PCC Police and Crime Commissioner policy: impartiality

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PCC Police and Crime Commissioner policy: impartiality

Post by falkor » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:24 am

The elected PCC will not simply replace the Police Authority, but will be responsible for policing and crime in its totality.
The commissioner will not ‘run’ the Force, but will be the voice of the public. The Force will remain under the day-to-day direction and control of the Chief Constable, but the PCC will have a range of accountabilities. The PCC will:
• publish a five year Police and Crime Plan
• publish performance reports regarding their role, the Chief Constable and the Force
• obtain the views of local people and victims of crime on policing matters and spending proposals
• hold the Chief Constable to account, with the ability to appoint and suspend
• set the Force’s annual budget and the local precept (the contribution that your Police Force receives from council tax payments).
Policing and criminal justice are complex and require co-operation and collaboration. Consulting with partners and stakeholders on a regular basis is key to providing opportunities for the community to interact and become involved with measures to reduce crime.
:sltgu: POWER OF ARREST THREAD :sljo: :slzip: DISMISS PCSOs thread

Restrictions on how officers and staff behave are in place in order not to unfairly influence your residents prior to the poll. There are two main principles to adhere to:
• any activity must not, or appear, to favour one candidate over another
• any activity must not affect or influence the outcome of the election.
Police Officers
The Police Regulations 2003 states that a member of the police shall not take any active part in politics, and the Representation of the People Act 1983 makes it a criminal offence for an officer to persuade or dissuade a person to vote.
Police Staff
Whilst on duty staff should abstain from any political activity. However, care should be taken when off duty so that any activity does not conflict with the need to maintain public confidence that the Force is politically impartial.

Who can stand?
The PCC will be an important figure in the community, but doesn’t have to be an established politician to stand. They have until 19 October to declare that they are officially running for PCC.
The election will be run by a Police Area Returning Officer (PARO), appointed by the Secretary of State who will manage the election process.
To be kept up to date and to follow the debate, you may find these websites of use:
http://www.choosemypcc.org.uk http://www.policeelections.com http://www.topofthecops.com http://www.policefoundation.com http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/pcc

It is inevitable that any PCC candidate will want to under-stand issues relating to the Force and policing and may contact officers or staff in order to do so.
We need to ensure the neutrality of Police is upheld and all candidates are given the same information and engagement opportunities. You should not have direct contact with candidates or their representatives, and therefore not be making contact of your own accord.

If you are contacted by a candidate or member of their campaign team:
• don’t offer your political opinion
• treat all candidates equally and politely
• don’t make statements that could cause controversy for the Force
• don’t be photographed or videoed with any candidates in a political, publicity or canvassing context, even if you can’t be easily identified.

Social media guidance Officers and staff must not be seen to be supporting any particular candidate, or member of their team, through either official Force social media channels e.g. Facebook or Twitter or personal social media accounts that identify the user as a Police employee. This includes:
• retweeting
• commenting on posts/pictures
• actively engaging in PCC discussion
• #FF (Follow Friday on Twitter).
Your Police Force will probably respect the right to privacy and freedom of expression for staff and officers, and would not wish to restrict those rights in any way. So this guidance is to protect individuals, and the reputation of your Police Force.
If you have inadvertently contacted a candidate without realising, delete the tweet or post, as it could appear that you are endorsing a candidate

Public facing staff such as PCSO’s may not be supported to carry out election duties due to the potential for public loss of confidence in relation to perceived impartiality :slby: