[MAC0006]

Written evidence submitted by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland (MAC0006)

 

Background

1. PCCs were elected for the second time on the 5th of May 2016 in 40 force areas across England and Wales. Every force area is represented by a PCC, except Greater Manchester and London, where PCC responsibilities lie with the Mayor.

 

2. The role of the PCC is designed to be the link between the public and the policing service which is delivered on their behalf. PCCs are elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the Force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve. A key role for PCCs is therefore representing and engaging with local communities to help ascertain and deliver their policing priorities.

 

 

Changes in police powers and practice (prevention and/or investigation) since the Committee last took evidence in July 2019, including but not limited to stop and search

 

Teesside University Project

3. Cleveland OPCC have commissioned Teesside University to undertake a research project, on behalf of, but independent to, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland.

 

4. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the implementation of new legislation, the Coronavirus Act 2020, which gives police officers the powers to enforce government social distancing restrictions which have been put in place due to directions from Public Health to limit the spread of Covid-19.

 

5. During this period it is important that the Police continue to police by consent and deal with local communities sensitively at a period when many will be feeling particularly isolated and vulnerable.

 

6. The research has two key requirements:

 

7. The research team are utilising a range of data sources and methodologies to gather information. These include:

 

8. The project has been promoted through a range of mechanisms including:

 

9. The final report is expected in August 2020.

 

Scrutiny of Coronavirus enforcement in Cleveland

 

10. The Cleveland Police Covid Incident Room have implemented a tension monitoring process during the pandemic which involves:

 

11. The OPCC have maintained a close scrutiny of COVID enforcement through the PCCs weekly scrutiny meetings with the Chief Constable. Questions have focused on the number of FPNs issued and on work undertaken to assess who and where the majority of the fines have been handed out. Analysis has shown that the majority of the fines have been issued to white males aged between 30 and 34 years whereas the second highest group has been identified as white males aged 18-24. This is also reflected nationally and is also typically seen within crime offending statistics.

Engagement with BAME communities during COVID

 

12. The Strategic Independent Advisory Group has met virtually during the pandemic as a mechanism for diverse communities to raise local concerns.

 

13. As a member of the North East Migration Partnership (NEMP) the OPCC receive regular information on a range of resources available for the local refugee and asylum seeker population, and have promoted these through social media. These have included translated copies of:

 

 

Stop and Search Scrutiny

 

14. The OPCC sits on the Coercive Powers and Intelligence Performance and Accountability Group, which is a monthly internal Cleveland Police group to provide oversight of use of police powers, including stop and search. Analysis of stop and search data is undertaken including analysis by gender, age and ethnicity of subjects, repeat subjects and officer usage of stop and search powers. In depth analysis is undertaken in wards where stop and search rates are highest. Outcome rates are also analysed and compared between BAME subjects and white subjects.

 

15. The Strategic Independent Advisory Group receives reports on stop and search and use of force every six months – these incorporate the same level of analysis as the above Accountability Group.

 

16. A new programme of training on stop and search has been rolled out across Cleveland Police, using a range of scenarios to examine unconscious bias. The OPCC formed part of a panel to review the training before it was implemented.

 

17. Engagement with the BAME community has been undertaken to establish a BAME stop and search scrutiny panel using BAME community members to provide a community perspective on anonymised stop and search records. Panel members have undergone the refreshed Cleveland Police stop and search training to ensure that they are aware of legislation and best practice around stop and search. Difficulties have been encountered in engaging the local BAME community in this process and panels are currently looking to recruit more widely from within the local community. Local IAGs have previously undertaken this function whilst the panel was being established.

 

 

June 2020