As previously reported by Emergency Services Times, the Home Secretary signalled his intention to transfer the powers for policing in the West Midlands from the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner to the Conservative combined authority Mayor in time for the May 2024 elections.
To do this, he needs to consult the local community and the Home Office published a short six week consultation on 20 December.
‘This transfer presents opportunities to align police and crime priorities with transport, regeneration and skills and to improve outcomes for the public. Joining police and crime functions with oversight of other public services in the Mayoral Combined Authority would also promote further collaboration within the region.’
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 established directly elected PCCs in
41 forces, replacing Police Authorities. The first PCC for West Midlands was elected in 2012.
If the transfer takes place, then the Mayor will become the policing body for the West Midlands and the Mayor’s functions would include the production of the Police and Crime Plan, setting the budget and appointing the Chief Constable.
In Manchester and West Yorkshire the mayors have PCC functions and both have put in place deputy mayors to carry out the functions but the mayor remains accountable to the public for policing.
Changes in South Yorkshire
At the same time, the Home Office also launched a consultation on transferring policing powers in South Yorkshire in a move that sees the Labour incumbent PCC in favour of the Labour combined authority mayor taking on responsibility for policing after the May 2024 elections.
PCC Alan Billings said in May, ” “My term of office comes to an end in May 2024. I support this proposal for the Mayor to take on the PCC functions. It means that voters will be choosing one elected person with responsibility for policing and devolved functions in South Yorkshire.”
The consultations both ask the same three questions of the respective local communities: do they agree with the transfer, why do they think that and asks for any other comments.