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Explained: What does the Police and Crime Commissioner Do?

As the polls close for the recent election on 2 May 2024 in Kent, residents eagerly await the appointment of their new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). But what does the senior policing job entail?

Who is the Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is a locally elected official who acts as the voice for the public regarding matters related to policing and crime prevention in the county.

Tasked with ensuring that the running of Kent Police is efficient, and effective also for the community in which it serves, the PCC plays an important role in shaping law enforcement policies and strategies in the county.

The current Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent is Matthew Scott, who was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2021.

The ballot will be counted on Sunday the 5th of May and the elected PCC will take up office on Thursday 9 May. – The Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

Responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner

One of the primary duties of the PCC is to identify key areas of concern amongst residents, as a very public-facing role, such as tackling ‘crime hotspots’, addressing anti-social behaviour, improving community engagement and working closely with the Chief Constable of Kent Police to develop plans to address these issues.

The PCC also hold control over allocating police funding and budget control. The role entails ensuring that resources are allocated effectively, especially in supporting frontline policing and other initiatives that might be in the public interest, ensuring their safety and reducing crime.

Another pivotal duty that the PCC has to carry out is the monitoring of the performance of Kent Police. This involves holding the Chief Constable to account, on behalf of the public, for the deliverance of policing services, scrutinising the performance of the police service and conducting regular reviews and inspections to assess the progress towards meeting objectives and targets set out by the Kent Police and Crime Plan.

Working with the Public

Acting as a bridge between the public and the police, the PCC has a responsibility to engage with local communities that Kent Police serve to listen to and understand their concerns and priorities when it comes to law and order.

This can involve regularly attending public meetings and community forums or liasing with stakeholders to gather feedback and ensure that the policing services provided are meeting the needs and expectations of residents.

Who are the stakeholders for Kent Police?

As an elected representative for the people of Kent, the PCC may lobby and advocate on behalf of local communities to the council and government.

This may include requesting additional resources, advocating for legislative changes, or raising awareness of issues affecting local communities.

What has Matthew Scott done?

One of the notable pledges that the current PCC has done is his commitment to rural communities in Kent where crime against households has fallen by 15% since 2020, when Scott set up the Rural Crime Unit.

As Kent prepares to welcome its new Police and Crime Commissioner, it’s essential to understand the position and the power it holds in shaping the future of policing and crime prevention within the county.

From setting strategic priorities to engaging with local communities and holding the police to account, the PCC is tasked with ensuring that Kent remains a safe and secure place for all its residents.

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