Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Joy Allen has welcomed new volunteers who will assist the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office by participating in a variety of scrutiny panels.
The volunteers this week joined PCC Joy Allen along with members of her office at Durham Police HQ to understand how the scrutiny panels fit within the wider accountability process.
There are a variety of scrutiny panels which volunteers form a key part of in holding Durham Constabulary to account, as well as providing transparency from within the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.
This includes the Joint Audit Committee who advises the PCC and Chief Constable according to good governance principles, as well as advising them to adopt appropriate risk management arrangements in accordance with proper practices.
Scrutiny panels provide recommendations and feedback to the force, be that on individual cases and their process or addressing wider force cultural contexts.
The Independent Complaints Scrutiny Panel which was set up in February this year reviews a proportion of public complaint cases each quarter based upon a defined time period or theme.
Other scrutiny panels include the BUS (BAME arrest, Use of Force and Stop and Search) Panel, the Ethics Committee, the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel, the Domestic Abuse Panel, Out of Court Scrutiny Panel and the Rape Scrutiny Panel.
PCC Joy Allen said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to critical examination of the force and this type of scrutiny, merged with other accountability methods, enables me to do that as effectively as possible.
“In the recent Peel assessment 2021 report by HMICFRS Inspectors praised the force’s commitment to fairness and inclusion, paying particular attention to the work of the BUS Panel.
“External scrutiny provides an invaluable link between the public and scrutiny of their police force, which is why our volunteers are so important.
“Without volunteers from the local community we would not be able to hold the force to account effectively.”