Jo Coles - York and North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Jo Coles - North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Online Public Meeting – 18 July 2024 – NYP – Hidden Crime

The focus of this month’s meeting

2pm -4pm – North Yorkshire Police – Hidden Crime 

This meeting will focus on:

  • A look at the latest performance data in areas of public interest and a report on complaints made against North Yorkshire Police.
  • An in-depth discussion on a key theme of public concern identified in line with the police priorities.
  • An opportunity for the OPFCC to raise issues that matter to the public for discussion with Chief Officers.
  • An update on the progress made against the latest independent inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services to provide the OPFCC and the public with evidence of improvements.
  • A dedicated question and answer time for the OPFCC to ask the Chief and senior leadership team the questions submitted by members of the public.


  • Jo Coles – Deputy Mayor of York and North Yorkshire Policing, Fire and Crime
  • Simon Dennis  – Corporate Director of Office for Police, Fire, Crime and Commissioning
  • Jenni Newberry – Director of Commissioning and Partnerships, OPFCC
  • Mark Ayres– Director of Public Confidence, OPFCC
  • Tamara Pattinson – Director of Delivery and Assurance, OPFCC
  • Scott Bisset – Deputy Chief Constable, North Yorkshire Police
  • Ian Scott – Chief Superintendent Safeguarding, North Yorkshire Police
  • Graeme Wright – Detective Superintendent, North Yorkshire Police
  • John Mackfall – Unison Branch Secretary


  • Performance Update – Scott Bisset – Deputy Chief Constable
  • Thematic presentation – Ian Scott – Chief Superintendent Safeguarding & Graeme Wright – Detective Superintendent
  • Spotlight Questions  – Scott Bisset – Deputy Chief Constable
  • Inspection Update –  Scott Bisset – Deputy Chief Constable


Time Item
14:00 Introductions
Minutes of previous meetings
14:05 Performance update
14:30 Main presentation
15:00 Spotlight questions
15:10 HMICFRS Inspection Update
15:20 Public questions
15:30 Meeting ends

Meeting papers

Public questions

Q1 – CHRIS – Northallerton – Complaints and Investigations against officers

  • If a complaint is put in against a police officer or a member of the public are they investigated in the same way ?

North Yorkshire Police Response:

A member of the public can submit a complaint against North Yorkshire Police in relation to our service and how we have responded. In North Yorkshire the process for receiving and assessing public complaints is managed independently of the Force by the Office of Policing, Fire, Crime and Commissioning. A police officer however cannot make a public complaint against a member of the public or another person serving under the same Chief Constable. Any allegation of a crime committed by a member of the public or a Police officer would result in a criminal investigation. If the suspect is a Police Officer, as well as the criminal investigation, a parallel conduct investigation would also take place. However, the misconduct investigation would not take place until all criminal matters are concluded as this potentially prejudice the investigation.

Further details on the complaint process can be found at Make a complaint about, or compliment, the police –

  • Can a police officer be investigated for all the same crimes, as could be investigated against a member of the public ?
    And if not, why not?

North Yorkshire Police Response:

Yes, Police Officers are subject of exactly the same criminal law as any other citizen.

  • And do they have the same conviction results ?

North Yorkshire Police Response:

Court outcomes are held within the criminal justice system and are not readily available. Each case will be heard by either a magistrate or jury and it is for them to decide the outcome.

  • Which one would be prioritised to be done first a complaint against the police officer or a complaint against a member of the public ?

North Yorkshire Police Response:

The Professional Standards Department will oversee and deal with allegations of criminality which involve Police Officers – unless a different investigative body i.e. the Independent Officer of Police Conduct conducts the investigation. This is determined on a case by case basis.

  • What is the actual timeline  for complaint against the police officer or a member of the public?

North Yorkshire Police Response:

Allegations made against either a Police Officer or member of the public are dealt with as expeditiously as possible, but the timeliness is dependent on the complexity of the investigation. More serious offences will naturally be prioritised.

Q2 – PETE – Fairburn – Youth Intervention

To combat Future criminals who start as young kids (excluded from school etc)why don’t police take them to police stations and hold them until their parents go to the station and get them (hopefully in the middle of the night )upset the parents enough and they might start disciplining their kids -it worked in our generation (I’m 67)and don’t let excluded kids stay at home getting in trouble make them do community work

North Yorkshire Police Response:

Operating within the law here is paramount. Removing somebody to a Police Station is essentially an arrest and we approach arrests proportionately and have to demonstrate they are necessary. Detaining people in the way described would not be lawful unless they were arrested. North Yorkshire Police do work with young people in a variety of ways through our School Liaison Officers and our safeguarding partners. We work closely with schools and partners to identify children and young people at risk of criminalisation. We have had notable successes in this work with projects to reduce Knife Crime and Youth Violence and which have been supported through the Mayor’s office.

Op Choice – a process designed for referring children & young people in who are found in possession of drugs, into a course of police led educational sessions. Further consideration to refer into drug service providers and commissioned diversion services is also given. The emphasis being on education and harm reduction.

• Has led to a 45% reduction in those the under 18 being brought into custody, leading to sustained harm reduction and early intervention.
• Since its introduction referrals to Youth Outcome Panel, where drugs possession are a primary offence have dropped from 7.9% in 2020 to 2.7% in 2023

Op Divan – Since 2028 NYP have worked in partnership with education, social care and youth justice to support those aged under 18 identified as being at risk of weapon carrying to prevent future escalation. This process covers all intelligence and incidents involving knives or weapons in the home, education venues and public places.

In summary both Op Divan and Choice allow us as a force to safeguard effectively and implement an early intervention approach to tackling future serious violence. Importantly not in silo, but as a partnership with parents, education, statutory services and commissioned support services.

Q3 – ANNE – Thirsk – Retail Crime

Which part of NYP is the lead for Retail Crime and Abuse & Violence against Retail Staff?  Has NYP undertaken any assessment of the extent of such crimes across York & North Yorkshire and the impact on town centres and village shops? 

North Yorkshire Police Response:

We have a Detective Chief Inspector as the lead for the introduction of our the Retail Crime Plan and a Detective Inspector who chairs the national working group on what works well in retail crime. We have conducted a full analysis of retail crime and are in the process of streamlining the reporting process to assist retailers with the introduction of NICE investigation.

We have identified our hot spot areas and increased target patrols within these. North Yorkshire Police has also adopted the national requirement for officers to attend all offences where violence has been used or a suspect detained. Due to the general election the legislation for the new offence of violence against retail workers has been delayed, but we have been reassured that the new government will bring forward this legislation.

During our Operation Tornado days of action and the National Safer Business Action Days we have specifically targeted retail crime and have used these days to target prolific offenders and also reassure staff. Nationally the National Business Crime Centre has been sharing safety advice with businesses. Finally, each command has a local retail crime officer who works closely with local, business around the reduction in crime and violence against staff. Notable, we have seen a 16% increase in positive outcomes for shoplifting offences.

Q4 – NEIL – Drug Dealing Issues

Why are you allowing so many drugs dealers to deal without being raided as and when needed the police know where dealers are working from close the dealers down.

North Yorkshire Police Response:

We are always keen to receive information from the public and regularly act upon such, as we realise the significant harm this sort of behaviour has on individuals as well as more widely on our communities.  We would therefore encourage Neil if has any information in relation to drug dealing for him to report it, either via our usual reporting channels or if preferred anonymously through crime stoppers.

With the information received we regularly conduct proactive activity where we have the intelligence available to support doing so.

A recent example of such was where we have collaborated with Merseyside Police on a national “Project Medusa” operation to disrupt county lines drug dealing and safeguard vulnerable people within York.

The targeted operation focused on York and Selby during which a total of 32 people were arrested, and a large quantity of Class A and B drugs were seized as well as several vehicles and dangerous weapons.

Q5 – IAN – (no location) – Anti social parkingI have an issue with antisocial parking, on double yellow lines and often partly on a pavement, preventing me from accessing my own driveway. Whenever I have spoken with North Yorkshire Police officers or staff they have stated that being blocked out of my drive is not their issue, and that they are only to get involved when I am blocked in. North Yorkshire Council parking enforcement state that they can’t respond to particular incidents, only deal with what they come across on their patrols, which don’t generally happen in the evening when the problem occurs. Have I been provided with accurate information, and what can be done to improve the situation?

North Yorkshire Police Response:

For several years parking enforcement has been an issue for the Local Authority, and I cannot comment further on Council procedures. The Police have no powers in relation to parking offences unless vehicles are causing an unlawful obstruction, a danger or found to be illegally on the road – either uninsured or untaxed.  In those specific circumstances the Police do have powers to remove the vehicle at the owners cost if one can be identified.

Q6 – IAN – Haxby – Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)

What can the Mayor do to reduce anti-social behaviour in Haxby and what other agencies, like Haxby Town Council and City of York Council do to help? 

North Yorkshire Police Response:

From a Policing perspective Partners and local people are key in any solution here but from a policing perspective we recognise the effect ASB has on their communities. We know there are key locations where this is happening.

1.Ryedale shopping centre and

2.Ethel Ward playing field.

We have worked with local shops in terms of target hardening where young people might gather. The Neighbourhood Policing Team have met the local MP and the community around Ethel Ward, the majority of the complaints centre around noise from residents who live adjacent to the playing field – this can be a challenging issue to resolve, with a football pitch, a netball court and a large grassed area.

We have also authorised numerous pre-emptive dispersals over the last couple of years but the need to use them has been low.  We are aware of specific individuals and will continue work with partners to identify specifically what can be done.

To ask your question

  • Complete our online form
  • To ask a question during the live broadcast, post your question on Twitter using #NYscrutiny
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