A group of nine residents from across Dyfed-Powys have been working hard for the last year to support Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, carry out one of his most crucial roles – holding the police to account for how the public are treated.
Formed in February 2017, the Quality Assurance Panel (QAP) is responsible for independently reviewing various forms of police contact with the public. They consider whether cases have been dealt with fairly, reasonably and proportionately.
To date, they have reviewed:
· Calls recorded via the 999, 101 and main police switchboard;
· Closed low-level complaint cases;
· Finalised reports of dissatisfaction;
· Stop and search records
The panel currently meet on a quarterly basis and spend some time going through closed case files. Any observations, queries or suggestions are fed back to the police force to help improve how they deal with similar situations in the future. The Commissioner and Chief Constable receive the panel’s reports at the Policing Board and ensure the feedback is acted upon.
Examples of feedback include:
· Providing contact details and descriptions of services when referring complainants to other agencies
· Considering caller circumstances when attempting to capture personal data
· Raising public awareness of their rights when they come into contact with the police
Plans are afoot to branch out further to look at a wider range of public experiences such as hate crime and restorative justice. And there is now the opportunity for new members to join the panel – the recruitment drive closes on the 15th of February.
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I very much appreciate the contribution of the panel members. Their feedback has also been well received by the police as they are able to provide a different perspective on matters. Members are confident enough to ask why things happen or if they could be done differently.
“Testimony of the panel’s impact is that we are having more requests from across the police service for members to look into other areas of police contact. We are planning on bringing the members together more often (every two months) to make sure they can support the requests and look at the areas which matter most to the public – but to do this we need more members.
Anyone over the age of 18 with no direct connection with the police or criminal justice system and an interest in supporting service improvements are encouraged to apply.
We are also very keen to see the panel membership grow to involve more people from a variety of backgrounds and can help anyone who feel they need additional support to get involved.”
Reports from the panel’s previous activities are available by visiting www.dyfedpowys-pcc.org.uk/en/work-with-me/volunteer/qualityassurance-panel/