England and Wales’ first Police and Crime Commissioners were elected in 2012. The creation of elected police commissioner roles was a pledge by both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at the 2010 elections, in response to concerns about the perceived lack of public accountability of police authorities.
Under the Act that created the role, the core functions of Police and Crime Commissioners are to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force within their area, and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the police and crime plan. This includes, outside London, responsibility for the appointment, suspension and dismissal of the Chief Constable. Police and Crime Commissioners are charged with holding the police fund (from which all policing of the area is financed) and raising the local policing precept from council tax.
Eight months on from their election, the Welsh Affairs Committee is holding an evidence session with all four Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales to explore how the role and its statutory requirements are working in practice.