MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has announced she will not be seeking re-election next year.

Ms Kennedy informed the Labour Party this weekend that she would not be putting herself forward for re-selection after they asked incumbent Commissioners to signify their intentions in time for selections to take place for the next election for Police and Crime Commissioners in May 2020.

Jane became Merseyside’s first Police and Crime Commissioner on November 22, 2012 and was re-elected to serve a second term on on May 6, 2016 with 61.7 per cent of the vote.

Her time as Commissioner has seen Ms Kennedy oppose cuts to policing and a successful campaign against proposed budget cuts of up to 40 per cent threatened by the then coalition government.

She has also overseen a transformation of Merseyside Police’s stations and buildings, including the opening of the force’s new Operational Command Centre in Speke, which is now the region’s major centre for tackling serious and organised crime.

She has also helped deliver support for thousands of crime victims, through the Victim Care Merseyside service, which provides specialist support and care for victims of some of the most serious crimes, including rape and sexual assault, domestic abuse and child exploitation.

Ms Kennedy said: “I have been immensely privileged and honoured to serve the people of Merseyside as their first Police and Crime Commissioner. Merseyside Police are the most effective and efficient urban police Force in the country, so say the inspectors of HMICFRS. I have been so very proud to work alongside them as their Commissioner.

“After considering it very carefully with my family, I have come to the decision that I will not stand for re-election next May. By that point, I will have served more than seven years as PCC, and I will be ready to step back from public life and hand over the responsibilities of this hugely important job to the next commissioner.

“I have made improving efficiency and driving vital funds to frontline policing a hallmark of my time as Commissioner. I’m pleased to say that – if nothing else – compared to my predecessors, I have reduced the cost of the scrutiny of the police on Merseyside by 43 per cent. This has saved more than £1m each and every year. Money which has gone straight to Merseyside Police.

She added: “There have been many other proud moments – thanking our former Chief Constable, Sir Jon Murphy, for 41 years of exemplary service as he too retired; appointing Chief Constable Andy Cooke QPM who is leading the Force admirably, despite the challenging circumstances; officially opening the new Operational Command Centre and securing public support for sweeping changes to the rest of the police estate and introducing Victim Care Merseyside which has provided vital support to many thousands of vulnerable victims of crime.

“While those are the headline events, there are so many other, day-to-day interactions with the officers, PCSOs and staff of Merseyside Police and the people I was elected to serve which have brought me great satisfaction and pleasure. To hear the everyday stories of bravery, dedication and service of the men and women who put on the uniform to serve the public of Merseyside has been an honour.

“I still have 14 months left in office and there is much more I wish to achieve. I will be working right up to the point that I handover to the next Commissioner and my campaign for fair funding for Merseyside Police will continue right up to that point.”

Before she was Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane was an MP for 18 years, serving as a government minister in six different departments. She was Britain’s first woman Security Minister, with responsibility for Policing in Northern Ireland, and the first woman to hold Ministerial office in the Lord Chancellor’s department with responsibility for magistrates, the judiciary and family law policy.