National register essential to prevent maverick decision-making by PCCs

23 May 2013

The Home Affairs Committee publishes its report 'Police and Crime Commissioners: Register of Interests'. This publishes, for the first time, a comprehensive register of Police and Crime Commissioners' interests, pay, costs, second jobs and offices.

Chair's comments

Committee Chair Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:

"The Government is going to publish a register of chief constables' interests, but has so far refused to do so for PCCs, who share the power over policing.

In this, the first register for PCCs, we find that there is a massive gap between Commissioners' costs and their other activities.

A system of local scrutiny makes sense for PCCs, but the public cannot possibly judge whether their PCC is upholding the standards of the office and giving them a good deal unless they make a comparison with other PCCs. Some Commissioners have already failed to meet the deadline for publishing information online, but there is no one in Government keeping track.

A national register is vital for local accountability. Police and Crime Panels must redouble their oversight of their PCCs. Already we have seen the suspension of a chief constable without consultation in Lincolnshire, controversial personal and political appointments without scrutiny by the PCP in Kent and other areas, and PCCs with second, third and even fourth jobs. We need to guard against maverick decision-making.

PCCs have national responsibilities as well as local. It is right that they should meet the same standards of disclosure as chief constables. In future, the Government must commission a full register from an independent national body, such as HMIC."

Further information

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