The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner is calling on members of the public to get in touch with their questions for senior police officers on use of force at an upcoming meeting of the Strategic Policing and Crime Board on June 16th, where a new paper on the topic will be discussed.
Police use of force is scrutinised regularly by the PCC and in light of some recent incidents, including the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there have been more calls for tough oversight of the way police officers use their powers.
Use of force by the police, including use of Taser, is an area of legitimate public concern. Policing inevitably requires officers, on occasion, to secure compliance from individuals who are actively resisting, or protect themselves from assault.
At every monthly public board meeting that the PCC holds the public has the opportunity to table questions to the force.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, is asking for members of the public to submit their own questions which will be put to senior police officers, including the Chief Constable, on the topic of police use of force.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “Scrutinising West Midlands Police’s use of force is a key part of my role of holding them to account on behalf of the public.
“Use of force can be controversial and it is important that the way in which police exert their powers is properly overseen.
“We regularly receive reports and updates on the way in which the force uses its powers but I am particularly keen that the public have the opportunity to quiz the Chief Constable with their own questions about how officers use force.
“I am always keen for the public to be involved in the oversight of West Midlands Police which is why we have public questions at my board meetings. Having a strong, public way of holding the police to account leads to better policing by consent.”
To ensure public transparency, the PCC has established scrutiny panels within each Neighbourhood Policing Unit whereby body worn video from occurrences related to both Stop and Search and Use of Force is reviewed by members of the public. These panels are chaired by independent community members.
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To submit a question for the meeting, emails should be sent to: [email protected] or via the PCC’s contact form.