A POLICE and fire commissioner has outlined her determination to implement measures to prevent bullying in her office following criticism that she failed to act upon a series of recommendations to address the issue.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said it was “a matter of regret” that efforts to discharge actions agreed with the North Yorkshire and York Police and Crime Panel had been overshadowed by a failure to communicate that work had been started to remedy the situation.

Mrs Mulligan has issued a comprehensive statement to the panel following its meeting with her in May, in which members said they were dismayed she had not responded to their “recovery plan”, seven months after finding she had subjected staff to constant criticism, disrespect, negative comments, interruptions and humiliation.

The panel’s recommendations had included that the commissioner survey her staff over bullying in the workplace, undertake a management course and appoint a mentor.

The recommendations also had stated the commissioner needed to set out an action plan within 21 days, but the panel’s members said despite a series of reminders, the commissioner had failed to do so.

As a result the meeting in May saw awkward exchanges between the commissioner and members of the panel.

In her response to the panel ahead of meeting with it this week Mrs Mulligan said she accepted and supported members’ role in “fulfilling a critical public interest duty in dealing with issues within their remit, including their role in deliberating complaints made against me”.

She added she was committed to working positively and constructively with them.

Mrs Mulligan stated: “I do recognise that there has been delay, including initially in providing the original drafting to members. In the circumstances I do not feel it is appropriate to make any criticism of the work of my chief executive officer and other officers in relation to the progression of the staff survey recommendations.

“It is a matter of regret to me that, unwittingly, the delay in communications appears to overshadow and obscure the work done both by myself and my previous and current executive leadership officers, in progressing the work needed to deliver and discharge the recommendations received by the sub-committee.”

She said rapid action was taken after the panel’s recommendations were made, including seeking regular mentoring and that several such sessions had taken place.

Mrs Mulligan added Dr Les Graham from Durham University would be carrying out the staff survey.