Chris Nelson was elected as Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in May 2021.
After growing up in Leeds, state educated, Chris joined the Army at 18, attending Sandhurst. He retired as a full Colonel, having served operationally in the First Gulf War and on the streets of Northern Ireland. His senior staff roles embraced tri-service programme and resource management, operational equipment requirements, budgets, work force planning, IT, training, recruitment, and estates. He gained two degrees and multiple academic and professional qualifications during his time in the Army.
Following his military service, he had a career in business, helping to provide state of the art training facilities to police forces around the world, finishing off that second career as Vice President International Business Development for a US company in Atlanta, Georgia.
His third career as a politician includes time as a Borough councillor in Cheltenham, Member of the County Police and Crime Panel and Chairman of a very busy parish council. A passionate believer in the virtues of volunteering and public service, he is privileged to have supported his local community whenever an opportunity has presented itself.
As PCC for Gloucestershire, Chris wants to introduce a zero-tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour; secure funding for 300 more police officers/staff; increase the Special Constabulary/Volunteer PCSOs by 200; tackle male violence against women and girls; fight rural crime; address scam calls; and improve Gloucestershire Constabulary’s 101 service.
It is a genuine honour and privilege to be your Police and Crime Commissioner here in Gloucestershire. You might be familiar with my promises to take a zero-tolerance approach to all anti-social behaviours and put an extra 300 police officers onto Gloucestershire streets, but as my new role requires me to be ‘the voice of the people’, I thought it only right to introduce you to ‘the man behind the manifesto.’
I live in Cheltenham with my wife, Emma. In our spare time, we enjoy eating out in the town’s many wonderful independent restaurants; taking in a show at the Everyman Theatre or attending one of Cheltenham’s world-renowned festivals; and walking around Hatherley Park – one of my favourite places to relax.
Born a Geordie but growing up in Leeds, I joined the Army at the tender age of 18, starting with a gruelling year at Sandhurst. I retired as a full Colonel, having played my part defending democracy in the First Gulf War and protecting the vulnerable on the streets of Northern Ireland. Following my service, I had an international career in business, helping to provide state-of-the-art training facilities to police forces around the world; before becoming a Borough Councillor and Parish Council Chairman.
With almost 40 years’ experience working in public service, I am a firm believer in the importance of community – it’s one of the reasons I got involved in local politics in Cheltenham. I love speaking to people and hearing their stories. I like to think that as your Commissioner, being open and approachable will help me be your trusted and effective ambassador.
While my new role allows me much less free time, my family remains incredibly important to me. I have four children; a West Highland Terrier named Monty; and will soon become a Grandfather for the sixth time. I am a churchgoer; regularly attend circuit training at a local gym and am a keen tennis player. I’ve been known to describe East Glos Tennis Club as my ‘second home’ – perhaps one day I will see you on court?
During my campaign to become Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, I spent many hours travelling around each of the County’s six districts. Overwhelmingly, you told me you wanted to see your police force focus on anti-social behaviour; rural crime and scam calls, with an improvement to the 101 service.
I believe my love of our County, combined with my wide range of working experiences, have given me the right skill sets for this demanding role, and it feels like the timing is right in my professional career – making me a ‘round peg in a round hole.’
I love this job and our beautiful County and trust you will find me committed to making a real difference for you and your families, helping to make Gloucestershire the safest area in the whole country.
The job of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to ensure the policing needs of their communities are met as effectively as possible, bringing communities closer to the police, building trust and confidence in the system.
The PCC is here to make sure that policing is both accessible for and accountable to the residents of Gloucestershire. Through the PCC, residents have the opportunity to influence how policing is carried out in a way that matters to them. The PCC works with the police on your behalf, to not only hold the Chief Constable to account but also to work with the police and partners to break the cycle of crime and disorder in Gloucestershire.
The Commissioner’s role is not just about policing. It involves wider criminal justice and community safety responsibilities.
The PCC for Gloucestershire is Chris Nelson. He does not run the police, as the Chief Constable is responsible for all police operations, but his role is to:
Be responsible for the police budget
Hold the Chief Constable to account for the actions of the police
Act as a voice for the public on policing matters
Commission services to achieve the primary police objective of reducing crime
PCCs make a declaration of impartiality when they are elected to office. The declaration is an important symbol of impartiality, emphasising both the significance of this role in local communities and that PCCs are there to serve the people, not a political party or any one section of their electorate.
National responsibilities and local priorities
PCCs are responsible for the full range of policing work, including national responsibilities and local priorities. The Home Secretary has issued a Strategic Policing Requirement to ensure that police take appropriate action to protect the public from cross-border threats such as terrorism, civil emergencies, public disorder and organised crime, as well as the more local priorities identified in the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) were established in 2012, replacing local Police Authorities. It is an elected role, voted for by residents every four years.
This Code applies to the Gloucestershire Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) when acting in that role.
This Code does not apply when the PCC is acting in a purely private capacity.
To treat others with dignity and respect.
Not to use bullying behaviour or harass any person.
Not to conduct myself in a manner which:
is contrary to the policing protocol. and/or
could reasonably be regarded as bringing my office into disrepute.
Use of resources
Not to use the resources of the Office of the Gloucestershire Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for my personal benefit or for the benefit of myself, my friends, or any other person in relation to any business interest of mine.
Not to use the resources of the OPCC improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes).
To claim expenses and allowances only in accordance with the published expenses and allowances scheme of the OPCC.
Register of Disclosable Interests
(including those arising in relation to gifts and hospitality and those of a pecuniary nature)
To act solely in the public interest and in exercising the functions of my office not act to gain financial or other benefits for myself, my family, my friends, or any person in relation to any business of mine or use or attempt to use my office to confer or secure for any person, including myself, an advantage or a disadvantage.
Within 28 days of taking office to enter in the register of disclosable interests maintained by the monitoring officer of the OSPCC every disclosable interest as set out in the Schedule.
Within 28 days of any change in circumstances to enter in the register of interests the changes in so far as are related to disclosable interests.
If the nature of the interest is such that I and the Monitoring Officer consider that disclosure could lead to me or a person connected with me being subject to violence or intimidation, then any entry in the register should not include details of the interest but should indicate that the interest has been disclosed and is withheld by virtue of this section.
Conflicts of interests
In any case where the interests of exercising the functions of my office may conflict with any disclosed, or other interest, which has become known to me, I shall as soon as possible declare such conflict as is required in accordance with the policy issued under Para 3 of the Elected Local Policing Body (Specified Information) Order 2011. And I shall determine whether the conflict of interest is so substantial that the function should not be exercised personally but should be delegated or dealt with in some other manner to ensure the conflict of interest does not arise.
Disclosure of information
not to disclose information given to me in confidence or information acquired by me which is of a confidential nature - unless I have the consent of a person authorised to give it or I am required by law to do so or for the lawful purposes of my office provided that I shall not be prevented from disclosure to a third party for the purpose of obtaining professional legal advice where the third party agrees not to disclose the information to any other person;
that any disclosure made by me shall be reasonable, be in the public interest and made in good faith.
not to prevent another person from gaining access to information to which that person is entitled by law.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life promotes high standards of behaviour in the public sphere through the Seven Principles of Public Life enunciated by the Nolan Committee.
The Policing Protocol states that all parties will abide by the seven Nolan principles set out by the Committee for Standards in Public Life. The Committee recommends them for the benefit of all who serve the public in any way.
Holders of public office should act 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.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.