A second round of public consultation is underway on proposals to transfer the role of the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to the office of the Mayor of the West Midlands.
The latest stage of consultation focuses on how the strategic leadership of policing would operate following any transfer and who would be responsible for making decisions.
The second round follows an initial eight week consultation which ended last Friday asking people whether or not they supported the principle of transferring the powers. The latest round of consultation closes on March 11.
The consultation is part of the region’s latest devolution deal which commits government, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and PCC to work together on drawing up a process for the transfer of the PCC’s powers and responsibilities.
Seeking the public’s views is a key component of the transfer process which was agreed last year by the region’s council leaders who make up the WMCA Board.
The transfer would not change the type of incidents and emergencies that police officers attend. Day-to-day policing would remain the responsibility of the Chief Constable who has operational independence.
Dr Henry Kippin, WMCA’s director of public service reform, said: “We want people’s views on both stages of the consultation and these will be independently analysed following the end of the second round and fed back for consideration by the WMCA Board in March.
“So it’s important that people have their say by taking part in this consultation.”
Under the proposals being set out in the consultation, the role, duties and responsibilities of the PCC would not change but from 2020 they would be discharged by an elected Mayor instead of a separately elected PCC.
This includes the overarching role of the PCC to secure an effective and efficient police force, and responsibility for setting the priorities for policing as well as the force’s budget. The role is also responsible for the appointment of the Chief Constable and for holding them to account.
If the WMCA Board decides not to pursue the transfer of powers, then the current arrangements with regards to the Police and Crime Commissioner would remain exactly the same.
That would also see separate elections held in May 2020 to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for a further four years who will have the same roles and responsibilities as the current Police and Crime Commissioner in addition to the election for a Mayor of the West Midlands.
In staging the consultation, which will include seven exhibition events around the region, the WMCA has sought the views of both the PCC and the Mayor’s office.
People can find out more information about the proposals and give their views by taking part in the survey at www.wmca.org.uk/policeconsultation or by requesting a printed version from Consultationviews@wmca.org.uk
Feedback can also be given by visiting one of the events which will be held on the WMCA’s exhibition bus except for the event inside New Street Station*.
The events will be held on:
Saturday 2nd February - 9am - 3pm, WMCA Exhibition Bus, Queen Square, Wolverhampton city centre WV1 1TH
Wednesday 6th February - 3pm - 7pm, WMCA Exhibition Bus, West Bromwich Bus Station Stand D, West Bromwich Ringway, St Michael Street, B70 7AB
Saturday 9th February - 9am - 3pm WMCA Exhibition Bus, Dudley Market Place near the Duncan Edwards Statue, DY1 1PJ
Monday 11th February - 12pm - 6pm Birmingham New Street Station
Tuesday 12th February - 12pm - 6pm WMCA Exhibition Bus, Walsall Town Centre, Park Street next to Poundland, WS1 1LY
Thursday 28th February - 2pm - 6pm WMCA Exhibition Bus, Solihull Town Centre, Mell Square near Marks and Spencer, B91 3AT
Saturday 2nd March - 9am - 3pm WMCA Exhibition Bus, Coventry City Centre, Ironmonger Row - behind Primark, CV1 1FD