidekick would pay the wages of up to six bobbies.

He is not alone in making such an appointment. It is reported that up to 12 police commissioners around the country have appointed deputies on salaries of up to £68,000.

As if the role were not mired in enough controversy, this appointment is certain to draw accusations of cronyism.

Voters were, after all, deeply sceptical about the value of having police commissioners, let alone unelected deputies.

Turnout at the recent elections for the post were a dismal 14 per cent – local council elections would normally expect a turnout of about 30 per cent.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of one of the most important policing shake-ups for decades. This latest turn of events will only create yet more disillusionment with the political process.

'Disgrace' of £50,000 deputy