Did you know we elect police and fire officers?
The PCC and PFCC elections are taking place on the 6th of May.
There are 40 PCCs in Wales and England who are elected. Each PCC represents a specific police force. England and Wales is split into 43 geographic police forces. There are three police force areas where, on the 6th of May, people will elect a Mayor who will exercise PCC functions, instead of electing a PCC. These three areas are the Metropolitan Police Service (London), Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners (PFCCs) exist in Essex, Staffordshire, North Yorkshire and Northamptonshire. PFCCs are also elected, and they hold the police to account as well as the fire and rescue services.
PCCs ensure the policing needs of the community are met as effectively as possible and oversee how crime is tackled in the area.
They are elected to hold the police force to account for delivering the kind of policing the community want to see. Their main aim is to cut crime and to ensure the police force is effective.
The main responsibilities of PCCs are to:
secure an efficient and effective police for their area
appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account, and if necessary, dismiss them
set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan
set the force budget and determine the precept [the amount people pay through council tax for policing]
contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary
bring together community safety and criminal justice partners to make sure local priorities are joined up
How the election works
PCCs are elected using the Supplementary Vote system (SV). Each voter gets two votes. You vote for your first and second choice candidate. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the first-choice votes, all except the top 2 candidates are eliminated. If your first-choice candidate is eliminated, and your second choice is for one of the top 2, your second choice is counted.
Who can vote?
If you are eligible to vote and are registered to vote, then you can vote in the elections
The PCC elections have had low turnout. In 2016 the turnout was 26.6% and it was even lower in 2012 at 15.5%.
To find out about the candidates in your area follow the link and enter your postcode: https://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/
For more information about the PCC election, you can watch the following TLDR video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHlB-Ip6AcI&ab_channel=TLDRNews
TLDR also have other very informative videos on the upcoming elections and other current affairs so go check them out.
Jonas Volkwein, Head of Policy & News Analysis