THE ELECTIONS for the new police and crime commissioner (PCC) will be held on May 6.

Here is everything you need to know before voting:

What is the police and crime commissioner?

The PCC is the elected head of Thames Valley Police – voted in by constituents in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Their role is to set out the way crime is tackled by the police. They do this by making a ‘police and crime plan’ – a document that outlines how much money the police expect to have in the next three years and how it plans to use the cash to cut crime in the area. The document is then used by the chief constable, currently John Campbell, for operational policing.

The PCC’s aim is to cut crime and ensure the police force is effective.

They are also meant to bring a public voice to policing by: engaging with the public, victims and witnesses of crime, ensuring the police budget is spent where it matters most to people and appointing and firing the chief constable.

The PCC also decides how much money people pay in their council tax for the PCC precept.

What is the difference between the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable?

A PCC can hold the chief constable to account for the performance of the police. 

In their crime plan they cannot include promises about operational policing, for example saying more arrests will be made for 'burglaries' or saying that officers will use more or less force at protests. This is the job of the chief constable. 

Chief Constables have the power to direct and control all officers and police volunteers. 

How can I vote?

PCC elections are taking place on May 6.

Today is the last day to register to vote – you can do that at

April 20 is the last day to register for a postal vote and April 27 is the last day to nominate a proxy – somebody who will vote on your behalf.

On May 9 you will be able to vote for your first and second preference of who you want to win.

On May 10 the votes will be counted, and the next PCC will be revealed.

May 12 is Anthony Stansfeld’s last day in the office and on May 13 the next PCC will take office.

Who are the candidates?

Alan Robinson is standing as PCC as an independent. Read our Q&A with the retired police officer here. 

Matthew Barber is standing as PCC for the Conservative Party. Read our Q&A with the deputy PCC here. 

Laetisia​ Carter is standing as PCC for the Labour party. Read our Q&A with the mum-of-two and the only candidate to have previously stood before. 

John Howson is standing as PCC for the Liberal Democrats. Read our Q&A with the ex-Magistrate here. 

How much does a PCC get paid?

A PCC is a paid-role in the Thames Valley.

As it is, Anthony Stansfeld – the current PCC – gets paid £86,700.

His deputy Matthew Barber gets paid £65,000.

Employees in their office also get paid.

Paul Hammond is the Chief Executive of the office and he earns £100,620. His role is to work with the PCC is putting together the police and crime plan.

His deputy and the Chief Finance Officer is chartered accountant Ian Thompson. He earns £91,576. His job is to make sure taxpayers are getting ‘value for money’ by putting together the budgets and managing money that comes from Treasury.

The office also hires 32 members of staff on salaries.

When did we first get a PCC?

The role was created in November 2012 after an election was held on November 15.

Anthony Stansfeld was first elected as PCC for the Thames Valley in 2012 when the overall turnout was 13.3%.

He was elected for the second time in 2016 when the turnout was 25.6% with around 430,000 votes being cast in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Of those, he secured 53.96% of the vote – 202,369 votes.

Labour’s candidate Laetisia Carter came in second place at the time with 172,717 votes – making up 46.04% of the vote.

How long are you the PCC for?

The length of term is usually four years however because of the pandemic and a year’s delay in voting the next term will only be three years.

How do I stand as PCC?

Unlike other elections, to stand as PCC candidates must put down as deposit of £5,000. The fee is returned if they receive more than five per cent of the first preference votes.

To compare, to stand as an MP you only need to pay a deposit of £500 (£4,500 less) and this is returned if you get more than five per cent of the total votes cast in your constituency.

Anybody who is a British citizen over the age of 18 can stand as a PCC as long as they do not meet the list of reasons to be disqualified – see below.

Who cannot stand as a PCC?

Here’s a list of people who cannot apply:

  • Anybody who has been nominated as a PCC candidate in another area
  • Anybody who works for the police even as a special (volunteer) or another member of the force, not on the front line
  • Convicted criminals and anybody convicted of an imprisonable offence when they were over the age of 18 (even if they were not jailed)
  • Anybody who has filed for bankruptcy
  • PCC’s staff (except the deputy PCC)
  • The Mayor of London
  • Any judges, civil servants, or members of the armed forces
  • Any member of a legislature of any territory or country outside of the UK
  • MPs
  • Members of the British Transport Police Authority, Civil Nuclear Police Authority, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) or the National Crime Agency

Who is the PCC's boss?

The PCC is held accountable by their constituents and a group called the ‘police and crime panel’.

The panel are a board of 18 councillors from across the Thames Valley.

They handle complaints filed about the PCC.

If an allegation is so serious that it is criminal, it is their job to refer the complaint to the IOPC to deal with.

However, if it is not criminal but against the rules and oaths that they signed up to it is the panels job to ensure the matter is resolved.

Last year it was revealed that the panel have no real power to hold the PCC to account.

Instead ,they can only make suggestions to the PCC about how they deal with things next time or ask them to apologise – and even then they could say no.

What happens when a PCC gets voted in?

The PCC will first need to elect a deputy PCC and both are required to swear an oath of impartiality, to set out how they will behave in their new role.  

The oath is designed so they can publicly agree their commitment to serving people in Thames Valley and act with transparency so they can be held accountable to constituents.

The PCC and their deputy are also bound by the Policing Protocol Order 2011 and The Seven Principals of Public Life.

The PCC must also issue a new police and crime plan as soon as possible after getting into office.

It should cover the PCC’s full term of office which will be three years because of the delay in elections after the pandemic.

What is the police and crime plan?

The Police and Crime plan sets out how the PCC will ensure an efficient and effective police and criminal justice system and hold the chief constable (John Campbell) to account.

The document sets out the police budget and strategic direction of the police and other services within the PCCs remit.

It acts as a planning tool for the next three years but also communicates their plans and intentions for policing in the Thames Valley to the public, police and the police and crime panel.

It should include:

  • The PCC’s crime objectives for the area
  • The policing of the police area which John Campbell will need to organise and provide
  • The money the PCC can give to John Campbell to run the force
  • The PCC’s services to help victims and witnesses of crime
  • Any grants the PCC is to make and conditions of those


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