In each Police force area there is an elected Police and Crime Commissioner. The Commissioner is responsible for setting the strategic objectives of the Police force and deciding how funding for local policing and crime reduction is allocated. The first elections took place in 2012 when Sue Mountstevens ran as an Independent candidate and was elected Commissioner for Avon and Somerset. She was re-elected for another 4 year term in 2016. The role of the Commissioner is to be the voice of the public and to hold the Chief Constable to account.
You can find more information about the Commissioner at www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk and www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/News-and-Events/Events-Calendar.aspx
The Police and Crime Panel was also established in 2012 and its purpose is to both support and scrutinise the Commissioner’s work and the decisions she takes. The Panel is made up of councillors from the 10 authorities in the force area and 3 independent members who bring a variety of skills and experience to the role. Somerset County Council currently acts as the Host Authority for the Panel and is responsible for its administrative and officer support arrangements.
The Commissioner is required by law to consult the Panel on:
- the plans and objectives set out in the Police and Crime Plan
- the Policing budget
- the council tax precept (the money collected from council tax for policing)
- the appointment of certain key officers