Joining the Panel
To join the panel, please write by email to CTwithPHSNP@gmail.com with a short explanation of what you could bring to the Panel and your current involvements including any positions held in the community.
Your application will then be presented privately to the Panel Members for them to take the opportunity to nominate or second your application. If your application attracts a nomination with a second by two panel members with no objections, then your application will be put to public vote of the panel members present at the next public meeting. If your nomination achieves a majority vote of the panel members then your application is successful and you become a panel member.
Below are the guidelines on what the Panel is looking for and how we strive to maintain a diverse representation of the Ward, hopefully without too much overlap/duplication of the types of panel members.
Safer Neighbourhood Panels - GUIDELINES March 2016
- The panel should aim to be broadly representative and inclusive of the community it serves in terms of a mix of residents, businesses, ethnic minorities, gender and age.
- Members will either have good community contacts and be able to represent a number of views, including Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators, or bring skillsets that will benefit the Panel and the local community.
- Panel members are encouraged to suggest possible new panel members to the Chair.
- Full voting membership will be limited to the community representatives.
- Councillors of the ward may also be members of the panel but have no voting rights.
- An ideal attendance size is around 12 -15 attendees; it is likely that membership will need to be higher to factor in the likelihood of apologies at every meeting.
- The Council and other statutory service providers and agencies may also be invited to meetings to assist and advise.
Chair and Vice Chair(s)
- The panel will be led by a Chair, elected by panel members.
- Also elected by panel members, the Vice Chair deputises for the Chair. Several Vice Chairs may be elected if this is felt to be helpful for the panel.
- Chairs and Vice Chairs also attend the following meetings:
- Cluster Meetings for their area with the Cluster Inspector. The Cluster Meetings agree 3 Cluster Priorities at each meeting. Priorities involve more complex solutions requiring medium to long-term and/or partnership approach to problem solving. Progress will be monitored at each Cluster Meeting and tracked on the Camden Police webpage.
- Chairs and Vice Chairs Meetings with the Senior Leadership Team (2x per year)
- Changes to the Chair and Vice Chair(s) should be notified to the Chair of Chairs so the new post holders can be included in circulations.
- Meeting dates for the year should also be sent to the Chair of Chairs so they can go on the Borough’s Meeting Dates spreadsheet (devised to help reduce the number of meeting date clashes in the Borough).
- Alison McWhinnie is the Chair of the Chairs’ Group and has the Safer Neighbourhood Panel Portfolio on the Safer Neighbourhood Board to ensure that all wards on the Borough have an operational ward panel. This is intended as a supportive role and Chairs, particularly those new to the role, are welcome to contact Alison by email Alison.McWhinnie@gmail.com. Alison is happy to meet with Chairs individually for a coffee to discuss any concerns they may have.
The ward panel may also benefit from the involvement of the local ward councillor who can observe the process and contribute their local knowledge of problems, but they should not be party to any ‘voting’ around the selection of promises. This is to ensure that priorities are selected by communities and free from any criticism that they are politically driven. It is also recommended that Councillors do not ‘chair’ these meetings for the same reasons.
Recommended Core Membership
- Councillors (no voting rights)
- Educational representatives; (If there is a school in the ward)
- Small and Medium Enterprises and local traders;
- BID representatives (where appropriate)
- Representatives from large industrial estates; (If appropriate to the ward)
- Voluntary Sector Council;
- Housing representatives: (If the ward has public housing)
- Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators
- Local Authority officers such as the Anti-Social Behaviour/Crime Prevention Officer
- Tenant and Resident Associations (If appropriate to the ward)
- Health professionals
- Young people
- Representatives from significant demographic groups
If there are insufficient panel members, new members can be generated through the following methods:
- Messages on Airspace
- Invitations to apply at public meetings
- SN team suggesting new members to the Chair from the contacts they come across in their daily work
- Panel members suggesting new members to the Chair
- Monthly MPS newsletter
- Social media
- Housing association newsletters
- Notice boards eg in supermarkets, libraries.
membership should be reviewed annually.
Record keeping should include minutes of the meeting with sufficient notes of the promises agreed and the reasons for decisions. A record should be kept of current panel membership and minutes on the S drive together with copies of information relating to any contentious issues.
Removal from Panel
The panel will have the right to remove a member if they:
- Consistently fail to attend meetings
- Display offensive or unruly behaviour at meetings, including but not limited to, making racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks
- Bring the reputation of the panel and/or the police into disrepute
- The Sgt or Chair may propose to the group that any member may be removed for any of the above reasons.
A member may resign at any time by informing the Chair in writing.
Conduct of Business
- Dates for the full calendar year will be set and notified to members by the beginning of that year, if not earlier.
- Agendas will be circulated two weeks in advance of meetings, and minutes circulated within one week after meetings.
- Offensive/unruly behaviour will not be permitted.
- Members may not use their position on the panel for party political purposes either during meetings or as a representative of the panel outside of meetings.
- Decisions will taken on a simple majority vote. The Chair has the casting vote, if necessary.
- The Chair has a representative role of the panel where necessary. This may involve writing to councillors, the council and other statutory service providers or agencies as well as members of the public.
- Any complaints about the operation of the panel should be directed to the Chair.
- The Chair and Sgt will set the agendas for meetings. However, any member may ask for an item to go on an agenda by emailing the Chair.
- Consider taking questions in threes.
- Consider aiming to keep the duration of the panel meeting to one hour.
- AGMs are optional.
- A journalist can be invited to attend the panel as an observer, if it is felt that this would be helpful. They have no voting rights. It is advisable to obtain the consent of the panel members before doing so. Revisit the decision if subsequent articles prove to be unhelpful for the panel.