The next generation of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) has now been elected and will enter office on Thursday 12th May (you can view the election results on the Local Government Association website). Whether your area has a new or a re-elected PCC, this is a great time to take a step back and consider how you engage with them, both as an organisation and as part of the voluntary sector.
PCCs have a number of roles and responsibilities, relating to tackling crime and ensuring community safety. They fund a range of community safety activity carried out by the voluntary sector, and are important strategic figures for partnership and communication between statutory and voluntary services. We have also seen recent moves to give the PCCs responsibility for fire and rescue services, and in some areas to increase their role in the wider Criminal Justice System. While engaging with your PCC could help you secure funding, it is also a great route to involvement with local networks and contributing to joined-up working in your area, benefiting both your organisation and the local community.
As PCCs coming into office this week take some time to settle into their role and to put together their Police and Crime Plans, you can use our guide Engaging with Police and Crime Commissioners, to begin to plan your engagement with them. The guide is split into sections outlining:
- What PCCs do
- What local structures PCCs engage with
- What to think about before engaging with your PCC
- Options for engaging with your PCC
- Demonstrating your impact to your PCC
- Campaigning rules and the pre-election period
We hope that this will enable you to reflect on what forms and methods of engagement are most appropriate for your organisation and the voluntary sector in your area, and to work towards developing sustainable and permanent arrangements which benefit the sector as a whole.
In partnership with the Revolving Doors Agency, we have also produced a briefing for PCCs entitled How you can work with the voluntary sector to cut crime, outlining the priorities we believe PCCs should be addressing in their Police and Crime Plans and highlighting some good practice by PCCs and voluntary sector organisations across England and Wales.
With PCCs’ powers and responsibilities likely to expand over the next few years, we expect to see more localised arrangements developing across England and Wales and are keen to hear any feedback from the sector on this. If you would like to share your experience of engaging with the PCC in your area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – we look forward to hearing from you.