Nottinghamshire PCC criticised for communications tactics and low attendance at public events

Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner (PCC) Caroline Henry has faced criticism from a panel of councillors over her communications tactics and public engagement events which attracted low attendance.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 2:05 pm

Mrs Henry was questioned over the way she engages with the public at a police and crime panel meeting.

Coun Kevin Greaves (Lab) told the panel: “Our focus should be tackling crime, but the new commissioner seems to be followed around at public events by a camera crew to create glossy, self-promotional videos.

“In the interest of value for money, I propose a specific report at the next meeting to consider how much of taxpayers money is spent on spin.”

Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner

Mrs Henry defended the attack saying: “I want to be visible. I call it community engagement, not publicity, because that is what I am here to do.”

Public events held across the county were used to guide her plan, which determines where money will be spent over the next four years to tackle crime and to find out what issues are affecting communities.

Mrs Henry said about 12,500 people had viewed her online public consultation events, but said: “I have rejigged how I have done stuff since I started. I put on my own events, livestreamed it to, and not that many people came, whether that is Covid or rainy nights.

“I will continue to experiment, and do as many events as I can, and I will do it carefully to make sure we engage.”

She said there were 1,400 responses to her public survey, but there had also been focus groups as well.

Coun Helen-Ann Smith (Ash Ind), Ashfield District Council deputy leader, mentioned how no residents had attended a public event in Kirkby, paid for by Mrs Henry’s office.

She said: “It was extremely disappointing.

“What lessons have been learned? Do you feel you have met your statutory obligation to consult in Ashfield or could you hold it again at some point?”

Mrs Henry said people had watched the event online and she had learned from organising it.

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