Police and Crime Commissioners

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected across England and Wales in November 2012. This is a new role and it is hoped that by holding Chief Constables and police forces to account, PCCs will make them more accountable to local people. There isn't a PCC for the Metropolitan Police or the City of London Police – the role of PCC for these forces is held by the Mayor of London and the Corporation of London.

The role of PCCs

PCCs will set the budget for your local police force, set local policing priorities, hire and (if necessary) fire the Chief Constable and engage with the local community. They have to set their local policing plan by the end of March 2013 and have a responsibility to consult local people on the plan. 

PCCs will therefore make crucial decisions affecting how the local police tackle issues such as homophobic hate crime, same-sex domestic violence and anti-social behaviour in the local community. This is why it is really important PCCs engage with and understand the needs of their local lesbian, gay and bisexual community.

Issues to raise

PCCs are accountable to the local community and should set local police budgets and priorities to reflect their concerns. PCCs have until the end of March 2013 to set their local policing plan and it is important that local lesbian, gay and bisexual people, as well as organisations and community groups that work with them, engage with PCCs to raise the concerns of the local lesbian, gay and bisexual community. Some PCCs will be holding meetings in the local community, others may be running surveys. Whatever they’re doing, get involved.

It is important that PCCs understand the needs of local lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Stonewall has published a range of research, covering every police region in England and Wales, that you may find useful when engaging with your local PCC. Key findings include:

Homophobic hate crime

- One in eight lesbian and gay people experience a homophobic hate crime or incident a year.
- Over one in ten lesbian and gay people think homophobic hate crimes are a 'big problem' in their local area.

Experiences of the police

- Over three in four victims of homophobic hate crimes or incidents did not report them to the police. Seven in ten victims did not report it to anyone.
- The primary reasons for not reporting incidents to the police are victims not feeling it was serious enough to report (43 per cent), not thinking the police would or could do anything (34 per cent), not feeling it would be taken seriously (27 per cent) and the incidents being too common to report (15 per cent).

Domestic abuse

- Half of gay and bisexual men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner compared to 17 per cent of men in general.
- Four in five lesbian and bisexual women and gay and bisexual men have not reported incidents to the police.

Young people

- Three in five victims say the perpetrator of the homophobic hate crime was a stranger under the age of 25.
- One in four gay people under 25 have experienced a hate crime or incident in the past three years (compared to one in five gay people overall).

These findings are taken from Homophobic Hate Crime - The Gay British Crime Survey 2008, Serves You Right (2008), Gay and Bisexual Men's Health Survey (2012), Prescription for Change (2008), The Teachers' Report (2009) and The School Report (2012). All of these publications and more can be downloaded free from www.stonewall.org.uk/publications 

Who is your local PCC?

Below are the links to the websites or contact details of all PCCs in England and Wales:

Avon & Somerset - Sue Mountstevens 
Bedfordshire - Olly Martins 
Cambridgeshire - Sir Graham Bright 
Cheshire - John Dwyer 
Cleveland - Barry Coppinger 
Cumbria - Richard Rhodes
Derbyshire - Alan Charles 
Devon & Cornwall - Tony Hogg 
Dorset - Martyn Underhill 
Durham - Ron Hogg
Dfyed Powys – Christopher Salmon 
Essex - Nick Alston
Gloucestershire - Martin Surl 
Greater Manchester - Tony Lloyd 
Gwent – Ian Johnston 
Hampshire - Simon Alexander Hayes 
Hertfordshire - David Lloyd 
Humberside - Matthew Grove 
Kent - Ann Barnes 
Lancashire – Clive Grunshaw 
Leicestershire - Clive Loader
Lincolnshire - Alan Hardwick 
Merseyside - Jane Kennedy 
Norfolk - Stephen Bett 
Northamptonshire - Adam Simmonds 
Northumbria - Vera Baird 
North Wales – Winston Roddick 
North Yorkshire  - Julia Mulligan 
Nottinghamshire - Paddy Tipping 
South Wales – Alun Michaels 
South Yorkshire  - Shaun Wright 
Staffordshire - Matthew Ellis 
Suffolk - Tim Passmore 
Surrey - Kevin Hurley
Sussex - Katy Bourne 
Thames Valley - Anthony Stansfeld 
Warwickshire - Ronald Ball 
West Mercia - Bill Longmore 
West Midlands - Bob Jones 
West Yorkshire - Mark Burns-Williamson 
Wiltshire - Angus Stuart Macpherson   

If you would like any further information on how to engage with your PCC or would like to give us feedback about your experience please contact us on info@stonewall.org.uk 

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