Role of the Police & Crime Commissioner
A PCC is a corporation sole and is required under the Act to issue a Police & Crime Plan within the financial year in which the election is held.
The PCC holds the Chief Constable of their police force area to account, making the police answerable to the communities they serve. They ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible and improve local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. The PCC works in partnership with a range of agencies, at a local and national level, to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:
- Secure an efficient and effective police force for their area;
- Appoint the Chief Constable and hold them to account for how they exercise their functions as well as those persons under the direction and control of the Chief Constable;
- Set the police and crime objectives for their area through a Police & Crime Plan;
- Set the police force budget and determine the police precept;
- Contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary;
- Bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up; and
- Call upon the Chief Constable to retire or resign in certain circumstances.
The PCC also has a number of other statutory responsibilities which include:
- Commissioning victim support services within their area;
- Running an Independent Custody Visitor Scheme (a scheme of volunteers that check on the conditions of detainees held in police custody);
- Public engagement and statutory consultation duties;
- Monitoring all complaints made against officers and staff whilst having responsibility for complaints made against the Chief Constable;
- Handling of Police Appeals Tribunals;
- Administering the pensions scheme; and
- Reporting to the Police & Crime Panel, to name but a few statutory responsibilities.
Further information about PCCs is available on the Home Office website.
Association of Police & Crime Commissioners
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) is the national body for PCCs which brings PCCs together where national collective decision making or policy development is required. It is supported by a small group of staff and works closely with the Home Office and other national policing bodies. The national business is structured into working groups, each of which, has representation from each main political party in England and Wales as well as an independent group for PCCs. The APCC services are overseen and directed by the Chairman and board of Directors.
The APCC offers the following services to PCCs:
- Information on national policing policy issues and legislation;
- Consults PCCs to enable them to develop policy positions and to influence change;
- Facilitates the leadership of PCCs on national governance structures such as the College of Policing, National Crime Agency and Police Professional Bodies; and
- Assists PCCs in collaborating to share practice, procure services and identify ways to achieve efficiencies through working together.
All 41 PCCs are members of the APCC. The governing bodies which oversee the non-geographic police forces (British Transport Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the Ministry of Defence Police), the City of London and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (overseeing the Metropolitan Police) are also members of the APCC.
Further information about the APCC can be found here.