The role of the Police and Crime Commissoners (PCCs) is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.
PCCs are elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, thus making the police answerable to the communities they serve. PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
PCC's were introduced by the Government through the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011), Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will be expected to cut crime and deliver effective and efficient policing.
The PCC has the mandate for ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of policing services across County Durham and Darlington. As well as holding the Chief Constable to account on behalf of local people, the role will also involve:
The salary of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Durham, which is set by legislation, is £70,000.
The difference between the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner
The PCC and Durham Constabulary are two separate entities. Although the PCCs must appoint and may, in extreme circumstances, dismiss the Chief Constable, the Commissioner is not the Chief Constable’s employer. The Chief Constable and the PCC have lots of responsibilities and their roles are different.
The Nolan Principles
Operating under the principles of goodwill, professionalism, openness and trust, the PCC will work with the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Panel and other key stakeholders in carrying out his functions and will be expected to abide by the Nolan Principles of Conduct in Public Life, which are:
Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.