Open and Transparent Quality Mark 2016/17 and 2017/18

Why the PCC uses scrutiny

Chief Constables have a huge responsibility to run their police force and protect the public. The police hold significant powers such as the power to deny someone of their liberty and use force, so it essential that the use of these powers is properly scrutinised. The Police are also responsible for spending public funds.

By law PCCs have to do certain things including holding the Chief Constable to account for how he/she exercises their functions to deliver an efficient and effective police service for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. One of the ways the PCC does this is through scrutiny.

Because scrutiny involves reviewing a wide range of evidence, it can also be an effective tool for helping to inform policy, particularly through:

  • generating new ideas and ways of doing things;
  • challenging assumptions about existing ways of working; and
  • engaging members of the public and stakeholders

Scrutiny can also help a PCC to make decisions about funding and how they commission services.

Scrutiny of many different areas also helps the PCC to have a complete ‘overview’ of crime, policing and other social issues. This enables the PCC to do a number of things such as identifying strategic opportunities to do things differently, and it also helps to inform how the PCC lobbies for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly at a national level.