The Panel is a joint committee of Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Luton Borough Council. Its membership comprises Councillors appointed by each of those three authorities and two Co-opted Independent Members.
Bedford Borough Council is the host local authority for the Panel and is responsible for providing administrative and other support to the Panel and its Members.
The Panel’s functions are to:
- review and report/make recommendations to the PCC in respect of his/her draft Police and Crime Plan (this is a document setting out the PCC’s objectives for policing and reducing crime and disorder in the area, how policing resources will be allocated and agreements for funding and reporting on the work) or any draft variation to their prevailing plan
- review and report/make recommendations to the PCC on his/her annual report
- review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, by the PCC in connection with the discharge of his/her functions and make reports or recommendations to the PCC with respect to the discharge of those functions
- review and report back to the PCC on appointments s/he proposes to make to the following posts: the Commissioner’s Chief Executive, the Commissioner’s Director of Finance, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable
(Note: for this purpose, the PCP is required to hold “confirmation hearings” in public at which the PCC’s proposed appointee will be requested to appear for the purpose of answering questions relating to the appointment. The Panel’s subsequent report to the Commissioner must include a recommendation as to whether or not the candidate should be appointed, which the PCC may choose to accept or not. In respect of the appointment of a Chief Constable, the PCP may veto the proposed appointment, provided at least 2/3 of the Panel Members at the time vote to do so
- review and report/make recommendations to the PCC on his/her proposed precept for the financial year. Note: the PCP has the power to veto the proposed precept provided at least 2/3 of the Panel Members at the time vote to do so
- review and report/make recommendations to the PCC on any proposal by him/her to call on the Chief Constable (CC) to retire or resign. Note: in undertaking any such review, the PCP may consult the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for a professional view and must hold a scrutiny hearing in private which both the PCC and the CC are entitled to attend for the purposes of making representations. The PCC may either accept or reject the Panel’s recommendation)
The Panel also has the power:
- to suspend the PCC if s/he has been charged with an offence (in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) which carries a maximum term of imprisonment exceeding two years
- to appoint an acting PCC where the incumbent PCC is incapacitated, resigns or is disqualified
- to require the relevant PCC and members of his/her staff to attend before the Panel (at reasonable notice) to answer any questions that the Panel considers necessary in order to carry out its functions
- to require the PCC to respond in writing within a reasonable period determined by the Panel, to any report or recommendation the Panel has made to the PCC
Where the Panel has required the PCC to attend before it, the Panel may also request the Chief Constable to attend before it on the same occasion in order to answer any questions the Panel consider necessary in order to carry out their functions.
See further details about the Panel’s constitution and working arrangements: