Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Thursday, 26th September, 2019
5.00 p.m.
Cleveland Room 1, Community Safely Hub, Cliffland Way, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, TS8 9GL
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E (Chair), Cllr Lee Cartwright, Cllr Barrie Cooper, Cllr Graham Cutler, Cllr Dave Hunter, Mr Paul McGrath, Cllr Carol Clark (Substitute for Cllr Steve Nelson), Cllr Vera Rider, Cllr Matthew Storey.
Peter Bell, Julie Butcher (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council).
In Attendance:
Barry Coppinger (Commissioner), Michael Porter, Liz Byrne, Simon Dennis, Elise Pout (Commissioner's Office), Chief Constable Richard Lewis (Cleveland Police),
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Chris Jones, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Matthew Vickers, Cllr Steve Walmsley and Mayor Andy Preston.
Item Description Decision
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were given.
There were no interests declared.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2019 be agreed.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan for the Panel be noted.
RESOLVED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
RESOLVED that the verbal summary of the HMICFRS Integrated Peel Assessment Report be noted.
5.00pm to 7.00pm


Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings held on 2 July 2019.
Councillor Barrie Cooper had submitted the following question:-

“Commissioner I am sure that this question is as important to my Council colleagues from Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton as it is to Middlesbrough.

Every year Local Authorities are spending 10’s of thousands of pounds paying for Young Offenders awaiting Court Cases to be remanded either into LA Care or Wetherby Young Offenders Institute.

I therefore ask Commissioner that Cleveland Police work closely with The Crown Prosecution Service and Teesside Magistrates to Fast Track any Young Offenders Cases rather than have them on long periods of remand.

I have asked this of the CPS who have told me they have a good working relationship with Cleveland Police so this should not be a difficult task however at time of writing I have not yet made contact with Teesside Magistrates but I feel that also would not be difficult for you as our Commissioner.

Would you kindly give the meeting your thoughts on this request?”

The Commissioner responded with:-

“I will raise this issue through the Criminal Justice Partnership to seek assurances regarding effectiveness and efficiency and will formally feedback the response. If there is a specific case I will take it up outside of this meeting.

However, where appropriate to do so, generally children and young people are diverted away from the criminal justice system into diversionary schemes such as the Youth Triage scheme which is funded by the PCC across Cleveland where specialist assessment and intervention programmes are delivered by Youth Offending Teams to address the underlying causes of offending behaviour at the earliest opportunity. I understand your question and I’m supportive of your concerns.”

Councillor Lee Cartwright asked the following question:-

“Is there any short or long term plan to close Hartlepool Police Station?”

The Commissioner responded with:-

“No there is not and matters of the police estate would be discussed with the Chief Constable.”

The Chief Constable added:-

“Absolutely none. Hartlepool Police Station is one of the key components for us in terms of service across the Cleveland Police area. There is an additional custody block there should we need it that can be used as an overspill. There are no plans at all.”

Councillor Lee Cartwright asked the following supplementary question:-

“Thank you for that reassurance. We are seeing great progress in the policing of Hartlepool but the teams feel like they are a bit thin on the ground. Can we expect to see any reinforcements for Hartlepool?”

The Chief Constable responded with:-

“Definitely. There is money available in the budget to employ an extra 100 police officers and Hartlepool will get its fair share. We need to build on the success of the team at Hartlepool. Extra Officers will be arriving.”
The Commissioner and the Panel gave their best wishes to the Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington Ron Hogg.

Consideration was given to a report that provided Members with a summary update on progress since the meeting in July.

The report had been reformatted to provide clarity on the key areas of progress within the Police and Crime Plan.

Further detail on progress made was included within Community Engagement feedback the Performance report, Scrutiny report and Decisions of the PCC.

The report highlighted the following key areas:-

Investing in Our Police
A Better Deal for Victims
Tackling Offending and Reoffending
Working Together to Make Cleveland Safer / Securing the Future of Our Communities
Consideration was given to a report on the decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Forward Plan.

The Police and Crime Commissioner makes all decisions unless specifically delegated within the Scheme of Consent / Delegation. All decisions demonstrated that they were soundly based on relevant information and that the decision making process was open and transparent.

In addition, a forward plan was included and published on the PCC website which included items requiring a decision in the future. This was attached to the report.

Each decision made by the PCC was recorded on a decision record form with supporting background information appended. Once approved it was published on the PCC website.

Decisions relating to private / confidential matters would be recorded; although, it may be appropriate that full details were not published.

Decisions made since the last meeting of the Police and Crime Panel were attached to the report.
Consideration was given to a report that gave an update on the PCC’s scrutiny programme.

Holding the Chief Constable to account was the key duty of the Police & Crime Commissioner and must encompass all of the functions of the Chief Constable and functions of those who were under the Chief Constable’s direction and control.

With effect from the beginning of the PCC’s second term of office in 2016, the approach to scrutiny was restructured so as to provide for a broader and deeper scrutiny regime requiring both Chief Officers and Force subject matter leads to account to the PCC for progress on key work-streams and matters of public interest and concern. These sessions were established as Scrutiny, Delivery and Performance meetings. Scrutiny lines of inquiry were focussed principally on areas most relevant to the Police & Crime Plan objectives. The PCC also established a Working Together Group to seek similar assurance from across the wider partnership landscape.

Minutes and actions from the whole Scrutiny Programme were published and had for several years by convention formed part of the Commissioner’s reports to the Panel too.

The PCC had a range of scrutiny approaches in place to engage with the Chief Constable and hold Cleveland Police to account. These take place on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule and include a range of meetings, data and feedback from partners and the public.

The PCC had issued the Chief Constable with a formal Strategic Direction to respond to and improve a range of concerns identified about the performance of Cleveland Police.

A copy of the Strategic Direction was published as a Decision Record by the PCC at PCC Strategic Direction and was attached to the report.

The Strategic Direction was given as a result of information presented from the newly appointed chief, feedback from the public and partners, a review by the OPCC of former scrutiny minutes as well as a greater opportunity having been provided for in depth feedback from HMICFRS as they completed their initial fieldwork for the Integrated PEEL Assessment.

Collectively this identified a need jointly recognised by the PCC and Chief Constable for scrutiny to be received and entered into by Cleveland Police with a greater degree of transparency.

Further changes were made to the scrutiny regime in July 2019 that had resulted in a thematic approach to scrutiny specifically marshalling scrutiny lines of enquiry under the objectives set out within the Police and Crime Plan and a greater depth of information being provided from Cleveland Police to the PCC in order for the PCC to discharge his role on behalf of the public of Cleveland.

The processes would continue to develop and it had been made clear that there would be greater use of independent scrutiny approaches such as Internal Audit as well as identifying those services which would benefit from a wider multi agency scrutiny approach.

It was expected that the scrutiny processes would continue to evolve as detailed plans for change were forthcoming from Cleveland Police, improvements were made and engagement improved with the public.

Since the previous Police and Crime Panel meeting the following meetings had taken place and the minutes were attached to the report:-

• 1 July 2019 - Focus on Victims and the commitments within the Police and Crime Plan Priority 2- A Better Deal for Victims
• 19 August 2019 - Focus on Investing In Our Police - Police and Crime Plan Priority 1, including the PCC’s Strategic Direction, Force Control Room, Neighbourhood Policing, Corporate Risk, Financial Progress

Since the last update to the Panel there had been a Working Together meeting on the 25 June 2019. The minutes were attached to the report.

In addition to the meetings above, the Commissioner continued to attend the following to complement his scrutiny programme:

- Daily review of the Control Room and Serious Incident Logs;
- Weekly accountability meetings with the Chief Constable;
- Attend at least one local area meeting in each of Cleveland’s neighbourhood police team areas.
4. Wider scrutiny arrangements are also in place including:
• Domestic Abuse and Rape Scrutiny Panel
• Out of Court Scrutiny Panel
• Independent Audit Committee
• External Ethics Committee
• Feedback from complaints, community meetings and focus groups
Consideration was given to a report that provided an overview of the performance of the PCC and his Police and Crime Plan. The information provided was accurate at the time of production. Additional information was also provided to establish the context of information presented and assist the reader in their understanding of the report.

The report covered the following keys areas:-

- Investing in Our Police
- A Better Deal for Victims and Witnesses
- Tackling Offending and Re-Offending
- Working Together to Make Cleveland Safer
- Securing the Future of Our Communities
Members were informed that there were no Public Questions.
Members were presented with the Forward Plan for the Panel.
Members were informed that HMICFRS had extended the embargo on the release of the HMICFRS Integrated Peel Assessment Report and it was therefore not available for the meeting but they had agreed that a verbal summary could be given to the Panel under a strict duty of confidence and had forbidden the disclosure to the public.

Her Majesty’s Inspector had asked that the following be communicated to the Panel.

“I recognise the legitimate interest the PCP has in understanding the key issues emerging from our latest inspection of Cleveland Police. The report remains subject to embargo until 00.01 on Friday 27th September. I am content that PCP members are briefed on a confidential basis before the embargo is lifted given the public interest that the report will generate. I would ask that all members treat the briefing and its contents as confidential until after the embargo has ended.”

As such the information to be shared was exempt information by virtue of section 100A subsection 2 and exclusion of the public was mandatory as confidential information may be shared with them in breach of the duty of confidence imposed by a government body.

In addition the Panel was advised to pass the following resolution:-

1) To exclude the public from the meeting pursuant to section 100A subsection 4 of the Local Government Act 1972 during the consideration of the whole of Agenda Item 12 due to the likelihood that if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information and
2) The information is exempt information under the following paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972
a) paragraph 1 - information relating to an individual
b) paragraph 2 - information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual
c) paragraph 3 - information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person and
d) paragraph 7 - information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime

and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
The Chief Constable gave a verbal summary of the HMICFRS Integrated Peel Assessment Report and Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction