Police and Crime Commissioners - new structure in graphics

On 15 November, the public in England and Wales will be able to elect their local Police and Crime Commissioner, a new position to set policing priorities in each force area.

Police and crime commissioners will be able to appoint, and if necessary dismiss, chief constables. They will also be responsible for holding their local police forces to account and setting the budget, including the council tax precept.

They must engage with the public and consult with victims when setting the policing priorities in their local area. However the chief constable retains direction and control of their police force.

The PCC role replaces existing local police authorities which are made up of 17 elected and appointed members including councillors and magistrates.

New police and crime panels of 12-20 people in each area will hold the PCC to account, with a slightly different set-up in Wales.

There will not be elections in London as the role now comes under the office of the directly elected mayor. However the mayor cannot hire or fire the head of the Metropolitan Police - he or she continues to be a Royal appointment on the advice of the home secretary.