New legislation has been passed which will radically shift the decision-making on policing away from government to communities by giving them the power to elect police and crime commissioners.
For the first time, elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will give the public a direct say in policing in their area. The PCC will hold police forces and chief constables to account. This is a challenging but pivotal opportunity to serve the public. PCCs will set local policing priorities and decide how your council tax is spent on crime and policing issues. As well as planning policing budgets they will also:
- drive community safety and overall security in the area
- work with local partnerships and national and regional criminal justice agencies and services
- build and foster relationships with the chief constable and community groups to achieve common goals
- contribute to national policing capabilities
PCCs will be elected for four years and will be required to publish a police and crime plan. This will set out the police and crime objectives of the force area. Chief constables will remain responsible for operational matters, however PPCs will have the authority to hire and, if necessary, dismiss the chief constable.