Agenda and draft minutes

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel - Thursday 23 June 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Shire Hall. View directions

Contact: John Cole  Democratic Services Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair to the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel

To appoint a Chair of the Police and Crime Panel for the 2022/23 municipal year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bhagwant Singh Pandher nominated Councillor Christopher Kettle to serve as Chair for the coming year. Councillor Dave Humphreys seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations and Councillor Kettle was elected unanimously as Chair to the Police and Crime Panel for 2022/23.

 

2.

Appointment of Vice Chair to the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel

To appoint a Vice Chair of the Police and Crime Panel for the 2022/23 municipal year.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Derek Poole nominated Councillor Barbara Brown to serve as Vice-Chair for the coming year. The Chair seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations and Councillor Barbara Brown was elected unanimously as Vice-Chair to the Police and Crime Panel for 2022/23.

 

3.

General

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the new representative of North Warwickshire Borough Council, Councillor Ray Jarvis, to the Panel.

 

On behalf of the Panel, the Chair praised the contribution made by Councillor David Reilly, stating that he had chaired the Panel with knowledge, dedication, and leadership.

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Derek Poole for his longstanding service as Vice Chair to the Panel.

 

3(1)

Apologies

To receive any apologies from members of the Panel

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Ian Davison. Councillor Martin Luckhurst was present as a substitute.

 

Apologies were also received from Mr Andy Davis, Councillor Jenny Fradgley, and Councillor Clare Golby.

 

3(2)

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are required to register their disclosable pecuniary interests within 28 days of their election of appointment to the Council. ?Any changes to matters registered or new matters that require to be registered must be notified to the Monitoring Officer as soon as practicable after they arise.

 

A member attending a meeting where a matter arises in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest must (unless ?they have a dispensation):

 

        Declare the interest if ?they have not already registered it

        Not participate in any discussion or vote

        Leave the meeting room until the matter has been dealt with

        Give written notice of any unregistered interest to the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of the meeting

 

Non-pecuniary interests relevant to the agenda should be declared at the commencement of the meeting.

 

The public reports referred to are available on the Warwickshire Web https://democracy.warwickshire.gov.uk/uuCoverPage.aspx?bcr=1

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

 

3(3)

Minutes of the Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 252 KB

To consider the minutes of the meetings held on 7 April 2022 and 25 April 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was resolved that the minutes of the meetings held on 7 April 2022 and 25 April 2022 be confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

 

3(4)

Public Speaking

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was none.

4.

Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner pdf icon PDF 735 KB

The Report is attached for consideration and comment by the Panel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) introduced his report which provided an update on key activities since the Panel meeting on 7 April 2022.

 

In response to Councillor Humphreys, the Commissioner advised that he chaired the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership which was focused on achieving a reduction by 50% of the number of incidents of death and serious injury on Warwickshire roads by 2030. He advised that there had been significant investment in this area by the two principal partners, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police. It was proposed to install more speed cameras, these would be deployed at sites where there had been a higher number of killed or seriously injured (KSI) casualties. He advised that an action plan had been developed to achieve road safety targets. This included a grant scheme, enabling local communities to access funding for highway safety initiatives.

 

In response to the Chair, the Commissioner advised that KSI figures had been influenced by the effect of COVID-19 lockdowns. As road usage returned to pre-pandemic levels, it would be possible to evaluate the success of the initiatives in place to improve road safety.

The Chair commented that it would be helpful for the Panel to be able to contrast KSI figures of recent years with those of the pre-pandemic period. He suggested that, in future, KSI data be supplied over a longer period to allow the Panel to take account of the effect of the Pandemic on highway safety.

 

The Commissioner emphasised that road safety depended upon partnership working between the Force, County Council, National Highways, and others. A balanced assessment of the effectiveness of interventions required an awareness of the collaborative nature of work in this area. He agreed to provide data that enabled a comparison to be made with KSI figures that predated the Pandemic.

 

In response to Andrew Davies, the Commissioner acknowledged that the rate of 101 call abandonment had been high in recent months. He advised that in some instances, callers were disinclined to wait for a response within three to four minutes during busy periods. Performance figures had been influenced by callers choosing to redial, rather than wait. He advised that the Single Online Home service provided an alternative means to report crimes. Take up of this service had increased, reducing the pressure on call handlers. He advised that the Operations Communication Centre experienced periods of intensive demand. Efforts had been made to modify shift patterns to provide improved cover when required.

 

The Commissioner stated that, at present, the Operations Communication Centre was understaffed due to challenges affecting recruitment across public sector organisations. However, good progress had been made to increase staffing levels. He reported that the Chief Constable would review the arrangement whereby call handlers were responsible for both 999 and 101 calls. In these instances, 999 calls took priority. By assigning sole responsibility for 999 calls to specific personnel, better provision could be made for the 101 service.

 

Dave Patterson (Assurance and Scrutiny Officer, OPCC) advised that 101 calls  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Annual Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The Report is attached for consideration and comment by the Panel.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) introduced his Annual Report, stating that this was a wide-ranging, high-level document which provided a summary of the work undertaken during 2021/22.

 

In response to the Chair, the Commissioner emphasised the importance of acting promptly to make use of external funding opportunities. In 2021/22, this had enabled improved support for victims of sexual and domestic violence, and delivery of projects to address violence against women and girls.

 

Polly Reed (Chief Executive, OPCC) advised that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) had demonstrated a proactive approach to accessing external funding, which had seen an increase in recent years. Allocation of funding was often proportionate to the size of the policing area. However, there was no evidence to suggest that Warwickshire was disadvantaged by the terms of grant schemes.

 

In response to the Chair, the Commissioner advised that it had been determined to restructure the OPCC in response to increased and rising demand, including administering of appeals, as well as an expansion of the criminal justice element of the PCC’s role.

 

Polly Reed advised that PCCs were provided with an option to appoint a deputy. The Commissioner had chosen to make use of this opportunity. She advised that a review of the OPCC’s statutory function had identified areas where structural changes would better support delivery of objectives. She advised that roles and responsibilities had been reassigned across existing posts within the staffing structure. The staff headcount had increased by one part-time position, the recently appointed Communications and Engagement Officer.

 

The Chair drew attention to the table within Section 9.1 of the Report outlining budget, outturn, and variance figures for 2021/22. He queried the figure quoted for gross expenditure: the outturn amount was £124.301m but the budget figure was £119.378m. This constituted a difference of approximately £3m. He suggested that the figures quoted for Supplies and Services contributed to the anomalous variance. He requested that the table be reviewed, that the Panel be provided with updated figures, and that the commentary within the Report be amended, if required.

 

Polly Reed advised that this was a typographical error. The £14.854m outturn amount for Supplies and Services was inaccurate and would be corrected. A revised table would be provided.

 

6.

Appointment of Working Groups pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To confirm the continued establishment of the Budget Working Group and the Planning and Performance Working Group and confirm their membership. A minimum of three members is advised for each Group.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report which outlined arrangements for the Panel’s two Working Groups – the Budget Working Group and the Planning & Performance Working Group. The Panel was asked to confirm the continuation of the two groups, the terms of reference for each group, and the membership for the 2022/23 municipal year.

 

In response to the Chair, members expressed confidence that the working groups made a meaningful contribution to the work of the wider Panel and added value.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) stated that he was content to continue to provide officer support to the two working groups. However, he underlined the time commitment that this entailed. He asked that the working groups take a proportionate approach to enquiries to the OPCC, recognising the demands on officers’ time.

 

Polly Reed (Chief Executive, OPCC) requested that an amendment be made under the ‘Indicators of Success’ on the terms of reference for each working group. Rather than “that the PCC acts on recommendations put forward by the Police and Crime Panel”, she asked that the terms of reference state “that the PCC considers recommendations put forward by the Police and Crime Panel”. This would be better aligned with statutory guidance.

 

Polly Reed requested that the ‘Key Officers / Departments’ section of the Terms of Reference for the Planning & Performance Working Group be determined following clarification of arrangements for specific OPCC officer support.

 

The Chair agreed that officer support for the Planning & Performance Working Group be determined following the meeting. He expressed willingness for the ‘Indicators of Success’ criteria to be revised. However, he stated that, should a working group raise an issue of fundamental concern, it would be important to be assured that action would be taken by the Commissioner.

 

Following discussion, the Chair suggested that under ‘Indicators of Success’, the terms of reference for the working groups be amended to “that the PCC reviews and responds to recommendations put forward by the Police and Crime Panel”. This was supported by the Panel and Commissioner.

 

Resolved:

 

     1.          The Panel confirmed the continuation of the Budget Working Group and the Planning & Performance Working Group.

 

     2.          The Panel confirmed the terms of reference of the two working groups subject to revisions being made under ‘Indicators of Success’ for both groups, “that the PCC reviews and responds to recommendations put forward by the Police and Crime Panel” and finalisation of arrangements for specific officer support by the OPCC.

 

     3.          That the appointments to the Working Groups be as follows:

 

a.     Budget Working Group: Councillors Jenny Fradgley (subject to confirmation), John Holland, Ray Jarvis, and Christopher Kettle.

b.     Planning & Performance Working Group: Mr Andy Davis, Mr Andrew Davies, Councillors Barbara Brown, Clare Golby, Dave Humphreys, and Derek Poole.  

 

     4.          That Councillor Christopher Kettle be appointed Chair of the Budget Working Group and that Mr Andy Davis be appointed Chair of the Planning & Performance Working Group.

 

7.

Annual Report of the Police and Crime Panel 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The Report is attached for consideration and comment by the Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the Annual Report which provided a summary of the Panel’s activities and achievements during 2021/22 and priorities for the municipal year ahead.

 

Councillor Poole moved that the Panel endorse the Annual Report. He praised the contribution made by Councillor David Reilly as Chair.

 

The Chair seconded the motion which was unanimously supported by members.

 

The Chair sought members’ agreement that a letter be sent to Councillor David Reilly expressing the Panel’s gratitude and esteem. This was agreed.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Panel endorses the Annual Report for 2021/22.

 

8.

Areas of Community Concern

A regular item at Panel meetings to consider issues flagged by residents that may require the intervention of the PCC. It is not proposed to raise single local issues, but rather provide a means to evaluate the strategic implications of residents’ concerns.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced this item which followed the Panel’s resolution in April 2022 to introduce a means to evaluate the strategic implications of any residents’ concerns reported to councillors.

 

In response to the Chair, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) advised that deployment of officers to the Rural Crime Team was an operational consideration. There were vacancies; however, funding for the agreed allocation of officers was in place. He would raise the issue with the Chief Constable.

 

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) stated that the Rural Crime Team was a considerable asset. Efforts were being made by the Chief Constable to fill vacancies. However, it was a specialised area of policing. She advised that as newly trained officers developed in knowledge and experience, there would be improved scope for deployment to the Rural Crime Team.

 

The Commissioner advised that figures recently published by a national newspaper provided a misleading account of police performance in response to burglaries. He advised that the data used included offences where there had been thefts and attempted thefts from garages, sheds, and commercial buildings. In Warwickshire, priority was allocated to ‘home invasions’ which had the worst impact on victims. Recent quarterly data showed that Warwickshire Police was the best performing Force nationally for burglary reduction.

 

The Chair suggested that a focus on trends, drawing on statistical analysis, would help to inform an improved understanding of the response of Warwickshire Police to burglary, both domestic and non-domestic; conviction rates; and approaches to reduce offending. It was agreed to allocate this work to the Planning & Performance Working Group.

 

The Commissioner queried whether ‘Areas of Community Concern’ as a regular agenda item was sufficiently defined. He stated that specific local issues could be resolved outside of Panel meetings, enabling a focus on strategic matters.

 

The Chair suggested that consideration be given to examining the strategic implications of residents’ concerns with the prospect of engaging with Community Safety Partnerships (CSP) to support resolution of local issues. Where there were countywide implications, matters could be escalated to the Panel.

 

It was resolved that the Panel would contact the four CSPs to provide a means for any community concerns which had high-level, strategic implications to be raised at Panel meetings. The agenda item would be renamed ‘Issues Raised by Community Safety Partnerships’.

 

9.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 318 KB

To consider and review the Panel’s Work Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair sought agreement for the Planning & Performance Working Group to be allocated responsibility for analysis of trends associated with the resolution of burglary. It was agreed that this be added to the Work Programme.

 

10.

Dates of Meetings

To note the arrangements for future meetings. All Police and Crime Panel meetings start at 2pm, unless specified otherwise. The following meetings are scheduled at Shire Hall, Warwick:

 

·       22 September 2022

·       17 November 2022

·       6 February 2023

·       6 April 2023

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Future Meeting dates were noted.

 

11.

Any Urgent Items

At the discretion of the Chair, items may be raised which are considered urgent (please notify Democratic Services in advance of the meeting).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none.

 

12.

Reports Containing Confidential or Exempt Information

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

“That members of the public be excluded from the meeting for the items mentioned below on the grounds that their presence would involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.”

Minutes:

As there were no complaints to consider, there was no requirement to enter confidential session

 

13.

Complaints

To consider any complaints received and considered regarding the conduct of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

 

The meeting rose at 15.54.