Norfolk police commissioner’s position under review

Stephen Bett, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner
Stephen Bett, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner may be asked to either resign or get back to work in a review of his decision to take a temporary leave of absence.

Stephen Bett announced last month his decision to step back from duties while an investigation into his expenses is conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A report to Norfolk Police and Crime Panel, which meets tomorrow (Friday), says there is a no legislative basis for the commissioner to take a temporary leave of absence.

It said there are some powers that cannot be delegated to the deputy commissioner, who has taken on day-to-day duties.

Mr Bett has taken leave on full pay. The report said the panel does not have power to stop Mr Bett’s pay but he could forego it voluntarily.

The report sets out options for the panel to consider.

They include inviting the commissioner to continue with duties, inviting him to resign and asking the Home Secretary to consider the situation and whether any action should be taken concerning Mr Bett’s salary.

The report also suggests as possibilities, inviting Mr Bett to a meeting to explain how his duties will be fulfilled in his absence, asking him to reconsider his decision or doing nothing for now and monitoring the situation.

The panel is due to meet at 10am at Norfolk Police headquarters in Wymondham.