Police and crime commissioner elections: Leicestershire

Leicestershire riot police Leicestershire Police has more than 2,300 officers, serving a population of almost a million people

On 15 November 37 police and crime commissioners will be elected in England along with four in Wales.

The PCCs, as they will be known, will be tasked with scrutinising their force and holding it to account. They will also be able to hire and dismiss the chief constable and set the force's budget.

The commissioners will be paid and are supposed to empower local people into having a say on how crime is tackled in their area.

Nominations for candidates in Leicestershire have now officially closed.

BBC News has taken a look at each of the police forces ahead of the elections.

Leicestershire Police

Leicestershire Police cover an area of more than 965 square miles and serve almost one million people living and working in the county.

The area ranges from towns and rural villages to the conurbation of the city of Leicester.

Timetable for PCC Elections

  • There are 41 police and crime commissioner elections taking place - 37 in police force areas in England and four in Wales
  • No elections will take place in Scotland, Northern Ireland or London
  • Nominations for candidates will close on 19 October
  • Voting takes places on 15 November
  • PCCs will be elected every four years

The force said its local priorities are to deal with those who cause the most harm, protect vulnerable people, effectively deploy people, work with partners to solve locally identified problems, trust staff and officers to sue their judgement to make good decisions and ensuring effective and efficient use of resources.

It splits its area into basic command units (BCU) which reflect the local authority boundaries.

The city BCU covers six local policing units - Beaumont Leys, City Centre, Hinckley Road, Keyham Lane, Spinney Hill Park and Welford Road.

The county BCU covers seven district councils - Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton, Hinckley, Blaby, Oadby and Wigston and Market Harborough.

Leicestershire Police has more than 2,300 police officers and more than 1,200 police staff.

The force is led by a team of chief officers headed by the Chief Constable Simon Cole.

Funding

The Leicestershire force has undergone considerable internal changes since the incident that summed up for many the problems of "Broken Britain".

Four police officers faced misconduct proceedings over their force's failure to properly help the family of Fiona Pilkington.

She was the mother from Barwell, who killed herself and her severely disabled daughter in 2007 after years of torment by youths.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission report blamed the force for failing to identify the family as vulnerable from anti-social behaviour.

Chief Constable Simon Cole issued an unreserved apology to the family and said the force accepted the IPCC's recommendations.

Now Leicestershire has a more positive message. Crime is falling and domestic burglary rates were down by 8%. The force's Operation Tempest has attempted to target more officers and resources at improving detection rates.

In 2010 it was confirmed by the government that Leicestershire Police would have to make savings of £34m by 2015.

Leicestershire Police Authority said: "Forward planning and preparation work in the form of an efficiency programme mean the authority has already achieved savings worth £12.1m that have plugged the funding gap this year and will go some way to helping it balance the budget in 2012-13."

It added: "Local policing remains our top priority and we have taken pre-emptive steps to protect the high quality of service that local residents and businesses deserve.

"However, over 80% of our budget is spent on employing people, so to reduce the number of people we employ we have had a freeze on recruitment for some time.

"This has seen police officer numbers fall by 107 and staff numbers reduce by 228 and due to the need to find further savings it is anticipated that these numbers will increase.

"We have reviewed the constabulary's vehicle fleet which has produced annual savings of over £250,000. We are also saving approximately £1m on forensic services through better procurement practices."

The budget for policing Leicestershire for 2012-13 is £191.3m, a reduction of £6.3m on last year's budget.

Crime and performance

In 2011-12 Leicestershire Police recorded 68,242 crimes in the county.

According to Leicestershire Police, crime is falling and domestic burglary rates have gone down by 8% in the past year.

In December 2011 the force announced the start of Operation Tempest, a plan to direct more officers and resources at improving detection rates.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, Leicestershire Police recorded the second highest number of crimes in the East Midlands:

Derbyshire

61483

Leicestershire

68242

Lincolnshire

44164

Northamptonshire

49571

Nottinghamshire

77421

East Midlands Region

300881

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