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Ethics Committee Member (Volunteer role - unremunerated)

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

What is the role?

West Midlands Police (WMP) serves around 2.8 million people, making it the second largest police force in England. WMP has embarked on an ambitious change programme to bring the Force to the forefront of policing innovations, including the creation of a Data Analytics Lab which not only works on regional projects, but leads on national projects funded by Central Government.

The Lab provides a cutting edge data capabilities, providing fresh insight into a range of the complex issues facing WMP in the  realms of crime prevention, protecting the public and helping those in need. The Lab benefits an in-house team of specialist data scientists analysing data lawfully available to WMP.

Simon Foster, the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) and WMP recognise and champion the need for independent ethical oversight and advice on the Lab’s work. The Ethics Committee has received national and international acclaim from government bodies, universities, think tanks and mainstream media for its commitment to transparency, robust scrutiny, human rights and leadership on data ethics, we are now recruiting for additional members with experience and interests to represent communities of the West Midlands.

Members of the Ethics Committee work on a voluntary basis, their responsibilities and the processes of the committee are outlined in the Terms of Reference. The committee champions individual perspectives on ethics to provide the highest quality of guidance for the Lab.

Members are routinely asked to consider ethical principles and questions concerning the protection of human rights, preventing discrimination, protecting data privacy, data integrity and the quality of data analytics methodology. The work our members dedicate themselves to has a tangible real world impact on the lives of people throughout the West Midlands.

Backgrounds of current members, past meetings and reports can be found on the PCC’s Website:

Who are we looking for?

The Committee understands that to effectively serve an area with such a rich cultural tapestry like the West Midlands, it is vital it is driven by people who reflect the diverse cultures and backgrounds that form its communities.

To achieve this, we are seeking applications from people of all backgrounds and experiences to represent the West Midlands. We are looking for someone with a tangible passion in upholding the highest ethical standards and principles with an evidence-based lens for public services.

We would be particularly interested in applicants with a diverse skill set from lived experience in the following areas:

  • Working with vulnerable or disadvantaged people or groups
  • Community/ third sector
  • Social Worker
  • Criminal Justice
  • Working with victims
  • Youth voice representation

What is expected?

Members of the ethics committee would typically be:

  • Appointed for at least one term of three years
  • Expected to attend quarterly virtual or in-person meetings and read data project proposal papers sent in advance. The Ethics Committee may agree to hold additional meetings from time to time or consider proposals and projects in between meetings. When deciding times and dates of meetings, the Office of the PCC will give due consideration to the personal circumstances of the applicable member to try to avoid choosing times that act as a social barrier to their membership

How to apply?

To apply for a position on the Ethics Committee, please send a cover letter (max. 500 words), explaining why you would like to sit on the committee and your relevant experience and CV (max. 2 pages) for the attention of Tom McNeil, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner: Should you have any questions about the application or recruitment process, please contact Tom on the above email address, who will be happy to assist where possible. Please ensure you include your contact details (i.e. your email address, home address, telephone number etc.)

The deadline for applications is 12 noon Friday 17th December 2021

We aim to notify candidates if they have been shortlisted by Wednesday 12th January 2022.

We aim to hold Interviews virtually for shortlisted candidates on Wednesday 19th January 2022.

What else?

The members of the Ethics Committee will not be remunerated. However, the Office of the PCC will support members’ attendance at meetings with the reimbursement of reasonable expenses. In doing so, the PCC wishes to avoid reasonable expenses serving as a social barrier to membership, such as the cost of childcare during meetings where applicable.

Successful applicants will need to be police vetted due to the confidential nature of information and/or data being considered from time to time.

We may also ask for references prior to offering a position on the committee.

Location: Birmingham
Salary: Volunteer - Reasonable expenses remunerated
Hours: Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 15th November 2021
Closes: 17th December 2021
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