Members of Cambridgeshire’s Community Scrutiny Panel came together this month to reflect on progress made over the year.  

The volunteers joined police officers and representatives from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) at their third Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cambridgeshire Constabulary Headquarters in Huntingdon.  

The Community Scrutiny Panel is made up of a group of independent volunteers who scrutinise police interaction with the public and help to ensure that officers are always using their powers appropriately and ethically.

While the Panel is facilitated by the OPCC, meetings are independently chaired and members encouraged to speak freely and honestly to ensure the genuine views of our community are considered. 

Panel co-chair, Keith Parish, congratulated members on their recent achievements, which include instigating enhanced mental health training for all front-line officers and thanked the volunteers for their hard work over the year.

The Panel played a part in significantly increasing scrutiny in important areas such as juvenile strip searches and acute behaviour disturbance. 

Jack Hudson, Deputy CEO for the OPCC said: “The Police and Crime Commissioner recognises that the model of policing we have in this country is based on public co-operation.

"He is committed to ensuring that the police act with integrity and holds the Chief Constable to account for ensuring officers and staff carry out their roles in line with the standards of professional behaviour expected of all those in policing”.  

“To help him achieve this, the Commissioner continues to support the independent scrutiny of police actions through the Community Scrutiny Panel.

He added: "The Panel provides direct feedback to the Constabulary which enables organisational learning and influences change where necessary.”  

Previously, the Community Scrutiny Panel has focused on providing scrutiny of officers’ use of force and stop and search powers.

Now approaching its fourth consecutive year, the Panel continues to grow in both members and across new areas of scrutiny such as custody.  

Co-Chair Jonathan Peryer, who will lead the new custody scrutiny meetings said: “I look forward to focussing on different aspects of custody work which I hope will lead to ongoing improvement and increased community assurance in custody.” 

The Constabulary also recently announced they will be introducing public scrutiny of section 163 of the Road Traffic Act to the panel.

This means members will review footage and give feedback to officers stopping a person driving a vehicle on a road. 

In addition to its regular members, the AGM was attended by members of the public who were interested in joining the Panel, or simply wanted to find out more.

The Community Scrutiny Panel is currently open to new members, with training sessions happening throughout the year. To register to join the Community Scrutiny Panel, you can contact the OPCC at: or telephone: 0300 333 3456.