The Home Office has set out the role of the PCC as follows:
Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.
To provide stronger and more transparent accountability of the police, PCCs will be elected by the public to hold chief constables and the force to account; effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.
Police and crime commissioners will ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and will improve local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They will also work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
PCCs will not be expected to run the police. The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account.
You can find out more about what it means to be a PCC by reading the the Home Office candidate briefings here.
More detailed information on PCC powers and responsibilities is also available here on the Home Office website.