PEOPLE from Tamworth are being given the chance to join an independent panel established by Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), to strengthen public scrutiny of policing.
The Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel (ETAP) was launched under the ‘New Dawn of Transparency’ agenda by Mr Ellis and aims for policing in Staffordshire to be the most open and transparent in the country.
Nine members of the public currently sit on the panel and meet regularly to examine the work of police including how crime is recorded, how complaints from the public are dealt with, police finances and Taser use. The rigour and scrutiny brought by the ETAP to crime recording was praised in last year’s Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) assessment of policing in Staffordshire.
Following ETAP’s success, the number of panel members is expanding to match its growing scope and work programme. Application forms will be available at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/eta from next Monday 8 June and the closing date will be 30 June for people who are interested in joining.
Mr Ellis told Tamworth Informed: “Honest and independent scrutiny by the public is crucial as we strive to set the bar higher and create a new dawn of transparency in policing.
“This is about being open and transparent so that public confidence across policing and criminal justice is improved.
“This panel has used its wide-ranging and rigorous powers to scrutinise crime recording, forensics, Taser use, and stop and search to make sure decisions made by the police are correct and in the best interests of the public. We’re looking for more members of the public to step forward and get involved in this vital work.”
Interviews for successful ETAP candidates will take place at police HQ in Stafford on 13 July with inductions for those who are selected taking place in August and September.
In the wake of ETAP’s success, new local independent panels are being launched so that people can influence policing in their communities and help hold local police commanders to account at the most local level. People interested in joining a Safer Neighbourhood Panel in their area should visit www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-neighbourhood-panels/