Police and Crime

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th April 2013.

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Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the various strata of policing and crime oversight; and at what level parliamentarians should seek to make representations on issues of discipline or delivery of justice within a reasonable timescale.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) are established in law in England and Wales within the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. As a result, the public accountability for the delivery and performance of the police service is placed into the hands of the PCC on behalf of their electorate. The PCC draws on their mandate to set and shape the strategic objectives of their force area in consultation with the chief constable. The PCC is accountable to the electorate; the chief constable is accountable to their PCC. A police and crime panel within each force area is empowered to maintain a regular check and balance on the performance of the PCC in that context.

The Home Secretary remains ultimately accountable to Parliament and charged with ensuring the maintenance of the Queen's peace within all force areas, safeguarding the public and protecting our national borders and security. The Home Secretary has reserved powers and legislative tools that enable intervention and direction if it is determined by the Home Secretary that such action is necessary in order to prevent or mitigate risk to the public or national security.

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