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Frequently asked questions

As we are out and about across the county meeting members of the public we find that some regular questions come up.  Below are the questions we get asked the most.

What is the role of the PFCC?

The PFCC has a number of statutory responsibilities which include;

  1. Setting the priorities for policing in the Police and Crime Plan
  2. Setting the force budget & the police element of the council tax precept
  3. Appointing and dismissing the chief constable and chief fire officer
  4. Actively monitoring and scrutinising policing in Essex
  5. Holding the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer to account for delivering services in Essex
  6. Regularly  engage with the public and local communities
  7. Allocating grants through the Community Safety Development Fund and commissioning local services
  8. Duty to bring together community safety partners to reduce crime and support victims of crime across Essex.

Does the PFCC cost more than the former Police Authority?

The introduction of the PCC role has created significant saving. The PCC’s remuneration is £85,000 compared to the 17 Police Authority members who together received £235,000 per year. The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex has a significant and more extensive programme of work than the former Police Authority. The PFCC is responsible for ensuring effective and efficient policing across Essex, producing the Police and Crime Plan, setting the policing budget, commissioning victims services, distributing community safety grants, engaging with the public, holding the chief constable to account and a wide range of other public facing responsibilities.

This means the office for the PFCC is delivering a much more extensive programme of work, is better connected to the people of Essex and better able to deliver support and challenge to the police to enable improvement.

How is the PFCC accountable to the public?

The Police and Crime Commissioner as an elected representative of the people is ultimately accountable to the public through a democratic election held once every four years. On top of this accountability the PCC’s decisions are also scrutinised by the Police and Crime Panel whose members are elected councillors from all of the tier one and tier two councils in Essex. There are also a number of lay members.

How can I contact the PFCC?

The PFCC holds a variety of public meetings across the county, has an active Facebook page and Twitter account but also welcomes public correspondence. The details of upcoming events and contacts details can be found at http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/.

What are the PFCC’s priorities? 

The PFCC has seven priorities which are spelt out in the Police and Crime Plan.

  • More local, visible and accessible policing
  • Crack down on anti-social behaviour
  • Breaking the cycle of domestic abuse
  • Reverse the trend in serious violence
  • Tackle gangs and organised crime
  • Protecting children and vulnerable people
  • Improve safety on our roads

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Governance

Why is this change happening?

ECFRS and EP both have their own proud identities and long histories of brave and dedicated service to the public.

The joint governance of ECFRS and EP will build on the existing strong relationship between the two services and ensure even closer working between them.

By ensuring a more joined-up response to incidents, providing crime and fire prevention advice, creating community safety hubs, and sharing buildings and some enabling functions, an elected PFCC will both improve the provision of services and save money.

With accountability for both police and fire, the PFCC will be leading the way to a safer Essex; ensuring public safety is a priority, providing efficiency, effectiveness and enhancing safety for the people of Essex while also being publicly accountable to the people of Essex.

What was the legal change that allowed this to happen?

Following the Royal Assent of the Policing and Crime Act 2017, there is now a legal duty on all emergency services to collaborate.  The Act also introduced a process for Police and Crime Commissioners to take on Fire and Rescue Services where a Local Case for Change is made.

Following public consultation and engagement The Local Case for Change was submitted to the Home Office on the 19th May and the Home Secretary has now made the decision to proceed with these proposed changes.

What is actually changing?

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will replace the Essex Fire Authority, but the two services (EP & ECFRS) will remain separate with individual chief officers responsible for operational activity. A firefighter will still be a firefighter and a police officer will still be a police constable.

What is the benefit for the public?

By ensuring a more joined-up response to incidents, providing crime and fire prevention advice, creating community safety hubs, and sharing buildings and some enabling functions, an elected PFCC will both improve the provision of services and save money to reinvest back into front line services

 The business case identified between £15-23 million which the change in governance could help to realise.

Will this reduce the democratic accountability of the oversight of ECFRS?

 No. The new Police Fire and Crime Commissioner will be direct accountability to the public for both police and fire and rescue services in Essex. This will allow the public to have a stronger voice in shaping local services and a single focal point in holding both services to account.

Will the Police and the Fire & Rescue Services be merging?

No – This decision to change the governance doesn’t mean that the services merge.  Although the PCC will be accountable for both services, a firefighter will still be a firefighter and a Police Constable will still be a Police Constable each with their own roles and powers.

Will the PCC be taking over Essex County Fire and Rescue Service?

No – The decision is to bring the governance of Essex Police and Essex County Service together. It is not a takeover. The PCC will be the elected individual who will be accountable for the delivery of policing and fire and rescue in Essex.

Are we going to see significant changes in ECFRS?

This change is happening to improve the service that the people of Essex get from Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The joint governance of ECFRS and EP will build on the existing strong relationship between the two services and ensure even closer working between them.

By ensuring a more joined-up response to incidents, providing crime and fire prevention advice, creating community safety hubs, and sharing buildings and some enabling functions, an elected PFCC will both improve the provision of services and save money

Will the PFCC still be implementing the Fire 2020 Programme?

The PFCC will still continue to implement the Fire 2020 programme

What does joint governance mean?

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will replace the Essex Fire Authority, but the two services (EP & ECFRS) will remain separate with individual chief officers responsible for operational activity. A firefighter will still be a firefighter and a police constable will still be a police constable.

Over time this will also foster greater collaboration between Essex Police and ECFRS helping to generate savings which can be reinvested in the services and provide a better, more joined up service for the people of Essex.

 

CONTACT THE PFCC.

PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police here