Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Stephen Bace 01452 324204
Declarations of Interest
No additional declarations made.
The minutes were agreed as a correct record.
In response to actions from the previous meeting, follow ups were required. A glossary to the Police and Crime Plan would be circulated as well as a response from the Police and Crime Commissioner on hate crime.
ACTION Richard Bradley
8.1 The Chairman thanked the Chief Constable Suzette Davenport for her work for the Constabulary and for Gloucestershire over the past four years.
8.2 It was explained that a meeting had been hosted by Grant Thornton and facilitated by Frontline Consulting to discuss the development of an Association of Police and Crime Panels. Some proposals were being drawn up with the main aim to help increase the profile of Panels and provide a national voice.
8.3 Adrian Connor, Independent Member, had decided to resign from the Panel due to work pressures. A recruitment exercise would be carried out once the new Panel was established at the July meeting.
To include an update on the Chief Constable position.
9.1 Paul Trott presented the report which contained statistics around complaints and a link to crime statistics. The panel noted that the Police.UK website had not been updated since the last panel meeting. Members were aware of the publication of the HMIC Peel inspection reports which would be discussed in the next item.
9.2 In January it was announced that Chief Constable Davenport would be retiring in April. Members were informed that the Police and Crime Commissioner had taken the decision to hold the post vacant for the time being and had asked DCC Rod Hansen to fulfil the role as Temporary Chief Constable. The Chief Executive of the Commissioner’s Office stated that this was legislated for in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011) S.41 (subsections (1) and (11)).
9.3 As the decision had been taken to not appoint a Chief Constable at this time, the Panel was informed that there was no legal requirement for the Panel to hold a confirmation hearing. The Panel had sought advice from other panels and from the Home Office who advised that the Panel should use its wider scrutiny role to understand the thinking behind keeping the post vacant for potentially a twelve month period.
9.4 Members were informed that the drive from Government was to review Fire and Rescue Service governance and that this had played a part in influencing this decision. The Commissioner had wanted to ensure all governance options were open to him once the results of the business case and consultation on future Emergency Services Collaboration was known. He felt that appointing a new Chief Constable at this time may limit those options.
9.5 It was explained that a number of forces, when advertising for Chief Constable, had found it difficult to attract candidates. It was suggested that in some ways it was just as important to get the appointment of the Deputy right due to the operational nature of the role compared to the strategic role of the Chief.
9.6 In response to a question, it was explained that the operational distinction between policing and ‘fire’ should be maintained. In terms of the options open to Commissioners relating to ‘fire’ governance, he could sit on the Fire and Rescue Authority or take on that role entirely. It could involve ‘back office’ functions being brought more closely together and, while the services would remain two legal entities, there could be one Chief Officer.
9.7 Consultants had been employed to look at whether there was merit in pursuing this further. Once they had reported, the Commissioner would be in a position to make further decisions.
9.8 There was some discussion around the stability of the Constabulary with members noting that ACC Richard Berry had left the organisation, the Chief Constable was retiring, and now the Deputy would be ‘acting up’. The Commissioner stated that he felt that Rod Hansen was the right person to hold the position over the short term.
9.9 Some members questioned the ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
HMIC Peel Inspection Update
Inspection documents can be found at:
10.1 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary had released its latest Leadership and Legitimacy reports in December 2016. Regarding Legitimacy report, Gloucestershire was rated as ‘requiring improvement, a down grading from last years ‘good’. It was explained that it was difficult to make like for like comparisons as the judgement criteria had changed. The Commissioner stated that it would be unfair and inaccurate to say that the force had ‘got worse’.
10.2 On 2 March, the Inspectorate published its reports relating to Effectiveness. It assessed how well the Constabulary keeps people in Gloucestershire safe from harm and what it is doing to keep crime down. The report stated that the Constabulary ‘requires improvement’. The Constabulary had challenged the findings, requesting that consideration be given to the re-grading in light of the year on year reductions in crime in Gloucestershire.
10.3 The Panel welcomed the ForceSight statistics they were provided with, which was the same data available to inspectors. This demonstrated that the Constabulary was performing well against comparative neighbours and that crime in the County had fallen. With this in mind the Panel were sympathetic to the comments raised by the Chief Constable on the inspection. Members were also reassured by the comments of DCC Rod Hansen that work was being undertaken in response to the areas of vulnerability identified.
10.4 The Commissioner explained that the inspection had not taken account of the work carried out due to the funding provided by the Commissioner’s Fund.
10.5 The Deputy Chief Constable stated that the Force was transparent and it was reflective, looking to embrace the areas where they were rated weak in order to improve. While he felt that inspection helped to make the Force stronger, he emphasised that crime had reduced in Gloucestershire as well as satisfaction levels. He said the Force would take time to reflect on the administrative points raised in the reports and that work was already underway including the recruitment of Senior Analysts.
10.6 Some members stated that anecdotally they had not picked up any concerns from the public in the service being provided by the Constabulary.
One member requested information on how many areas were graded as
part of the Inspections. This would be provided.
10.8 In response to a concern expressed around anti-social behaviour, the Commissioner explained that he had been pleased to see a reduction in this area, but noted the role of partners and the impact that this had on a large number of areas. In relation to Modern Day Slavery, he felt that this was contained within his plan and that the Constabulary were ‘coming up to speed on that’.
10.9 A response would be provided to HMIC with a revisit in September.
10.10 The Panel felt that the comments in the report did not reflect the Constabulary. The Commissioner would take into account areas that had been raised by the report. The Deputy Chief Constable provided reassurance to members about the work being undertaken in response to ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
Please see within the paperwork the slide which will be used as a reference during this update.
In addition the final report of the Community Safety Review has been reattached for members’ information. This report was received by the Panel in September 2016.
11.1 Richard Bradley provided some context to the Community Safety Review. This examined the current approach to community safety in Gloucestershire. John Bensted who had been the independent consultant for the review updated the Panel on progress. The review report had been received by the Panel in September and now the early phases of implementation were underway. The aim was to ensure that there was a structure in place so that community safety partnerships could continue to evolve.
11.2 John Bensted explained that it had been the first review of community safety for twenty years and that there had been a huge amounts of changes in that time. There had been a drift in community safety and a fragmentation.
11.3 It was important to recognise that districts retained responsibility for community safety, but it would be helpful to have an overarching body that could allow for the development of county strategies for issues such as anti-social behaviour and drugs. Some members challenged the progress being made by urging caution about adding additional bureaucratic layer.. It was clarified that any changes were about rationalising and merging meetings and refocussing on outcomes.
11.4 The six community safety partnerships also had responsibility for domestic homicide reviews. But there was no overarching County approach so that lessons learned could be passed across districts.
11.5 A workshop was being developed around Community Safety to work with the partnerships and thematic leads to create best model that would work for the County.
The Chairman asked for John Bensted to
come back to Panel in 6 months to update.
11.7 The Panel noted that one district was happy with their arrangements; the other five would like a better more streamlined system.