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13 November, 2018

Response to the Report of the Police & Crime Panel Sub-Committee on Complaints

08 November 2018

The Panel’s Complaints Sub-Committee, having met on 19 September 2018 to review complaint from a member of staff against me, published its report on 24 October 2018.

I am grateful to the Sub-Committee for sharing the report and extending an opportunity for me to respond in person.  I have very carefully reflected on the content of that report and, as I said to the Chair and members on 24 October, I am both very concerned and truly sorry that anything I may have said or done could be perceived in the way described by the complainant.  While I note the Sub-Committee’s emphasis that it found no evidence of harassment, victimisation or deliberately ‘setting up’ the complainant to fail, I have nevertheless taken very seriously the conclusion that some of my behaviours were perceived by the complainant to have been “bullying” in their nature. I would again therefore like to say how sorry I am for any impact this may have had on the complainant.

In addition, in line with my response on 24 October, I fully accept that there were serious deficiencies within my office in terms of the appropriate arrangements for performance management, monitoring and welfare.  Equally, I have taken very careful note of the Sub-Committee’s observations on the proper duties of care to which our employees are entitled and the extent to which practices within my office are in need of improvement to ensure that all staff receive the appropriate management, direction and support.  Many of those areas for improvement have already been addressed and further work is underway.

Although I share the Sub-Committee’s view that there is no mechanism by which it has been able to verify the evidence or investigate the allegations, the report is clear that the Panel wishes to ensure that the perceived behaviour will be addressed. By way of assurance, I would again like to invite the Panel to engage with my office and to speak to whomever they wish.  The also report asks me for assurances in the form of six recommendations.

Turning to those recommendations, I am keen to conduct a survey – via an independent body – within the context of the report to include staff perceptions of bullying in the workplace and have instructed my Chief Executive Officer to begin drafting appropriate terms of reference that will be shared with the Panel for agreement (Recommendation 1).  In addition, I have secured agreement from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners that they will continue to offer support to me personally and provide a mentoring function.  (Recommendations 3 and 4).

I propose to share the findings of the survey with the Sub-Committee Chair and members and update them on progress and development in relation to the recommendations (Recommendations 2 and 5).

I note that the report was not made in the course of the Sub-Committee’s responsibilities under the relevant regulations designed for such complaints [The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012] but was sent to me within the Panel’s wider powers under which I am responding within the 21 day period required. (Recommendation 6).

Julia Mulligan

Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire