The Office of the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is keen to hear from members of the community across Durham and Darlington who want to make a real difference and become volunteers for existing and new scrutiny panels.

The OPCC carries out a wide-ranging programme of external scrutiny via groupsand panels made up of partners and members of the community and are an additional mechanism for the PCC to hold the force to account and form part of the wider OPCC Accountability Framework. 

Scrutiny Panels consist of the Custody Detention Panel, Best Use of Stop and Search/Use of Force (BUSS), VAWG/DA/SV (Violence Against Women and Girls, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence), Public Complaints, Independent Ethics Committee, Out of Court Disposals (OoCD) and Animal Welfare Scheme.  

Scrutiny panels, which will be run on a voluntary basis, will look to support a consistent, coherent, and credible approach that results in evidence-based recommendations to Durham Constabulary for positive change and will look to constructively challenge the Force’s existing ways of working and identify any organisational learning.

The groups will be responsible for critically examining a sample of cases, including Body Worn Video footage and documents, and identifying any issues which point to disproportionality in police actions, leading to corresponding changes by the Constabulary to rectify these issues. They will also recognise good practice that takes place.

 “It is so important that we create opportunities to hear voices from our local communities and respond to any feedback and recommendations made to promote trust and confidence in policing.

“Not only is this an excellent opportunity for volunteers to let us know their thoughts, but it is also a chance for them to get some experience of understanding policing practices to ensure we are continuously improving, addressing concerns, celebrating successes and meeting the needs of victims and the public.”

Andrea Petty, Chief of Staff (OPCC)

To learn more about scrutiny panels or to submit your expression of interest to be a volunteer, please visit

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