The abolition of police authorities and the election of police and crime commissioners will herald a new era for the governance of police forces in England and Wales.
Police and crime commissioners will have a unique democratic mandate: to hold their police force to account and tackle crime in their area. Such a huge task will require police and crime commissioners to work with, and commission services from, a wide range of partners if they are to achieve their objectives and respond to the priorities of their local areas.
Councils have a similarly unique local democratic mandate and a track record of working in partnership with other public agencies and the private and voluntary sectors.
That is why under the umbrella of the Local Government Association (LGA) we are establishing the national representative body for police and crime commissioners – PaCCA. In today's straitened times joining up services and sharing knowledge and expertise are more important than ever.
We will build on the LGA's existing strengths and combine them with dedicated specialist resources to provide a comprehensive package of support and services that benefit police and crime commissioners, councils and ultimately local communities. This also means that we are able to offer an exceptionally good value service, with a free subscription period until 31 March 2013, and very competitive subscription rates thereafter.
We already have a strong presence on the national stage and, being at the heart of Westminster, we can access ministers and officials at the very centre of Government quickly and effectively. We commit to working with you in the run up to the election and beyond to establish a body that will truly provide a unique and independent voice.
The LGA has already been at the forefront in preparing for the advent of police and crime commissioners. We successfully supported local government in setting up police and crime panels with the majority of councils establishing panel arrangements ahead of schedule. We are actively involved in discussions with the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and Association of Police Authority Chief Executives (APACE) in transition arrangements at a national level. And we are also engaging with prospective candidates, many of whom are existing councillors, to establish ways of working that will truly add value for police and crime commissioners.
The next few months will see candidates putting their names forward, selection by political parties, manifestos being written and campaigns being tightly fought.
Under what will undoubtedly be a growing national spotlight there will be high expectations of the 41 new police and crime commissioners being elected on 15 November 2012. As an independent national representative body, PaCCA will be here to support you.
I look forward to working with you in the future.
31 July 2012