Police and Crime Commissioners

On this page you can find out about Police and Crime Commissioners, including:

  • What do they do?
  • Where are they elected?
  • How are they elected?
  • When are they elected?

What do Police and Crime Commissioners do?

The Police and Crime Commissioner is a new role that replaced your local police authority in 2012. 

The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for holding the Chief Constable and police force to account on the public's behalf. 

The Police and Crime Commissioner oversees how crime is tackled in their area and aims to make sure the police are providing a good service.

The Police and Crime Commissioner role includes:

  • meeting the public regularly to listen to their views on policing
  • producing a police and crime plan setting out local policing priorities
  • deciding how the budget will be spent
  • appointing Chief Constables and dismissing them if needed

Find out more about the role of Police and Crime Commissioners


Where are Police and Crime Commissioners elected? 

Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place in 41 police force areas covering England and Wales (excluding London). Each area has one Police and Crime Commissioner.


How are they elected?

When you vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections you use the Supplementary Vote system.

If only two candidates stand in your area, you use the first-past-the-post system.

Find out more about the voting system for Police and Crime Commissioner elections


When are they elected? 

Police and Crime Commissioners elected in November 2012 will serve for three-and-a-half years.

The next elections will take place are on Thursday 5 May 2016.

Find out more about the May 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections


Who is eligible to vote?

To vote in a Police and Crime Commissioner election, you must be registered to vote, 18 years of age or over on polling day, and also be one of the following:

  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union
  • resident in the UK
  • not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote

Additionally, the following cannot vote in a Police and Crime Commissioner election:

  • anyone other than British, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizens
  • convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences, excluding contempt of court (though remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners can vote if they are on the electoral register)
  • anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election

Find out more information about who is eligible to vote