Police and Crime Panels
The Centre for Public Scrutiny has been working closely with the LGA to support councils involved in establishing Police and Crime Panels, as part of the new structural arrangements for policing in England and Wales.
Panels have been up and running in 41 English and Welsh police areas since November 2012. Each is administered by a "host authority", which has responsibility for providing administrative and policy support for the Panel. Host authorities have a grant of £53,000 per year from the Home Office to help them to do this.
Panels have a number of statutory responsibilities:
- Carrying out confirmation hearings for certain senior appointments. The Panel must carry out hearings for the appointment of people to the posts of chief executive of the PCC's office, the PCC's finance director, and any deputies that the PCC proposes to appoint. The Panel has a veto over the appointment of the Chief Constable;
- Scrutinising the policing precept and the Commissioner's budget. The Panel has a veto over the policing precept.
- Scrutinising the Commissioner's police and crime plan;
- Scrutinising the Commissioner's annual report;
- Working to resolve non-criminal complaints against the Commissioner.
CfPS, with the LGA, produced three pieces of unofficial guidance over 2011/12.
- Guidance on role and composition (published October 2011)
- Guidance on the scrutiny role of the Panel (published September 2012)
- Guidance on confirmation hearings (published end August 2012)
This guidance does not represent Home Office policy. The Home Office has produced regulations and statutory guidance which this guidance is designed to complement which can be found on their website. The LGA have also separately produced guidance covering other areas of PCP responsibility.
More information on the LGA's support for PCP's can be found on the LGA Knowledge Hub Police and Crime Panel Support Group (signup required), by contacting the LGA Community Safety Team or by contacting Ed Hammond, Research and Information Manager at the Centre for Public Scrutiny on 020 7187 7369 or email@example.com
At the moment CfPS is providing support to nine Police and Crime Panels through its Expert Adviser Team, in a programme of work funded by the LGA.
Also being funded by the LGA is a detailed piece of research looking at the first year in operation of PCPs. This will be published in November 2013.