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PCC closes Volunteers Week with thanks to ‘respected’ Bedfordshire scrutiny panel

PCC closes Volunteers Week with thanks to ‘respected’ Bedfordshire scrutiny panel

Bedfordshire’s Police and crime Commissioner (PCC) has issued his thanks to the county’s stop and search scrutiny panel as it continues to receive international recognition for its effective approach.

As the national weeklong campaign recognising volunteers draws to a close, PCC Festus Akinbusoye has specifically thanked Bedfordshire’s respected stop and search scrutiny panel for their work to improve policing in the county.

Made up of local residents, the group of volunteers scrutinises how police use force and other coercive powers with the aim of improving the trust and confidence Bedfordshire communities have in the police through transparency and independence.

Earlier this year, the force was praised by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) for the work it does to ensure the ethical use of stop and search and use of force powers.

“Volunteer’s Week gives the perfect opportunity to highlight the incredible work being undertaken by local residents to build better relationships between the public and the police,” said Mr Akinbusoye.

“Our stop and search scrutiny panel is respected across the country, and more recently my office has received numerous requests from international counterparts to share our approach as best practice. I have a great appreciation for the panel’s efforts and commitment to holding the force to account.

“It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is that the voice of all Bedfordshire’s communities is heard in spaces where it has influence. I will continue to advocate for such work as part of my promise to increase transparency and place residents and victims at the centre of policing priorities.”

Scrutiny panel members review body-worn video footage of incidents where officers have used force or carried out a stop and search.

The police’s conduct is then reviewed and graded using a traffic light system and fed back to the force to respond to accordingly.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is recruiting for independent panel members to scrutinise police powers and help ensure stop searches and the use of force are used appropriately in Bedfordshire.

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