Police authority inspections
Preparing for police and crime commissioners (PCCs)
On 15 November 2012, elections for PCCs were held across England and Wales. PCCs hold chief constables to account for policing in their force area on behalf of the public. New police and crime panels scrutinise the actions and decisions of each PCC and make sure information is available to the public, enabling them to hold the PCC to account. Police authorities have ceased to exist.
PCCs needed immediate access to comprehensive and up-to-date facts, figures and handover information, so they could quickly assume their new role and decide the details of how they would work. It was therefore important that police authorities did all they could to anticipate what commissioners would need, and planned how to have this in place for their first day in office.
Between April and June 2012, HMIC made an interim assessment of:
- whether authorities were making prudent preparations for the transition to PCCs; and
- if transition planning was having a detrimental effect on normal and ongoing authority work (i.e. on ‘business as usual’).
Read the inspection report, Preparing for police and crime commissioners
Please note that in London the powers of the PCC are held by the Mayor of London and have been administered through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) since 16 January 2012. The City of London Police will continue to be governed by the City of London Corporation.
Joint inspections of police authorities
In November 2008, the government announced that police authorities would be jointly inspected by HMIC and the Audit Commission across the full range of their activities. These inspections were discontinued in 2010 following the announcement that PCCs would take over from police authorities.
Between September 2009 and July 2010 HMIC, the Audit Commission and the Wales Audit Office inspected 22 of the 43 police authorities in England and Wales. Inspection reports for individual forces can all be found in the police authority inspections section of the Audit Commission’s website (external link).
HMIC’s report, ‘Police Governance in Austerity’, draws on the findings from all 22 inspections.
Police Governance in Austerity – October 2010
In March 2010 preliminary findings following the first ten inspections were published.
Inspectors judged how well police authorities were fulfilling their role of ensuring that the public has an efficient and effective local police force along four key themes:
- Setting the strategic direction and priorities of the police force;
- scrutinising the performance of the police force;
- ensuring results through community engagement and partnerships; and
- Ensuring value for money and productivity.
Each police authority received a published inspection report, which was made available to the public. The reports identified the police authority’s strengths and areas of innovation to be shared with other police authorities. The reports also identified areas for improvement that we expected police authorities to act upon in order to improve their performance for the public.