The Police & Democracy

Feb 4, 2010 · Greater London, United Kingdom

There is a crisis in the trust people have with the institutions of our state and one of those under increasing scrutiny is the police. A recent report has shown that only a tiny minority of complaints about the police are upheld. This poses the question of how accountable our police are. What is the relation of our communities with the police? How can Parliament effectively hold the police to account and do they? How can we ensure that the police are a 21st century force that understands the diversity of our communities? What can be done to make the police more democratic without making it the tool of one pressure group or another? These are some of the questions that we hope to discuss at this meeting. The speakers will be, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Leicester East since 1987, and has been the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee - the body charged with examining the expenditure, policy and administration of the Home Office and its associated public bodies. He was appointed as a member of the Privy Council in June 2006. .During his time in the House of Commons, Keith has held a number of Government posts: Minister of State for Europe [masked]); Parliamentary Secretary (Minister), Lord Chancellor's Dept (May-Oct 1999); Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General, John Morris and Solicitor General, Lord Falconer QC (June 1997-May 1999). He has previously served as a Member of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, as chair of the Sub-Committee for Courts and the Judiciary. Dr Dominic Wood is Head of Department of the Law and Criminal Justice Studies department at Christ Church University, Cantebury. He is currently an External Examiner at the University of Teesside for the BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigation, Chair of the HE Forum for Learning and Development in Policing Organiser and Chair of the Conference, Towards Knowledge Led Policing and Security, held in 2008.He had previously participated within the Police Skills and Standards Organisation (PSSO) HE Forum and the Skills for Justice Foundation Degree Working Group and Skillsmark Working Group.Dominic spent a year long sabbatical at Simon Fraser University in Canada during the course of 2004where he worked with their Criminal Justice department there. Rob Berkeley. Rob is Director of the Runnymede Trust, an independent policy-research organisation focusing on 'race' and social policy. His doctoral studies focused on exclusions from school. He is a Senior Adviser to the British Council, a member of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Social Justice Committee, and Chair of the Advisory Group of the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education. Stuart Donald is the Assistant Chief Constable of Humberside. He spent the early years of his service working as a detective in Hull and specialist in the Force Drug Squad. He has been commended four times. He is also the ACPO Lead on the Policing Pledge which was described by the Home Secretary as “ensuring that you know the minimum standard of service you should receive and that you have a greater say and influence over how your streets are policed.” Does this work and is it enough to effectively relate the police to local communities so there is mutual trust? This will be part of the debate and discussion of this meetup.

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