The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 underpins new governance and accountability arrangements for policing in Surrey, which include the formation of a police and crime panel.
The role of the panel will be to examine the actions and decisions of Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner and to make sure information is available for the public so that they can hold their Commissioner to account.
The panel is a committee of Surrey County Council, and consists of one elected councillor from each of Surrey's twelve local authorities and two co-opted independent members.
Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner
Lisa Townsend, the Conservative candidate was elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey following elections on 6 May 2021. Lisa took over from David Munro who was the previous Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey (2016-21). The Commissioner is responsible for setting the strategic objectives for policing in the county.
This includes setting and updating a police and crime plan, setting the force budget and precept, and appointing, and where necessary dismissing, the Chief Constable. The Police and Crime Panel will play a key role in scrutinising decisions made by the Commissioner in connection to these responsibilities.
These new arrangements are designed to increase transparency of the delivery of policing services, and to give the public the ability to ensure their police are accountable. As such, the Chief Constable of Surrey Police is accountable to the Commissioner, and the Commissioner is accountable to the electorate.
All meetings of the Surrey Police and Crime Panel are broadcast live via the county council's webcasting system. The recordings remain available for six months after the meeting and can be accessed via our webcasts page.
- Lisa Townsend, the Conservative candidate was elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey following elections on 6 May 2021.
- The Surrey Police and Crime Panel met on 5 February 2021. It reviewed the PCC's precept proposal with seven members voting against it and three members voting for it, with no abstentions.
- accepted that the PCC's proposal to increase the band D Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Precept by £15 for 2021/22 from £270.57 to £285.57 would come into effect; and
- agreed to formally report to the Commissioner by 8 February 2021, noting its concerns and reasons for panel members not supporting the proposed precept (to be annexed to the minutes).
- After appointing two new co-opted independent members, Mr Philip Walker and Mr Martin Stilwell; the Panel welcomed them to its meeting on 15 September 2020.
- The Panel elected Cllr David Reeve as Chairman and Cllr Hazel Watson as Vice-Chairman for the council year 2020/21.
- The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011) places a duty on the Police and Crime Commissioner to produce an annual report. Panel members considered the draft Annual Report 2019/20 on 30 June 2020. A letter with the Panel's comments was sent to the Police and Crime Commissioner on 6 July 2020.
- The Panel have been holding virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In accordance with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 a veto must be agreed by two-thirds of panel members. This equates to ten panel members (the full membership rather than those present at the meeting). As that requirement had not been met, the panel: