Students Staff

05 November 2015

Police and Crime Commissioners three years on: What’s the point?

Nick Alston

Nick Alston.

Three years on from his election and just six months away from stepping down, Essex’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston, is to give a public lecture at the University.

Mr Alston is expected to reflect on his role as Essex PCC and all he has achieved since his election in November 2012. He is also expected to address the question of what PCCs were intended to achieve and how the new role differed from that of its predecessor, the Police Authority. What has worked well and what has been more challenging? In short, what has been the point of PCCs?

In July 2014, Mr Alston was elected chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and went on to describe the notion of bobbies on the beat as outdated.

The lecture is the second event in this year’s Crime, Rights and Justice seminar series at the University of Essex’s Centre for Criminology.

Speaking ahead of the event, Professor Nigel South, Director of the Centre for Criminology, said, “We’re delighted to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner to give this major lecture. It coincides with controversy in the community as police budgets are cut and conflict with the Home Secretary and Treasury as a number of PCCs threaten legal action against the Government over the ‘funding reforms’. I’m sure the seminar will attract a large audience – all are welcome - and we expect to generate a lively debate.”

The son of a long serving senior Essex police officer, Nick Alston was actually born in Harwich police station, his family’s home at the time. Prior to studying at Cambridge University, Mr Alston had attended schools in Clacton, Colchester, Romford and Chelmsford. He then went on to forge a 32 year career working in operational defence and security, starting as a Royal Naval officer. Mr Alston was appointed a CBE in 1997.

The Centre for Criminology sits within the Department of Sociology at Essex and is a centre of excellence producing world class research.

The seminar is open to the public and is taking place at the University’s Colchester Campus on Wednesday 11 November at 6pm. To book your place, please visit the Centre for Criminology 

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