Meeting documents

Venue: Olympic Room Aylesbury Vale District Council Gatehouse Road Aylesbury Bucks HP19 8FF

Contact: Khalid Ahmed 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To agree the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 September 2018.


The Minutes of the Police and Crime Panel meeting held on 7 September 2018 were agreed as a correct record.


Public Question Time

Anyone who works or lives in the Thames Valley can ask a question at meetings of the Police and Crime Panel, at which a 20 minute session will be designated for hearing from the public.


If you’d like to participate, please read the Public Question Time Scheme and submit your questions by email to at least three working days in advance of the meeting.


There were no submitted public questions.


Themed Item - Update on Local Policing Model

This item has been deferred to a future meeting.


The Panel was informed that the Police Crime Commissioner had requested that the item be deferred to a future meeting. Members were informed that Thames Valley Police were currently conducting a review of the model which had included a survey, qualitative and quantitative data. There had been an internal Force meeting with the Local Police Area commanders and, as a result of that, some changes to the model were planned but further work needed to be carried out by the Force to understand the consequences.


Police and Crime Commissioner Progress Report - Police and Crime Plan Strategic Priority - Police Ethics and Reform pdf icon PDF 5 MB

The Police and Crime Commissioner will present the report.


The Police and Crime Commissioner informed the Panel that his Police and Crime Plan set out the following aims for addressing, Police Ethics and Reform:


          Improved routes into services from police and other agencies for victims and witnesses who require support


The PCC referred to the launch of the Victims First service and the initial teething problems caused by staffing problems; mainly caused by the delays of vetting new recruits. This had now been addressed. In the first 6 months of this current financial year, the Hub had received referrals of 2,226 victims and had provided support to 889 people. In response to a question, the PCC reported that not all people were referred because there were occasions where people who contacted the Hub just required support and advice.


Reference was made to Community Safety Fund initiatives where funding was provided to Community Safety Partnerships and the examples provided in the report which provide funding for Youth Offending Services, Youth Justice Services and to vulnerable young people and adults linked to organised crime groups.


          Clarification of processes for referring on issues that sit best with other authorities


The PCC made reference to incidents of "101 calls" to the Police which particularly increased on a Friday afternoon, partially because many other authorities and agencies were closed. The Police were expected to pick these calls up and this impacted on the service.     


          Encourage accelerated up-take of new technology in order to prevent, reduce and detect crime


The PCC made reference to the failure to adopt GPS tagging on recently released criminals from prisons. In his opinion, this would drastically cut down re-offending rates for crimes such as serious violence, serious sexual crimes or serious theft or burglary. The technology was available to tag recently released offenders and introducing this would have a dramatic effect on re-offending.  The PCC reported that funding had been put into this. The Chief Constable reported that there were two elements to tagging; those people who had voluntarily agreed to be tagged and there were a number of these devices used in police areas within Thames Valley. Also there were pilots being run in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, however, there were concerns regarding the cost of this, as there would be savings for the Ministry of Justice, but there was uncertainty regarding who would fund the scheme as it would create additional workload and costs for the Police.       


Reference was made to an initial predictive analytics project, which was a programme which predicted where crime was going to happen. The Chief Constable reported that work had taken place with Children’s Services at Oxfordshire and the project looked at predicting the types and profiles of young people who could commit crimes. Data and analytics were used and the initial feedback had been positive. There were some ethical issues with using such data profiling / artificial intelligence but there was lots of useful data which could be used to help in the fight against crime.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Police and Crime Commissioner Progress Report - Police and Crime Plan Strategic Priority 1 - Vulnerability pdf icon PDF 8 MB

To receive a report for the Police and Crime Commissioner.


The Police and Crime Commissioner informed the Panel that his Police and Crime Plan set out the following aims for addressing vulnerability:


          Improved recognition across the criminal justice system of mental health distress experienced by both victims and offenders leading to, (a) referral pathways into appropriate support agencies and (b) Improved access to mental health care from those in contact with the criminal justice system

          Better understanding by police and partners of the extent and nature of elder abuse, followed by positive actions taken to address the issues uncovered

          Improved police awareness and robust prosecution of those practising ‘more hidden’ forms of abuse, including coercive control, stalking, harassment, honour based abuse (HBA) and forced marriage

          Improvements in criminal justice experience and outcomes for victims of domestic and sexual abuse

          Ongoing assessment by police of the benefits arising from Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASHs), including the current arrangements of 9 MASHs serving Thames Valley. 


Reference was made to the work which Police Officers carried out, relating to work around safeguarding and vulnerability, and the culminative psychological impact this had on police officers. A question was asked whether police officers had access to routine psychological support to enable resilience to such work. The Chief Constable reported that as a matter of course, those officers who worked in Domestic Abuse Units, Child Abuse Units were required to sit down and have a health care screening with the Occupational Health Unit on a regular basis, or to go elsewhere if required. Line managers were trained in this area and officers could also discuss any issues outside of their line managers if required.      


The PCC referred to the ongoing assessment by the Police of the benefits of 9 Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASHs) serving the Thames Valley region, with one each in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, one in Milton Keynes and six in Berkshire. There were too many and this number needed to be reduced to improve efficiency and expertise.


In response to a question, the PCC informed the Panel that the work of MASHs was critical and referred to the work of the Oxfordshire MASH and the work which had been carried out on the scale of "Bullfinch".


The PCC was asked for his view on the recent comments made by Sara Thornton, the Chair of National Police Chief Council, that the Police should focus on crimes such as burglaries and violent crimes and not so much on "non-crimes" such as misogyny, where no real offence has been committed. The PCC replied that he supported those comments and referred to the Home Office Select Committee, which recommended major changes to the police response to new and growing crimes. More traditional crimes were rising as well as crimes involving serious violence, which was putting severe pressure on already overstretched police forces. The police had to prioritise crimes committed and those real hate crimes which were committed were a serious issue and would continue to be treated as such by the police. The PCC  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Summary of Home Affairs Committee Report into Policing for the Future pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The Police and Crime Commissioner is asked for his view on the recently published Home Affairs Committee report on "Policing for the Future".


The Panel was provided with a summary of the recently published report by the Home Affairs Committee on "Policing for the Future" and the Police and Crime Commissioner was asked for his views on the findings of the report.


The PCC reported that he agreed with many of the findings in the report. Nationally there had been an upturn in crime, although in the Thames Valley this had been less. Reference was made to the changes to the recording of crime which had affected the crime figures. For instance one crime could involve a few incidents, which had to be recorded individually. The Home Office had also changed the criteria of certain crimes, with for example household burglary now including outside sheds.


The overall picture, however, was of rising crime and a reduction in the number of Police Officers. There had been a reduction of 20,000 Police Officers nationally; the Thames Valley Police budget had dropped in real terms, by £100m since 2010/11. Those who committed crimes which went undetected carried on committing more crimes and the cycle continued.


The PCC referred to a briefing paper in the "Police Professional" in which the leadership within the Home Office was questioned. An example of this was in relation to the proposal for the PCC to take over the responsibility for the Fire Service within the Thames Valley. There had been little support and leadership from the Home Office to undertake this complicated process.


In response to a question on whether there was enough being done in relation to on-line fraud cases, the PCC reported that unfortunately the problem of on-line fraud was such, that only a very small number of on-line fraud cases were investigated. Much more funding was required to investigate these cases, as on-line fraud was complicated and expensive to investigate which was evidenced by the recent Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) fraud case which cost £7m to investigate. The PCC commented that fraud required tackling at a national level more effectively.


The PCC informed the Panel that Thames Valley Police was in a better place than most police forces in terms of neighbourhood policing and Child Sexual Exploitation. With neighbourhood policing Thames Valley Police had retained the services of Police Community Support Officers who were a critical part of neighbourhood policing and were particularly crucial in counter terrorism.


After the Operation Bullfinch investigation into CSE in Oxfordshire, Thames Valley Police and its partners have continued to keep CSE as a high priority within the force area.


The PCC was asked for his views on the future of national policing, particularly with the present Police organisational structure of 43 separate police forces, all of varied size, with different levels of capability and specialism.  The PCC reported that Thames Valley Police Force area was three times the size of some of the other Force areas and there needed to be a look at the Police structure in the country. Specialist capabilities needed to be put into central hubs to enable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Thames Valley Police Contact Management Platform - Project Update pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To receive and update report for the Police and Crime Commissioner on TVP’s Contact Management Platform.


The Panel was provided with an update report on the implementation of TVP’s Contact Management Platform. The PCC reported that during testing of the system, a number of performance, integration and system instability issued had been identified. It had been agreed that additional essential testing and resolution of systems infrastructure problems and instability issues be completed, before the system went live, in April 2019.


The PCC reported that the additional £4m which had been allocated to the CMP project would come out of the Police Reserves budget.  


Chairman Update / PCC Update pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Includes the topical issues report.


The Panel was provided with a report which presented details of topical policing issues since the last meeting of the Panel.


Discussion took place regarding the on-going problems associated with "101 calls" to the Police. The Chief Constable acknowledged that there had been some problems with residents getting through to the system and he agreed to provide the Panel with statistics on the performance.


Reference was made to the announcement of the retirement of the Chief Constable at the end of March 2019 and it was reported that subject to the recruitment and selection process, a Confirmation Hearing for the appointment of the new Chief Constable would be held on 1 February 2019.


Implications of the HM Government Consultation Paper "Transforming the Response to Domestic Violence" pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a report for the Police and Crime Commissioner.  


The Panel was provided with a report outlining details of the consultation exercise which had taken place which had sought views on a number of specific measures intended to prevent and tackle domestic abuse which would be taken forward through new legislation.


Discussion took place around the difficulties faced by some victims of domestic abuse, of attending Court. This led to a number of adjournments. It was agreed that there needed to be changes made to the Criminal Justice process to enable greater support to be given to domestic violence victims and to speed up the process. Reference was made to the pilot scheme which had taken place between TVP Criminal Justice, the Crown Prosecution Service and Aylesbury Crown Court to fast track domestic abuse cases in the Crown Court. 


The Panel was informed that the Safer & Stronger Bucks Partnership Board in association with partners had organised a Domestic Abuse Big Tent Event on the 5th February 2019, which was to be held at Aylesbury Vale District Council. Members would be provided with details and would be welcome to attend.



Report of the Complaints Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Members are asked to note the report.


The Panel noted the two complaints considered by the Complaints Sub-Committee on 7 September 2018.


Recommendation Monitoring pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Response to previous recommendations for Member comment.


The report was noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 97 KB

For Panel Members to put forward items for the Work Programme including ideas for themed meetings.


The work programme was noted and it was agreed that the PCC would provide a report to the next meeting on the outcome of the bidding for the Early Intervention Fund.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting of Police and Crime Panel will take place on Friday 1 February 2019 at 11.00am, at Reading Borough Council’s Offices.


NB. Provisional date of 15 February 2019 in case the precept is vetoed. 


The date of the next meeting was on 1 February 2019 at 11.00am at Reading Borough Council Offices.