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Police and crime commissioners

Police and crime commissioners are elected by the public to ensure the policing needs of communities are met as effectively as possible and to oversee how crime is tackled in your police force area.

About police and crime commissioners and police, fire and crime commissioners

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) ensure the policing needs of your community are met as effectively as possible and oversee how crime is tackled in your area.

PCCs

Police and crime commissioners are elected to hold your police force to account for delivering the kind of policing you want to see. Their aim is to cut crime and to ensure your police force is effective. PCCs bring a public voice to policing and they do this by:

  • Engaging with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans;
  • Ensuring the police force budget is spent where it matters most; and
  • Appointing, and where necessary, dismissing the chief constable.

PFCCs

There are also currently four Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) in Essex, Staffordshire, North Yorkshire and Northamptonshire. PFCCs are also elected by you and as well as holding the police to account, they also scrutinise the fire and rescue service by:

  • Setting the fire and rescue objectives for their area through a fire and rescue plan;
  • Ensuring the fire and rescue service budgets are spent where it matters most; and
  • Appointing the Chief Fire Officer, holding them to account for the delivery of their objectives and if necessary, dismissing them.

Mayors

There are three police force areas where, on 6th May 2021, people will elect a Mayor who will exercise PCC functions, instead of electing a PCC – the Metropolitan Police Service, Greater Manchester, and West Yorkshire. The powers and functions that these Mayors exercise in relation to policing are the same as in police force areas where PCCs are elected, and the Mayors in these three police force areas are accountable to the public at the ballot box in the same way that PCCs are in other police force areas.

Work with others

PCCs, PFCCs and Mayors who exercise PCC functions also work with your council and other organisations to promote and enable joined up working on community safety and criminal justice.

The PCC, PFCC or Mayor with PCC functions does not “run” the police or fire service. Chief Constables and Chief Fire Officers continue to be responsible for the day to day operations of the police and fire services respectively, but they are accountable to the public via the Commissioner.

PCCs, PFCCs and Mayors who exercise PCC functions are single, directly elected individuals ensuring the public are protected, providing greater opportunities for collaboration and more effective scrutiny of public services.

They also ensure that there is an effective policing contribution to national partnership arrangements to protect the public from other cross-boundary threats.

Represent the entire community

PCCs, PFCCs and Mayors who exercise PCC functions are required to swear an oath when they are elected to office. The oath is designed so that they can publicly set out their commitment to: serve all of the people in their police force area; act with integrity and diligence; give a voice to the public; act with transparency so that they may be effectively held to account; and not interfere with the operational independence of police officers. The Mayor of London takes an oath to fulfil the duties of the office to the best of their judgement and ability.