On the first day of his new appointment within the North Yorkshire Police, T/Chief Constable Tim Madgwick spoke to an open online forum today (16 May 2012), answering questions posed to him from the general public.
The meeting lasted an hour and a half in which time Mr Madgwick was challenged on various topics, from budgets, use of PCSO’s and even his own fitness levels.
The text of the conversation has been produced here with permission of the North Yorkshire Police.
5:05 Tim Madgwick:
Good evening everyone – the live chat will begin shortly.
5:07 Comment From Isabel
How will public funding cuts affect policing in North Yorkshire?
5:08 Tim Madgwick:
We have already seen significant cuts in our budget, and by the end of this CSR we will have lost £24million. That equates to over 500 members of staff. A lot of those are in the back office, but there will reductions in police numbers as well. The other major factor will be many of our partners, who have been very effective in helping us reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, are also facing the same level of cuts.
5:10 Comment From james
congratulations on the new post
5:11 Comment From Guest
Do you agree that the Home Secretary has lost the support of the Police?
5:11 Tim Madgwick:
The Home Secretary is facing a unique challenge. It is imperative that she works with the rank and file and recognises that by common consent British policing is up there with the best in the world. Why would you want to lose that support?
5:12 Comment From Dave Walker
Hi there Tim.. Is it working!!!
5:12 Tim Madgwick:
Yes, in the last full year we have had 3,630 fewer victims of crime, and antisocial behaviour incidents fell by over 3,000.
5:14 Comment From Guest
I’ve seen to many occasions where Police officers have worked diligently to secure convictions only for poor sentencing decisions to waste that effort. Would you consider running a table of conviction / sentence vs. guide line sentence and cost of criminal activity vs. cost to resolve? I think a significant amount of public frustration with the Police is that they don’t understand how often your officers are dealing with a limited number of repeat offenders cycling through crime, arrest, conviction and release (often on a day-by-day basis): at the detriment to other Policing activities.
5:15 Tim Madgwick:
That will be an area the PCC will be very interested in. We have a responsibility to ensure we present the CPS best evidence in relation to investigations. At this time, the Ministry of Justice are responsible for courts and the CPS. In future I am sure the PCC will seek ways to hold all criminal justice partners to account.
5:16 Comment From Jason
Congratulations on your appointment – What are your future plans for PCSOs within North Yorkshire, there is a concern that following the PCC election in Nov and the changes in funding there will be a push to remove PCSOs from the force in favour of new PC recruits
5:18 Tim Madgwick:
PCSOs are a core element of our Safer Neighbourhood Policing Teams. They have proved a tremendous success since their inception and we are continuing to recruit high quality individuals into North Yorkshire Police. On Friday this week we have a further ten PCSOs passing out at a ceremony at Police HQ, having spoken to them during their training I was very impressed by the quality of recruits and their enthusiasm to engage with community life across North Yorkshire and the City of York.
5:18 Comment From james
Good evening Tim, hope you are well
5:18 Comment From Mary Varley
I’d just like to send my congratulations to Tim Madgwick on his appointment as T/Chief Constable. I know he will do an excellent job.
5:21 Comment From Dave Walker
Hi Tim. I live in Malton / Norton and policing concerns in the community revolve around a couple of things 1 – Kids drinking and fighting on the streets (see Norton’s high street on a Friday/Saturday night) 2 – Boy Racers (currently the scourge of a once quiet town) speeding around town at silly speed.
5:21 Tim Madgwick:
We recognise that it is really important that local policing teams work with communities to identify their priorities. I recognise the two issues you raise are regular concerns: the first due to young people accessing alcohol illegally, and then causing antisocial behaviour and disorder; secondly the antisocial use of motor vehicles. Your local Safer Neighbourhood Commander, Andy Everitt, will be aware of these and his teams will try to find solutions. If people choose to ignore advice and support then we will robustly enforce the law.
5:23 Comment From Miss Eastwood
Do you envisage an increase in contracted out services (such as G4S operating prisoner transport in Scarborough) being brought into NYP?
5:23 Tim Madgwick:
I will be reviewing every part of our service delivery. In many areas I believe the solutions lie with the staff and volunteers we currently have, but I am duty bound to ensure good value for money and quality outcomes for the communities we serve, so will reserve the right to consider the widest range of service options.
5:25 Comment From Lesley
Congratulations on your new job. What are your priorities, given that such a lot seems to be waiting for the Commissioner appointment?
5:25 Tim Madgwick:
Good quality customer service, caring and protecting those who are most vulnerable in our communities. Relentlessly pursuing criminals who are intent on causing harm.
5:27 Tim Madgwick:
If a member of staff has not been professional in their approach to you then I apologise. If you provide me with your details I will ensure the staff office review the matter tomorrow morning and make contact with you.
5:27 Comment From james
I reference an officer that called me today via the phone within the north yorkshire police, he was rude, quite offensive and didn’t take full details. The control room advised me to speak to an inspector about the crime and nobody is availiable until Friday?? Meanwhile, the crime is still in operation. Will you help? Said officer would not even come to the house to take further details.
5:30 Comment From Liz Carnell
Hello Mr Madgwick, we see very few, if any, police on the beat in Harrogate town centre. If crime is so low that they are elsewhere, why do we need a mega expensive new police station some distance out of town?
5:30 Tim Madgwick:
We have a local police tema based in the centre of Harrogate which include officers, PCSOs and Special Constables. When I was on patrol with a PCSO in Harrogate recently I was impressed with his local knowledge, his ability to engage with key criminals and respond to other calls for service. In respect of the new Harrogate Police station this will serve not only the town but the district and is a key centre for both custody provision across the force and other services that support the policing team across the county.
5:32 Comment From Dave Prince
We can’t have a parade at Starbeck Gala anymore as you won’t police it. Do you feel bad about this?
5:32 Tim Madgwick:
I am disappointed that the parade no longer takes place and I am sympathetic to your concerns, we of course will continue to try and work with the local council opportunities in the future to re-instate this event.
5:34 Comment From Mike
Theresa May has been heckled at the Police Federation’s Annual conference over the plans detailed in the Winsor report on policing. What are your views on the proposed changes to the reduced pay offered to new Officers?
5:34 Tim Madgwick:
I believe that the police service should continue to try and attract the highest quality of officer we possibly can and I think it may be short sighted to make the service less attractive to really high quality candidates. We have a reputation in Great Britain of haivng one of the best police services in the world, we should do everything we can to preserve that position.
5:34 North Yorkshire Police:
Thank you for all your questions so far – keep them coming. However, we have had many dozens, so please be patient as we work through as many as we can.
5:35 Comment From NH
Whats your view on social media? Do you have (or plan to have) a twitter account? How are officers encouraged to engage more via social media?
5:35 Tim Madgwick:
I think North Yorkshire Police need to do more to engage with modern forms of media and I will be engaging with staff over the coming weeks to talk about how we give colleagues the confidence to maximise the benefits of social media.
5:37 Comment From Andrew Pinder
Good evening Mr Madgwick, and welcome to your new post. I have a concern about the training and staffing of your pubilc reporting line 101. I’m a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator and member of the local Safer Neighbourhood Group, and as such we are asked to report anything suspicious in our areas. I’ve tried to do this twice recently about dubious door-knockers, but I received a cold response from the call handler who actually asking why I was reporting this and what is she supposed to do with this information. When later I’ve spoken to a local PC, he said ‘yes I know, you are better sending it direct to me on email’. I can do that of course, but mostly the general public can’t. Please would you look at this problem and improve the response the public receive on the 101 line. Many thanks.
5:37 Tim Madgwick:
Yes I will certainly look at this issue, I will forward your concern to Superintendant Richard Anderson in the Force COntrol Room and I am disappointed we can not find an immediate response to the information you provided. If you could please provide your details I will ensure a member of the FCR Management team speak to you about your concerns.
5:39 Comment From Denice
Why when a serious crime has been commited and reported to you and police assistance is required, does it take almost FORTY hours before an officer is available to attend? I appreciate your resources are stretched but surely this cannot now be the ‘norm’?
5:39 Tim Madgwick:
No this is not the norm, our attendance time have significantly improved during the last six months and I would expect an officer or member of staff to be with you far sooner, again, can you please provide me with your details so I can review the incident.
5:41 Comment From Owen
How are you utilising Special Constables in these tough economic times?
5:41 Tim Madgwick:
We have increased our recruitment of Special Constables and we have a plan to extend their numbers throughout the rest of this year. We are seeing greater engagement with all of the Safer Neighbourhood Commands and Special Constables will play a part in enhancing our local service to the public.
5:43 Comment From Guest
Hi, are there any plans for recruitment of new regular officers. How will this be done – will NYP be following the lead of many other forces in recruiting from SC’s and PCSO’s for the regulars?
5:43 Tim Madgwick:
Yes there are plans to recruit new officers this year, initially they will be transferees but then we anticipate seeking applications both from staff working within NYP and the wider public.
5:46 Comment From David Tucker
David Tucker, also representing Thirsk Weekly News Would you like to build a wall between N Yorkshire and Middlesbrough as part of your crime reduction strategy? More seriously, how do you cope with travelling criminals?
5:46 Tim Madgwick:
I recognise the impact travelling criminals have on North Yorkshire and we commit a wide range of resources from within the force and joining with partners from the region to make life as difficult as possible for those who want to travel into North Yorkshire to commit crime. We wil seek out criminals wherever they live if they are intent on creating victims in North Yorkshire.
5:46 Comment From guest
Will the new CC invoke regulation A19 or look at voluntary redundancy for officers to save more money ?
5:47 Tim Madgwick:
No, we currently have no plans to enforce A19.
5:47 Comment From David
Given your deserved and rapid rise through the ranks, do you support Tom Winsors proposal for direct entry to senior ranks?
5:47 Tim Madgwick:
5:48 Comment From Phil Catterall JP
Responding to the earlier comments from a writer in regard to the street disorder in Malton/Norton. s a Magistrates I attended a meeting last week chaired by Inspector Everitt and most of the licensees int he two towns. I was confident after I left the meeting that the Inspector has got a handle on this and taking several measures which should ensure we have less people coming through our court. The two main issues are the reinstigation of CCTV at weekends and Bank Holidays and a Pubwatch scheme where if an offender is banned from one pub he will be banned from them all. The doormen also said they willbe working togetehr more.
5:48 Comment From Mark
Dear Tim, thank you for your response to my question about sentencing guidelines versus actuality. Such transparency bodes very well for the future of North Yorkshire Constabulary in your hands. Good luck!
5:52 Comment From Gary in Selby
Sir. My brother is an officer in a specialist unit within NYP and puts his heart and soul into his work. He tells me that his unit is going through its third review in 5 years and the constant uncertainty undermines the units confidence. Will you allow officers to get on with the job as they want?
5:52 Tim Madgwick:
Gary, I recognise there have been many reviews in specialist units and I believe that in the near future we will get to a point where we will create certainty for staff in their respective specialist roles. I understand from having spoken to a range of colleagues that all they want to do is get on with their job.
5:54 Comment From Helen
Tim, when did you last do a fitness test? Do you believe NYP supports officers who want to keep fit?
5:55 Tim Madgwick:
It is some years since I last undertook the fitness test however I still believe I hold the record for the four mile run and I am willing to undertake a new testing regime at any time. I plan to compete in the National Police ten mile Road Race event and the Great North Run.
5:58 Comment From Sue Proudfoot
Hi congratulations on your new post.
5:59 Comment From Andrew Pinder
This is a really valuable forum, and it’s good to get immediate feedback. Clearly everyone in this live chat cares about the policing of their neighbourhoods. May I suggest doing this as a regular occurrence – with due publicity of course (eg: Radio York).
6:00 Comment From David Tucker
David Tucker, Thirsk, also representing Thirsk Weekly News In order to make ends meet, do you envisage making ever greater use of PCSOs and if so in defining more clearly their powers and responsibilities?
6:01 Tim Madgwick:
Yes, we do envisage the appropriate use of PCSOs to meet the requirements of the public in North Yorkshire and the City of York. They are an incredibly valuable asset, however we have to make sure that in giving them new powers we do not burden them with additional bureaucracy, so reducing the contact time they currently have with the communities they serve.
6:02 Comment From Tom
If only more politicians were as accountable and forward thinking, this online question and answer is fantastic. My question is; does NYP have any off road capability to deal with nuisance off road motorcyclists/quads? We have a problem in the Selby area.
6:02 Tim Madgwick:
Yes we do have off-road capability that we can deploy across the force to community priorities and we will work with our regional colleagues to ensure we maximise those assets if the problems require assets beyond our current capability.
6:05 Comment From Ian
Our District Scout St Georges Day Parade now costs us £1100 for traffic management. What are the reasons why some o
6:05 Comment From Ian
Why is it that some police forces will police these parades and some not?
6:05 Tim Madgwick:
We realise that in years gone by the police provided assistance for such events. However, traffic management is the responsibility of the local authority. We must abide by the national legislation. We recognise this will have had an unfortunate impact on a series of local parades and we will continue to try to work with local partners to ensure as many events as possible can still take place.
6:07 Comment From David Tucker
David Tucker, Thirsk, also representing Thirsk Weekly News The Police and Crime Commissioner will be an elected, political position, and in N Yorkshire is likely to be a Conservative, therefore not in conflict with the Home Secretary’s policies. The Chief Constable is a constable. How do you see the relationship between the PCC and the CC working in areas such as the PCC internally setting the strategy and budget level and allocating budget between NYP and crime reduction agencies and externally entering into co-operation agreements with other forces?
6:07 Tim Madgwick:
There has been concern nationally that the introduction of the Police and Crime Commissioner will politicise the police, but I am confident that the elected PCC for North Yorkshire will make decisions based on the needs of communities rather than a political mandate.
6:10 Comment From Sue Proudfoot
I would like to hear your views on cross border crime prevention. I run a very successful farm watch that has 64 members, one third Durham and two thirds NY. It would be ideal if when out on these evenings, that cover a 5 mile radius that we could rely on both police forces to attend. I would like to have a meeting so we can take forward Farm watch not just in NY but in bordering county’s south Durham and Cleveland. I would like a meeting with yourself in the near future.
6:10 Tim Madgwick:
I think it’s a really positive idea to link Farmwatch groups across a border area and I will flag your suggestion to Temporary Superintendent Dave Hannan from Hambleton, who I am sure will be keen to meet you to discuss future potential operations.
6:11 Comment From Chris
Should there be fixed speed cameras in residential areas? There seems no point the council dropping speed limits to 20mph when so little enforcement is done on 30mph
6:13 Tim Madgwick:
I think there are genuine concerns from local communities that residents and visitors continue to flout speed limits. My staff will continue to work with local authorities to ensure we try and achieve the aim of traffic traveling more slowly through high-risk areas. I believe this can be achieved by engineering, education and – as a last resort – enforcement. My view still remains that fixed cameras are not the ideal solution for North Yorkshire.
6:14 Comment From K. Clegg
Has the work – life balance been compromised with the unpopular new shift system?
6:17 Tim Madgwick:
I recognise the consequences for staff with the new shift system and we have agreed to review the system this Autumn with the assistance of the NPIA. We need to agree a shift system that meets the needs of the public as a priority but ensures officers are able to acheive an improved work life balance.
6:18 Comment From Sue Proudfoot
When can this be arranged ?
6:19 Tim Madgwick:
Please can you provide me with your contact details and I will ensure T/Supt Hannan will contact you as soon as possible.
6:19 Comment From Rick
Has the drugs war been lost in York ? Will you re-envigor efforts to target drugs dealers and their cohorts and make sure they don’t sleep well?
6:23 Tim Madgwick:
No, the drugs war has not been lost in York. The team of officers at York are committed to tackling those drugs offences which impact most significantly on their communities and we have seen a whole range of people convicted at court for the supply of Class A drugs. One of the few areas of recorded crime increases involves drug offences and this refplects on the amout of proactivity and staff time committed to these issues. We are also working very closely with the regional police team to link intelligence and operations more effectively. We are always relient on public information and we are commited to vigorously targeting drug dealers in the City and across North Yorkshire.
6:23 Comment From Christine
As a member of NYP staff can I just say I have heard nothing but positive comments and enthusiasm from my colleagues. There is a genuine belief in your ability to really make a difference to NYP.
6:25 Tim Madgwick:
Thank you for your kind comments, it is both encouraging and motivating.
6:26 Comment From Mark Rees
Having joined with you in September 1988 I am interested to see your response to David’s question about Tom Winsor and Direct Entry. The Force has it’s best Senior Lead Team in my service, all of whom have experienced Policing from the grass roots up, and developing leadership potential from within is the only way forward, as is retaining management from the county who care about the county. I have assured my colleagues that I fully expect this SLT to listen to officer’s when it comes to reviewing the shift system which is so unpopular ( No pressure! ). It is time to trust the work force and work as one to implement a shift pattern that works for the front line officer as well as for the public. Please don’t let us down on this and remember there were no complaints about shift patterns for many years prior to March 2011!. PS. I can assure Helen that nobody has ever run around that 4 miler faster than Tim Madgwick …… I have done a bit of running in my time and only once managed to stay on his heels to the first mile marker! We have a Chief Constable fit for purpose, and if he works with the rank and file, as I am sure he will, the North Yorkshire Public will have a Police Force just as fit for purpose. Good luck.
6:28 Comment From Jonny
I am a Special Constable in Greater Manchester though from Thirsk and currently studying a degree in Policing at the University of Central Lancashire. Please can you tell me if North Yorkshire Police will be opening a transfer window for Specials?
6:28 Tim Madgwick:
Unsure of the time frame for the potential transfer window for Specials, if you provide some contact details I will ensure someone gets back to you as soon as possible. Best of luck!
6:31 Comment From Neil
Congratulations on your promotion sir – I note you have mentioned recruitment – will this include other ranks than pc on transfer ?
6:31 Tim Madgwick:
Neil, at this time our focus will be on the Constable rank as I believe we have the skills and abilities within our workforce to promote within. If in the future we do have gaps then we can always go externally for very specific roles.
6:33 Comment From David Tucker
Thank you very much
6:34 Comment From Dave Walker
Tim.. Thanks for the time taken to speak via the web. It opens a welcome avenue for your thoughts and hopes for NY Policing.
6:34 Tim Madgwick:
Thank you to all those of you who have joined me in conversation this evening. I appreciate you taking the time to do this, it has been enjoyable and given me an insight into some of the many views surrounding policing in North Yorkshire. I will do this again and also encourage my colleagues to participate in future discussions. Thank you and take care.