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Decisions of the PCC - February 2015

On this page, any decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland will be published. The table below outlines each decision supported by the Decision Form used by the Commissioner to justify the decision.

Note: Where a link to the decision document is unavailable. this will be updated as soon as possible

 

DECISION REF NO.

DETAILS OF DECISION

DECISION SUMMARY

DATE AUTHORISED

UPDATE

04 – 2015

Discontinuance of Proceedings

In 2012 recommendations made by Cleveland Police Authority’s External Auditor, as part of the annual audit and assurance process, asked that it should examine the scope to recover payments made in previous years to former Chief Constable Sean Price.

In consideration of this and on the recommendation of its then Monitoring Officer, the former Police Authority reached the decision to pursue the recovery of these payments.

I took office as Police & Crime Commissioner shortly afterwards, inheriting the Police Authority’s chosen course of action in this regard.  After taking office I considered all of the circumstances and the legal advice available to me and determined with the Chief Executive and the OPCC legal advisors, that if the action were to continue it be on the following basis : that the action was brought by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner rather than me personally;  that costs would be managed and controlled as appropriate;  that the action could be halted at any time deemed appropriate by the PCC.

With that in mind, I determined that the appropriate course of action would be for me to respect the decision of the former Police Authority and allow this civil litigation to proceed as part of our commitment to examine the scope to recover these payments.

The case is based, in the main, upon the legal argument that the former Authority made such payments by mistake of law and that in principle, such payments are recoverable from the recipient. Former Chief Constable Price has defended the case since its outset.

Former Chief Constable Price has very recently extended an improved offer to finalise the litigation. In the circumstances I considered myself under a duty to give very careful consideration to that offer, which invited me to discontinue the litigation upon payment of the sum of £23,000 (twenty-three thousand pounds).

Although the offer represents a modest proportion of the sum the Authority had committed to try to recover and the legal costs of doing so, it was extended in good faith by Mr Price by reference to his ability to pay.

Before consideration of this offer, Mr Price was informed he must allow access to certain financial documents in an attempt to ascertain what funds he has available.   Mr Price has allowed access to these documents.

I concluded that I faced a choice either to accept a sum which Mr Price had demonstrated he could afford, or proceed to court risking an estimated overall six figure sum in court costs which was unlikely to be realistically recoverable.

When weighing up this offer, I considered how best to serve the best interests of the public of Cleveland in view of my assessment of the following factors:

  • The chances of winning this case, were it to go to court based on legal and other advice received
  • The estimate of approximately £30,000 of external barristers’ fees incurred to date and the costs of the OPCC’s in-house solicitors.
  • The overall question of cost to the public purse at a time of austerity of investing in litigation, when I have given a commitment to ensuring resources are focussed on retaining and developing neighbourhood policing, delivering a better deal for victims and witnesses and addressing reoffending.
  • The fact that several other PCCs and Police Forces considering litigation of this nature have decided against bringing the matter to court
  • The fact that these matters are understood to have been considered as part of the work of Operation Sacristy, which did not result in criminal charges. I am keen to support Cleveland Police in moving on from these issues.
  • The undertaking of the former Police Authority to the auditor to ‘examine the scope’ for recovering this money.
  • My responsibility to deal proportionately with a claim which is against a private individual by reference to his ability to repay even if ultimately ordered to do so by the court.
  • My duty to reach an appropriate outcome to the litigation to recover losses to the police fund in a way which is appropriate and which satisfies the public interest; and
  • The importance to the public interest of resolving such doubt as exists about the law on additional payments to chief officers.

Although ending the claim will mean that the court will not have the opportunity to address the legal questions, taking all of the circumstances in the round, I have determined that it would be appropriate to conclude the matter on the basis of the payment of the sum offered. 

06/02/2015

 

07 – 2015

Membership of the Road Safety Trust (National Driver Offending Retraining Scheme

In common with all Police & Crime Commissioners, the PCC for Cleveland has received a recommendation from the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners, to the effect that as local policing body for Cleveland, the PCC should enter into the new corporate governance arrangements for the National Driver Offending Retraining Scheme (NDORs).

NDORs is the umbrella arrangement under which alternatives to prosecution such as ‘speed awareness courses’ offered in respect of certain categories of driving offence are accredited, administered and technically supported. A briefing paper from the Cleveland & Durham Specialist Operations Unit, setting out the local collaborative arrangements for delivery of courses and the handling of the fee arrangements, is attached to this Decision Record.

New national corporate arrangements are necessary mainly as a result of the changes to the national umbrella body for Chief Police Officers, specifically the transition from ACPO to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The ACPO Transition team and the APCC Board prefer – and have agreed - that residual review and professional advice work in respect of the predecessor arrangements should abide the establishment of new arrangements. The full text of the recommendation from the APCC Chief Executive is as follows

I am writing to update you on the modified governance and operational arrangements for the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) and to seek your agreement to join the Scheme.

Currently all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and most, if not all safer roads partnerships benefit from membership of the Scheme and the ambition of the new structure is to ensure that NDORS achieves the aims and objectives of police forces including: transparency, oversight, accountability and operational efficiency focused on improving the safety of UK roads for all road users.

Earlier this month we sent out the final proposals for the new arrangements. As you know, I have recently been working with the ACPO Review Team and PWC to address a number of concerns relating primarily to executive powers, funding arrangements and organisational representation. It was absolutely right and necessary to consider alternative operating models and review the proposals to ensure absolute clarity and transparency moving forward. I am pleased to report that the Board have accepted the modified arrangements which I believe will help forces to provide added value and safety benefits for all road users.

The proposals introduces a new governance model which addresses a number of historic arrangements providing full and appropriate operational control and remove any management burden and commercial risks for forces. They provide a long term national solution, with clear accountability, responsibility and transparent scrutiny for the future including a mechanism to recover appropriate costs incurred to deliver the Scheme.

We anticipate that the new organisation, known as "The Road Safety Trust" will need to enter into commercial support contracts, through its operational arm, "UK ROEd Ltd" with IT service providers and specialist training and support services providing the necessary flexibility and expertise to support the Scheme. An independent governance board will provide oversight and scrutiny and I will have "power of veto" thus ensuring that member forces have the final say. It is hoped that a volunteer Police & Crime Commissioner, with the appropriate knowledge and experience will also join the Board. Please do contact me if you would like to be put forward for this position.

I hope that the material provided to you is sufficient to allow you to become a member of the Road Safety Trust, thereby enabling the force to continue to benefit from the Scheme. 

Placing reliance upon the material supplied by the APCC, membership of the Road Safety Trust will permit participating PCCs (or Chief Constables, if Schemes of Consent allow them to assume membership) to take part in appointing the trustees and influence the development and direction of NDORs. There appears also to be the need to make special – and perhaps more complex – arrangements for participation in the scheme for those organisations who do not assume membership of the Road Safety Trust through their appropriate corporation sole (in Cleveland, the contracting corporation sole would be the PCC). Any disturbance to the smooth operation of the scheme can be avoided by assuming membership of the Trust whilst remaining committed to the effective scrutiny of the new corporate governance structure and any residual matters relating to the previous delivery model.

The Road Safety Trust will also be responsible for applying any residual surplus from administrative levies on course participants, to charitable purposes of a road safety nature. That stewardship role is important within the context of the public interest in ensuring the proper application of such funds.

The PCC will note that the APCC recommendation indicates that the maximum financial liability accruing to the PCC in respect of membership is the sum of £1.00 in the event of the winding up of the Trust. 

12/02/2015

 

09 – 2015

Use of Seized Vehicles for OCU / Surveillance

 Summary within Decision Record Form

02/02/2015

 

10 – 2015

The lease of the building in Miers Avenue in Hartlepool

 Summary within Decision Record Form

06/02/2015

 

14 – 2015

Extension of the collaboration between the Cleveland and North Yorkshire PCCs in relation to the provision of Chief Finance Officer services

Decision Record 42-2014 sets out the original decision of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland to enter into a collaboration agreement to share a single Chief Finance Officer with the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire.

Following a review of those arrangements, undertaken by the respective Chief Executives in accordance with the agreement, it is recommended that the Police & Crime Commissioners extend the collaboration for a further three years, terminable upon the giving of three months’ notice.

The Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire presently pays a fee equivalent to 40% of the cost of the Chief Finance Officer, in return for a time commitment of two days per week. This resourcing arrangement and the other terms of the collaboration will remain the same. 

13/02/2015

 

18 – 2015

Encryption hardware, support and maintenance services (PSNP Compliance)

The purpose of this report is to advise the Police and Crime Commissioner of the procurement process undertaken during the recent procurement exercise to award a contract for the supply, support & maintenance of all ICT hardware required for the current and future data network in order to comply with PSNP requirements. 

12/02/2015

 

19 – 2015

Public Services Network in Policing (PSNP) Capital Scheme

 Summary within Decision Record Form

12/02/2015

 

28 – 2015

2015-16 Budget and Financial Plans

 Summary within Decision Record Form

27/02/2015

 

 


 

 
 
 
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