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Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

Civil Liberties Panel

The MPA Civil Liberties Panel was introduced in the MPA's mission statement for London’s police, Met Forward, as a means of securing public confidence in policing tactics in the capital and ensuring the Met maintains public trust.

Met Forward

‘Our duty, as London’s police authority, is to ensure the Met restores and maintains public trust. In order to support this, we will establish a Civil Liberties Panel of Authority members that will begin its work with a formal civil liberties scrutiny of the Met’s public order policing of violent disorder. Once the initial scrutiny is complete, the panel will continue both to monitor the situation and hear specific concerns from the public and human rights organisations.’

The panel convenes to consider issues on a priority basis as agreed by the MPA. It is a standing panel, and meets as the need arises. The panel met for the first time on 9 July 2009. At this meeting Victoria Borwick was elected chair, membership of the panel was confirmed and terms of reference were discussed and agreed. All Panel hearings are held in open session except if there are extraordinary and compelling reasons to meet in private.

Completed scrutinies

The National DNA Database (NDNAD) and the use of DNA in policing

 G20/Public Order policing

Members of the panel

  • Victoria Borwick (Chair)
  • Valerie Brasse
  • Dee Doocey
  • Kirsten Hearn
  • Jenny Jones
  • Clive Lawton
  • Joanne McCartney
  • Richard Tracey

Terms of reference

The Panel will convene to consider issues on a priority basis as agreed by the MPA. It will be a standing panel, and will meet as the need arises.

Areas of focus will be established with reference to the following criteria:

  • Emerging issues and/or heightened media focus threaten public confidence.
  • The MPA is concerned about human rights compliance generally or vulnerable groups who may be affected disproportionally.
  • Horizon scanning indicates areas of future vulnerability.

General terms of reference for the Civil Liberties Panel

  • To develop an ongoing understanding of civil liberties and human rights and the consequences this has for policing in relation to all the areas considered by this panel.
  • On a programmed basis to undertake a review of the use of police policy, strategy, tactics and tools to understand the wider impact on civil liberties and human rights.
  • Within each area of review, to develop a clear understanding of the full range and use of policies, protocols, tactics and how decisions about proportionality are made. The panel will also, where relevant, consider the areas of training, supervision and oversight and communication (internal and external).
  • To scrutinise the MPS’s work to retain public trust and confidence in balancing civil liberties with the need to maintain public safety and public confidence through proportionate policing. This should include scrutinising how the MPS communicates with the MPA, key stakeholders and the public.
  • To understand the potential equality and diversity issues arising out of all areas of service delivery being addressed by this panel.
  • To engage with the MPS, the public, relevant organisations and civil liberty and human rights organisations to ensure that Members are gaining a comprehensive understanding of relevant areas of focus.
  • To evaluate any proposals to change policy, strategy, tactics and tools, and make recommendations to the full authority as relevant.
  • To provide regular reports to Full Authority updating them on the progress being made against the panel’s work programme and making recommendations to the Authority and the MPS as required.
  • To monitor the implementation of any recommendations arising out of the scrutiny of by this panel and any other relevant reviews, on behalf of the authority and report back to the MPA on a regular basis.

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