National Rural Crime Network and Rural Crime Week of Action

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

I write to you in your capacity as Chair of the National Rural Crime Network as currently I cannot trace NRCN as a separate public authority.

NRCN is described as an alliance between various police forces and other interested parties such as the Countryside Alliance and the National Farmers Union.

Question 1.
Please advise if Board members have been asked to declare membership of fox hunts and/or the organisation Vote OK https://www.vote-ok.co.uk/about_vote-ok

Question 2.
There is an assumption promoted by certain organisations that rural communities consist, or should consist, of residents engaging in pursuits such as shooting and hunting. This is not a full and true reflection of today's countryside as I am sure you are aware in your role as PCC; many rural dwellers including farmers and land owners do not support bloodsports.
When Board members were invited and selected, was an invitation extended to the League Against Cruel Sports and/or the Hunt Saboteur Association in order to ensure a fair mix of representative opinion to balance out the involvement of the NFU and Countryside Alliance?

Question 3.
Is there a term limit to the service of Board members and are memberships voted on or simply appointed?

Question 4.
Are Board members required to declare personal interests which may conflict with the duties of a Board member?

Question 5.
Are Board members who are not police officers given information in the course of their Board duties and/or made party to matters which would normally be privy to police forces in accordance with the Data Protection Act, and which might pose an ethical concern regarding their roles in their own organisations?

Question 6.
Regarding the Rural Crime Week of Action currently running, the various rural crimes being highlighted daily include hare coursing but exclude the illegal activities of:
6a. cub hunting
6b. falconry during foxhunting with a raptor (e.g a red kite) clearly too small to hunt a wild mammal such as a fox
6c. releasing a wild mammal from human containment (e.g. an artificial sett, shed or outbuilding) for the purpose of being hunted
6d. hunting a wild mammal with the use of more than two dogs
Given that these are crimes demonstrably of interest to rural communities as well as the public as a whole, why have illegal activities 6a - 6d been ignored?

Question 7.
For the purpose of openness and transparency, will NRCN be addressing the issue of trail hunting and the trail fluid used by hunts for the purpose?
Various hunts have stated that trail fluid is obtained via import from America, yet APHA have confirmed that no imports of such fluid have been recorded since 2014 (they only retain 3 years' worth of records). A recent FOI request filed by me confirms that remains the case.

Question 8.
For the purpose of openness and transparency, will NRCN be requesting that trail hunts provide samples of the trail fluid they use, with relevant paperwork evidencing approval for use by APHA, DEFRA, Environmental Health and Public Health England?

S Rhosier

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Information NYPCC, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Dear Ms Rhosier,

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.

We will aim to ensure you have a response within the statutory time limits.

In the meantime, if you have any further questions or would like to bring any other details to our attention, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Holly Earnshaw
Complaints & Recognition Service Advisor
Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
Office: 01423 569 562

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Information NYPCC

I am still awaiting a response.

S Rhosier

Civil Disclosure,

Good afternoon

Thank you for your below email.

Please accept our apologies that we haven’t yet responded to your FOI request ref 0763.2019-20. We are waiting for a response from another business area will respond as soon as we can.

Kind regards

Sarah Saunders
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North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Dear Ms Rhosier,

Sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your request for
information.  The delay has been due to staff sickness and also shortages.

However, we are now in a position to respond to your request, and for ease
of reference, we have included our responses alongside your numbered
queries below: 

1:
If NRCN is now (October 2019) fully funded via membership subscriptions
and 'appropriate commercial sponsorship', then it cannot be deemed a
police initiative to address rural crime. It appears now to be an
organisation along the same lines as, for example, the Countryside
Alliance, where members can raise issues.
Please therefore clarify the current and future purpose of NRCN; in
particular any links/involvement/connection/members or Board members  of
the organisation Vote OK, which appears to have the same concerns as NRCN
: https://www.vote-ok.co.uk/about_vote-ok
 
OPFCC response: 
There is no known link between the NRC Network and Vote OK are, and thus
no conflict exists. 
The purpose of the NRCN can be seen here -
https://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.ne...
 

2:
Please clarify the degree of current and future involvement in NRCN of:
Avon and Somerset – Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens
Cambridgeshire – Police and Crime Commissioner Cheshire – Police and Crime
Commissioner Cleveland – Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger
Cumbria – Police and Crime Commissioner Derbyshire – Police and Crime
Commissioner Devon and Cornwall – Police and Crime Commissioner Dorset –
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill Durham – Police and Crime
Commissioner Ron Hogg Dyfed-Powys – Police and Crime Commissioner Essex –
Police and Crime Commissioner Gloucestershire – Police and Crime
Commissioner Martin Surl Gwent – Police and Crime Commissioner Hampshire –
Police and Crime Commissioner Hertfordshire – Police and Crime
Commissioner David Lloyd Kent – Police and Crime Commissioner Lancashire –
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw Leicestershire – Police and
Crime Commissioner Lincolnshire – Police and Crime Commissioner Norfolk –
Police and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire (Chair) – Police, Fire and
Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan Northamptonshire – Police and Crime
Commissioner Northumbria – Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird
Nottinghamshire – Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping
Staffordshire – Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis Suffolk
(Vice-Chair) – Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore Surrey – Police
and Crime Commissioner Sussex – Police and Crime Commissioner Thames
Valley – Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfield Warwickshire –
Police and Crime Commissioner West Mercia – Police and Crime Commissioner
Wiltshire – Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson given that the
majority of funding for PCCs comes directly from general Government grants
and around a third comes from a share of council tax, known as the police
precept.

OPFCC Response:  
There is no information held in regard to the degree of involvement of
members. We keep these parts of the website up to date each year following
the payment of the subscription -
https://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.ne... and
https://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.ne...
 
3.
Please define 'appropriate commercial sponsorship' and list all past and
present commercial sponsors, to include the procedures used by NRCN to
select appropriate commercial sponsors.
 
OPFCC Response:
This term was used originally when funding sought through the Police
Innovation Fund, to set up the NRCN, and it was anticipated that match or
supplementary funding be sought to support the initiative.  Sponsorship
opportunities in public sector initiatives are typically assessed on the
basis of the opportunity providing a mutual benefit, and having no
detrimental impact to the reputation, integrity or credibility of the
organisation being sponsored.  
It should be noted that there has been no sponsorship since 2015/16 (which
the requestor has already noted) and so no further information is held. 
All income has been via subscription from PCCs.
 
 
4.
Please name the NRCN decision makers responsible for actually selecting
appropriate commercial sponsors.

OPFCC Response:
No information is held on this, and there is no sponsorship.
 
5.
Please advise if the Home Office was involved or consulted in any of the
decisions relating to the creation and Board member selection/approval of
NRCN, selection of suitable member organisations, and selection of
appropriate commercial sponsors.
 
OPFCC Response:
There is no information held in relation to this, but the Home Office have
had no involvement in the Network aside from being part of the initial
funding decision via the Police Innovation Fund.
 
6.
I note on:
https://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.ne...
that budgets and accounts 2016/17, budgets and accounts 2017/18 are not
published. Please provide all unpublished accounts and update the NRCN
funding page.
 
OPFCC Response:
Thank you for pointing this oversight out.  The subsequent budgets are now
published here - https://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.ne...

With kind regards,

Sharon Caddell
Assistant Chief Executive
Office of Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire 
 
Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
12 Granby Road | Harrogate | North Yorkshire | HG1 4ST
': 01423 569 562 |*: [email address]

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