The Hampshire Police and Crime Panel (PCP) welcomed two new independent co-opted members to its final meeting before Hampshire and the Isle of Wight residents elect a new Police and Crime Commissioner for the region next month.
The PCP has been established as part of the new governance and accountability arrangements for policing in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, 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 on 15 November to oversee police and crime policy.
The new Commissioner will take office on 22 November 2012, and although the PCC is ultimately accountable to the electorate via the ballot box, the Commissioner will be required to consult with the Panel on their plans and budget for policing, as well as the level of council tax and the appointment of a Chief Constable. The Panel will also maintain a regular check and balance on the performance of the Commissioner.
The two new independent co-opted members appointed to the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel, were chosen following an open recruitment process that was held during the summer.
Robert Purkiss MBE, lives in Winchester and is the current Chair of the Hampshire Police Authority Personnel and Professional Standards Committee and a Judicial member on Employment Tribunals. Formerly Chair of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, Mr Purkiss will now take up a position on the PCP’s newly-formed complaints sub-committee.
He will be joined by Ms Gulshanah Choudhuri, a special educational needs Barrister from Chandler’s Ford who has previously specialised in both family and criminal law. Ms Choudhuri is an independent advocate for The Loddon School, a school for severely autistic children in Hampshire, and also sits on the Professional Conduct Committee for the Bar Standards Board.
Chairman of the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel, and Isle of Wight Councillor, David Stewart said: We have been very fortunate to have received applications from so many good candidates during the selection process. As a result, we are delighted to welcome our newest panel members and look forward to working alongside them and receiving their valuable contributions to the Panel’s future work.”
Cllr Stewart added: With the addition of our newest members, we are now well-positioned in the lead-up to next month’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections. We have established clearly defined roles and responsibilities around the setting of the policing council tax precept and policing plan in future. We have set up an effective scrutiny and complaints procedure which will enable the Panel to carry out its function clearly, and we have engaged positively with the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary, Alex Marshall and the Chief Executive of the outgoing Hampshire Police Authority, Jenni Douglas-Todd.
With these important mechanisms in place, it is now for the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to have their say on the future of policing in our region, when they go the polls on 15 November.”