The Role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
My role is to ensure an efficient and effective police force for Suffolk and to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public.
I also have a wider community safety role and will work with partners, business representatives, the voluntary, social and community enterprise sector and the people of Suffolk to identify and implement the community safety solutions that are most important to them.
In my Police and Crime Plan for 2013-2017 I set out objectives for contributing to my overall aim of making Suffolk a safer place in which to live, work, travel and invest. Supporting actions that will be led by the police and/or partners are included for each objective, together with my performance assessment framework for holding these bodies to account.
Equality and Diversity
In carrying out my functions I will have regard to the general equality duty on public bodies under the Equality Act 2010 to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Equality Act;
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and to
- Foster good relations between such groups.
I am committed to ensuring a fair and equitable police service for all Suffolk’s communities.
Consideration of equality and good relations will be integrated into day-to-day business of the Office of the PCC.
In addition to the general equality duty, the Chief Constable is subject to Specific Equality duties and, as required, has published equality objectives and information to demonstrate compliance with the general equality duty.
Holding to account
I have statutory responsibilities for holding the Chief Constable to account for his duties in relation to equality and diversity under any enactment.
On equality and diversity, the Chief Constable reports regularly to the Accountability and Performance Panel on progress against the general and specific equality duties under the Equality Act, compliance with duties under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the use of police Stop and Search powers.
Stop and Search
Stop and Search is a key policing tool in fighting crime. Failure to use the powers in an appropriate and proportionate manner reduces their effectiveness and can lead to mistrust of the police.
In order to promote public confidence in stop and search, arrangements are in place for records to be scrutinised by a Stop Search Reference Group comprising members from local communities, mainly BME groups. I attend these meetings. The group scrutinises redacted stop and search forms and offers invaluable insight and advice to assist the police in continuing to improve the trust and confidence of communities.
I am also represented at meetings of the Stop and Search Improvement Partnership made up of representatives from the Reference Group and key individuals from the Constabulary. The group sets and oversees the delivery of an action plan aimed at inspiring confidence, improving training and communication and promoting the fair and lawful use of the powers.
In addition, the Assistant Chief Constable and a member of my staff undertake regular audits of a random selection of stop search forms to check that they have been completed satisfactorily.
More information about Stop and Search.