Police and crime commissioner elections: Humberside

Generic Humber bridge Humberside Police covers part of the counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

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 Humberside have now offically closed.

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

Humberside Police

Humberside Police covers the districts of North-East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, along with the urban area of Kingston-upon-Hull.

Humberside is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and closely contested of all the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

It has colourful and high profile candidates in Labour veteran Lord John Prescott and outspoken UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom.

Yet on paper the Conservative Matthew Grove has a slender head start with a cushion of 25,000 more votes polled for his party's candidates across the police authority area at the 2010 General Election than Labour accumulated.

Previous party political voting history could have less impact in these elections. Both of the independent candidates declared so far say police and politics should not mix.

Walter Sweeney was once a Conservative MP in a Welsh Constituency. The youngest candidate, 32-year-old former soldier Neil Eyre, has never stood in any election in his life.

The Liberal Democrats have also had internal debates on whether they should take part in an election for a post many members say should never have been created in the first place.

The force covers an area of 1,357.9 sq miles (3,517 sq kilometres) with a population of 900,000 people. The force retained it's name despite the abolition of the a county with the same name in 1996.

Humberside Police employs 1,868 police officers, 1,683 police staff, 286 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and 345 special constables (the head count was valid as of 31 July, 2012).

The area policed includes centres of population close to areas of significant rural landscape, shorelines along the North Sea and the Humber estuary.

Humberside Police is led by Chief Constable Tim Hollis, who is supported by a deputy and two assistant chief constables. The force has an assistant chief officer responsible for finance and audit and another assistant chief officer responsible for HR matters.

Its connections with partner organisations include a presence on the Regional Chief Constables' Group (RCCG) and the Joint Police Authorities Committee (JPAC).

Together they outline the principles to guide joint working "to enhance and complement" the policing delivered locally by individual forces, to communities within Yorkshire and the Humber.

Funding

The force has a budget of £173.12m this year and in February 2012 the police authority agreed to an increase of 4% in the precept levied on households for 2012-13 - a move that represented a permanent increase in the base budget.

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

Humberside Police is to lose 21% of its officers by 2015, more than twice the national average, according to a report.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said the force would lose 440 officers.

It said the average reduction of officers in forces across England and Wales was 10%.

Humberside's chief constable said he was confident the cuts could be made without a "detriment to performance".

In addition to the cuts in the number of officers, the force will shed 260 support staff, bringing the total number of job cuts up to 700 by 2015.

Crime and performance

In late 2007 the force moved off the bottom of an unofficial league table thanks to "major improvements" in performance, the Home Office said.

But it remained in the bottom six of the 43 forces in England and Wales, scoring seven out of a possible 21 in ratings by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Since then improvements have seen the force record a 5.3% drop in all crimes across its area in figures detailing the period from April 2011 until March 2012.

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