Legislation / Legal
HO: In the journey towards the introduction of the first Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in May 2012, the government has published a draft protocol setting out the relationship between PCCs and Chief Constables.
As set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill currently being debated in the House of Lords, Police & Crime Commissioners will have a number of statutory functions as part of their role to hold police forces to account. These include setting the strategic direction of the force, holding the Chief Constable to account and setting the budget.
The draft protocol sets out the PCC's legal duty to maintain an efficient & effective police force, and to provide the local link between the police and the public. They will work to translate the legitimate desires & aspirations of the public into action on the part of the Chief Constable to cut crime and antisocial behaviour.
PC&PE: The Government’s reform proposals risk politicising operational decision-making by the police says a House of Lords Constitution Committee report published last week. In its report on the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, the Committee stresses that operational independence of the police is rightly regarded as a constitutional imperative. The Government have not yet set out the concepts of operational responsibility & impartiality.
The Committee states that the Government should not change police governance before it can show that reform will not compromise operational independence. To this end, it calls for parliament to be given the opportunity to scrutinise the Government’s promised protocol setting out the roles & powers of ministers, chief constables, police and crime commissioners and other bodies under the reforms.