One of my key roles as Police and Crime Commissioner is to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public, and make sure that Derbyshire Constabulary deliver on the key strategic priorities included in my Police and Crime Plan 2021/2025.
The Performance Scrutiny Meetings are just one of the ways that I hold the Chief Constable to account. It is an opportunity for the force to provide extensive evidence on their performance and plans for improvements where necessary on the key priorities. It is also an opportunity for the public to send in specific additional questions.
Victim Support and Safeguarding is one of the key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and I am committed to working with the Constabulary and other partners.
I would like to thank everyone who has taken he time to submit a question. My office received seven questions in total, which were addressed during the meeting.
Below are the questions that were submitted to me, alongside the response to those questions from the Chief Constable. The Agenda and Papers submitted at the meeting are available to view.
Please be advised that the next PSM meeting is on Thursday 6 October and the topic is Rural Crime. The public questions have now closed for this PSM however, please see the website for more details on upcoming PSM’s for the rest of the year.
Thank you once again for taking the time to submit a question.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire
Public Questions Submitted
Q1) Why will our police not release their policy on death threats etc against a person for scrutiny and ensuring that the policy has been followed….. Our adjacent force ie Staffordshire are open and transparent.
Derbyshire Constabulary are aware of the ongoing national review of the threats to life policy, which is due to be release by the end of the year. Currently, as a force our working practices are in line with the National Police Chiefs Council Threats to Life Policy, which is Authorised Professional Practice. This document is available online. Following the national review, we will refresh our policy and guidance accordingly, which will be in line with the national review and practice. We will continue to balance the sharing of policy and guidance with maintaining operational effectiveness when responding to different types of criminality.
Q2) More police as there have been a high lever of break in and cars stolen l personally had an attempted break in.
Officers and staff are deployed across the force based on demand, threat and risk. We are committed to ensuring we maintain the numbers on our Safer Neighbourhood Teams, understanding the impact they have locally on visibility and tackling local matters. The force is recruiting over 100 additional officers this year and the majority of these posts will be frontline roles.
ASB and Teenagers
Q3) What is being done about people riding electric scooters around shopping areas on the foot paths ie Allenton etc as I have already been hit by one !
E-Scooters generally and the law surrounding them have been discussed widely and are still being discussed at Government level. Many see them as revolutionising the way we travel and see huge benefits in terms of both pollution and congestion and they may well feature in the Governments plans to reduce carbon emissions. Others see them as a danger and many Insurance companies are publicly reporting a rise in incidents. Thankfully in Derbyshire we have seen very few injuries caused relating to their use, but we accept that one injury is one too many. We are anticipating new laws surrounding the use of E-Scooters but until then there are laws that cover them.
E-Scooters are classed as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEV’s) and are covered under legislation which puts them into the same category as any motor vehicle. To be able to use one on a road legally you would need a driving licence and insurance. The reality of this is that there is not currently any insurance company that could legally insure anyone to use an E-Scooter on a road outside of the Government trials taking place which would make it impossible to legally use a privately purchased E-Scooter on a road. This may of course change with any new legislation.
Under Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, privately owned E-Scooters can be seized if used on public roads, which includes cycle lanes and pavements and disposed of with the owner receiving a fine. Since the beginning of 2021 we have held a detailed database to monitor the issues arising from the use of E-Scooters in Derbyshire which includes many seized scooters and prosecutions for driving offences, demonstrating that we take positive action when the opportunity arises. We have worked with retailers to have appropriate signage in stores and on their web pages warning people of the limitations on use. We also run media campaigns around their illegal use. Our SNT in Derby are looking at the issues regarding E-scooters in Allenton. The team will seize E-scooters where they are being used in an antisocial way, however education and pushing the message out around the legalities is still part of our work as many people remain unaware of the potential seriousness or impact of riding them on the roads. A number of operations are scheduled for the summer utilising our Roads Policing Officers to target the improper use of E-scooters.
Q4) For over three years since August 2018 we have been the victim of anti social behaviour, harassment and intimidation by a close neighbour. We reported the incidents to Derbyshire Constabulary who referred us to Victims Support and we received several visits at home then it went to weekly phone calls which stopped last year. We have no contact with Victims Support and the abuse continues.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is a force priority within Derbyshire Constabulary and features within the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan and the Constabulary’s Delivery Plan. Effectively identifying, managing and preventing ASB is a focus for the force and is supported through an embedded governance structure and a number of key workstreams to ensure that the constabulary is in a strong position to tackle Neighbourhood Crime and ASB. It is difficult to comment specifically about this case without further information. If there had been further incidents of crime ASB that have been reported, then I would expect as part of our standard response that the crime would automatically be referred back to victim services for further engagement. Non-crime reported ASB would be picked up and progressed by local SNT officers who would look to take a problem-solving approach. We would encourage the person raising this issue to make a report if there are new instances of ASB so that it can be investigated, and further support given.
Q5) What are you doing to support the public with ASD to ensure their needs are understood and met by police officers to prevent misunderstanding of their actions?
Our approach to ASD and neurodiversity in general has developed rapidly over the last few years. Our disability support network, Enable have started a neurodiversity subgroup who are very proactive and are helping us to examine policy and practice with a wide range of neurodisability in mind, including ASD. More recently the Enable network have hosted two seminars on living with the autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), one on being a serving firearms officer and being diagnosed with ASD as an adult. The other on parenting a child with autism. These sessions were advertised force wide. The intention of these sessions was to raise awareness of the condition and different ways ASD affects people.
Due to wide ranging affect ASD has on individuals (from complete disability and impairment of function to high functioning and completely independent), it is difficult to ensure all needs are understood and met. However, we have previously provided training on a number of aspects of the condition to help our officers better understand the actions and some commonalities people with ASD may share. We have recently created a role for a Disability Engagement Officer. Their job includes working with groups which support disability, to raise awareness and facilitate training to officers and staff around all disabilities. ASD is included in initial training for new officers, PCSO’s and specials. It is covered within Core training, over a wide range of areas and topics but is specifically covered too as a distinct subject. This is also covered within personal safety training and will be part of the upcoming conflict management and de-escalation training as dealing with people that are non-typical neurodiverse.
Q6) What does victim centred policing look like, and what are the main challenges policing youth crime waves Teenagers for example?
Our approach to victim centred policing is clear. We ensure the victims voice is heard and listened to, and we prioritise victim support, extending this throughout the journey of their case through the Criminal Justice System. In relation to challenges in policing youth crime, we are committed to ensuring we are responding proportionately and where appropriate divert children away from the Criminal Justice System. We have an established Youth Offending Service (YOS) and Youth Panels which assess each case involving children, to ensure that other diversionary schemes are maximised where appropriate.
Q7) Why are male victims of violence & in particular domestic violence treated so badly compared to female victims by Derbyshire Police? I was almost killed but the way I was treated was appalling.
Domestic Abuse is a force priority, and we are committed to providing a professional and caring service to all victims of domestic abuse. Derbyshire Constabulary, working with the Police and Crime Commissioner, have also ensured a variety of victim support services are available to meet individual victim’s needs, through either Victim Support, Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) or commissioned services. On the occasion where the outcome of a case is unsatisfactory, there is opportunity under the victims right to review framework for a case to be reviewed. Also, if you feel the actions of an officer or staff have fallen below what should be expected, there is an opportunity to raise this to the force through the complaints process. Details of both can be found on the forces Internet.