Police and Crime Panel
Dorset's Police and Crime Panel (PCP) has been established to examine the actions and decisions of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The Panel will ensure that relevant information is made available to the public so that they can effectively hold the PCC to account.
The Panel will therefore primarily focus their attention on important strategic actions and decisions made by the PCC. This will include whether they have:
- achieved the aims set out in the Police and Crime Plan and the Annual Report
- considered the priorities of community safety partners
- consulted appropriately with the public and victims of crime
The Panel will support and challenge the PCC in carrying out their functions. The Panel does not replace Dorset Police Authority and does not have any role in scrutinising the performance of the Force - that is the role of the PCC.
Role and Powers of the Dorset Police and Crime Panel
The Panel has a range of powers to help them carry out their functions and specific responsibilities relating to the Police and Crime Plan and the Annual Report. These include:
- making reports and recommendations on these two documents, of which the PCC must take account and respond
- publishing all reports and recommendations that it makes
- hold public meetings to discuss the Annual Report and to question the PCC
The Panel can also make reports or recommendations (including the power of veto with a two-thirds majority) on the PCC's proposals on:
- the level of the policing precept (the element of council tax charging for policing services)
- the appointment of a Chief Constable
Other specific powers held by the Police and Crime Panel include:
- holding confirmation hearings for key members of staff (Deputy PCC, Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer). The Panel will not be able to refuse appointments but can make recommendations to the PCC
- appointing an acting PCC if the elected PCC cannot carry out their role eg. for health reasons, or following resignation or disqualification
- asking for a professional view from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary if the PCC is planning to dismiss the Chief Constable. (In case of dismissal the Panel must hold a scrutiny hearing and make a recommendation to the PCC.)
- monitoring complaints against the PCC and dealing with non-criminal complaints
- making the PCC (and members of their staff) attend Panel meetings to answer questions
- asking the Chief Constable to attend any meetings
- making reports and recommendations on any action or decision of the PCC
Membership and Administration
Dorset Council is the lead authority responsible for the establishment and administration of the Police and Crime Panel in Dorset - further information, including details of Panel members, can be found on the Dorset Council website.
Home Office guidelines state that Panels must be made up of at least one elected representative from each local authority (unitary, county and district) within the force area plus two independent co-optees. There must also be at least 10 elected representatives on the Panel, with membership also reflecting the geographical and political balance of the area.
How to make a complaint about the PCC to the Police & Crime Panel
The Police & Crime Panel have powers to examine complaints against the PCC so long as they fall within the following three categories:
- Complaints relating to rudeness by the PCC
- Complaints relating to inappropriate references to people, places or issues by the PCC
- Very minor or spent convictions by the PCC
For further information, please use the links below to either the Home Office or Dorset Council websites: