Police and Crime Commisoner: Questions and answers

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Answers to some of the questions about the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner

What is the role of the PCC?

To hold the police to account on behalf of the public.

PCCs will hold their chief constable to account for their force’s performance and provide a local link between the police and communities.

The elected representative will receive all funding relating to policing and be responsible for how it is spent after consulting with the chief constable.

Duties include setting a Police and Crime Plan and the local council tax precept

Who can stand?

Candidates must be British, Commonwealth or EU citizens, aged 18 or over and a resident in the police force area where they are standing.

People convicted of an imprisonable crime, public servants, and police authority members are not eligible to stand.

Where are elections being held?

In every police force except London, where the City of London will still have a police authority. The Mayor of London will take on powers of a PCC in relation to the Met.

How will PCCs be held to account?

PCCs are held to account by the public on election day.

Police and Crime panels are being set up in every force area to offer support and to scrutinise PCCs.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary can inspect forces and report back to the public.

What about chief constables?

Chief constables remain accountable to the law for exercising police powers.

But they are accountable to their PCC for delivering efficient, effective policing, managing resources and expenditure.

Chief constables will remain operationally independent but the PCC will have powers to appoint or dismiss them. The chief constable will still appoint all police officers.

What about police authorities?

PCCs are replacing police authorities, which hold the purse strings for policing and hold forces to account.

Our police authority has 17 members – some from local authorities and some independent. This role will be completed by the PCC backed up by a deputy and police and crime panel when the news rules come into force.

The PCC will also need to appoint a chief executive to employ administrative staff and ensure standards are upheld. A chief finance officer must also be appointed.

When are the elections?

November 15. PCCs will take office on November 22.