Police, Fire and Crime Consultation continues with Harrogate event

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Philip Allot, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, recently launched a major consultation on the priorities for policing, fire and rescue and victims’ services across North Yorkshire and York.

  • Consultation event, Wednesday 1 September 2021, Harrogate, Prospect Crescent. 10am to 4pm

We recently met with the Commissioner and put a few questions to him.

The police are the ‘experts’ on crime, so why is there a need to consult with the public when they are already well-placed to draw up priorities ?

Philip Allot said:

I have to produce a Police, Fire and Crime Plan within 12-months – it’s a statutory document. In this case it will be valid for 3-years.

We are going out to consultation now, taking in the publics’ views, that will be then used to put together a final plan that will go to the scrutiny panel. The scrutiny panel is a panel predominantly  made-up of councillors, along with lay-members. That will then be signed-off and will be in place by January 2022.

We want to consult with the public on if they believe the police are working as well as they expect them to, whether they are happy with the police, or if there are areas for improvement, and that is also the same for the fire service – we want to understand.

Secondly we want to understand what the public are concerned about, so the police have the skills sets, and I like to think the commissioner has a lot of the skill sets necessary, but as commissioner, I am here to represent the public, and it is the public that I answer to, and therefore it is only right, fit and proper that the crime plan is put together in consultation with the public to make sure it is right.

In terms of areas in North Yorkshire that we will be addressing, this is where we are interested in the publics’ ratings on the engagement with issues such as violence against women and girls, rural crime, antisocial behaviour, county lines drug dealing, dogs thefts and online fraud. They are areas that we know the public are concerned about. But there may be others that we are not aware of, and we want to tease those out of the public.

Are the public now more willing to engage to with the police ?

Philip Allot said:

The one thing that we do know is that the public have become less tolerant, and that has impacted on the 101 number and 999 number. In July we received more 999 calls on one day than we would normally expect to receive on a New Year’s Eve.

The 101 number tends to be the last number of resort for the public to reach out to. The public know they can dial that number if they are feeling suicidal, if you see some antisocial behaviour they can dial 101, if you are feeling a bit fed up you may dial 101.

But noisy neighbours have been a key theme. In the past noisy neighbour issues would have gone to the local authority where they would have measured the noise, and then served notices.

What is more happening now though is the police are often getting involved and called-out. Neighbour disputes have grown as people have more taken stayacations.

In the past, neigbours may have had issues with a noisy dog or music, but they have then had a cooling-off period when one of them went away on a holiday, giving a reset. Everyone has been on top of each other due to the lockdowns and that has caused neighbourly tensions.



There can be some cynicism towards the benefit in taking part in a consultation, and it is just a process without any genuine listening ?

Philip Allot said:

First of all we are using an external agency to support us. We have to make sure it is representative of the population, that means it is weighted. We are consulting young people, potentially as  young as 13. We will reach out to them proactively through social media to engage. We will need parental consent for children, and are taking some guidance on that now, but we will certainly be engaging with children 16 plus.

The Youth Commissioners are also involved, there will be telephone surveys, in a similar way to YouGov, we are having 16 public events, with one in Harrogate.

Those public events will allow people to talk to me directly, and of course the survey will be available online.

That’s mainly talking about the Crime Plan, but we will be doing exactly the same for the Fire Plan. The questions that people are likely to ask are, do we have the right resources in place. House fires have significantly dropped, but we now have climate change. So questions like should we be investing more in river rescue is very relevant, should we be training to a higher standard.

More details on the consultations, the draft plans and how everyone can have their say is available now at www.tellphilip.co.uk

Consultations

All of the Consultation Events run between 10am and 4pm and you can drop by at anytime.

September

  • Wednesday 1st – Harrogate, Prospect Crescent
  • Saturday 4th – Scarborough, Aberdeen Walk
  • Wednesday 8th – Northallerton, High Street
  • Saturday 11th – Malton, Market Place
  • Friday 17th – Skipton, High Street
  • Monday 20th – Selby, Market Place
  • Saturday 25th – Richmond, Market Place
  • Wednesday 29th – Northallerton, High Street

October

  • Saturday 2nd – Harrogate, Prospect Crescent
  • Wednesday 6th – Scarborough, Aberdeen Walk
  • Saturday 9th – Malton, Market Place
  • Tuesday 12th – York, Parliament Street
  • Friday 15th – Skipton, High Street
  • Friday 22nd – York, Parliament Street

More details on the consultations, the draft plans and how everyone can have their say is available now at www.tellphilip.co.uk


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