Are you interesting in standing as a candidate for Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)?
This page is designed to help you find all the information you might need to make an informed decision.
The role of PCC
The roles and responsibilities of the PCC come from the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the Act). You can also find out more about this role on the PCC's website here.
The respective roles of the PCC, the Police and Crime Panel and the Chief Constable, and how their functions are exercised in relation to each other, are set out in the Policing Protocol Order 2011 which was issued under the Act. Paragraphs 15 to 18 describe in detail the PCC’s statutory powers and legal duties.
You can find out more about the role of PCC in this brief guide 'Have you got what it takes? Your role as Police and Crime Commissioner' on the Home Office website. This short leaflet provides important facts about the position and highlights the main responsibilities.
A whole series of documents and briefing papers about PCCs, including information on commissioning and funding, community safety, working in partnership and supporting victims and witnesses of crime have also been made available by the Government here.
In addition, the Home Office has published the following information that may be of use to PCC candidates:
- Guidance: Candidate briefing 2016: national policy and strategy
- Guidance: Candidate briefing 2016: working beyond your force area
- Guidance: Candidate briefing 2016: PCC roles and responsibilities
- Guidance: Candidate briefing 2016: working with others within your force area
Further information about PCCs is also provided by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). On this website you can find an annual report detailing the work of PCCs nationally, press releases that have been distributed and other useful information.
In 2013 the Ministry of Justice confirmed the introduction of a new mixed model of national and local commissioning of referral and support services for victims. As part of these reforms, PCCs were given responsibility for commissioning a range of support services for victims. In 2015/16 (the first full year of commissioning services) the PCC was awarded grant funding of £1.546m by the Ministry of Justice. The grant was issued to commission and/or provide and develop victims’ support services, including Restorative Justice, for Merseyside.
You can find more information about the current services being commissioned by the PCC on Merseyside here.
The Victims’ Code of Practice explains what information, services and support victims of crime can expect to receive, as a minimum, at every stage of their journey through the criminal justice system.
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
PCCs are supported to fulfil their duties by a small team of staff known as the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
The OPCC is a non-political, impartial organisation. This team work to support the PCC's work and help them to realise their vision and strategies for policing, community safety and criminal justice in Merseyside. Please find the current staffing structure of the OPCC here.
Under the Act, the PCC is required to appoint a Chief Executive (who also acts as the Monitoring Officer) and Chief Finance Officer – you can find details on the responsibilities of these statutory appointments here.
Please find links below to the key reports and documents published on Merseyside PCC’s website:
The PCC also has a Corporate Governance Framework in place, which gives clarity to the way that the two corporations sole (namely the PCC and Chief Constable) govern both jointly and separately.
The PCC is responsible for recording and investigating complaints against the Chief Constable. In dealing with complaints about the Chief Constable, the Commissioner will follow the statutory guidance issued by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and in line with the Police (Complaints and Conduct) Regulations 2012.
The PCC does not deal with complaints about police officers and staff who work for Merseyside Police, apart from the Chief Constable.
Merseyside Police serves a population of approximately 1.5million, covering an area of 647 square kilometres in the North West of England. In terms of policing, this area is divided into five Basic Command Units (BCU). Those - Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. Each BCU has a combination of neighbourhood policing teams, response teams and criminal investigations units.
Merseyside Police has around 3,678 officers, 1,845 staff and 350 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
The Chief Constable is responsible for maintaining the Queen‘s Peace, and has direction and control over the police officers and staff. The Chief Constable holds office under the Crown, but is appointed by the PCC.
The Chief Constable is accountable to the law for the exercise of police powers, and to the PCC 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.
In July 2015, a new Joint Police and Fire and Rescue Committee was established to consider on-going and potential future collaboration between Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. Committee papers for these meetings can be found here.
The Police & Crime Panel
The Merseyside Police and Crime Panel (PCP) has a number of powers and responsibilities, including examining the actions and decisions of the PCC. The PCP and PCC meet regularly and in public. The Panel also ensures information is available to the public, so that they can hold the PCC to account, by publishing reports related to the PCC’s decisions and actions.
The Panel is made up of councillors from each of the five unitary authority areas across Merseyside, as well as independent members of the community. Knowsley Council is the host authority for the PCP, providing support to the Panel and its members.
To ensure all PCC candidates have equal access to information, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has identified a single point of contact (SPOC) who will respond to all communication and enquiries from candidates or parties.
The SPOC for Merseyside is Dr Joanne Liddy, Chief of Staff. If you have a query relating to policing or the PCC’s work you can contact Jo on (0151) 777 5155 or by emailing [email protected]
Please note, in the interests of fairness and transparency, and in line with national guidance produced by Merseyside's OPCC and released by the Association of Policing and Crime Chief Executives (APACE), information requested by any candidate will be published online and available to all candidates. Please find all responses here.
Enquiries relating to the electoral process should be directed to the Returning Officer for the election. The Returning Officer is independent from the PCC and has responsibility for the administration of the election process. For Merseyside this is Ged Fitzgerald at Liverpool City Council. Further details on the administration of the PCC election can be found here, including how to register your intention to stand for election.
Candidates must submit completed nomination papers, including 100 signatures of local electors and a £5,000 deposit to the Police Area Returning Officer by 4pm on April 7.
A dedicated web page on the Electoral Commission website provides information on the roles and responsibilities of Returning Officers.
The OPCC and Merseyside Police have organised a candidate familiarisation event which will be held on Tuesday 26th April 2016 to provide officially registered candidates with the opportunity to be briefed on key aspects of both the OPCC and the Force.
Candidates must register for this event by 5pm on Monday 18th April 2016 by emailing [email protected] Please let us know in advance if there are any specific areas of work you would like to be covered at the event.
Other Useful Links
The PCC works in conjunctions with a range of key agencies and organisations on policing and criminal justice issues. Please find links to these bodies below: