Agenda and minutes

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel
Friday 14 July 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Stephen Bace  01452 324204

Items
No. Item

12.

Election of Chair

The Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel will be appointed by the panel members each year and will be drawn from amongst the councillors sitting on the panel.

Minutes:

Following a vote, Cllr Will Windsor Clive was appointed as Chairman of the Panel.

 

He thanked the previous Chairman Cllr Roger Wilson for his work with the Panel.

 

13.

Election of Vice Chair

The Vice-Chairman will be appointed each year and will be drawn from amongst the councillors sitting on the panel.

Minutes:

Cllr Colin Hay was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Panel.

 

14.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Cllr Rob Garnham informed the Panel that he was an associate of the College of Policing.

 

15.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as a correct record subject to the following amendments:

 

At 10.10 – to state that almost all the Panel felt that the comments in the report did not reflect the constabulary. The emphasis was that not all the Panel felt that way.

 

The Commissioner requested that the comments at minutes 9.21 and 9.23 about the withdrawal of funding from the road safety partnership be removed as this was incorrect. The Members agreed to the amendment.

One member questioned at 9.7 the reference to consultants to look at Fire and Rescue Service Governance. She asked when a report would be expected and consultation undertaken. In response it was stated that the report was expected for August.

 

16.

Role of the Police and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Members to receive a presentation clarifying the statutory responsibilities of the Panel.

 

Members will note that under ‘Information Items’ the Police and Crime Plan and Police Budget have been provided.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1    Members were provided with an overview of the key powers and responsibilities of the Panel. It was suggested that a work planning session be arranged which would allow members to consider how they wished to carry out their role.

 

16.2    Members understood that the Panel was required to be politically balanced across the Force area and for that reason top-up members had been added. This had led to 16 councillors and 2 independent non-elected members. There was a vacancy for one of the non-elected member position and so a recruitment process would begin involving Lead Members.

 

16.3    The Panel were informed that they were there to provide a check and balance to the Commissioner and to both review and scrutinise his actions and decisions. The Panel was also under a duty to support the Commissioner and act as a critical friend.

 

16.4    Members recognised that they had a power of veto on the precept and the appointment of the Chief Constable. This required 2/3 of the membership (12) to vote to veto and it was suggested that this was a last resort position when all other methods had failed. Legislation dictated processes and timescales around these powers of veto, for the precept if the Panel vetoed the Commissioner’s proposal then he would only need to come back higher or lower as per the Panel’s recommendation and the Panel would have no further veto to use.

 

16.5    The Panel had responsibility for complaints against the Commissioner. The Chief Executive of the Commissioner’s Office had been delegated to handle the complaints and find resolution. If resolution could not be found then the Police and Crime Panel could consider the complaint through a sub-committee. Any criminal complaints would be referred directly to the IPCC.

 

16.6    Members noted the attached terms of reference and the Commissioner’s plan and budget for their background reading.

 

16.7    One member emphasised the importance of the Panel being able to make recommendations on the Commissioner’s Annual Report .

 

17.

Chief Executive's Report pdf icon PDF 404 KB

 

The report is intended to assist the Panel in reviewing and scrutinising decisions made and actions taken by the Commissioner, in accordance with its statutory responsibilities.

Minutes:

17.1    Paul Trott, Chief Executive of the Commissioner’s Office, introduced the report which provided an update on the actions and decisions taken by the Commissioner.

 

17.2    He emphasised the volume of FOI requests including commenting on one particular request that had created a large amount of workload for the office. He explained that many people would write to the Commissioner as he was a public figure and so he looked constructively to engage with the public when they contacted him. While there was an acknowledgement of the increased workload, the Chairman stated that this was legislated and if the public required information then it had to be released.

 

17.3    The report included crime data figures which included links to more detailed information relating to district areas from www.police.co.uk. In comparison with the 42 forces in England and Wales (1 being good) in terms of delivery, Gloucestershire Constabulary was ranked 11th in relation to delivery (crime rates) and 17th in relation to direction (crime going up or down).

 

17.4    As detailed in previous reports, the provisions within the Policing and Crime Act included collaboration between emergency services. The Commissioner’s Office had circulated phase one report from consultants to leads from Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Gloucestershire Constabulary. Work was ongoing and a full report was anticipated in late summer. Members noted that a task group had previously been set up to better understand these developments but had been decommissioned. It was suggested that it might be a good opportunity to reconvene the group to look over the reports. This could be considered during work planning.  Members would be provided with a copy of the consultants’ report.

            ACTION                     Ruth Greenwood/ Stephen Bace

           

 

17.5    One member asked what data sat behind the breakdown within the report at table 3.1. It was explained that British Crime Survey comparator data was used as this set of crimes was considered by the Home Office to have the greatest impact on communities. The chart showed the volume of crime per rate of 1000 population.

 

 

17.6    One member stated that the decision log provided at the link within the report was hard to find for members of the public. She suggested that a full list of decisions should be included within the report. She explained that the website was not being kept up to date.
ACTION                     Paul Trott

 

17.7    One member commented that the table of complaints received by the OPCC showed that as many police misconduct type complaints had been received as antisocial behaviour matters and that this had not been picked up within the text.

 

17.8    The Panel noted the appointment of a Contact and Complaints Officer who could be contacted via the Commissioner’s Office.

 

 

17.9    There was some discussion around the recent PEEL inspections. Members noted that the latest inspection on safeguarding would be discussed during the next item. One member asked for an up to date report on what had been done to ensure improvement. The Commissioner outlined  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

HMIC National child protection inspection- Gloucestershire pdf icon PDF 240 KB

This report sets out the findings from HMIC’s 2017 inspection of child protection services in Gloucestershire Constabulary, which took place in February 2017.This inspection is part of our rolling programme of child protection inspections.

 

Members are reminded that their role is to scrutinise the decisions made and actions taken by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Minutes:

18.1    Martin Surl explained that this was a challenging item and that the various reports received by both the Constabulary and the County Council on how we treat our children in Gloucestershire was humbling. He felt that by reading both reports side by side you get a picture of where we are in this County.

 

18.2    He emphasised that his role as Commissioner was to hold the Chief Constable to account. Having received the report he had met with the inspector and then the Chief Constable. He noted the significant short comings identified and explained that he was grateful that these had been brought to his attention. In terms of context he explained that the service had previously lost 30% of their detectives but that the Force remained very committed to the care of young people. He stated that this was a highly motivated work force with support structures in place, but that it was still failing.

 

 

18.3    Of most concern were the case studies of individuals who had been failed by the Constabulary. When the Constabulary had reviewed its own work they had come to a different view to the inspectorate so the question was why had they felt that they were doing an adequate job?

 

 

18.4    Some changes to staffing structure and training had been made to ensure improvement. Other forces were inspected on this and all had similar comments. Regular meetings were being held with the Chief Constable and an action plan was developed and monitored through the PCC’s Governance Board. The Commissioner was confident that this would be resolved. The Commissioner had requested that all case files were reviewed including the ones that had been raised by HMIC.

 

18.5    The Commissioner explained the importance of all partners and organisations in Gloucestershire working together to make improvements. He outlined the need to ‘understand what good looks like’ and stated that he would be putting together a summit for those with concerns to come together as a County to decide how to best support vulnerable children. 

 

18.6    Members expressed their concerns about the report noting that it stated there had been limited strategic oversight and a lack of supervision. One member asked what the Commissioner had done to ensure strategic oversight in the future. In response the Commissioner explained that this was a part of the action plan. He explained that the impact of austerity was being felt, with over 300 leaving the service and a reduced budget. He reassured members that training would improve and everything would be looked at comprehensively but that the ‘frontline was thin’. 

 

 

18.7    One member expressed concerns that the issues within the Constabulary were systematic and cultural with risk and demands not being fully recognised. The member recognised that resources were stretched but felt that the Constabulary was being let down by its leadership. He emphasised that the Commissioner’s role was to ensure an effective Police Service and that was not currently happening. He asked how the Commissioner was holding the Chief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Commissioner's Fund

To receive a presentation outlining the Commissioner’s Fund and applications for 2017/18.

Minutes:

19.1    Richard Bradley delivered a presentation on the Commissioner’s Fund. He stated that the Commissioner had the ability to award grants to partners, agencies and projects. Since the Commissioner’s Fund had been established in 2012 over 350 community based projects had been funded.

 

19.2    The Commissioner’s Fund was made up of a number of funding streams including 1% from the Constabulary budget along with money from the Ministry of Justice and elsewhere.

 

19.3    166 applications had been made since the previous September which compared to 65 applications that had been made in 2013. Some had been extensions on those that had been funded over the last four years. Members noted that the total value of all applications would be £3.4m so not all could be funded. 78 projects had been funded.  It was suggested that reductions in funding nationally had led to more organisations and projects seeking support from the Commissioner’s Fund.

                                                                                   

19.4    Members were shown the breakdown of the bids from each district and the ones that had been awarded. There was a strong scrutiny process in examining the bids and determining the value of the work and contribution to deliver the police and crime plan.

 

 

19.5    In response to an earlier question it was explained that 45% of the awards went to activity to support young people as this was about trying to prevent young people from getting involved in the criminal justice system. 

 

19.6    The Panel noted that this was the fifth year of the fund and asked to receive a report outlining the outcomes from the fund over that time period.
ACTION                     Richard Bradley.

 

19.7    One member commented that it was important to ensure that smaller charities and community based projects had an opportunity to successfully bid for funds. In response it was recognised that it was important to provide those groups with a chance and that there was year on year benefits to funding this activity. 

 

19.8    One member praised the projects going in local areas and the work of the PCSO. The Panel understood that work was being put in place to deliver the new neighbourhood policing offer.

 

20.

Police and Crime Plan Priorities Highlight Report pdf icon PDF 496 KB


The purpose of the Police and Crime Plan Priorities Quarterly Highlight Report is to provide all stakeholders with an update that monitors progress in respect of each of the Priorities, to include:

·         activities achieved during the current quarter;

·         activities expected during the next quarter;

·         any risks or issues identified will be managed through the risk and issue registers;

·         overview of budget.

 

This report is a summary against activities. Members should note that this information is retrospective for the reporting quarter mentioned; as such it is an executive summary.

Minutes:

20.1    Richard Bradley introduced the highlights report which monitored progress in respect of each of the priorities within the police and crime plan. The report demonstrated activity within each area for members to consider and question.

 

20.2    One member stated that she was favourable of the mounted police trial, but wanted a breakdown of costs to be provided. The Commissioner explained that the horse box had been provided by Avon and Somerset for the year of the trial and now purchased for £60,000. There had been over 7,000 interactions with the public and over 1100 meaningful interactions. Members understood that there were now four horses and the Commissioner stated that some people were vocal in their objections; the majority of the public were overwhelmingly supportive. Details of the costs would be provided to members.

            ACTION         Martin Surl/ Paul Trott

 

20.3    One member had reservations about the trial but would await the outcome of the trial. It was important to understand how the mounted police helped to keep people safe and help the vulnerable.

 

20.4    Some members spoke positively about the control room and the response from 101. The Commissioner explained that there were still challenges in this area with a 20% increase in calls (and complexity of calls) since the introduction of the new system with no increase in staff.  He raised concerns about the lack of integration between the fire control centre and police control centre and suggested that he should have discussions with the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer as to how a better service could be provided to the public.

 

 

20.5    One member questioned whether drones could be used to allow searches across difficult terrain. The Commissioner stated that Devon and Cornwall were launching this and that there would be potential for this in the future. .

 

 

20.6    In response to a question on the progress of confirming the position of Chief Constable, the Commissioner stated that his position had not changed and that he would consider this once there was a direction for governance of the Fire and Rescue service going forward.  He did not believe that the current arrangements were damaging the Constabulary.

 

20.7    One member asked whether funding was being withdrawn from Neighbourhood Watches with parishes being asked to fund them. In response it was explained that this was under significant review but no funding had been withdrawn. The member would discuss this with officers after the meeting.