There is just over a week to go for members of the public to have their say on proposals to transfer the powers of the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to the office of the Mayor of the West Midlands.
The first round of consultation on the plans is due to close on Friday, January 11.
It covers the principle of transferring the PCC’s role to whoever wins the West Midlands Mayoral election in 2020.
If there is no transfer then voters will get two ballots – one to elect a Mayor and one to choose a PCC.
As well as taking part in the consultation online, the public can also give their views or ask questions at exhibitions events in Solihull, Birmingham and Walsall next week.
The consultation is part of the region’s latest devolution deal which commits government, the WMCA and PCC to work together on drawing up a process for the transfer of the PCC’s powers and responsibilities.
Under the proposals being set out in the consultation, the role, duties and responsibilities of the PCC would not change but from 2020 they would be discharged by an elected Mayor instead of an elected PCC.
The transfer would not change the type of incidents and emergencies that police officers attend. Day-to-day policing would remain the responsibility of the Chief Constable who has operational independence.
The views of the public, businesses and organisations will be a key factor in whether or not the WMCA Board, made up of the region’s council leaders, decide to go ahead with the transfer.
At the launch of consultation in November Dr Henry Kippin, WMCA director of public service reform, said: “We believe there are a number of potential benefits for policing and crime reduction and it’s important the public have their say. We would encourage them to do so through this consultation.”
Dr Kippin said the proposed transfer offered the opportunity for the region’s emergency and wider public services to work together in a more joined up, co-ordinated way.
That could see greater collaboration between police, fire and ambulance and those services that work to improve people’s opportunities for better housing, skills, jobs and transport – all factors that can influence crime.
People can find out more information about the proposals and give their views by taking part in the survey at www.wmca.org.uk/policeconsultation
Members of the public can also find out more and ask questions by visiting the public exhibitions at the following locations next week:
- Monday, January 7 from 10am to 8pm at the exhibition bus in Mell Square, Solihull
- Tuesday, January 8 from 12pm to 6pm in New Street Station, Birmingham
- Wednesday, January 9 from 3pm to 7pm at the exhibition bus in Walsall Park Street, next to Poundland
A second stage to the consultation will commence on January 14 and complete in March 2019. It will focus on the detail of how the proposed transfer of duties and responsibilities would work in practice.