ALL candidates standing for the Dorset police commissioner post say they will not be seeking advice from consultancy companies which have appointed former chief constable Martin Baker as a director.
It has emerged that Mr Baker became a director of two companies, offering services to the new police and crime commissioners, just five days after leaving the force and his £141,000-a-year job.
Mr Baker, 56, officially finished his job on September 30. On October 5 he registered as a director of both One Team Policing and One Team Advisory.
Mr Baker joined One Team Policing with two former colleagues; former assistant chief constable Mike Glanville and former Bournemouth-based chief superintendent Gill Donnell who set up the company in March.
Mr Baker and Mr Glanville are the only directors of One Team Advisory which offers similar services.
Dorset police commissioner Labour candidate Rachel Rogers said: “How can you hold a force to account when you are being advised by someone who used to be employed by them? The role of the new police and crime commissioners is to be independent; if elected I would never take advice from these organisations.”
Conservative Nick King told the Daily Echo: “I wish Mr Baker well but don't think it would be appropriate to use someone who previously held a senior position within the force.
“There are a lot of firms offering consultancy services to police commissioners but, in the current financial climate, there will not be the money to pay for them.”
Independent Martyn (corr) Underhill, a former Detective Inspector with Sussex Police, said: “If I was elected I would not use these companies purely because I have knowledge of policing. But I can understand why other candidates would and why these companies have sprung up to provide expertise.”
Liberal Democrat Andy Canning said: “I'm not interested in spending taxpayers' money on private consultants who often tell you what you already know. To me it's a value for money issue.”
Gill Donnell, from One Team Policing, said: "We are delighted that Martin Baker has been able to join us. His extensive experience in police will be a real asset to us and our customers."
The elections will be held next Thursday. Get more info at bournemouthecho.co.uk/pcc