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Police and Crime Commissioner to be axed and replaced by West Midlands Mayor

By Rob Golledge | Crime | Published:

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner role is set to be scrapped and merged with the job of the West Midlands Mayor.

David Jamieson

Officials are expected to confirm the move tomorrow which would see the roles combined by the time of the next mayoral election in 2020.

The merger has been on the cards since the West Midlands Mayor post was created this year.

It is expected the Mayor will appoint a deputy in charge of policing like what happens in London.

A leaked document states: "The Government, the WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority) and the PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner) will work together to agree a detailed governance model and a legislative timetable for incorporating the role and power of the Police and Crime Commissioner into the mayoralty, with a view to electing the first Mayor with these powers in 2020."

Police and Crime Commissioners were introduced in 2012 and replaced the old police authorities which were made up of councillors.

The West Midlands Combined Authority is headed by Conservative Mayor Andy Street and the region's seven council leaders.

It has powers over housing, skills, jobs, transport, and mental health in Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, West Bromwich, Birmingham, Solihull, and Coventry.

Commenting on the proposal, Labour West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "The Mayor has been working closely with me on many issues.

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"We have committed to starting a project in the new year to ensure policing in the West Midlands maintains strong democratic leadership, preserves the operational independence of the Chief Constable, whilst also ensuring clear lines of accountability.

"It is important we don’t revert to a model akin to the old-style committee system of the Police Authority.

"The public of the West Midlands want to be reassured that the powers of the Mayor are sufficient to take on the role of the PCC."

Elsewhere in West Mercia and Staffordshire there are plans for the Police and Crime Commissioners to oversee the fire and rescue services.

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The commissioners would replace the fire authorities, which are made up of councillors.

The move is planned to save money and bring the emergency services closer together.

Rob Golledge

By Rob Golledge
@golledge_star

Part of the Express & Star special projects team responsible for investigations and major stories from politics to counter terrorism

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