16 Mar Government review into role of PCCs published.
Today the Government will outline the first part of its review into the role of Police & Crime Commissioners.
It’s a two stage review, the second part will be published after May’s elections.
Below is a press release and summary of the review, from the Home Office and my “official” quote as Vice-Chair of the Association of Police & Crime Commissioner’s.
The two-part review was announced in July 2020 and delivers on a manifesto commitment to strengthen the accountability of PCCs and expand their role.
The initial recommendations will enhance the role of the PCC by:
- Changing the PCC voting system to first-past-the-post, so the public can vote out those who are failing to deliver. This will create stronger and clearer local accountability, and reflect that transferable voting systems were rejected by the British people in the 2011 nationwide referendum
- Making sure PCCs provide the public with clear information on their force’s performance
- Mandating the appointment of deputy PCCs to ensure continuity in unforeseen circumstances
- Making changes to ensure more effective and consistent relationships between PCCs and Chief Constables
The recommendations will also help all parties (Government, PCCs and forces) establish clearer ways of working and provide Chiefs with more clarity on their operational independence.
The review also found strong support for the Government’s ambition to increase the accountability of Fire and Rescue services by having a directly elected official take on governance of the services in order to simplify and strengthen them across England.
The review’s findings also confirmed our desire to see more combined authority mayors with PCC and Fire & Rescue authority functions, and the Government will set out its approach to achieving this longer-term aim in the Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in due course.
As a result, we will consult publicly on whether to mandate the transfer of Fire and Rescue authority functions to PCCs in England. This will form part of a Fire Reform White Paper, to launch later this year.
The review’s recommendations were outlined to Parliament via a Written Ministerial Statement.
The Government has been clear that the review will not consider the 43-force structure, or scrap the role of PCCs.
The second part of the Review will take place after the May 2021 elections and the government will communicate more about these plans in due course.
As a board member of the APCC, I gave the following statement:
“The PCC review has provided an important opportunity to build on the learning since the role was created. Our role continues to develop, including our critical work in supporting victims of crime in our areas. PCCs directly commission support services, helping victims to cope and recover from the trauma of crime. This work has proved vital in ensuring victims receive the support they need during the Covid pandemic and beyond.
“PCCs have also developed greater transparency and openness through our role, directly consulting with the public in setting local policing and crime priorities and publishing performance on our websites. We are directly accountable to the communities that we serve and welcome the focus on transparency that the review brings.”