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Ethics, Transparency and Audit Committee in the Staffordshire Moorlands

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 24, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

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Members of an independent group established by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Matthew Ellis are set to bring new rigour to crime recording in Leek, Cheadle and Biddulph.

The Ethics, Transparency and Audit Committee was launched by Mr Ellis, who is aiming for Staffordshire to be the most open and transparent police force in the country.

An independent body, the panel is made up of local people and is one of the Commissioner's drivers that opens the police to even greater public scrutiny. It has been provided with wider powers by the PCC and a greater remit than the audit committee it replaced, putting decisions by Staffordshire Police under the spotlight, as well as those made by the PCC.

A group from the committee will focus on transparency and information assurance. Members will scrutinise crime recording by the force by looking at crime reports as part of regular reviews carried out by the PCC's office.

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Mr Ellis said: "Honest and independent scrutiny by the public is crucial as we strive to set the bar higher and create a new dawn of transparency in policing.

"I was delighted to give the new committee much more rigour and a bigger remit than the panel it replaced. This added rigour will help scrutinise crime recording to make sure decisions made by the police are correct and in the victims' best interests.

"The committee is holding Staffordshire Police, and myself as the PCC, to account and ensuring actions taken and decisions made are open, honest and transparent. It's about making sure things change where change is needed, so that public confidence is increased."

The committee met last week and discussed work that had already begun on key areas including ethics and professional standards, information technology, transparency and governance.

Staffordshire Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: "We rely on the trust and confidence of our communities for our delivery of effective policing, and our openness and accountability enhances the trust that public have in us.

"The work of the committee is a critical element of holding the force to account and is therefore absolutely welcomed by myself and colleagues".

Committee Chairman Rosemary Crawley said: "I wholeheartedly welcome the extended remit to scrutinise much more widely that the Commissioner have asked us to undertake."

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