Public awareness of PCCs is increasing
The Home Affairs Select Committee has published its latest progress report on Police and Crime Commissioners.
The report highlights the increase in public awareness of Police and Crime Commissioners and their important work to deliver greater value for money through collaboration.
There are calls in the report for the tightening up of existing legislation on the removal of Chief Constables and for Police and Crime Commissioners to improve their compliance with transparency requirements.
Commenting on the report, Tony Lloyd, Chairman of The APCC Board and Greater Manchester PCC, Sir Graham Bright, Cambridgeshire PCC, and Ron Ball, Warwickshire PCC said:
“We welcome the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recognition that public awareness of Police and Crime Commissioners has increased greatly since the elections.
“The Committee is right to say that collaborative working between police forces and partners is one of the most exciting frontiers we can explore. By encouraging collaboration we are saving money, driving increased efficiency and keeping more officers out on patrol.
“We are pleased that the Committee acknowledges that Police and Crime Commissioners take their statutory duties seriously and we agree more should be done to set out clear transitional arrangements for future elections.
“Police and Crime Commissioners understand the fears of the Committee that there may be a link between Police and Crime Plan objectives and the manipulation of crime recording. However, we have made it abundantly clear that Commissioners require open, honest and factual recording of crime and will be satisfied with nothing less. This has already been demonstrated in practice.
“The removal of a Chief Constable is a responsibility that Police and Crime Commissioners take very seriously. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 sets out the operational independence of Chief Constables and that is something that Police and Crime Commissioners respect. The Act specifically grants Police and Crime Commissioners powers and the duty to act accordingly within the public interest. This includes appointing, suspending and, if required, removing Chief Constables where standards of performance that the public deserve are not being met. We are mindful that a good working relationship with Chief Constables helps to deliver improved force performance, is beneficial to morale and contributes to better decision making.
“We recognise the importance of transparency of decision making in terms of public confidence and Commissioners are already working hard to further improve the processes they have in place. We are held to account at a local level by our communities. The ultimate test of our success will be through the ballot box.
“There are some constructive recommendations in the report and we look forward to working with the Home Affairs Select Committee to develop their ideas.”