Neighbourhood Panels are all about creating a structure that will give the community more chance to drive local priorities for the benefit of the neighbourhood.
The provision of a Neighbourhood Panel for an area is to endeavour to ensure the people are given what they want, and are not just being told what they are to get. It is about having neighbourhood policing teams sitting at the heart of every community and the community at the heart of every team. It is about involving the community in decision making, giving the community the capacity to influence local government, and institutions, and allowing the community access to information on what is being achieved. It is about elected representatives, local government and institutions being accountable to the Panel and thus the community. Proposal is that the Chairman is elected from within the group of Panel Members upon retirement of incumbent.
Neighbourhood Panels are directed at issues related to Law & Order and anti-social behaviour. The Neighbourhood Panel provides a non-party political mechanism led by the community. The Panel identifies local problems and has the authority to call upon the Police, elected representatives and other supporting agencies capable of resolving those problems to do so. The overall purpose of the Panel is to agree a realistic and achievable course of action to address issues raised by the community and follow through.
The Panel should include a wide range of people who have a connection with the neighbourhood area.
The Panel Chairman and members should have the respect of the community and be trusted to voice their concerns.
The Panel will try to attract as wide a range of people as possible to its meetings to ensure it is representative of the community.
Panel members will be expected to take an active role in consulting and representing their local areas.
The Panel should ensure the community is aware of its activities.
In setting priorities the Panel will consider information collected by Police, elected representatives, and other invited partners. It will use the support and advice of the Police, elected representatives and other invited partners to ensure that priorities are achievable within available resources, and that timescales set for addressing problems and feeding back to the community are realistic.
Elected representatives have an important role to play in addressing local problems. However, it has been recognised that there is a danger in Panel decisions being seen as politicised and consequently elected representatives will not chair any Neighbourhood Panel.