Role of the PCC
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected for the second time on the 5th of May 2016 in 40 force areas across England and Wales. Every force area is represented by a PCC, except Greater Manchester and London, where PCC responsibilities lie with the Mayor.
The role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.
PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.
PCCs have been elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.
PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:
- secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
- appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
- set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
- set the force budget and determine the precept;
- contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and
- bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.
More detailed information on PCC powers and responsibilities is also available on the Home Office website.
PCCs are expected to adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life, as determined and published by the Nolan Committee - the 'Nolan Principles'. Each PCC publishes their own Code of Conduct but the APCC has drawn up an ethical framework, which was led and developed by Police and Crime Commissioners themselves and which includes a template Code for PCCs to adopt if they wish.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced opportunities for PCCs to take on responsibility for fire and rescue governance. Under the legislation PCCs can, join their local Fire and Rescue Authority, alternatively PCCs can consult the public and submit a business case to the Home Secretary seeking to replace the Fire and Rescue Authority in their area. This option formally creates a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC).
PFCCs are responsible for:
- putting in place arrangements to deliver an efficient and effective fire and rescue service;
- setting the fire and rescue objectives for their area through a fire and rescue plan;
- appointing the Chief Fire Officer, hold them to account for delivery of objectives, and if necessary dismiss them; and
- setting the service budget and determine the precept.