It is essential that Police and Crime Commissioners’ (PCCs’) voices are heard in important national debates about policing, crime and community safety. In November 2012, through the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), the government and criminal justice agencies invited PCCs to join over 40 working groups developing policy in key policing areas.
As democratically elected representatives of the people, PCCs considered it important that their membership of these important policy groups was not driven by party politics, and therefore agreed that the national working groups would ideally have representatives from the Conservative, Labour and Independent members of the APCC. The intention was to preserve balance across the political spectrum.
The APCC is also clear that the strong local knowledge of PCCs must feed directly into important national debates on key policing issues, and that a focus on victims must be at the heart of our policy recommendations.
As this process developed, it became increasingly clear that PCCs would be unable to provide considered, informed, input to 40 different national working groups. At our Annual General Meeting in July 2014, to put PCCs in a position to actively and thoughtfully contribute to and drive forward national policy, the APCC decided to create eight overarching Standing Groups to agree a set of priorities for the coming year and establish representation on related national boards and groups. The first meetings of the Standing Groups will take place during the next three weeks.
On 25th September, the Supporting Victims and Reducing Harm Group will decide who will be the PCC representative on the Home Office Sexual Violence Against Women and Children Board. Since Mr Shaun Wright is no longer a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner, he is not entitled to sit on any of the APCC Standing Groups.
The APCC will strive to ensure that victims of crime and all members of the public have confidence in the work of Police and Crime Commissioners across the country to support the vulnerable and keep communities safe.
Nick Alston, Ron Ball and Tony Lloyd, on behalf of the APCC