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Police commissioner defends near £5k hotel bills

Anthony Stansfeld oversees policing in the Thames Valley.

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Alex Seabrook at 3:05pm 10th March 2020. (Updated at 5:11pm 10th March 2020) 3-minute read.

Police commissioner defends near £5k hotel bills

The police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the Thames Valley has claimed £4,797.36 in three and half years for staying in hotels.

Anthony Stansfeld, who has been the commissioner since 2012, made 37 expenses claims for hotel accommodation between April 2016 and November 2019.

The data was revealed in response to a recent freedom of information request.

Mr Stansfeld also claimed £3,808.98 on hiring a car during the last financial year, according to the commissioner’s website.

Most of the hotel expense claims were in London, as well as in Bournemouth, Lewes, Birmingham, Chipping Norton, and Cambridge.

The most expensive claim was £374.44, for two nights in London to attend a conference.

The reasons behind the claims were listed mostly as ‘meeting with MPs’, as well as several conferences, and even one film screening. One reason for staying in a hotel in London was listed as “Edinburgh meeting next day”. 

The commissioner made the expenses claims on top of his £86,700 annual salary. He is stepping down from the role this year, when a new police and crime commissioner will be elected on May 7. 

Mr Stansfeld said:

“I make it a priority not to spend unnecessary money from the public purse, but there are times when it is needed to do my job to the best of my ability.

“Any expenses I have claimed where I have stayed overnight, were so that I could increase productivity and work longer hours to get the job done. As with all PCCs, I attend national meetings in London however, if I do need to stay overnight, I ensure I stay somewhere that is below the average cost in the city for such a stay.

“These expense figures are based over four years and covering the whole of the Thames Valley, which is 2,200 square miles across the three counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The role demands a lot in terms of being in the right places at the right time. Any expense I have claimed is to facilitate this vital work.” 

PCCs are elected to oversee how crime is tackled, and aim to cut crime and make sure their local police force is effective. They also appoint and hold to account chief constables. 

Two candidates are standing in the election on May 7 to replace Mr Stansfeld: Matthew Barber (Tory) and Laetisia Carter (Labour). 

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