‘North Yorkshire Police have let down the most vulnerable in our society’
His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services has today published the report of its reinspection of how North Yorkshire Police keeps children safe. The reinspection took place in December 2022 following an initial inspection in November 2021.
Responding to the reinspection, Commissioner Zoë has said:
“First and foremost, I am here for the public, victims and survivors impacted by the issues covered by this latest report. My Supporting Victims service which sits separately from North Yorkshire Police is available to anyone impacted by crime to help them to cope and recover. So, if you or someone you know needs support, please visit the website at www.supportingvictims.org or call 01609 643 100 to speak to a trained professional who can offer help and advice.
“I acknowledge the areas where improvement has been made, specifically changes to training of staff about understanding vulnerability, the notable increase in the quality and number of referrals for children to the local authorities, and the force control room response to calls where children may be at risk. However, my focus must be on the areas which do not deliver for our most vulnerable and to understand why the highest standards are not currently being met.
“North Yorkshire Police have had a year to progress their action plan following the first HMICFRS report on child protection. My team and I were regularly assured that all concerns would be tackled head on and improvements made at a significant pace but instead, 12 months later, the force is not in the position I expected them to be in. Not enough has been done and there is simply no excuse – North Yorkshire Police have let the public and the most vulnerable in our society down.
“As Commissioner and a mother of two children, one of whom is vulnerable and has complex needs I share the frustration, deep disappointment and upset many people will be feeling. I know that it is my responsibility to increase the accountability of and pressure on the Chief Constable, to demand answers and not accept anything other than immediate and significant improvement.
“Whilst a debrief provided by the inspectorate in preparation for this report revealed North Yorkshire Police still had areas to progress, this progress has been much slower than anticipated – as a result, I am making arrangements for an additional layer of scrutiny – I expect evidence in relation to any assurances I am given.
“It is my duty to ask questions the public expect and deserve answers to, and I have transparently and consistently done so in my regular online public meetings. I will publicly hold the Chief Constable to account for this slow progress in a specially arranged online public meeting today, Wednesday 3 May at 1pm, where I expect to hear clear and focused answers from the senior leadership of North Yorkshire Police. Documents relating to the meeting can be found on my website from today and I invite the public to watch the session if they can and if not, a recording will be made available. Please visit: https://bit.ly/OPM-3May2023
“During the meeting I will also request a detailed plan from the Chief Constable on how the force will complete their original schedule of improvements, with associated timescales for achieving all outstanding recommendations. In addition, I encourage any member of the public to send questions or concerns for us to address during the live meeting. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or to ask a question during the live broadcast, post your question on Twitter using #NYscrutiny
“Subsequent regular online public meetings will follow a new structure to incorporate updates on all HMICFRS independent inspections and will require extensive evidence of progress in all areas of improvement.
“The reinspection report recognises that North Yorkshire Police work well with safeguarding partners and are sharing good quality information. I want to thank our local authorities, external agencies and the victim support services I commission for the work they do in partnership with the Force to support and protect vulnerable children.
“If anyone living in North Yorkshire doesn’t feel confident or comfortable with the services offered by North Yorkshire Police, I want to know about it. Complaints and concerns can be expressed to my in-house complaints team, submitted as a question to be raised directly with myself or the Chief Constable in my regular Online Public Meetings, discussed with me in a 1:1 bookable appointment, or submitted via my Public Trust and Confidence Survey. Please find details on how to do this on my website.
- Complaints and recognition team – www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/complaints/police
- Online Public Meetings – www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/YourVoice
- Advice Surgeries – www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/commissioner
- Public Trust and Confidence Survey – www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/how-can-we-help/your-say/consultations/trust-and-confidence/
“I remain committed to the public and victims of crime as I work tirelessly to ensure they receive the standard of policing they deserve.
“The public rely on North Yorkshire Police to get their job right, which is to ultimately keep them safe and feeling safe. As Commissioner, I expect to see a significant improvement when the Inspectorate revisit at the end of 2023, and I will continue to seek insight from victims of crime across our region.”
Read the latest report
Online public meeting information
Wednesday 03 May 2023 1.00pm