On the 15 November 2012, for the first time ever, the public across England and Wales will elect a police and crime commissioner who will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their police force area.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.
To provide stronger and more transparent accountability of the police, PCCs will be elected by the public to hold chief constables and the force to account; effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.
PCCs will ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and will improve local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They will also work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
PCCs will not be expected to run the police. The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account.
You can find out more on the Home Office Police & Crime Commissioner website.
The first PCC elections will take place on 15 November 2012 to elect a PCC for each police force area in England and Wales outside London.
Everyone registered to vote in the police force area will be able to vote, including British, EU and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK.
You can find out more on The Electoral Commision’s Police & Crime Commissioner Elections website.