Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, has reacted to the latest publication of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs.)
Cleveland Police issued 223 FPNs from 27 March to 27 April for breaches of Government public health regulations brought in to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Regulations were introduced on 27 March 2020 and enable officers to issue individuals with £60 fines if they fail to comply when officers engage with them, explain the risks to public health and encourage voluntary compliance.
Barry said: “The new powers granted to the police are necessary and it is important to ensure they are used appropriately.
“I receive daily updates from Chief Constable Richard Lewis on the Force’s approach to policing Cleveland during these testing times as well as regular updates from the policing minister on the national approach.
“I am satisfied that the policing approach the Force has adopted - to engage, explain, encourage, with enforcement as a last resort - is in line with what the public want and expect.”
Through his office and partners Mr Coppinger has added a number of scrutiny and evaluation exercises, in addition to his usual scrutiny programme, in order to gain a better understanding of how the new powers impact at street level and how residents feel about the way the force policies local communities.
This scrutiny includes:
- Video sessions in which the PCC puts directly to the Chief Constable questions from himself and those submitted by the public and partners. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cleveland-wide evaluation work carried out by Teesside University into community perceptions of how Cleveland Police has implemented the new powers and how the community would like to engage at a time when traditional face to face contact may not be possible. Residents can submit their thoughts in confidence at the following secure mailbox: email@example.com.
- Evaluation work targeting specific communities – for example the survey launched this week to better understand safety concerns and any added risks facing rural communities as a result of the pandemic. This survey can be accessed at: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PCCRuralCrimeSurvey/
Mr Coppinger added: “It’s important to note that the vast majority of Cleveland’s 568,000 residents are abiding by the Government rules. In doing so they are protecting key workers and resources in the NHS and other emergency services and saving lives.”
Posted on Thursday 30th April 2020