Agenda and draft minutes

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel - Thursday, 12th October, 2023 10.30 am

Venue: Hudson Room, City of York Council West Offices, Station Rise, York YO1 6GA

Contact: Diane Parsons  Email:


No. Item


Welcome and apologies


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Apologies were noted from Councillor Moorhouse (Councillor Taylor substituting).


Declarations of Interest

All Members are invited to declare at this point any interests they have in items appearing on this agenda, including the nature of those interests.


Mags Godderidge notified that she is CEO of Survive; a charity commissioned by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) to provide services to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  Mags also declared for transparency in relation to Item 8 that she sits on the Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategic Steering Group and the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Professional Working Group.  In addition, Mags is a representative from the latter group to the VAWG Strategic Governance Board.


Martin Walker declared that he is a Trustee of IDAS, which receives funding for its work from the OPFCC.


Minutes of the Panel Meeting held on 20th July 2023 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

For approval by the Panel.


Resolved –


That the minutes of the meeting held on 20th July 2023, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


Progress on Issues Raised by the Panel pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Update report from the Panel Secretariat.


Considered –


The progress report regarding issues raised by the Panel at previous meetings.


Martin Walker commended North Yorkshire Police for successfully piloting Project Prism in relation to the routine re-vetting of officers and which is now adopted by all other police forces.


Resolved –


That the Panel notes the update report.


Public Questions or Statements to the Panel

·    Any member of the public, who lives, works or studies in North Yorkshire and York can ask a question to the Panel.  The question or statement must be put in writing to the Panel no later than midday on Monday, 9th October 2023 to Diane Parsons (contact details below). 

·    The time period for asking and responding to all questions will be limited to 30 minutes. No one question or statement shall exceed 3 minutes.

·    Please see the rules regarding Public Question Time at the end of this agenda page.  The full protocol can be found at


A question had been received in advance of the meeting and agreed through the Chair from Councillor George Jabbour of North Yorkshire Council, as follows:


I represent the rural division of Helmsley and Sinnington in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.  The lack of visible policing is nothing new and residents regularly highlight this issue.

Since my election last year, I have held regular meetings with North Yorkshire Police officers to raise the concerns of local people.  I joined them in conducting community engagement activities.  They also attended a public meeting in Helmsley.

As communicated to Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe when we met recently, our community is grateful for the support and engagement that we have been receiving from the dedicated team of police officers.

Following my conversations with the police, it was concluded that having a new police hub in our part of Ryedale would provide critical additional cover and reassurance for a number of communities given the gap in response times between urban centres and rural locations in North Yorkshire.

Several options were explored.  I was very pleased when I was informed recently that a new police hub will be located at Kirkbymoorside Fire Station to address the threat and risk with response times to several towns and villages on the A170.

Although it is outside the Helmsley and Sinnington division, Kirkbymoorside occupies a strategic location for the various parishes that I represent as it is situated between Helmsley and Sinnington.

I am wondering when this new hub is going to be fully operational, how often will police officers be present there and what estimated impact this initiative will have on response times.

Are there similar hubs across the wider Ryedale and North Yorkshire areas that are being introduced?

It was acknowledged that the question related to operational policing rather than Panel business.  The Commissioner agreed to relay the question to North Yorkshire Police to seek a response for Councillor Jabbour.


Decision-Making Process regarding the Recruitment for Chief Constable pdf icon PDF 149 KB

A paper regarding the Commissioner’s decision-making process for recruiting a Chief Constable was submitted to the Chair of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel on 10th October 2023 by the Commissioner and the request made that it be considered at the meeting of the Panel on 12th October 2023.  The Chair of the Panel has accepted by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.


A paper regarding the Commissioner’s decision-making process for recruiting a Chief Constable was submitted to the Chair on 10th October 2023 by the Commissioner and the request made that it be considered at the meeting on 12th October 2023.  By virtue of the significance of the issue and the level of public interest in this matter, the Chair accepted by reason of special circumstances that the item should be considered at the Panel meeting.


In outlining her rationale for the decision made to recruit a Chief Constable, the Commissioner highlighted that she had taken professional advice from her senior team and also consulted with a range of national stakeholders.  She was not satisfied that deferring the decision to the incoming Mayor would be the right decision for the force as it would result in a delay in getting stable leadership to continue the progress against improvements already made. The Commissioner highlighted that the recruitment process will be rigorous to ensure the strongest possible field of applicants.


Panel members conveyed a range of different views on the decision, including:

·       It may be a disadvantage for a new Chief Constable to be appointed now if they do not know who will be Mayor or what the incoming Mayoral priorities will be;

·       A Chief Constable has to be independent and strong so if they struggle to get on with an elected official then they may not be a good fit for the job anyway. 

·       Having a Deputy Chief Constable ‘act up’ for a lengthy period is not the best solution for the area and this is what would result from awaiting the Mayor’s appointment to the role.

·       Are there risks inherent to the strength of the field of candidates coming forward if recruiting during a period of change?


In response, the Commissioner emphasised that if the decision awaits the election of Mayor then the Deputy Chief Constable is compelled to step up for a prolonged period, which has knock-on effects on the senior team beneath and leaves gaps.  The Commissioner felt this presented risks in view of the level of change and improvement underway and underlined that stakeholders such as the College of Policing and HMICFRS did not see a problem with recruiting at a time of change.


A recommendation was proposed – and seconded - that the Commissioner considers pausing the recruitment process until after the Mayoral election and that under Section 29 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the PRSRA), the Commissioner is asked to respond formally to this recommendation in writing. 


A named vote was requested by a Panel member on this recommendation.  A unanimous show of hands confirmed support for a named vote.  The results of the vote were as follows:


Cllr Chris Aldred        


Cllr Lindsay Burr


Cllr Tim Grogan


Cllr Emilie Knight


Cllr Carl Les


Cllr Rich Maw


Cllr Danny Myers


Cllr Michael Pavlovic


Cllr Malcolm Taylor


Cllr Peter Wilkinson


Fraser Forsyth

For  ...  view the full minutes text for item 697.


Members' Questions - Other Matters

An opportunity for Panel members to ask questions of the Commissioner on other issues around the exercise of the Commissioner’s functions.


The Commissioner was asked what reassurances she could give regarding the quality of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in North Yorkshire, following national reporting around quality concerns.  In response, the Commissioner spoke in detail to the rigorous testing and cleaning protocols in place at the SARC to ensure it is forensically clean and that staff are provided with appropriate training and undertake relevant qualifications to ensure the highest standards.


Members asked about the approach towards handling of those businesses who are ‘repeat offenders’ in terms of callouts for automatic fire alarms, to identify whether the potential for applying a charge is an effective sanction or not.  The Chief Fire Officer acknowledged that for some it will be cheaper to pay the charge but that education is the focus.  It was agreed that data would be provided to the Panel around how many businesses have four or more false automatic alarm call-outs and are charged.


The Commissioner was asked whether she’d had opportunity to review North Yorkshire Police’s response to the Greenpeace protest on the roof of the Prime Minister’s house.  The Commissioner clarified that Homeland Security have responsibility for security for the Prime Minister, not North Yorkshire Police, however she was satisfied that the response from the Force Control Room had been swift and officers had dealt with the situation effectively.  The Home Office and Homeland Security had also been content with the response provided.


Members also commended the new Community Messaging service from North Yorkshire Police.



"Right Care, Right Person" Update pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Briefing update from the Commissioner regarding implementation of the model and welfare checks for vulnerable adults.


Considered –


The briefing from the Commissioner on the implementation of the “Right Care, Right Person” model in North Yorkshire.


The Commissioner sought to emphasise that where there is a need for mental health/welfare checks to be undertaken that this is a health commissioning gap in service and not a police commissioning gap.  A multi-agency panel including OPFCC representation meets monthly to discuss cases and concerns, to ensure that processes are monitored and honed further.


Members acknowledged the need to ensure resources are diverted to tackling key policing priorities and that a police officer isn’t always the most appropriate person to check on a vulnerable individual.  However, concerns were reiterated from the Panel around how clients linked in to third sector agencies are being served within this model and the process for triage and support for such individuals when welfare calls come in to the Force Control Room (FCR).  The Commissioner offered to provide further information to support that appropriate triage is happening.


The Chair requested that a further report be brought to Panel in due course in this matter.


Resolved –


That the Panel:


(a)   Notes the briefing provided;

(b)   Receives further data and information for the next meeting to support that appropriate triaging of welfare calls from the Force Control Room is taking place;

(c)   Revisits progress on implementation of the Right Care, Right Person model in a year’s time.


Updates on Inspection, Risk and Resource Model Implementation and Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity. pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Composite report from the Commissioner outlining the fire service’s progress against:

·       the recent HMICFRS inspection outcomes,

·       the implementation of the Risk and Resource Model; and

·       work undertaken to promote and embed equality, diversity and inclusivity.


Considered –


The composite report from the Commissioner regarding the fire and rescue service, updating the Panel on progress in relation to the HMICFRS inspections, implementation of the Risk and Resource Model (RRM) and work to enhance equality, diversity and inclusivity.


The Commissioner highlighted that positive feedback had been received from HMICFRS following a re-visit but that the report will be confidential until later this month.  Implementation of the RRM at Huntington station has moved forward, with wholetime staff relocation to be completed by the end of November.  A number of elements have been progressed around equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) including a Framework for Change project in collaboration with Huddersfield University.


Concerns were raised by the Panel that North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) had the slowest average response time nationally last year at 13 minutes and 9 seconds; almost 90 seconds longer than the previous year and more than two minutes slower than in 2012.  The concern raised was that this represents a downward trend and that the RRM may adversely impact this further.  The Panel has been awaiting data to help understand the impact of the RRM on Huntington station.  By way of response, the Chief Fire Officer spoke to the rurality of the area and lack of stations, proportionally, compared to other areas, thereby affecting response times.  Improvements are being made around NYFRS data capture to better support the RRM in 2025.  The Commissioner agreed with the view expressed that additional funding into the NYFRS would be of benefit and she has again written to the Minister on this point.


The Chief Fire Officer offered a briefing on the context to the RRM for Panel members if helpful as it was felt that there may be misconceptions around the risk modelling and how this had been developed.


The Commissioner was asked whether she feels confident that the new independent reporting line for the NYFRS will be advertised widely enough.  By way of response, the Commissioner outlined the various ways – in addition to the reporting line - that staff can report concerns.


Resolved –


That the Panel:


(a)   Notes the report provided; and

(b)   Receives a further briefing around the Risk and Resource Model in due course, either as part of a Panel meeting or during a separate seminar opportunity.


At this point in the meeting (11:55am), the Chair requested that the meeting be formally adjourned to enable a short comfort break.



Strategy to Address Violence Against Women and Girls - Annual Update to Panel pdf icon PDF 300 KB

Report from the Commissioner providing an annual update on progress against the strategy for Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls.


The meeting re-convened at 12:08pm.


Considered –


The Commissioner’s report regarding progress against the Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.


The Commissioner outlined some of the services and interventions which are commissioned through her office.  It was highlighted that demand continues to grow for specialist support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence but that a there had also been a significant increase in those accessing these services reporting positive outcomes.  Joint working with partners has been effective.


The Panel highlighted that there is a much greater number of referrals for specialist support than the published figure and the Commissioner was asked about how this intelligence on the ground is being adequately picked up.  It was outlined to the Panel that the Commissioner is mindful of longer term demand and wanting victims to come forward but also being conscious of service capacity to deal with this increase.  The office is looking at long-term funding strategies.  In terms of intelligence, the office is using a range of methods such as surveys, working with commissioned providers and the Strategic Sexual Violence Group.


The Commissioner was asked if she could share the North Yorkshire results from the recent Operation Soteria Bluestone survey of victims/survivors of sexual violence and what is being done to address any shortcomings.  The Commissioner reported that the North Yorkshire findings were broadly across the national average and most victims felt treated with dignity and respect by police officers.  Satisfaction does fall off over a longer period where cases take longer to move through the criminal justice system.  North Yorkshire Police (NYP) has not yet adopted the findings as they are awaiting to receive a self-assessment package shortly and a project team will then implement over the following 12 months.


The Panel asked the Commissioner about what is being done to encourage people to come forward and report domestic abuse and sexual violence and how intelligence is being captured within the police system.  By way of response, the Panel was advised of the partnership mechanisms in place, in addition to Crimestoppers, which assist the police in reviewing trends of perpetrating behaviour and linking up with relevant commissioned services.


The Commissioner was asked how she will assess public trust and confidence in the police, in addition to questions regarding action to review and scrutinise the numbers of reported rapes going to prosecution.  The Panel were advised that the Commissioner evaluates trust and confidence through her rolling public survey and has also done an anonymous survey about experiences.  In terms of rape prosecutions, the file quality for the CPS has improved and this has cut down on the time victims must wait to get to prosecution.  Additionally, there are two scrutiny panels which focus on domestic abuse and rape/sexual offences cases that haven’t been put forward to the CPS, particularly wanting to look at where the victim has withdrawn from the process and learning is shared with NYP.


The Panel asked about perpetrator programmes and how these might  ...  view the full minutes text for item 701.


Tackling Hate Crime in North Yorkshire and York pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Report from the Commissioner updating on the picture across the force area and how hate crime continues to be tackled.


Considered –


The Commissioner’s annual report on how effectively hate crime is being tackled in North Yorkshire and York.


The Chair thanked NYP for the recent informal briefing provided to Panel members on hate crime, as this had been very informative.


The Commissioner outlined the key issues from the report, including highlighting that most hate crimes occur within the night-time economy and that Restorative Solutions have been commissioned to address and challenge offending behaviour.


Members asked the Commissioner whether she felt that the hate crime unit is sufficiently staffed and resourced given its prioritisation as an issue.  The Commissioner acknowledged that hate crime is unfortunately a ‘growth area’ and that the Panel can expect to see that come through the NYP organisational re-design.


Resolved –


That the Panel notes the report provided.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Report by the Panel Secretariat.


Considered –


The report of the Panel Secretariat outlining the Panel’s programme of work.


It was agreed that work will continue with the Commissioner’s office to identify a suitable date for a confirmation hearing for Chief Constable.


The Panel agreed to formally postpone the scheduled meeting date in April 2024, to avoid the pre-election restrictions. 


Resolved –


That the Panel agrees the outline work programme.


Any other items

·       Verbal update from Martin Walker – Meeting with the Rural Task Force (August 2023).


Having received notice prior to the meeting, the Chair invited Martin Walker to update the Panel on his recent familiarisation meeting with the Rural Task Force.  Martin outlined how they discussed a range of challenges to detection and prosecution, including the sometimes violent (and armed) nature of wildlife crime perpetrators and the fact that witnesses can be too afraid to come forward.  The discussion also raised the issue of acquisitive crime in rural areas, often involving high-value remote control tractor equipment.  Martin thanked the Task Force and commended other Panel members to take up this opportunity.



Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 11 January 2024 at 10:30am – County Hall, Northallerton


Thursday, 11th January 2024 at 10:30am – County Hall, Northallerton.