THE county's police and crime commissioner has backed a call for officers to focus on 'core policing' rather than dealing with reports of misogyny and other 'deserving' issues.

Andrew Stansfeld, speaking on the BBC's Today programme, said the comments from Sara Thornton, former chief constable of the Thames Valley force and who now chairs the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), were 'absolutely right'.

He said: "I think we've gone off course in policing with perception and incidents rather than actually dealing with real crime and real hate crime.

"We're spending a huge amount of time in the police force, and we've had a great deal of money taken out, chasing around on what are basically other people reporting incidents which are simply not crimes."

Mr Stansfeld added it was not true to say police and crime commissioners 'set the temperature' for what is investigated in their areas, explaining forces were criticised 'hugely and publicly' if they did not do exactly what the Home Office wanted.

Ms Thornton, speaking at an NSPCC conference this week, highlighted a review into whether hate crime laws should be extended to cover offences motivated by hostility towards a victim's sex or age.

She said: "I want us to solve more burglaries and bear down on violence before we make more records of incidents that are not crimes.”