Have your say
The West Midlands Combined Authority is seeking your views about proposals to transfer the powers and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor of the West Midlands in May 2020.
Currently, separate elections for a Police and Crime Commissioner and a Mayor of the West Midlands take place every four years. Next election date is May 2020.
The consultation is in two stages. This is the first stage which ends on Friday 11 January 2019.
In November 2015, the WMCA agreed a deal with government that enabled the significant devolution of powers, funding and responsibility to the directly elected Mayor of the West Midlands. This deal aimed at increasing productivity through public services reform to enable people to reach their full potential as part of realising the role that the region plays as a key growth centre of the UK.
A second devolution deal included a commitment for government, the WMCA and the Police and Crime Commissioner to work together to look at a detailed governance model and timetable for transferring the role and powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor in 2020.
The Mayor has powers over economic growth, transport, housing, skills and jobs. However, there are a number of other areas of focus for the Mayor and WMCA, including homelessness and rough sleeping, youth unemployment, community cohesion, public service reform, the mental health commission, youth justice devolution and air quality.
Under the proposals, the role, duties and responsibilities will not change, but from 2020 they will be discharged by the Mayor of the West Midlands instead of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Police and Crime Panel would also remain in place to scrutinise and support the Mayor in exercising these powers and responsibilities.
A similar arrangement is already in place in Greater Manchester.
Role of the Police and Crime Commissioner
The overarching role of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to secure an effective and efficient police force.
Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, the Police and Crime Commissioner is required to:
- Set the priorities for policing
- Set the force budget and determine the police council tax precept (precept is part of the council tax income that provides a specific service e.g. Policing)
- Appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account, and if necessary, dismiss them.
- Set the police and crime objectives for their area (West Midlands) through a Police and Crime Plan.
- Contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary (Home Secretary is the cabinet minister in charge of the Home Office. The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drug policy, crime, fire, counter-terrorism and police.
- Bring together community safety and criminal justice partners to make sure local priorities are aligned.
- Ensure effective support for victims of crime.
If the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner were to move under the Mayor of the West Midlands, it would not affect the operational independence of the Chief Constable or West Midlands Police.
A second stage to the consultation will commence in January and complete in March 2019. It will focus on the proposed detail of how the strategic leadership and direction (governance) of policing would operate within the WMCA and who would be responsible for making decisions (scheme).
Voice your opinion in person at one of our exhibition events, taking place throughout November - January. These will be held on the WMCA's exhibition bus except for the event at New Street Station.