PCC to meet with Chief Constable following Stalking Summit

11/04/2019

WHAT: Monthly Performance & Accountability Meeting (PAM)

WHEN: Friday 12 April at 13:00

WHERE: Watch in the archive here: http://www.sussex-pcc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

SOCIAL MEDIA: Join the conversation on Twitter using #SusPolScrutiny

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne hosted a stalking summit in Parliament on the same day that HMICFRS findings were published on how Sussex Police investigate stalking and harassment cases (10th April).

In September 2018 Mrs Bourne was the first PCC in the country to commission an independent inspection from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). This was to review progress on how stalking cases are dealt with locally and to identify recommended improvements.

Whilst the report identifies areas of good practice, it also highlights significant areas for improvement for Sussex Police and for police forces nationally. In the report there are five key areas that were raised in the discussion on Wednesday: the police (including a victim’s own) knowledge and understanding of stalking; police procedures including recording incidents correctly and making appropriate risk assessments; and the capacity within the victim support system to provide specialist local services.

In this month’s Performance & Accountability meeting (12th April) with Chief Constable Giles York, the PCC intends to make the results from the HMICFRS inspection report the main topic for discussion. She will seek assurances that further improvements will be made locally to protect victims of this crime and increase training to better the understanding of stalking so officers and staff can handle reports appropriately.

Commenting on the inspection Mrs Bourne said:

“This HMICFRS inspection provided me with independent, external scrutiny and a unique and valuable opportunity to review the progress Sussex Police has made in its response to stalking and harassment.

“Whilst I am pleased to see the report acknowledge significant progress by Sussex Police, it is clear there is much more the Force can do and needs to do if victims of stalking are to receive the service which I firmly believe they deserve.  HMICFRS’s observations show that Sussex is committed to a journey of improvement and is probably further down that path than many other forces nationally.

“The roundtable in parliament yesterday gave PCCs the opportunity to work with Government to inform the national response to stalking and harassment and ensure that victims are given the best advice, the necessary protection and the most appropriate support.

““It was also an opportunity to raise awareness of stalking as a crime so that more victims are able to join the dots and recognise for themselves that, if they are experiencing behaviour that is fixated, obsessive, unwanted or repeated, they are in fact being stalked.”

Mrs Bourne received a positive response to the findings from national policing leads and is due to present the collective thoughts and recommendations from the discussion, to the Victims Minister.

Other topics under discussion include:

  • CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION
  • POLICE USE OF PRE-CHARGE BAIL
  • SUSSEX POLICE BUDGET 2018/19
  • CODE OF PRACTICE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
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