Agenda and draft minutes

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel - Monday, 5th February, 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Brierley Room, County Hall, Northallerton DL7 8AD

Contact: Diane Parsons  Email:


No. Item


Welcome and apologies


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and apologies were noted.  It was highlighted that Jenni Newberry was attending in the capacity of Acting Deputy Chief Executive.


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 declared that she is CEO of Survive; a charity which is commissioned by the Commissioner’s office to provide services to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.


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


Consideration of Exclusion of the Public

To consider the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting during consideration of Item 11 on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) Order 2006); namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).  The Panel will need to consider whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.


The Chair wished to note that the Panel retains the privilege to consider whether it is necessary (and appropriate) to retire into closed session at Item 11, in respect of its consideration of the Commissioner’s precept proposals.


Minutes of the Confirmation Hearing for Chief Constable - 11 January 2024 pdf icon PDF 206 KB


Resolved –


That the minutes of the Confirmation Hearing held on 11th January 2024, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Panel - 11 January 2024 pdf icon PDF 257 KB


Considered –


The draft minutes of the ordinary Panel meeting held on 11th January 2024 at 11:45am.


Clarification was sought regarding the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) Safety Critical Notice issued in January and whether it had been rescinded.  The Chief Fire Officer confirmed that the FBU have now deemed they are not rescinding the Notice so discussions are underway with them.


Resolved –


That the minutes of the ordinary Panel meeting held on 11th January 2024, 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 113 KB

Update report from the Panel Secretariat.

Additional documents:


Considered –


The report from the Panel Secretariat updating the Panel on progress made against issues raised at or following the previous meeting.


The Commissioner agreed to provide further detail following the Member query on how many police officers and PCSOs had been investigated for potential domestic abuse and/or sexual offences.


Resolved –


That the Panel:


(a) notes the report provided; and

(b) receives further detail prior to the next Panel meeting regarding how many investigations into police officers and PCSOs relating to potential sexual/domestic abuse offences resulted in disciplinary or criminal action.


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 Wednesday, 31st January 2024 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


Two questions/statements had been agreed in advance by the Chair as follows:


1) Councillor John McCartney (North Yorkshire Council):


“My council ward borders The East Riding of Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire. Cross-border crime; from fly-tipping to serious burglaries is a local concern, especially in those rural communities very close to the border.  The communities of Kirk Smeaton and Little Smeaton are very close to both South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.  


A burglary in Kirk Smeaton, in January involving four men in balaclavas, waving iron bars created an outcry in the two villages. There has been another burglary since then.


At a packed meeting with our excellent local neighbourhood policing team and residents of Kirk Smeaton and Little Smeaton on the 22nd January, I was shocked to hear that residents ringing 999 were being put through to West Yorkshire Police.  They then have to waste valuable time getting transferred to North Yorkshire Police.


I am pleased to see from the “Force Control Room Performance Report” that is before the Panel today that there have been improvements to both the 101 and 999 service. But there is an issue with the 999 service for the two communities in my area. Is this more widespread along the county borders and can it be resolved? Is this something that could be raised as you look at the “Force Control Room Performance” item?  


A/CC Elliot Foskett provided some further context to the matter raised, which highlighted that the 999 system belongs to and is owned and managed by BT and local phone providers will direct calls to the nearest mast where a community is a long way from a mast.  In communities lying on the county borders, calls may initially be taken by a neighbouring force.  That force will deal with the matter but will also contact the local area force at the same time.  This is not peculiar to North Yorkshire and A/CC Foskett was keen to reassure that there would be minimal delay to dealing with calls as a result.  He offered to look into the matter further for Councillor McCartney if helpful. The Commissioner advised Councillor McCartney that issues of this nature may best be channelled via her Online Public Meetings.


2) Gwen Swinburn provided a question but was unable to attend the meeting.  The Panel agreed that her question would be taken and a response shared in the meeting as follows:

“Chair, to give context, I sat in the meeting that accepted the new Chief Constable. In that process I witnessed an overwhelming focus on rural issues both in the prepared questions & debate. That and the issues below, make me feel as a citizen in York, that we are not equal partners, but rather being absorbed. It feels bad, as if York is being merged into North Yorkshire Council, in plain sight.

I also recognise that the whole police and fire part of the constitution came very late and remained confusing. But at face to me,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 736.


Members' Questions


Members discussed with the Commissioner and Chief Fire Officer regarding fire serve response times and comparable data shared from a national dataset. Mr Dyson was keen to underline for the Panel the broader context to this data and those factors which make North Yorkshire more of an ‘outlier’ including its size, travel times to call-outs and the fact that there isn’t funding to locate fire stations in more outlying areas. 


The Commissioner was asked about the North Yorkshire Police policy around use of electric scooters, particularly where these are used on pavements, and whether or not they are being used for lower level crimes, drug crime and so on.  It was felt that their use in crimes was very low level in this area and that road safety is the key concern.  A similar query was raised regarding data on mobility scooters which are poorly driven or misused on the public highway.  A/CC Foskett offered to revert on these queries. 


Resolved –


That the Panel:


(a) receives details of the North Yorkshire Police policy on e-scooters and data regarding dangerous driving of the same, plus where they have been used in crime; and


(b) receives data regarding misuse/dangerous use of mobility scooters in the area.




Force Control Room performance pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Annual progress report from the Commissioner on the performance of the Force Control Room (999/101 services), including the impact of the Commissioner’s investment in early 2023.

Additional documents:


Considered –


The report of the Commissioner providing an annual update on the performance of the Force Control Room (FCR) and the impact of the investment into the FCR.


The Commissioner spoke to the key points of the report, highlighting improvements made to the FCR including:


-        a reduction in abandonment of 101 calls by 30% to 12% in January 2024;

-        999 call answer time average reduced from 19 seconds in October 2022 to 6 seconds in December 2023;

-        average 101 call answer times down from 3 minutes 34 seconds in October 22 to 1 minute 34 seconds in December 2023.


Members commended the improvements made to the 999 and 101 services.  The Commissioner was asked whether calls not appropriate for North Yorkshire Police have a significant impact on its performance.  The Panel heard that further investment will introduce a triage/switchboard system to help with this although it was felt that such calls do not greatly affect the response that the public get.  Clarification was also provided that the investment will ensure an increase in dispatch officers, switchboard, supervision, the introduction of live chat, a performance analyst and QA officer in addition to increasing admin personnel.  The Panel also sought reassurance that the FCR will be able to deal with any surge in call volumes.  The Commissioner felt confidence that it would be well placed to do so.


It was requested that abandonment rates are incorporated into future reporting to the Panel.


Resolved –


That the Panel notes the report provided regarding the performance of the FCR and impact of the Commissioner’s investment.



Enhancing Neighbourhood and Response Policing pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Report from the Commissioner outlining the re-modelling of the response and neighbourhood policing functions at North Yorkshire Police.


Considered –


The Commissioner’s report regarding the review of the Response and Neighbourhood Policing functions at North Yorkshire Police.


Process Evolution were engaged to develop demand modelling to help improve response times and manage demand more effectively.  This has led to an adjustment of current processes and distribution of staff to improve dispatch time and reduce variability in incident response performance.  In relation to improving Neighbourhood Policing, high-harm wards have been identified and tasking is data driven, based on ward profiles.  The neighbourhood teams will focus on targeted activity, problem solving and drivers for change, with accountability delivered through monthly meetings.  The force has also introduced an abstraction policy designed to reduce short-notice abstractions to cover policing response to incidents and to ensure continued visibility in localities.


Members acknowledged North Yorkshire Police’s engagement at a community level, particularly where missing persons incidents have arisen and felt encouraged by the plans put in place.  The Commissioner felt it important that the incoming Chief Constable is able to shape and improve the service further, in line with the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan.


Resolved –


That the Panel notes the report provided on improving Response and Neighbourhood Policing.


Panel Scrutiny of the Precept Proposals pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Guidance note from the Panel Secretariat.


Resolved –


That the Panel notes the guidance note provided by the Panel Secretariat regarding the Panel’s legal role in reviewing the Commissioner’s precept proposals for 2024/25.


Policing Precept Proposal 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 477 KB

Report from the Commissioner for consideration by the Panel.


Considered –


The report from the Commissioner seeking the Panel’s approval of her Council Tax policing precept proposal for 2024/25.


The Commissioner presented a proposal to the Panel to set the police element of the Council Tax precept for 2024/25 at £306.86, which represents an increase of £11.77 (or 3.99%) over the 2023/24 level for a Band D property. 


The Panel heard from the Commissioner that she had chosen not to increase the policing precept by the maximum amount permissible (£13) as she is concerned to only ask residents to fund what is absolutely necessary.  The Panel also noted that 61% of those residents who responded to the Commissioner’s public consultation regarding the 2024/25 precept supported an increase of £10 or more.


The Commissioner outlined that the funds levied from the precept would be invested back into priority areas such the Force Control Room and continuing to ensure an effective frontline policing response.  There will also be investment required into tackling areas of ‘high harm’.  These included investments into specialist safeguarding teams, the Digital Forensics Unit and increasing the numbers of detectives at NYP.  The planned capital programme will ensure replacement of police vehicles as needed, as well as investment in the estate and ICT infrastructure. 


The Commissioner highlighted that any efficiency savings found within NYP going forward will continue to be reinvested in areas of high demand.  Further to Panel questions, the Commissioner underlined that she felt comfortable with the level of policing reserves and with the planning assumptions made around future pay awards. 


The Commissioner advised that a 3.99% increase will achieve a balanced budget over the next four years, leaving NYP in a stable financial position for the incoming Mayor but that there will be a continued need for the organisation to become more efficient too.


The Panel voted unanimously in support of the Commissioner’s precept proposal for policing.


Resolved –


That the Panel supports the Commissioner’s proposal to increase the policing precept for 2024/25 to £306.86, thereby representing an increase of £11.77 (or 3.99%) over the 2023/24 level for a Band D property. 




Fire and Rescue Service Precept Proposal pdf icon PDF 472 KB

Report from the Commissioner for consideration by the Panel.


Considered –


The report from the Commissioner seeking the Panel’s approval for her Council Tax precept proposal for fire and rescue for 2024/25.


The Commissioner presented a proposal to set the fire and rescue element of the Council Tax precept at £83.02 for 2024/25, which represents a 2.99% increase (or £2.41) over the 2023/24 level for a Band D property. 


The Panel noted that in spite of the best efforts of the Commissioner and support of the Panel, unfortunately fire and rescue authorities have not been afforded the precept flexibility granted to Shire District Councils this year and as such the Commissioner is seeking the maximum amount permissible.  It was also noted that public support remains high for an increased precept level for the FRS, with 69% of respondents to the public consultation agreeing with an increase of at least £2.41 and 54% agreeing with an increase of at least £5.


The Commissioner advised that the financial position for the fire and rescue service (“the FRS”) looking ahead to the next year has been made slightly more comfortable by the indication from government that the service will be given a 4% funding guarantee.  This is expected to provide around £350/400k more than previously forecasted (to be confirmed shortly), which will enable the Commissioner to balance the plan for 2024/25.  In turn, this means that the Commissioner has also been able to increase planning assumptions around pay awards and slightly increase the amount of general reserves.  However, the Panel noted with concern that the position remains exceptionally tight and committed to writing back to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to emphasise the precarious position for next year in the hope that additional flexibility will be granted.


The Panel noted that the FRS continues to look at creative ways to adapt around the financial position presented, such as replacing appliances with newer second-hand models. 


Following a show of hands, eleven of the Panel voted in favour of the Commissioner’s precept proposal and one Member voted against; as such the approval was carried.


Resolved –


That the Panel:


(a) supported the Commissioner’s proposal to increase the fire and rescue service precept for 2024/25 to £83.02 for 2024/25, which represents a 2.99% increase (or £2.41) over the 2023/24 level for a Band D property; and


(b) responds to Simon Hoare MP to underline its concerns regarding the financial position of the service and the need for greater precept flexibility in the 2025/26 funding round.


Closed Session

For the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel to discuss and agree its recommendations regarding the proposed precept proposals, as considered at item 9.


The Panel did not retire into closed session as business under Item 10 was concluded in public session.


Panel Rules of Procedure - Revisions Following Mayoral Devolution pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report from the Panel Secretariat, for agreement by the Panel.

Additional documents:


Resolved –


That the Panel:


(a) agrees the proposed revisions to be made to its Rules of Procedure from 7th May 2024; and


(b) reviews revisions to its complaints handling material via email prior to 7th May 2024.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Report by the Panel Secretariat.

Additional documents:


Considered –


The outline work programme for the Panel.


It was proposed that an item comes to the Panel later in the year which provides a more rounded look at fire and rescue appliance availability, response times and cover moves to help give reassurance to the Panel around response times.  It was acknowledged that the recent Fire Safety Critical Notice from the trade union and issues stemming from that cannot be discussed in public forum while being explored further.  It was also acknowledged by the Panel that the fire service performance information published as part of the Commissioner’s Online Public Meetings provides much of this data currently so further work will need to be undertaken with the Panel to clarify on requirements.


Resolved –


That the Panel agrees the outline work programme for 2024/25.


Any other items

Any other items which the Chair agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances.


The Chair highlighted that it was the last Panel meeting for the Commissioner and invited her to speak to this.  The Commissioner gave a summary of the various changes and impacts brought to bear for both policing and fire and rescue under her tenure.  These included ensuring improvements to both services following recent HMI inspections, investments made into the FCR, improvements in governance including a new Assurance Framework, investing in a new Sexual Assault Referral Centre and launching a new strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.  She also gave thanks to her office and colleagues in both the police and fire services.


Panel members provided their individual thanks to the Commissioner for her work over the last couple of years and in particular the collegiate way in which she has worked with Panel.  The Commissioner was commended by the Panel for the impact she has made through her dedication and drive to improve services for the public, in particular for improving services to victims of crime.


Date of Next Meeting

·       Monday, 19 February 2024 at 1:30pm – Precept Reserve if needed;

·       Wednesday 12 June 2024 at 10:30am – County Hall, Northallerton.


It was noted that the precept reserve meeting on 19th February will not be required and as such the next meeting will take place on:


Wednesday, 12th June 2024 at 10:30am – County Hall, Northallerton.