The Panel considered a report of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided information on how the Police and Crime Commissioner is holding the force to account for the delivery of recommendations laid out by the independent inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report (for copy of report see file of minutes).
Introducing the report, the Police and Crime Commissioner explained the various ways that the Police and Crime Commissioner holds the Chief Constable to account and confirmed that she was satisfied that work is being undertaken to address the criticisms and progress the recommendations within the IICSA report.
Mr Rodiss referred to the ‘Working Together’ document published in 2018 which refers to the establishment of an independent scrutiny group and he asked whether that had been actioned. The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that independent scrutiny groups are in place and suggested that it may be timely for the Panel to receive an overview of the external scrutiny processes.
Councillor Potts expressed concern that the full IICSA report had not been circulated to the Panel and at reports that the children were victim blamed and some had received criminal convictions. He recalled that he previously requested that a full investigation be carried out and he understood that it was agreed that a full report would be considered by the Panel. He expressed the view that the report failed to mention the salient points of the investigation and therefore the Panel could not establish whether justice had been done. The Clerk to the Panel advised that the Panel may wish to review previous minutes to clarify the resolution made at the meeting referred to by Councillor Potts.
Mr Rodiss asked if serious case reviews had been held in respect of the children involved. The Chief Constable stated that no serious case reviews had taken place however further information could be provided. She confirmed that all nine report recommendations had been responded to, or, were in the process of being responded to. The Police and Crime Commissioner reiterated that the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to hold the Chief Constable to account and individual cases were an operational issue.
Councillor Potts referred to section 8 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, which states the Police and Crime Commissioner must hold the Chief Constable to account for the exercise of duty in relation to safeguarding children and the promotion of child welfare imposed on the Chief Constable.
Councillor Hovvels moved the recommendation. Councillor McCollom seconded the recommendation. Upon a vote being taken and with the majority of Members voting in favour of the recommendation and Councillor Potts and Mr Rodiss voting against the recommendation, it was
(i) That the report be noted.