Scrutiny

The Police Crime and Victims Commissioner has a responsibility to openly and transparently scrutinise policing and crime issues within Durham Constabulary.

It is acknowledged that the police have a large part to play in the contribution of such scrutiny and assist the Police Crime and Victims Commissioner to hold their Chief Constable to account.

 

Through the Police Scrutiny groups we hope to:

1.      Increase community engagement and encourage better public understanding of police practices and powers.

2.      Promote transparency  sharing whether powers are being used in a fair and effective manner

3.      Most importantly establish a mechanism to listen to community views on key issues affording the community with an opportunity to shape and influence the future of policing within County Durham and Darlington.

 

The scrutiny process runs throughout the year and will address issues around:

 

·         Hate crime

·         Use of Stop search

·         Use of force

·         General police powers

·         Can also be used to canvas views on issues affecting the community or policing

 

Facilitated by the Cohesion Unit, the groups will consider and debate issues of proportionality, efficiency, legitimacy and effectiveness. By holding these sessions we hope to identify what is working consistently well within the Constabulary but also where we did not get things right first time. This way we can promote best practice and also identify lessons to be learned sharing what steps we have put in place to address the communities concerns. Such conversations and clear transparency will lead to an increase in public confidence in the Police and provide opportunities for the force to continuously improve and work towards breaking down any barriers.

 

The groups involved in the scrutiny and engagement have been selected to represent the wider diverse communities within County Durham and Darlington, as well as incorporating those within protected groups who we acknowledge are often reluctant and lack confidence to converse with Police and therefore on occasions do not have a voice.

 

If you are interested in knowing more about the scrutiny process or would like to be involved then please contact yourviews@durham.pnn.police.uk or ring 101 to leave your details and we will contact you.

 

Stop & Search Scrutiny Process

The use of stop and search powers allow the police to tackle crime and keep our streets safe.

Stop and search is targeted and intelligence led, taking place predominantly in areas where crime is taking place and on people who are known or suspected to be involved in crime.

A police officer must have a good reason for stopping and/or searching you and they are required to tell you what that reason is.

You should not be stopped just because of your age, race, ethnic background, nationality, faith, the language you speak or because you have committed a crime in the past.

Durham Constabulary wanted to gain the communities views on the use of stop & search. A package was developed to deliver to community groups and further education establishments. The package consists of:

  • Introduction presentation on the processes used in a stop & search.
  • Video developed by Durham Constabulary displaying how a stop & search should be conducted.
  • 10 x bodycam videos of past stop & search cases within Durham Constabulary.
  • Booklet detailing all 10 stop & search records from Red Sigma.
  • Feedback forms to be completed by panel members.

 

Scrutiny Panels

The below details the dates and groups that conducted stop & search scrutiny in 2018.

 

Monday 22nd January 2018

Wear & Tees Fire Cadets

 

Sunday 4th February 2018

Phoenix Trans Group

 

Thursday 8th February 2018

Durham Police Support Volunteers

 

Friday 16th February 2018

Willow Road Lunch Club, Age UK

 

Tuesday 6th March 2018

New College Durham

 

Tuesday 13th March 2018

Durham Sixth Form PACT Meeting

 

Friday 20th April 2018

Durham Miners Association

 

Please find below a PDF document that outlines the findings from the above panels including next steps.

 

 Stop and Search Findings.pdf

 

Hate Crime Scrutiny Process

Durham Constabulary has recently developed the a Hate Crime Scrutiny panel process, to review the way in which Durham Constabulary investigate incidents motivated by hatred or prejudice based on Race, Region and Belief, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Disability.

The aim of these panels is to ensure community representatives have the opportunity to review investigations, identify good practice and raise matters where there are concerns regarding the way in which the investigations were carried out. This will enable Durham Constabulary to ensure they continually improve the manner in which they deal with hate incidents, leading to improved service to the communities they serve.

The panel meetings consist of members reviewing recent hate crimes that have been selected by the Office of The Police, Crime & Victims Commissioner so the Constabulary can be truly transparent and open to scrutiny.

The panel will review all aspects of the crime including:

·         The initial incident logs

·         The investigation plan

·         The victim care plan

·         Any outcomes

 

Use of Force Scrutiny Process

The Use of Force Scrutiny Panel is a panel formed by Durham Constabulary to consider the application of the use force across County Durham & Darlington.

The panel considers individual cases to assess and scrutinise use of force and identify areas of concern and good practice. The panel also provides information to enable Durham Constabulary to account around force used in any situation.

The panel will review all aspects of the force used including:

·         Use of force report from the officer

·         The initial incident logs

·         Any Body worn Video footage

·         Any outcomes or lessons learned

·         The training around such force

This could be unarmed tactics, handcuffing, use of a baton through to use of Taser or firearms. All use of force will be randomly selected by the Office of The Police, Crime & Victims Commissioner so the Constabulary can be truly transparent and open to scrutiny.

 

Any feedback received from any of the scrutiny sessions, either positive or negative, is fed back into the organisation so we can continue to listen to your views and shape our organisation so we can proudly serve our communities in the manner which they expect and deserve.