MEMBERS of the public are being sought to join panels sitting in police misconduct hearings.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford wants to recruit people to be independent panel members.

It comes as the Government announces changes to the way police misconduct hearings are to be run in August 2023 and means the composition of those who sit on the hearing panels is changing.

From May 2024, Chief Constables will have increased powers to terminate the employment of police officers found guilty of gross misconduct.

Sitting alongside them on the new format panels will be two independent panel members (IPMs), where previously only one was required.

As a result, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, which is responsible for running the panels and holding the Chief Constable to account, is recruiting up to 16 new independent panel members.

The subject of police misconduct has been the focus of media attention following several nationally high-profile cases.

Avon and Somerset Police also features on the current Channel 4 ‘To Catch A Copper’ documentary, which shines a light on police misconduct and the way it has been dealt with in the past.

The new IPM roles do not require legal expertise, but candidates with experience in areas such as senior leadership, compliance, and HR and people management are encouraged to apply.

The roles are voluntary on a part-time basis and are paid according to the number of hearings per year.

Hearings usually take place over five days and each panel member is likely to sit on approximately three hearings per year over a five-year term.

Mr Shelford said: “These roles are vital to ensuring a robust process for the way issues of misconduct are handled.

"The objective views of our panel members in reaching decisions which impact the public and the region’s police officers and their colleagues are fundamental to restoring trust and confidence in policing.

“While only a very small minority of police officers behave in ways which fall foul of the high expectations we put on them, we will not tolerate any behaviours within police ranks which is detrimental to the people of Avon and Somerset.”

Further information on these roles and how to apply before the February 21 deadline can be found at