A review of the role of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will help give the public a greater say over policing, the Home Secretary announced today.
PCCs are directly elected to be the voice of the people and deliver an effective and efficient police force in their area. They are responsible for the budget and performance of their force, including cutting crime.
The review delivers on the manifesto commitment to strengthen and expand the role of PCCs. The public wants to see a reduction in crime and PCCs are elected to deliver on the people’s priorities.
Measures to be considered in the review include:
- raising the profile of PCCs
- giving the public better access to information about the performance of their PCC
- sharing best practice so that PCCs are delivering consistently across the country
- reviewing the relationship between PCCs and Chief Constables
Eight years on from their introduction in 2012, it is right that we look at ways to ensure the public can better hold PCCs to account for bringing crime down and protecting citizens in their area.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
The British people want to know the police will uphold the law and then be held to account on that basis. This review will help to improve accountability, scrutiny and transparency, ensuring Police and Crime Commissioners always put the law-abiding silent majority who voted for them at the centre of their decision-making.
Minister for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse said:
We are committed to giving the police the powers and resources they need – it’s why we’re recruiting an additional 20,000 officers and are giving the biggest funding increase to policing in a decade. This review will help PCCs to deliver effective police forces who can cut crime and protect their communities. It will also ensure voters can hold PCCs accountable for performance – giving the public a stronger voice in matters of crime and justice.
The review will take place in two parts. The first stage, to be conducted over the summer, will look at raising standards and improving accountability, so that all members of the public are getting a good service from their PCCs.
It will also consider ways to strengthen the accountability of fire and rescue services in line with the Government’s long-term ambitions on fire governance reform.
The review’s second stage will take place following the PCC elections in May 2021 and will focus on longer-term reform. This will include looking at what extra powers PCCs need to better fight crime in their areas.
Longer-term plans, including increasing the number of mayors with responsibility for policing, will be detailed in the Local Recovery and Devolution White Paper, which we intend to publish in the autumn.
The review will not consider scrapping the PCC model nor will it review the 43 police force model.
The last PCC elections took place in May 2016. Every police force in England and Wales is represented by a PCC, except in Greater Manchester and London, where the Mayors and City of London Corporation are responsible for police and crime.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 enabled PCCs to take on responsibility for governance of their local fire service. There are currently four Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) in England and Wales.