Your Force Your Voice events took place throughout 2013.
Click here for Your Force Your Voice events in 2014.
This page lists issues which have been raised with the Police & Crime Commissioner and provide details of the actions taken.
Click here for feedback from Hartlepool Community Meetings
Click here for feedback from Middlesbrough Community Meetings
Click here for feedback from Redcar & Cleveland Community Meetings
Click here for feedback from Stockton Community Meetings
11/02/2013 - Addison, Belk and Cameron Residents Group
Issues with motorists driving the wrong way down a one way street - Local Neighbourhood Team will monitor the situation and take enforcement action where necessary.
Since the ward boundaries have changed residents feel that they see less of their PCSOs on the beat as they are covering a larger area - When ward boundaries were changed the police did a demand modelling exercise to assess where officers should be placed. This is about to be repeated and may result in the ward getting additional resources due to the busy nature of the area.
21/03/2013 - Burbank Bridge Community Association
Concern around proposals to build a new shop in the ward which will sell alcohol and the potential link to anti-social behaviour - Local neighbourhood police suggested that the Association use some of its funding to set up diversionary activities for young people with assistance from the police.
Neighbourhood policing praised but it was felt that the current system does not work as well as the original pilot which took place in the ward when officers were based in the ward - The local team now have a clear accountability structure in place and supervision can identify all actions taken around neighbourhood issues, however the PCC recognises the concern and will speak to the Hartlepool District Commander.
More information on actions taken needs to be fed back to local communities - The local councillor will feed back crime information in his regular newsletter.
22/03/2013 - Manor Residents Association
Very pleased with neighbourhood policing, although it does need strengthening - The current Force restructure under Orbis will provide additional support for neighbourhood teams with dedicated crime resources being allocated to neighbourhoods.
There is now a commitment that neighbourhood officers will remain in post for at least two years. This may not be long enough to build community relationships - Although police officers may move on to different departments after two years, PCSOs are dedicated neighbourhood resources and generally remain in post far longer than two years.
What support will be put in place for community initiatives? - The Cleveland Community Safety Awards will recognise the hard work of both statutory organisations and volunteers within communities. There is also work ongoing with key voluntary sector organisations through the Safer Future Communities Network to link in with the invaluable work which volunteers undertake.
Drug dealing is a concern. There should be more visible action taken - For legal reasons the outcomes of work in areas cannot always be freely publicised until legal proceedings are completed. There is a lot of work ongoing in drugs enforcement including joint operations with other Forces such as Operation Cobweb involving Greater Manchester police.
10/04/2013 - South & Central Neighbourhood Forum
How can the Commissioner reach members of the community who do not use computers? - When the elections took place in November 2013 there was little public awareness of the Police and Crime Commissioner role. The Commissioner is trying to raise awareness by visiting each ward across Cleveland to meet the community and also having meetings with partnership agencies and organisations within the voluntary, private and public sector. He will also aim to highlight his role and priorities through the use of the media.
It will be difficult for people from Hartlepool to get to the Cleveland Community Safety Awards ceremony as it is being held at Teesside University - The University were kind enough to allow the awards ceremony to be held there free of charge and the Commissioner is keen to ensure that the awards do not cost the public money. They have been kindly sponsored by Fabric and Vela. Should the Hartlepool College of Further Education, or another suitable venue offer to host the ceremony in future years the awards ceremony could be held within Hartlepool.
What telephone surveys do Cleveland Police undertake? - The police control room call back a selection of people who have reported incidents to Cleveland police to give feedback on progress and assess customer satisfaction. In addition to this the Force and Commissioner fund an independent telephone survey to a random selection of 2400 participants each year which focuses on public confidence in policing and people’s local priorities. In addition to this the local neighbourhood teams within South and Central Hartlepool are about to start using policing priority questionnaires to assess local priorities.
Each ward used to have a Neighbourhood Action Partnership meeting but this structure has now been replaced by two Neighbourhood Forums, South & Central, and North & Coastal. Local residents feel they have lost a connection to their local police teams - Neighbourhood teams are still happy to attend local neighbourhood meetings if requested.
10/04/2013 - North & Coastal Neighbourhood Forum
Nuisance horses are an issue across the area - The police and partners are working to tackle the emerging issue of horse, and are linking in with Redcar and Cleveland District who have established policies regarding nuisance horses.
What do you think of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s plans regarding having a Youth Police & Crime Commissioner and the subsequent resignation of this post following comments made on Twitter? - The Commissioner feels that the young lady who was to hold the role of Kent Youth Commissioner was treated unfairly by the press, and a real opportunity to engage meaningfully with young people has been lost. The Commissioner is committed to listening to the voice of young people within Cleveland, and has established a Youth Forum to assist with this engagement. He would not plan to appoint a specific Youth Commissioner as this would be an increased expense and he is committed to reducing his office expenses, which have been reduced by 22% from the previous Police Authority budget.
With the current Force restructure will Police Community Support Officers remain aligned to wards? - The Commissioner has pledged to retain and develop Neighbourhood Policing as one of his key priorities. The Force restructure places Neighbourhood Policing at the heart of local policing and will provide additional resources such as investigative teams aligned to neighbourhoods.
When does anti-social behaviour become a crime? - There are set guidelines around how incidents are recorded and their classification. Much of what is termed antisocial behaviour is actually crime and all incidents which are reported will be dealt with appropriately by the police.
The general public do need to show more tolerance to young people - The police are committed to engaging positively with young people and diverting them from inappropriate behaviour. The Cool Project is one such initiative, which utilises police volunteers to help run football sessions in school buildings out of school hours. However, when young people do behave antisocially, their behaviour will be dealt with robustly by the police. From 1st April 2013 Cleveland Police have adopted a restorative approach to incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour committed by young people under the age of 18. This means that for first time offences, where the perpetrator shows remorse and the victim agrees, rather than put the young person through the criminal justice system they will be dealt with out of court with an agreed set of community reparations. This is proven to reduce reoffending and also avoids unnecessarily criminalising young people which could have a negative impact on their future employment prospects.
20/05/2013 - Greatham Parish Council
Neighbourhood policing in Greatham is not visible enough - There have been issues with the local PCSO being on long term sick, but she is shortly to return to duty. In the interim period officers from neighbouring Fens and Rossmere ward will pay more attention to Greatham.
Why has there been no replacement for the PCSO who is on long term sick? - The Force restructure under Project Orbis is designed to introduce more resilience into neighbourhood staffing to ensure that absences can be more easily covered.
Greatham has a Bobby Box where people can put questions for the police but this has only been emptied twice in the last year - This has been an oversight due to the long term sickness of the local PCSO. The neighbouring PCSO will start emptying the box regularly. The police acknowledge that confidence in policing has been eroded during the local PCSOs sickness and will now start to try and rebuild local relationships.
Off road bikes are a seasonal issue - Public encouraged to report incidents to the 101 non emergency number or to York Road on 855560.
PCSOs working in rural areas like Greatham should have access to vehicles - PCSOs do have access to vehicles if necessary, although they are encouraged to patrol on foot, bicycle or public transport where possible.
How will the PCC lift the reputation of Cleveland given the recent investigations? - Only a very small number of people were involved in the operations, the vast majority of police officers and staff act with complete integrity. The Chief Constable will publish details of suspensions and discipline matters on the Force website and the PCC publishes his diary, expenses and decisions to ensure transparency.
The Durham PCC had pledged not to cut starter PC pay as per Home Office recommendations. How does the PCC in Cleveland feel about this? - Cleveland will not be recruiting police officers in the near future, however when we do the PCC agrees that officers should be paid a decent wage.
Issues with lamping on dark nights - The problem with detecting this crime is that some farmers give people permission to go lamping on their land, so it is difficult to ascertain when the activities are legal and when they are illegal. Work is ongoing with rural communities to ensure better intelligence sharing through Farmwatch.
21/05/2013 - Burn Valley North Residents Association
Will neighbourhood policing resources be used for non neighbourhood work - Through the Force restructure we are looking to utilise additional resources to support the neighbourhood teams which will allow them to concentrate on their neighbourhood duties.
Issues with tenants of private landlords - Need to encourage good practice in landlords through working in partnership with them, and where issues do occur use robust enforcement.
How will you restore confidence in Cleveland police following the ongoing investigations? - Only a small number of people are involved in the investigation, the vast majority of Cleveland Police officers and staff behave professionally and with integrity. When mistakes have been made, such as within the recent Operation Pomeroy case it is important that the police recognise that they are at fault.
How will the measures being proposed in the new Antisocial Behaviour Bill be implemented - The PCC office is working closely with partnership organisations to reach local agreement on how the measures will be implemented within Cleveland.
Police really pleased with the success of recent Operation Pledge during which intelligence was gathered which led to several drugs warrants being executed.
Issues with youth antisocial behaviour in Burn Valley Gardens - Local police team will ensure alley gates are locked and used appropriately.
21/05/2013 - Fens Residents Association
The Commissioner has pledged that all reports of antisocial behaviour will receive a response within 24 hours, but sometimes a quicker response is required - All calls are prioritised, and incidents of antisocial behaviour will not receive as high a priority as incidents involving violence or crimes in progress, so sometimes the response will not be immediate.
The ward was the pilot for neighbourhood policing, but the service is not as good as it was originally with dedicated neighbourhood staff being abstracted to cover other areas - Staff sickness in the neighbouring ward has left the area under resourced but this is soon to be resolved. Neighbourhood officers have always dealt with issues in neighbouring wards when there are no issues within their own ward.
Are the neighbourhood team aware of who the local ‘trouble causers’ are? - Working in an area you get to know the local issues and the more problematic individuals, so yes.
Youth antisocial behaviour in Queens Meadow is an issue - A police operation is being planned to target the issue.
Off road bikes are a seasonal issue - A police operation is being planned to target this issue, residents are encouraged to report any incidents.
The Police Authority awarded a £75K retainer to the then Chief Constable, Mr Price, would the Commissioner do the same for the current chief? - Mrs Cheer receives a good salary with a car allowance, but no additional benefits. It is important that such an important role is amply rewarded, but the package negotiated is fair and transparent.
Issues with horses being ridden irresponsibly - People are encouraged to report all incidents.
29/05/2013 - Park Residents Association
Who holds the PCC to account? Police & Crime Panel, Joint Audit Committee. PCC diary and key decisions are published on the PCC website.
History of Cleveland Police - 'The Black Hole' - what is in place to stop this happening in the future? The Joint Audit Committee are independent members, we have internal and external auditors together with regular inspections from HMIC.
Police and Crime Commissioner is a strange title - why crime? - The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for the totality of policing including community safety and the wider criminal justice landscape.
11/06/2013 - St Hildas Lady's Guild
How do you find the Police accept you being a civilian? - Received a positive response from Police Officers, all have been helpful and supportive.
Community Pay Back - who decides what the offenders do? - Overseen by the Probation Service - PCC offered to collate any ideas people had and forward onto the Probation Service.
Is a Police presence heightened in 'hot spot' areas? - If there are specific issues in certain areas than patrols are managed based on need.
Are the issues raised in Hartlepool similar to that of Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar? - Comments are similar, majority of residents are supportive of Neighbourhood Policing.
24/06/2013 - Elwick Parish Council
Farmwatch meeting had a disappointing turnout. A number of farming issues seem to be cross boarder - The local Officers work closely with colleagues from the Durham Force area sharing intelligence. A dedicated Officer has now been assigned to each of the four Policing Districts to deal specifically with any issues relating to rural crime.
The Neighbourhood Watch Communication tool 'Ring Master' could it be suggested that a more lively vibrant voice be used to record the messages to encourage people to want to listen / keep them interested in the messages.
21/01/2013 - Kader Ward Community Council
Snowballing of properties across the Ward as a result of recent weather conditions - Local Neighbourhood Team are monitoring the situation with extra patrols taking place around the areas affected.
Concerns raised over the increase in burglaries across the Ward over the Christmas period - Local Neighbourhood Officer offered preventative advice to the residents.
The point was raised around the Wards of Acklam, Kader and Brookfield previously having 6 dedicated Neighbourhood Polciing Officers and now only have 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs - the meeting was made aware that there would be no further reductions in Neighbourhood Policing Numbers across the Force.
30/01/2013 - Brookfield Community Council
Concerns over 'Community Speedwatch' sessions being cancelled - Local Police Officer advised that the scheduled sessions had been cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions over recent weeks and further sessions would be arranged in the near future.
Speedwatch sessions were not having an impact on speeding in the Earlsdon Avenue area and it was felt the Police were not doing enough to resolve this - The results from each 'Speedwatch' session are posted on the Force Facebook page and shared with the Roads Policing Unit, when necessary, they attend the area with the speeding issue.
Why do you think no other applicant applied for the Chief Constable position within Cleveland? - PCC informed the meeting that 14 other Police Forces were recruiting, with Cleveland being a difficult area to Police.
Variation across Districts in terms of detected crime - as Commissioner how will you deal with this? - The ORBIS Project which is looking at the re-structure of the Force will bring more consistency/uniform across the Districts ensuring that front line services are maintained.
How would you feel about merging with other Police Forces i.e. having a North East Police Force? - It is not in the interests of Cleveland or the local economy for a North East Force, although potential collaboration opportunities will be looked at.
Relating to the recent press coverage regarding the ex Chief Constables salary and benefits, can you confirm the amount the newly appointed Chief Constable would be receiving? - the newly appointed Chief Constable will earn £140K.
How will Anti-Social Behaviour be dealt with when Police budgets are being reduced and Officer numbers are declining? - PCC held an Anti-Social Behaviour summit on 28 January 2013 where partners from across Cleveland were brought together, it is hoped increased partnership working will help to effectively deal with long term issues.
First Force to privatise policing - any plans to privatise further? - Current contract is continuously monitored and kept under review, no plans to privatise further.
06/02/2013 - North Ormesby Community Council
Problem tenants are the main local issue - The Neighbourhood police team plan to introduce a traffic light system with local landlords to provide recommendations on the suitability of prospective tenants.
28/03/2013 - Hemlington Community Council
Issues with a dangerous driver in the area - There have been no reported incidents involving the individual within the last year so the local officer encouraged community members to report incidents. Community Speed Watch is used within the area.
Issues with gates being stolen and used for fire setting - Local team to monitor situation.
Are neighbourhood priorities used in creating Community Impact Assessments which are then used in court? - The local officer does a community impact assessment on incidents which are also local community priorities. There are improvements to be made within the criminal justice arena and the Commissioner will hold agencies to account to ensure improvements are achieved.
Will the new Police Headquarters still be based at Hemlington Grange as originally planned? - The final decision as to the relocation of Police Headquarters is to be taken within the next month.
How effective is the new 101 non emergency phone number? - There has been a steady take up of the 101 number within Cleveland and it now accounts for 42% of our non emergency contact.
08/04/2013 - Coulby Newham Community Council
Is the future of the Police helicopter assured? - Yes. The service has been nationalised and it’s now based in West Yorkshire. We have gained although we used to have cover for 24 hours. Now it’s 20 hours.
Now that the town’s CCTV has been saved from the Mayor’s cuts is the future of the system secure? - The Council is still funding the system and hopes for sponsorship. A Police Officer is now a member of the monitoring team.
Do you plan to increase the number of Police Specials? - There are 100 now. An appeal will be re-launched after which it’s hoped the number will be up to 300. There is a Young People’s Strategic group too.
Is the national 101 non emergency police number a success? - 42% of non emergency calls made are now using 101. Ladgate Lane Switchboard receives up to 900 calls every day. If some of the questions asked by the call taker seem unnecessary please bear with them. Information obtained is key, as highlighted by 4 murders in Wales – all by domestic violence – because the information given by phone was not clear or reported as urgent.
Sometimes residents are reluctant to report Anti Social Behaviour thinking the Police won’t take them seriously - It is taken seriously.
It’s a bit worrying to hear of prisoners escaping from outside placements such as farms and people being told not to approach them – they might be dangerous. Why let them out if so?. Isn’t searching for them a waste of Police resource? - Escape is a rare occurrence and it’s usually because of a domestic problem. The prisoner will be coming to the end of their sentence, usually at Kirklevington, being taught skills for the future. The two escapees in mind had their terms increased as a result.
Why not move the Police Headquarters from Ladgate Lane into an empty office block in town instead of a new building at Hemlington. No need for emergency vehicle access – the Traffic Division is based at Wynyard? - The sale of Ladgate Lane will pay for the new Headquarters which will be more than just an Office Block. It must include all appropriate facilities. Hemlington site is central for Cleveland Police.
28/05/2013 - Marton Community Council
What plans have you got for the future after bad reputation Cleveland Police has developed? - A new Chief Constable has been appointed. Openness and transparency is key, the PCC website includes various information including the diary of the PCC and key decisions that the PCC has made.
Could the Force increase the use of civilians? - A number of years ago the then Police Authority undertook a workforce modernisation programme whereby functions undertaken by Police Officers, which could be completed by civilians were looked at putting Officers back on the front line.
How do you think Police Officers have taken your appointment? - The PCC has attended over 50 'Your Force Your Voice' meetings and spoke with a number of Officers. All have been very supportive.
11/07/2013 - Marton West Community Council
Issues with youths behaving antisocially under the influence of alcohol or drugs - Local Inspector will contact the individual who raised the issue to discuss directly.
Concern over the cost of Operation Sacristy and the length of time being taken on the investigation - The costs are being paid by the Home Office and it is not in the control of the Commissioner to dictate to the investigating team how long they take
Concern over lack of visible policing, and on the reduction of staff in the area - The ward has two PCs and 1 PCSO in the neighbourhood team. This is a reduction of 1 PCSO from the previous numbers. The current Force restructure will bring in additional resources, such as detectives, to assist neighbourhood teams.
Speeding an issue across the ward - Community Speedwatch in use and will be deployed specifically at the areas mentioned.
Lack of communication from Neighbourhood Watch raised - Neighbourhood Watch is being reviewed to improve the service offered.
Suspicious scrap dealers raised as an issue - Members of the public are urged to contact the police if they note anything suspicious.
16/07/2013 - University Community Council
Issue around people driving the wrong way down the one way system (Errol Street) and parking illegally on pavements - Issues highlighted as Policing Priority for the ward. PC Lambe to make contact with council around these issues.
17/09/2013 - Nunthorpe Community Council
Is the role like you thought it would be? - It is very busy, but enjoyable. As a full time role I have the luxury that I can dedicate myself completely to the role, so in this way it is actually easier than the years I spent as an employee whilst also being a Councillor.
Cleveland has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent years, is this now a thing of the past? - The investigations around Operation Sacristy involve a very small number of police officers and this does not affect the work of the frontline. There is a new Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable, and nationally Cleveland is no longer seen as a Force ‘in crisis’.
There have historically been issues with the communications between Cleveland Police and neighbouring Forces over rural issues. Is this still the case? - Each area of Cleveland now has a dedicated Rural Crime Officer, who liaises with their counterparts in other counties. The PCC is hosting a regional rural crime conference on 11th November at Gisborough Hall. More details can be obtained by emailing email@example.com or by contacting Sarah Wilson on 01642 301446.
Is your role a political one? - Although I have my own personal political views I do not bring these to the role. In all my years as a Councillor I never asked what political affiliations people had before helping them, and in the past I have voiced as much opposition to suggestions from my own party that I disagreed with as I do currently regarding the coalition government’s policies.
Are the Police inspected in a similar way to Ofsted for schools? - HMIC is the police equivalent of Ofsted, but there are many more scrutiny mechanisms for the Police and Commissioner including Independent Audit Committee, Police & Crime Panel, Internal Audit, External Audit and the Home Office.
08/01/2013 - Newcomen Ward Forum
Cycling on footpaths highlighted as an issue - Local Neighbourhood team will monitor situation and speak to local school (Sacred Heart) regarding the behaviour of pupils coming to and from school. This will be a new neighbourhood priority for Newcomen.
16/01/2013 - Ormesby Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Parking around Nunthorpe School highlighted as an issue - This will be a new neighbourhood priority for Ormesby. A week long multi agency operation to tackle the problem is planned.
Dog fouling across the ward raised as an issue - The Neighbourhood Action Partnership has purchased a dog fouling template which will be utilised at agreed locations across the ward.
Issues around cold callers - Police gave advice regarding reporting suspicious incidents and looking out for vulnerable neighbours. Operation Strongbow deals directly with distraction burglary. Victim Support offered the distribution of 'No Cold Callers' stickers.
31/01/2013 - Loftus Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Reassurance requested that front line Neighbourhood Policing numbers will be retained and that staff will not be swapped around -PCC assured group that neighbourhood policing is his key priority and Neighbourhood teams will not be affected by the cuts. Officers do have to move on for career progression or personal reasons, but these decisions are not taken lightly and every attempt is made to maintain consistency.
Antisocial behaviour on West Road and in Liverton Mines have been priorities for some time. How will the PCC assist in resolving long term issues such as these? - One of the PCC’s priorities is to develop better coordination between agencies and it is hoped that increased partnership working will help to effectively deal with long term issues.
When monthly detection targets are achieved early, are subsequent detected crimes held back to bolster the next month’s figures? -There are tight guidelines around the recording of crime and incidents and officers have a set amount of time to mark a crime as detected on the system. Systems have been put in place to ensure that these guidelines are adhered to. Cleveland Police ranks highly nationally for our detection figures and a great deal of work has been undertaken in recent years to ensure that these levels are maintained and increased.
Are attempted burglaries recorded as criminal damage to keep serious crime figures down? - When an officer attends an incident and there is evidence of an attempted burglary then the crime is categorised as an attempted burglary, which is included in the overall burglary figures.
04/02/2013 - Lockwood Neighbourhood Action Partnership
What do you plan on doing in regards to rural and wildlife crime? - The Force has a dedicated Police Officer for issues relating to wildlife crime with regular poaching operations taking place.
13/02/2013 - Action North Skelton
Issues of Anti-Social Behaviour at and around North Skelton Village Hall - name calling, banging/ slamming of doors etc, - The Local Officer informed residents that attention has been given to this issue with a number of AS13 forms issued to the youngsters involved and parents have been visited. If the issue was to persist the public order route would be taken.
06/03/2013 - Brotton Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Police callbacks well received – advising members of the public what actions have been taken and checking on quality of service. This is raising public confidence.
Parking on pavements raised as an issue, particularly with cars leaking oil - Neighbourhood team will patrol problem areas, but unless cars are parked illegally there is little action that can be taken.
Scrap metal dealers raised as an issue - Residents advised to note the registration numbers of any scrap metal dealers and report them to the Council who can check if they are registered and take appropriate action if not.
Litter across Brotton raised as a concern, especially around takeaway premises - Neighbourhood management will ensure that litter picking teams visit the area. Takeaway premises will also be visited and advised of their duties regarding litter around their premises.
Speeding raised as a concern - Neighbourhood management will look into arranging a Community Speedwatch initiative in the village.
Were you disappointed that only one candidate applied for the Chief Constable position - Due to the PCC elections and Forces not being able to appoint permanent Chief Constables in the run up to them there were 14 vacancies for Chief Constables, so many Forces were in the same position of having few applicants. Mrs Cheer had a thorough interview with the Panel, and was then questioned by the Police and Crime Panel, and proved herself a worthy candidate for the job on both occasions.
Concern raised around the length of time and cost of Operation Sacristy - The costs of Operation Sacristy are being paid by the Home Office. The investigation is being undertaken by an outside police force, so is out of the control of the PCC, however he has raised public concerns about the length of time the operation is taking with the Chief Constable who will raise this with the Sacristy investigation team.
21/03/13 - Teesville Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Anti-Social Behaviour in 'Tinkers Alley' and around Eston Cemetery - Extra patrols had been undertaken in this area and a reduction in Anti-Social Behaviour had been seen.
27/03/2013 - Kirkleatham Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Off road bikes and issues with horses were both raised as neighbourhood concerns - One of the ward priorities focuses on off road bikes and there is ongoing proactive work aiming to tackle the issue. The Community Safety Partnership has developed a policy regarding horses as this is an issue across the Borough and partnership work is aiming to address the situation.
What is the PCC's view of police officers being freemasons? - Whilst officers are free to be members of whatever organisation they wish, provided it is lawful, their supervision must be notified of membership of an organisation such as Freemasons. It is also imperative that officers treat all people equally without discrimination.
Has your view of policing changed since becoming a PCC? - I have realised what a tremendous job the police and partners do. I feel the biggest issue facing the police service in the future is funding with officers being expected to continually do more for less.
How can the police enforce bike safety, i.e. riding of bikes on pavements and without lights at night? - Neighbourhood officers are working with schools to enforce education around this issue. Signage can also be a key means of assisting with enforcement.
Is there a forward plan to deal with community safety issues which may arise from the forthcoming welfare reform? - Partnership working between organisations to provide help and advice for communities will be key in dealing with the issues emerging as a result of welfare reform.
Can more be done to identify drug dealers? - The police work proactively in enforcing drugs legislation. Operation Cobweb is a joint operation with Greater Manchester police which today resulted in multiple drug arrests across Cleveland and Manchester. When drugs warrants are executed these are publicised across the ward to encourage further intelligence. Providing support for drug users to help them become drugs free is also key, with organisations such as Lifeline doing invaluable work in this area.
Are those people arrested for drugs in the ward also associated with loan sharking? - This has not been the case in Kirkleatham ward but the two issues are often interlinked.
Issues raised with the amount of questions asked by Control Room when answering calls for service - Control Room operations have been highlighted as an area of concern nationally by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and the PCC is soon to visit the Control Room where he will pass on these concerns. However it is imperative that the police have access to as much information as possible when dealing with incidents, and in the past lack of information has led to a failure to identify high risk victims, so there is a need for operators to obtain considerable information.
What constitutes anti-social behaviour? - Anything which causes the victim alarm or distress is considered to be anti-social behaviour. If incidents are affecting your quality of life they should be reported to the local police or wardens who will deal with the issues.
09/04/2013 - South Bank Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Issues with motorbikes throughout the ward - Residents were urged to report these issues to the Police.
It was felt by residents that trust was build with the Neighbourhood Policing Officers and then they were re-posted to other areas within the Force - The Force restructure programme (ORBIS) will ensure that Neighbourhood Police Officers are posted to an area for a minimum of at least two years.
15/04/2013 - Loftus Town Council
Change of Neighbourhood Policing Officers on a regular basis - no continuity with Officers - The Force restructure programme (ORBIS) will ensure that Neighbourhood Police Officers are posted to an area for a minimum of at least two years.
Who is responsible for the current Sacristy investigation? - Being financed by the Home Office and is being managed by Warwickshire Police.
Any plans to work collectively with other Police and Crime Commissioners? - Cleveland PCC is a member of the National Association (Association of Police and Crime Commissioners) which will be a national voice for Police and Crime Commissioners. Regionally looking at ways of work collaboratively with Durham and Northumbria PCCs.
16/04/2013 - Zetland Neighbourhood Action Partnership
What are the Commissioner's financial plans regarding the precept and what financial expertise does he have? - The financial plans for 2013/2014 are set out in local Council Tax leaflets, with a 1.99% rise in the police precept, equating to a 7p a week increase for Band D properties. The Commissioner inherited a team of staff from the former Police Authority, including a Treasurer who works with the Force financial team to set future budgets, which the Commissioner then signs off. The Commissioner and Chief Constable have also established an Independent Audit Panel to provide scrutiny of financial plans.
Local community are concerned that they do not have a designated neighbourhood police officer - The Zetland ward officer is currently seconded to Saltburn as an acting Sergeant, however a substitute officer has been allocated to the ward on a temporary basis. There is a permanent PCSO whose remit is to deal with anti-social behaviour. The restructure of the Force through Operation Orbis aims to give stronger commitment to neighbourhoods by aligning additional staff, such as detectives to geographical areas.
What additional benefit has the Commissioner bought to local policing arrangements? - The Commissioner has a clear priority to improve support to victims and has established a Cleveland wide strategic group of victims services to look at how this can be achieved. There has already been an increase in police referrals to Victim Support from 40% to 80%.
What is Restorative Justice? - From 1st April 2013 Cleveland Police have adopted a restorative approach to incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour committed by young people under the age of 18. This means that for first time offences, where the perpetrator shows remorse and the victim agrees, rather than put the young person through the criminal justice system they will be dealt with out of court with an agreed set of community reparations. This is proven to reduce reoffending and also avoids unnecessarily criminalising young people which could have a negative impact on their future employment prospects.
19/04/2013 - Normanby Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Any chance of additional opening hours of local Police Stations i.e. Eston - Eston Police Station is currently opening Wednesday - Sunday 2.00pm - 7.00pm and during this period of time only a small number of residents attend the station. Members of the Public prefer Officers to be out on the streets patrolling the local area.
19/04/2013 - Freebrough Academy Council
How will you work with our school to make our local area a safer environment? - The Commissioner asked the Academy Council to do some work consulting with pupils within the Academy as to what they feel he should prioritise regarding community safety and young people in the local area. He will then return to discuss the findings and appropriate actions, together with the local police inspector.
What are your priorities for policing in the local area? - The Commissioner has five stated priorities - Retain and develop neighbourhood policing, Ensure a better deal for victims and witnesses, Divert people from offending, with a focus on rehabilitation and the prevention of reoffending, Develop better coordination, communication and partnership between agencies to make the best use of resources, Work for better industrial and community relations.
Do you think there should be more police officers on patrol? - Unfortunately due to the financial cuts being imposed upon police forces across the country we are not in a position to employ additional staff. There is currently a force restructure being undertaken which will focus the resources we currently have and ensure that they are used as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Are there plans to improve policing in the local area? - As part of the Force restructure resources will be prioritised around neighbourhoods, with additional departments such as crime investigation being aligned to neighbourhoods to assist the current work undertaken by local teams.
How will you decide how to spend your budget? - The Commissioner has a Treasurer in post who works with the Force financial team to produce financial plans for the future, which are then agreed by the Commissioner.
What are your plans for your first year in post? - The Commissioner has pledged to visit all 82 wards within Cleveland to hear the concerns of local people and ensure these are incorporated in the actions he takes to deliver his priorities, as stated in the Police and Crime Plan.
24/04/2013 - Dormanstown Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Off road motorbikes are an issue in the area - This is now a neighbourhood priority following an escalation in the number of incidents reported. Force policy states that police cars cannot pursue bikes due to the risk of accident and injury to the rider, however the Force’s off road motorbikes have been deployed within the area. Residents within affected areas have been written to by the Local Authority’s Antisocial Behaviour Officer asking for details of perpetrators to be reported. Residents were urged to report incidents to 101 when they occur as this will allow the police to prioritise resources into the area.
Speeding on Broadway West reported as an issue - Community Speedwatch could be looked at in the area if this is an ongoing issue.
Will the restorative practice being implemented by Cleveland police from April 2013 send out the wrong message to first time offenders? - The Cleveland Police Restorative Practice initiative is a process whereby first time offenders, under the age of 18, can undertake restorative work within the community rather than going through the criminal justice system. It is only open to offenders who show remorse and where the victims agree that this is a suitable approach to take. Restorative practice has been proven nationally to be far more effective at reducing reoffending than criminalising young people.
Issues with youth antisocial behaviour across the ward - The police work closely with the Local Authority to tackle youth antisocial behaviour through the Acceptable Behaviour Scheme, which is an escalating process. Young people who behave antisocially are given AS13 forms, which then trigger letters to their parents or guardians. If behaviour persists the family are engaged in dialogue, leading to potential Antisocial Behaviour Contracts, and if that fails Antisocial Behaviour Orders. However, the Commissioner recognises that tolerance of young people can be an issue and it is essential that the police work with agencies to provide diversionary activities for young people where possible.
Some residents no longer report crime as they feel little action is taken - It is essential that residents report all crime and incidents as this helps the police to prioritise their resources. If an increase in reports takes place within a certain community then additional resources will be drafted in, as has taken place recently in Dormanstown regarding the issues with off road bikes.
Some residents do not want to ring the 101 non emergency number as this costs money - 101 is available across the country at a fixed rate cost of 15p per call. An alternative free number is Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Calls can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers.
Sentencing is not harsh enough - Whilst the Commissioner cannot influence sentencing he is committed to ensuring that the Local Criminal Justice Board works more closely with local communities. As part of this commitment he plans to publicise Community Sentences on his website to publicise the sanctions given to offenders.
Concerns raised regarding the cost of Operation Sacristy and the impact on police budgets - The Home Office are covering the costs of Operation Sacristy so it will not impact on police budgets within Cleveland.
Do you believe in Police and Crime Commissioners? - Although the Commissioner was originally critical of the change from Police Authorities to a Commissioner system, having been part of both systems he sees the advantage of having a full time role in this function.
06/05/2013 - Skelton Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Complaints system can be too complicated sometimes - Complaints can be made at any police office or by writing to Professional Standards as outlined on the Force website. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response from Professional Standards they can take the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Commissioner is held to account by the Police and Crime Panel and an independent Audit Panel scrutinises financial matters.
Neighbourhood officers move on too quickly. Abstractions can also be an issue - As part of the Force restructure under Operation Orbis officers must make a minimum commitment of two years to an area. Additional resources such as crime investigation teams will also be aligned to neighbourhoods to provide additional support.
14/05/2013 - Grangetown Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Young people felt more work could be done to build a more positive rapport with young people. - The PCC is in the process of visiting a number of schools and colleges across the Cleveland area to listen and understand the concerns of young people.
22/05/2013 - Marske Community Partnership
Budget Reductions - Are you confident the public can see the same level of service currently provided by the Police? - Savings will be made through a restructure of the Force. Neighbourhood Policing is a key priority.
With a freeze on recruitment, Cleveland will have an ageing workforce - is this a worry for you? - Likely there will be no recruitment in the next few years although we will be looking at recruiting a number of Special Constables and we have a Cadet Scheme in place which will hopefully encourage the younger generation to be involved in the Police.
Where you involved in the recruitment of the new Deputy Chief Constable? - Responsibility to appoint Deputy Chief Constable lies with the Chief Constable.
What is your opinion on amalgamating services with other Forces? Economies of scale could clearly help the Force make savings - A lot of collaboration is going on regionally with the three North East PCC's.
A number of residents raised issues around speeding across the area - It was suggested that residents come together and arrange to hold a Community Speedwatch session as it has been proven to be successful in other areas of Cleveland.
03/06/2013 - St Germains Neighbourhood Action Partnership
What does the Police and Crime Panel do? The Police and Crime Panel has the power to scrutinise PCC activities, including the ability to review the Police and Crime Plan and the Annual Report.
Have you considered appointing a Youth Commissioner? Currently looking at ways to better engage with young people. The PCC as apart of the 'Your Force Your Voice' initiative is visiting young people at local schools and colleges.
11/06/2013 - Westworth Neighbourhood Action Partnership
There is nothing clear in the Police and Crime Plan specifically relating to rural/wildlife crime and the public never hear of anyone being punished for rural/wildlife crimes - Each district within Cleveland has appoint an Officer to deal specifically with rural crime issues. The PCC is supporting Farmwatch and Cleveland is hosting a conference organised by the National Union of Farmers later in the year.
In terms of Restorative Justice - What links will you forge with the courts to have a culture of more rehabilitation than jail? - Diverting people from offending with a focus on rehabilitation is a key priority of the PCC. The PCC attends the Cleveland & Durham Criminal Justice Board Meeting.
Is there work to be done with local shops in terms of their attitude towards shoplifting? - PCC's Office is holding a retail crime summit in July to tackle retail crime, focussing on good practice and highlighting areas of concern.
Issue with youths driving motor bikes across the Ward - This was assigned as a Ward priority.
27/06/2013 - Coatham Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Residents suggested that more effort goes into tackling speeding across the ward - The local PCSO is in the process of setting up a Community Speedwatch Initiative across the ward.
09/07/2013 - Hutton Neighbourhood Action Partnership
Concerns around loss of mounted section - It has been a hard decision to take but given the financial savings the Force have to make under the austerity measures we need to do everything we can to protect the front line. The Commissioner has posed a series of questions to the Chief Constable to scrutinise her decision and the answers will be published on the PCC website. The resources from the Mounted Section will be used to support neighbourhood policing.
Whenever there are cuts it is rural areas who seem to suffer the most - The Force restructure is designed to support neighbourhood policing by bringing in additional resources, such as detectives, to support neighbourhood teams so this should increase the capacity of local teams to deal with neighbourhood issues.
Lack of continuity with staff - Neighbourhood officers will be asked to give a minimum two year commitment to posts.
10/01/2013 - Egglescliffe Parish Council
Ex offenders selling items door to door highlighted as an issue - Local Neighbourhood team assured group that there has been no evidence of any thefts in association with cold callers. Advice is to use a ‘No cold callers’ sticker and to report any suspicious or aggressive behaviour to the police.
Could police officers be involved in the design of new development to help 'design out' crime - each District has a Crime Prevention Design Advisor who works with the local planning department and with local architects to provide suggestions as to how developments can be built in such a way that crime and anti-social behaviour is minimised. These officers are able to issue ‘Secured by Design Status’ certificates.
22/01/2013 - Yarm Residents Meeting
Concern around potential loss of dedicated Neighbourhood Policing resources through the Force restructure - PCC assured group that his key priority is to retain and develop neighbourhood policing and that the restructure of the Force through Operation Orbis will place Neighbourhood Policing at the heart of policing.
Is collaboration of services between Forces being considered? - A meeting will be held on 1st February with PCC's for Durham and Northumbria to discuss collaboration, but PCC is clear that it would not be in the interests of Cleveland residents for this to lead to amalgamation of Forces.
Following the management crisis that led to operation Sacristy, how will the PCC restore confidence in Cleveland Police? - The PCC will lead by example, with a transparent administration. Cleveland has one of the highest public confidence ratings in the country, as measured through the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which demonstrates the excellent work happening at a local level with neighbourhood policing teams.
Who will provide scrutiny of the actions of the PCC? - The Police and Crime Panel and the Audit Committee.
07/03/2013 - St Annes Partnership (Portrack & Tilery )
Fly tipping in the area raised as an issue - Tristar will look into this and arrange collections where necessary.
Where should requests for funding from the PCC for community projects be sent? - All requests for community funding should be routed through the local Community Safety Partnership. In Stockton this is the Safer Stockton Partnership.
The group were pleased that local police always attend the meeting. They felt this gave positive reassurance - From 1st April 2013 additional officers will be coming to the Portrack and Tilery area who will provide additional general police cover.
Information sharing between different members of the police team can be problematic - The police now have access to a system called iMap which means that when new officers come on duty they can check what incidents have occurred in the local area whilst they were off duty. This assists in information sharing between different shifts.
Issues raised with officers changing frequently - Shift patterns dictate which officer attends the meeting, so sometimes it will be an officer who does not usually cover the ward when the ward officer is off duty. A protocol is to be introduced to ensure that officers remain in posts for at least two years, where possible, which will assist in maintaining stability.
Concern raised that significant officer time is spent dealing with shoplifting, which is not generally a high public priority - Shoplifting is an ongoing concern across the area, and constitutes a significant proportion of the general crime figures. Performance targets focus on reducing crime so it is necessary to provide some focus to high crime issues. Work is ongoing with retailers to ensure that where possible they assist in deterring crime of this nature, through additional security and different shop design layouts.
25/04/2013 - Stainsby Hill Residents Association
Excellent joint working between the local police, housing association and Antisocial Behaviour Team praised by the group. Residents urged to call the 24 hour Antisocial Behaviour number 607943. Calls can be anonymous, and if contact details are given there will be a one day turnaround to call and provide feedback on action taken.
Is the police headquarters site at Ladgate Lane going to move? - The final decision as to the proposed move will be made imminently. The proposal is to sell the Ladgate Lane site and use the funding to build a new site at Hemlington Grange. None of the current police buildings have the capacity to relocate Ladgate lane staff to them so a new building would definitely be needed, although only if this can be done at zero cost to the taxpayer.
Is domestic violence increasing with the current recession and the pressure this is putting on families? - Domestic violence is an under reported crime with many victims choosing not to report incidents. For this reason any increase in reporting is seen as positive, unlike other crime types, as this could be suggestive of victims having increased confidence to report.
Concern that policing shoplifting used too much police resources - The Commissioner is currently visiting businesses across Cleveland and will be speaking to the Teeswide Business Association to encourage businesses to be proactive in reducing crime within their stores.
29/04/2013 - Stockton Disability Advisory Group
How widespread is disability hate crime? - It is impossible to say as disability hate crime is known to be under reported. Cases such as Fiona Pilkington’s demonstrate the danger of mistakenly identifying disability hare crime as antisocial behaviour and therefore not responding in an appropriate manner, and Cleveland Police is committed, through its Hate Crime Action Plan, to ensuring that adequate processes are in place to correctly identify and deal with hate crime of all types, including disability.
How can the police help officers to deal with disabled victims with specific needs? - Training on how to deal with disabled victims and witnesses is currently being given to all front line staff within Cleveland Police.
What are Cleveland Police doing regarding dog on assistance dog attacks? - The police are working nationally to try and influence legislation changes regarding dangerous dogs and the Commissioner will assist with this through the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. When dog attacks are reported Cleveland Control Room staff are now required to ask whether the dog attacked was a pet or a working dog to enable identification of these incidents. Personal Impact Assessments can also be used through the criminal justice process to influence sentencing.
Can the police enforce parking on pavements within Cleveland? - Parking on the pavement is not an offence, although driving on the pavement or causing an obstruction is. If the problem is persistent then people are advised to contact their local neighbourhood team through the 101 non emergency number who can prioritise problematic areas through their local ward priorities.
Is it an offence to let off fireworks after a certain time? - This is not an offence. The police do work closely with licensing and education on the issue of fireworks. In the example given at the meeting fireworks were let off close to a visually impaired resident causing distress to them and their assistance dog. This sort of incident should be reported and could be classed as disability hate crime if the individual feels they have been targeted due to their disability.
Could disabled people be given a specific police contact to report incidents to? - The problem with allocating a certain person to deal with incidents is what happens when they are on leave or unavailable. It is more important to highlight successes to therefore increase public confidence in reporting issues through the standard police routes. If people wish to report incidents without speaking to the police they can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Local Authority Offensive Incident Reporting Line (Stockton 607943).
30/04/2013 - Eltham Crescent Community Centre Meeting
Issues with motor cycles in the woods and cycling on pavement within the town centre - Both issues are neighbourhood priorities.
How much are the Cleveland Community Safety Awards costing the taxpayer? - The Awards are being sponsored by housing associations, Vela Group and Fabrick, and hosted free of charge by Teesside University.
20/05/2013 - Stockton Sixth Form College
Do you plan to put more police on the streets? - Under the current Home Office cuts Cleveland Police has to make a 20% reduction in budget over the next year which means that there is not sufficient budget to recruit new officers. The Force is currently undergoing a restructure to ensure that the current resources are used as efficiently as possible to maximise the front line by making management and back office reductions.
You tend to see police officers at the wrong times and in the wrong places - There are many different types of police. The role of Neighbourhood officers is to patrol the streets and give a visible police presence, so these will tend to be the officers you see. When the public need an emergency response this is provided by response teams.
23/05/2013 - Long Newton Residents Meeting
A lot of discretion has been taken away from Police Officers with additional bureaucratic practices. - Police Officers / PCSOs have recently been given discretion back as a part of Restorative Justice.
13/06/2013 - Grindon Parish Council
What is the cost of running the Commissioner’s office? - The budget for 2013/14 is £930,000 which is a reduction of £270,000 (23%) on the budget of the previous Police Authority.
Neighbourhood policing as it currently stands is not functioning, with too much time spent on non neighbourhood duties - Through the Force restructure we are looking to utilise additional resources to support the neighbourhood teams which will allow them to concentrate on their neighbourhood duties. We are also looking to recruit additional voluntary resources through cadets, Special Constables and volunteers, which will help ensure the police workforce is more reflective of the local communities it serves.
More use should be made of the proceeds of Crime Act whereby police can seize property and money derived through crime and obtain a proportion of its value - The Proceeds of Crime Act is utilised within Cleveland currently and the Commissioner will lobby government to request an increase in the proportion of funding received by the police.
Concerns raised about the decision to disband the Mounted Section - This is an operational decision, made by the Chief Constable, but the Commissioner is seeking public views and also considering a report received regarding the decision. It is the Commissioner’s role to scrutinise the decisions made by the Chief and he will be doing this.
Confidence in Cleveland police management structure is low following the recent investigations. How will the Commissioner resolve this? - The Commissioner has appointed a new Chief Constable and a new Deputy Chief Constable is to start soon. Also within the last year 60% of middle management has changed due to promotions and retirements. Only a small number of individuals have been involved in the investigation, the majority of police officers and staff act with integrity and honesty and this is reflected by the continued decrease in crime across Cleveland.
How much does the Chief Constable’s new car cost? - The Chief Constable receives a salary of £140,000 with a car allowance. It is important that the job is rewarded appropriately, but the package does not contain any of the additional bonus payments which were in the previous Chief’s contract.
06/06/2013 - Norton Village Residents Association
Why has shoplifting seen an increase in the area? Crime Prevention Officers have recently visited local stores to offer crime prevention advice to deter criminals stealing from the regularly targeted stores.
13/06/2013 - Newtown Residents Meeting
Police do a great job - the court behind them give out way to lenient punishments - do you think this diminishes the work the Police does? How do you maintain confidence when don;t have full support of the courts? - PCC attends the Cleveland and Durham Criminal Justice Board meetings raising awareness of this issue through meetings. Public also need to be more aware of outcomes. PCC website will soon be publishing the outcome of community sentences.
Can you clarify that your priorities are not in any specific order of importance? All are important, in no specific order.
25/06/2013 - Billingham Town Council
Divert people from offending, with a focus on rehabilitation and the prevention of reoffending/. How does this priority effect the changes with the Probation Service & Government Reform - PCC responded to the Home Office consultation in relation to the Probation Service proposals.
Billingham have a youth council - do you have any plans to work alongside different councils to take into account the views of Young People - As apart of the initiative 'Your Force Your Voice' the PCC is visiting a number of different schools and colleges. The PCC is happy to support any initiative to divert young people from offending.
09/09/2013 - Stockton Over 50s Forum
People can be reluctant to report crime as they feel little action is taken and that the Criminal Justice System can let victims down - The PCC will be looking at the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in detail during his second year of office to establish if there are any areas where improvements can be made in how the police interact with other CJS agencies.
Do you think there is too much bureaucracy in the police? - The PCC is working to reduce bureaucracy and achieve efficiency savings – the budget of the PCC office had been reduced by 22% from that of the previous Police Authority. A new more energy efficient Headquarters is being planned which will save costs and the use of mobile technology to reduce time spent in the office has been rolled out.
What is the Mounted Section used for? - The section is used to police football matches, and also conducts patrols in hotspot areas and visits schools and other events for public reassurance. Following a review the PCC and Chief Constable have made the decision to disband the section in order to protect other front line resources.
How does Cleveland compare with other Forces nationally? - Cleveland has one of the highest levels of public confidence in the country?
Is jaywalking an offence in the UK? - No, it is not.
The Northumbria PCC has established a specific older persons forum for consultation. Do you have plans to do this? - No, the PCC in Cleveland is undertaking public consultation by visiting established groups, such as the Stockton Older Persons Forum through the Your Force Your Voice initiative.
Are there any plans to merge local forces? - The idea of creating larger police forces by merging forces together was on the national agenda a few years ago but is not now. The PCC would be strongly opposed to a regional merger, but is working closely with the PCCs in Durham and Northumbria to establish a regional collaboration agreement for certain services, such as Serious and Organised Crime and Domestic Violence.
10/09/2013 - Wolviston Parish Council
What happened to Police Authorities? - Under the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act Police Authorities were replaced by the new system of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners.
Have Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) been affected by the changes? - CSPs are still in existence for the four Local Authority areas covered by Cleveland, but more collaborative work is done between them than was previously the case, partly due to the decreasing funding available and the need to maximise the use of resources.
How long is the PCC term of office? - 4 years until May 2016
03/12/2013 - Stockton Road Residents Association
The main issue in the area is drugs - A lot of proactive work has been undertaken by the neighbourhood team recently which has resulted in several warrants being executed and arrests made.
The police station can be an intimidating place for members of the public to visit now York Road is closed - Neighbourhood teams are happy to meet with residents in any community location, and can be contacted by ringing 101. The local team have already noticed an improvement in the way they are working now they are co-located with intelligence officers which facilitates the sharing of information.