Powers for reviewing and scrutinising Police and Crime Commissioners clearly defined
The Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have published a review of Police and Crime Panels (PCPs) first year.
The report claims that PCPs are not able to carry out their duties effectively. It also states that there is a misunderstanding of PCPs remit and that they are unable to carry out their role because of a lack of resources.
The report makes three recommendations:
1. The Home Office should set out when Police and Crime Commissioners should publish information;
2. The Home Office must set out what relationship PCPs and Police and Crime Commissioner should have; and
3. PCPs should have a more visible role in holding policing to account.
Representing the three groups, Tony Lloyd, Chairman of The APCC Board and Greater Manchester PCC, Sir Graham Bright, Cambridgeshire PCC and Ron Ball, Warwickshire PCC said:
“Police and Crime Commissioners were elected to hold the police to account on behalf of local communities. We set a force budget, local police and crime plan and contribute to national policing capabilities.
“Police and Crime Panels have a clear role to consider Police and Crime Commissioners’ plans, amount of council tax local people will pay toward policing and the appointment of Chief Constables. We recognise the importance of always looking at ways to improve our interactions with Police and Crime Panels and sharing information so they can review our decisions on an informed basis. The public expect Police and Crime Panels to carry out this function so that decisions are made in the best interests of local communities.
“The role of Police and Crime Commissioners and Police and Crime Panels is set out in statute. Democratic accountability for policing is the responsibility of Police and Crime Commissioners who were elected to hold forces to account. Police and Crime Panel members are usually appointed from their local authorities and are not directly elected by the public to uphold democratic accountability in local policing but to review and scrutinise our decisions.
“Police and Crime Commissioners will continue to work closely with their Police and Crime Panels to ensure that accountability and transparency arrangements are working well for local people.”