PCC to be joined by ‘independent voices’ at next public Scrutiny Meeting

Three independent Panel members

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner will be joined by two of her new independent members, representing the public, for the first-time next week as she holds her public Scrutiny Meeting with the Chief Constable.

These quarterly meetings are a crucial way Emily Spurrell holds Serena Kennedy to account for delivering on her policing and community safety priorities and maintaining an efficient and effective police service in Merseyside.

After attending the last Scrutiny Meeting in March to observe proceedings, the new independent panel members – Bisi Osundeko, John Weise, and Chris Shaw – will take it in turns to attend future meetings, with John and Chris attending the next meeting at 10.30am on Monday 19th June.

Separate from both the PCC and the police, the independent members will play a vital role in further increasing oversight and transparency by asking questions on behalf of the communities of Merseyside.

The introduction of the new panel members is the latest in a series of measures introduced by Emily to increase openness around policing on Merseyside, giving a voice to local people and ensuring they have the opportunity to be involved.

Since taking office, Emily’s Scrutiny Meetings have been open to the public, live-streamed and recorded to enable as many people as possible to watch them. She also invites the public to submit their questions on policing and community safety in our region, which she in turn puts to the Chief Constable and her team during these sessions.

The focus for the forthcoming meeting will be Merseyside Police's use of stop and search and force, how the organisation is working to tackle ASB and its approach to the demands placed on service by mental health.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Since I was elected, I have made police transparency and accountability a cornerstone of my plan and it is among the most important things that I do as your Police and Crime Commissioner.

As part of that scrutiny work, I have opened up my meetings, live-streaming them to the public, making sure that the right questions are being put to the Chief Constable and her team. 

“The recruitment of Bisi, Chris and John as independent scrutiny advisers, will further assist me in putting those issues that really matter to the people of Merseyside, to the Chief and her team, making sure we are holding her to account for the work they are doing to keep us all safe.”

Independent panel member Bisi Osundeko said: “I’m really passionate about speaking for others, especially people who are from minoritised backgrounds, I felt like this was an opportunity for me to be able to bring my voice to support the PCC by ensuring the right questions are asked in terms of how she scrutinises the Chief Constable.”

John Weise added: “In the last ten years I’ve been involved in the Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership. I’m looking forward to bringing the skills I use to help support the work that these committees do.”

The independent members were appointed following an open recruitment process, which saw the Commissioner invite applications from all of Merseyside’s diverse communities.

The members will also provide an independent voice at other meetings the PCC hosts, including her Victims Programme Board which reviews how Merseyside Police supports victims.

Members of the public can livestream this meeting here: https://liverpoolcityregion-ca.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/772985