Holding The Police To Account

PEOPLE who live or work in Dorset wanting to help hold the police to account were invited to come forward as volunteers. Martyn Underhill, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, put a call out for a wide range of people from across the county to sit on a series of Independent Scrutiny Panels. The panels, which are held four times a year, enable the PCC to look into the work of Dorset Police and provide recommendations for how they can improve their service.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “These independent panels provide an absolutely vital job of assisting me to hold the Chief Constable to account and come up with suggestions for how they can do things better.” He said he looked for as wide a group of people as possible, and was particularly keen for younger people and those from different ethnic backgrounds to get involved and have their voices heard.

Four existing panels will look at a specific area such as how Dorset Police uses its stop and search powers; how the police interact with the public; how officers use force when responding to incidents and how they use out of court disposals such as cautions and warnings. Volunteers were also sought for a new panel being set up to look into hate crime in Dorset.

Martyn Underhill said he was looking for people who are good communicators, have great team working skills and who have integrity – but most of all who care about what’s happening in Dorset and want to work with me to help improve our police service.” Anyone who sits on a panel must be 18 or over, be an English speaker, have been resident in the UK for more than three years and currently live or work in Dorset.