A presentation by Philip Allott, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), in which he confirmed his initial focus during his first four months in post, which had included getting out and about to meet with staff across the Police and Fire and Rescue Service, and provided an overview of his priorities and plans, as summarised below:
· Priorities included tackling neighbourhood crime, greater use of youth diversion, tackling drug supply and drug use, hate crime, dealing with cross border crime, reducing re-offending and enhancing rural services, safety of women and;
· Improvements to infrastructure and equipment – the new combined Police and First Service station at Ripon;
· A new approach to anti-social behaviour, with more use of ‘nudge theory’ to promote behaviour change;
· A renewed focus upon tackling rural crime, with greater use of modern technology, such as drones, to extend the reach of Police Officers and PCSOs;
· Greater support and incentives for retained/volunteer fire fighters and small rural fire and rescue stations;
· Development of the relationship between the Police and local communities so they were better able to work together to promote community safety;
· A review of the 101 service – introduction of digital reporting and waiting times and additional funding for extra staff;
· An updated CCTV system across North Yorkshire with a centralised base for monitoring;
· Development of a Public Safety Service;
· Improved support for victims of crime and promotion of the Victims’ Code;
Specifically in regard to speeding, the PFCC noted the limited resources available and 6,000+ miles of road to be covered. As such, he wanted to encourage residents to raise complaints about speeding, as this would help the Police build up an understanding of where the problems were and how best to target resources. He also confirmed:
· Research would be commissioned, to better understand how best to regulate speed on the highways across the county. This would include enhanced measurement of road use and speeds;
· The number of Road Traffic Police Officers to be increased;
· The support of the Council and councillors would be welcomed in working through where fixed speed cameras and camera vans could be placed;
· In some cases, speed limits could be reduced from 40mph to 30mph on roads where there were particular concerns;
· Use of citizen dashcam footage to support prosecutions;
Members raised their concerns about speeding through villages, particularly those lying alongside main roads.
In light of recent national events, Members also queried the robustness of the selection and vetting process for prospective officers and were reassured that the Government was leading on a review.
Finally, they queried the training provided to Police Officers in regard to recognizing dementia and other such issues, nothing that 80% of their work was safeguarding and prevention related and only 20% about responding to crime. In response, the PFCC confirmed that there were Dementia champions and other such roles within the Service.
The PFCC went on to outline his plans for the future, which included improving resilience, service delivery, governance arrangements, partnership working, and seeking fairer funding to meet the challenges of serving the largest county in the country. He also confirmed forthcoming consultations on the Police and Crime, and Fire and Rescue Plans, and his commissioning priorities.
The Chair thanked the PFCC for attending the meeting and it was
Resolved – That the presentation be noted.