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Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel

Contact us

Email: (opens new window)

Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel
Democratic Services
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JN


The role of Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel is to both support, and scrutinise, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

Holding the Police and Crime Commissioner to account

The Police and Crime Panel plays an important role in supporting and scrutinising the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) with a view to providing transparency to the public, and enabling them to hold their PCC to account at the ballot box. 

As part of this process, the panel will review and scrutinise the decisions and actions taken by the PCC in connection with the discharge of the Commissioner's functions, and any reports or recommendations on their findings will be published.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are the bedrock of our system of local policing governance, they play a critical role in reducing crime and ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of frontline services.

Since November 2012, every police force has had an elected PCC to decide its strategic direction, budget and priorities. As such, the PCC's role includes:

  • holding the Chief Constable (the most senior police officer for the area) to account for the operational delivery of policing and the performance of the force
  • gathering local views on policing and crime and incorporating them into a Police and Crime Plan 2022 to 2025 ( (opens new window)
  • commissioning a range of services to deliver the Police and Crime Plan and to support services for victims of crime
  • setting the annual policing budget and the precept
  • providing a local link between police, local authorities, partner agencies and communities
  • consulting and engaging with members of the public, specifically victims of crime
  • maintaining an efficient and effective police force
  • publishing an annual report reporting on progress made against the Police and Crime Plan
  • appointing, and if necessary, removing the Chief Constable

Further information about the role of Police and Crime Commissioners is available from the UK Government website: Police and crime commissioners ( (opens new window).

The PCC ( (opens new window), Philip Wilkinson OBE was elected as Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner in 2021, so is accountable to Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel.

Powers of the Police and Crime Panel

In order to allow the Panel to carry out it's functions, it has powers derived from the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

These give it the power to:

  • review the draft Police and Crime Plan and make recommendations to the Commissioner, who must consider them
  • review the Commissioner's annual report, on the progress made towards their plan, and make recommendations at a public meeting, which the Commissioner must attend
  • deal with certain types of complaints about the Commissioner
  • require the Commissioner to attend the Panel to answer questions
  • veto the Commissioner's proposed precept, the amount people pay through their council tax for policing, by a two-thirds majority
  • veto by a two-third's majority the Commissioner's proposed candidate for Chief Constable
  • appoint an acting Commissioner where the incumbent Commissioner is incapacitated, resigns or is disqualified.
  • make recommendations about the appointment of the Deputy PCC as well as the Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer of the PCC's office

Principles of good public scrutiny

It is important for the Panel to achieve a good balance between scrutiny and support, so it works hard to build a constructive relationship with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. In doing so, the Panel uses the four principles of good public scrutiny outlined by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny: 

  1. providing a 'critical friend' challenge
  2. reflecting the voice and concerns of the public
  3. taking the lead and owning the scrutiny process
  4. making an impact on the delivery of public services

Read more about the four principles here: Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CFGS): Revisiting the four principles of good scrutiny (opens new window).

Police and Crime Panel task groups

The Police and Crime Panel sometimes forms a small task group if it wants to investigate an issue in depth. The panel agrees the task group's terms of reference, membership and arrangements for reporting back. Task groups tend to enable a more extended dialogue than the larger, more formal meetings of the panel. They can be an effective arena for looking at evidence in detail and therefore arriving at informed findings and recommendations. Once the panel has endorsed the task group's final report, it is referred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for response.

Panel arrangements and funding

The Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel (PCP) covers the Wiltshire and Swindon police force area; one of 43 territorial police forces across England and Wales. The Panel is made up of representatives from both local authorities within the area - Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council. There are 11 elected councillors; seven from Wiltshire Council, and four from Swindon Borough Council.  In addition, there are two independent members, serving for a period of four years, who are appointed through an open and transparent recruitment process. Read more about the Panel's current membership here: Committee details, Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel ( (opens new window).

The Police and Crime Panel is funded by the Home Office. The grant is typically used to cover the costs of employing a supporting officer, training and development for members, expenses, and procurement of relevant services. Grant recipients must report expenditure, detailing progress against key performance indicators, to claim the grant funding. Details of the administration costs and expense claims for Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel can be found here: Committee details, Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel ( (opens new window).

Get involved

The Panel welcomes engagement from the public and local stakeholders.

The Panel holds public meetings at least four times a year at locations across the county. Browse meetings, Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel ( (opens new window). The contact details of the Democratic Services Officer can be found by clicking on the individual meeting links. Copies of recent quarterly reports by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner about the progress made towards his Crime Plan are available through Wiltshire and Swindon PCC: Performance and oversight (opens new window)

The Panel welcomes engagement from the public and local stakeholders. Members of the public area able to put questions to the Panel in relation to its responsibilities and functions at every meeting. Questions must be put in writing to the Democratic Services Officer no later than four clear working days before the meeting, to allow a response to be formulated, and are limited to a maximum of two per person / organisation. The questioner is able to ask one supplementary question after receiving a response. It is also possible to make a statement to the Panel lasting up to three minutes. The public area able to register with the Democratic Services Officer to make a statement up to 10 minutes before the start of the meeting. Ways to improve its public engagement are being considered by the Panel and, as such, the Panel has introduced a standing communications item on its agenda.

What the Police and Crime Panel does not do

Whilst Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel supports and scrutinises the performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner, it is important to clarify that the Panel does not directly scrutinise the Chief Constable.

It is the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of efficient and effective policing, management of resources, and expenditure by the police force.

The Chief Constable retains responsibility for operational matters, such as the deployment of officers. As such, the Panel would not ask questions about decisions to investigate particular crimes, tactical operations or the decision to make an arrest.

The Panel also does not have a mandate to make executive decisions, as that would undermine the elected PCC who is directly accountable to the electorate of Swindon and Wiltshire.

Details of the relationship between and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable and Police and Crime Panel are set out in the GOV.UK: Policing Protocol Order 2011 (statutory instrument) (opens new window).

Contact Wiltshire Crime Panel

Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel
Democratic Services
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JN

Email: (opens new window)

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