Can the PCC appoint new staff or remove existing staff in his/her office? Does the PCC have access to any other staff?
A: Yes, the PCC is at liberty to appoint new staff if he/or she wishes, The PCC is also able to remove existing staff within the constraints and terms imposed by existing employment contracts. The Act also enables the PCC to have access to the services of other force staff, with the agreement of the Chief Constable.
Will all the PCC’s staff be politically restricted?
A: The Act states that all the PCC’s staff will be politically restricted (except for the Deputy PCC, if someone is in that post).
The post of Chief Finance Officer is shared with Durham Constabulary. What arrangements are in place to ensure this works effectively?
A: In Durham the office of Chief Finance Officer is currently shared with Durham Constabulary. Because one person fulfils both roles, a protocol is in place, which is available at http://www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/Document-Library/Reports/Safeguards-Protocol-for-Joint-CFO-Role-FINAL.pdf
What sources of central funding do PCCs have, other than the main police grant?
A: The majority of central Government funding is in the form of un-ringfenced grants from the Home Office (Police Main Grant), the Department for Community and Local Government and the Welsh Government. This funding is paid on a monthly basis. PCCs also receive some funding from a Community Safety Fund (CSF). The CSF can be used to tackle drugs and crime, reduce re-offending, and improve community safety.
Can PCCs sell service/make money to raise additional funding?
A: The police are able to charge for the provision of ‘special police services’. These services are governed by s25 of the Police Act 1996 (link below). http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/16/section/25. Special police services are those provided beyond the normal line of duty, for example deploying extra officers at a site to reduce the risk to public safety of an event. Where the event is seen as commercial, such as a Premier League football match, the event organiser is responsible for meeting the costs incurred by providing this service.
Do PCCs need to be vetted, and if so when and what happens if vetting is refused? What about Deputy PCCs?
A: PCCs do not need to be vetted. The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have not been subject to either national or local police vetting processes: therefore Parliament has agreed that neither should PCC and their statutory deputies. However, to ensure that Chief Officers may have confidence on the disclosure of sensitive material to PCCs to enable PCCs to carry out their statutory functions, Parliament has determined that each PCC and their Deputy will be designated by the Home Secretary as Crown Servants for the purposes of the Official Secrets Act 1984. This means that incoming PCCs and Deputies will be required to sign a document that makes them aware of their obligations under the Act.