Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panels
 

What are Ward Panels?1

Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panels are locally based, and Metropolitan Police managed, community/police engagement and consultation groups. They are important contributors to the Metropolitan Police Service engagement commitment; contained within the MPS Local Policing Model.

In restructuring community and police consultation and accountability, MOPAC transferred the control of borough based community consultation and engagement to Met's Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panels (Ward Panels).

Additionally, MOPAC have required that Safer Neighbourhood Boards oversee the development of the Ward Panels to: " Ensure all wards have a ward panel........ Where ward panels are not in place or not functioning the board will have the opportunity to ask the MPS what plans are in place to address this...".

The aim of Ward Panels is to advise Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SN Teams) about local community crime and disorder concerns which should enable SN Teams to decide promises and priorities which are intended to match community concerns.

 "The Ward Panel will decide the promises for the area by examining the results of community consultation and research by police and partners. This will include taking account of results from public events and meetings where the community have voiced concerns. In addition to promise setting the panel should also be fully involved in deciding what type of action should be taken on their concerns and have an input to the problem solving approach".

The work and governance of Ward Panels are fully described in the Metropolitan Police Services' Review of Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panels - published in May 2014. Some extracts from the document are written below.

 

Ward Panel focus

Ward Panels are an instrumental part of local police engagement in London "As Met Police Safer Neighbourhood (SN) teams engage with communities, through various methods such as meetings or contact points, the teams will gain an insight into the local community’s crime and disorder concerns. In order to ensure that the work of each SN team is focussed on resolving these problems, each SN team will require a process to involve local people to decide promises for them to work on."

Establishing a Ward Panel

The responsibility for This process will be based on a seven-stage model that is summarised at Appendix A (see reference item 1 at the bottom of this page). The 5th stage in this process, public choices, is where decisions are made. At this stage each SN Team must establish a panel in every ward. This panel should be made up of local people whose role is to assess the local concerns, identified through community engagement and analysis, and establish priorities for policing in the SN area. The panel gives direction and local advice to the SNs team, although some priorities will require partners to take the lead.

Ward Panel function

The Ward Panel will decide the promises for the area by examining the results of community consultation and research by police and partners. This will include taking account of results from public events and meetings where the community have voiced concerns. In addition to promise setting the panel should also be fully involved in deciding what type of action should be taken on their concerns and have an input to the problem solving approach.

Making the Ward Panel aware of police commitments

Ward Panels should be made aware of the full remit of the SN teams and that they have additional police responsibilities such as Offender Management and victim visits. This arrangement will be available for all wards to assist in targeted problem solving activities but may reduce ward police resources on occasions. However, each SN ward team will continue to have a prominent presence on their ward and will engage with their communities in the normal way.

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1 The MPS Review of Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panels- Published in May 2014