Venue: Aylesbury Vale District Council Offices, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FF
Contact: Khalid Ahmed 01494 732725; Email: email@example.com
To agree the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 September 2019.
The Minutes of the Police and Crime Panel held on 6 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record.
To consider an update report from the PCC.
The PCC reported that from the additional £8.5m of additional precept funding there would be a total of 212 new posts, consisting of 69 Police Officers and 143 staff. It was estimated that £6.6m would be allocated for the salaries of these new posts, likely to increase to £8m for the following year.
The Panel was informed that the residual funding of around £2m in the current year would be invested in technology to improve the information and communications available for officers and to improve the services provided.
Reference was made to the £1.3m which would be allocated to the Contact Management system. The PCC reported that the calls to the 101 service were much improved; however, there were times of high demand when there were still considerable delays.
The PCC reported that £2.5m of the extra funding would be allocated to recruit front line Police Officers which would increase visibility for communities and respond to increasing crime. There would be an additional 26 Police Officers in Local Police Areas and the case investigators temporary contracts would be extended until the end of March 2020.
(1) Could the rationale be explained behind the proposal to appoint more police staff than police officers and what impact will this have on the number of police officers on the streets?
[The PCC reported that a number of the extra Police staff were civilians and comprised of investigators and detectives who helped solve crimes, together with an increased number of call handling staff for the Contact Management system. The Chief Constable explained the importance of the additional staff for the Contact Management system which was to improve the average time to answer 101 calls; working towards an average of two minutes in 2020/21.
The PCC reported that the appointment of investigators and detectives had resulted in some success with an increase in the solving of crime. In response to an enquiry regarding data around the number of people calling 101 which had dropped their call, the Deputy PCC responded that as of Monday and Tuesday of this week, the average time for 101 calls to be answered was 25 seconds. The information regarding the number of dropped calls would be provided to Panel Members.]
(2) With regard to the recruitment of more investigators to combat the increase in organised and crime such as cybercrime, what work is taking place with investigators to enable the Police to tackle this crime?
[The PCC informed the Panel that the prevention of fraud was an important issue and referred to high level fraud against people and business costing £190 billion nationally. Police forces did not have the resources to tackle the problem. Prevention of fraud was important; together with the education of the public to enable people were not left vulnerable to cybercrime.
(3) Could details be provided of what recruitment and retention strategies are in place to ensure TVP were competitive in the Police job market?
[The PCC reported that TVP was considered an attractive Police ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
Update on the TVP Local Policing Model
To be provided with an oral update on TVP’s Local Policing Model.
The Chief Constable provided the Panel with an update on TVP’s Local Policing Model. Members were reminded that at its Panel meeting in June 2019 a progress report was provided on changes which had been made to the Local Policing Model. The Panel requested that a further update be provided, together with details on costs.
The Chief Constable explained that the Model was now simpler and was well established. Neighbourhood policing was retained across the Force area. Response Teams and Investigation Teams had been increased, to improve detection rates. "Stop and Search" had been increased which had proved successful in terms of drug and knife crime. Reference was made to the use of Section 60 Orders of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act which temporarily allows officers greater powers to stop and search in relation to items connected with violence in a defined location. These powers had been used in relation to recent knife and violent crimes which had taken place in Slough and had proved successful in terms of reassuring the public and reducing the threat of violence.
Reference was made to staff morale being a problem when the original local policing model was first introduced, but it was reported that the reconfigured model appeared to be well received by officers which was reflected in encouraging results from a recent staff survey.
The Chief Constable reported that the Force now had the right model with progress being made. Next year there would be a move to LPA officers and staff being aligned to one of the three ‘hubs’ in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire or Oxfordshire.
In response to a question regarding monitoring of the Model, the Panel was assured that regular updates would be provided.
RESOLVED – That the update provided be noted and a further report be submitted to a future Panel meeting.
To be provided with a presentation from the Chief Constable on the increase in crime rates and the falling number of prosecutions.
A presentation on the Restructuring of Courts and the implications of this on the Criminal Justice System will be given by the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board, Matthew Barber. David Colchester (LCJB support officer) will also be in attendance.
A report is attached prepared by the Panel’s Scrutiny Officer providing background information on the themed item.
The Panel was provided with a report from the Scrutiny Officer which provided Members with the background to the reason for the themed item. The objective of the themed item was for the Panel to assess and understand why with an increasing crime rate in the Thames Valley and nationally has the number of convictions/ prosecutions reduced.
The Chief Constable presented to the Panel details of crime rates in the Thames Valley comparing them with the national figures.
Compared to last years figures because of proactive policing work there had been a 33% increase in the trafficking of drugs; a 21% increase in possession of weapons and a 20% of possession of drugs. Reference was made to a 44% increase in stop and search which had resulted in an increase in these crimes.
The Chief Constable referred to the recent use of Section 60 Orders under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act which were used where there had been increases in knife crime. This had resulted in increased numbers of arrests for possession of weapons and of drugs.
Overall there had been an increase of crime across the Thames Valley (up 5%) with references made to increases in violence without injury (up 15%), thefts from vehicles (up 11%) and thefts of motor vehicles (up 5%). Criminal damage and violence with injury were stable.
There had been reductions in shoplifting, Burglary of dwellings (down 5%), bilking (obtaining or withholding money from someone unfairly or by deceit; cheat or defraud (down by 6%), Arson (down by 7%), Burglary of shed (down by 9%) and GBH (down by 20%).
The Panel was provided with details of the position Thames Valley was in terms of crime levels compared to similar grouped forces and nationally and Thames Valley was in a favourable position. The Chief Constable reported that the background to these crime figures were improved crime recording, changes to crime-recording rules and increased confidence in reporting all which continued to have a significant impact on the levels of certain crime types.
Reference was made in the report to the Thames Valley PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy programme) assessment of 2018/19 which had stated that after legislation had changed the way in which police bail was applied, the Thames Valley Force did not strike the right balance between the use of pre-charge bail and the released under investigation (RUI) option.
The Chief Constable in response informed the Panel that in relation to Arrest, Bail and Release Under Investigation (RUI), greater awareness had been raised among officers of how to use the bail legislation which had resulted in a 382%increase in the use of bail between October 2018 and September 2019 compared to the previous period.
The Panel was informed that there had been a wholesale review of how Thames Valley Police investigated crime. The overall volume of positive outcomes between April and November 18 was down when compared to the same period in 2018 but the last 5 weeks were ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
To consider a report on the future Panel arrangements.
Consideration was given to a report which sought approval of the Panel to amend the Panel’s Rules of Procedure and Panel arrangement to enable 4 co-optees and one Member nomination to be appointed to the Panel to represent Buckinghamshire Council thereby maintaining a balanced panel after the number of appointing councils in Buckinghamshire (excluding Milton Keynes) reduces from five to one on 1 April 2020.
The Panel was informed that the proposal to have 4 co-optees and one member representative appointed by Buckinghamshire Council, rather than 5 member representatives, was due to the legislation which prevented more than one representative being appointed by each local authority in areas where there are more than10 local authorities in a single police area such as Thames Valley. It was therefore proposed that 4 co-optees be appointed to maintain a geographically balanced panel as provided for by the legislation.
RESOLVED – (1) That the Panel arrangements for the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel be updated to reflect the Host Authority for the Panel from 1 January 2020 will be Oxfordshire County Council and the changes arising from local government reorganisation in Buckinghamshire which take effect from 1 April 2020.
(2). That the Panel’s Rules of Procedure be amended to include the appointment of four co-opted members from Buckinghamshire Council due to local government reorganisation in Buckinghamshire, based on current geographical areas. The four co-opted members are in addition to the one member nomination to the Panel from Buckinghamshire Council. The changes to take effect from 1 April 2020 and are required in order to satisfy the requirements of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and produce a balanced panel.
(3) That the Police and Crime Panel interview the Councillors who are proposed as Co-Optees. This is in keeping with the interviews which take place for the appointment of Independent Co-Opted Members.
Members are asked to note the report.
The Panel received and noted a report of the Complaints Sub-Committee which summarised two recent complaints made against the Police and Crime Commissioner which were considered by the Sub-Committee.
To consider updates from the PCC and the Chairman of the Panel and to note and ask questions on the Topical Issues report prepared by the Panel’s Scrutiny Officer.
The Panel was provided with a report from the Scrutiny Officer which summarised recent topical issues on policing and crime.
The PCC was asked for his comments on recent media reports regarding an allegation that he had abused his position as the Thames Valley Police and Commissioner by getting involved in allegations of fraud involving persons outside his Thames Valley jurisdiction.
The PCC provided the Panel with the background to the allegations and it was noted that no formal complaint had been submitted to the Office of the PCC.
In relation to the Prime Minister’s announcement of extra police officers for the Thames Valley (600), the PCC was asked if he was confident that the funding would be adequate to recruit 600 police officers for the Thames Valley. The PCC reiterated his comments that the formula grant was weighted against Thames Valley and referred to Merseyside, where the population was less than the Thames Valley, and yet they had 200 extra officers. He added that he hoped the formula grant would change to be more equitable for all Police forces.
The Member from Slough referred to the recent knife crime in Slough and requested that consideration be given to deploying extra resource into the area. The PCC replied that Slough did have more Police Officers and the Chief Constable referred to the changes which had resulted in 182 new officers who would concentrate on local policing.
The report and the information reported was noted.
For Panel Members to put forward items for the Work Programme including ideas for themed meetings.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Panel is scheduled to take place on 31 January 2020.
The Panel noted that the next meeting would take place on 31 January 2020 at 11.00am at Aylesbury Vale District Council offices.