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Police & Crime Commisioners - What is their role?

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Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected for the second time in May 2016 in 40 force areas across England and Wales. Every force area is represented by a PCC, except Greater Manchester and London, where PCC responsibilities lie with the Mayor.

The role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.

PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.

PCCs have been elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.

Elected Police & Crime Commissioners have

  • a responsibility to hold the police to account on behalf of the public.
  • to hold the chief constable to account for the performance of your force area's officers and staff.
  • to provide the local link between the police and communities, working to turn the desires and ambitions of the public, in terms of policing and crime reduction, into action.
  • to receive all the funding relating to policing and reducing crime and, after consulting the chief constable, will be responsible for how it is spent.
  • to set the strategic direction and aims for your force through the Police and Crime Plan (the plan), and set the local precept (council tax charge).
  • to appoint the chief constable and remove them from office when necessary (as long as the relevant legal requirements are met).
  • a wider responsibilities, including responsibility for delivering community safety and reducing crime, commissioning victims' services, the ability to make crime and disorder reduction grants within your force area, and a duty to deliver better value for money or improve the effectiveness of policing.

Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:

  • secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
  • appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
  • set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
  • set the force budget and determine the precept;
  • contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and
  • bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.

More detailed information on PCC powers and responsibilities is also available on the Home Office website.

PCCs are expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life, as determined and published by the Nolan Committee - the 'Nolan Principles'. Each PCC publishes their own Code of Conduct but the APCC has drawn up an ethical framework, which was led and developed by Police and Crime Commissioners themselves and which includes a template Code for PCCs to adopt if they wish.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/candidate-briefing-2016-pcc-roles-and-responsibilities

Association of Police and Crime Commissionsers

Further information from

THE ASSOCIATION OF POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONERS

Lower Ground, 5-8 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JS

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