Jump to content

New powers approved for police and crime panels to investigate PCCs


Recommended Posts

The government said the "time is right".

New powers approved for police and crime panels to investigate PCCs

Police and crime panels are to be given new powers to investigate commissioners, government documents have revealed this week.

Currently police and crime panels (PCPs), led by local authorities, are responsible for non-serious complaints made against police and crime commissioners but have limited powers to do so.

PCPs will be able to appoint an independent investigator to examine the evidence when they feel it is needed, the government stated in consultation papers for PCC complaints reform.

If “informal resolution” is not possible, PCPs will be able to make recommendations “on the expected behaviour of a PCC” and have the authority to “require them to respond.”

The changes are being made because the government expects the number of complaints made against PCCs to rise as it increases commissioner responsibilities.

“Since coming into post, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have brought real local accountability to policing in England and Wales,” the document stated.

“Collectively, they have presided over falls to a record low in crimes traditionally measured by the Crime Survey of England and Wales, and have delivered value for money for taxpayers by finding efficiencies and ensuring sense in how police budgets are spent.”

As the government is expanding the role to “drive better working” with the criminal justice system and take on responsibilities for the fire and rescue service and parts of the police complaints system it believes “the time is right…to deliver a more transparent complaints procedure.”

Although the majority of complaints should be resolved without investigation, PCPs will be given the option to appoint an independent investigator from an approved list of people, such as a chief executive or local authority monitoring officer from another area, where necessary.

PCPs will not be allowed to appoint individuals who report directly to the PCC under investigation.

“The Government recognises it is important to separate the investigatory aspects of complaint handling from the PCP, to ensure that any political differences between the Panel and the PCC are not used as a basis for complaint investigation.”

The document added: “It is evident that there should be a clear marker for what should and should not be classed as a complaint, to ensure complaints about conduct rather than policy decisions are taken forward. To do this, the Government will work with the Local Government Association - with advice from the College of Policing - to produce supplementary, non-statutory guidance for PCPs.

“This guidance will use the Nolan Principles to set out clearly the standards of conduct expected from PCCs, and will robustly tie the procedures of informal resolution to matters of conduct rather than policy.”

Sector-led guidance developed to help forces dealing with vexatious complaints against police will also be made available to PCPs to avoid “disproportionate amounts of time spent in managing vexatious complaints.”

But any extra funding costs incurred as a result of investigations into PCCs will have be agreed locally or absorbed by the PCP budget. 

View On Police Oracle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...