Police and Crime Commissioners

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected for the second time on the 5th of May 2016 in 40 force areas across England and Wales. Every force area is represented by a PCC, except Greater Manchester and London, where PCC responsibilities lie with the Mayor.

The role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing. PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.

PCCs have been elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.

Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:

  • secure an efficient and effective police for their area
  • appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, 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
  • 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

About the Police and Crime Commissioner elections 

The Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) is responsible for the preparation and coordination for the election and will announce the result of the count.

The Police and Crime Commissioner elected in May will serve for four years.

Election Board

The Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has established an Election Board to oversee work to prepare for the 2020 PCC election.

Read the PCC Election Planning Board Terms of Reference here.

About Avon and Somerset

Avon and Somerset is one of the largest police force areas in England and Wales, covering many diverse physical, economic and social environments – from the cities of Bristol and Bath to rural and coastal areas in Somerset. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) 2017 estimates, the population served by the Avon and Somerset Constabulary is around 1.7 million people and 679,000 households. This figure has been predicted to increase by around 5.3% by 2020, resulting in 87,000 more residents.

The Avon and Somerset policing area

Partnership Landscape

Avon and Somerset has a complex public services landscape which includes:-

  • Four unitary authorities – Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire,
  • A two tier authority area made up of Somerset County Council and the district councils of West Somerset, Taunton Deane, South Somerset, Sedgemoor and Mendip
  • Five magistrates courts – Bath, Bristol, Yeovil, Taunton and Weston 
  • Two crown courts – Bristol and Taunton
  • Four prisons – Bristol, Eastwood Park (Women’s Prison), Leyhill and Ashfield.

A wide range of statutory and independent victim services are also provided in the area with responsibilities for keeping victims informed, providing support through the criminal justice service and helping victims cope and recover from the impact of any crime or anti-social behaviour experienced.