Police and Crime Commissioners

Back to all Motions

2012 Police & Justice Conference
14 June 2012

Conference recognises that the election of Police and Crime Commissioners in November this year will fundamentally change the landscape of policing and potentially a wide range of other justice services in the future. UNISON was opposed to the concept of Police and Crime Commissioners, because we did not believe that a single elected politician could possibly represent the interests of electors across the biggest constituencies ever elected to in England and Wales. However, Commissioners are the Government’s one big idea for policing and they were determined to bring them in against the opposition of virtually every police stakeholder.

Conference recognises that, now they are about to become a reality, UNISON needs to fully engage in both the process of electing Police and Crime Commissioners and the process of holding them to account post-election. Conference welcomes the work being done through the Labour Link to educate Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidates about UNISON’s values and the aims of our members in the police service in England and Wales. In particular, Conference acknowledges the key work done by the union to highlight police privatisation and cuts as the key issues for UNISON, its members and the general public in the run up to the elections. Conference also recognises the threat to national collective bargaining that might be posed to the Police Staff Council for England and Wales, by the election of candidates unsympathetic to the aims of the trade union movement and our negotiating machinery.

Conference also recognises that Police and Crime Commissioners will have responsibilities that will extend beyond the world of policing and into other community justice services, including potentially probation. On behalf of our members in the Probation Service in England and Wales, Conference acknowledges that UNISON’s response to Police and Crime Commissioners must take this wider context into account.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Continue its work to seek the election of Police and Crime Commissioners who are sympathetic to the aims and objectives of UNISON, our members and the communities they serve

2)Continue to work closely with our Labour Link to seek to ensure that Labour Police and Crime Commissioners understand the aims and aspirations of working people in the police service in England and Wales

3)Work with the successor body to the Association of Police Authorities (the Police and Crime Commissioners Association) to seek to ensure the continuation of national collective bargaining at the Police Staff Council for England and Wales

4)Develop a strategy for future working with Police and Crime Commissioners to seek to protect the interests of police staff under their employment/control

5)Seek to ensure that the transfer of police staff to Police and Crime Commissioners, and potentially to Chief Constables in 2014, maintains a comprehensive set of protections for the pay and conditions and pensions of our members.