Venue: Aylesbury Vale District Council Offices, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF
Contact: Khalid Ahmed 01494 732725; Email: email@example.com
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Andrew McHugh declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Item 6 – Victims First Scheme as he was involved in restorative justice in the Health Service.
To agree the Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 June 2019.
The Minutes of the Police and Crime Panel held on 21 June 2019 were agreed as a correct record.
[In relation to Minute No.11 – Annual Review of Panel’s Rules of Procedure, Panel Membership, Appointment to Sub-Committees/ Task Groups and Budget, the Panel was provided with additional information relating to the future location and webcasting of future Panel meetings.
It was RESOLVED – That future meetings of the Panel take place at Aylesbury Vale District Council Offices in the Oculus meeting room, and meetings be webcast. This arrangement would be reviewed after 12 months to assess the cost effectiveness of this arrangement.
Complaints Sub-Committee – It was RESOLVED – That Councillor Steve Good be appointed as a Member of the Complaints Sub-Committee for 2019/20.]
To note and ask questions on the Chairman’s update, PCC update and the topical issues report.
The Panel considered a report prepared by its Scrutiny Officer on Topical Policing and Crime issues. Areas which were covered in the report included:-
Recruitment of 20,000 extra Police Officersand Crown Prosecution Service to receive an extra £85m over the next two years to deal with rise in violent crime
The Police and Crime Commissioner welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister to fund the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales. The Panel was informed that these additional officers would bring police numbers back to the levels of 2012. For Thames Valley Police an increase in the number of police officers would improve even further an efficient Police Force.
Reference was also made to the increased funding for the CPS which would help the Criminal Justice System deal with the increase in violent crime.
Panel Members asked the following questions:
(1) Has there been any indication at this stage what the rationale will be for where the reported extra officers (400-800) for TVP may be deployed?
[The PCC reported that the extra officers would be allocated across the 18 Local Police Areas of the Thames Valley with the vast majority deployed as front line police officers. Reference was made to the challenges of recruitment within Thames Valley because of the cost of housing and the cost of living.]
(2) Reference was made to all Police Forces losing experienced Police Officers and the PCC was asked what could be done to improve recruitment and retention?
[The PCC reported that the Government had launched a national recruitment campaign aimed at the recruitment of 20,000 Police Officers. The PCC stated that an issue with the recruitment was the requirement from 2020 that all new Police Officers in England and Wales would have to be educated to degree level. This would impact on how quickly officers could be recruited and would delay the appointment process. The Panel was informed that recruitment would not be easy because of the cost of living and high house prices in the Thames Valley.
The majority of the extra Police Officers would be put into neighbourhood front line policing but with extra officers being put into specialist units such as the Serious Organised Crime Unit to tackle serious crimes such as "County Lines".
The Chief Constable informed the Panel that Thames Valley Police ensured that quality officers were retained as far as possible and there would be a recruitment drive to ensure Thames Valley was at the forefront of the recruitment process.
The PCC reported that he would have more information on possible numbers and when the recruitment process would commence by the time of the next Panel meeting].
(3) In view of the increased number of assaults on Police Officers, would the PCC offer all front-line Police Officers Tasers, as other Police Forces have done?
[The PCC acknowledged the increasing number of violent assaults on Police Officers and that some Police Forces had issued officers with Tasers for protection. The PCC said ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org at least three working days in advance of the meeting.
There were no public questions submitted.
To be provided with a presentation from the Police and Crime Commissioner on the Victims First Scheme.
Shona Morrison, Head of Policy and Commissioning at the Office of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner attended the meeting to provide a presentation on the first year of operation of the Victims First Scheme.
The Panel was informed that Victims First was the overarching brand name for all of the PCC’s activity aimed at improving the post-offence experience of victims of crime. The 4 main strands of activity were:-
· Support: Ensuring appropriate services for victims exist across the policing area;
· Accessibility: Raising public awareness of services and improving ease of access;
· Awareness: Campaigns to improve knowledge about specific types of victimisation and encourage people who need support to seek it;
· Rights: Improving the overall standard of services for victims across the Criminal Justice System and beyond.
Victims Needs Assessments have been carried out in 2014 and in 2017. Specialist reviews also have mapped services or identified needs in relation to Domestic Violence (2015 and 2016), Counselling Support (2016 and 2017), Young Victims (2015 and 2017) and Rape Support (2019).
Since 2015, the Thames Valley OPCC has delivered around 22 market engagement events involving around 250 providers; 3 bid writing workshops; 6 ‘developing consortia’ workshops and made consultants available to emerging consortia/agencies to support them to ‘think outside the box’.
Some of the standout statistics around support were:-
· Around 20% of victims want support (Crime Survey England and Wales, Apr 2019);
· Around 60% of those who want support require a short-term, supportive intervention which can be provided by many non-specialists;
· Around 40% (or 8% of all those needing support) access ‘specialist support’ (i.e. services involving highly skilled and experienced staff).
Around 60% of those needing ‘specialist support’ have their needs reasonably well met (mainly by Domestic and Sexual Violence Services). Many victims have crime types or complex/multiple needs which do not fit the present arrangements and are not being well met. These include stalking/harassment, cybercrime (e.g. sextortion, fraud), ASB, Exploitation/Modern Slavery, DV/SA victims who do not fit ‘traditional services’ (e.g. inter-familial, male victims, historical, medium risk victims, LGBT+), Hate Crime victims, very young victims, witnesses (e.g. murder victims), family members (e.g. parents of victims of sexual abuse/CSE), traumatised couples or families.
Reference was made to sometimes the issues being compounded by mental health problems or other vulnerabilities.
Since 2016, the OPCC has implemented a Victims Service’s Re-design Project:-
· To bring to an end several existing contracts and posts.
· To commission a multi-disciplinary Victims First ‘Adult Specialist Service’ to provide ‘specialist support’ to all who need it regardless of crime type by 1st April 2020.
In Thames Valley in 2015, PCC funding for ‘specialist’ support versus ‘non-specialist’ support was around 50:50. From April 2020, funding from the OPCC for ‘specialist’ support compared to ‘non-specialist’ will be approximately 80:20.
The Panel was informed that sometimes it was difficult to make contact with victims. There had been the creation of an internet-based victim’s portal www.victim-first.org.uk. There was an on-line Referral Form for public and professionals.
The Victims First Hub ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
The Police and Crime Commissioner will present the report.
Consideration was given to a report of the PCC, which summarised the progress to date (Year 3, 2019/20) on the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan Strategic Priority 4 – Serious Organised Crime and Terrorism.
The PCC reported that Thames Valley headed Serious Organised Crime and Terrorism for the South East which consisted of Surrey/Sussex/Hampshire/ Thames Valley. Kent attended meetings as observers, with meetings taking place every three months.
Reference was made to the successes which had taken place on "County Lines, working across other Police Force boundaries. The Prevent Strategy was being implemented across the Thames Valley with an officer from the PCC delivering Prevent training to organisations.
The Panel was informed that there had been a number of successful results in relation to cases of exploitation and modern slavery. Incidents of rough sleepers/begging continued to cause problems in certain parts of the region with some of these being "professional beggars".
Discussion took place on elements of the report and reference was made to the large number of low-level crime such as ATM Crimes, illegal cigarettes etc. The PCC referred to lenient sentences for such crimes, with offenders back out on the streets committing crime again. The Thames Valley needed to be an unattractive place for these criminals.
In relation to rough sleepers and beggars, the PCC commented that there was a shortage of local authority housing provision. Reference was made to young people being drawn into crime and discussion took place on what could be done to change this. The PCC referred to cuts to youth services reducing activities for young people to do. Action for Youth was an organisation in Aylesbury which worked very well.
RESOLVED – That the information contained in the report be noted.
The Police and Crime Commissioner will present the report.
Consideration was given to a report of the PCC, which summarised the progress to date (Year 3, 2019/20) on the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan Strategic Priority 5 – Police Ethics and Reform.
The PCC reported that there were three major IT programmes, with the Contact Management Platform almost completed. This system would record and manage police contact with the public and would be used to control operational responses to crimes and incidents.
Body worn video, Automatic Number Plate Recognition and CCTV were working effectively. The Data Enablers Programme which was a Thames Valley collaboration with Hampshire, aimed to implement a structured approach to data management.
Reference was made to the aim of clarification of processes on issues which sit best with other authorities, particularly in relation to the Police dealing with people with mental health issues. The PCC reported that there had been changes to detention in the Mental Health Act which gave the Police power to remove someone from a public place to a place of safety. This had led to a reduction in the number of unlawful detentions in police custody. Improvements had been made with triage nurses working on patrol with the Police.
RESOLVED – That the information contained in the report be noted.
To consider a report on the Hosting arrangements for the Panel.
RESOLVED – (1) That approval be given to Oxfordshire County Council carrying out the function of Host Authority for the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, and that the function would be transferred on a date to be agreed between South Bucks District Council and Oxfordshire County Council once the TUPE arrangements have been finalised and transition arrangements are in place between South Bucks District Council and the new Host Authority.
(2) That the Panel arrangements be amended accordingly to reflect that the Host Authority would be Oxfordshire County Council from the date agreed between South Bucks District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.
(3) That meetings of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel continue to take place at Aylesbury Vale District Council offices.
For Panel Members to put forward items for the Work Programme including ideas for themed meetings.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
To note that the next meeting of the Panel is to take place at 11.00am on Friday 22 November, 2019, at Aylesbury Vale District Council Offices.
The Panel noted that the next meeting would take place on 22 November 2019 at 11.00am at Aylesbury Vale District Council offices.