The role of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) is to be the voice of the people, to lead policing and criminal justice within their geographical area of responsibility and to hold Chief Constables and the police force to account.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners are publicly-elected officials who are responsible for the totality of policing, aiming to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service in their area, ensuring that the police are answerable to the communities they serve.
On top of this, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners work closely with agencies and partners across the criminal justice system – such as the Director of Public Health, to prevent and tackle drugs use – to ensure better services and support for victims of crime.
Responsible for ensuring community needs are met as effectively as possible, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners look to improve local relationships with citizens and the police through building confidence and restoring trust, and aim to better connect work to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, and to deal with offenders. PFCCs work in partnership across a range of agencies at local levels to ensure there is a unified approach across the county in preventing and reducing crime.
Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, Police and Crime Commissioners must:
Secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
Appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
Set the police and crime objectives for their area through a five-year police and crime plan;
Set the force budget and determine the council tax costs to effectively deliver policing services;
Contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary;
Bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.
Policing is controlled at both local and national levels of government. However, you, the public, ultimately hold policing to account. At a national level, this is through voting for MPs and Government, while at a local level, you can vote for your Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
The Government sets the national policing priorities, passes new laws and allocates a central pot of funding to each Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
The creation of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire was finalised when the responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service was transferred from the
County Council on the 1st of January 2019. This was made possible by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire (Fire and Rescue Authority) Order 2018 which represented one of the biggest changes to the delivery of emergency services in the county.
The move means that the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner can now be held to account for the performance of the Fire and Rescue Service.
The PFCC holds the Chief Fire Officer to account in the same way as the Chief Constable. The day-to-day business of the Fire Service remains the responsibility of the Chief
Fire Officer and his team, however the PFCC works closely with the chief officers of both services to look at how they can collaborate and work together to improve the frontline services.
In addition to this, the PFCC is responsible for:
Setting the Council Tax precept for the Fire and Rescue Service
Approving the Fire and Rescue Plan and the Fire and Rescue Statement
Approving the Integrated Risk Management Plan;
Appointing, suspending or dismissing the Chief Fire Officer;
Approving a pay policy statement prepared for the purpose of section 38 of the Localism Act 2011
Approving arrangements to enter into a reinforcement scheme under section 13 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Further details about Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service can be found on our website here