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Tameside Independent Scrutiny Panel wants greater input from the public

Greater Manchester Police is looking for people to join its Tameside Independent Scrutiny Panel.

In an effort to increase transparency with all communities across Greater Manchester - as well as build trust and confidence in the force - GMP established the independent panels in each district in 2021. 

The Tameside panel is made up of eight members of the public who review officers’ actions, particularly around use of force and stop-and-search. 

Chief Inspector Lee Broadstock is now looking to expand the panel to increase scrutiny of police officers’ actions. 

CI Broadstock said: “Tameside district has a well-established community scrutiny panel comprising volunteers from across our towns and villages who meet regularly to review policing activity across the district. 

“This includes watching and feeding back on officers’ body worn video (BWV) around use of force and stop-and-search. 

“Feedback on the encounters is shared with officers involved and is used as part of wider learning across the force. 

“Diversity, equality and inclusion are key considerations for GMP, particularly when it comes to stop-and-search.  

“It is important that these searches are proportionate and fair, and is why they are reviewed by an independent body. 

“In Tameside, we are determined to continue be open and transparent and recruiting additional panel members will further improve public trust and confidence in policing. 

“It is vital we have a truly diverse range of people on the panel who can bring different perspectives to the meetings. 

“Being searched can feel invasive, so we want to reassure the public that officers only exercise this power when necessary to further investigations into criminal activity and for the protection the public.” 

In 2023, officers in the Tameside district conducted 2,348 stop-and-searches, up from 1,256 in 2022, with almost a quarter yielding a positive outcome including the confiscation of weapons or drugs.

Retired bank manager Robin Bhattacharyya, 57, who chairs the panel, said: “Before I joined the scrutiny panel, I had little interaction with the police but my involvement has given me an interesting perspective of the actions of frontline officers 

“The panel has been reviewing stop-search footage for nearly three years and I feel our wide range of personal and professional backgrounds has given a varied but mainly positive feedback on our observations.  

“The panel members do not always agree after viewing the footage, but this makes for some interesting discussion points during our meetings. 

“We appreciate how well the panel is run by Chief Inspector Broadstock and his team - openness and our impartial opinions are given without judgement or prejudice, and we feel free to discuss any aspects of body worn camera footage seen and procedures we’re not comfortable with or don’t have full understanding of.  

“We need more people willing to donate their time to this useful service and full credit to Greater Manchester Police for opening its doors at Ashton Police Station to allow scrutiny from members of the public.” 

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