Pictured: Home Secretary, Priti Patel
Conservative candidate for next year's Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election, Festus Akinbusoye, has given a warm welcome to the Home Secretary's announcement of a review into the role of PCCs.
In the announcement, Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“The British people want to know the police will uphold the law and then be held to account on that basis. This review will help to improve accountability, scrutiny and transparency, ensuring Police and Crime Commissioners always put the law-abiding silent majority who voted for them at the centre of their decision-making.”
Police and Crime Commissioners are directly elected by local residents and are responsible for the police budget, setting the policing priorities for the area and cutting crime. They are to be the voice of the people and deliver an effective and efficient police force in their area.
The review will take place in two parts. The first stage, to be conducted over the summer, will look at raising standards and improving accountability, so that all members of the public are getting a good service from their PCCs.
The review’s second stage will take place following the PCC elections in May 2021and will focus on longer-term reform. This will include looking at what extra powers PCCs need to better fight crime in their areas.
Commenting on this announcement, PCC candidate, Festus Akinbusoye said:
"I welcome this announcement. It is clear to me that residents in Bedfordshire want to feel safe in their area and it is right that their views on how we go about this are taken on board. As well as increasing police numbers for both our urban and rural areas, one of my key campaign pledges is to lead an open and transparent policing area where residents' priorities are at the heart of policing and support for victims of crime. As Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, this is precisely what I will deliver."
The last PCC elections took place nationwide in May 2016. Kathryn Holloway, the current Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire has announced that she will not be seeking re-election. The next election is due to take place in May 2021.