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24 October, 2018

Julia responds to Police and Crime Panel report

Statement from Julia Mulligan in response to a report (published on 24 October 2018) from the Police and Crime Panel

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“I am shocked at the approach the Panel has taken in assessing this complaint, and in its findings. I am particularly disappointed in the lack of references and attention paid to the extensive evidence I provided in response to this complaint. This included evidence supplied by the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, contemporaneous letters from two former employees, supporting emails and an independent report into specific areas of performance substantiating the evidence supplied.

“It is also important to understand what Police and Crime Commissioners can and cannot do. PCCs are by law not responsible for line management of any staff – they are a ‘legislative island’. However, as an individual, I take my duty of care to my staff extremely seriously. It is therefore unfortunate that the Panel has not recognised the difference between myself as a person, and that of the legal office I hold. Nor have they acknowledged the significant attempts I made to ensure staff were supported, to the point where I overstepped my remit and personally attempted to intervene to better support them. I therefore entirely accept that in this case, the performance management framework was not adequate, and that a lack of a formal performance review was a significant failing. Before, and since AB left the OPCC, a huge amount of work has been done to support other staff impacted and the Panel can be assured from the evidence supplied that performance processes are in place. In addition, as the Panel knows, there is a clear ‘whistleblowing’ mechanism, to ensure staff can be heard.

“My motive in everything I do, is to help ensure the people of North Yorkshire receive the best possible service. I take great pride in the service my hard-working team offer to the public. It’s not perfect and there have been some issues, but they are a great team, who share my drive to support the public. I therefore do not recognise any ‘systemic’ issues within the OPCC. Throughout this process I have offered to meet with the Panel so they could ‘investigate’ matters – no door has been closed. In the spirit of openness and transparency under which I approach every aspect of my work, I again offer this to the Panel. To draw the conclusions they have, given all the above, is regrettable and disappointing and were there a mechanism to appeal, I would certainly do so.

“On the recommendations themselves, I am happy to consider them, but I would need considerable reassurance that the matter will be dealt with fairly and constructively, not least on behalf of my staff. The offer therefore remains open for the Panel to come to the office and speak to whomever they like.

“It also very much needs to be said that I have an excellent team who work extremely hard to support me, but more importantly, the public. A lot is expected of them, and on a daily basis they deal with challenging and sensitive issues, very often supporting vulnerable people at very difficult times in their lives. This can be hard, and I thank them for it.

“On a personal note, since this report came to light, a huge amount of support has been extended to me, for which I am hugely grateful. People do not recognise the picture painted by the report, but this is clearly a time to pause and reflect, which I will do. However, on behalf of the public, I will continue to ask a lot of people, and I am sure they will continue to do their very best.”