Police and Crime Panels – an update
The Home Office is currently holding roadshows around the country to raise awareness about new arrangements for policing in England and Wales, which will involve the establishment of Police and Crime Panels.
Across England, the LGA has been keeping track of who is doing what. At the moment most Force areas are doing pretty well with their preparations – two are even planning to have their PCP up and running by the beginning of April. There are three Force areas, however, who are having real difficulties getting things off the ground. Others are at various different stages of readiness. We, and the LGA, are working together to see how we might between us provide assistance to Force areas as they put their PCPs in place, and following November. One area where we are definitely going to do something is around confirmation hearings, and we hope to provide more information about this in the coming weeks.
In Wales, the Home Office has announced that the WLGA will be taking on responsibility for running PCPs, and WAG have sent a letter to all authorities asking them to start thinking about their arrangements. Because of a disagreement relating to devolution and the mutual responsibilities of the Home Office and WAG, things in Wales are getting started a little later but there’s nothing to suggest that the Home Secretary will use her powers to set up PCPs remotely from Westminster.