The public are invited to have their say on proposals to transfer the role of the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to the office of the Mayor of the West Midlands.
This first consultation will ask for views on the principle of transferring the PCC role to whoever wins the Mayoral election in May 2020. If there is no transfer then voters will face two ballots – one to elect a Mayor and one to choose a PCC.
The transfer would not change the type of incidents and emergencies that police officers attend. Day-to-day policing would remain the responsibility of the Chief Constable who has operational independence.
The WMCA believes the transfer could see greater collaboration between police, fire and ambulance and those services that work to improve people’s opportunities for better housing, skills, jobs and transport – all factors that can influence crime.
It also believes that transferring the role would also provide clearer accountability for people, businesses and government by making the Mayor the single accountable figure in the West Midlands, able to work across a range of services.
In staging the consultation, which will include seven exhibition events around the region, the WMCA has sought the views of both the PCC and the Mayor’s office.
Under the proposals being set out in the consultation, the role, duties and responsibilities of the PCC would not change but from 2020 they would be discharged by an elected Mayor instead of an elected PCC.
This includes the overarching role of the PCC to secure an effective and efficient police force and responsibility for setting the priorities for policing as well as the force’s budget. The role is also responsible for the appointment of the Chief Constable and for holding them to account.
As an elected official the PCC is ultimately accountable to the general public while the Police and Crime Panel has a statutory role to support and scrutinise the PCC. That would also apply to a Mayor with PCC responsibilities.
People can find out more information about the proposals and give their views by taking part in the survey at www.wmca.org.uk/policeconsultation
The consultation closes on Friday 11 January 2019.
Feedback can also be given by visiting one of the events which will be held on the WMCA’s exhibition bus (except for the event inside New Street Station).
Among the events that will be held, these are nearest to the borough:
Monday 7 January, 2019 10am to 5pm, Mell Square, near Marks and Spencer, Solihull town centre, B91 3AT
Tuesday 8 January 2019, 12pm to 6pm, Main concourse*, by the information screens inside New Street Railway Station, Birmingham