Community Legitimacy Panel minutes - 20 September 2022
Tuesday 20 September 2022, 18:00-20:00
The Leadon, Gloucestershire Constabulary HQ
18:00-18:10 Welcome and apologies – DCC Shaun West
DCC West introduced himself to the panel members and welcomed all to the meeting.
18:10-18:55 Review of Delivery Plan and Police Race Action Plan (including RAG status) – C/Supt. Jane Probert/CI Mark Soderland
It was requested to understand the impact and success that the delivery plan and race action plan will have.
Mark Soderland introduced the delivery plan which is based around the HMIC recommendations and incorporates Stop and Search and disproportionality. As the event of Child Q came to light, this was incorporated into our plans to make sure that we act in the best ways possible. Mark welcomes discussions and challenges on the spreadsheet. DCC West would like to understand what difference this will make, what the prioritisations are and what the successes looks like.
Jane Probert confirmed that these are actions that support the previous conversations and recommendations from the Panel for consideration.
Mark Soderland talked through the recommendations from the IOPC. Historically stop search can be quite binary and this has been sought to address as a blended approach. A SIPS (supervisory improvement) programme has been implemented for both existing and new supervisors. These training packages will arrive in the New Year. Jane Probert added that the “so what” for the delivery plan is that it highlights the areas that need to be unpicked, for example the real demographics where outcomes can be influenced such as gang crime and knife crime.
Mark shared that the analysis of information relating to stop search in Gloucestershire seeks to ensure that not only can we explain, we can reform. The new census data will shortly be released which contains more demographics than previous census years and will allow a deeper understanding against this data.
DCC West paused to take a sense check from the panel. Bren McInerney shared his thoughts around stand and fall on how well we are connected with our communities. How do we know and how are we assured that we are achieving.
DCC West shared that this is a community audience and alongside Sandra confirmed that this is the place to ask questions to ensure understanding. Nick Evans asked what data is being gathered, how is it being utilised and how is it being analysed. Mark responded that data is provided through the dashboards on the IT system and reviewed at the Stop Search Scrutiny Panel. This provides the scrutiny, demographics, proportionality, number of searches etc. Nick asked if the scrutiny details the supervision also. There is a risk rating applied and the quality assessment of each stop search is checked by the supervisors. Mark Soderland assured the panel that the checkers are also checked. The training will be adapted and fine-tuned as we understand more around the needs in the learning environment.
Robin Agascar added the scrutiny panel reviews the best use of stop and search. A regular observation is the new officers are the ones who fill in their forms really well. The panel is very clear that if the grounds don’t feel right with regards to lack of explanation this will be addressed. Why and what are scrutinised though not detailed directly on the form.
Sandra detailed that the proposal of an external reverse mentoring scheme with regards to stop and search to mentor from within has been discussed with Chief Supt. Jane Probert. After the OST session it was an eye opening process. This programme could allow young people who have been stop and searched to share their experiences with officers.
Anthony Saunders queried who delivers the training, are the trainers culturally aware of the issues that are important. This has been raised with officers in previous discussions. This will impact how this delivery takes place. DCC West agreed, the history and the cultural understanding is really important.
Mark Soderland supported this discussion, this needs to be part of the training which Ruth Frett supported. The reverse mentoring of the student officers engaging with young people in the community would be extremely beneficial. DCC asked if student officers get any training on black history and culture. Ruth confirmed we have an inclusion lead and welcome our critical friends to engage with our learning and development team.
Robin Agascar agreed that the equality and inclusion module would benefit from a revamp and will be looking further into this with Sandra Samuel. Jane Probert shared the following statement from the Police Race Action Plan.
“Develop officers’ and staff members’ understanding of Black history and the relationship between policing and Black communities. This will be mandatory and role or rank specific for all staff. It will challenge assumptions and bias. This will also be used to assist with developing a shared local and mutual understanding with Black communities.
DCC West gave his promise to the panel that this is absolutely something that we will prioritise.
Jessica Harris added that some young people don’t always understand the history as they’ve not always learnt that themselves, the generational change can be apparent. Sandra Hansen asked how far back this history should go. The shared view is that this should go all the way back to slavery. We have to be fully aware so that we can better understand. Jess agreed, but this can create its own trauma within that in the younger generation as it can be overwhelming. The awareness of what can be traumatic to people and how they can be offended will be key, especially with how this is projected.
Robin Agascar confirmed his agreement, people handle knowledge and history in different ways. Outside the realms of race or ethnicity, people can have significant traumatic experiences that they can bounce back from whereas others may not. The awareness is most important. Ruth Frett added the most impact on reverse mentoring is the relationship. One of the most life changing experience she has experienced directly. If the student officers can have someone to share different life experiences this can offer huge development and understanding.
Bren shared that before the reverse mentoring is put into place, it is important to understand who will be mentored. In terms of black history this should be throughout and go back to slavery. Caution to be exercised and more in depth work to ensure the engagement of people.
Jane Probert updated on the Police Race Action Plan to show cross referencing against the three pillars
Action: Jane Probert wishes to bring the Race Action Plan back to the November meeting to discuss in further detail. CM to set up pre-meet with Chair, DCC and C/Sup Probert 2 weeks prior to the 22 November
Action: Pre-brief to be coordinated in advance of future CLP meetings – CM to diarise
Action: L&D to share what is taught to the student officers with regards to black history with Teddy Burton (Ruth Frett) prior to 7 November
Action: Stop Search delivery plan to be shared with the panel members – Jane Probert/ Mark Soderland
19:05-19:55 Review of Statistics Relating to Searches on Minors and Policy Changes – CI Andy Kilmurray
The Chair opened this section of the agenda by covering what had previously been discussed and welcomed CI Andy Kilmurray.
Andy Kilmurray referred back to the HMIC inspection earlier this year. Strategic oversight, auditing and electronic detention were listed as points of improvement. Custody strip search records contained a number of potential errors. Looking at changes going forward. No. of strip searches this year have been three. A 12 point recommendation has been implemented before a strip search can be conducted.
On review of the data obtained from the relevant custody records of 34 juveniles’ subject of a strip search I would make the following recommendations to improve the recording, rationale and decision making process of such authorities:
1. Recording of Strip Search on custody records to contain more detail, to include at a minimum the following 12 points:
Offence for which arrested
Rationale for search
Grounds for search (to include Warning Marker, Intel, previous knowledge)
Record of any significant statements/Actions made by DP
Requirement for Urgency
Other options considered i.e. constant observations and why deemed not appropriate
Persons present during the search
Appropriate Adult present and if not give reasons why not
Description of how search was conducted – minimising embarrassment
Whether or not force was used during the search
Outcome of search
Working closely with the IAG, the custody scrutiny panel is now in place. Any juvenile strip search will be reviewed by this panel at the earliest opportunity. New custody training with vulnerability packages is available and we will be coordinating a train the trainer with regard to this. Building in a review of the use of force for any custody visit with supporting CCTV imagery.
The Chair wished to thank Andy for the significant oversight. These concerns and reforms are focused around those in custody. Is there an equivalent system where strip searches of minors take place outside of police premises? Mark Soderland confirmed that any juveniles strip searched in custody aren’t necessarily arrested, this will not happen on the street. The Chair wishes to be assured that the equivalent of a PACE inspector will authorise a strip search of a minor. Mark confirmed that this will be in the proposed revised policy and is awaiting ratification. Interim guidance has been provided to officers.
Andy Kilmurray confirmed that the stop search policy and the custody policy will have these changes included to ensure consistency with the APP (College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice). The policy will come to CLP first then go through OPB and the IGB. It is anticipated that this will be ratified early in the New Year.
Action: Teddy Burton to try and seek further community members to become independent custody visitors
The Chair shared that discussions have been held with C/Supt. Jane Probert around engaging with local places of worship and the Friendship Café to encourage further diverse representation. Any suggestions will be welcomed by the CLP members.
Action: Andy Kilmurray to share further information on what the role of independent custody visitors entails
The Chair expressed it was good to hear all the consultation that is being conducted and the changes being made.
Any other business:
1. NBPA Conference
Those who have expressed an interest in attending the whole conference will be contacted in due course. All panel members are invited to attend the opening reception and details will be shared in the coming days.
2. Leicester community tensions
The Chair noted that it is sad to hear of this happening in any community and we hope this matter gets resolved. Expressed gratitude to the police officers who step into situations like this. It is right that whilst we must challenge the police we also let them know they have our support while conducting legitimate functions. DCC West confirmed that 47 people have been arrested and some of those were outside of the community.
3. Chris Kabe officer update
We are all alerted to what has been reported in the media and aware that this is an ongoing investigation. The Chair wishes to emphasise that whilst there is lot to be done, he recognises the empathy and understanding expressed by CC Hansen and this appreciated. When suggestions were made about how we could reassure local communities, within a day a messages were sent to the panel, staff and communities. There is a recognition that there is sensitivity and willingness to engage. The importance now is to ensure this filters down throughout the organisation.
4. Future meeting dates
Considerations were given to either move the start time of meetings to 18:30 on a Tuesday or to move the meetings to a Monday. Bren added when that he received the email (mentioned at point 3 above) it reflected the outstanding leadership and consistency from CC Hansen and Teddy Burton (Chair). DCC West suggested we start the meetings at 19:00 to allow adequate time for travel. It has been decided that we will trial at 19:00 start for November’s meeting.
19:55-20:00 Closing Remarks – Chair
The Chair thanked everyone for their time and commitment and emphasized that we are making progress and moving in the right direction.
Action: Promotional video to be circulated prior to next meeting to enable the CLP to be promoted at the Leaders Forums starting in October.
10 January 2023 – Community Legitimacy Panel
12 January 2023 – Community Engagement Forum
28 March 2023 – Community Legitimacy Panel
30 May 2023 – Community Legitimacy Panel
25 July 2023 – Community Legitimacy Panel
27 July 2023 – Community Legitimacy Panel Sports Day