Police Accountability Board Minutes 8th June 2021

1. Welcome and introductions


PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)

Nicci Marzec (NM)

Paul Fell (PF)

Louise Sheridan (LS)

CC Nick Adderley (NA)

Colleen Rattigan (CR)

Apologies were accepted from DCC Nickless, ACC Blatchly, ACC Pauline Sturman and Stuart McCartney


SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.


2. Previous minutes and action log

  • Minutes of previous meeting were circulated with the meeting papers. No changes have been requested
  • Outstanding actions from the Action Log have been updated.

3. Health and Safety

  • The Commissioner requested a presentation of the annual Northamptonshire Police Health and Safety Report and progress on the internal Mazars audit of Health and Safety from March 2021.
  • The Force has a legal and moral duty to safeguard and improve the health and safety of Police Officers, Police staff, Special Constables, volunteers and those affected by their activities.
  • A report was provided which examined the Forces health and safety policies, any health and safety issues and the Forces achievements against its performance objectives.
  • The first part of the report outlined the changes that are taking place to introduce more robust measures to comply with the legal requirements placed on the Force.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed that he was comfortable that the right reporting mechanisms and data were in place to provide this reassurance.
  • There was a discussion about the significant rise in the number of assaults suffered by Officers over the past two years.
  • The most at risk teams are Response.
  • Some of the increase is attributed to higher proactivity (32% increase), searching for and arresting some of the most dangerous criminals in our county.
  • Lockdown restrictions has also contributed; restricting the movements of individuals who are typically the least compliant with being told what to do in normal times.
  • Whilst the Taser uplift programme hasn’t reduced the number of assaults as hoped, it has reduced the severity of them.
  • In a recent survey, 96% of officers who have taser feel safer and more confident doing their job as a result.
  • The Chief Constable has implemented a ‘7 step Pledge’, a commitment that all assaults and hate crime on police officers and police staff will be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public.
  • To achieve a successful prosecution, an OIC is appointed to gather the best evidence to make a charging decision. Officers are encouraged to add a ‘Victim Personal Statement’ and the Chief Constable writes an ‘Impact Statement’ on behalf of the Force.
  • There was a discussion about further roll out of taser now that the initial uplift has been completed.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed he is currently considering the next phase of the taser uplift programme, looking at student officers with more than 12 months service, subject to review of the individual’s readiness and ability to pass the course.
  • The Commissioner asked if there was anything, he could do to ensure the courts are taking assaults on officers seriously and applying sentencing guidelines appropriately.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed charging rates with CPS are good and the Courts are operating within sentencing guidelines.
  • There was a discussion about the value of the ‘Ride along’ scheme. This is something both the Commissioner and Chief Constable are keen to promote amongst magistrates and judges when Covid restrictions ease.
  • The Chief Constable has also changed the Forces Body Worn Video policy and allow for footage to be shared on social media to show the public what officers are exposed to.
  • There was a discussion on ‘Single crewing’ a policy which has been instigated to reduce the transmission of Covid.
  • The Chief Constable advised that once restrictions ease and Covid rates start to reduce again he would like to see more Officers ‘double crewed’.
  • Subject to demand, this would typically see more officers ‘single crewed’ on ‘Days’, 60/70% ‘Double crewed on ‘Lates’ and 80% ‘Double crewed’ on ‘Nights’.
  • There was a discussion on telematics being fitted to Response cars.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed that LEM Freezer, Head of Joint Transport and Logistics is overseeing this piece of work which is expected to be completed in the next few months
  • There was a discussion about the Health and Safety Training carried out during the last 3 years (Table 5 Training Records in the report).
  • The Commissioner queried why there was such an increase in PSU Level 3 training in 2019/20 when compare with 2018/19 and 2020/21.
  • The Chief constable agreed to look into this.

Action – NA to look into PSU level 3 training records to explain the marked increase.

  • There was a discussion about the culture of the organisation. The Chief Constable confirmed that he is content with the new and younger officers from both a legal point of view and a moral point of view and this remains under constant scrutiny.

Assurance statement:

 The Commissioner welcomed the paper and the assurance it provided in relation to compliance with legal frameworks and requirements.

 The Commissioner was pleased that the Force was making good use of the data at its disposal, particularly in relation to assaults on officers.

 The Commissioner looked forward to seeing the results of the further analysis that had been commissioned

4. A.O.B

  • Nicci Marzec asked for an update on the implementation of the Northants Emergency Service Cadet review.
  • Colleen Rattigan advised that ACC Pauline Sturman is now leading is this area.
  • The Commissioner confirmed he has a £100k investment to make into the cadets over the next 3 years but only if it can demonstrate that it is providing diversionary activities.
  • Colleen agreed to share some of the work that ACC Sturman has done which also ties into a review of the Special Constabulary and Police Volunteers.
  • The Commissioner is keen to understand where management of the Cadet scheme will sit; Local Policing or Prevention and Intervention. He will pick this up with the Chief Constable in their next 1-2-1 meeting.

Action – CR to provide an update to NM outside of this meeting on progression of the cadet’s review implementation work.

Action – NA to discuss November timeline for work in relation to cadet’s review with ACC Sturman to ensure any work required is started in good time.

  • There was a discussion about the great work being done in the Prevention and Intervention team by T/Supt. Dave Lawson and Det.CI Liz Dawson.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed he intends to extend the temporary Superintendent post by a further 12 months.
  • There was a discussion about other Superintendents positions and how these fit into the current establishment.

No further business was raised.