'Better scrutiny needed' for PCCs

The Home Affairs Select Committee publish a report on the power that Police and Crime Commissioners have to remove Chief Constables.

MPs report calls for better scrutiny of PCCs

A report by a committee of MPs has criticised the behaviour of Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston.

It comes after the forced retirement of Gwent's Chief Constable, Carmel Napier last month.

The report concluded that checks and balances for Commissioners were too weak.

The Home Office says strict safeguards are in place. Sarah Powell reports.



Vaz claims PCCs have 'worrying' ability to evade rules

Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz said it is "worrying" that Police and Crime Commissioners "seem able to side-step the statutory process for dismissing a chief constable".

Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz.
Home Affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz. Credit: PA/PA Wire

Mr Vaz said: "Police and Crime Panels should make more active use of their powers to scrutinise decisions such as this.

"We will be returning to this area when we carry out our next major inquiry into Polic eand Crime Commissioners, towards the end of this year."

Gwent PCC Ian Johnston hits back at MPs' criticism

Ian Johnston was elected in November

"I would like to reiterate that the interests of the communities of Gwent have, and always will be, at the forefront of my decisions and that at all times I act within the relevant legislation" says Gwent Police & Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston.

"I will be moving to appoint a new Chief Constable at the beginning of September".

"In the meantime, I will work with the temporary Chief Constable Jeff Farrar to ensure the Force has the stability and leadership required, to continue to provide a police service for Gwent which meets the needs of the communities of Gwent"

Read: PCC clashes "should not have come as any surprise"

Committee of MPs: Checks on PCCs are 'too weak'

police on street
The Home Affairs Select Committee published a report into the powers of PCCs to remove Chief Constables Credit: ITV Wales

The checks and balances on Police and Crime Commisioners are too weak, according to a report published by the Home Affairs Select Committee into their powers.

The Committee took evidence from Ian Johnston, Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner , and Carmel Napier, the former Chief Constable, who he sacked.

The report recommends that police and crime panels should fully exercise their powers of scrutiny in cases where the commissioner proposes to remove a chief constable.