‘More powers should be given to police and crime commissioners,’ says Kent chief

PCC Matthew Scott

By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan

More powers should be given to police and crime commissioners, says a Kent chief as he presses the Government for major reform.

Matthew Scott has lobbied Boris Johnson’s administration for greater authority within the criminal justice system and has received support from Kent councillors.

It comes alongside a review being undertaken by the Home Office on what the role of police commissioners should look like after Covid.

Mr Scott, who has served as Kent’s police and crime commissioner for the last four years, said: “Much to the disappointment of many, rumours of our demise are greatly exaggerated.

“We will be carrying on and the Home Office wants to give us more responsibilities.”

However, the county’s police chief said any new powers would not impact on the “independence” and “integrity” of the judiciary, which includes the crown prosecution service (CPS) and courts.

A police and crime commissioner is an elected official whose role largely is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. There are more than 40 in the UK.

More than 3,800 officers currently work in Kent, with at least 450 recruited under the watch of Mr Scott since 2016. However, he also bears some responsibility in the criminal justice sector.

After serving two years as chair of the Kent Criminal Justice Board, Mr Scott says he is seeking to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system and the experience for victims and witnesses. He also wants to reduce reoffending.

In a report published to the panel last Tuesday, the commissioner said: “I remain firmly of the belief that further devolvement of criminal justice powers has the potential to improve the journey of all service users, as well as outcomes across the criminal justice system.

“Whilst the Ministry of Justice is yet to make a decision on the devolvement of more powers, I continue to engage with ministers to press for reform.”

Earlier today, Mr Scott expanded on his commitment to a panel of councillors who sit on the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel.

Speaking from Swanley Police Station for the virtual public meeting, he said: “I think police and crime commissioners could have a greater say on probation and some work on offender management and rehabilitation.

“There could be more done locally in the criminal justice board arena to make it more of a statutory organisation and give it some teeth.”

Cllr Mike Hill (Con), who was chairing a panel for the first time since the last meeting in February,  said he would be “keen” to see more joined up thinking across the criminal justice system.

Kent County Council’s cabinet member for communities added: “More power to your elbow.

“I think it’s an important of your role and something which has not had the attention it deserves.

“I look forward to hearing a good result from that.”


  1. Yes right like the power to have to push a 5yr old up a radiator and bruised all he’s side that sort of power you mean when a blind eye is turned. Contacted the CPS Complaints Authority still nothing was done that was over 28 years ago. If the police could get away with doing this to a child what else could they get away with they need to be monitored and not have too much power to think they’re actually Above the Law just because they work as the law

    • Yes – and over 50 years ago a copper would give a kid a whack round the head with his leather glove for misbehaving and then the parents would do the same because the kid bought shame and embarrassment on the family for getting in trouble in the first place.

      Now, however, there is no discipline or respect whatsoever and parents whose offspring get in trouble want to sue the police.

      We also have the snowflakes who want to defund the police on the basis that if we had no police we would have no crime ! ! !

      Sir Robert Peel must be turning in his grave . . .

  2. Police and crime commissioners are supposed to hold their Chief Constable to account on effective policing but here we have the two in cahoots, patting each other on the back and helping to prolong each others jobs.
    There is not enough independence between the roles. We need to scrap the non-effective PCCs and have a regional or national authority with teeth that will investigate complaints from the public and not cover them up. It means going back to what we had before probably but this PCC experiment is a costly waste of money.

  3. Strange is it not? Last week Police Commissioner was criticised for not being heard of, by most.
    This week he hits the Headlines with Chief Cop, like a ‘jack-in-a-box’ “Here I am”!!!
    OMG… depressed…

  4. I enjoyed the comment that “50 years ago…a copper would give a kid a clip round the ear…etc etc….now too much political correctness etc etc…” Something like that, anyway. It’s usually along those lines.
    Well, I am now pleased to say that I was almost an adult 50 years ago and I can clearly recall people saying something like ” 50 years ago a copper would just give a kid a clip round the ear and….etc etc… but there are too many social workers these days….” Or something like that.

    Strange that the best way of doing things was through violence and then getting away with it. And it was always a long time ago. Safely in the past so we can’t check exactly how many ears were actually getting clipped at all.
    I’m afraid this is just another fantasy from the “good old days” brigade trying to persuade us that they knew better back then. I bet they even knew the words to “Land of Hope and Glory ” 50 years ago. Used to sing it in the bath, except lots didn’t have a bath!! Never did us any harm!
    I could go on but it’s all so ridiculous.

    • I can only apologise for indulging in a bit of sheer fantasy about the good old days.

      Modern times are clearly so much better – if your house gets broken into and all your belongings get stolen, don’t expect the police to catch the criminals, just claim off your insurance ‘cos thats what it’s for. If you car gets stolen or vandalised, don’t expect the police to catch the criminals, just claim off your insurance ‘cos that’s what it’s for. If you are running a business and somebody glues themselves to your factory gates, don’t expect the police to remove them because anyone is allowed to protest if they do not approve of your business.

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