Agenda and minutes

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel - Thursday 22 September 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Shire Hall. View directions

Contact: John Cole  Senior Democratic Services Officer


No. Item



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A minute’s silence was held in remembrance of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.


The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting, including Helen Knee, who was present on behalf of Warwickshire Joint Audit and Standards Committee.



To receive any apologies from members of the Panel

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Apologies were received from Mr Andrew Davies.



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


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There were none.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 23 June 2022.


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The Chair requested an insertion to the minutes under Item 8 to state that the figures published by a national newspaper relating to burglary detection rates had been derived from the website. He advised that he had consulted the website to verify that these figures were accurate.


This amendment was accepted by members of the Panel and the Police and Crime Commissioner. Subject to this amendment, the minutes were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.


There were no matters arising.



Public Speaking

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Councillor Bill Gifford was welcomed to the meeting and invited to put his question to the Police and Crime Commissioner.


Councillor Gifford highlighted the long waiting times experienced by callers contacting 101. He expressed support for the initiative to offset pressure on 101 services by making use of online resources. However, residents accessing Single Online Home had reported delays in obtaining a crime number after making a report to the website.


Councillor Gifford stated that this gave the unfortunate and incorrect impression that the Police were not interested in hearing from the public. This had led some to conclude that it was not worthwhile to report crimes, resulting in underreporting of crime. There was also concern that not all reported crimes were being logged by the system.


Councillor Gifford stated that it was clear that underreporting would lead to less information reaching the Police, and whilst the public may feel that crime is increasing, police figures may show the opposite. He emphasised that he was not seeking to criticise any police officers and expressed confidence in the work of the Leamington North Safer Neighbourhood Team.


Councillor Gifford asked if the Police would consider requesting that streetlights be turned back on in areas where several instances of crime had recently occurred.


The Commissioner thanked Councillor Gifford for his comments and stated that increased demand for the 999 Service had impacted on 101 response times. He stated that there had been a record high demand for 999 services in 2021. Figures for 2022 were on-track to exceed those of the previous year. This was a national issue, influenced by wider factors such as pressure on mental health services.


The Commissioner advised that Warwickshire Police had stepped in to accept 999 calls on behalf of other regional forces that were experiencing exceptionally high call demand or technical difficulties. This had impacted on 101 waiting times. He sought the Panel’s view of what constituted an acceptable waiting time for a 101 call.


The Commissioner advised that, at the last inspection, His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) had rated the capability of Warwickshire Police to record crime as ‘good’. He advised that all reports made to Single Online Home were recorded and a target time of 48 hours had been set to acknowledge receipt of reports. It was concerning to learn that, in some instances, this target had not been met. He would raise the matter with the Chief Constable.


The Commissioner advised that the average waiting time for 101 calls was monitored on a weekly basis. Recent weeks had seen an average of between four and eight minutes. He accepted that this was too long; however, it was a consequence of very high demand. He stated that Warwickshire Police was exceeding the performance of most other forces in this area.


In response to the Chair, the Commissioner advised that the call abandonment rate was influenced by ‘pocket calls’, where 999 or 101 had been dialled by mistake, as well as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1(4)


Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner pdf icon PDF 836 KB

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


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In response to Councillor Poole, the Commissioner advised that the Police Degree Programme was a national initiative. Warwickshire Police had entered an agreement with Staffordshire University to deliver the Programme. He stated that new recruits were allocated patrol and response duties, providing a good foundation prior to choosing a specialism. The Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme had been established to address the national shortfall in the number of detective constables, enabling degree holders to join the organisation at this level.


The Commissioner advised that practical work formed an integral element of the Programme. Student officers were given the opportunity to join duty shifts. He expressed his support for this approach, stating that he had advocated for an improved balance between academic and practical work. However, he emphasised the complexity of modern policing which required a detailed understanding of IT systems and databases. 


Polly Reed (Chief Executive, OPCC) advised that candidates were required to pass a standard interview to be accepted as student officers. There were assessment points throughout the duration of the course where students could either pass or fail. As with other degree programmes, students were offered the opportunity to select different modules focusing on specific areas. She advised that a good standard of pastoral support was provided throughout the course. Once sufficient progress had been made, student officers could be granted independent patrol status.


In response to the Chair, Polly Reed advised that student officers were subject to a probationary period which was likely to extend beyond completion of the course. She offered to clarify these details following the meeting.


The Commissioner highlighted that the Degree Programme provided police officers with an accredited qualification. Previously, they had not been offered this opportunity.


In response to the Chair, the Commissioner advised that the initial intake of student officers would soon graduate. He stated that an increased proportion of less experienced officers was an inevitable consequence of the drive to expand the Force. Effective training and mentoring would support new officers’ development.


The Chair requested that future reports to the Panel continue to provide a breakdown of levels of experience within the Force, including the proportion of recently graduated officers who were less than one year into their posts.


In response to Councillor Golby, the Commissioner advised that it would be possible to track the attrition rate of recently graduated officers in the years ahead. At present, an average of approximately eight officers left the Force each month, either to retire or, less commonly, to transfer to another force. He stated that that tuition fees were paid for by the Force. This was consistent with arrangements elsewhere and helped to attract capable individuals.


The Commissioner advised that online learning resources enabled student officers to maximise the amount of time spent on duty. It was proposed that the proportion of time dedicated to academic study be revised to around 60%, allowing increased direct experience of policing.


In response to the Chair, the Commissioner advised that the recruitment policy was supported  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Public Engagement and Consultation pdf icon PDF 336 KB

To enable consideration of approaches to the PCC’s public consultation on his proposed budget and precept to encourage wider participation.


The PCC’s Communication and Engagement Strategy 2022-25 is attached for consideration and comment by the Panel.


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The Police and Crime Commissioner introduced the Communication and Engagement Strategy 2022 – 2025 which set out approaches for engagement with communities and key stakeholders across the County as well as on a regional and national level.


Neil Tipton (Head of Media and Communications, OPCC) advised that the Strategy sought to build upon existing principles whilst broadening engagement activities. He advised that some activities had been delayed during the period of national mourning. However, plans were in place to make use of opportunities for engagement with residents at locations across the County. This included seeking a view on public priorities for policing and community safety to inform development of the Policing Budget for 2023/24.


Neil Tipton advised that over 500 responses had been received since the launch of the Budget Consultation. This augured well for a strong public response. He stated that the questionnaire, which had been devised with the Panel’s input, would support the Commissioner’s understanding of public sentiment on a wide range of topics. He advised that the Consultation would be widely promoted and targeted to underrepresented groups and communities. He encouraged Panel members to promote the Consultation. A pack containing promotional resources would be shared with members following the meeting.


In response to Andy Davis, Neil Tipton advised that it was not proposed to establish a Citizens’ Panel. It had been decided that resources could be better used by taking advantage of existing networks, including the prospect of engagement with Warwickshire County Council’s Residents’ Panel.


In response to the Chair, Neil Tipton advised that engagement with commissioned services, such as victim support groups, provided a means to reach out to individuals who would otherwise be disinclined to participate in the survey.


There was discussion of the meeting held between the Panel and the OPCC on 24 August 2022 to review the draft Budget Consultation questionnaire. Members had suggested amendments to the proposed survey questions; a second meeting had been proposed but not pursued by the OPCC.


The Commissioner stated that he had resolved to approve the second draft of the Questionnaire which incorporated suggestions made by the Panel. He apologised that the commitment to hold a second meeting had been overlooked. However, he emphasised the urgent need to finalise the document to ensure that engagement opportunities were not missed. He thanked members for their input.


Councillor Davison left the meeting at 16:36.



Home Office Grant and Panel Expenditure 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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

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The Chair introduced the report which provided a summary of Panel expenditure within the 2021/22 financial year and details of the annual grant received from the Home Office to meet the costs of maintaining and supporting the Panel.


The Panel noted the summary of expenditure and grant claim to the Home Office for the 2021/22 financial year.



Issues Raised by Community Safety Partnerships

To consider any issues flagged by Community Safety Partnerships, providing a means for community concerns that have high-level, strategic implications to be raised at Panel meetings.


It is not proposed to raise single local issues, but rather provide a means to take a holistic view to evaluate the strategic implications of residents’ concerns.

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Prior to the meeting, Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) had been contacted to facilitate an opportunity to escalate any concerns raised by residents that had high-level, strategic implications for discussion at the meeting.


Safer South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership had responded to ask that a view be sought from the Police and Crime Commissioner in respect of a perceived lack of police visibility and challenges associated with the response of the Force to county lines and anti-social behaviour.


The Commissioner advised that, in recent months, police visibility had been affected by the requirement to divert officers to the protests at Kingsbury Oil Terminal, the Commonwealth Games, and to London for the Royal Funeral. In these circumstances, it was up to the Force to decide how it could maintain effective patrol teams with fewer officers. He added that target attendance times had been met during the affected periods.


The Commissioner stated that analysis of recent data showed a reduction in anti-social behaviour in South Warwickshire. He advised that the OPCC would be represented at each of the upcoming meetings of CSPs, enabling an opportunity to explore the issues raised in more detail. He would respond to the points made by Safer South Warwickshire CSP in writing.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider and review the Panel’s Work Programme.

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The Panel noted the Work Programme.



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:


  • 17 November 2022
  • 6 February 2023
  • 6 April 2023

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The Panel noted the dates of the future meetings.



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).

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There were none.



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.”


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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.




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


There were none.



The meeting rose at 17:00.