Topics including recruitment and improving the diversity among the force were on the agenda at the first meeting of a new independent panel which will advise Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Constable.
The inaugural meeting took place on Tuesday (8 September) with the eight panel members sharing their views on major cultural and strategic decisions facing policing with Chief Constable Garry Forsyth.
The group’s first three-hour meeting saw Mr Forsyth outline his vision for the organisation, followed by discussions around recruitment and the force’s diversity.
The panel is due to meet quarterly and builds on a number of other existing forums already in place to provide transparency and accountability for Bedfordshire Police.
Mr Forsyth said, “This group will provide us with advice, support and guidance around the critical issues that we are facing as an organisation.
“We had a good discussion and it was incredibly useful to have those conversations with a really wide cross section of our communities here in Bedfordshire.
“It is imperative that we get opinions and insight from our community members, who can scrutinise our work and improve our efforts to fight crime and keep people safe.
“I am fully committed to continuing to make Bedfordshire Police fully accountable, transparent and accessible to people right across the county.”
Bedfordshire Police already runs an independent advisory group (IAG) for the wider force, as well as specific community scrutiny panels in areas such as stop and search and use of force.
Panel member Lila Begum said, “The diversity, skills and knowledge amongst the panel is very rich.
“As well as being an IAG member for Bedfordshire Police, this opportunity will enable me to contribute further as I always have both the community and Bedfordshire Police’s interest at heart.”