|Title:||Transition to Elected Police and Crime Commissioners: Accountability, Accessibility and Transparency|
|Date:||Wednesday 18th April 2012|
|Time:||10.00am – 4:30pm|
|Venue:||Broadway House, Westminster|
Register your place
|Miranda Carruthers-Watt, Chief Executive, Lancashire Police Authority; Vice Chair, APACE|
In order to ‘ensure policing for the people’, the Government introduced the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, which gained Royal Assent in September 2011. The new Act will lead to significant changes in the governance and accountability of the police service. The replacement of police authorities with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) aims to radically shift power and control away from Government back to people and communities. With the anticipation that the public will have a voice in setting police priorities as well as the power to hold the police to account for keeping our streets safe and secure, the first elections are due to take place in November 2012.
With the exception of London, police authorities will be abolished in 41 regions and a single Commissioner will be directly elected for each area in England and Wales. The expected costs of elections, transition cost and salaries of 41 new officials could be over £125 million as stated in the Police and Crime Commissioners Impact Assessment (March 2011), which the Government anticipates will be equivalent to the current governance arrangements. The transition poses a challenge as only a minority of the population are aware that elections for the Commissioners will take place in November. Furthermore, the Association of Electoral Administrators have suggested that the rules governing the election, candidates and expenses are yet to be approved and published with 6 months being the standard preparation time.
A key feature of the new framework includes the introduction of new Police and Crime Panels to provide important scrutiny of Police and Crime Commissioners’ functions and a system of checks and balances to scrutinise PCCs. In January 2012, Metropolitan Police Authority was replaced by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, but its role in holding London’s police to account will pass to a Police and Crime Panel drawn from London Assembly Members.
As we embark on a crucial year for the policing and justice sector with the elections less than 9 months away, the process to ‘forge a direct link between the police and the public’ has been set in motion. This special symposium offers practitioners and key stakeholders a timely opportunity to explore the future role of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and the challenges that lie ahead in the transition process.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair’s Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
Policing and Crime – Managing the Transition from Bureaucratic Control to Democratic Accountability
|11:15||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
Policy into Practice – The Local Picture and the Future Direction of Multi-Agency Working
|14:15||Afternoon Coffee Break|
|14:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two|
|15:30||Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments|
“These new commissioners will be big local figures with a powerful local mandate to drive the fight against crime and antisocial behaviour. They will decide policing strategy and the force budget, set the local council tax precept, and appoint – if necessary dismiss – the chief constable on behalf of the public.”
— Minister for Policing and Justice, March 2011
“The Government is determined to seize this opportunity to transform policing in our country, by strengthening democratic accountability, securing necessary savings and reconnecting the police and the people. In doing so we will achieve the lower crime and safer and more self-reliant communities we all want to see.”
— Home Secretary, December 2010