Role of the PCC
The APCC has prepared a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in standing as a candidate in the 2021 Police and Crime Commissioner Elections:
The Police Foundation has published a report about what do the public think the police should prioritise and how do their opinions change when they have full knowledge of the realities of modern policing: "Understanding the Public's Priorities For Policing".
The research approach and the recommendations are relevant at a time when potential candidates and the electorate have Police and Crime manifestos (and the Plans that may ensue) in mind. You may wish to go straight to the summary of recommendations on page 5, whilst the full set of recommendations is found from pages 58 to 63.
What does your Police and Crime Commissioner do for you?
The Police and Crime Commissioner is here for you, the public.
The primary role of the PCC is to understand the public's concerns and priorities when it comes to policing and the criminal justice system.
The core functions of police and crime commissioners are to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force within their area, and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan. Essentially, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon sets the strategy for policing and community safety in the county through a Police and Crime Plan.
In addition, the Police and Crime Commissioner commissions a range of services to deliver the Police and Crime Plan, such as:
- Commission support services for victims of crime
- Set the annual policing budget and the precept
- Provide a local link between police, local authorities, partner agencies and communities
- Consult and engage with members of the public, specifically victims of crime
- Maintain an efficient and effective police force
- Hold the Chief Constable to account for the operational delivery of policing and the performance of the force
- Publish an annual report reporting on progress made against the Police and Crime Plan
- Appoint, and if necessary, remove a Chief Constable
- Contribute to responding to national and regional criminal activity and threats as set out by the Home Secretary in the Strategic Policing Requirement
The Police and Crime Commissioner is a member of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). This national body helps PCCs make the most of their ability to influence at a national level, and deliver on their manifesto promises. PCCs have an important contribution to make to how national policing services are governed, such as the National Crime Agency and the Police Professional Body. The APCC supports PCCs in providing this leadership at a national level. By sharing best practice and identifying opportunities to work together, or paying for services jointly, the APCC helps PCCs be more efficient and effective.
If PCCs identify barriers to delivering their local plans, the APCC takes co-ordinated action that can help remove barriers at a national level. In November 2016 a new national portfolio approach was introduced in which Police and Crime Commissioners were given lead responsibility on specific areas of policy development across national portfolio areas:
APCC Business Plan 2020-2022
In close consultation with Police and Crime Commissioners and partners, the APCC developed their first Business Plan which reflects the issues and priorities which are of greatest importance to our communities:
Locally, the Police and Crime Commissioner brings together a plethora of partners to both improve policing but also the wider issues that increase demand on policing. The PCC and his officers play a leading role in a wide range of public bodies and partnerships that address issues such as safeguarding, vulnerability, mental health, substance misuse and housing. This is in addition to work with other police forces and emergency service partners.
If any of the candidates are interested in obtaining further information regarding the PCC's diary, please, contact the OPCC at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Some of these include:
|Board||What they do|
|Wiltshire Criminal Justice Board||The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon chairs the board and plays a pivotal role in supporting local justice partners to work together in order to make sure that the community needs are met, agencies are working as efficiently as possible and provide justice, punishment and rehabilitation.|
|Community Safety Partnerships||There are two Community Safety Partnerships for Swindon and Wiltshire. The PCC and his officers attend both partnerships. Wiltshire's Community Safety Partnership aims to increase community resilience through reducing vulnerability and exploitation. Swindon Community Safety Partnership is working to create a safer world for those who live, work and play in the Borough of Swindon.|
|Health and Wellbeing Boards||Health and Wellbeing Boards are attended by the PCC and his officers. The role of Wiltshire's Health and Wellbeing Board is to lead on work to improve the health and happiness of Wiltshire, specifically focusing on reducing health inequalities. Swindon's Health and Wellbeing Board aims to achieve the long term improvements in local people's health and wellbeing in Swindon.|
|Public Services Leaders Boards||The PCC attends Wiltshire Public Service Board which assists the public sector within Wiltshire to work together in a more focussed way to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.|
|Youth Offending Teams||The Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) work with young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who display offending behaviour and are subsequently dealt with through the Criminal Justice System. YOTs look into the background of a young person and try to help them stay away from crime with a sole aim to given the opportunities and support they need to be valued and productive members of the community. The PCC and his officers attend Executive Boards.|
|Rural Crime Partnership||The Rural Crime Partnership for Wiltshire and Swindon is focused on reducing and preventing crime in rural communities and space across the county.|
|Area Boards, Parish & Town Councils||Area Boards bring local decision making back into the heart of the community.|
Scrutiny - how does it work ?
Policing Protocol Order 2011
The Policing Protocol sets out sets out key parameters about the relationship between PCCs, chief officers and PCPs.
Commissioner Monitoring Board
The Police and Crime Commissioner chairs the Commissioner Monitoring Board every two weeks. The purpose of the Board is to hold the Chief Constable to account, receive advice on policing and to discuss pertinent issues in relation to the Police and Crime Plan.
Police and Crime Panel (PCP)
The Panel is required to support the PCC and provide a check and balance in relation to the performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner. It does not scrutinise the Chief Constable - it scrutinises the PCC's exercise of their statutory functions.
The Panel is made up of representatives from the two local authorities (Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council) in our area. The 11 elected councillors and two independent members are appointed through an open and transparent recruitment process. The Panel has the power to suspend the Commissioner if charged with an imprisonable offence and may appoint an acting Commissioner should the Commissioner resign, or be incapacitated or disqualified. The Panel is administered by Wiltshire Council and holds regular meetings in public.
Further information on the Panel can be found on Wiltshire Council's website.
Police and Crime Plan
Police and Crime Commissioner has a duty to set the strategic direction for the Force through the Police and Crime Plan. The current PCC wrote the Police and Crime Plan 2017 - 2021 following his re-election as Commissioner in 2016. The plan was finalised and published following public consultation and advice of the Chief Constable.
It set the following priorities:
Priority One - Prevent crime and keep people safe
Priority Two - Protect the most vulnerable people in society
Priority Three - Put victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything we do
Priority Four - Secure a quality police service that is trusted and efficient
To make sure that the plan reflects the current policing challenges and trends, the plan was updated last year. The areas of focus within the plan, which have been emphasised in the refresh published in June 2020, include protecting the public by increasing and safeguarding community policing assets and ensuring that new resources are prioritised for use within our neighbourhoods, focusing more on protecting our rural communities and ensuring our communities are fully engaged and listened to.
The Integrated Planning Process outlines the cycle which draws together existing statutory and mandated planning tools into one joint process in order to set out strategic planning and the delivery of the Plan.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner provides support in achieving the priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan, delivers a service to the public and helps the Commissioner to meet legal obligations.
The Deputy Chief Executive, with the Deputy Chief Constable, manage the service level agreements for all shared services hosted either by the office or the Force. These shared services include Commissioning, Communications and Engagement, Estates and Facilities, Finance, Information Governance, Legal Services, Organisational Development, People Development, People Services, and Performance.
The Commissioner has a small personal office that comprises of posts that must be legally in place, as well as posts that assist with the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan.
This cost is just under 0.5% of the overall budget for policing in Wiltshire.
OPCC Delivery Plan
The Plan serves to inform the public and the Police and Crime Panel of the planned work programme of the OPCC for 2020-21 and provides an overview of the activities to ensure an effective office that supports the PCC to exercise his duties on behalf of the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon.
The OPCC Delivery Plan focuses on five objectives:
- Support the PCC to deliver the strategic direction, priorities and resources for community safety, policing and criminal justice.
- Support the governance, scrutiny and accountability role of the PCC.
- Deliver the Police and Crime Plan through commissioning and service improvement.
- Be an outstanding employer.
- Support the PCC to engage with and keep the public informed.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is ultimately responsible for the successful delivery of the OPCC, with each Senior OPCC member leading their respective areas. This is monitored by the CEO through the fortnightly OPCC Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meeting.
Independent Custody Visiting Scheme
Every Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) has a statutory duty to run an independent custody visiting scheme, in which local members of the public volunteer to serve as Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) making regular, unannounced visits to police custody to check on the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees as well as the conditions they are held in. Independent Custody Visiting is a well-established system. It offers protections and confidentiality to detainees and the police; and reassurance to the community at large that detainees are being well looked after. It's supported by a Home Office Code of Practice and more detailed National Standards drawn up by the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA).
ICVA (The Independent Custody Visiting Association) have produced a briefing and a video to outline this scheme.
Martyn Underhill, a chair of ICVA and the team at Dorset have also produced a new video for PCC candidates.
Martyn Underhill, a chair of ICVA and the team at Dorset have also produced a new video for PCC candidates.