Community Scrutiny Panel helping police to maintain high standards
March 23rd, 2022
POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston is today (23rd March 2022) thanking members of the public who commit their time to ensure police officers operate to professional standards.
The group known as the Community Scrutiny Panel consists of a group of committed volunteers who live, work or study within Cambridgeshire.
The Panel regularly monitors the way in which officers carry out their work to ensure they act with integrity and social responsibility. This includes how Stop and Search and Use of Force are conducted within Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
Run jointly by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Constabulary, the Panel is chaired by an independent volunteer who is responsible for selecting incidents for scrutiny and conducting the Panel meetings.
The group held its first Annual General Meeting yesterday where the Panel reviewed the extensive changes and improvements Cambridge Constabulary have put in place in the first 12 months of Panel scrutiny – better and more robust data capture, improved justification for stops, improved and continued training for all officers on Stop and Search protocol as well as for exceptionally emotive subjects such as strip searches and unconscious bias.
Ethical Policing is a priority for the Commissioner.
“In my Police and Crime Plan, I pledged to ensure the police act with integrity and social responsibility, promoting a culture that is inclusive, diverse and takes equality seriously,” explained Darryl.
“The model of policing we have in this country is based on public co-operation therefore it is absolutely essential that local residents have trust in their local police force.
“I know that doing the right thing in the right way and nurturing a forward thinking and ethical culture is a priority for the Chief Constable. This group enables the force to be open and transparent with local people on police such as Stop and Search and the Use of Force, and show it is accountable for its actions.”
The Panel monitors how officers interact with the public they serve and ensure responses such as the use of unarmed defence tactics, physical restraint, (such as handcuffs), and the use of other police equipment, including incapacitant spray is carried out professionally.
Members examine records, officer statements and body worn video footage and then provide feedback to the Constabulary to help shape the organisation so they can serve communities in the manner which they expect and deserve.
“Both myself, as Chair, and other Panel members have been given an immense amount of reassurance seeing the way in which Cambridgeshire Constabulary have responded to the concerns of the community,” said Al Gadney, Community Scrutiny Panel Chair.
“We have reviewed body worn video as well as the statistics behind over 2000 Stop and Search records. We have made some demanding recommendations and are really impressed with the response we have received from the force,” he continued.
“I encourage people from communities affected by Stop and Search or Use of Force to consider being part of our Panel. You will be genuinely heartened to see the efforts being made to address community issues.”
Notes to editors: If you would like to enquire about joining the Community Scrutiny Panel, please email the Panel at: PartnershipsOpsSupportNeighbourhoods@cambs.police.uk
Please note, the minimum age for taking part is 16.