Your Commissioner

Your Commissioner2022-03-25T11:46:28+00:00

About your Commissioner

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.

Lisa is supported in her role by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ellie Vesey-Thompson. Ellie is responsible for leading the Commissioner’s focus on the safety of children and young people in Surrey. She shares Lisa’s passion for reducing violence against women and girls.

Role of PCC Graphic

Police and Crime Plan for Surrey

A key responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to set the Police and Crime Plan in line with public priorities. The Police and Crime Plan outlines the areas that Surrey Police will focus on, and the key areas of performance that will be monitored in regular Performance Meetings with the Chief Constable and senior officers between 2021-2025. 

The priorities outlines in the Police and Crime Plan for Surrey are: 

  • Reducing violence against Women and Girls 
  • Protecting people from harm in Surrey
  • Working with Surrey communities so that they feel safe
  • Strengthening relationships between Surrey Police and Surrey residents 
  • Ensuring safer Surrey roads

Find out more and read the Plan on our Police and Crime Plan page.

Employing the Chief Constable

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 Stephens brings a wealth of experience from over 20 years within Surrey Police, serving in every rank up to the role of Chief Constable. His background and passion for policing Surrey means he is ideal for this role, leading on performance and change to keep Surrey safe.

Monitoring Surrey Police Performance

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 in achieved through regular private and public meetings with the Chief Constable, and ongoing monitoring of performance indicators including;

  • 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.

Managing Surrey Police Finances

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.

Funding Local Services 

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 four funding areas:

  • Community Safety
  • Victim Support
  • Reducing Reoffending
  • Children and Young People

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. View Paul’s disclosable interests