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.
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 also find out more about the roles and responsibilities of a PCC by visiting the Home Office website.
Further information about PCCs is also provided by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). If you are interested in standing as a candidate in the 2021 Police and Crime Commissioner elections, you can also find guidance, advice and information in the PCC Candidate Briefing produced by the Association of PCCs.
More information about elections and voting, the election guidance for PCCs, including qualifications for standing as a candidate, is also available on the Electoral Commission website.
The Independent Custody Visiting Association have also produced a briefing for PCC candidates.
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
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 information about 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 – please find more information on the responsibilities of these statutory appointments here.
Please find links below to the key reports and documents published on the website for Merseyside's PCC:
- Police and Crime Plan
- Annual Reports
- Budget reports, Statement of Accounts and Annual Investment Strategy
- Key Decisions
- Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Inspection Reports
- Joint Independent Audit Committee reports
- Force Inspection documents (previously known as Performance Scrutiny)
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 statutory guidance issued by the Independent Office of Police Conduct, 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.
From 1 February 2020, the Policing and Crime Act 2017 placed a mandatory requirement upon Police and Crime Commissioners to carry out reviews of police complaints regarding complaints made after this date. Find out more about this requirement here.
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, including Restorative Justice, for Merseyside.
You can find more information about the current services being commissioned by the PCC on Merseyside as part of her Victim Care Merseyside service.
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. (Please note, a revised Code is due to be released on 1st April 2021.)
Merseyside Police serves a population of approximately 1.5million, covering an area of 647 square kilometres in the North West of England.
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.
- Merseyside Police website
- Merseyside Police strategy
- Chief Constable Functions
- PCC and Chief Constable one-to-one meetings
- An introduction to Merseyside
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 Clive Howarth, OPCC Chief Executive. If you have a query relating to policing or the PCC’s work you can contact Clive on (0151) 777 5155 or by emailing [email protected]
Please note, in the interests of fairness and transparency, and in line with national guidance 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 on this page.
Enquiries relating to the electoral process should be directed to the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) for the election. The PARO is independent from the PCC and has responsibility for the administration of the election process. Please find more information about the administration of the election and the PARO on the Liverpool City Council website here.
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 Thursday April 8.
A dedicated web page on the Electoral Commission website provides information on the roles and responsibilities of Returning Officers.
The OPCC and Merseyside Police will organise a candidate familiarisation event, the date of which will be confirmed shortly, to provide officially registered candidates with the opportunity to be briefed on key aspects of both the OPCC and the Force.
You can register for this event 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:
- Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)
- Association of Policing and Crime Chief Executives (APACE)
- Police and Crime Commissioners Treasurers’ Society
- National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC)
- College of Policing (CoP)
- Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
- Independent Office of Police Complaints
- Police Federation of England and Wales
- Police Superintendents' Association
- Electoral Commission - PCC Election Guidance
In the interests of fairness and transparency, and in line with national guidance, information requested by any candidate in the 2020 PCC elections will be published and made available to all candidates.
All questions and responses will be published below.