Public accountability meeting – 24 October 2017 – Mental health

Who is speaking now?
Use this photo sheet to help you identify who is talking and what their role is.

Meeting overview

This month’s meeting focuses on mental health

Examples of some of the work undertaken include:

Agenda

No. Time Click link to watch  Purpose Lead
1 13:30 Attendance and apologies To note attendance and apologies: CC Jones, ACC Oliver, J Wintermeyer PCC
2 13:35 Minutes of previous meeting To discuss and agree the draft minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 September 2017 and to discuss the action log. ALL
3 13:35 Questions from the public To address questions raised by the public in advance in relation to the agenda PCC
4 13:45 Mental Health Main presentation and discussion. ACC
5 14:10 Policing update – Kirby Misperton Update T/ACC
6 14:30 Performance / Outcome Updates Performance and outcome updates DCC
7 14:45 Calls for service – 101 Improving customer service via 101 & 999 DCC
8 15:00 Forward Planner To discuss proposed thematic items for future meetings ALL
9 15:10 Questions on Twitter To address questions raised by the public during the meeting in relation to the agenda PCC / CC
10 15:20 Any other business  ALL
11 Date of Next Meeting 28 November 2017 at 13:30hrs,  West Offices, York on the topic of mental health

Agenda papers

Questions from members of the public

Andrew Waites Leyburn – Facebook
Intelligence and information from the public helps the Police keep up to date with crime, often as it is happening. Nationally, people shout for the increase in Community Police to get local intel. If this is correct, why on earth do we pay for the 101 information line when we make a call and why does it take 16 minutes for someone to answer the calls? Why – as a rate payer should I pay to impart information to the Police? Come on, for goodness sake, get your act together. You either want our help or you don’t!

101 is indeed used as a means for the public to pass intelligence and information onto the police, but is also used for many other means too, such as reporting crime and ASB, asking for police support, trying to get hold of specific people/teams, and many other things too.  However, as you say, 101 is the primary and sometimes only means for the public to do this, which is why the Commissioner and Chief Constable are addressing the current challenges as quickly and effectively as possible, and as a priority.

On the cost of the call to 101 itself, there is a 15p flat rate charge (not a charge per minute), which is set nationally and cannot be changed locally.  Some mobile phone operators now include 101 in their ‘free calls’ offers, and calls to 101 from telephone boxes are also free.

On waiting times, the Commissioner and Chief Constable wholeheartedly agree that the current 101 waiting times are not good enough, and the Deputy Chief Constable is leading on a large number of proposals to reduce waiting times.  This includes:

  • Increasing the numbers of staff being brought into the control room
  • Improving the training process to make it quicker and to have less impact on other staff
  • Reduce the amount of admin call handlers have to do
  • Implement new software to enable the force to better plan control room resourcing
  • There is a new ‘operator service’ in place
  • There is now a ‘call back’ service in place
  • In the longer term, allow members of the public to report issues

 

Pamela Hudson, Terrington – E-mail
There are major concerns about the policing being experienced at and around the Kirby Misperton Third Energy Fracking site- KM8. There have been numerous formal complaints lodged with the Chief Constable, the Crime and Police Commission and NYCC Police Committee which cover a spectrum of issues including police violence, unnecessary containment of protestors, unjustifiable stop and search, removal of protestors from the site on flimsy grounds, heavy handed and an ‘over the top’  police approach evidenced by the sheer numbers of officers on site every day.

The perception is that NYP is following a policy of strategic intimidation.  What it is doing is ensuring that there is a breakdown of trust between the community and the police which will if it remains unresolved have long term detrimental effect on policing in the County. The overall perception is that NYP are not maintaining  a nonpartisan approach  and that they are serving as a security force for the energy company at KM8 – Third Energy . The right to peaceful protest is being curtailed and redefined by the police. I would be grateful if you could address the following questions:

  1. What is the policy governing NYP’s policing of the area directly surrounding the KM8 site and surrounding villages?

The aim is to ensure that North Yorkshire Police provides a consistent and co-ordinated policing response to any hydraulic fracturing (fracking) related protest activity, fulfilling their core responsibilities and conducting themselves in a manner compatible with the values of North Yorkshire Police and the Code of Ethics.  Although North Yorkshire Police are focused on this operation, it is still ‘business as usual’ elsewhere in the county and city, and police are attending to their usual duties and providing the best quality service across North Yorkshire and the City of York.

Specific policing policies are drawn from a number of pieces of UK and EU legislation, not from one single source.

  1. Which heads of which policy are dictating the policing?

As per the above answer, there is no single national or local policy aligned to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activity, and it also important to reiterate that the Commissioner remains neutral on the issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and has no say on the operational decisions of the Chief Constable or anyone else.  The Chief Constable is operationally independent, and North Yorkshire Police also remain impartial on the issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) itself.

Notwithstanding the above, there is a Gold Strategy based on the European Convention of Human Rights Act rights of all parties involved. A Gold Commander is appointed in order to oversee the policing of the operation and maintains operational independence overseen by the Chief Constable.

  1. What is the justification for the erection of barricades on the highway at each side of the gates while removing the protestor’s structures?

The fencing belongs to North Yorkshire County Council and so neither the Commissioner nor Chief Constable can provide this information.

  1. What is the cost of employing the numbers of police at the site both in the day and overnight and who is bearing that cost? How many officers are being deployed on a daily 24 basis? How many are from North Yorkshire?

Financial information is available here and will be updated each month.  This is related to the additional costs of policing the area, and includes overtime costs, subsistence, equipment etc.

The numbers of officers involved will not be released at the time due to the impact this would have on policing tactics.  However, the overall costs of the operation will be released as soon as possible after the operation is finished.

  1. Are officers – many of whom have expressed their unhappiness with policing the KM8 site – allowed to recuse themselves from this duty?

Police Officers take an oath that they will uphold the law and remain impartial in their duties. In line with the values of North Yorkshire Police and the operational independence of the Office of Police Constable, as with any other policing activity, Officers do not allow personal views to affect how they police an operation.

  1. Given the breakdown in local trust of the police how do you propose to regains the confidence of the local community?

There is no indication that North Yorkshire Police have lost the trust of the local community.  Both the Commissioner and Chief Constable have received a range of feedback, some positive, some negative and many not expressing a view either way but thanking officers for their efforts.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and North Yorkshire Police will continue to engage with the local community, as the police always have done through a neighbourhood policing approach.

  1. What power was the ‘Silver Commander’ David Hannam relying on when he announced  at the Kirby Misperton community meeting that he would only tolerate  1  20 minute morning slow walk and 1 20 minute evening slow walk.   Whose support did he rely on for that announcement?

Policing powers are drawn from domestic legislation and take cognisance of European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) legislation. Consideration is given to these powers when balancing the rights of those who support, or are against, hydraulic fracturing (fracking). 

  1. Who is responsible for the traffic management in the areas surrounding the site?

The Traffic Management Plan was submitted by Third Energy PLC and was approved by North Yorkshire County Council as part of the planning hearing. Further information can be sought by contacting North Yorkshire County Council’s planning department.

  1. Who is accountable for the allocation of the police budget and what consideration has been given to curtailing the cost to the local tax payers, many of whom want neither fracking nor an inappropriate and disproportionate police presence.

The policing of this operation is covered by North Yorkshire Police budgets, as delegated by the Police and Crime Commissioner, which includes a contingency for policing operations such as this, and the cost is kept continuously under review. As part of our commitment to openness and transparency, the Commissioner will publish the cost on her website on a monthly basis, and a discussion will be held at the monthly Public Accountability Meetings.

When publishing August and September’s costs, Julia Mulligan said:

“North Yorkshire Police has the necessary contingencies and budgets in place to ensure the force is able to deal with events such as policing protests. Above and beyond our usual budgeting there are also reserves earmarked for any major incidents that arise during the course of the year. 

“However, should the cost of the operation increase to over one percent of the total policing budget in North Yorkshire, the government holds a fund to assist local forces. I am seeking reassurance from the Government that money from this fund will be available, should it be needed.”

Frank Colenso, Hovingham – E-mail

To the Commissioner.

I would be grateful if you would put these questions below to the committee.

  1. Under what powers did the police instruct NYCC to replace the grass verge at KM8 and hard core it? 

North Yorkshire Police did not instruct North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), and any decision about local highways (aside from those managed by Highways England) are a matter for NYCC alone.   A request for assistance was made to support public safety and to allow for a safe area to assist people to stand somewhere off the road.  Whether or not this is a temporary measure, and if once the operation has finished it may be replaced with grass, is again a matter for NYCC.

  1. Under what powers did the the Police block the Great Habton road for the day to allow NYCC to remove the grass verge and replace it with hard core?

NYCC used a road closure order in order to complete the work, which was facilitated by North Yorkshire Police.

  1. Under what powers did the police subsequently block the highway with fencing?

The fencing was erected by NYCC, and so any questions about the fencing specifically needs to be addressed to NYCC.

  1. Under what powers did the police restrict movement on the grass(hardcore) verge and call it a clearway i.e. and restrict anyone from parking on the verge?

NYCC introduced a temporary Clearway by way of Notice and Orders.  Any questions as to the process leading to the temporary Clearway needed to be addressed to North Yorkshire County Council.

  1. Member of the community are deeply concerned that the aggressive policing tactics have driven a wedge between law abiding residents and police. What action are the police going to take to try and restore the respect that is required to have peaceful, respectful and law-abiding community?

There is no indication that North Yorkshire Police have lost the trust of the local community.  Both the Commissioner and Chief Constable have received a range of feedback, some positive, some negative and many not expressing a view either way but thanking officers for their efforts.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and North Yorkshire Police will continue to engage with the local community, as the police always have done through a neighbourhood policing approach.

  1. Clearly the pro fracking stance and the aggressive policing strategy toward the protestors is against many of the Police Officers conscience. We are concerned about the long term mental health of individual police officers. What support does NY Police Authority plan to put in place to support these officers?

It is important to state that the Commissioner remains neutral on the issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and has no say on the operational decisions of the Chief Constable or anyone else.  The Chief Constable is operationally independent, and North Yorkshire Police also remain impartial on the issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) itself.  There is therefore no pro-fracking stance, as is the suggestion in the question, and nor is there an anti-fracking stance.

Police officers take an oath that they will uphold the law and remain impartial in their duties. North Yorkshire Police will not allow officers’ personal views to affect this operation.

North Yorkshire Police has a full welfare and wellbeing plan to support officers and staff involved in this operation and other operational duties.

  1. The physical weight individual police officers are being instructed to lift far exceeds recommended guide lines. See below. We are concerned on the long term impact this will have on police officers well being. What action does NY Police Authority plan to put in place to support these officers in order to prevent injury?

North Yorkshire Police routinely trains all officers in personal safety training and manual handling and officers make dynamic risk assessments at the time they make a decision to take action.

8.Under what powers did the Police kettle and remove the tea lady, Jackie, at KM8? 

North Yorkshire Police has a duty to ensure the safety of everyone involved in protests at Kirby Misperton. Officers had to move several people away from a tower of pallets, after they received advice from the local authority (NYCC) that it was not safe. Whilst some people were unhappy about this, officers spoke to them and asked them to move for their own safety, which most did.  North Yorkshire Police will always act to protect people from harm.

9.Is North Yorkshire Police applying laws normally attributed to Terrorism cases to a local peacful process?

No.  Policing powers are drawn from domestic legislation and take cognisance of European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) legislation. Consideration is given to these powers when balancing the rights of those who support, or are against hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  Terrorism Act powers have not been used or even considered in the policing of this operation.

Alex Thornton, Helmsley – E-Mail
Does the CC believe NYP are adopting a ‘neighbourhood-style’ approach to policing KM8 as promised by Superintendent Dave Hannan?”

Andrew@Hippo_Rugby – Twitter
How many have been arrested and the de-arrested?

(In relation to the arrests at Kirby Misperton)

 

Updated 09/11/2017
How many have been arrested and the de-arrested?

Three people have been arrested and subsequently de-arrested since the start of the operation.

North Yorkshire Police will continue to monitor these figures.