Key Responsibilities

Key Responsibilities2021-10-18T15:51:42+01:00
Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend
Lisa Townsend is your Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey.

PCCs were introduced in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, and were first elected in 2012. 40 of the 43 forces across England and Wales currently have an elected Police and Crime Commissioner (excluding the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police and Greater Manchester Police, where the Mayor acts as the Local Policing Body) .

PCCs have a range of responsibilities. They are there to be the voice of the people, and to hold the police to account.

Role of PCC Graphic

For a more detailed information on PCC powers and responsibilities, please visit the Home Office website.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for employing the Chief Constable of Surrey Police – hiring them, assessing their performance and, if necessary, disciplining or dismissing them.

Chief Constable Gavin StephensChief Constable Gavin Stephens

One of the key responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to set the Police and Crime Plan in line with public priorities.

The Police and Crime Plan 2021-25 will outline the areas that Surrey Police will focus on, and the key areas of performance that will be monitored in regular  meetings with the Chief Constable.

Your Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend is now asking for residents’ views on what this plan should include. You can have your say by completing the survey below: 

Have your say: Police and Crime Plan Survey (closes Monday 25 October)   

The Police and Crime Commissioner holds the Chief Constable to account by monitoring performance in all of the key areas of Surrey Police’s work. This includes:

  • Crime Levels
  • Resolution of crimes
  • Response times
  • Tackling organised criminal groups
  • Public confidence and satisfaction in the Police
  • Call handling and other contact with the public
  • Preparedness for emergencies
  • Professional standards and complaints against the Police

Learn more about Surrey Police performance on our ‘Performance’ page.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for agreeing the budget for Surrey Police and overseeing how it is spent. As well as receiving funding from Government grants, the Commissioner is also responsible for setting the amount of money you will pay for policing as part of your annual council tax bill.

Visit our ‘Surrey Police Finances’ page here.

The majority of the budget for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is used to fund local services and organisations to help achieve the priorities identified in the Police and Crime Plan.

The PCC formally commissions support for Surrey focussed activites in three funding areas, complemented in 2020/21 by £500,000 dedicated to support exsiting partners continue key projects during the Coronavirus pandemic:

  • Community Safety
  • Victim Support
  • Reducing Reoffending

Examples of funding from the PCC’s Office includes but is not limited to:

  • Advice and support, emergency accommodation and specialist counselling for survivors of domestic abuse
  • Accommodation, training and specialist support for individuals affected by multiple disadvantage, including homelessness, substance misuse or ill mental health
  • Dedicated services and support for individuals affected by persistent anti-social behaviour
  • Work with young people to recognise the signs of crime, make safe choices and feel confident to report crime to the police

Find out more about PCC commissioning on our ‘Funding Hub’ pages.

Scheme of Governance:

The Scheme of Governance comprises a number of different elements which, when taken together, give clarity to the way the PCC and Chief Constable intend to govern Surrey Police.  The arrangements set out in the Scheme are intended to ensure business is conducted in the right way, for the right reasons and at the right time and to make sure that public money is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically and efficiently.  The Scheme comprises:

Surrey Code of Corporate GovernanceThis describes how the PCC and Chief Constable achieve the core principles of ‘good governance’.

Framework for Decision Making and Accountability: This describes how the PCC will make/publish key decisions and fulfil his/her responsibilities to hold the Chief Constable to account.  It also sets out the role of the Audit Committee. 

Surrey Chief Constable Scheme of DelegationThis sets out the key roles of the Chief Constable and those functions delegated to others.

Surrey Sussex PCC Scheme of Delegation: This sets out the key roles of the PCC/Chief Constable and those functions they delegate to others.

Memorandum of Understanding and Schedule: The MOU describes how the PCC and Chief Constable will work together and ensure sufficient support in areas such as estates management, procurement, finance, HR, communications and corporate development.

Financial Regulations: These set out the framework for managing the PCC’s financial affairs.

Contract Standing Orders: These describe the rules for the procurement of goods, works and services. Contracts are issued in the name of the PCC and the Chief Constable  operates within the parameters of Contract Standing Orders.

Supplemental Statement of Governance – Building the Future – This sets out the additional Governance put in place for the development of the new Surrey Police Headquarters otherwise known as “Building the Future”. 

Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner, and Surrey Police Joint Audit Committee Members

Under the current governance arrangements for policing, Surrey Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner require a Joint Audit Committee to provide independent and effective assurance about the adequacy of financial management and reporting. The Committee will help to raise the profile of internal control, risk management and financial reporting issues within Surrey Police and provide a forum for discussion with internal and external auditors.

The Committee comprises six independent members. View the Committee’s Terms of Reference

To view the agendas, minutes and papers for the Joint Audit Committee, visit our ‘Meetings and Agendas’ page.

Paul Brown – Chairman of the Audit Committee

Paul has nearly 40 years of international experience working for blue chip companies including BOC, AMEC, KBR and AEA. For most of the last 20 years he has held board level positions and has had responsibility for leading major transformation programmes in the public and private sectors. In the last 12 years, Paul has obtained important public sector roles including Operations Director for the Forensic Science Service and Chief Operating Officer for the Office for Nuclear Regulation. Paul is currently senior advisor to a number of organisations and brings a wide range of operational and transformation management experiences to the committee with a particular interest in performance management and people development. Paul is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. Click here to view Paul’s disclosable interests


Surrey PCC and Surrey Police are part of a number of collaborative arrangements.  Collaboration with others allow efficiencies and savings to be made or can improve the provision of a service to the public.   Collaborations are governed by a Memorandum of Understanding or can be made as part of a legal framework – in particular Section 22A of the Police Action 1996.   This act also requires that PCCs and Chief Constables collaborate where it is in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness of their own and other police force areas – even if they do not expect their own force to benefit directly itself.  Surrey collaborations take place at four main levels: nationally, regionally, locally between Surrey and Sussex Police and locally with other emergency services.

National collaborations:

The PCC is a member of the national Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the Chief Constable and fellow chief officers are members of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).  National collaboration arrangements are usually developed and overseen by representatives of APCC and NPCC and all S22A Agreements are signed off by PCCs and Chief Constables of all participating forces.

The current national collaboration agreements in place that Surrey is part of are:

  • National Police Air Service (NPAS) – providing air support to policing and delivered under a lead force model by West Yorkshire
  • National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC) – responsible for coordinating the deployment of police officers and staff from across UK policing to support forces during large scale events, operations and in times of national crisis for example large scale flooding and civil emergencies. Hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service.
  • Forensic Analytical Services – allowing forces to work collaboratively to procure forensic analytical services
  • Criminal Records Office (ACRO) – the national unit which organises the management of criminal record information and improves links between criminal records and biometric information. Hosted by Hampshire Police
  • National Ballistics Intelligence Service – NABIS – providing a world-leading intelligence capability that ensures UK law enforcement agencies can quickly solve crimes where firearms have been used
  • Modern Slavery Transformation Fund – a national team led by a Lead Force which shall be responsible for supporting the NPCC Modern Slavery Lead to improve the police response across England and Wales to Modern Slavery
  • National Police Chiefs Council – hosted by the Metropolitan Police
  • National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service
  • National Wildlife Crime Unit – NWCU
  • National Police Freedom of Information and Data Protection Unit
  • Single On-line Home (SOH) – offering the public an easy to use, digital platform where they can communicate effectively with their local police force. Hosted by the Metropolitan Police

Section 22 agreements are published in the PCC’s Decision Log, unless they contain operationally sensitive information.

Regional Collaboration

Hampshire, Thames Valley, Surrey and Sussex Police collaborate on a regional basis.  A programme is in place and governed under the chief police officers at the SE Regional Integrated Policing (SERIP) Board, and by PCCs and chief constables at the Regional Governance Board.   The main collaboration areas are the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) and Counter Terrorism Policing, South East (CTPSE).  These services are delivered under a Section 22A Collaboration Agreement. SERIP is also developing ICT and other support service arrangements for the South East.

Surrey/ Sussex Police Collaboration

Surrey and Sussex Police have a number of collaborated services, aimed at providing efficiencies and effective services across the two forces.  These include:

  • Specialist Crime Command – this command sees the two forces jointly dealing with major crime, serious and organised crime, economic crime, cyber-crime, intelligence, surveillance and forensic investigations
  • Operations Command – this collaborated unit provides operational policing resources for services such as drones, emergency planning, firearms, dogs unit, vehicle recovery, roads policing, public order and serious collision investigations. Generally these are policing services requiring specialist skills and training
  • Support Services – support services such as finance, HR and vetting are collaboration. In addition a programme is in place integrate the existing Surrey and Sussex Shared Business Services functions into a single structure ready to support the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning into Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley Police
  • Digital Transformation Programme – this coordinates work across the two forces on Mobile Data, Body Worn Video, Digital Evidence and the Single on-line home
  • Digital division – this programme was established in 2019 to bring together technical policing services to assist front-line policing
  • Contact and Deployment – joint ICT systems to record and handle enquiries from the public

Surrey Emergency Services

Surrey Police collaborates with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB).  This includes Joint Response Unit between police and ambulance, joint transport provision with the fire service and collaboration on emergency planning.