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Police and Crime Commissioner


Answer

Police and Crime Commissioners may appoint (and are able to dismiss) chief constables, although the chief constable will appoint all other officers within the force.

Police and Crime Commissioners are required to determine local policing priorities, publish a five year police and crime plan, set a local precept and set the annual force budget (including contingency reserves) in consultation with chief constables. The plan needs to take account of national policing challenges, as set out in the 'Strategic Policing Requirement'.

Police and Crime Commissioners receive a policing grant from the Home Office, various grants from Department for Communities and Local Government and the local precept.

The Police and Crime Commissioner commissions policing services from the chief constable (or other providers - in consultation with the chief constable). These services are set out in the plan where their objectives and funding are publicly disclosed.

The plan will remain a public document, including any updates or amendments made during the five-year period.

At the end of the financial year the Police and Crime Commissioner will publish an annual report which will set out progress made by the Police and Crime Commissioner against the objectives set out in the plan.

Alongside the annual report, the Police and Crime Commissioner will publish annual financial accounts, including showing how resources were consumed in respect of priorities and how value for money was secured.

Police and Crime Commissioners also have a general duty to regularly consult and involve the public and have regard to the local authority priorities.

Police and Crime Commissioners are able to require a report from chief constables, at any time, about the execution of their functions.

The Police and Crime Commissioner may delegate the exercise of functions, but not the responsibility for their execution.

The local precept is subject to the same referendum requirements as local government (triggered on rises which exceed thresholds set by government).

Police and Crime Commissioners have a duty to hold their chief constables to account for having regard to codes of practice.

See the website in related information to find out about your local Police and Crime Commissioner.


Answer

Police and Crime Commissioners aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within the force area. They are working towards this by:

  • holding the chief constable to account for the delivery of the force
  • setting and updating a police and crime plan
  • setting the force budget and precept
  • regularly engaging with the public and communities
  • appointing, and where necessary dismissing, the chief constable.

See Q790 for the powers of a Police and Crime Commissioner and see the website in related information to find out about your local Police and Crime Commissioner.


Answer

The Police and Crime Commissioner needs a document that sets out clearly the priorities for local policing for the whole force area, their term of office and how they are going to be addressed. Essentially, it must set out the Police and Crime Commissioner's objectives for policing and reducing crime and disorder in the area, how policing resources are allocated and agreements for funding and reporting on the work.

In developing the plan the Police and Crime Commissioner must consult the chief constable, who acts as their principle adviser on policing matters. They must also obtain views on the plan from local people and the victims of crime in that area.

The Police and Crime Commissioner's role is to ensure that the plan includes and addresses the views on local policing of the electorate; it will be a public document and a key mechanism for the Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the chief constable to account.


Answer

A Police and Crime Commissioner is a directly elected person for each police force area in England and Wales outside London.

He or she is a corporation sole. This means that the office has its own legal personality, distinct from that of the person holding it, and that it is in this separate capacity that the police and crime commissioner will own property, employ staff, make contracts and take part in legal proceedings.

The core functions of police and crime commissioners, are to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force, and to hold the chief constable to account for the exercise of his functions. These are the functions previously carried out by police authorities.

There are a number of functions in respect of which, in particular, the police and crime commissioner must hold the chief constable to account and these include, amongst others the duty to have regard to:-

Benefits of a PCC

For the first time, elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs ) have given the public a direct say in policing in their area. The PCC is able to hold police forces and chief constables to account. This is a challenging but pivotal opportunity to serve the public. PCCs set local policing priorities and decide how your council tax is spent on crime and policing issues. As well as planning policing budgets, their role also includes:

  • driving community safety and overall security in the area
  • working with local partnerships and national and regional criminal justice agencies and services
  • building and fostering relationships with the chief constable and community groups to achieve common goals
  • contributing to national policing capabilities

Local issues
Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for the full range of policing work, not simply local priorities, and they will not undermine the operational independence of policing professionals. They do not manage the forces they govern and they recognise that the only way of making a police force effective is by letting the professionals do their job.

The Policing Protocol clarifies the delineation of responsibilities between chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners. The protocol also sets out how Police and Crime Commissioners should provide a link between the police and the public, translating the legitimate expectations of the public into action. Responsibilities for other areas are given too, such as the delivery of community safety by the bringing together of community safety partnerships, and entering into agreements to deliver better value for money and better policing capabilities.

Staff
The Police and Crime Commissioner is required to publish organisational charts and salaries of all staff. Police and Crime Commissioner staff are able to join the local government pension scheme in the relevant force area (this is the same pension entitlement as police staff).

Scrutinise PCC
The Police and Crime Panel will scrutinise expenditure by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Police and Crime Commissioner is also required to appoint a chief financial officer, who is duty bound to ensure that all payments and grants made by the Police and Crime Commissioner are in accordance with his or her statutory duties.

The Police and Crime Commissioner will also publish an annual report which sets out performance against spending and provide the platform on which the Police and Crime Panel will seek to challenge and support the Police and Crime Commissioner in developing their police and crime plan.

PCC performance
The Police and Crime Panel will scrutinise expenditure by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Police and Crime Commissioner is also required to appoint a chief financial officer, who is duty bound to ensure that all payments and grants made by the Police and Crime Commissioner are in accordance with his or her statutory duties.

The Police and Crime Commissioner will also publish an annual report which sets out performance against spending and provide the platform on which the Police and Crime Panel will seek to challenge and support the Police and Crime Commissioner in developing their police and crime plan.

Powers of the Mayor of London
The Mayor of London will have the same powers as a Police and Crime Commissioner, other than the power to hire and fire the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner. The mayor's office for policing and crime must secure an efficient and effective police service. It must also hold the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to account for the exercise of:

  • the functions of the commissioner
  • the functions of persons under the direction and control of the Commissioner

Budget

The Policing Grant provides funds for a police area. From this the Police and Crime Commissioners will be awarded sufficient funds to support them and their staff. All monies spent, as now, will be audited and accounted for and published each year.

Salary and bonus payments
Police and Crime Commissioners need to be highly motivated, determined to deliver the best for the communities that they serve, and above all be focused on making our communities safe. The government wants to ensure that suitable and proportionate remuneration is achieved for such a challenging and rewarding role. The Senior Salaries Review Board (SSRB ) has recommended a salary scale for Police and Crime Commissioners of £65,000 to £100,000 with each police force area within England and Wales being weighted against this scale. The government do not believe it would be appropriate for Police and Crime Commissioners to receive performance related pay. The performance of Police and Crime Commissioners should be judged only by the electorate. The Senior Salaries Review Board agree with this approach and it forms part of their recommendations.

See the website in related information to find out about your local Police and Crime Commissioner.


Answer

The Police and Crime Panel (PCP), which is totally independent of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, oversees the work of the PCC.

Its role includes:

  • reviewing the PCC's proposals for the amount of council tax local people pay towards policing. It has the power to veto these proposals if it considers the amount is inappropriate
  • considering the PCC's Police and Crime Plan, and Annual Report
  • considering the PCC's proposals for the appointment of a new Chief Constable, with the power to veto
  • investigating complaints about the PCC

The PCP will not scrutinise the performance of the Force as a whole or the Chief Constable as this is the responsibility of the PCC. It can request reports from the PCC and if it wishes, call the PCC to attend its meetings.

PCPs will be comprised of one elected representative (councillors and, where relevant, elected mayors) from each local authority within the Leicestershire force area and two independent members or co-optees. The Panel may appoint additional local authority members with a view to achieving political or geographical balance, up to a maximum membership of 20.

For further information on your local Police and Crime Panel, please contact your local Police & Crime Commissioner, details in Related Information.


Answer

The Strategic Policing Requirement (see link in related information) is one of the obligations imposed by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. It is intended to help Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), their police forces and partner agencies to plan for, respond to and recover from threats that extend beyond their immediate communities.

As the Home Secretary points out in her foreword to the Requirement: "Organised criminals do not stop their activity where one police force ends and another begins".

Some situations (terrorism, civil emergencies, threats to public safety, etc.) require a national response and the Strategic Policing Requirement document sets out what resources police forces need in order to respond effectively in these circumstances. It helps PCCs and Chief Constables to plan to counter them effectively.

The focus of the Requirement is to ensure forces work in collaboration to tackle shared threats, concentrating on what the police need to achieve, rather than how they should achieve it. PCCs and Chief Constables will have responsibility for implementing the Requirement and must work together to determine the most effective and cost-efficient way to maintain the level of resources needed to meet both their force's contribution to the national response and their own operational needs.

PCCs are empowered to hold their Chief Constable to account for the delivery of these functions.

Although the Strategic Policing Requirement is not legislation which has been passed by Parliament, there is an obligation on policing bodies to have regard to it. This means that PCCs and Chief Constables should follow its guidance unless they are satisfied that there are particular circumstances which give them good reasons not to; they should be prepared to justify any decision to depart from it.


Answer

The Police and Crime Commissioners, the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime and their deputies will uphold the highest standards of public office. However, in the event that there is a complaint or an allegation against one of them, it is important that this is handled effectively to ensure public confidence in policing is maintained.

Allegations of criminal behaviour against these office holders will therefore have to be referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC ).

The main reason for requiring such an allegation to be referred to the IOPC is that, otherwise, the office holder may be (or may be perceived to be) at an advantage in relation to the police investigation because of his or her responsibilities for holding their police force to account.

The IOPC has extensive experience of handling sensitive, complex and high profile cases and will provide independent scrutiny to the handling and investigation of allegations of criminal behaviour in this context. Where a complaint is not serious enough to require investigation by or under the management of the IOPC , it will be resolved informally by the police and crime panel.


Answer

The reciprocal duty to co-operate aims to ensure that the decisions that the Police and Crime Commissioners and their partners take on local priorities and investment take account of their wider implications. The legislation names the criminal justice bodies which currently form Local Criminal Justice Boards (youth offending teams, probation, prison, crown prosecution service, courts, police). There may be a local imperative to include a wider range of bodies such as victims' organisations or defence solicitors.

Ministers have been clear from the start that there may be a potential future role for Police and Crime Commissioners in respect of the wider criminal justice system as further reforms develop. In any event it makes good strategic and business sense to ensure collaboration arrangements are in the best possible shape ahead of the arrival of these new, pivotal figures in the local Criminal Justice System.

It is recognised that the independence of the judiciary and prosecution should not be compromised, although Police and Crime Commissioners will retain a legitimate interest in the administration of justice in their area. The law states that in exercising their functions, the elected policing body and the criminal justice bodies 'must make arrangements (so far as it is appropriate to do so) for the exercise of functions so as to provide an efficient and effective criminal justice system'.


Answer

Details of all Police and Crime Commissioners, including contact details, can be found on the following link:

www.police.uk


Answer

A person is entitled to vote if they are -

  • aged 18 or over on polling day
  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union
  • resident in the UK
  • not subject to any legal incapacity to vote

To find details of your local Police and Crime Commissioner see the link in related information.

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