The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 introduced significant changes in police governance and accountability, in particular replacing Police Authorities with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).
The public accountability for the delivery and performance of the police service within each force area is now placed into the hands of the Police and Crime Commissioner on behalf of the electorate. The Commissioner will draw on the electorate’s mandate to set and shape the strategic objectives of their force area in consultation with the Chief Constable. The Commissioner will be accountable to the electorate, and the Chief Constable will be accountable to the Commissioner.
Each force area has a Police and Crime Panel to maintain a regular check and balance on the performance of the Commissioner. The Commissioner will also be required to consult with the Panel on their plans and budget for policing, as well as the level of council tax and the appointment of a Chief Constable.
The panel will be made up of ten local councillors and two co-opted independent members. Conwy County Borough Council is the ‘Host Authority’ for the North Wales Police and Crime Panel and provides the required support services for the effective operation and discharge of duties of the Police and Crime Panel.
Due to the legal status, Police and Crime Panels in Wales (‘Free-standing public body’), in accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, are the responsibility of the Home Secretary and all costs incurred in relation to the ‘hosting’ of the Police and Crime Panel will also be the responsibility of the Home Secretary.