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, in England, administered by a "host authority", which has responsibility for providing administrative and policy support for the Panel. English host authorities have a grant of £53,000 per year from the Home Office to help them to do this. In Wales, Panels are run directly by the Home Office.
Since the election of Police and Crime Commissioners, Police and Crime Panels have had a busy few months, with duties centring on the appointment by PCCs of deputies (for which the Panel must conduct a confirmation hearing) and on scrutiny of the policing budget and precept. Panels must carry out these roles as part of their statutory duties, which also include scrutinishing the PCC's police and crime plan and holding confirmation hearings for new chief constables. Panels are also responsible for resolving non-criminal complaints made about the PCC.
To help Panels as they develop their roles, we have produced three pieces of unofficial guidance, to explain the scrutiny role of the Panel, its possible composition, and associated matters. We have also developed guidance to help councils to draft systems to govern how the Panel will carry out confirmation hearings for certain senior officers and staff.
- 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.
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
Later in 2013 we are planning to produce some research analysing how Panels have been operating in their first year, highlighting interesting or otherwise notable practice.