Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan reveals she won't stand for election in 2020

Julia Mulligan.
Julia Mulligan.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has revealed she won't stand for re-election in 2020.

Ms Mulligan issued a statement on Monday stating she wouldn't seek a second term as commissioner once her current stint ends in May 2020.

Her decision comes after she last month failed to win automatic selection as the Tory candidate for the role in the next election.

“This has been a very difficult time for me. I am passionate about public service, and in recent months have explained some of my reasons why," she said.

"But, in seven years of being the elected commissioner, I have taken tough decisions which I firmly believe are the right ones, but which others clearly disagree with and we have seen the results of that in recent weeks."

She also defended the role of commissioner itself.

“I am proud to have been the first Police and Crime Commissioner, and now the first Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, for North Yorkshire," she said.

"I know the role has been controversial, but we have moved to decisions being made in full view by someone who has been elected democratically to do just that.

"This opportunity is one I have embraced, and I have used every mechanism available to me to make a difference."

Ms Mulligan's office said she would not be making any additional comment at this time.

Ms Mulligan has been police and crime commissioner since 2012 and also took over North Yorkshire’s fire and rescue last year when the services amalgamated their leadership.

In October a Police and Crime Panel upheld allegations that Ms Mulligan had displayed "bullying behaviour" towards staff.

Another set of allegations about bullying was made in January.

Read Julia Mulligan's full statement:

“This has been a very difficult time for me. I am passionate about public service, and in recent months have explained some of my reasons why. But, in seven years of being the elected Commissioner, I have taken tough decisions which I firmly believe are the right ones, but which others clearly disagree with and we have seen the results of that in recent weeks.

“I am proud to have been the first Police and Crime Commissioner, and now the first Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, for North Yorkshire. I know the role has been controversial, but we have moved to decisions being made in full view by someone who has been elected democratically to do just that. This opportunity is one I have embraced, and I have used every mechanism available to me to make a difference.

“I have been a relentless supporter of rural communities and rural policing. Our Rural Task Force are second to none. We have invested in modernising the force and have one of the best digital forensics units in the country. Our response to protecting vulnerable people has improved dramatically. These things may not be the most visible, but they really matter.

“I have also transformed services for victims. When I came into office in November 2012, we had one person, one day a week in Wakefield, attempting to deliver services to over 40,000 victims of crime a year. We now have one of the most comprehensive services in the country, particularly for vulnerable people, women and children. In the past, only certain victims’ types were eligible for a service, but now anyone can be supported, even if they haven’t reported a crime to the police.

“In seven years, over £1.25 million has been granted to local community groups supporting a diverse range projects and schemes; we have two specialist centres to support victims of sexual assault, one for adults, one for children; we have also made massive strides in ensuring people detained under the Mental Health Act are cared for by doctors and nurses, rather than being treated like criminals in police custody.

“None of this would have been possible without the support of the public, and I want to thank those who have expressed their backing of me and my work.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank my team who have done, and continue to do, amazing work. I could not have made any of the improvements without them. They work tirelessly behind the scenes, day-in, day-out to support me and support everyone in North Yorkshire. Whoever takes over this role will inherit that team and they could not have better support.

“Next May, North Yorkshire Police will have more police officers and PCSOs than when I came into office, despite the national cuts to police funding. My collaboration plans will also make a tremendous difference to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, saving money and ensuring we focus on the front line. I regularly say thank you to those who serve in both services, but I say it again - you are truly inspirational, and it is a true privilege to work with you.

“A lot has been achieved, there is a lot more to do, I look forward to achieving as much of that as is possible before May 2020.”

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter