Police superintendent praises scrutiny panel overseeing use of force in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire

The panel reviews police data and body worn videos
Panel chairman, Montell Neufville. Picture: Montell NeufvillePanel chairman, Montell Neufville. Picture: Montell Neufville
Panel chairman, Montell Neufville. Picture: Montell Neufville

A panel overseeing police use of force in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire has been praised by a superintendent.

The community scrutiny panel covers the three counties’ specialist police division, Joint Protective Services (JPS), and holds the police to account by looking at their interactions with the public. The panel is chaired by Montell Neufville, a police ethics advisor and managing director of Att10tive, who set up the panel three years ago.

The panel has around forty participants from all three counties and its aim is to provide advice to the constabulary at the same time as building trust and confidence on how the police use their powers to protect the public.

Superintendent Ron Lock said: "The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and College of Policing encourage scrutiny panels to be Independent, Transparent, and representative of their local communities and recognise JPS panels as good practice in implementing the key principles of a critical friend."

Montell said: “Having such a wide diverse panel is best practice and the opinions of the panel members are brought together by using a traffic light tool green for good, amber for training or advisory and red not so good. Most of the interactions are green. Some are amber which is ‘feedback required’.

"This is because the unit we oversee are very experienced officers. In addition most of their work is supporting other police colleagues, they are usually called as back up and support.”

The panel meets four times a year virtually, with the latest meeting on February 15. Panel member, Dandy Doherty, said: “At today's panel we scrutinised data from the last quarter and several incidents of the use of force. The panel is an opportunity to influence how our communities are policed and give officers useful feedback. It's always great to see a diverse range of people coming together in this way.”

Another member, Paulina Rzeszotarska, said: “'Being a member of JPS Panel has been a very insightful experience. I feel that as a panel we contribute to the community by scrutinising police’s use of force. The panel consists of people from diverse backgrounds, and every opinion is valued and respected.

If anyone is interested in getting involved can email [email protected] for more information.