This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Friday, July 19, 2013

How would you appraise your Police & Crime Panel?

I am off to this meeting in a short while:

Thames Valley Police & Crime Panel: The First Year and the Next

It should be interesting. I will be using my checklist to appraise their performance over the last year:
  1. Does your PCP consider its role is to act like the old Police Authority and want to ask the Chief Constable lots of questions or is it closely scrutinising the performance of the PCC at doing this?
  2. When your PCP meets, does it allow any time for members of the public to raise petitions or make points?
  3. Overall, has your PCP acted like a) the PCC’s fan club b) the PCC’s pointed political critics or c) an independent scrutiny body acting in the best interests of all local people?
  4. Has your PCP been steadily building up its knowledge of local public concerns with which to challenge the PCC’s capability at understanding and representing these?
  5. Similarly, as the moderator/steward of the PCC's commissioning powers, has the PCP been steadily working towards fulfilling this role adequately? (Ref: report by Institute for Government on Making Public Service Markets Work)
  6. Has the PCP developed a set of criteria and measurements against which they can appraise the performance of the PCC at holding the Chief Constabulary to public account?
  7. Has the PCP achieved a level of public awareness of its role such that members of the press are inclined, if not driven, to report on their public meetings with the PCC?
  8. Does the PCP keep readily accessible records of attendance of its own members and others (including the public) who attend its meetings?
  9. Does the PCP have its own objectives or success factors against which it can appraise its own performance as a scrutiny body?
  10. Has the PCP been mostly proactive in scrutinising the PCC or reactive?
  11. Does the PCP website offer an accessible and searchable platform of information about the work of the Panel and what it has been achieving in its role?
  12. When the PCP questions the PCC on what s/he is doing, does it feel more like a pre-scripted and genteel school debating society or a rigorous and free flowing Parliamentary select committee, or something else?
  13. Are you having great difficulty in answering these questions, indeed did you even know that a body called the Police & Crime Panel even existed?

Do let me know how your PCP measures up...

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