The Role of the Police and Crime Commissioner
The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Every four years an election is held for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in each police force area across England and Wales, excluding London and Greater Manchester where elected mayors hold responsibility. In the Humberside Police area, which covers Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire the current PCC is Keith Hunter, who was elected in 2016 and whose term of office runs until 2020.
What does that mean to you as a resident? Many people still do not fully understand the PCC’s role but it is a significant public office. The PCC is elected to oversee and scrutinise the work of Humberside Police, ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of policing services across the force area on behalf of the public. They are not a police officer and do not run the day to day operations of the force, which is the Chief Constable’s job.
The PCC appoints the Chief Constable and holds him/her to account for the performance of the police. All police officers and staff report to the Chief Constable and the PCC cannot direct police operations, become involved in investigations or deal with complaints against the service.
So what’s the point of a PCC?
The PCC is an elected member of the public and it’s their job to represent and engage with all those who live and work in the communities in the force area, including the vulnerable and victims, to identify their policing needs.
The PCC will then set priorities to address those needs by publishing a Police and Crime Plan which the Chief Constable works to deliver. The PCC is also responsible for setting the portion of the Council Tax used to pay for policing every year, known as the precept. Local Council Tax payers contribute around 30% of the cost of running the police force, the rest comes from Central Government…but that’s not all the PCC does…
The PCC’s office also has responsibility for holding community safety budgets and commissioning local services. The PCC will award grants to organisations or bodies that he considers will support the community safety priorities in his Police and Crime Plan. These include victim support services including specialist support for victims of the most serious crimes such as rape to Drug and Alcohol intervention programmes aimed at reducing reoffending by those addicted to substance misuse. He aims to work effectively with other local leaders in the area, who can also provide resources.
Your PCC is responsible for ensuring that community needs are met as effectively as possible and for improving local relationships through building confidence and trust in the police. He also works in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
In each area the PCC has an engagement officer to work alongside partner agencies and the public to encourage joint working and identify community needs. Meet your Engagement Officer HERE
You can find out more information on the PCC and his office at www.humberside-pcc.gov.uk