What is a police and crime commissioner?
The job of the police and crime commissioner is to ensure the policing needs of their communities are met as effectively as possible, bringing communities closer to the police, building confidence in the system and restoring trust.
Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) give the public a voice at the highest level and the ability to ensure their police are accountable.
Key aspects of the role of PCCs include:
- 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
It is not for the PCC to tell the professionals how to do their job – the legislation continues to protect the operational independence of the police by making it clear that the chief constables retain direction and control of the forces officers and staff. The operations of the police will not be politicised; who is arrested and how investigations work will not become political decisions.
PCCs are required to swear an oath of impartiality when they are elected to office. The swearing of an oath will be an important symbol of impartiality, emphasising both the significance of this new role in local communities and that PCCs are there to serve the people, not a political party or any one section of their electorate.
National responsibilities and local priorities
PCCs are responsible for the full range of policing work, including national responsibilities and local priorities. The Home Secretary issues a strategic policing requirement to ensure the police can protect the public from cross-boundary threats such as terrorism, civil emergencies, public disorder and organised crime.
PCCs are paid to do the job you elect them to do, though the salary they receive will differ depending on the police force they oversee. The range of salaries is aligned with pay received by chief constables, though it is not equal.
The range represents differences in the force weighting and policing challenges.