Blog: Chair reflects on the year that marked a decade of PCCs
This year marked 10 years since Police and Crime Commissioners were first elected as the democratic voice of the public.
It has been a difficult and challenging year for policing and the criminal justice system to say the least, and whilst there are many significant challenges ahead, I am confident our role as Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will continue to go from strength to strength.
We have delivered tangible results for our communities through funding vital victim support services to holding chief constables to account for the service they provide to the public. We have championed and been pivotal in tackling violence against women and girls, working to reduce antisocial behaviour that blights communities and supporting victims of crime through the criminal justice service. We have made incredible strides and will continue to play a critical role in making our communities safer and transforming the policing and criminal justice landscape.
Over the last decade, elected PCCs and now Mayors and their Deputies for Policing and Crime have established their role as the public’s voice to policing, the champion of victims and survivors of crime, the convener and leader of a myriad of local partnerships and the commissioner of countless initiatives and services to reduce crime, protect the public and see safer communities flourish.
We have been highlighting some of the key areas where PCCs have been making a real and lasting difference this year, including their work to tackle violence against women and girls, implement crime prevention and reduction initiatives and serious violence to mention a few.
We have seen incredible, fantastic and innovative partnership working going on all over the country. An example being in the South West this year to reduce the illegal drugs trade, Operation Scorpion has seen five PCCs and forces join together to make their area truly hostile to those wishing to prey on their communities.
We have also made great strides in our work within the criminal justice system to support victims of crime and reduce re-offending through working closely with a wide range of organisations to deliver a joined-up approach to community safety.
But we know we can do even more. The PCC review published earlier this year recommended that PCCs should be given more levers to improve the criminal justice journey for victims and witnesses. This is something which we are busy working on making a reality.
We can’t deny there are big hurdles on the horizon for policing and criminal justice but we are confident that, alongside our national partners, PCCs will continue to step up to support victims, cut crime and mobilise partnerships to help keep our communities safe.
Lastly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Scottish Police Authority and the British Transport Police Authority who joined as members of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) this year. 2022 has truly seen the APCC become the home for policing governance in Britain and we hope 2023 will see us become the home of policing governance for the United Kingdom which would really be an important moment in our association’s history.
I wish you all Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year.