Crime and Disorder Select Committee Minutes

Thursday, 15th April, 2021
Remote Meeting Via Microsoft Teams
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Pauline Beall (Chair), Cllr Paul Weston (Vice-Chair), Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Clare Gamble, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Stephen Richardson, Cllr Tony Riordan, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley
Craig Willows (CS); Peter Bell, John Devine, Rachel Harrison, Gary Woods (MD)
In Attendance:
Cllr Steve Nelson (Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety)
Apologies for absence:
Item Description Decision
There were no interests declared.
AGREED that the minutes of the Committee meetings held on the 11th February 2021 and the 18th February 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
AGREED that the final report for the Scrutiny Review of Fraud Awareness (Personal) be approved for submission to Cabinet.
AGREED that the Crime and Disorder Select Committee Work Programme for 2021-2022 be noted and that the Committee meeting scheduled for the 13th May 2021 be cancelled.
The Chair welcomed the two new Apprentice Business Administrators who were in attendance to observe this meeting and wished them well in their roles within the Council’s Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services directorate.
4.30 pm to 6.30 pm


Consideration was given to the minutes of the Crime and Disorder Select Committee meetings which were held on the 11th February 2021 and the 18th February 2021 for approval and signature.

Regarding the minutes of the meeting from the 18th February 2021, it was noted that an updated Action Plan (confirming due dates of agreed actions for recommendations 2, 6, 7 and 8) in relation to the recently completed Scrutiny Review of Fly-Grazed Horses had been circulated to Members earlier this week.
Consideration was given to the draft final report and recommendations for the Scrutiny Review of Fraud Awareness (Personal).

Attention was drawn to the following elements:

• Paragraph 4.26 (page 19): the Action Fraud data had been updated since it was considered by the Committee last month and now covered the February 2020 to February 2021 period (previously presented data was from January 2020 to January 2021). Some narrative had been included around Cleveland and UK comparisons, and updated data charts were included at Appendix 1 (pages 39-42).

• Paragraph 4.35 (page 21): ONS crime survey data indicated an estimated 4.4 million cases of fraud in the last 12 months (not 44 million as originally stated to the Committee) - a link to the ONS survey had been included in the final report to verify this information.

• Paragraph 4.58 (page 26): reference added to a recently published Courier Fraud poster from Cleveland Police which could be found at Appendix 5 (page 47).

• Paragraph 4.83 (pages 32-33): as requested by the Committee, further detail had been added around the Telephone and Mail Preference Services, as well as the Individual Protection Service (IPS). A link to a Which? (consumer rights body) webpage in relation to such services had also been added.

• Paragraph 4.86 (page 34): link to a BBC News Online report included to add national context around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cases of fraud.

The Committee endorsed the contents of the draft final report and suggested the following minor changes:

• Paragraph 1.2 (page 8): add the words ‘or loss’ after ‘gain’ in the first sentence to reflect that fraud can result in financial or personal gain or loss.

• Paragraph 3.1 (page 13): as above.

The Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety thanked the Committee for its work on this scrutiny topic and reflected on the significance of this issue and the prevalence of fraud cases noted within the draft final report. In addition, the work of the Council’s Trading Standards department was commended as the team, and its local partners, continue in their efforts to tackle fraudulent activity across the Borough and beyond.
Consideration was given to the Crime and Disorder Select Committee Work Programme for 2021-2022. The next Committee meeting was scheduled for the 13th May 2021 which falls between the 7th May 2021 (when the existing legislation in relation to holding remote Committee meetings expires) and the 17th May 2021 (when the next COVID-19 step-change is initiated as part of the Government’s lockdown-easing roadmap) - it is therefore being encouraged that any Committee meetings scheduled for this period are re-arranged.

In addition, one of the two main items intended for the May 2021 meeting (the draft scope and plan for the Committee’s next scrutiny review of Public Space Protection Orders) is unlikely to be ready for consideration next month due to the election pressures in the coming weeks - the Chair had therefore agreed to defer this item to the Committee meeting in June 2021. Rather than re-arrange the May 2021 meeting for the one remaining item (the draft scope and plan for the Committee’s task and finish review of Police Communications in Stockton-on-Tees), this would also be deferred. As such, it was proposed and subsequently agreed that the May 2021 meeting be cancelled. The next Committee meeting would therefore take place on the 17th June 2021.

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