Today, Thursday November 22nd, is the day that Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) take formal control of police forces in England and Wales. For the time being, their national representative body is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC). The Home Office determined that this body, formed from the Association of Police Authorities (APA), was best placed to support and represent PCCs from today, and is providing financial support to the APCC for it to fulful this function through to April 2013.
The APCC is already lobbying PCCs to support it in this role, and to provide funding beyond April.
A prediction: the APCC won’t be the national voice of PCCs. Here’s why.
  • The APA fought hard, and ultimately unsuccessfully, against the introduction of PCCs. PCCs will not now want to put their faith in an organisation that campaigned against their very being.
  • The APCC business model is unsustainable in its current form. It costs around £1.5million to run, with nine full-time staff and significant overheads. The Year 1 fees it plans to charge PCCs will raise only around £700,000. PCCs will, at some point, be asked to make up the deficit. They won’t.
  • The APCC is based in London. The only part of England and Wales without a PCC – is London!
  • And the APCC has already made several high-profile mistakes. For example, it tweeted that the PCC election in Dyfed-Powys had been won by the candidate that – half an hour later – was declared in second place.
The question is – what’s the alternative?
More predictions: PCCs will explore several options for their national voice. They may be tempted to speak nationally with more than one voice. Only time will tell whether that proves possible.