Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 17th November, 2020
Time:
5.00 p.m.
Place:
Remote Meeting Via Microsoft Teams
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Tony Riordan(Chair), Cllr Graham Cutler(Vice-Chair), Cllr Lee Cartwright, Cllr Barrie Cooper, Cllr Dorothy Davison (Sub for Mayor Andy Preston), Councillor Chris Jones, Mr Paul McGrath, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Vera Rider, Mr Luigi Salvati, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Matthew Storey and Cllr Luke Frost (Substitute for Cllr Steve Walmsley).
Officers:
Julie Butcher, Nigel Hart, Sarah Whaley, Peter Bell (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council).
In Attendance:
Lisa Oldroyd (Acting Commissioner), Michael Porter, Hannah Smith, Rachel Kipling, Elise Pout (Commissioner's Office), CC Richard Lewis, Will Green (Cleveland Police), Cllr Mick Moore (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council).
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Dave Hunter, Mayor Andy Preston and Cllr Steve Walmsley.
Item Description Decision
Public
PCP
34/20
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Crimestoppers Presentation as he was a Director of the Thirteen Group.
PCP
35/20
MINUTES
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2020 be agreed as a correct record.
PCP
36/20
CRIMESTOPPERS - PRESENTATION
RESOLVED that:-

1. The presentation be received.

2. The comments made by the Panel be noted.
PCP
37/20
VICTIM CARE AND ADVICE SERVICE - PRESENTATION
RESOLVED that:-

1. The presentation be received.

2. The comments made by the Panel be noted.
PCP
38/20
MEMBERS’ QUESTIONS TO THE COMMISSIONER
 
PCP
39/20
COMMISSIONER’S UPDATE
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
40/20
DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER AND FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
41/20
COMMISSIONER’S SCRUTINY PROGRAMME
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
42/20
APPOINTMENT OF NPIM
RESOLVED that Paul McGrath and Luigi Salvati be re-appointed as Non-Political Independent Members to the Panel, with effect from 2 February 2021 until 1 February 2025, and the Home Secretary be notified accordingly.
PCP
43/20
APPOINTMENT OF COMPLAINTS SUB COMMITTEE
RESOLVED that:-

1. The following 5 members be appointed to the sub-committee:-

Councillor Norma Stephenson (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council)
Councillor Barrie Cooper (Middlesbrough Council)
Councillor Chris Jones (Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council)
Councillor Lee Cartwright (Hartlepool Borough Council)
Paul McGrath (NPIM)

2. The Panel delegates to that sub-committee authority to deal with complaints required to be dealt with by way of informal resolution and any other matters referred to the panel by the Independent Office of Police Conduct, subject to the sub-committee being able to refer matters back to the full panel where this is deemed, by the sub-committee, to be the best means of dealing with the matter.
PCP
44/20
PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Two Public Questions had been received but as the questioner was not in attendance at the meeting the questioner would receive a written response from the OPCC.
PCP
45/20
FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.
5.00 pm to 7.00 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PCP
35/20
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings held on 6 October 2020.
PCP
36/20
Ruth McNee (Crimestoppers Regional Manager) was in attendance at the meeting and gave the Panel a presentation on the work of Crimestoppers. The presentation covered the following key areas:-

- Background to Crimestoppers
- Who and why do people contact CrimeStoppers
- What is the role of Crimestoppers
- Crimestoppers campaigns
- Every year Crimestoppers help stop thousands of crimes

The Panel was given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the presentation and these could be summarised as follows:-

- The system of the anonymous payments was given to the Panel.
- Funding for Crimestoppers should come from the proceeds of crime.
- More prevalence should be made of the Crimestoppers logo and a link should be sent to Panel Members so that the it can be shared on local social media sites.
- The focus of domestic abuse was made, and it was noted that a new campaign would happen in early in 2021.
- Sometimes Crimestoppers act as a liaison between people that volunteer a reward and to the person that receives the reward.
- A discuss was held around false / malicious reporting and the problems around that. It was noted that call handlers are all fully trained and look for potential false / malicious reporting and every effort is made to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- The issue of illegal fireworks was discussed, and it was noted that members of the public can report this issue to Crimestoppers and Crimestoppers do run campaigns around the problem.
- A discussion was held around the customer survey that was carried out by Crimestoppers and the issues around anonymity.
PCP
37/20
Dave Mead (Victim Care and Advice Service - Operational Manager) and Jo Hodgkinson (CEO Safer Communities) were in attendance at the meeting and gave the Panel a presentation on the work of Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS). The presentation covered the following key areas:-

- Background to VCAS
- VCAS Model
- Who does VCAS Support
- Referral Process
- Victim Needs Assessment
- Fraud
- Support Provided across Cleveland
- Overview of Open Cases
- Police and Crime Panel
- Case Studies

The Panel was given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the presentation and these could be summarised as follows:-

- The Panel asked if a link could be shared to the Panel so that the members could share VCAS information on social media websites.
- An invite was made for VCAS to attend and make a presentation to East Redcar Residents Association in the future.
PCP
38/20
The following question had been submitted by Cllr Vera Rider for response by the Acting PCC:-

“What plans are in place to try to try to help those abused women during lockdown? I know it was a priority of the last commissioner and wondering if there was anything new?”

The Acting PCC responded with:-

“The tragic events of last week are saddening and we have seen that in the press coverage. In terms of domestic abuse, it is a key priority for the us and is a focus of the force too. We continue to invest in the services around domestic abuse and continue to prioritise to raise awareness of the services and we seek to obtain additional funding in terms of strengthening those services.”

Rachelle Kipling (OPCC) added:-

“We continue to link in with our commissioned services throughout the national lockdown period. As previously reported to the Panel we were successful in June getting £402k from the MoJ Covid Emergency Fund. That funding came to an end in October and we have continued to promote some of the ways in which victims can reach out to services. On a monthly basis we also monitor the demand that our services are facing and look at some of the challenges that Covid has created. That information is being used by the MoJ to feed into the Treasury to look at additional victim support investment. A further announcement was expected shortly regarding further funding. We will continue to promote the support services that are available and we are planning some work in terms of the 16 days of action that supports to end of violence to women and girls.” ”


The following question had been submitted by Luigi Salvati for response by the Acting PCC:-

“Is it correct only 2 police officers are available on night shift to cover Hartlepool and if correct since when?”

The Acting PCC responded with:-

“No this is not the case. The force operating model provides resources from various departments to support the policing of Hartlepool, which includes neighbourhood policing, criminal investigation and specialist resources such as armed response, police dogs and road policing. The primary policing response to daily occurrences is provided by the Incident Resolution Team (IRT) and Neighbourhood Policing. Their shift patters are aligned to maximise the level of resource at times of highest demand, typically evenings. The night shift, generally after midnight although there is an overlap with the evening shift on particularly busy periods, is provided by officers from IRT teams.”

At this point a member of the press agreed to leave the meeting while the Chief Constable updated the Panel on the operational activity of the officers in Hartlepool.

After the Chief Constable updated the Panel the member of the press returned to the meeting.
PCP
39/20
Consideration was given to a report that provided an overview of the activity of the Acting Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) since the last meeting held in October 2020.

The report highlighted specific updates aligned to the priorities of the Police & Crime Plan, as agreed by the Panel in July 2020.

The report was considered in conjunction with progress detailed in the PCC Scrutiny and Decisions of the PCC reports. Collectively, these reports provided progress in all areas of the Police & Crime Plan delivery.

The report covered the following key areas:-
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Staffing Update
COVID19
Investing in Our Police
A Better Deal for Victims and Witnesses
Tackling Offending and Reoffending
Working Together to make Cleveland Safer/Securing the Future of Our Communities

A member asked a question around the staffing model that supported the Call Centre and if the Panel could receive a report on this issue at a future meeting. In response it was noted that the Call Centre was a focus of the OPCC scrutiny work and accountability programme. The OPCC was seeking assurance that the changes to the shift pattern had been looked at in terms of a greater understanding demand. This issue would continue to be looked at until the OPCC was assured performance was moving in the right direction. The Chief Constable added that demand was now being mapped out by an external company and the new shift pattern would start in January 2021. The Chief Constable also updated the Panel with the latest abandonment rate of calls that had significantly improved. It was also noted that the Chief Constable would look into an issue at Hartlepool at the co-located Council/Police call team where callers were being told to hang up and phone a different number where the call be transferred over to the Police/Council or vice-versa.

A member asked a question around the funding of CCTV that had been provided in Middlesbrough’s Newport Ward and if there were any plans to roll this out across Cleveland. In response it was noted that the funding had come from the Safer Streets Project from the Home Office. There was a strict criteria that could only be applied to 3 areas across Cleveland that related to specific crime rates.
PCP
40/20
Consideration was given to a report that provided an update on decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Forward Plan.

The Police and Crime Commissioner made 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.
PCP
41/20
Consideration was given to a report that provided 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 the functions of the Chief Constable and functions of those who were under the Chief Constable’s direction and control.

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 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 (Joint Independent Audit Committee), internal scrutiny panels such as the Out of Court Disposals, the Use of Force and Domestic Abuse Scrutiny Panels as well as identifying those services which would benefit from a wider multi agency scrutiny approach.

During 2020/21 the Cleveland Police Service Improvement Programme (SIP) continued be a key feature of the scrutiny programme, where SIP programme control documents would be routinely reviewed, and progress tracked against the programme stage plan.

OPCC representatives were attending the Delivery and Assurance groups for each of the SIP work streams and would provide feedback on respective programme activities including impact, highlighting and/or identifying any risks of opportunities that may affect delivery and provide performance pack to inform the PCC and External Assurance Process for SIP. Information and evidence that was found would also be shared with HMICFRS to correlate with the evidence they were finding from the Force.

Assurance would also be provided by linking the scrutiny programme to the various internal and external forums and on a quarterly basis. Wider scrutiny arrangements were also in place including (and not limited to):

• Ethics Committee
• Feedback from complaints
• Issues raised at community meetings and focus groups and consultation

Since the previous Police and Crime Panel meeting the following meetings had taken place:
- 21 September, (minutes attached to the report)
- 2 November

The PCC continues to monitor on a regular basis, the following:

• Force Control Room
• Covid
• The return of Sopra Steria
• Brexit Preparedness

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

• Daily review of the Control Room and Serious Incident Logs;
• Weekly accountability meetings with the Chief Constable;

A member raised a question around the relaunch of Operation Encompass. In response it was noted that the service hadn’t changed name and the relaunch was around the wider vulnerability work that the Force was undertaking in terms of service improvement to protect the most vulnerable people.

A member raised a question around Operation Phoenix and the excellent results it had achieved. Most of the results that had been shared of Operation Phoenix had been in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool. The Chief Constable reported that activity had taken place in Redcar and Cleveland and if there had been any gaps in the coverage of the reporting in Redcar and Cleveland it would be corrected.
PCP
42/20
Consideration was given to a report that related to the re-appointment of the Non-Political Independent co-opted members to the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel (“the Panel), under provisions within the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 required each Police and Crime Panel to have at least two co-opted members who were not members of one of the local authorities which form the police area.

The practice of the panel had been to appoint non-political independent members for a term of office of four years. Paul McGrath was appointed on 2 February 2017 for four years and Luigi Salvati was appointed on 10 September 2020 to sit for the remaining period of the vacant seat. Accordingly, both appointments would end on 1 February 2021.

As the next scheduled principal meeting of the Panel was not until 2 February 2021 it was proposed to make the appointments in advance of the meeting and before the terms of office expire.
PCP
43/20
Consideration was given to a report that related to the appointment of a sub-committee to deal with complaints made against the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 required that complaints made against the Police and Crime Commissioner were notified to the Police and Crime Panel and, if the complaint related to the conduct of a police and crime commissioner, the panel shall make arrangements for the complaint to be subjected to informal resolution.

Those arrangements could include the appointment of a sub-committee, a single member of the panel or a single person who was not a member of the panel to secure the informal resolution of the complaint.

The panel adopted a complaints procedure including the “Arrangements for the Handling of Complaints and other matters” when it was first established in 2012 which included a provision for the appointment of a sub-committee. Complaints were originally dealt with by the panel as a whole but due to the timescales between each meeting a sub-committee was duly appointed in June 2014 to deal with complaints more effectively. It had not met for some time and the membership had lapsed.

It was proposed to appoint a standing sub-committee to deal with complaints under the informal resolution process, or such other matters as may be referred to it by the Independent Office of Police Conduct, subject to a provision that the sub-committee can refer matters back to the full panel if it was deemed the most appropriate way to resolve a matter.

To try to secure that the balanced appointment objective was met it was proposed to appoint a sub-committee made up of 5 members, made up of one member from each authority and to reflect the political / group make-up of the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel. This would require the following appointments, wherever possible, but should not prevent the sub-committee being formed if the political balance cannot be achieved by agreement.

Since the writing of the report it was noted that both Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council were about to make amendments to their membership of the Panel which would change the political balance of the Panel and as those decisions had not been made yet by either council, officers could not confirm what the political balance should be of the sub-committee therefore in discussions with the Chair it was agreed that volunteers should be sought for the appointment of the sub-committee ideally one from each authority but that was not a requirement.
PCP
45/20
Members were presented with the Forward Plan. It was noted that a special meeting of the Panel had been arranged for 8 December 2020 to consider an update on the HAT Programme.

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