Local people invited to join Police ‘Watchdog’ in Tamworth

December 22, 2015

Tamworth residents are being invited to join a new panel to shape the work of local policing in their community.

The Tamworth Safer Neighbourhood Panel will launch early in 2016 under plans by Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, to shine the spotlight on local policing and make Staffordshire’s Police Service the most open, transparent and ethical in the UK.

Although there has been a good response to the panel, there are still several places for new volunteers who can find out more by emailing david-fern@tamworth.gov.uk

The panel will examine, challenge and shape the work of police at the most local level. It will hold the Local Policing Team Commander to account as well as looking at wider criminal justice and community safety issues in their area.

Local residents and councillors sit on the panels with magistrates bringing additional expertise. Panels influence local policing and community safety, scrutinise the work done by police in their area, give feedback to communities and examine the impact of community resolutions and restorative justice.

Mr Ellis said: “This is a real opportunity for Tamworth people to play a part in holding all responsible for policing in their area to account and I’d urge residents to get involved.

“I make no apology for believing that truly local policing, and the public playing a part in influencing that policing is vital.

“You can shape policing at the most local level in your community by joining the Safer Neighbourhood Panel.

“The new spotlight on local policing performance that these panels will bring is invaluable in adding to the rigour I have introduced to overseeing policing.”

The panels follow the success of the county-wide Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel (ETAP) which was established by the PCC in 2013. The ETAP is made up of trained members of the public and monitors different aspects of performance and standards in policing across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

ETAP has received national recognition for its work on the police use of Taser, stop and search and crime recording in Staffordshire.

Councillor Stephen Doyle, Tamworth Borough Council Cabinet member for Communities and Public Health, said: “The new Safer Neighbourhood Panel gives Tamworth residents a perfect opportunity to get involved and have their say on how their neighbourhoods are policed, as well as raising issues of concern.

“It will help to make Tamworth an even safer place to live, work and visit – and I would encourage residents to join in and make their voices heard.”

Volunteers for Safer Neighbourhood Panel roles must be aged over 18, but otherwise the PCC is interested in attracting people from all walks of life irrespective of age, disability and ethnic background. Expenses will be paid.

For more information visit http://www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-neighbourhood-panels/