Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel
The Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel reviews and reports on the actions and decisions of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott.
The panel has 20 members, made up of councillors from each district council in Kent, Medway Council and Kent County Council, together with 2 independent members.
Kent County Council hosts the panel and provides advice and support to panel members.
The panel's role
- reviews all aspects of the Police and Crime Commissioner's work and reviews and reports on the Commissioner's actions and decisions
- approves the precept (the money the Police and Crime Commissioner wants to raise through Council Tax to pay for policing)
- reviews the person who the Commissioner proposes to appoint as Chief Constable, the Commissioner's Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer
- reviews the Commissioner's Police and Crime Plan and the Commissioner's annual report.
The panel Chairman is Mike Hill, OBE and the Vice-Chairman is Gurvinder Sandher.
The panel met most recently on 28 September 2017.
The panel were told about two new areas of responsibility given to Police and Crime Commissioners by the Policing and Crime Act 2017.
The first was an opportunity to become more involved in the governance of the Fire and Rescue Service. The Commissioner explained that he had decided to take a seat on the Kent and Medway Towns Fire and Rescue Authority so that he could build on the existing strong collaboration arrangements between Kent police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. He told the panel that other Commissioners had decided to take on the role of the Fire Authority but the Commissioner said there was no need to do so in Kent. The panel shared the Commissioner’s view.
The second area concerned the management of complaints against the Police. The Commissioner told the panel that he had yet to decide which option he would take up but explained that, at minimum, he would have to take on the determination of appeals against the decision of the police in complaint cases. The Panel again advised a cautious approach to taking on additional responsibilities.
The Commissioner explained the actions he was taking to ensure that, so far a possible within the law, any money or assets that were the proceeds of crime were invested into local communities and the Panel noted and supported this approach.
The Commissioner updated the panel on his continuing work to enhance the way in which mental health matters were dealt with in Kent and Medway and noted, in particular, a welcome decline in the number of individuals with mental health issues being detained in police cells rather than in a more appropriate environment.
The Commissioner presented his accounts for 2016/17, which showed a healthy financial position and continuing good progress in making the required savings.
The Commissioner also explained to the Panel the additional powers recently given to Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s)to enable them to do more in the community but without giving them more of a confrontational role.