‘I under-claimed, not over-claimed, expenses’ says Thames Valley police chief

Anthony Stansfeld
Anthony Stansfeld
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Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld has defended his expenses claims after being ordered to repay £142.

The Thames Valley Police chief said he has actually under-claimed, not over-claimed, on his expenses.

An independent audit found the crime tsar wrongly claimed for six journeys from his home to meetings in Kidlington.

However, the report also revealed Mr Stansfeld could have claimed an additional £194 in backdated expenses.

Mr Stansfeld, who earns £85,000 said: “My office over-claimed in one area and under-claimed in another.

“I’ve actually lost £50 but have said I will forget about it.”

The police chief came under fire in May when he was accused of creating a ‘sham office’ to claim extra expenses and criticised for hiring a part-time ‘chauffeur’.

The audit report was commissioned after complaints about his expenses and Mr Stansfeld hit out at critics for starting a ‘smear campaign’ against him.

The Conservative politician said: “The cost of doing the audit was probably 15 or 20 times the cost of what it has worked out I was owed.”

The audit also revealed Mr Stansfeld’s driver had resigned at the end of June, due to him moving out of the area.

The commissioner said he is looking to employ a replacement ‘as soon as possible’.

He said: “At the moment I’m having to do a hell of a lot of driving but I’m not able to get to enough meetings.

“Having a support officer is the most sensible way to do it.”

Away from the controversies, Mr Stansfeld said he has been happy with the way the job has been going since he was elected in November.

He says the force has been successful in clamping down on burglary and farm machinery theft and that vulnerable groups such as the elderly are now better protected.

Moving forward he wants to help ensure re-offending falls.

Mr Stansfeld said: “The job has been going extremely well.

“Crime is the lowest it has been since we recorded it.”

At a meeting of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel last week, members heard about how lessons learned from the Operation Bullfinch child sexual exploitation trial in Oxford are being incorporated into future policing work across the region.

Bucks County Councillor Trevor Egleton was re-elected as chairman of the panel for a second year and Kieron Mallon of Oxfordshire County Council was re-elected as vice-chairman.