Around £16m has been secured in special grants to help fund and support policing in Bedfordshire during the last five years, a meeting heard.
Outgoing Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has been praised for her contribution in stabilising the county force.
At her final Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel meeting, Chief Constable Garry Forsyth spoke about her achievements.
“Five years after Kathryn became the PCC, she genuinely leaves a force which has been completely transformed beyond recognition,” he said.
“This includes ‘good’ across the board from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in the most recent inspection; a growth in policing numbers, with more police officers in the county now than ever before; an award-winning efficiency programme, a key contributor in giving government the confidence to make the investments it does; and the delivery of the police and crime plan.
“I’ve lost count of how many millions of pounds of additional funding have been secured during her tenure.
“Any opportunity for funding and Kathryn is there banging down the Home Office door.”
“It’s £16m if you were wondering Chief Constable,” said the PCC’s chief of staff Clare Kelly.
“Few people will be aware of some of the things you’ve done nationally around international policing, such as the civil contingency support provided recently,” added the Chief Constable.
“Nothing can prepare you for the role of the PCC. When you come into the role it’s really striking the volume and complexity of everything that’s there.
“It’s full energy. You live it every second. Your passion and energy over the last five years have been extraordinary.
“Leadership in policing can be a lonely place at times. You’ve been a huge supporter of me, of my predecessor and of the force.
“You’ve undoubtedly held us to account and done so very effectively in a way that’s felt supportive and that’s got the best results.
“We’ve done some incredibly challenging, amazing and difficult things which will never see the light of day.
“You can be immensely proud of your achievements as the PCC for Bedfordshire.”
Conservative Central Bedfordshire councillor Ian Dalgarno, who chairs the panel, described the PCC as “using every opportunity to be an advocate for Bedfordshire Police and for our communities”.
Budgets and funding, as well as the issues facing the force from the policing inspectorate were two key areas which have changed, he explained.
The PCC told the panel she hopes her term will be remembered “for me as being about policing” and not politics.
“I have lived and breathed policing and victims of crime,” she said. “I’m certainly never going to forget Bedfordshire.
“I hope to now support the interests of British policing as a whole, including Bedfordshire, with those examples right at the forefront of my mind.
“There’s a great deal to look forward to. I’m absolutely delighted before I leave that so much of it has come to fruition.
“I’d like to thank you for your support, especially during the last 12 months and a very unexpected extension to my term, and I have to say a huge thank you to my Chief Constable.”
Labour Luton borough councillor Anne Donelon said: “What you did with the suite for victims of possible sexual assault was absolutely amazing, and how tirelessly you worked.
“I think what you’ve done has helped women immensely. I just want to echo and applaud you for everything you’ve done and your contribution to Bedfordshire.”
by Euan Duncan
Local Democracy Reporter