Police chief to get spin doctor
A "spin doctor" with a salary of up to £55,000 a year is to be appointed before the election of Devon and Cornwall's new police and crime commissioner.
Elections for the powerful commissioner post, which itself carries a salary of £85,000, are being held on November 15.
But adverts are already running for a "senior communications and public affairs manager" to support the position, which will replace the current police authority.
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The TaxPayers' Alliance said the public wanted "officers on the street fighting crime, not spin doctors back at police headquarters".
"It's unbelievable that Devon and Cornwall Police Authority are recruiting expensive communications staff before a police and crime commissioner has even been elected," campaign manager Robert Oxley said. "It smacks of a cynical attempt to establish this post before an elected candidate can prevent this unnecessary recruitment."
The decision to create the post was made by the "transition board", made up of senior authority staff, members and officers, which is overseeing the move to the office of the new police and crime commissioner.
An authority spokesman said: "The police and crime commissioner will be directly accountable to communities and it is important that they are able to get their message out and can engage effectively with the whole of Devon and Cornwall.
"It will be for the commissioner to decide what support mechanisms they need for their period of office."