Norfolk PCC launches new community network to influence policing in the county
Organisations and groups across Norfolk are being invited to join an influential network created to improve policing across the county.
The network will be part of the Norfolk Independent Advisory Group (IAG), which is made up of residents from different backgrounds who work alongside the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Norfolk Constabulary to bring community-based perspectives and views to policing.
The IAG is described as a ‘critical friend’ to the police and is designed to ensure the voices of different communities are heard on subjects that could range from the use of stop and search powers to the development and implementation of equality and diversity strategies.
Now, Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie is expanding the group with the development of a new IAG Engagement Network designed to further increase the input and influence of residents from all backgrounds.
Network members will work alongside the IAG to represent the needs of as wide a range of residents as possible, ensuring they are able to directly impact policing in Norfolk.
Representatives from community groups or interested individuals are invited to join the network and could include people from minority ethnic groups, the LGBTQ+ community, refugees, rurally isolated communities, elderly people, people with disabilities and those living with mental health challenges, however Giles is keen to ensure all residents are able to have their say.
The IAG will also work with organisations who support those with protected characteristics, the vulnerable, victims of crime and organisations representing the needs of a wide range of demographic groups.
Giles said: “The role of an IAG is to help build a real partnership between the police and the communities they serve. I have great admiration for our IAG members and the commitment they show to representing their communities and I know that the police force benefits greatly from their insight and knowledge.
“Sadly, through a number of incidents both inside and outside of Norfolk this year we have seen a gap develop in the trust and confidence people might have in policing and it is vital that we rebuild that bond of trust.
“The Norfolk IAG is a well-established group and there is a strong connection to the Constabulary already in place. Through the development of this new Engagement Network, we will be able to grow and develop those links even further.
“This is a real opportunity for people to get involved, share their views and have a positive impact on policing in their county and their communities.”
The Norfolk IAG Engagement Network will be launched at the IAG Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 7 December and interested members can find out more information about how to join and what the plans for the network will in 2022.
The AGM will be held using a virtual format. For more information about IAG, the AGM and the Norfolk IAG Engagement Network or to register to receive a link to attend the event please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Independent Advisory Groups
The Macpherson Report into the Stephen Lawrence murder created a challenge for the Police Service to create a genuine partnership with all sections of the community. Independent Advisory Groups, known as IAG’s, have evolved to facilitate this engagement. IAG’s have been in existence now in various guises since 1999. The definition of an IAG is “A genuine partnership between the Police and the Community, where advice can be sought on policy, procedure and practices, and in doing so protects both the reputation of the Police service and safeguards against adverse impact on any section of the community”.
In Norfolk the IAG is set the following tasks:
- Monitor, analyse and review Norfolk Police policies and procedures;
- Provide advice and support to Norfolk Police on both operational and strategic matters;
- Make recommendations and participate through the Norfolk Police structure to promote trust, confidence, respect, and partnership between Norfolk Police and the communities it serves;
- Work closely but critically and independently with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk and Norfolk Police to improve the quality and effectiveness of Norfolk Police Service, community safety and cohesion.
IAG’s provide the valuable role of ‘critical friend’ to the Police, not as an independent group but as a forum where independent advisors can give independent advice and review of policy, procedure and practices and the management of critical incidents. This should not prevent members from coming together to provide more holistic feedback in the area of policy review.