work of commissioners to date |
14. Many of the police and crime commissioners
hit the ground running when they took office in 2012, though some
have faced trips and hurdles during the intervening period. In
this Chapter we look at aspects of commissioners' work during
the last 18 months, including their efforts to promote collaborative
working and transparency, as well as their response to recent
concern over the reliability of police-recorded crime statistics.
We also examine the practice by many commissioners of appointing
assistants and deputies to carry out work on their behalf.
15. One PCC described partnership working
as "perhaps the most exciting frontier for commissioners
to explore", noting that they are in a unique position to
bring partner agencies together in the public interest.
Another stated that the role of PCC has "enormous potential
to act as an 'honest broker' [
] to bring disparate services
together towards common goals and outcomes".
Whilst the former police authorities had tried to encourage more
collaborative working, the PCC for Thames Valley, for example,
argued that commissioners were better placed than committees to
achieve this. Many
commissioners described how efforts in this respect had been redoubled
since their taking office. This has, in part, been driven by statutory
requirement. Section 10 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility
Act 2011 placed a new duty on PCCs and chief constables to collaborate
where it is in the interests of efficiency and effectiveness.
In addition, chief constables are under a duty to have regard
to the Strategic Policing Requirement, which sets out in statute
the need for collective capabilities to meet national threats.
16. Notwithstanding the statutory requirements
placed on commissioners and chief constables, they also face a
financial incentive to collaborate as police forces have been
required to make large budgetary savings in recent years, and
will continue to need to do so. Although police forces have still
needed to reduce staff levels in response to financial constraints,
most commissioners recognise the value of collaboration, both
as a means of promoting efficiency, but also helping to deliver
a better service to the communities they serve.
To encourage their efforts, the Home Office has established the
Police Innovation Fund, which will allocate £50 million in
2014-15 for investment in "innovative approaches with the
potential to improve policing and deliver further efficiencies
in the future".
17. We heard evidence on a range of
different forms of collaborative working. First, many commissioners
were working on partnering with other blue light services, namely
fire authorities and ambulance trusts. For some, progress in this
respect was limited to initial discussionsas the PCC for
Cambridgeshire told us: "it is a twinkle in the eye, but
I am convinced we are going to deliver".
Others, however, have made significant progress. The Minister,
for example, highlighted the co-location of a police and fire
station in Northamptonshire, which had enabled the sale of a vacated
building and closer working between the two services.
Elsewhere, the Surrey PCC is leading a collaboration programme
between the police force, fire authority and ambulance trust to
find ways of streamlining operations, sharing more premises, and
delivering joint safety campaigns.
18. A second form of collaboration has
been between police forces and local authorities. For example,
in Hampshire the police force, fire service and county council
are joining up corporate services with the aim of making savings
of £4 million per annum.
The PCC in Avon and Somerset is also developing integrated business
support services with local authorities within her police force
area. A third area
of collaboration has been between commissioners and universities.
Again, the Northamptonshire PCC has set an example by working
with a local university to establish a 'Police, Crime and Justice
Institute', which brings together research activity with the aim
of translating it into practical policy. Elsewhere, the South
Wales PCC has provided £1.2 million of funding over five
years for the Universities Police Science Institute, which is
a partnership between Cardiff University's Violence and Society
Research Group and South Wales Police. This collaborative work
is looking at issues including community engagement, neighbourhood
policing, and countering violent extremism.
19. Another area in which partnership
working is developing is on mental health. In different ways,
the Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and Avon and Somerset PCCs
are all working to improve the way the police respond to people
with mental health problems. They are achieving this through collaboration
with the NHS as well as social care workers and the voluntary
sector. For example, the Avon and Somerset PCC aims to reduce
the number of people detained in police cells under the Mental
Health Act from 646 in 2012-13 to zero in 2014.
This is an issue on which we expect to produce a report later
20. However, the main way in which collaboration
is taking place is between police forces themselves. It is happening
both along non-geographical lines, for instance between Cheshire
and Northamptonshire in respect of back office support functions,
but also between groups of neighbouring police forces.
The PCCs and chief constables of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire
and Hertfordshire have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding
to collaborate on a range of areas, including finance, estates
and facilities, legal services, human resources, training, ICT,
firearms licensing, and crime recording. The Bedfordshire PCC
told us they were "determined to test the limits of what
can be achieved".
21. Some commissioners are collaborating
on particular policy areas. For example, the three PCCs in the
North East have developed a regional strategy to combat violence
against women and girls.
On counter-terrorism, PCCs in the South West have formed a dedicated
team, whilst those in the South East have created a dedicated
unit that has a single chain of command with Thames Valley Police
Force acting as the host force.
22. In two parts of England there has
been an even greater drive to promote collaboration. Following
the 2012 Spending Review, Warwickshire and West Mercia police
forces have developed a strategic alliance whereby each retains
a commissioner, a chief constable and a deputy, but below that
there will effectively be one force. The Warwickshire PCC told
us the initiative had been a "remarkable success", having
contributed to three-quarters of the savings required of the force
by 2014-15. Without
it, he said "Warwickshire would have struggled to survive
as an independent force".
Similarly, Sussex and Surrey have agreed a vision to work "as
one, operationally and organisationally to enhance and improve
services for the public".
The forces in both cases have stopped short of a full merger at
least until after the next PCC elections in 2016. The Warwickshire
PCC told us any such move would first require a mandate from local
communities and politiciansa position also supported by
the Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, who told
us "we are not going to impose mergers top-down, but if people
want to come up with proposals from the bottom up, they can do".
23. However, the positive evidence submitted
by commissioners on collaboration contrasts starkly with the findings
of HMIC in July 2013 that:
The picture on collaboration is
deeply disappointing. Despite HMIC highlighting the untapped potential
that exists in collaboration, the pace of change over the last
year has been too slow and only a minority of forces (18) are
delivering more than 10% of their savings through collaboration.
There was also significant variation
in performance between police forces. The report found that 18
police forces expected five per cent or less of their business
to be delivered through collaboration in 2014-15. This contrasted
with 20 per cent for Kent and Essex, 28 per cent in Norfolk, and
31 per cent in Suffolk. HMIC acknowledged that slow progress was
in part a result of the initial hiatus following the elections
of commissioners in 2012. Some of the examples reported in evidence
to this Committee will have reflected the response by commissioners
to re-double their efforts since the report's publication. A subsequent
HMIC report commissioned by the five East Midlands PCCs described
the forces as showing "great vision, as well as strong and
cohesive leadership, in establishing [their] collaboration programme,
which was ahead of its time".
Nevertheless, the Police Foundation told us: "more needs
to be done to encourage inter-force collaboration", although
efforts to do so should not impinge on the ability of commissioners
to fulfil their own manifesto commitments as set out in their
police and crime plans.
24. Collaborative working has the
potential to save money as well as providing a higher standard
of policing. We support the efforts of commissioners in working
with their neighbours and others in fields as diverse as the provision
of blue light services, mental health, community safety, organised
crime and counter-terrorism. Although there has been progress
in some areas, it is clear that a majority of police forces are
not yet exploiting the full potential of collaboration. We recommend
that, for forces delivering less than 10 per cent of their business
through collaboration, commissioners and chief constables should
prioritise work in this area, seeking advice from those forces
that have already demonstrated success. We will also continue
to highlight examples of good practice in collaborative working
in the future.
25. We also support the alliances
between Warwickshire and West Mercia, and Surrey and Sussex, the
former of which has achieved the majority of their required savings
over the current spending period through collaboration. Where
such alliances prove successful and supported by the public, we
believe there is a case for facilitating the full merger of forces
under a single police and crime commissioner and chief constable.
26. If the electorate is to hold commissioners
to account for their actions and performance, it is vital that
they are as open and transparent as possible. To this end the
Electoral Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order
2011 places a statutory duty on commissioners to publish certain
information about themselves and their work, including on:
they are and what they do;
they spend and how they spend it;
their priorities are and how they are doing;
they make decisions;
policies and procedures govern the operation of the office of
the police and crime commissioner; and
of gifts and donations, Freedom of Information requests, and registers
In our first Report of the 2013-14 Session
we noted that a number of commissioners were failing to meet their
transparency requirements. The Government believes it is the responsibility
of the chief executive of each PCC office, as monitoring officer,
to ensure their commissioners are compliant with the Order.
Nevertheless, in its response to our Report, the Home Office said
it had reminded chief executives and their commissioners of their
27. We were, therefore, disappointed
to hear during the course of evidence to this inquiry that whilst
the level of reporting had improved, many commissioners were still
failing to meet their statutory requirementson transparency. In
November 2013, CoPaCC, an independent organisation set up to compare
the work of PCCs, published a thematic paper which assessed the
performance of all commissioners.
The report found that only one of the PCC offices had all 25 primary
statutory disclosures on its website, and four commissioners provided
15 or less. Around two-thirds of offices had complied with 20
or more of the disclosure requirements. Bernard Rix, the head
of CoPaCC, acknowledged that the analysis considered only whether
the information was available on the commissioner's websiteit
did not assess the quality of the information provided.
28. Notwithstanding the work carried
out by organisations such as CoPaCC, the Home Office and the Association
of Police and Crime Commissioners provides relatively little comparative
analysis that might help the general public to assess the actions
and decisions of their commissioners against each other. This
does not just apply for the publication of statutory information.
For instance, in recent months PCCs have been negotiating the
transfer to chief constables of police staff, assets and liabilities
that were formerly employed or held by police authorities, and
which passed to commissioners upon taking office. The 'Stage 2
transfers', as they are known, were due to be completed in March
2014, and commissioners will have adopted a range of approaches
to the process. The Police Foundation noted that, whilst some
PCCs had published their proposals, a single document that brought
together all the different structures would also be welcome.
29. The Committee on Standards in Public
Life told us: "PCCs should also consider how lobbying activities
may bring conflicts of interest in respect of procurement and
Accordingly, it called on commissioners to publish a register
of meetings held with external stakeholders.
30. We are deeply concerned that
despite a requirement in statute, and a reminder from the Home
Office, some commissioners are still failing to meet their transparency
requirements. This information is vital in allowing voters to
assess the effectiveness of their PCCs. We recommend that the
Home Office and the Association of Policing and Crime Chief Executives
continue to pursue this matter with the relevant PCC offices.
Furthermore, we recommend that commissioners begin to publish
a register of meetings held with external stakeholders.
31. However, we believe this information
will be more useful to the public and police and crime panels
in holding PCCs to account if it is drawn together to allow meaningful
comparisons. As such, we recommend that the Association of PCCs
begin collating and publishing all statutory information on its
website, and carry out comparative analysis where appropriate.
In so doing, it should also highlight those PCC offices that are
not meeting their requirements. The Home Office or HMIC should
also publish a comparative analysis of the range of ways in which
commissioners have approached the 2014 Stage 2 transfer of staff
Appointment of deputy and assistant
32. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility
Act 2011 permits commissioners to appoint a deputy and other staff
as appropriate. It also states that, with the exception of the
deputy, all appointments should be on merit. The deputy PCC is
a member of the commissioner's staff, and it is the only post
that is not politically restricted. This means they can carry
out political activity on behalf of the commissioner. Apart from
the core functions of the commissioner, such as the issuing of
a police and crime plan or the appointment of a chief constable,
the deputy can undertake any functions on behalf of the PCC. Where
a commissioner appoints a deputy, they are required to notify
the police and crime panel, which must then hold a confirmation
hearing with the candidate before making a report recommending
their appointment or otherwise. The commissioner may accept or
reject the panel's recommendation as they see fit. The same process
is required for the commissioner's choice of chief executive and
chief finance officer. At present, 24 out of 41 PCCs have employed
33. In addition, six commissioners have
appointed assistant PCCs. These posts are not defined under the
2011 Act, hence fall within commissioners' other staff and should
be politically restricted and appointed on merit. Such appointments
are also not subject to a confirmation hearing by the police and
crime panel, except where they are also fulfilling another senior
role within the PCC's team. The role of assistant PCC appears
to vary across areas. In Northamptonshire, one of the commissioners'
four assistant PCCs is the chief executive and monitoring officer,
whereas the West Midlands PCC has appointed three assistants to
sit on a strategic policing and crime board.
34. The appointment of assistant and
deputy commissioners has been a source of media interest since
the 2012 elections. The fact that PCCs are free to appoint whoever
they choose as deputy has inevitably led to public concern over
a lack of transparency and, in some cases, accusations of cronyism,
which have been damaging to the reputation of commissioners.
In three cases (Humberside, Sussex and West Mercia) such appointments
have taken place despite the police and crime panel recommending
against. In Sussex, for example, the panel said it had not been
"provided with a role profile, or [
] sufficient information
to explain the nature and scope of the role, its functions or
The West Mercia Police and Crime Panel told us it had been very
critical of the commissioner over a perceived lack of transparency
in his choice of candidate, which even resulted in a vote of 'no
the West Yorkshire panel endorsed the commissioner's choice of
deputy, but only after several members had voiced concerns. Its
subsequent chair, Cllr Allison Lowe, told us she thought the PCC
had failed to demonstrate a need for the post, and that it was
"a waste of taxpayers' money".
35. Similar concerns have hung over
the appointment of assistant commissioners. For example, all three
of the assistant PCCs in the West Midlands are Labour councillors,
despite having been hired through an ostensibly open and transparent
recruitment process. In Northamptonshire, the Conservative PCC
has subsequently appointed four assistant commissioners, one of
whom was his campaign agent and another his campaign spokesperson.
36. Policy Exchange and Lord Wasserman
both robustly supported the right of commissioners to appoint
deputies. The former
told us "PCCs should not be squeamish about appointing the
people they need to do a good job". In evidence, several
commissioners gave reasons why they had chosen to appoint a deputy.
Often they have done so to fill a gap they had identified in their
own experience. For instance, the Thames Valley PCC appointed
a deputy who was able to advise him on Buckinghamshire issues.
The Warwickshire PCC told us his deputy's knowledge of the county
and its politics had been invaluable to him.
The Sussex PCC said her deputy, who had previously been the chair
of the police authority, had been "an incredible asset".
She likened the right to make such an appointment equivalent to
that of a local authority leader choosing a deputy.
Although another witness noted that deputies in those cases were
also elected politicians, and so remained accountable to the electorate.
37. One option for improving the transparency
of the process for deputies is for them to stand for election
on a dual ticket with the candidate for commissioner.
This would have been the preference of the PCCs for West Yorkshire
and the West Midlands.
Where such appointments are proposed post-election, others suggested
there should be an open and transparent recruitment process, requiring
greater clarity on why the post is required, what the role will
be, and why the person proposed is the most suitable for the role.
The Chair of the Surrey Police and Crime Panel also proposed that
panels should have some power of veto, and the ability to remove
a deputy in circumstances where it was apparent that they were
not the most appropriate person for the job.
38. The employment of assistants
and deputies has raised inevitable accusations of cronyism. Whilst
we do not question the right of commissioners to appoint a deputy,
their appointment must be transparent and instil public confidence.
We recommend that at the 2016 elections, candidates for commissioner
should be able to name their intended deputies so that they are
elected on the same ticket. In cases where a commissioner subsequently
seeks to appoint a deputy post-election, the Home Office should
set out a clear process for the conduct of their selection. The
police and crime panel should also have the power to veto the
39. We believe the status of assistant
PCCs is ambiguous and risks creating public confusion about their
role, and that the nomenclature should be avoided. In some cases
their appointment appears to side-step the scrutiny process required
by statute for deputies. In some areas the appointment of multiple
assistants could be seen as an attempt by the PCCs in those areas
to recreate the former police authorities. We are also concerned
that such appointments do not meet the requirement for posts below
the level of deputy to be politically restricted. We recommend
that the appointment of posts aside from deputy commissioner should
in all cases be subject to an open and transparent recruitment
process similar to that for entry to the Civil Service or local
government, with that process approved by the chief executive
of the office of the PCC.
Target setting and crime statistics
40. In recent years the Government has
sought to promote the operational independence of chief constables
by scrapping national targets for crime reduction. The current
administration removed the final national targets, which related
to improving public confidence in the police, in 2010. Since then,
it has set police forces the more general objective to reduce
and prevent crime.
41. When they came to office, many commissioners
adopted a similar approach to target-setting. The Surrey PCC told
us one of his first acts was to do away with numerical targets,
which he described as providing "reassurance for politicians,
] mean very little to the wider public".
The Greater Manchester PCC said he had done away with targets,
"preferring instead new, meatier performance reports"
that took a more rounded view.
Elsewhere, the Cambridgeshire PCC said he had "gone to great
lengths not to set targets".
Yet this pattern has not been consistent across all commissioners.
A BBC analysis of police and crime plans in 2013 found that 18
out of 41 PCCs were using targets or performance measures to hold
their chief constables to account, using a total of 178 performance
42. The main driver for the move away
from target-setting at a national and force-level has been concern
that they create perverse incentives to under or misreport crime.
The Police-Recorded Crime (PRC) statistics in particular have
been seen to be susceptible to such gaming. Indeed, colleagues
on the Public Administration Select Committee have recently published
a damning report on the reliability of PRC data, following evidence
from a whistleblower from the Metropolitan Police. Among the reasons
given for the inaccuracy of PRC statistics were a lack of awareness
and understanding of the National Crime Recording Standard and
the cessation of independent audits since 2006-07, but also pressures
associated with the use of performance measures.
In November 2013 the Chief Constable for Derbyshire, Mike Creedon,
was widely reported for claiming there remained an obsession with
crime figures, and that as a result many forces did everything
they could to ensure recorded crime was not going up. In January
2014 the UK Statistics Authority stripped the PRC statistics of
their designation as National Statistics.
43. We asked many of our witnesses whether
they recognised the concerns raised by Mike Creedon and others.
Lord Stevens told us he believed that the manipulation of PRC
data was happening in certain forces. He described to us a Police
Federation sergeants branch annual meeting he had attended where
a number of participants had told him "the biggest scandal
coming our way is the recording of crime".
In his evidence, the Chair of the Police Federation said: "I
still have concerns about the accuracy of crime recording".
But the chief constables we spoke to said they had confidence
in the PRC statistics. The Chief Constable for Bedfordshire told
us they had a rigorous independent audit trail that had a 98 per
cent compliance rate.
Sir Hugh Orde, the President of the Association of Chief Police
Officers said he did not recognise the level and extent described
by Mike Creedon.
Indeed, chief constables rely on the crime figures to determine
where best to allocate their resources. As the Chief Constable
for Thames Valley put it: "It is absolutely in my interest
to make sure that the crime figures are accurate".
The Chief Constable for Sussex also noted that in his force, at
least, crime statistics did not form any part of the system for
reward, recruitment, selection or promotion.
44. In response to heightened concern
over the quality of PRC data, many of the commissioners we spoke
to said they had instigated reviews to ensure their police forces
were compliant. In
February 2013, HMIC published a report on crime recording in Kent,
commissioned by the PCC in the wake of the arrest of five detectives
in Maidstone following an anti-corruption investigation, and unease
at the level of no-criming by the force, particularly in relation
to rape. No-criming is where the police subsequently judge that
no crime took place. In 2010-11, 30 per cent of rape cases in
Kent were no-crimedthe highest of any force. 
The inspection found that Kent Police were under-recording approximately
one in every 10 crimes, and that many crimes were not being resolved
appropriately. It concluded that "appreciably more needs
to be done before the people of Kent can be confident that the
crime and resolution figures published by the force are as accurate
as they should be".
45. The Kent PCC told us she was "shocked
by the report".
However, a number of interventions over the course of 2013 have
seen an improvement in processes, and a subsequent HMIC report
published in January 2014 concluded that the force had made considerable
progress. One of the reasons it gave was the move away from a
target-based approach to managing performance to one that focused
on outcomes and quality of service. The report noted that: "This
has already had a beneficial effect, but more needs to be done
in terms of training and raising awareness of the new approach".
HMIC is now conducting a force-by-force audit of crime recording,
commissioned by the Home Secretary, which it expects to report
in the autumn.
46. Public confidence in the veracity
of crime data has been severely undermined by recent revelations,
culminating in the withdrawal of their designation as National
Statistics. We welcome the work that HMIC, commissioners and chief
constables are now undertaking to ensure the robustness of crime
data, especially as they constitute a key indicator on which the
public will assess the performance of commissioners in 2016.
47. We note that target-setting has
been cited as one of the reasons for the manipulation of crime
figures. We are concerned, therefore, that a large number of commissioners
have set targets or performance measures as part of their police
and crime plans. Where this is the case, it is vital that PCCs
ensure such targets operate as intended and do not act as incentives
for the gaming of crime statistics in the future. We recommend
that all such commissioners review urgently the auditing arrangements
they have in place. We are mindful also that as the next elections
approach many PCCs will feel under pressure to demonstrate their
effectiveness. It will be the responsibility of chief constables
to ensure this does not translate into pressure on forces to under
or misreport crime.
Support for victims
48. During 2014 and 2015 the commissioning
of services for victims will transfer from the Ministry of Justice
to PCCs. At present, the referral of victims from police forces
and their subsequent support is largely provided by Victim Support,
a national charity set up in 2008 following the merger of 77 local
victim support charities. It is funded by central Government grant.
From October 2014 a number of PCCs will begin providing locally
commissioned referral and support services for victims for which
they will receive direct funding from the Ministry of Justice.
From 2015 all PCCs will be responsible for commissioning such
49. Victim Support is working with PCCs
and the Government to manage the transition over the next year,
but has identified several potential risks.
First, new providers will have to develop their own training and
ensure it is fit for purpose. Second, there is a possibility that
volunteers who had previously worked for Victim Support will leave
the sector rather than work for another organisation, for instance,
the local police. Third, local providers will need to ensure they
have IT networks that are secure to the Government's requisite
standard for holding information on victims' cases. Finally, changes
to the Victims Code and Witness Charter, publicity around the
treatment of vulnerable victims and witnesses, and the introduction
of the Victims Right to Review have all raised public expectations
over the quality of service victims should receive at a time when
the delivery mechanism for those services is changing. This a
particular concern given the recent report by HMIC on domestic
violence and abuse, which found that the current police response
is failing victims.
50. The Association of PCCs told us
that 20 commissioners had the provision of support and protection
for victims as a priority in their police and crime plans.
For example, the Cheshire PCC said the transfer of funding "offers
a real opportunity for us to put victims at the heart of the criminal
justice system and ensure that victims no longer fall through
51. Many PCCs seem to be taking seriously
the responsibility they are due to take on for commissioning victims
services. There is a potential opportunity to make a significant
improvement to the quality of services offered in this area. However,
there are also a number of risks, particularly during the transition
phase. We recommend that HMIC evaluate the approach taken after
PCCs take over responsibility for commissioning victims services
in October 2014 so as to inform decision-making by PCCs in the
second tranche. We further recommend that before the next PCC
elections, HMIC conduct a full evaluation of the move to local
commissioning to inform the approach taken by the next generation
52. Evidence from the first 18 months
of the work of commissioners suggest they can provide a voice
for influencing policy at a national level. PCCs have campaigned
on a range of issues. For example, the West Yorkshire PCC has
pushed for a larger proportion of the funds seized from criminals
under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to be invested back into
the local areas from which they came for use in community anti-crime
initiatives. At present, half of the funds go to the Home Office
for use on core purposes. We received evidence from the National
Federation of Retail Newsagents supporting this proposal, and
there is currently an e-petition entitled 'Give us back all the
money recovered from criminals to keep our communities safe'.
Elsewhere, a group of 11 commissioners have recently put their
weight behind the Government's proposals to introduce standardised
packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products. In a letter
to The Timesthey argue that: "Unbranded packaging has the
potential to save many lives and reduce the financial burden on
our public services". They also describe the tobacco industry's
fear that it will lead to an increase in counterfeiting as "nonsense".
53. Police and crime commissioners
are increasingly using their voice to lobby Government on policies
that are formed at a national level. We welcome this, and hope
that they continue to do so.
of commissionersto date
54. In evidence the Home Office and
PCCs themselves cited a range of ways in which they have sought
to make an impact since their election 18 months ago. In Kent
the PCC has rolled out a fleet of 'mobile police contact points'
to make it easier for people in rural areas to report a crime
or anti-social behaviour. The Cheshire PCC has introduced a mobile
app that allows users to report crime directly to the police,
whilst the Gloucestershire PCC has launched a mobile app that
allows young people to safely provide information on gang-related
activity in Gloucester, and which lets them speak directly to
a multi-agency team that will provide support. In North Wales,
Suffolk and Thames Valley the PCCs have unveiled initiatives to
tackle rural crime. This has included the introduction of a 'Country
Watch' messaging system in the Thames Valley area to which 7,500
people have signed up to receive crime alerts, witness appeals,
details of police operations, among others. Elsewhere, in Staffordshire
the PCC has introduced a number plate recognition system to identify
uninsured vehicles, which resulted in over 700 vehicles being
seized during its first four months, as well as improving how
police work with the local court system.
These examples show the various ways in which commissioners have
developed innovative ways of responding to local concerns and
priorities. Furthermore, as the Chair of the Association of PCCs
noted, they are the kind of initiatives that would not have been
done under the former police authorities.
55. The majority of our witnesses, however,
believed it was too early to tell whether the new model of police
governance had proven a force for good.
First, there are many factors that affect crime, such as socio-economic
effects or national policy decisions, which are largely outside
the control of commissioners.It is therefore impossible at this
stage to disaggregate any effect brought about by PCCs. Indeed,
the current downward trend in crime levels, measured by the Crime
Survey for England and Wales, largely predates the introduction
of commissioners. Second, because PCCs are required to respect
the operational independence of chief constables, it will take
time for any changes in strategic direction brought about by the
commissioner to have an effect. Third, whilst many PCCs have developed
innovative ideas, generally it will take time to determine what
outcomes they have achieved.
Finally, any assessment of the contribution of commissioners must
separate their performance as individuals from the effectiveness
of the role itself.
As the Police Foundation put it: "we need to give this model
time to run before we discard it".
56. It is too early to say whether
the introduction of police and crime commissioners has been a
success. As such this inquiry should be seen as a progress report,
rather than a definitive assessment of the PCC model. Indeed,
even by 2016 it may be difficult to draw a national picture because
of the range of different approaches being taken by commissioners,
although this should be possible after the term then commencing.
However, one clear message from our evidence is that PCCs have
provided greater clarity of leadership for policing within their
areas, and are increasingly recognised by the public as accountable
for the strategic direction of their police force.
29 PCC0008 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey),
para 1.5 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire), para 10 Back
Q 219 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley) Back
(Home Office), para 56-57 Back
(Association of Police and Crime Commissioners), para 9.3 Back
(Home Office), para 65 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire), para 20; Qq 62 (Police
and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Police and Crime
Commissioner for Greater Manchester) and 63 (Police and Crime
Commissioner for West Mercia) Back
Q 695 (Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims) Back
(Home Office), para 63, and PCC0008 (Police and Crime Commissioner
for Surrey), para 7.3 Back
(Home Office), para 62 Back
(Association of Police and Crime Commissioners), para 9.5 Back
(Sophie Chambers), para 13 Back
(Sophie Chambers), para 4 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire), para 19 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire), para 8 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland), para 7.1 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley), para 30 Back
(Home Office), para 59, and PCC0035(Police and Crime Commissioner
for Warwickshire), para 35 Back
Q 59 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire) Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey), para 7.1 Back
Qq 66 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire) and 710
(Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims) Back
HMIC, Policing in Austerity: Rising to the Challenge, July
HMIC, Working Together: a review of the arrangements for collaboration
between the five East Midlands police forces, commissioned by
the five police and crime commissioners for the region, November
(Police Foundation), para 19 Back
(Home Office) para 67 and 71 Back
CoPaCC, PCC Statutory Transparency, November 2013 Back
Q 380 (Bernard Rix, CoPaCC) Back
(Police Foundation), para 13 Back
(Committee on Standards in Public Life), para 11-12 Back
Q 440 (Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands) Back
(Police Foundation), para 21 Back
(Gabriel Webber), para 3a Back
(West Mercia Police and Crime Panel), para 6 Back
Q 531 (Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel) Back
Qq 377 (Policy Exchange) and 404 (Lord Wasserman) Back
Q 228 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley) Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire) Back
Q 179 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex) Back
Q 227 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex) Back
Q 309 (Professor Ian Loader, Stevens Commission) Back
(Roger Seabourne), para 9; Q 479 (Centre for Public Scrutiny) Back
(West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel), para 2.2.2; Q 439 (Police
and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands) Back
Qq 377 (Police Foundation), 444 (Police and Crime Commissioner
for Avon and Somerset), and 521 (Chair of the West Yorkshire Police
and Crime Panel) Back
Q 540 (Chair of the Surrey Police and Crime Panel) Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey), para 2.1 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester), para 2.3 Back
Q 26 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire) Back
(Police Foundation), para 7 Back
Public Administration Committee, 13th Report of Session
2013-14, Caught red-handed: Why we can't count on Police Recorded Crime statistics,
HC 760 Back
Q 346 (Lord Stevens) Back
Q 618 (Police Federation) Back
Q 77 (Chief Constable for Bedfordshire) Back
Q 91 (Association of Chief Police Officers) Back
Q 244 (Chief Constable for Thames Valley) Back
Q 248 (Chief Constable for Sussex) Back
Qq 10 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire), 12 (Police
and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester), 136 (Police and
Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley), and 420 (Police and Crime
Commissioner for Avon and Somerset) Back
HMIC, Crime recording in Kent: a report commissioned by the
Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent, February 2013 Back
87 Ibid. Back
Q 637 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent) Back
HMIC, Crime Recording in Kent - An interim progress report
commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent,
January 2014 Back
(Victim Support) Back
HMIC, Everyone's business:Improving the police response to
domestic abuse, March 2014 Back
(Association of Police and Crime Commissioners), para 8.3 Back
(Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire), para 5 Back
(National Federation of Retail Newsagents), para 11 Back
(Home Office), para 10, 14, 15, and 49-52 Back
Q 5 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester) Back
For example, PCC0011 (National Federation of Retail Newsagents),
PCC0019 (Surrey Police and Crime Panel), para 1.3, PCC0020 (Police
Federation), para 12, PCC0021 (West Mercia Police and Crime Panel),
para 3, PCC0024 (Hampshire Police and Crime Panel), para 1.3,
PCC0033 (Police Foundation), para 25, PCC0037 (Police and Crime
Commissioner for Staffordshire), para 1, and PCC0047 (Frank A.
Chapman), para 4; Qq 6 (Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire),
363 (CoPaCC), 451 (Local Government Association) and 468 (Centre
for Public Scrutiny) Back
(Police Foundation), para 3 Back
(Police Foundation), para 25, and PCC0037 (Police and Crime Commissioner
for Staffordshire), para 2 Back
Q 363 (Police Foundation) Back