The schedule of meetings follows the timetable of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s key actions throughout the year. Typically, a meeting will take place in November or early December to enable the Police and Crime Panel and Commissioner to discuss issues of mutual interest relating to the Police and Crime Plan and the budget setting process, prior to the formal budget setting process in January and the first week of February. The Commissioner has to issue the proposed precept to the Panel by 31 January each year. The Panel has to respond to the Commissioner with its report, and if it resolves by the appropriate majority, to veto the precept by 7 February in each year. The Commissioner has to respond to the Panel’s report on the precept by 15 February. The Panel must then finally respond to the Commissioner by 22 February. The precept must be notified by the Commissioner to the Panel billing authorities by 1 March in each year.
The Police and Crime Plan must be sent by the Commissioner to the Panel in draft before it is issued. In practice, the Commissioner is likely to issue the draft plan at or around the same time as the proposed precept and budget. The Panel will consider the plan at its meeting to consider the precept.
As local elections take place each year in May, a review of the Panel’s membership will be carried out at the meeting of the Panel in June or July each year. This is to ensure that the political balance objective is met after the elections. The Panel will decide whether further appointments of independent members are required to bring additional skills or experience to the Panel.
The Commissioner must issue an annual report on the progress in the year in meeting the police and crime objectives in the Police and Crime Plan. The Commissioner will normally issue the report with a view to it being considered at the June or July meeting of the Panel. The Commissioner will attend that meeting to answer questions on the report. The Panel will send its report on the plan to the Commissioner within one month of the conclusion of the meeting. The Commissioner will respond to the Panel’s report within three weeks.
Each meeting will also offer the opportunity for Panel members to discuss any pertinent issues, ongoing work with partners such as the local community safety partnerships, Commissioner’s decisions and actions, and applicable complaints against the Commissioner. As the Panel and Commissioner are new functions, the working relationship and protocol between the two will be developed and reviewed over time, to ensure it is fit for purpose.