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Thursday 2 August 2012

Preparations on Track


Cheshire Police Authority′s preparations for a Police and Crime Commissioner have received a vote of confidence from Her Majesty′s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Commissioners will be elected on 15 November to replace Police Authorities across England and Wales.

They will take over the role of holding Chief Constables to account, deciding local policing objectives, monitoring performance and setting police budgets and the local police council tax.

The Home Secretary says commissioners need to "hit the ground running" and each Police Authority should anticipate what the local commissioner will need to ensure this happens.

Cheshire Police Authority Chairman, Margaret Ollerenshaw said, "From the outset, we have been determined to ensure that the transition will be seamless and we are working hard to ensure that happens.

"We are looking at every detail of what the change will mean to the Constabulary, partners, staff and the public of Cheshire. We need to be sure that all issues are thought through.

"We are determined that the Commissioner will have everything in place to maintain the high standard of policing which people in Cheshire are used to and which they have every right to expect.

"It is good to know that Her Majesty′s Inspectorate of Constabulary feels we are getting it right."

In Cheshire Her Majesty′s Inspectorate of Constabulary found:

  • The Police Authority has a clear transition plan, which is being managed through an established transition board. The board includes representatives from the Authority, the Constabulary and local authorities.
  • Key risks have been identified and action is being taken to mitigate these.
  • Options have been developed for how the commissioner may want to operate.
  • Plans were drawn up for briefing candidates to ensure a consistent, unbiased approach.
  • The Police Authority has put a strong emphasis on involving local authorities and other partners and keeps them well-informed on the progress of transition. It is identifying the legal and financial changes to partnership arrangements that will result from the arrival of the commissioner.
  • The Police Authority is making the public aware of the changes.
  • Appointing a specialist Commissioning Officer at an early stage is leading to a thorough understanding of the processes and practices. The move will provide valuable information and support for commissioning services.
  • Police Authority members are committed to ensuring that business as usual is maintained until November 2012.

The HMIC report concluded, "Police Authority members are to be commended for their continuing commitment and professionalism.

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