Each police force in England & Wales, has directly elected a Police and Crime Commissioner (unless there is a directly elected Mayor who can also be the PCC) who is responsible for:
- Appointing and working with a Chief Constable to set the direction for policing and holding them to account for delivery of efficient and effective policing within local communities. A Police and Crime Commissioner does not manage the force on a day-to-day basis nor are they directly responsible for police operations. Chief Constables are operationally independent.
- Creating policing strategy and managing the force budget.
- They are responsible for setting the local council tax precept for policing. They work with local authorities, community safety partnerships, third sector organisations and local criminal justice boards to reduce re-offending and ensure the criminal justice system is challenged and working appropriately.
- They work nationally to help shape legislation relevant to policing, crime and victims.
- Commissioning services to meet the needs of victims locally from funding received directly from the Ministry of Justice.
- Taking a holistic approach to community safety which brings in the services of all agencies which have a contribution to make to keeping local communities safe.
Commissioners are single elected individuals who take executive decisions, supported by a highly qualified team. The principle of one accountable individual, directly responsible for the totality of police force activity is core to the role.
Police and Crime Commissioners have large budgets and extensive powers to deliver vital public services. They do not have day-to-day control over operational policing - they aren't be able to tell a sworn officer of the crown who to arrest.