Hampshire Police And Crime Panel Holds Inaugural Meeting
Isle of Wight Councillor, David Stewart, has been elected Chairman of the new Hampshire Police and Crime Panel (PCP) which held its first meeting on 29 June 2012.
The Police and Crime Panel has been established as part of the new governance and accountability arrangements for policing in the two counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
It will scrutinise and support the work of the new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) who will be elected in November when the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight go to the polls to vote for one person to oversee police and crime policy. The new Commissioner will take office on 22 November 2012.
Although the Police and Crime Commissioner is ultimately accountable to the electorate via the ballot box, the Police and Crime Panel will be responsible for scrutinising and reviewing the Commissioner’s actions and decisions. This will include the ability to review the draft police and crime plan and annual report to ensure local priorities have been considered, as well as considering the budget and influencing the setting of the Council Tax precept.
At this time, the Police and Crime Panel comprises of 15 Councillors (one from each of the local authorities within the Policing Area including Hampshire County, Boroughs and Districts, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton) plus an additional two independent non-councillor co-opted members, to be selected.
With the permission of the Secretary of State, the PCP may appoint a further three co-opted members, who may be members of local authorities. The composition of the Panel reflects the political balance across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and a mix of skills, knowledge and experience needed to be effective.
The PCP will have powers and responsibilities including:
- To review the draft Police and Crime Plan.
- To publicly scrutinise the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Annual Report.
- To review and scrutinise decisions and actions taken by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
- To review, influence and if necessary, challenge Council Tax precept levels proposed by the Commissioner.
- To confirm or if necessary, challenge the future appointment of a Chief Constable.
- To appoint an acting Commissioner, if required.
Formerly a Senior Hampshire Police Officer with over thirty years service, including experience within the police professional standards department, Councillor Stewart is now self-employed, working in the field of leadership and management development in both the public and private sector. He is also a Member of the Isle of Wight Council’s Scrutiny Panel for Children and Young People, as well as being a local ward Councillor.
Following his appointment, Councillor Stewart, said: The Panel is a central part of the policing reforms and it will act on behalf of residents across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to provide scrutiny for the new Police and Crime Commissioner who should ensure that police priorities are aligned with the concerns of the local neighbourhoods that they serve. I look forward to working alongside the new Police and Crime Commissioner when they are elected in November, as we should all be aiming to work together in the best interests of the wider community.”
Councillor Clive Sanders, Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was elected Vice Chair of the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel.
Government has made available funding for the costs of supporting and maintaining the Panel.