The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for Police and Crime Commissioners to be scrapped, after FOI requests reveal PCCs have spent almost £9million on PR and staffing costs in the last four years.
The FOIs reveal that the PCC for Dyfed Powys increased their PR spend by over 280% in one year and the PCC for South Wales has nearly doubled their staffing budget over five years.
With Gwent Police unable to provide staffing costs for the four-year period and North Wales Police unable to provide the costs for the 2016-2018 period, it means the overall expenditure will well exceed the current £8.9 million total.
In response, the Welsh Lib Dems have said the priority should instead be on police tackling crime on the streets and called for scrapping the role of Police and Crime Commissioners and for the full devolution of justice and policing to Wales.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“Police and Crime Commissioners on paper have some merit. However, in reality what we have seen is they are excessively bureaucratic, politicise our police forces and take resources away from front line policing.
"Our approach to policing and criminal justice needs to be rooted in the evidence, not on the basis of political rhetoric and electioneering.
"We need to scrap these costly roles and fight for powers over policing to be devolved to Wales so we can adopt an effective, liberal and community-based approach to tackling crime."