Local elections: What is a police and crime commissioner and what do they do?

Voters in the North East will go the polls tomorrow to elect their local council representatives, and their police and crime commissioner.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 2:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 3:45 pm
The elections for police and crime commissioner take place tomorrow.

But when it comes to the latter, what exactly does the role involve?

The first commissioners were elected in November 2012, with a view to becoming voices for the people and holding their police forces to account.

The incumbent candidates have served three and a half years. Subsequent PCCs will be elected on four year terms.

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Here is some more information about what they do, ahead of the polls opening tomorrow.

* Police and crime commissioners are elected officials charged with securing efficient and effective policing of a police area.

* They were created following the 2010 General Election when both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats announced plans in their manifestos to replace or reform the existing police authorities.

* The core functions of police and crime commissioners are to secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force within their area, and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the police and crime plan.

* Police and crime commissioners are charged with holding the police fund (from which all policing of the area is financed) and raising the local policing precept from council tax.

* PCCs are also responsible for the appointment, suspension and dismissal of the Chief Constable.

* Shortly after their election to office, a police and crime commissioner must produce a "police and crime plan". That plan must include his or her objectives for policing, what resources will be provided to the Chief Constable and how performance will be measured.

* The PCC is required to produce an annual report to the public on progress in policing.

* In 2012, the Home Office announced that every newly elected police and crime commissioner would be required to swear an "oath of impartiality" before taking office.

Elections for commissioners are taking place in 41 locations across England and Wales tomorrow, including Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria.