A petition has been launched against the current commissioner Kim McGuinness by a candidate campaigning for the position.

Ros Munro, the Conservative candidate for Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, has today (Tuesday, January 23) submitted a petition on behalf of over 170 local residents opposing a proposed 7.7% maximum rise to the policing precept of council tax in the Northumbria policing area.

In her objection letter, Ros calls out Kim McGuinness for failing to address police non-attendance at over 100,000 incidents of antisocial behaviours (ASB) over the last four years, and the frivolous waste of public money on gimmicks, such as enabling day trips for young offenders and funding for art projects.

Ros said:“These continual precept increases, concerning spending decisions, and most importantly, rising crime in the policing area raise serious questions over whether this performance is really due to funding constraints, or rather Northumbria Police’s strategic direction and your failure to guide and steer policy and hold police leadership to account.”

“If elected, I will get back to basics, making sure that Northumbria Police works for local people and will enable officers to do the job they signed up for and want to do; fighting and preventing crime. I will also deliver on my priorities of getting tougher on offenders, taking a no nonsense approach to crime reduction and keeping the policing precept low.

Defending their actions and the petition, a spokesperson for the OPCC said: “A zero precept increase would mean the new Commissioner has to oversee £4m of police cuts, equal to 113 job losses, on their first day in post.

“This would be on top of the cut to police officer numbers – Northumbria is still owed more than 400 police officers lost since 2010 which the Government is refusing to fund.

“A precept increase worth 72p per month for most households would allow the force to avoid further job losses, create a force-wide motorbike ASB unit and increase the number of investigators, as well as potentially reopening police stations.”