Police and crime commissioner elections: Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire Police There are more than 2,250 officers employed by Nottinghamshire Police

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 Nottinghamshire have now officially closed.

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

Nottinghamshire Police

Nottinghamshire Police cover an area of more than 800 square miles and serve more than one million people living and working in the county.

The area the force covers includes Nottingham as well as towns and rural areas.

The force said its local priorities are to "cut crime and keep you safe, spend your money wisely and earn your trust and confidence".

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

It adds that delivery of these targets will help the force "achieve its ambition, namely that by 2015 Nottinghamshire will be 'the safest county in England and Wales, the best value-for-money police force in England and Wales and the most dependable police force in England and Wales'."

Policing in Nottinghamshire is divided into four main geographic areas - known as divisions - which cover one or more local authority areas.

Each division is headed by a chief superintendent, known as the divisional commander, who is responsible for the overall policing of the area. The divisions are Bassetlaw, Newark & Sherwood, Mansfield & Ashfield, Nottingham City and South Nottinghamshire (covering the Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe boroughs).

The force is made up of about 2,250 uniformed and plain clothed police officers, 1,500 police staff, 275 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and more than 450 Special Constables and other volunteers.

Nottinghamshire Police's chief officer team is led by Chief Constable Chris Eyre.

Funding

The impact of budget cuts on Nottinghamshire Police has again focused on the effectiveness of the force.

A challenging £42m cut over the term of this parliament has already seen police numbers in Nottinghamshire fall by 20%.

High profile gun crime cases brought the county's force into the political and media spotlight.

Home Secretaries have been lobbied repeatedly that Nottinghamshire has the crime rate of a metropolitan area like Merseyside, yet it has the funding of a shire county.

A series of highly critical reports have questioned the efficiency and leadership of the constabulary.

New chief Chris Eyre, formerly at Leicestershire, now takes up the challenge of internal reorganisation, and working with whoever is elected as police and crime commissioner.

In 2010 it was confirmed by the government that Nottinghamshire Police would have to reduce its budget by £42.3m by the end of March 2015.

According to Nottinghamshire Police Authority it has had to "introduce major changes to the way we work in a bid to boost force performance and reduce cost".

The changes include restructuring and reorganising the way the force works, more collaboration with other forces, reducing the number of police buildings and vehicles and a reduction in the number of staff and officers.

The first stage of the force's restructuring has already been completed with up to 170 civilian staff jobs lost, although more than 150 are said to have been achieved through voluntary redundancy.

Unions believe up to a further 746 police staff jobs are at risk of redundancy.

A budget approved in February will see 60 officer posts go through retirement and a recruitment freeze.

The budget for policing Nottinghamshire for 2012/13 is £191.3m, a reduction of £5.9m on last year's budget.

Crime and performance

In 2010 the police force and authority were told to improve following a capability review by the Police Inspectorate - the first of its kind looking at a police force and police authority.

Recently retired Chief Constable Julia Hodson appointed a new team of chief officers and the force has been credited with turning its performance around.

In 2008-09, there were 124,880 crimes recorded in Nottinghamshire, but this fell to 77,421 in 2011-12.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, Nottinghamshire Police recorded the 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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