Police and Crime Commissioners are the democratic link between the police and the public.
They are visible, public figures, elected in the most powerful way possible - at the ballot box - with the mandate to take executive decisions to improve policing in their area.
PCCs help to cut crime by setting the objectives for policing in their area and helping to deliver an effective, efficient police service within the force area by:
- Holding the chief constable to account for the operational running of the local force. The PCC will hold the chief constable to account, and holds the responsibility and powers to appoint a new chief constable when a vacancy occurs and, where necessary, to dismiss the chief constable and appoint a new one.
- Setting out the police and crime plan. PCCs are required to publish the Police and Crime Plan for their term, setting out the priorities for policing and crime and what they intend to deliver. They are also required to publish an Annual Report which reports progress on the delivery of the plans. The public use this information to hold the Commissioner to account and to inform their view on the Commissioner’s work.
- Setting the force budget and precept. PCCs have control of the police force budget. They take decisions on the annual force budget and decide what amount local council tax payers should pay towards local policing through the element of council tax dedicated to policing, known as the precept.
- Act as a champion for the public and victims. Police and Crime Commissioners will be a strong voice for the victims of crime and the communities they serve. They will be responsible for commissioning local victims’ services and holding the police to account for how the respond to victims’ concerns. They will also liaise directly with communities to ensure that policing reflects the priorities and needs of local people.
- Cut the cost of policing to increase efficiency. Police and Crime Commissioners have control of the budget and can use their significant powers to drive reform of policing.By holding the chief constable to account for how money is spent, or using their considerable convening power to join up local services, PCCs can drive better effectiveness at lower cost.
To find out more about Police and Crime Commissioners and find your local candidate, visit http://www.policeandcrimecommissioners.info/