Essex: Advisors to guide police strategy

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston.
Picture supplied by the PCC office.

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston. Picture supplied by the PCC office. - Credit: Archant

External advisors are to make up three strategy boards to shape long-term policing in Essex.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), has set up the new structure to come up with guidance for both himself and Chief Constable Stephen Kavangh.

A Strategic Policing Board, a Finance Committee and an Ethics and Integrity Committee will take an over-arching look at the force, and not get involved in individual cases or matters. They will meet three times a year with reports published online, and they cannot make decisions.

The Police and Crime Panel, made up of local councillors, will remain to hold the PCC to account.

The outside advisors have offered their time and expertise for free.

Mr Alston said: “I have been reflecting long and hard about how we ensure the decisions I make are not just in the best short-term interest of the people of our county and of Essex Police but also help to secure the medium- and long-term future of policing in Essex.

“The decisions the Chief Constable and I make now as we continue to deliver effective policing should not risk jeopardising Essex Police’s capabilities five or ten years in the future.

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“I am also conscious there are high profile national cases which have damaged public confidence in policing. I want to bring insightful outside voices into the policing environment to ensure we properly address the issues that may have undermined the trust of the public.”

The independent advisors are: • Betsy Stanko: An academic specialising in crime and policing, who works as head of Evidence and Insight at the London Mayors’ Office for Policing and Crime. A founding member of the Women’s Refuge movement she has regularly advised the Metropolitan Police and Cabinet Office. • Gary Sweeney: A practicing GP in Essex for nearly 30 years he is chairman of the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and is vice-chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board. • Philip Tolhurst: A highly experienced solicitor working as a managing partner and latterly senior partner in his own practice in Essex for more than 35 years. In 1998 he co-founded the Raleigh Trust, working with in particular young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop their leadership potential. He is a member of the Council of Essex University and its finance board. • Lyle Watters: Chief financial officer and vice-president of Strategic Planning for Ford of Europe. He has worked extensively across the globe and lives in Essex with his family. • Keith Attwood: Former chief executive of e2v technologies and an experienced board director with 30 years of management experience in multiple market sectors including telecommunications, aerospace and medical. He lives in Essex and is currently working with the CBI at a national level in the areas of employment, education and skills and is a member of the governing board of Anglia Ruskin University.