Who is the Chief Constable actually accountable to?
The Chief Constable is appointed by, and can be removed by, the PCC.
The Chief Constable is also accountable to the PCC. The police must remain independent at all times and will answer to the law and the courts when carrying out their police powers but the PCC can hold the chief constable to account for the performance of the force and set the strategic direction for the force in their area.
In relation to governance, our internal board/committee structure is set out in the Single Governance Policy for the PCC and Dorset Police. In summary, there are three tiers to our internal meeting structure:
- Board– for strategic oversight and decision making. Some strategic boards are joint Force and OPCC meetings which are jointly chaired by a Chief Officer and the PCC; other Boards which focus solely on operational policing matters are Force led boards only.
- Group– for tactical and operational decision making
- Forum– for consultation
The PCC also administers two joint Committees providing independent support and guidance on a number of Force and OPCC related matters:
- Joint Independent Audit Committee (JIAC)– reviewing matters relating to finance, audit and internal controls.
- Ethics and Appeals Sub-Committee – currently a sub-committee of JIAC reviewing matters relating to police ethics and integrity. Work is currently ongoing to enhance these arrangements and to develop a Joint Independent Ethics and Appeals Committee (JIEAC) on an equal footing to JIAC.
Members of these Committees are independent of both Dorset Police and the PCC and have been recruited from members of the local community.