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6. Scrutiny & Holding to Account

6. Scrutiny & Holding to Account

Barry DannyThroughout my time as PCC, I have regularly written to leaders within government and provided feedback to policy consultations at national levels to lobby for change in a range of areas such as: 

    • Changes to drugs policy in support of the introduction of Heroin Assisted Treatment in Cleveland Pictured: Barry Coppinger with Daniel Ahmed, HAT Clinical Lead

    • To bring local probation services back into public ownership

    • Funding from the Home Office to tackle Serious Violence, which continues to be withheld from our area despite high levels of violent crime

    • Campaigning for the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing to address alcohol related harm and the demand it places on emergency services

    • Changes in the law to accommodate Assisted Dying as part of PCC Ron Hogg’s legacy when battling motor neurone disease

    • Support for the introduction of the Protect the Protectors Bill to bring in tougher sentences for people who attack emergency services workers

    • Proposed changes to the Victims Code of Practice

    • Welcoming the Domestic Abuse Bill, much needed legislation for victims of domestic violence

    • Changes to the police complaints system

    • The government vision of a Public Health Approach to Policing

    • Changes to the Police Inspection Programme 

  • I have a great team of Independent Custody Visitors who do a fantastic job on my behalf to ensure detainees in police custody are treated with dignity and respect. ICVs are at the frontline of holding the police to account and I rely on their proactive work and feedback to drive improvements to police custody. I receive regular reports on any issues raised in custody and have a mechanism for raising issues with the Force. I have also undertaken unannounced visits to police custody with ICVs, to see the invaluable work they do to uphold standards and protect the rights of others.

  • My office and Cleveland Police’s Directorate of Standards and Ethics (DSE) have worked closely together towards my objective of becoming a national lead in complaints handling.  Initiatives introduced include:

    • Introducing a Complaints Service Team who provide a ‘triage’ service to improve the service provided to the public who have expressed dissatisfaction with Cleveland Police. Staff employed by my office undertake early engagement with complainants to help resolve matters quickly and fairly to the benefit of all parties. Staff offer advice and guidance to the public, providing explanations and apologies where necessary and around 80% of complaints are dealt with in this way.

    • For the calendar year of 2019 the force recorded 372 complaints. This is a reduction of 29.14% on 2018, where 525 complaints were recorded. When looking at the reduction of complaints since the introduction of the OPCC triage team in 2015, we have reduced complaints by 46.93%, where 701 complaints were recorded in that year.

  • I introduced a Community Hub Team which provides a range of services to ensure that I can undertake my role effectively. The small team deals with all general public enquiries, signposts people to the correct services and arranges and attends my public engagement meetings.

  • An Independent Scrutiny Panel (Complaints) has been operating for a year and meets quarterly. It is made up of independent members who dip sample complaints cases to check the quality of decision making, the proportionality of approach, fairness, communication and compliance with the statutory framework.

  • From February 2020, the OPCC will play a more central role in the police complaints system, by taking over the responsibility for reviewing complaints after they have been resolved by the Force.

Go to 7. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner



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