Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 21st July, 2016
Time:
5.00pm
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr David Coupe, Gwen Duncan, Cllr David Harrington (substitute for Cllr Ken Dixon), Cllr David Hunter, Cllr Chris Jones, Cllr Linda Lewis, Cllr Jim Lindridge, Chu Chu Nwajiobi, Charles Rooney, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Cllr Matthew Vickers, Cllr David Wilburn
Officers:
Graham Birtle, David Bond, Michael Henderson, Steven Hume (Stockton on Tees Borough Council)
In Attendance:
Barry Coppinger (Commissioner), Simon Dennis, Joanne Hodgkinson (Commissioner's Office), Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless (Cleveland Police)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Billy Ayre, Cllr Alec Brown, Cllr Ken Dixon
Item Description Decision
Public
PCP
1/16
INTRODUCTIONS
 
PCP
2/16
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN 2016/2017
RESOLVED that Councillor Norma Stephenson OBE be appointed Chairman of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2016/2017
PCP
3/16
EVACUATION PROCEDURE/MOBILE PHONES
 
PCP
4/16
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
PCP
5/16
APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIRMAN 2016/17
RESOLVED that Councillor Charlie Rooney be appointed Vice Chairman of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2016/2017
PCP
6/16
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 4 FEBRUARY 2016
 
PCP
7/16
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 6 JULY 2016
 
PCP
8/16
MEMBERS' QUESTION TO THE COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the Question/issues raised be noted and be progressed as referred to above.
PCP
9/16
ANNUAL REPORT OF CLEVELAND POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the Annual report be agreed.
PCP
10/16
COMMISSIONER'S POLICE AND CRIME PLAN
RESOLVED that:

1. the draft Plan be noted.

2. members provide any comments they may have on the plan, to Stockton's Democratic Services Unit, for forwarding to the Commissioner's Office.

3. an updated version of the Plan be provided to the Panel's next meeting.
PCP
11/16
SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME 2016/17
RESOLVED that:

1. the review of shared services and the annual review of the Police and Crime Commissioner's Budget Strategy be included in the Panel's 2016/17 Scrutiny Work Programme.

2. that members identify any other topics that they would wish to be included in the 2016/2017 work programme, and advise Stockton's Democratic Services Unit by 19 August 2016.

3. appointments to Scrutiny Task and Finish Groups for 2016/17 be made at the Panel's meeting on 8 September 2016.

4. an update report on special constables be provided to the next meeting of the Panel.
PCP
12/16
POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER - PERFORMANCE OUTTURN 2015/16
1. the report be noted.

2. consideration be given to whether Satisfaction Survey information can be broken down into Local Policing Areas.

3. the Commissioner provides feedback, on his scrutiny of sexual offences, to a future meeting of the Panel.

4. the Commissioner feedback issues raised about the 101 non emergency telephone service to the Panel.
PCP
13/16
POST LITIGATION STRATEGIC DIRECTION
RESOLVED that:

1. the report be noted.

2. the Commissioner provide a report to a future meeting of the Panel relating to legislation associated with complaints against the Police.

3. the Panel receives updates at future meetings on this matter.
PCP
14/16
PROGRAMME OF ENGAGEMENT FOR THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the report be noted
PCP
15/16
DECISIONS OF THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
16/16
APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR NON POLITICAL INDEPENDENT MEMBERS
RESOLVED that:

1. the suggested arrangements as detailed above and in the report be agreed.

2. delegated authority be given to the Monitoring Officer (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council), in consultation with the Chairman and Vice Chairman to amend and finalise the arrangements and associated documents, detailed in the Appendix and paragraph 4, should it be considered necessary to do so.
PCP
17/16
GRANT EXPENDITURE
RESOLVED that the expenditure be noted.
PCP
18/16
FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan and schedule of meetings be agreed.
PCP
19/16
PUBLIC QUESTIONS
 
5.00pm/6.25pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PCP
1/16
Members and officers introduced themselves.
PCP
3/16
The Chairman presented the Evacuation Procedures
PCP
4/16
There were no declarations of interest.
PCP
6/16
The minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
PCP
7/16
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
PCP
8/16
The Chairman raised an issue that related to incidents that she had recently been made aware of. The incidents had taken place at an event in Middlesbrough and involved two gentlemen who had approached family groups and requested that they be allowed to take pictures of the children from those groups. The gentlemen had been very insistent but had been refused. The families concerned had reported the incident to the Police. The incident had been a source of great concern to members when it had recently been raised at a Stockton Borough Council Committee meeting. The Chair suggested that the Commissioner may wish to raise the profile of such incidents and issue clear guidance on what was acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in this regard.

The Commissioner explained that he had not been aware of the incident and agreed it was of concern. TDCC Simon Nickless asked for further details and explained that he would arrange for an officer to look into it further. A member indicated that the incident had been in social media and further details would be available in an article that had appeared in the Evening Gazette.

Councillor David Coupe raised an issue about Police attendance at Community Council meetings in Middlesbrough. It was suggested that the Police would no longer be attending such meetings in future and this had attracted a number of complaints. TDCC Simon Nickless explained that he would get Superintendent Sutherland to get in touch with Councillor Coupe to discuss the situation.

Councillor Harrington referred to the new structures, within the force, and asked that Commissioner encourage the new Inspectors and new teams to engage with the ward Councillors. It had been some weeks since this had happened. The Chair explained that she was aware that, within Stockton, meetings with the new teams had been taking place by area. The Commissioner indicated that he would look into the position in terms of Cllr Harrington's area.
PCP
9/16
Members considered a report that presented the Commissioner's 2015/2016 Annual Report. It was noted that the final report would be published on the receipt of end of year financial and performance figures.
PCP
10/16
Members were presented with the Commissioner's draft Police and Crime Plan 2016 -2020.

The Plan included 5 objectives:

- Investing in our Police

- a better deal for victims

- tackling re-offending

- working together to make Cleveland safer

- securing the future of our communities

A further, more developed Plan, would be presented to the Panel's September meeting.

Members discussed the report, and the discussion could be summarised as follows:

- the Commissioner confirmed that Neighbourhood Policing was an important part of the Plan and was included in the investing in our police objective.

- members noted the need to do more collaboration work in policing.

- there was an increasing focus on vulnerability.

Members noted that they could feed any comments about the Plan, to the Commissioner, via Stockton's Democratic Services Unit.
PCP
11/16
Members considered a report that provided detail of work undertaken as part of the Police and Crime Panel's Work Programme 2015/16 and requested topics for scrutiny during 2016/17.

Members noted that the Overall Budget Strategy review had been part of the work programme for a number of years and it was suggested that this continue for 2016/17.

A review on Shared Services had been postponed, until after the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May 2016. It was suggested that this review be included in the 2016/17 work programme.

Members were asked to make suggestions on any scrutiny topics that they wished to be included in the 2016/17 work programme, by 19th August, so that they could be considered at the Panel's meeting, scheduled for 8 September 2016.

During consideration of the work programme there was a discussion about special constables and the Commissioner suggested that he bring a report to the next meeting on the current position with regard to this matter.
PCP
12/16
The Panel considered a report that provided an update of performance scrutiny undertaken by the Commissioner to support delivery of the priorities of the Police and Crime Plan, for Quarter 4.

The following issues were discussed:

- Members highlighted the positive direction of travel, associated with staff and officer sickness.

- there was reference made to previous discussions, at Panel meetings, about changes to the Force's crime recording procedures, that had resulted in increases in crime data, for certain crimes. It was queried when the effects of these changes would level off. Members noted that some figures were beginning to fall below the North East average, though they were still above national averages. It was felt that data was beginning to show a more accurate picture.

- in respect of the public confidence surveys it was asked if the information provided could be drilled down to local policing areas. It was explained that the National British Crime Survey was a small snap shot, so, to break it down may bring the significance of the data into question. The Force's survey may be able to be broken down to specific areas but would, again, depend on sample sizes. This would be looked at.

- there was a discussion on shoplifting and it was noted that the Force was engaging with retailers to get them to prioritise shop crime more and do more work to deter and prevent such crime e.g. considering how goods were displayed and encouraging interventions by security staff before thefts actually took place. Cleveland had one of the highest shoplifting rates in the Country and the Force had looked at what other Force's did in this regard. A local retail crime forum had recently been set up, which was considered very useful for engaging with retailers. The Force had to prioritise and its resources and shoplifting incidents were therefore assessed in order to determine if attendance was necessary. The Force would always attend incidents with certain characteristics e.g where a child was involved, a prolific offender was involved or there were links with organised crime. All incidents would be recorded, regardless of whether the Force attended.

- Members queried if there were any trends associated with sexual offences. The Panel noted that this was a very broad area and there were no obvious patterns/trends that could be targeted. Members were reminded of the considerable amount of work that the Force had undertaken in looking at historical incidents and creating confidence in people to report such crimes and to access therapeutic care. The Commissioner stated that he received regular updates from the Force on this matter and he would share the outcome with the panel in due course.

- the Force did not monitor social media for racist abuse etc. but if there was specific information reported, then they would investigate. There was threshold guidance from the Attorney General in this regard.

- there was a discussion on internet fraud and it was explained that the police tried to take a proportionate approach and would work with individuals suffering with this, discussing how problems could be prevented/stopped. Investigation of such incidents was particularly time consuming, trying to track back through internet providers .

- Members raised concerns surrounding accessing the 101 non emergency telephone service. It was noted that the Commissioner was raising issues in this area, through one of his scrutiny sessions. He would provide outcome information to the Panel.
PCP
13/16
Members received an update report and presentation on the Strategic Direction issued by the Commissioner following on from recent Employment Tribunal Litigation.

The Panel noted that, following an Employment Tribunal judgement, that produced findings against Cleveland Police of discrimination and victimisation the Commissioner had produced a Strategic Direction, setting out his expectations of Cleveland Police and certain courses of action which he expected to see progressed.

The Commissioner explained that his overall aim, an aim shared by the Chief Constable, was for Cleveland Police to take all necessary courses of action to respond to the particular issues in the case, but equally importantly to take all necessary steps to:

- Build confidence in Cleveland Police in terms of legitimacy, standards and ethics; and

- Ensure that the Force became and remained an employer of choice for all who wished to pursue a policing career, and that the Force aspired to more closely reflect the diversity of the communities it served.

Members noted that the Commissioner had taken steps to seek reassurance that the particular officer involved had access to welfare support and it was explained that the Commissioner had written a letter of apology.

The Board noted that the Commissioner had launched recruitment for a Standards & Scrutiny Manager within the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner. This senior role, as well as being responsible for the Commissioner's programme of scrutiny, would lead on the delivery of new systems for handling of public complaints. A copy of the role profile and advertisement for the role was provided. It was noted that there was emerging legislation relating to complaints by the public against the police and the Commissioner indicated that a report on the complaints legislation would be presented to the Panel, when it had been enacted, and any arrangements progressed.

Members were provided with an update on the matters detailed in the Strategic Direction, which included the Everyone Matters programme. This was an ambitious programme of organisational development to ensure the Force, as an employer and as a service provider, valued diversity, was inclusive and, where necessary, took steps to identify and eliminate unlawful discrimination in all its forms. This programme had taken shape and had been launched earlier in 2016. Members were provided with a presentation on the programme.

Discussion relating to the report and presentation could be summarised as follows:-

- officers were confident that the Everyone Matter Programme was robust and would help prevent a repeat of the issues which had been the subject of the Employment Tribunal. Officers considered that there was now a conversation underway in he force about these matters and staff understood their professional responsibility in terms of conduct in the workplace.

- the Everyone Matters Programme built on elements of work/processes already in place but highlighted additional work that needed to be done to achieve this particular goal and make it sustainable.

- the Force was working with a number of organisations including ACAS, Teesside University and Show Racism the red card.

- the Commissioner indicated that this was a major priority for him, he was impatient for change and he took a close and regular interest in progress.

The Panel agreed that the presentation and report had been very helpful and asked for further updates at future meetings.
PCP
14/16
Members considered a report that provided an update in relation to meetings attended by the Police and Crime Commissioner from February 2016 to July 2016.
PCP
15/16
Members considered a report that provided an update on decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner for the period January to July 2016
PCP
16/16
Members considered a report detailing a proposed process for the appointment of two non-political independent members, in the light of the impending expiry of the terms of office of the existing non-political independent members, on 6 December 2016.

Members were provided with draft documents associated with the appointment process.

It was suggested that:-

• the advertising process should utilise all available free opportunities, including a press release, website and existing mailings and partnerships and that this time it should be extended to partner organisations such as Catalyst and SCRAGA;

• the recruitment process should be in line with existing practice and guidance issued by the Local Government Association;

• the terms of office of the newly appointed members should commence on the 7 December 2016 and expire on the 6 December 2020.

•the recruitment documentation should reflect the fact that panel meetings would alternate between the Municipal Buildings at Stockton, and the Police HQ.

• that a politically balanced selection sub panel of 5 members drawn from the full panel be appointed. The Panel would be comprised as follows:

Hartlepool - 1 Labour
Middlesbrough - 1 Labour
Redcar and Cleveland - 1 Liberal Democrat
Stockton - 1 Labour and 1 Conservative

The Panel would conduct short-listings and interviews to determine the most suitable candidates, with the full panel endorsing the decision, prior to the candidates being notified and formally appointed.
PCP
17/16
Members considered a report that provided detail of grant expenditure associated with the operation of the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel.
PCP
18/16
Members considered the forward plan, including a schedule of future meetings.

Members were asked that if they became aware of any Police related issues being scrutinised by their authority's scrutiny committee(s) to advise Stockton's Democratic Services Unit.
PCP
19/16
There were no public questions.

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