Welcome to the OPCC
Welcome to the Office and the Police and Crime Commissioner – we are really pleased to have you join our team.
This induction has been designed to welcome new starters, to provide an introduction to our organisation, our culture and our values and to help prepare you for your role before you formally join the team.
As part of your induction, you be helped to familiarise yourself with your work environment, meet your team members and gain awareness of policies and procedures relevant to your role.
We will also ask you about your recruitment journey while it is still fresh in your mind. We welcome your honest feedback to help us make any improvements in future.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is a non-political, impartial organisation and its head of paid service is the chief executive officer. The OPCC is a separate organisation to Devon and Cornwall Police.
The work of the OPCC generally fits into six categories:
- Strategy, policy and performance
- Communications and community engagement
- Criminal justice, commissioning and partnerships
- Complaints against the Chief Constable and business support
- Treasury and estates
- Collaborations and national activity
You can find out all about the current work that the OPCC is involved in on our website, and in particular in the Police and Crime Plan and the Business Plan.
You may also find it useful to learn about the Police and Crime Panel, and their role in providing support and challenge to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The panel has the power to request reports and call the PCC to attend its meetings.
PCCs must be able to demonstrate that the decisions they make, and the way they make them are good. The PCC’s work and decisions are scrutinised publicly at a Police and Crime Panel, although PCC’s are not accountable to the panel, but they are directly accountable to the public.
Useful websites and information:
- Police and Crime Panel
- Police and Crime Plan
- Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner business plan (available shortly)
- What is an Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and how does it work?
Getting the best for the public from the police and supporting others to keep communities safe across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
We have integrity. We honour the commitments to those we serve. We don’t take our commitment lightly. We will do everything in our power to do the right thing in an honest, truthful and straightforward way.
We build trust. We will build trust and confidence in those we serve through the actions we take. We accept feedback and are comfortable responding to criticism and finding ways to improve. We will strive to be the best at what we do.
We are independent. We are independent of the police and political affiliations and will be transparent in our actions, decisions and communications with both the people we work with and those we serve.
We put the public voice at the heart of what we do. We will listen to the needs and concerns of the public to inform our decision making and policy development and improve the service user and staff experience.
Good customer Service: a friendly, helpful and efficient service with a problem solving approach which leaves a good lasting impression.
Collaborative: we will work collaboratively and in partnership with others to increase the public value of services
Courageous: we will do what is right, which is not always what is easy; we will try new approaches to improve outcomes for our communities
Innovative: we will be curious, adventurous and creative. We will challenge the status quo and find new and innovative solutions to difficult problems
Inclusive: we value the diversity and individuality of our communities
Making a difference: we will strive to make improvements to service through all our interactions with the police and communities
Outcome focused: we have a relentless focus on the outcomes of what we are doing to improve services to the public.
Leadership: we will help policy makers set direction through our knowledge of best practice and continuous improvement and exercise leadership not only within the OPCC but with partners to make things happen.
Influencing: our ability to persuade or convince others to support an idea, agenda or direction.
Strategic thinking: we will think conceptually, imaginatively and systematically and ensure that we see the bigger picture to best serve our communities
Excellent communication: we will communicate confidently, respectfully and clearly and ensure that we listen to the needs of our colleagues and communities.
Team work: we will work together for the benefit of our communities and harness peoples strengths
Coaching and mentoring: we will collectively develop our people through supportive and relational leadership at all levels within the organisation. We will create the conditions for effective learning and outstanding performance by promoting a coaching and mentoring culture to help our people to thrive.
Good project management: we will be clear about what success looks like and utilise our skills to deliver to these objectives in a timely way which meets the needs of all partners
Decision making ability: we will identify the problem or challenge, develop viable responses, evaluate all options and seek the post suitable approach.
Professional: We will act professionally and uphold the legislative requirements which govern how we work
Forward thinking: We will strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of our work and test new thinking to get the best results
Robust governance: We are a governance organisation and will adhere to best practice in governance processes to uphold our purpose, values and beliefs
Evidence based: We will ensure that we base our decisions and advice on the best available evidence
Productive: We will be focused on the delivery of our statutory duties and the outcomes of the Police and Crime Plan and do so efficiently and effectively.
Value the voice of the victim: We will focus on the needs and concerns of victims of crime to ensure compassionate and sensitive delivery of service which prioritise safety, privacy and wellbeing of the victim.
Supportive: we will work in a supportive environment and ensure that all colleagues are included and supported to be the best that they can be.
Flexible: we will respond to the changing environment in which we work by working as a team and drawing on our diverse skills and experiences.
Value for money: we recognise that we need to get the best value in all our decisions and actions and will challenge approaches which do not demonstrate this approach. We will enhance social value wherever possible to ensure that we provide an inclusive approach to the work we undertake for the benefit of the public.
Learning organisation: we will invest in ourselves and one another not just to improve as an organisation but also as individuals. This way we will be better prepared to tackle opportunities as they arise.
Proportionate approach to Risk Management: will take a proportionate approach to risk management to ensure that we protect our staff, enable innovation and not stifle it, actively manage key risks to staff, the public, stakeholders and others organisation which we collaborate with.
|Integrity||Good customer service||Leadership||Professional|
|We build trust||Collaborative||Influencing||Forward thinking|
|We are independent||Courageous||Strategic thinking||Robust governance|
|We put the public voice at the heart of what we do||Innovative||Excellent communication||Evidence based|
|Make a difference||Coaching and mentoring||Value the voice of the victim|
|Outcome focused||Good project management||Supportive|
|Decision making ability||Flexible|
|Value for money|
|Proportionate to risk management|
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner
The role of a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to be the voice of the people in policing, and to hold the Chief Constable to account for how he/she discharges their functions. The aim of all PCCs is to ensure the delivery of an effective and efficient police service within their force area.
Alison was elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner in May 2016. Prior to her election, Alison mostly worked in public service and has also run a management consultancy, working internationally to help companies with business improvement, particularly in the housing and transport industry. She also has a BSc Hons in Sociology from Kingston University and post-graduate studies in marketing.
More information about the Police and Crime Commissioner here
Frances Hughes, Chief Executive
Every PCC must have a CEO who supports and advises the PCC and assists in the discharge of all statutory duties. This is a statutory appointment. The CEO is also the Monitoring Officer and the Head of Paid Service. Fran joined the OPCC in October 2017. Before this she was Assistant Director of Communities and Customer Services at Torbay Council. Fran started her career as an Environmental Health Practitioner and remains a UKPHR Defined Public Health Specialist with extensive experience in change management, business transformation, community safety, regulatory services and emergency planning. The CEOs main role is to directly support the PCC to discharge the primary responsibility of securing the maintenance of an efficient and effective policing service for the area. This includes the development and delivery of the Police and Crime Plan.
Key responsibilities include:
- strategy and resource planning
- governance arrangements
- partnership working, commissioning and
- some direct service delivery
- engagement, communications and
- information management (including
- obtaining the views of the public, media
- relations, research, strategic needs
- assurance arrangements - evaluation,
- scrutiny and performance
- management of complaints reviews
As Head of Paid Service, the CEO also has responsibility for the management and day to day running of the OPCC.
As Monitoring Officer, within the governance framework of policing the role is to ensure that the PCC, or anyone acting on the PCCs behalf, acts lawfully and in such a way as not to constitute maladministration.
Nicola Allen, Treasurer
Every PCC must appoint a Chief Finance Officer, also known as the Treasurer. This is a statutory appointment.
Nicky was appointed Treasurer in September 2017. Prior to this she was the Senior Assistant County Treasurer for Devon County Council and had extensive experience in local government and other public sector bodies. This role has a statutory responsibility to manage the PCC’s financial affairs in accordance with relevant legislation and codes of practice. She is responsible for financial probity and value for money in the use of public funds as well as oversight on the police estates function.
Duties and responsibilities include:
- Providing financial advice to the PCC on all aspects of activity including the strategic planning and policy making process.
- Advise on budgetary matters including any consequential long term implications.
- Advise on the robustness of the budget and the adequacy of financial reserves.
- Ensuring that strategies are produced for Treasury Management, Reserves and Capital before the start of each financial year.
The Treasurer also has a responsibility to report to the PCC and Police and Crime Panel any expenditure, or decision that will lead to expenditure, that she feels is unlawful.
Felicity Ridgway, Director of Operations
Felicity was appointed in April 2021. Prior to this Felicity was the Head of Policy and Strategy at Southampton City Council and has held senior policy positions in the Department for Work and Pensions and Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (Home Office).
The director of operations provides leadership and line management for strategy, policy and performance as well as the business support and customer services team. The post fulfils the duties of deputy chief executive and monitoring officer as required, delivering across the full range of priorities set by the PCC and represents and promotes the interests of the PCC by developing and maintaining effective strategic partnerships with relevant, public and private sector/voluntary organisations in the local community and at national and regional associations
Eleanor Tanner, Business Support and Customer Service Manager
Eleanor joined the organisation in 2000. She manages the Business Support and Customer Service Team whose responsibilities include secretarial and administrative support, correspondence and complaints, call-handling and reception.
Information management and transparency, data protection, budget management, facilities management, health and safety, IT support, HR, office policies and procedures and the administration of the PCCs role in police misconduct, and police complaints also fall within her portfolio.
Her team is responsible for managing the Independent Custody Visitors Scheme in Devon & Cornwall.
Eleanor is a keen promoter of personal development and in her spare time has studied and gained a BSC Hons degree majoring in Management and IT.
Davina Cull, Criminal Justice, Partnership & Commissioning Manager
Dr Davina Cull is an experienced criminal justice practitioner, researcher and manager. Starting her career in policing, Davina has served as both a Special Constable and Police Constable working in several challenging roles with both victims and offenders.
Davina’s experience has shaped her as an ethical, trauma informed and principled practitioner who works with vulnerable people with multiple and complex needs to bring about positive outcomes. Having specialised in victimology, women offenders, Integrated Offender Management and Restorative Justice, Davina is passionate about evidence-based practice and being part of wider and more meaningful social change. With subsequent employment experience in the Local Authority, Charity Sector and now as the Criminal Justice, Partnerships and Commissioning Manager at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Davina works to her best when she is able to implement new initiatives, innovate and improve service delivery.
One of Davina's greatest achievements to date has been as the founder of a restorative justice service called 'Make Amends' which helps victims of crime (including those who experience the most serious harm) benefit from safe, voluntary and meaningful communication directly with the offender. Davina is proud of her academic achievements, having completed an MSc in Police Science and Management and a Professional Doctorate in Criminal Justice.
As Criminal Justice, Commissioning and Partnerships Manager, she is responsible for a range of policy areas within the office and for the commissioning of services from third parties to support delivery of the Police and Crime Plan. Her team leads on policy areas including victims’ services, mental health, safeguarding, domestic abuse and sexual violence, offender management and criminal justice reform. The new Victim Care Network launched in April 2015 was also developed and launched by the Criminal Justice, Partnerships and Commissioning Team in partnership with the Force.
Lisa Vango, National Strategy, Policy and Parliamentary Affairs Manager
Lisa joined the OPCC in late 2013 following a 14 year career in the civil service. During her time in Whitehall, Lisa worked for a number of government departments in the areas of business, energy and social policy. This included a variety of roles – including regulatory review, competition act investigations and the leading of national, EU and International policy portfolios for Ministers. Lisa read law at the University of Bristol and holds postgraduate qualifications in law and regulatory policy from Kings College and Nottingham Trent University. Lisa is currently studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Management and Leadership at the University of Birmingham.
The national strategy, policy and parliamentary affairs manager provides enhanced support to the CEO and PCC in ensuring that the voice of residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is heard in key national policy debates within government, parliament and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and strengthens our engagement in national governance activities and arrangements.
Lisa lives in Torquay. Her spare time is spent enjoying live music, hiking the coastal path and the police cadets where she is an adult volunteer leader for the Torbay volunteer police cadets.
Patrick Phelvin, Communications and Engagement Manager
Patrick is the office’s communications and engagement manager. Before joining the office he was a journalist, editing local newspapers and one of the country’s largest regional news websites after working on Fleet Street.
Patrick sets and implements the strategy to enable an effective exchange of information between the public and the OPCC. This includes a close working relationship with the media, production of press releases, social media campaigns and use of video and audio resources.
Direct engagement with the public, in all forms, is a key part of the OPCC’s remit, and Patrick leads a small team which ensures that a wide variety of opportunities are provided for the public to give their views and ideas about policing in Devon and Cornwall (IoS). This work helps to shape the police and crime plan and strategy.
Responsibilities also include producing the office’s annual report and running the councillor advocate scheme, which seeks to engage local authority members in policing and crime reduction.
In his spare time he enjoys cycling and walking his border collie.
Useful links and documents
Contact from your line manager prior to your start date and your work buddy
Shortly after you receive your formal offer letter confirming your start date and terms and conditions of employment, you will also receive a personalised welcome email, and induction plan from your line manager. This will set out the itinerary for your first few weeks so that you know what to expect. It will also include the practicalities of your first day – for example if working at the office, what to bring, where to park, who to report to, etc, and if working remotely, IT provision, logging on at home, etc.
Your line manager will also provide you with the name of a work ‘buddy’, this will be one of your colleagues - someone in the team that you can go to if you need some help or support during your first few weeks, and on an ongoing basis as required. Your work buddy is there to help you to navigate your way around your new environment and will be pretty much on hand to help with day-to-day questions.
What to expect on your first day
Most of your first day with the organisation will be spent virtually or physically (as appropriate) with your line manager, where you will learn about your role, your team, the office and the organisation. This will also include the more practical working arrangements for example tea/coffee and lunch breaks, taking leave, arrangements when you are ill, health, wellbeing and support services available to you.
The first few weeks
Over the first few weeks, your line manager and other colleagues will spend time with you and you will learn more about the organisation, our culture, vision and values, our policies and procedures and systems, professional conduct, performance, and personal development, safety, health and wellbeing support services, tools and networks and practical matters such as email and meeting etiquette, how to report an IT issue etc.
Your typical first week may look like:
- Begin meeting the members of your team as well as the office as a whole
- Do some E-training and get used to the computer systems
- Start some of the work you’ll be undertaking in your role
- Sit in on team meetings to see the work your team does
By the end of your first month, you should:
- Have completed your E-Training and induction sessions with your line manager and colleagues.
- Have met almost everyone in the office and have started to get to know the people you work closely with and how your role fits in to your team, and the wider organisation.
- Sat in on and observed some meetings other than those that involve your role to learn about some of the other initiatives the organisation is involved in
- Have started to get into the swing of the work you’ll be doing in your role
In our experience, new starters who have joined the organisation whilst the team has been working remotely from the office have found that their work load in the first few weeks has been less than they anticipated – particularly in the roles that provide support to other team members rather than taking on projects of their own. It has also taken a while longer for them to really get into their role and feel that their whole time is occupied. If you feel that you have insufficient work, reading or training to occupy your time, you should alert your line manager. That said, if you do find yourself in this position, it will be short lived and you will soon find that you have lots of interesting things to get involved in as you start to build your working relationships with your colleagues, understand your role and responsibilities, and become more aware of the wide variety of initiatives that are available to you in the organisation.
During the first weeks of your employment, we will endeavour to enable you to work in the office as frequently as possible (where appropriate), to enable you to become familiar with the physical environment, and to help you to get to know as many of your colleagues as possible in a face to face setting.
You will be required to complete some training as part of your induction. If you are joining our team from another OPCC, or other public authority, you will be asked to provide evidence of the mandatory training you have completed. This is so you don't have to repeat training you have already done when you join us.
Mandatory training you will undertake during the first weeks of your employment will include:
- Data protection and Data sharing
- Driver Training and Driver behaviour training (if you have a driving licence)
- Freedom of Information
- Health and Safety
- Information Security and information assurance
- Protective Marking of information, and Information assurance
- VDU /DSE assessment
- Adult and Children Safeguarding awareness training
- Lone working
- Dealing with conflict and aggression (face to face and on the telephone)
- Health and Safety for line managers (as appropriate)
Depending on the role, you may also be required to complete specialist training.
The majority of the mandatory training will be delivered through a digital learning platform, and you will receive guidance on how to access and complete this as part of your induction with your line manager.
The OPCC has developed a structured framework around training provision. This structure will be discussed with you as part of the PDR annual process to support your personal development plan and action plan for the coming year. As a benchmark the OPCC expects all staff to undertake (and record) a minimum of 20 hours Continuous Professional Development per year.
We know that working flexibly / remotely can feel a little strange and lonely, depending on our personal circumstances, and some new starters who are working in their environment alone may feel cut off without regular communication. This is particularly pertinent if you haven’t met any of your new colleagues in person yet. Therefore, your line manager will set up a series of meetings for you (which may be physical or virtual as appropriate) with key people in the organisation within your first few weeks, to help you meet your colleagues to help you to build good working relationships, and get a better understanding of how your role fits in to the wider business strategy. It goes without saying that your manager will ensure that you have an early opportunity to meet together with all of your team colleagues who will be keen to welcome you and get to know you.
If you are working flexibly from home or elsewhere, you are encouraged to 'meet' your new colleagues for a virtual cup of tea, or a chat over lunch. A Teams invitation will be in your calendar for regular all staff meetings , in advance of your first day. These are great opportunities to get to know your colleagues, in addition to the structured meet and greet sessions that your manager will set up for you.
You may also wish to find out about the numerous network and support groups that are available. You can access any of these as a member of the OPCC staff, and details can be found on the Sharepoint intranet under the people portal menus.
Your line manager will provide you with more information about these services as well as other health and wellbeing services as part of your induction.
Regular check ins
Your line manager will arrange regular check-ins with you. These may be more frequent to start with, particularly if you are working remotely. This is to ensure that there is a regular line of open communication between you and your manager. For the first week or so, a check-in is likely to take place once a day, but this will be reduced over the following weeks, particularly as you get to know your colleagues and open up further lines of communication over projects and priorities. It is usual that check-ins with your manager will take place at least once a month during your employment with the organisation.
Feedback on performance
When a new starter first joins the organisation, there is a probationary period of usually 6 months during which the new starter and the organisation decide whether the role is a good fit and that the new starter is meeting expectations.
Working remotely can make this process more challenging for both employer and employee. We recognise this and your manager will ensure that expectations on both sides are managed in a supportive and open way, and will be open to the fact that allowances around certain elements of the role may be required.
In addition to the regular check-ins with your manager, and after your probationary period has concluded there will be opportunity to reflect on performance over the year through the annual performance appraisal. Your manager will provide more information about this as part of your induction.
We are committed to offering continued coaching, personal support and guidance and we will always do our best to provide a supportive environment to enable you to thrive in your role.
Feedback on your recruitment journey
We would welcome feedback on our induction programme overall to enable us to influence our process for future new starters.
Flexible and agile working is the term used to describe how employees can work flexibly from any location for example, from a police building, within community and partners sites or by varying degrees of home working and regular hot-desking.
All of the roles within the organisation are totally flexible, and there is no need to come regularly into the main office. There is also significant scope to vary working hours and working patterns to provide a greater breadth of service delivery time and opportunities for better work life balance. It is entirely possible, with careful planning and a degree of best practice evaluation, for staff to carry out their duties from a variety of different locations.
When working in the office, you will not have a personal desk, but will work from any available desk. The office has a clear-desk policy at the end of the day, and there is storage available should you need somewhere to put things away.
Your manager will discuss and agree with you what your working arrangements will be in accordance with the agile and flexible working policy, and to ensure that you are set up to work safely from home where required.
Tech and logistics for agile working
Prior to your start date, your line manager will make arrangements with you to enable you to work agilely using mobile technology. This will include providing you with a laptop / tablet computer, keyboard, mouse, and mobile phone as a minimum and explaining how to set it up and access the network remotely as well as ensuring that you have a suitable workspace in which to work, and a reliable internet connection. Don’t worry if you don’t have this in place, your line manager will discuss this with you and make the necessary arrangements. You will also learn about how we require you to look after the equipment and the information that you will access on it, and where to access the associated policies and procedures for future reference. You will have your work buddy to help and support you too.
Useful documents and links:
- Agile and flexible working policy (available shortly)
- "Home office" checklist
The OPCC will ensure that at all times the current government guidance on social distancing measures to reduce the social interaction between people will be observed in the working environment. In addition, all staff have a personal responsibility to ensure that they comply with the current requirements, and the OPCC continues to maintain and keep under review its own policies as an employer.
Depending on your circumstances and the national guidance in place at the time, you may be required to work solely from home , or you may be able to work in the office for at least one day per week.
Your line manager will provide you with a copy of the current Covid Secure protocol for the office before your first day and will be able to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.