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About
Structure and membership
Leadership
Chief Constables' Council
Governance and accountability
History and background
Frequently Asked Questions
Policies, procedures and complaints
Publication Scheme
Section 22a agreement
Delivery Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the NPCC do?

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) enables independent chief constables and their forces to work together to improve policing for the public. We coordinate the operational response across the service to the threats we face in the UK, such as terrorism, organised crime and national emergencies. Working with the College of Policing, we implement standards and develop national approaches to finance, use of technology and human resources. Through Chief Constables’ Council, the leaders of service take important decisions about how they will operate to meet the demands of the day. Chief officers speak on behalf of the NPCC to explain the operational police response on a range of issues to the public and to government.

Why is the NPCC needed?

There are 45 police forces covering England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well specialist police forces such as the British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Forces are led by chief constables who are operationally independent, meaning that they have the power to direct and control the officers and staff they employ to fight crime and keep people safe and secure according to local need.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) hold chief constables to account for delivering effective policing and managing resources. The College of Policing is a professional body that sets standards and develops those working in policing. The National Crime Agency works at a national and international level to combat serious organised crime.

Within this policing model, there is a need for police forces to work together to be effective. As some of the biggest threats we face in the UK, like terrorism and organised crime, are national and international this need has never been greater. Forces have a collective strength to tackle crime by joining up their operational response. Collaboration between forces on issues such as finance, technology and human resources helps to ensure consistent national approaches and can save money, which can be reinvested in improving policing for the public.

What is the NPCC structure and membership?

Martin Hewitt chairs the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Chief Constables Giles York and Dave Thompson support him as Vice-chairs, in addition to their day jobs as chief officers within their respective forces.

Every police force is represented in the work of the NPCC through attendance at Chief Constables’ Council. The NPCC draws on the efforts and expertise of chief officers around the country – those at the rank of Assistant Chief Constable and above, or Commander and above in Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police, and senior police staff equivalents. While all chief officers have the opportunity to be involved in and shape the work of the NPCC, it is not a membership body in the traditional sense.

Chief Constables’ Council is the primary decision-making forum for the NPCC. Every three months chief constables meet to discuss operational policing issues and agree action. Working with the College of Policing, the council takes decisions on national standards and common approaches with the aim of protecting the public from the most serious and strategic threats.

In addition to their day jobs, individual chief officers support the work of the NPCC by taking responsibility for specific crime and policing issues from a national operational perspective.

There are eleven broad coordination committees, each led by a chief constable, covering issues such as crime operations, finance and criminal justice. Underneath these broad categories chief officers take the lead on specific issues. For example, under the Crime Operations Committee there are individual leads for domestic abuse, rape, drugs and cyber-crime.

The NPCC is funded by a number of parties, which includes all Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and supported by a legal agreement under Section 22A of the Police Act 1996 signed by all chief constables.

The NPCC is hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) but is independent of it.

Do you have examples of what the NPCC does?

  • NPCC Lead for Child Protection Chief Constable Simon Bailey has developed a national action plan on child sexual exploitation. Working with police forces, the College of Policing, National Crime Agency and others he is overseeing improvements around the country so that victims get a consistent, high standard of service from police wherever they live. Through Chief Constables’ Council, all chief constables signed up to deliver this plan.
  • The NPCC coordinates the national Give a Day to Policing scheme, which sees MPs spend a day during the summer recess with their local police force and see a variety of aspects of policing. The includes spending time with their neighbourhood policing team, seeing how day-to-day business is prioritised through daily management meetings, attending response calls and discussing policing challenges with frontline officers.
  • If there were to be a major national emergency, the NPCC Chair would work with the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) to move specialist officers around the country and determine the national police response working with police forces.

How is the NPCC different to from its predecessor ACPO?

In the past, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) had a role in setting standards, policy and guidance for the service. This responsibility transferred to the College of Policing.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council enables independent chief constables and their forces to work together to improve policing for the public.

We coordinate the operational response across the service to the most serious threats, such as terrorism, organised crime and national emergencies. Working with the College of Policing, we implement standards and develop national approaches to finance, use of technology and human resources. The NPCC has set a plan of our priorities and what we intend to achieve, which will be updated annually.

The NPCC is funded by number of parties that includes police and crime commissioners and has an independent governance structure that ensures accountability. It is hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service rather than being a company limited by guarantee. While all chief officers have the opportunity to be involved in and shape the work of the NPCC, it is not a membership body in the traditional sense. National units will now be hosted by forces following a transparent selection process.

What is the legal status of the NPCC?

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) is a collaboration body that enables independent chief constables and their forces to work together to improve policing for the public. The NPCC employs a Chair and a small team to run and support its work.

Legally, the NPCC is a national unit hosted by the MPS.

What are the functions of the NPCC?

  • Co-ordination of national operations including defining, monitoring and testing force contributions to the Strategic Policing Requirement working with the National Crime Agency where appropriate;
  • Command of counter-terrorism operations and delivery of counter-terrorist policing through the national network as set out in the S22A agreement;
  • Co-ordination of the national police response to national emergencies and the mobilisation of resources across force borders and internationally;
  • National operational implementation of standards and policy as set by the College of Policing and Government;
  • Working with the College, development of joint national approaches on criminal justice, value for money, service transformation, information management, performance management and technology;
  • Working with the College (where appropriate), development of joint national approaches to staff and human resource issues (including misconduct and discipline) in line with chief constables’ responsibilities as employers.

What are the Chair’s pay and conditions?

The NPCC is hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) but independent of it. The NPCC Chair is therefore a serving officer in the MPS and has been employed on the same terms as an Assistant Commissioner.

For 2019/20, current Chair Martin Hewitt will receive a salary of £194,523 plus a London weighting of £2,445 per annum and London Allowance of £1,011 per annum.

Martin is entitled to a car allowance of £10, 500 in line with the MPS policy for chief officer ranks. There is no provision of a car and driver.

As part of the process to establish the NPCC, PCCs wanted the Chair of the organisation to be a serving police officer within a territorial force. It was decided that the Chair would be paid in line with an MPS Assistant Commissioner. It was also agreed that the Chair would forgo their entitlement to pension payments for the duration of the appointment.

What are the NPCC running costs?

NPCC’s running costs are around 1.3 million, which is funded by a number of parties including PCCs.

What is the membership of the NPCC?

Every police force is represented in the work of the NPCC through attendance at Chief Constables’ Council. The NPCC draws on the efforts and expertise of chief officers around the country - those at the rank of Assistant Chief Constable or above, Commander in the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police, and senior police staff equivalents. While all chief officers have the opportunity to be involved in and shape the work of the NPCC, it is not a membership body in the traditional sense.

What are the coordination committees?

In addition to their day jobs, chief officers support the work of the NPCC by taking responsibility for the crime and policing issues from a national operational perspective.

There are eleven broad coordination committees, each led by a chief constable, covering issues such as crime operations, finance and criminal justice. Underneath these broad categories chief officers take the lead on specific issues. For example, under the Crime Operations Committee there are individual leads for domestic abuse, rape, drugs and cyber-crime.

Coordination committees work closely with the College of Policing to assist in the development of professional practice for police officers in different areas of policing. Representatives from the Government and other stakeholders in the criminal justice system and third sector are involved in the committees’ work to ensure that a range of perspectives are considered.

Are you subject to the Freedom of Information requests?

Yes, the NPCC is subject to FOI requests. We are committed to being open and accountable. Further information about FOI and subject access requests can be found here.

What power and authority does the NPCC Chair have over police forces?

Chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have signed a legal agreement under Section 22A of the Police Act 1996 declaring that they collaborate with each other in the running and funding of the NPCC.

In signing this agreement, police forces have agreed that they will comply with the decisions of Chief Constables’ Council chaired by NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt, where reasonably practicable. Chief constables are entitled to diverge from the collective decision of the Chief Constables Council but do so at their own risk.

What are the hosting arrangements with the MPS

The NPCC is hosted by the MPS but independent of it.

The NPCC Chair and small central office staff are employed by the MPS under their terms and conditions but salaries and all other running costs are paid by the NPCC. The NPCC Chair and staff are outside of the MPS chain of command. The NPCC pays the MPS to provide finance and human resources support.

What are the oversight arrangements of the NPCC?

A Performance Sub-committee made up of five elected chief officers and two non-executive members holds the NPCC Chair to account on ethical standards, conduct, integrity and performance. An audit and assurance board consisting of a non-executive Chair, PCCs, non-executive members and a representative from the Chief Police Staff Officers Association (CPOSA) provide strategic governance of the NPCC:

  • Review and approve the business plan and budget for the NPCC;
  • Review and approve proposals for the NPCC to acquire capital assets or liabilities;
  • Review and approve any proposals for variations of the Section 22A agreements;
  • Audit and sign off of accounts;
  • Agreeing appointment of auditors’ annual Audit plan;
  • Agreeing the internal control and risk management arrangements;
  • Ensuring legal responsibilities of the NPCC in relation to health and safety, diversity and environmental matters are being addressed.

How was the first NPCC Chair appointed?

Chief constables were invited to apply for the post of Chair of NPCC on November 17 2014. Chief Constable Sara Thornton from Thames Valley Police applied for the post and, in accordance with election rules, was appointed.

Who is the current NPCC Chair?

The current NPCC Chair is Martin Hewitt, who took up his position on April 1 2019. Martin began his policing career with Kent Police in 1993 and transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in 2005. Martin led frontline policing across London as Assistant Commissioner, with previous command responsibility for local policing and specialist crime commands. He led the national police response to adult sexual offences and kidnap since 2014, and became NPCC vice chair in 2015.

Chief constables were invited to apply for the post of Chair of NPCC in October 2018. Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt applied for the post and, in accordance with election rules, was appointed.

What has happened to ACPO?

ACPO stopped performing its role on March 31 2015 and was dissolved on 2 August 2016.

What are the committee leads called?

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for.....

Examples:

  • National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Finance, CC David Thompson;
  • National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Local Policing, CC Olivia Pinkney;
  • National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Operations, CC Charlie Hall.

I can’t find what I am looking for, what should I do?

Please contact our business support team at info@npcc.pnn.police.uk.

For press enquiries, our communications team can be reached on 020 3276 3803 or press.office@npcc.pnn.police.uk.