APCC Chair gives evidence before Home Affairs Select Committee
APCC Chair Donna Jones appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee this week (Wednesday 8 November) where she gave evidence on the positive impact PCCs have made since their introduction in 2012. The hearing formed part of the Committee’s inquiry to examine the impact that Police and Crime Commissioners have had in the first decade since their establishment. It looked at how effective they have been at holding their local force and chief officers to account, and whether they have provided the democratic accountability they are meant to deliver.
Donna appeared alongside Councillor Sue Woolley, Conservative Lead Member for the Safer and Stronger Communities Board at Local Government Association and Dr Rick Muir, Director at the Police Foundation, to answer questions on what has worked well since the introduction of PCCs and how the role has evolved. Prior to Donna’s session, the Committee heard from NPCC Chair, Gavin Stephens, and former HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor, who spoke about the positive, respectful relationships PCCs have developed with chief constables, as well as the importance of accountability in policing.
Donna, who is also Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: “PCCs are the voice of the people, democratically elected to meet the needs of the communities they serve. They are elected to hold Chief Constables and their forces to account, ensuring the police remain answerable to the people they serve.
“PCCs commission victims’ services and have played a leading role in tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG), influencing national reform on the investigation of VAWG crimes and investing in local initiatives, behaviour change campaigns and vital support services to reduce risk.
“By listening to residents and understanding their communities, they have driven forward important work to tackle the public’s top priorities, funding early intervention and prevention programmes that tackle the root causes of crime and divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour while also reducing demand on the police.
“The role has evolved considerably over the past 11 years with PCCs now taking on a wider remit within the criminal justice system. PCCs now chair their local Criminal Justice Boards and preside over the implementation of the Serious Violence Duty and new Victims’ Code. As local leaders, they bring criminal justice partners together to deliver multiagency solutions to reduce crime and reoffending and to improve the delivery of services so that the needs of victims of crime remain at the heart of the criminal justice system.
“PCCs have a vital role to play in improving public confidence and trust in policing and the justice system. This is a critical area of future work and with increased responsibilities and powers, PCCs will continue to deliver meaningful change.”