Skip to content
Text size: A A A
Open Menu

WPCC3-0127 – Custody Detention Independent Scrutiny Panel

Decision Reference Number: WPCC3-0127

Lead Officer: David Patterson – OPCC Scrutiny and Assurance

Chief Officer approval: ACC Ben Smith

Date: 29/02/2024

Status: Non-confidential

Decision summary:

This decision is for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire (OPCC) to establish in conjunction with Warwickshire Police a Custody Detention Independent Scrutiny Pane (CDISP).  This arrangement will enable custody detention in the county to be formally, ethically, transparently, and independently scrutinised by members of the local community and thereby help bring them closer to decision making.

I confirm that my register of interests declaration is up to date and that none of my interests preclude me from making this decision.

Signature:  P.Seccombe

Date: 04/03/2024

Supporting information

1. Background information

Section 96 of the Police Act 199620, as amended by Section 14 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSRA), imposes a duty on local policing bodies to arrange to obtain the views of the community on policing. A local policing body is defined under Section 101 (1) Police Act 1996 to include a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

There is a clear mandate for PCCs to facilitate community scrutiny; to uphold their commitments to serve their communities with transparency and accountability and to give a voice to the public.

2. List of additional information attached as appendices

3. Expected benefits

  • To meet the PCC’s obligations under the PRSRA to obtain the views of the community on policing.
  • For representative members of the community to provide independent scrutiny of the policies, systems, and practices within the custody environment; thereby improving the safety and treatment of persons held in police detention.
  • To address issues of disproportionality in respect of race and other protected characteristics with the custody detention environment.
  • To improve trust and confidence in Warwickshire Police.

4. Impact of not approving the application

  • Police custody detention will not be subject to external and independent scrutiny and the benefits and learning, will not be realised.

5. Costs (including any identified savings)

Financial costs:

  • Expenses in respect of travel and refreshment for the Panel members.
  • Printing for reports and material for scrutiny.

Opportunity costs:

  • Time for the OPCC to implement and orchestrate the arrangements; also to prepare the material to be scrutinised, including the sanitising of personal information.
  • Time for the management of Warwickshire Police Custody to provide the material to be scrutinised and to provide familiarisation training to the Panel membership to enable their views to have greater validity and credibility. Also, to be present at the Panel meetings to provide input as Subject Matter Experts (SME).

6. Equality considerations

Ensuring that the membership of the Panel is representative of the communities of Warwickshire, particularly in respect of ‘lived experience’. The CDISP will therefore provide a positive influence on matters relating to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

7. Legal comments


8. Social or Environmental considerations

Panel scrutiny to review and evidence learning of Warwickshire police to demonstrate transparency and increase public confidence.

9. Publication

Reports of the CDISP to be published annually.

Comments from the Treasurer

The financial investment of forming this scrutiny panel will bring with it some financial implications in the form of volunteer expenses.  However, it is anticipated that the financial cost will be far outweighed with the invaluable feedback and views of the scrutiny panel.

Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer

The establishment of an Independent Custody Scrutiny panel is highly recommended to ensure review and invite constructive feedback from members to ensure that all detainees within custody are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.