John Godfrey, chairman of the London police liaison panel, told council there was ‘too rosy a gloss’ being put on the success of the panels while the response of police forces to the panels had been ‘lukewarm or worse’.
‘The panels could be seen as more of a PR exercise for the police than a real resource,’ he said.
Godfrey’s report set out the role and activity of the panels, which was to provide accounting assistance to the fraud squad in its investigations into allegations of fraud and in preparing cases for trial.
He said the panels, which include the provinces as well as London, had always aimed to ensure that all members of the panels were involved in at least one case. But he told the council meeting this aim had never been achieved.
Godfrey urged the institute to hold meetings ‘at the highest possible level’ to determine the needs of the police.
Michael Groom, president of the institute, said meetings were being arranged.’We will be seeking to take a fresh look and refocus the panels,’ he said.
The London panel was originally set up in 1986 following a meeting between the then home secretary Douglas Hurd and institute council member Douglas Llambias.
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