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Widen the role of police and crime commissioners

We will widen the role of police and crime commissioners to help them cut crime for their local communities.

Our Verdict

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) are public officials responsible for overseeing policing in an area. They replaced police authorities in 2012. PCCs are elected every four years for a given region and 40 were elected in 2016 across England and Wales.

PCCs have four principal obligations:

  • to secure the maintenance of the police force, by setting the budget
  • to secure that the police force is efficient and effective
  • to hold the chief constable to account for the exercise of their functions and the functions of the persons under their direction and control, namely the police force of which they are chief constable
  • to establish a police and crime plan, to which the chief constable must have regard

The only significant change to the role of PCCs we can find since this government came into power is a plan to allow Combined Fire and Rescue Authorities to appoint a PCC with voting rights as one of their members. In November 2018, the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service said:

“The Government is currently in the process of drafting a statutory instrument to amend the combination schemes of FRAs who are supportive of the amendments”

It is debatable just how much this particular widening of the PCC role will “help them cut crime for the local communities”, but it is evidence of government action to fulfil this pledge, so we’re marking it as ‘in progress’. When the statutory instrument has been approved, we’ll move this to ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates.

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