WILTSHIRE Police Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said a close working relationship between himself and the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner was important.

Speaking this morning on BBC Wiltshire, Mr Geenty said that while he would strongly resist any political influence on his role, he and Angus MacPherson would be working closely together to deliver an effective police force on the budget available and keeping the people of Swindon and Wiltshire safe.

“I think the relationship is crucial,” he said.

“We must work together as a team for the public. We must listen to the priorities given to us.

“If we need to make policing changes then we will listen to what the Police and Crime Commissioner and public are saying.

“I think Angus will reflect the public voice well.

“I am not a politician and never will be. As Chief Constable I am responsible for operational policing and there will be no political influence on that.

“I think political interference is when someone tries to direct you to do, or not do, something based on political ideologies. I would resist that completely.

“Angus has published a manifesto and that will be delivered in policy policing, and he will hold me accountable on that.”

Mr Geenty told BBC Wiltshire that while the turnout was disappointing but beleived the point of the Police and Crime Commissioner role may not have been explained clearly enough.

“The whole point of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to give the public a vote.

“Clearly there has been a problem in communicating that and what the role is.

“This applies to some of my police officers too.”

The scrapping of the Police Authority means that there could be some extra money available in the budget, and Mr Geenty said he hoped it would be possible to spend this on extra police officers.

“Obviously I would like more trained, professional police officers and Wiltshire is curerently one of only a few forces who are recruiting.

“I think you also need to make more of specials, as well as tapping in to volunteer and community Streetwatch gorups.

“I think that is one role in which the new Police and Crime Commissioner can play an important part.”

He said he thought his staff had done a fantastic job in difficult times, but understood there could be some confusion at the new system.

“I can understand why some officers might be concerned and why the public could be concerned.

“That’s why the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable, of forces across the country, need to make sure they protect the public.

“That’s what I’m paid to do and that’s what I will do.”