New community panels begin monitoring use of force by Police with aim to rebuild trust with public

Police stopping moped | Hillingdon Today

Twelve panels comprised of local community members will review and feed back on police officers’ use of force in every London borough on a regular basis, starting this month.

This is one of a number of initiatives being launched by the police to listen to and rebuild trust with Londoners.

The new Police Encounter Panels, co-chaired by community leads and area police commanders, will meet to discuss encounters with the public that have occurred in their region, including those which may have caused community concern.

They will review encounters including those where police officers have used force, with panel members being shown body worn video footage where appropriate.

To increase transparency, the panel members are being given access to more material, including police officers’ written accounts of events and stop and search forms.

This is one of a number of actions the Metropolitan Police Service is taking to better understand the impact of officers’ interactions with the public – particularly those who have lower levels of trust in the service.

The panel members are volunteers drawn from local communities who reflect the diversity within the area. They will be joined by senior police officers and representatives from the Metropolitan Police Federation or an appropriate staff association.

Learning from the meetings will be fed back to individuals, local police teams and pan-London police teams like the Met’s Taskforce, Specialist Firearms Command and Roads and Transport Policing Command, to ensure the organisation as a whole learns from local incidents.

Commander Helen Harper, Head of Profession for Met Crime Prevention, Inclusion and Engagement, said: “We have developed the Police Encounter Panels as another way to listen to Londoners and identify where we could do better in the areas of our work where we face most criticism. We also want to work out where we’re getting things right, so we can replicate that positive action across the Met. 

“The new panels will help us build stronger relationships with people in every London borough, particularly with those who have not previously been part of police review groups. 

“We depend on the trust of the people we serve and we know we are so much more effective if we are listening and engaging with them. We’re here, we’re changing, we’re learning. We will not stop working to be the service Londoners need and deserve.”