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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

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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Police and Crime Commissioners may appoint (and are able to dismiss) chief constables, although the chief constable will appoint all other officers within the force.

Police and Crime Commissioners are required to determine local policing priorities, publish a five year police and crime plan, set a local precept and set the annual force budget (including contingency reserves) in consultation with chief constables. The plan needs to take account of national policing challenges, as set out in the 'Strategic Policing Requirement'.

Police and Crime Commissioners receive a policing grant from the Home Office, various grants from Department for Communities and Local Government and the local precept.

The Police and Crime Commissioner commissions policing services from the chief constable (or other providers - in consultation with the chief constable). These services are set out in the plan where their objectives and funding are publicly disclosed.

The plan will remain a public document, including any updates or amendments made during the five-year period.

At the end of the financial year the Police and Crime Commissioner will publish an annual report which will set out progress made by the Police and Crime Commissioner against the objectives set out in the plan.

Alongside the annual report, the Police and Crime Commissioner will publish annual financial accounts, including showing how resources were consumed in respect of priorities and how value for money was secured.

Police and Crime Commissioners also have a general duty to regularly consult and involve the public and have regard to the local authority priorities.

Police and Crime Commissioners are able to require a report from chief constables, at any time, about the execution of their functions.

The Police and Crime Commissioner may delegate the exercise of functions, but not the responsibility for their execution.

The local precept is subject to the same referendum requirements as local government (triggered on rises which exceed thresholds set by government).

Police and Crime Commissioners have a duty to hold their chief constables to account for having regard to codes of practice.

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

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.