Police and Crime Commissioner's Election - 6 May 2021
This page has been designed to help prospective candidates of the police and crime commissioner's election to find information they may need to make an informed decision.
If you require information that is not published here please contact Mr Stephen Hughes, Chief Executive of the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner by emailing OPCC@nthwales.pnn.police.uk. Mr Hughes has been appointed the ‘Single Point of Contact’ (SPOC) who will respond to all correspondence and enquiries relating to the election.
All requests for information from prospective candidates sent to North Wales Police will be redirected to the SPOC. The SPOC will liaise with the Force’s Chief Information Officer on all matters relating to operational policing and information held by North Wales Police. An explanation will be provided if information cannot be provided.
Enquiries relating to the electoral process should be directed to the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO). In North Wales the PARO is Mr Colin Everett, Chief Executive, Flintshire County Council. Any enquiries received by the SPOC relating to the electoral process will be redirected to the PARO. The Electoral Commission provides guidance for prospective candidates and their agents, click here.
To ensure complete fairness and transparency, information requested by any candidate will be published on this webpage. A register of all requests received will also be published on this web page.
23 March 2021 - Pre-election briefing for all potential and declared candidates - virtual event
23 March 2021 - 8 April 2021 - Delivery of nomination papers to PARO
6 May 2021 - Election Day
9 May 2021 - The result of the election is announced
13 May 2021 - Police and Crime Commissioner takes office
The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner
The duties of the Police and Crime Commissioner ("the Commissioner") are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 ("the Act").
The key functions are:-
Police and Crime Plan
The Commissioner provides the strategic direction for the Force by setting policing priorities in the Police and Crime Plan. The Commissioner must issue a Police and Crime Plan within the first financial year in office. Therefore the successful candidate must publish a Police and Crime Plan by the end of March 2022.
Hold the Chief Constable to account
The Chief Constable has a duty to deliver an effective and efficient policing service based on these policing priorities. The Commissioner in each force area has a statutory duty and electoral mandate to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public. Current arrangements are to hold the Chief Constable to account at the Strategic Executive Board.
Precept, Budget and Commissioning
The Commissioner is the recipient of all funding related to policing, crime reduction, victims support grants and precept. How this money is allocated is a matter for the Commissioner in consultation with the Chief Constable or in accordance with any grant terms. The Chief Constable will provide professional advice and recommendations. The Commissioner decides on the precept level for the area with the approval of the Police and Crime Panel.
Listen and respond to your views on policing
The Commissioner will consult the electorate on policing priorities and precept level. The Commissioner will be given advice from the Chief Constable for policing requirements for the area and on strategic policing requirements.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissionershave prepared a detailed report on the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
You can find more information on the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner within the Policing-Protocol-Order-2011 and on the Home Office website.
The role of the Chief Constable
The Chief Constable is responsible for maintaining the Queen‘s Peace, and has direction and control over the Force‘s officers and staff. The Chief Constable holds office under the Crown, but is appointed by the Commissioner.
The Chief Constable is accountable to the law for the exercise of police powers, and to the Commissioner for the delivery of efficient and effective policing, management of resources and expenditure by the police force. At all times the Chief Constable, their constables and staff, remain operationally independent in the service of the communities that they serve. The Police and Crime Commissioner must respect the operational independence of the chief constable and all officers and staff under his direction and control.
Cark Foulkes was appointed Chief Constable for North Wales Police from 5 November 2018. His chief officers are Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki, Assistant Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett and Director of Finance and Resources Mr Seb Phillips. For more information about the chief officers, see here.
You can find more information on the role of the Chief Constable within the Policing-Protocol-Order-2011
The role of the Police and Crime Panel
The Police and Crime Panel ("the Panel") provide checks and balances in relation to the performance of the Commissioner. The Panel does not scrutinise the Chief Constable but scrutinises and supports the effective exercise of the Commissioner's functions. Full details of the Panel’s responsibilities can be found in the Policing-Protocol-Order-2011 and to the Panel's website.
The Chief Constable retains responsibility for operational matters. If the Panel seek to scrutinise the Commissioner on an operational matter, the Chief Constable may be invited to attend a Panel meeting alongside the Commissioner to offer factual accounts and clarity (if needed) of the Chief Constable‘s actions and decisions. The accountability of the Chief Constable remains firmly to the Commissioner and not to the Panel.
In summary the Panel's main duties are to:-
Review - The Police and Crime Plan, Budget and the Annual Report.
Approve/veto - The appointment of the Chief Constable and proposed precept level.
Approve - The appointment of statutory officers and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. The Commissioner has two statutory officers they are the Chief Executive Officer/Monitoring Officer and the Chief Finance Officer. Their roles are explained below.
Action - Complaints made about the Commissioner and/or his Deputy.
The Role of the Home Secretary
The Home Secretary is ultimately accountable to Parliament and charged with ensuring the maintenance of the Queen‘s Peace within all force areas, safeguarding the public and protecting our national borders and security. The Home Secretary has reserved powers and legislative tools that enable intervention and direction to all parties, if it is determined by the Home Secretary that such action is necessary in order to prevent or mitigate risk to the public or national security. Such powers and tools will be used only as a last resort, and will not be used to interfere with the democratic will of the electorate within a force area, nor seek to interfere with the office of constable, unless the Home Secretary is satisfied on the advice of Her Majesty‘s Inspectorate of Constabulary that not to do so would result in a police force failing or national security being compromised.
The Home Secretary retains the legal accountability for national security and the role that the police service plays within the delivery of any national response. The Home Secretary has a duty to issue a Strategic Policing Requirementthat sets out what are, in her view, the national threats at the time and the appropriate national policing capabilities that are required to counter them.
The role of the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner
Legislation enables the Commissioner to appoint a Deputy and to delegate certain functions and responsibilities to that person.
The role of the Deputy, whilst working with the Commissioner’s other staff, is to deputise and support the Commissioner in carrying out his functions including:-
a. Acting as a local link between communities and the police
b. Assisting in setting the force budget and the precept and deciding how other crime reduction budgets are spent
c. Assisting in the development of the Police and Crime Plan
d. Entering into collaboration agreements as necessary
e. Holding the chief constable to account
f. Working co-operatively with community safety and criminal justice partners
The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner may not:-
a. Issue a Police and Crime Plan
b. Determine police objectives
c. Attend Police and Crime Panel meetings on behalf of the Commissioner
d. Prepare the Annual Report
e. Appoint or suspend the chief constable or call upon the chief constable to retire or resign
f. Set the precept
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
The Commissioner’s office in North Wales is made up of a small team, led by the Chief Executive. Under the Act the Commissioner is required to appoint a Chief Executive (who also acts as Monitoring Officer) and Chief Finance Officer (who is also the Section 151 officer).
The team includes experts in commissioning of services, policy, scrutiny, consultation, engagement, correspondence and office support. The staffing structure can be found here.
All staff employed by the Commissioner (apart from the Deputy) are politically restricted in accordance with Local Government and Housing Act 1989 therefore the staff will not support a candidate or incumbent Police and Crime Commissioner. Please see the Pre-Election Policy adhered by staff here.
The role of the Chief Executive (CEO)
The post of Chief Executive is a statutory role.
The responsibilities of the CEO are set out in paragraph 6(a) of Schedule 1 to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
The CEO leads the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), focusing on delivering the full range of the Commissioner’s plans and objectives, managing the team of paid staff and acting as the Commissioner’s senior advisor. The CEO is also the Monitoring Officer and the SPOC for the police and crime commissioner election.
The CEO’s duties are detailed in the post profile.
The role of the Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
The post of Chief Finance Officer is a statutory role.
The statutory responsibilities of the CFO are set out in paragraph 6(b) of Schedule 1 to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
The qualifications for the CFO are set out in section 113 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and, in Wales only, the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2005.
Taking account of all legislation relating to this role, the CFO’s duties are detailed in the post profile.
In order to create a better, safer North Wales, and to maintain an effective and efficient police service in the area, the Commissioner will have to work closely with partners to secure longer term solutions to crime and disorder issues.
Building effective partnerships is a cornerstone of the work undertaken by the Commissioner as the police service is not alone in its work to prevent crime, reduce harm (and the risk of harm) and deliver an effective response to the public. Working effectively in partnership enables better, more sustainable services to be delivered by all partners involved. Furthermore it can lead to improved services being delivered more cost effectively.
The Commissioner will work alongside many different types of organisations in order to strategically focus efforts to ensure better, more organised partnership working delivers improved services to the people of North Wales.
For more information on current arrangements of partnership working and collaborations, please click here.
An Annual Governance Statement is provided each year in the Statement of Accounts, the Governance Statement provides information on the previous year of business.
Regular checks on governance arrangements for the Police and Crime Commissioner and North Wales Police are carried out at regular intervals and scrutinised at the Corporate Improvements and Assurance Board. This Board consists of key officers from both organisations and findings reports to the Force’s Senior Management Board.
The organisation has also established an independent Joint Audit Committee to provide independent assurance to the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable on the adequacy of the risk management framework, the internal control environment and the integrity of the financial reporting and annual governance processes. Their terms of reference can be seen here.
The Force’s Director of Finance and Resources and CFO will provide the latest information on the organisations’ financial position at the Briefing Day on 23 March 2021. The net budget for 2021/22 will be £173.365m, compared to £163.705 in 2020/21. The difference of £9.660m is made up of £4.208m inflation; £2.642m growth for identified needs; less £2.902m savings identified; £4.962m in-year expenditure for phase 1 of Operation Uplift (the scheme to increase the number of police officers in England and Wales by 20,000); £1.372m for infrastructure to prepare for phase 2 of Operation Uplift; and £0.339m additional capital contribution (to offset the reduction in the Capital Grant).
At the time of writing this report, the financial position for subsequent years is not known. It is expected that a spending review will take place during 2021/22, and this may be followed by a review of the Police Funding Formula. The spending review will determine how much money the Home Office has to spend on policing; the Police Funding Formula determines what proportion of the grant is allocated to each Police and Crime Commissioner.
Detailed information about the finances of the Police and Crime Commissioner and North Wales Police can be found on the Commissioner’s website here.
Legislation charges the Police and Crime Commissioner to keep the police fund, set and manage the budget for policing, award grants and enter into agreements for the supply of goods and services. Further to that the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 empowers Police and Crime Commissioners to commission local services that are intended to help victims, or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, criminal offences and anti-social behaviour and also help deliver the policing priorities.
In North Wales the grants have been used to establish the Victim Help Centre which since 2015 has supported over 25,000 individuals who have been a victim of a crime or incident. The grants have also been used to fund the Sexual and Rape Assault Centre, to provide Independent Sexual Violence Advisors and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors across the region and the CheckPoint Cymru diversion scheme. These are just a few examples of the services that have been commissioned since 2012.
For detailed information on services currently commissioned see here.
The first Commissioner, Winston Roddick CB QC, elected in 2012 commissioned the Victims Help Centre based in St Asaph and provides support for all victims of crime in the area. The Victims Help Centre has been a success from its outset. The funding for the Victims Help Centre is provided by the Ministry of Justice. There is a duty for the Commissioner to provide a service to victims of crime and to provide provision for restorative justice, since 2015 the Victim Help Centre has supported over 25,000 individuals.
The second Commissioner, Arfon Jones, elected in 2016 created a diversion scheme from within the police custody units to provide detainees support to steer them away from criminal justice and a life of crime. The diversion scheme is called CheckPoint Cymru which started on 2 December 2019. The scheme is funded by the Commissioner’s Crime Reduction and Disorder Grant provided by the Home Office. The scheme is in its infancy but is already successful.
These are just a couple of examples of the difference a Commissioner can make in our communities, more information on the achievements of the Police and Crime Commissioners are published annually in their Annual Reports.
Key documents and webpages
Police and Crime Plan and Addendum
Finance reports, including Statement of Accounts and Medium Term Financial Strategy
Commissioning of services
Joint Audit Committee reports
Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) reports
Collaboration and Partnership working
Freedom of Information Disclosure Log
Additional information requested and provided to candidates
APCC Briefing for PCC Candidates
Independent Custody Visiting Association
National Crime Agency Briefing for PCC Candidates