The Policing and Crime Act received Royal Assent on 31 January 2017. The Act includes provisions on emergency services including a duty to collaborate and the opportunity for police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to take on fire and rescue governance, where a local case is made. The Act also enables PCCs, again where a local case is made, to create a single employer of fire and rescue personnel and police staff. The Act covers changes to the police complaints and disciplinary arrangements and whistleblowing and enhanced powers for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). It also creates the post of fire and rescue inspectors, one of whom will be the chief fire and rescue inspector and provides these inspectors with consistent powers to police inspectors.
In terms of operational work, there are provisions on pre-charge bail and amendments to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the Mental Health Act 1983. In relation to workforce issues, the Act introduces more powers for police staff and volunteers, a power for the home secretary to specify the rank structure in police regulations and removal of powers for police to appoint traffic wardens. The Act also includes provisions on deputy PCCs, firearms, alcohol licensing, financial sanctions, the National Crime Agency, pardons for certain abolished offences and provisions on forced marriage and child sexual exploitation.
This guide is a summary of provisions in the Act and an analysis of their potential implications.