Role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Panel

The Police and Crime Panel holds the Police and Crime Commissioner to account by acting as a ‘critical friend’. Its role is to scrutinise, challenge and support the Commissioner, maintaining a check and balance on the performance of the Commissioner in regards to the strategic actions and decisions made, including whether the Commissioner has:
  • Achieved the aims set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan and annual report;
  • Considered the priorities of community safety partners; and
  • Consulted appropriately with the public and victims.
The Panel is not responsible for holding the Chief Constable or the Constabulary to account and is not a replacement for the Police Authority. The Panel scrutinises the actions and decisions of the Commissioner, not the performance of the police force. The Panel’s powers include: 
  • Reviewing and making a report with recommendations on the draft Police and Crime Plan (or a variation of it) which the Commissioner must take account of and respond to;

  • Reviewing and making a report on the Commissioner’s annual report, which will outline performance against the targets set in the Police and Crime Plan; 

  • Holding confirmation hearings for the proposed appointment of important staff working for the Commissioner, such as the Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (if one is appointed). The Panel cannot refuse appointments but can make recommendations to the Commissioner;

  • Monitoring relevant non-criminal complaints against the Commissioner; 

  • The consideration of the Commissioner’s proposed precept level (the money collected from council tax for policing). The Panel has the power to make a report on and, if appropriate and agreed by a sufficient majority, veto the proposed precept level. The Panel can also recommend that the precept should be higher or lower than proposed; 

  • Requesting the Commissioner and the Commissioner’s staff to attend Panel meetings to answer questions;

  • Scrutinising the decisions of the Commissioner; and

  • Making reports and recommendations on any action or decision of the Commissioner.

All Panel meetings are held in public and all recommendations that the Panel makes to the Commissioner are published on the Panel’s website. The relationship between the Panel and Commissioner ensures transparency and openness in the strategic decision making of police services throughout Hertfordshire.

How the Panel will hold the Commissioner to account 

The Panel has the power to scrutinise the Commissioner’s activities, including the ability to review the Police and Crime Plan and annual report, request papers from the Commissioner and call the Commissioner to public meetings. The Commissioner is notified of the Panel’s calendar of meetings for the year ahead and will attend those meetings without further request unless otherwise notified that his attendance is not required.

Police patrol car responding to an incident