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

The panel:

  • 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.

Topics covered at the last panel

The panel last met on 24 April 2018.

The panel considered 2 main reports. One concerned the 999 and 101 call answering service provided by the police; the other concerned policing the roads of Kent and Medway.

Panel members had previously expressed some concerns that people wishing to give the Police information or to report incidents were not always getting an answer quickly enough and they particularly felt this about the 101 service. The Commissioner explained to the panel that the volume of 999 calls had gone up a lot in recent years and that, because 999 calls were an emergency, the top priority for the force was to answer those calls quickly. This meant that, sometimes there was a slower response to those who rang 101. The panel were told that the force was recruiting extra call handlers and was adjusting shifts and work patterns to make sure that the largest number of staff were on duty at the busiest times. The Commissioner also pointed out that people could now give information or report non-urgent matters in other ways, such as online or by text, but he assured the panel that he still expected the force to have the call handlers to cope with the number of people calling 999 and 101.

The panel had asked the Commissioner to report on policing the roads of Kent and Medway, due to concerns raised that speed limits and other motoring offences were not always being enforced and it seemed that roads were closed for very lengthy periods after an accident. The Commissioner gave some information to show that the number of notices issued for speeding, use of mobile phone while driving, and failure to wear a seat belt had all gone up significantly. The Commissioner also gave information showing an increase in arrests for driving whilst unfit due to drink and drugs. The Commissioner assured the panel that the police worked closely with other partners, such as Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership and Speedwatch, to help enforce traffic laws. Panel members confirmed that the relationship between Speedwatch and the police had improved.

In addition to the two main reports the Commissioner gave the panel an update on his work on mental health, mentioning particularly his visits to teams throughout Kent to understand the issues. He also answered a question about knife crime, following recent incidents in London, and he explained that he was developing a challenge to partners to come together and develop plans to deal with the issue.

This summary gives a brief indication of the main points discussed by the panel. It is not a formal record - this can be found in the papers presented to the panel and the minutes of the panel meeting

For more information, see: