Your Police and Crime Commissioner

Police and Crime Commissioners are the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.

The Role Of The PCC

PCCs (Police and Crime Commissioners) 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.

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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:

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Represent and engage with all those who live and work in the force area, including the vulnerable and victims.

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Set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police, crime and victims plan.

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Set the force budget and determine the precept. An annual report must also be published for the community.

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Appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them.

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Contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary.

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Bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.

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Securing the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force for the area.

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Responsibility for holding community safety budgets and commissioning services to support the community.

The salary of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham is £71,400

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The difference between the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

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 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.

Ms Joy Allen, was elected into the role of Police and Crime Commissioner in May 2021.

This followed from the sad passing of Mr Ron Hogg, who had been the Commissioner for seven years since the introduction of PCCs back in November 2012.  Mr Hogg has left a lasting legacy.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for ensuring the statutory functions of the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner's Office take place including the effective delivery of the Police and Crime Plan,  

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.

After an election Police and Crime Commissioners must swear an oath of office before they can take up the role.

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The Oath

The wording of the oath is set in law by The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Declaration of Acceptance of Office) Order 2012. 

Below is a full transcript of the oath which the PCC, took on 08 May 2021, after being elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham & Darlington.

I Joy Allen of Bishop Auckland do hereby declare that I accept the office of Police and Crime Commissioner for the Police Area of Durham.

In making this declaration, I solemnly and sincerely promise that during my term of office:

I will serve all the people of the Police Area of Durham in the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

I will act with integrity and diligence in my role and, to the best of my ability, will execute the duties of my office to ensure that the police are able to cut crime and protect the public.

I will give a voice to the public, especially victims of crime, and work with other services to ensure the safety of the community and effective criminal justice.

I will take all steps within my power to ensure transparency of my decisions, so that I may be properly held to account by the public.

I will not interfere with the operational independence of police officers.

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