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What exactly does the PCC do?

Your PCC is an elected official who has the job of ensuring the local police force meets the needs of the community.

He is responsible for holding the Constabulary to account, hiring and firing the Chief Constable, setting out local policing priorities through the Police and Crime Plan and setting police budgets.

The PCC's brief is to cut crime, but also to represent and engage with the communities of Gloucestershire.

In summary:

  • The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for the police budget
  • He holds the Chief Constable to account for the actions of the police
  • He acts a voice for the public on policing matters
  • He can commission services to achieve his core target of reducing crime

NB: The Police and Crime Commissioner does not run the police. The Chief Constable is responsible for all police operations

Why should I care about the role of the PCC?

The PCC is the 'voice of the public'.

Through him, you have the opportunity to influence how policing in your area is carried out in a way that matters to you.

The issues you raise help to shape the Police and Crime Plan and, therefore, have an impact on where public money is spent when the PCC sets the budget.

What successes has the PCC had?

The PCC has supported dozens of initiatives through the Commissioner's Fund.

Some of these are police crime reduction campaigns such as bike security roadshows and promoting the use of purse alarms among the elderly.

Some are organisation-run projects that fall into the priority categories of the Police and Crime Plan, for example, Outward Bound, which runs courses to help young people gain new skills and confidence.

And some are community-led initiatives such as Gloucester's street pastors who are out and about in the city centre on Friday and Saturday nights, helping people who are vulnerable and in need of care.

For more information on what the PCC has done for Gloucestershire, please click here.

How does the role of the PCC affect me?

As Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin speaks for you. Among the weaknesses of the Police Authority, it was regarded as too remote. Because it typically had 17 members, few knew who they were. Now, you only have one name to remember so that if you have a complaint against the police you know where to go for help in making your case.

That is what is meant by ‘holding the Chief Constable to account’.

A good example is the pilot badger culls which began in 2013 and are scheduled to continue at least until 2016. This was, and remains, an emotive issue for many people and because there had been nothing like it anywhere else in the country before, no-one knew what to expect. It was no surprise, therefore, that there were many who questioned how the event was policed. When the first cull was finished, Martin put many of the points raised - by both sides and those caught in the middle – to the Chief Constable and other senior officers involved in the operation. For the first time, the session was held in public and broadcast live on the internet so that people could either go to the meeting in person or watch at home.

This kind of accessibility is one of Martin’s priorities. 

What is different with Martin's Police and Crime plan?

Martin's brief from the Home Secretary is to cut crime but he wants to go beyond that. He wants there to be less crime, of course, but he also wants to tackle anti-social behaviour – things that aren’t regarded as crimes but which blight our communities – and in doing so make Gloucestershire an even better place to live and work.

Page last updated: 03 November 2016