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Frequently Asked Questions

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Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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A Police and Crime Commissioner is a directly elected person for each police force area in England and Wales outside London.

He or she is a corporation sole. This means that the office has its own legal personality, distinct from that of the person holding it, and that it is in this separate capacity that the police and crime commissioner will own property, employ staff, make contracts and take part in legal proceedings.

The core functions of police and crime commissioners, are to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force, and to hold the chief constable to account for the exercise of his functions. These are the functions previously carried out by police authorities.

There are a number of functions in respect of which, in particular, the police and crime commissioner must hold the chief constable to account and these include, amongst others the duty to have regard to:-

Benefits of a PCC

For the first time, elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs ) have given the public a direct say in policing in their area. The PCC is able to hold police forces and chief constables to account. This is a challenging but pivotal opportunity to serve the public. PCCs set local policing priorities and decide how your council tax is spent on crime and policing issues. As well as planning policing budgets, their role also includes:

  • driving community safety and overall security in the area
  • working with local partnerships and national and regional criminal justice agencies and services
  • building and fostering relationships with the chief constable and community groups to achieve common goals
  • contributing to national policing capabilities

Local issues
Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for the full range of policing work, not simply local priorities, and they will not undermine the operational independence of policing professionals. They do not manage the forces they govern and they recognise that the only way of making a police force effective is by letting the professionals do their job.

The Policing Protocol clarifies the delineation of responsibilities between chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners. The protocol also sets out how Police and Crime Commissioners should provide a link between the police and the public, translating the legitimate expectations of the public into action. Responsibilities for other areas are given too, such as the delivery of community safety by the bringing together of community safety partnerships, and entering into agreements to deliver better value for money and better policing capabilities.

Staff
The Police and Crime Commissioner is required to publish organisational charts and salaries of all staff. Police and Crime Commissioner staff are able to join the local government pension scheme in the relevant force area (this is the same pension entitlement as police staff).

Scrutinise PCC
The Police and Crime Panel will scrutinise expenditure by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Police and Crime Commissioner is also required to appoint a chief financial officer, who is duty bound to ensure that all payments and grants made by the Police and Crime Commissioner are in accordance with his or her statutory duties.

The Police and Crime Commissioner will also publish an annual report which sets out performance against spending and provide the platform on which the Police and Crime Panel will seek to challenge and support the Police and Crime Commissioner in developing their police and crime plan.

PCC performance
The Police and Crime Panel will scrutinise expenditure by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Police and Crime Commissioner is also required to appoint a chief financial officer, who is duty bound to ensure that all payments and grants made by the Police and Crime Commissioner are in accordance with his or her statutory duties.

The Police and Crime Commissioner will also publish an annual report which sets out performance against spending and provide the platform on which the Police and Crime Panel will seek to challenge and support the Police and Crime Commissioner in developing their police and crime plan.

Powers of the Mayor of London
The Mayor of London will have the same powers as a Police and Crime Commissioner, other than the power to hire and fire the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner. The mayor's office for policing and crime must secure an efficient and effective police service. It must also hold the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to account for the exercise of:

  • the functions of the commissioner
  • the functions of persons under the direction and control of the Commissioner

Budget

The Policing Grant provides funds for a police area. From this the Police and Crime Commissioners will be awarded sufficient funds to support them and their staff. All monies spent, as now, will be audited and accounted for and published each year.

Salary and bonus payments
Police and Crime Commissioners need to be highly motivated, determined to deliver the best for the communities that they serve, and above all be focused on making our communities safe. The government wants to ensure that suitable and proportionate remuneration is achieved for such a challenging and rewarding role. The Senior Salaries Review Board (SSRB ) has recommended a salary scale for Police and Crime Commissioners of £65,000 to £100,000 with each police force area within England and Wales being weighted against this scale. The government do not believe it would be appropriate for Police and Crime Commissioners to receive performance related pay. The performance of Police and Crime Commissioners should be judged only by the electorate. The Senior Salaries Review Board agree with this approach and it forms part of their recommendations.

See the website in related information to find out about your local Police and Crime Commissioner.

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