The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) replaces the former Police Authority and is a completely new role that has required the support of a team to meet his statutory requirements.
Where possible – to avoid duplication and ensure best value – it has been agreed that he can call upon the services of the Chief Constable and her staff. However, the Commissioner’s role is not just about policing. It involves wider criminal justice and community safety responsibilities, all of which are set out in the Police and Crime Plan.
Where necessary, the Commissioner has recruited a small number of additional staff in specialist roles. All of these are employed on a permanent basis or have been appointed on fixed-term contracts through an employment agency via a national contract or they are on an ‘attached’ basis.
*16 members of the team are directly employed by the Commissioner and paid by him, the remaining two are either paid by the Constabulary or jointly funded.
To ensure a fair and open approach, appointment and/or agreeing contracts has been in accordance with the Constabulary’s Human Resources (HR) and legal policies.
*Figures as per June 2015
To fully understand the diversity of the team and the roles within it, below is an overview of the key areas.
The Chief Executive supports and advises the PCC in delivering all of his statutory duties and responsibilities. He works with the PCC to deliver the PCC’s vision, strategy and identified priorities and facilitates appropriate scrutiny of the Constabulary’s activities. The Chief Executive also ensures the effective strategic and operational leadership of the Office of the PCC (OPCC).
The Chief Executive also holds the role of Monitoring Officer, with a remit to draw to the PCC's attention any actual or possible contravention of law, maladministration or injustice. He is also a qualified solicitor and as such is the senior legal adviser to the PCC and the Chief Constable.
The Deputy Chief Executive represents the PCC at all strategic partnerships and boards within the County. He also ensures that the performance of the Police and Crime Plan is monitored and delivered through close engagement with the respective Priority Leads. Further, he ensures that all elements of Commissioning are managed effectively including contract management of the Victim Support contract, monitoring of the Commissioner’s Fund and, that the annual allocation of the Ministry of Justice victims based funds are utilised effectively.
The Deputy Chief Executive is currently leading on the Community Safety element of the Gloucestershire Bid to become a Combined Authority with the aim of creating an integrated and cohesive approach to both Community Safety and partnership working within the County.
The Chief Finance Officer is a qualified and experienced accountant who is a key member of the OPCC’s Leadership Team, helping it to develop and implement strategy and to resource and deliver the PCC’s strategic objectives sustainably and in the public interest.
He is actively involved in and influences all material business to ensure that immediate and longer term implications, opportunities and risks are fully considered and align with the overall financial strategy.
He leads and encourages the promotion and delivery of good financial management so that public money is safeguarded at all times and used appropriately, economically, efficiently and effectively.
The Policy Officer responds to requests for information from local and national organisations - such as the Home Office or local councils - on things like consultations and provides guidance to the OPCC around how to meet its statutory duties. To do this, she must first interpret local and national information documents, government policy or local data and then advise the PCC and OPCC to help them come up with an appropriate response for Gloucestershire.
She also manages the administrative functions of the PCC Office and the OPCC Risk Register and represents the OPCC at various external multi-agency meetings.
One unique aspect of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s role is his ability to commission services. The Commissioning Officer co-ordinates all the processes associated with this aspect of his work including:
- managing the Commissioner’s Fund
- managing and working in partnership with PCC-funded projects
- liaising with the priority leads and key stakeholders
As well as this, she supports the deputy chief executive in the delivery and performance of the Police & Crime Plan and manages the Project Officer.
The Communications Advisor is essential to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Accessibility and Accountability priority.
Who is the PCC? What does he do? What difference has he made? These are some of the questions often posed by the public or, on their behalf, by the media. He acts as a conduit to facilitate answers to those and other questions as well as providing accurate, up-to-date information on the day-to-day work of the PCC.
As part of the Constabulary’s duty of care towards people in custody, specially trained volunteers are able to make spot checks on local police cells without warning. As the name suggests, she manages this scheme in line with Home Office guidance and good practice. This includes managing the recruitment, training, development and support of volunteers; providing appropriate management reports and developing the scheme in consultation with the Chief Inspector for Custody, ICV Coordinators, and the PCC’s Chief Executive.
For many, she is also the first point of contact with the PCC as the role operates as a sort of ‘inbox’ for the OPCC.
All Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and complaints are routed through the her to achieve the correct answer within appropriate or statutory timescales in accordance with legislation.
One of the elements of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, which makes it different from many others and certainly unlike what has gone before, is the way it has encouraged communities to come up with their own ideas for reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
He plays a key role in supporting projects developed through the Commissioner’s Fund – more than 200 to date – by putting them in touch with relevant police officers and staff who can help them carry out their plans.
The Police and Crime Plan is founded on the belief that everyone has a vested interest and can play a part in making Gloucestershire a safer, better place to live. His role combines the science of ‘designing out’ crime – helping local people make their neighbourhoods safer - and assisting in measures that are socially sustainable.
“In a healthier Gloucestershire an individual will have a better understanding of crime and disorder in the local community, find value in the local community, and be able to act with others to make the community better. Together these three –understanding, valuing and empowerment- result in a sense of coherence as a community member”.
Police and Crime Plan 2013-2017