03/2012 – Memorandum of Understanding – 22 November 2012

Executive Summary and recommendation:

The statutory Policing Protocol, put in place by the Secretary of State for the Home Office under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, describes the intended working relationship between the local elected policing body, the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Panel and the Home Secretary under the new governance model for policing brought into effect by the Act.

This seeks the approval of the Police and Crime Commissioner to further interpretation and clarity of the Protocol in terms of the relationship between the PCC and the Chief Constable and the operation of that relationship within the North Yorkshire police service. The Chief Constable has already given his approval to this MoU, subject to the PCC’s views.

Police and Crime Commissioner Decision

Approved

jm-signature
22 November 2012

Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

Introduction and background

It was undeniably a prevalent feature of the former policing governance regime – and one of its principle failings – that there was no clear or common understanding of the distinction of roles and accountabilities within the ‘tripartite’ – police authority, Home Secretary and Chief Constable. All too often, the scope of ‘operational direction and control’ of the Chief Constable was misconstrued and provided a fertile battleground between police authorities’ rightly attempting to exercise influence over policy and strategy of non-operational matters in the face of chief constables trying to seek to protect a mis-interpretation of police independence.

During the transition phase to the new model of police governance, it became very clear to the Chief Executive and the Chief Constable that absolute clarity on these matters were necessary to ensure that appropriate arrangements could be put in place from Day 1. We could not allow governance cultures, processes and practices to develop based on misunderstanding and misconception in the way that the former regime had back in 1994.

Clearly, Parliament had taken a similar view when it decided to put the relationship within the tripartite on a statutory basis for the first time and without doubt the statutory protocol takes us a long way towards a common understanding of that relationship and of the meaning of ‘operational independence’ of the police service. Nevertheless, we thought that the PCC and the public interest would be well served if we could define that further through a local Memorandum of Understanding of how the new system should, or could, operate.

Matters for consideration

The Draft Memorandum of Understand – which, unlike the Policing Protocol, is not legally binding on either party – is attached as an Appendix to this report.

Other options considered, if any

Not applicable.

Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

This recommendation is fundamental to establishing effective and efficient governance arrangements within the police service and thereby avoid consuming unnecessary corporate energy.

Consultations carried out

These arrangements have been put in place in full consultation with the Chief Constable (who has already approved the arrangements, subject to the views of the Commissioner), the two Chief Finance Officers, External Audit, the Police and Crime Panel and the Head of legal Services of the Chief Constable, who was instrumental in drafting the document.

Financial Implications/Value for money

None

Legal Implications

None

Equality Implications

None.

Tick to confirm statement √
Director/Chief Officer Jeremy Holderness has reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities.
Legal Advice Legal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge.
Financial Advice The CC CFO has both been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice
Equalities Advice An assessment has been made of the equality impact of this proposal. Either there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.
I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision Signature Chief Officer Resource – Jeremy Holderness Date 22 November 2012
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