Police and Crime Commissioners will replace police authorities from November 22nd 2012. Until then, police authorities are represented at the national level by the Association of Police Authorities (APA). The APA's function is to ensure that through police authorities, local people have a means of influencing the Government and other partners on national policing matters.
Home Office Ministers have agreed that the APA is best placed to create a national representative body dedicated to supporting and representing police and crime commissioners (PCCs) when they are elected in November. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) will provide the following services to all PCCs:
Policing in England and Wales has been delivered through a partnership involving the Home Office, the police service led by chief constables and senior police officers, and police authorities. This arrangement was designed to make sure that the experience of local policing was considered when making decisions and plans that affected national policy. It provided national policy makers with insights based on experience from within police force areas and communities.
Replacing police authorities with PCCs is meant to strengthen the voice of local people and the accountability of the police service. However, for this to happen, PCCs must be represented effectively at the national level.
The need for local forces to help the Government make decisions has perhaps never been greater. Soon after PCCs are elected, agreements must be made on a range of important national policing matters including the future of police leadership, recruitment, policing to tackle terrorism and the National Crime Agency.
The APCC will represent PCC's views to the Home Office between November and March 2013. The Home Office has recognised the APCC as the organisation responsible for helping to involve PCCs on various government boards, so that the experience of local policing influences national policy.
It is by coming together that PCCs will be best able to influence change. A national body will help PCCs make the most of their ability to influence at a national level, and deliver on their manifesto promises.
PCCs will have an important contribution to make to how national policing services are governed, such as the National Crime Agency, Newco (the proposed national IT procurement service), and the Police Professional Body. The APCC will support PCCs in providing this leadership at a national level.
By sharing best practice and identifying opportunities to work together, or paying for services jointly, the APCC will help PCCs be more efficient and effective.
If PCCs identify barriers to delivering their local plans, the APCC will take co-ordinated action that can help remove barriers at a national level.
All elected PCCs will automatically be members of APCC, free of charge, until the end of March 2013. The governing bodies which oversee the non-geographic police forces (British Transport Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, and the Ministry of Defence Police), the City of London Police and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (overseeing the Metropolitan Police) will also be members of the APCC. They will provide considerable strength in numbers.
The APCC is supported by a small, focused team of policing policy professionals with a wide range of experience of representing the interests of local police governance bodies (currently police authorities) at a national level. The team is already heavily involved nationally and is well placed to brief PCCs, listen to their views, and represent them effectively from day one.
The APCC will be paid for using existing APA resources, which will be aided from November 2012 to March 2013 by a one-off grant from the Home Office. The aim is to make sure a structure is in place to represent and support PCCs from the time they are elected, but give them flexibility and freedom to decide on their own requirements for a national organisation in the longer term.
Yes. In January 2013 PCCs will be given the option of whether they need a national organisation to represent and support them from April 2013, and if so, what services they need, which organisation they want to provide those services and how much they want to pay through subscriptions.
Website and enquiry service
The website (www.apccs.police.uk) is being developed to provide links to the information that candidates may need, including policing policy briefings and information on how forces are performing. The site also includes a daily digest of 'need to know' stories about policing and PCCs and will include a store of useful background information.
The APCC also provides a telephone enquiry service for all candidates and their staff (020 7202 0082), and the APCC's twitter feed @AssocPCCs provides the latest updates and links to 'must see' stories.
National briefing events
In June and September, the APCC will provide briefing and networking events for anyone with an interest in their work . They will also hold a national induction for PCCs. These events will bring together the main policing and other relevant agencies to give candidates and their staff essential information about the wider policing landscape in England and Wales.
The APCC will also host events at the national party conferences (Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat) this autumn.
Please email the APCC Programme Manager; Tania Eagle, via firstname.lastname@example.org