Matthew was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner on 10th May 2021 with a majority of nearly 80,000.
Matthew Barber was raised and schooled in Oxfordshire before graduating from Brunel University. He still lives in Oxfordshire, is married to Katie and has two children and a labrador.
Matthew is Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire. He served as Deputy PCC from 2017 to 2021, during which time he took on the chairmanship of the Local Criminal Justice Board.
The PCC’s role is to hold the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police to account for the performance of the Force, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve. The PCC also has a wider role in promoting community safety and working with criminal justice partners to improve support for victims of crime.
Duties of the PCC
As PCC, Matthew has a duty and power to:
– Hold the Chief Constable to account for policing
– Scrutinise, support and challenge performance
– Publish and regularly update a Police and Crime Plan
– Set the force budget and policing precept element of the council tax
– Commission services and award grants
– Engage with communities
– Appoint, and where necessary dismiss, the Chief Constable
In addition to the response to local need, the PCC must also contribute to responding to national and regional criminal activity and threats. The five national threats set out by the Home Secretary in the Strategic Policing Requirement (2012) are public order, counter terrorism, civil contingencies, serious organised crime and cyber incidents.
Matthew has set out his key priorities for the coming years in his Police and Criminal Justice Plan.
Police and Crime Panel
The actions, decisions and performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) are scrutinised by the Police and Crime Panel for the Thames Valley.
The panel is made up of 14 local councillors (one from each of the local authorities in the Force area) as well as four co-opted councillors from Buckinghamshire Council and two Independent Members. The lead authority that provides support to the Police and Crime Panel is Oxfordshire County Council.
Panels have a range of powers to help them carry out their function and specific responsibilities relating to the PCC’s Police and Criminal Justice Plan and Annual Report. These include:
– Making reports and recommendations on the Police and Criminal Justice Plan and Annual Report, which the PCC must take account and respond to
– Publishing all reports and recommendations that it makes
– Hold public meetings to discuss the annual report and to question the PCC
Panels can also make reports or recommendations (including the power of veto with a 2/3 majority) about the proposals by PCCs on:
– The level of the precept (council tax charge for the local police service)
– Appointing a Chief Constable
You can find out more about the Panel on its website Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel.
Read about the Panel’s ‘Complaints Procedure’
Working in Partnership
To successfully tackle crime it is crucial that partners work together whether this be by sharing resources, discussing key issues and/ or coordinating responses.
The PCC works closely with a number of partners and agencies including Thames Valley Police and Community Safety Partnerships. He is also Chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board. Working in partnership has greatly assisted him when commissioning services for victims, creating his priorities for his Police and Crime Plan and in delivering the Plan itself.
Matthew served on the Vale of White Horse District Council since 2003 and was Leader of the Council from 2011 to 2018. He has been a director of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership as well as Chairman of Vale4Business and a Board Member of Science Vale and is involved in various charitable organisations.
Salary: £86,700 (set by the Home Secretary)
You can read more on the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner by downloading the infographic leaflet.
Below is a video which explains the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner in the Thames Valley:
Additional documents which may be of interest: