The Commissioner is responsible for the totality of policing within Cheshire. Public accountability for the delivery and performance of the police service is placed into the hands of the Commissioner on behalf of the electorate.

The Commissioner’s main duties are to:

  • Hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the people of Cheshire
  • Secure the effectiveness and efficiency of Cheshire Constabulary
  • Decide the budget, allocate assets and funds to the Chief Constable; and set the police council tax precept for the force area
  • Set the strategic direction and objectives of the force through the Police and Crime Plan, which must have regard to the Strategic Policing Requirement set by the Home Secretary
  • Prepare and issue an annual report on delivery against the objectives set within the Police and Crime Plan
  • Publish information to enable people to assess the performance of the Commissioner and Chief Constable
  • Monitor complaints made against officers and staff, whilst having responsibility for complaints against the Chief Constable
  • Appoint the Chief Constable.

The Commissioner has wider responsibilities than those relating solely to the police force, including:

  • The ability to provide or commission services intended to help victims and witnesses of crime and anti-social behaviour
  • The ability to provide or commission services that will secure, or contribute to securing, crime and disorder reduction
  • The ability to bring together Community Safety Partnerships at the force level
  • A duty to ensure that all collaboration agreements with other Commissioners and forces deliver value for money or enhance the effectiveness of policing capabilities and resilience
  • A wider responsibility for the enhancement of the delivery of criminal justice in their area.

The role continues to develop and the Government intends to legislate to enable Commissioners to take on the functions of fire and rescue authorities where a local case is made and to allow Commissioners to have a greater role in the police complaints system.