Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Stephen Bace 01452 324204
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.
11.1 Following a vote Cllr Will Windsor Clive was elected as Chair
11.2 Concerns were raised about the position of Chair and the participation of some Panel member in a recent debate at full Council. It was emphasised that it was important that the position be apolitical and that there was fair and constructive scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Election of Vice Chair
The Vice-Chairman will be appointed each year and will be drawn from amongst the councillors sitting on the panel.
Cllr Colin Hay was elected as Vice Chair.
Declarations of Interest
No additional declarations were made.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair subject to the following:
The Police and Crime Commissioner asked that the minutes reflect that the Chair had needed to leave the meeting early and that Cllr Colin Hay chaired the meeting in his absence. This was agreed.
A number of actions were attributed to the Commissioner’s Office and it had been raised in advance of the meeting that these actions were for the Panel to consider as part of their work plan going forward. One action regarding the writing of a letter was not for the Commissioner’s Office to do. It was agreed that these actions would be removed.
The Panel to note the terms of references and rules of procedure outlining the responsibilities of the Panel.
15.1 The Panel noted the terms of reference and panel arrangement. New members had been invited for a session in advance of the meeting to go through them in detail. This offer was open to any member who wished for additional training or to gain a greater understanding.
15.2 One member raised his concerns
regarding the gap between meetings between March and July. Members
recognised that this was due to the elections and the need for
appointments to be made to the Panel and top up members to be
recommended. Legislation dictated that the Panel had to be
politically balanced across Gloucestershire and this caused a
delay. It was agreed that officers would look at the number and
regularity of meetings.
15.3 Members discussed whether independent members should have substitutes. One member felt that this opportunity should be made available. One independent member on the panel felt that this was not appropriate. The Panel also discussed consideration of independent members being eligible to be appointed Chair. One independent member stated that he did not believe this was a necessary change for the rules of procedure. Officers would look at the practicalities around this and get back to the Panel.
ACTION Stephen Bace
The Commissioner to update the Panel with regards to responding to the following:
At the meeting of Gloucestershire County Council held on 16 May 2018, the following motion was passed:
RESOLVEDthat this Council acknowledges the hard work of Gloucestershire’s Police in difficult circumstances. It also notes that the county receives less for policing per head of population from the main central grant compared to the national average.
The Council also notes that violent crime rose by 26% and total recorded crime by 13% in 2016-17.
The Council therefore asks that the Leader publicly thanks the county’s police for the job they do and asks that he writes to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to enquire if:
· Their plans within their precept rise (5.6%) still include 30 additional officers and staff?
· If they are lobbying for ‘city status’ for our urban area to increase central funding and officer numbers?
· If nearly 20% of annual expenditure in reserves are necessary?
· If a £17 million spend on estates over the next 4 years is best value for the public?
· The Commissioner’s fund is a little over £1 million per annum but at 31 March 2018 had a carry forward of £1.5 million. Is this a good use of public money?
· Is £300,000 spent on police horses a necessary cost?
· Is the new cost of £45,000 per annum from appointing a Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner appropriate?
· What is the Chief Constable’s plan to address the rise in crime?
· How much was spent on the Commissioner’s plan to take over the Fire and Rescue Service?
16.1 At the request of a member, the Police and Crime Panel considered an item on the Commissioner’s draft response to the letter sent from the County Council to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office as agreed by full Council on 16 May. The debate around the motion and the questions asked by the County Council can be found in the minutes at:
The response from the Commissioner’s office included a number of references to previous Police and Crime Panel meetings and the Chief Executive of his office outlined that the intention was to seek the view of the Panel and see if they wished to add anything to the letter.
16.2 The Chair commented that he did not believe it was the role of the Panel to consider a draft letter which was in response to the Leader of the County Council. There was some discussion around whether, during the debate on the motion, the amendment put should have included the suggestion of the debate going through the Police and Crime Panel in the first instance.
16.3 Some members commented that the debate in the Chamber had been ‘outrageous’ and ‘offensive’ and it was important that the Commissioner had a public arena in which to respond.
16.4 Some members commented that the original motion for full Council to debate was around police funding and the concerns around this.
16.5 One member commented that the points within the letter had been debated by the Panel numerous times and that the Panel was the right place for those debates as it had a statutory scrutiny role. It was important to take the politics out of the situation.
16.6 The Police and Crime Commissioner thanked Cllr David Brown who had brought the original motion on police funding to full Council, he explained police funding which was a significant concern of his. It was important with rising demand through cyber crime, child sexual exploitation and domestic violence that the Police were properly resourced. He expressed disappointment with how the debate had then moved forward at full Council and he had asked his office to circulate a transcript of that meeting to Panel members.
16.7 In response to points raised about the Commissioner at the full Council meeting, he stated that he was not a proxy for another political party and that he was an independent who had funded his campaign himself. He wanted to make clear that he was not untrustworthy or dishonest as had been claimed and that he felt that the Office were doing a good job and that progress was being made. He explained that the £17m cited for estates within the letter was incorrect as it related to the previous four years.
16.8 The Commissioner asked the Chair clarification regarding a question in the letter from the County Council on lobbying for City status. He asked what that meant? In response the Chair of the Panel advised him to seek that clarification from the Leader of Council.
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.
17.1 Paul Trott, Chief Executive of the Commissioner’s Office, introduced the report which included details of Freedom of Information requests and complaints.
17.2 Members were informed that a Child Friendly Gloucestershire proposal had been circulated to strategic leaders across the county about how we can collectively move forward and develop a better county for our children, The aspiration was to create a child friendly county where what young people said are their hopes for Gloucestershire is placed at the heart of decision making and service delivery. The model being proposed was based on the Child Friendly Leeds approach which brought the together public, voluntary and private sectors under one vision which had been identified by young people. The Panel was informed that the office had received positive responses from agencies and individuals and that there would be an update to the Panel at future meetings. Some Members expressed their support for this work and the Panel looked forward to receiving further details. One member requested that this be in the form of its own item.
17.3 In response to a question on the occupation of Bearlands police station, it was explained that this had been refurbished by the County Council and the Constabulary occupied the bottom floor of the building.
17.4 The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that there was increased demand around 101 calls.
17.5 One member congratulated the Commissioner on crime being down in Cotswold by 12%. He asked for an update on Cirencester Police Station and was informed that the Office had entered into an arrangement with Cotswold District Council. The Commissioner had met with the Cabinet Member Cllr Nigel Moor to discuss possibilities around a joint police and fire station.
17.6 In response to a question it was explained that in relation to complaints there were no benchmarking data available.
17.7 Members received an update on discussions around the development of a court building in Gloucestershire. The Commissioner had been informed that the Ministry of Justice had no immediate plans to invest in new courts in the County and that the current courts were on a 5-10 year plan. The Commissioner felt that the county should come together to identify a site now for options at the end of that period citing accessibility as a real issue. The Commissioner pointed out there was very limited disability access to Gloucestershire’s courts and that this was unacceptable.
17.8 Concern was expressed about
individual cases of children in custody with some
confusion around whether a young person was being allowed home or
not. The Commissioner stated that he would need to look into
17.9 One member asked about the response to an individual with mental health issues where a number of police cars had turned up. The Commissioner explained that the response would have been in relation to the particular circumstances and that where individuals needed medical intervention it was important that there was a place for them to go.
17.10 In response to ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
To review the annual report and make a report or recommendations to the commissioner. The panel is to ask the commissioner questions, as appropriate, on the annual report.
18.1 The Panel had a responsibility to consider the Annual Report and make a report or recommendations as necessary. Members spoke positively about the format of the report and reiterated the importance of ensuring that it was circulated widely, with the example given of Parish Councils.
18.2 Members suggested that a list should be drawn up around where the report would be shared.
18.3 By way of suggestions for future Annual Reports, some members commented on the need to be more open with regards to concerns and worries of the Commissioner and particular areas of focus for improvement. It was recognised that there was a need for balance and it was important to celebrate the fact that a lot of good work was happening and that the County was one of the safest places to live in the country.
18.4 The Panel noted a typo within the report where it referenced ‘body worn videos’.
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.
19.1 Richard Bradley presented the report outlining that for each of the six priorities within the Police and Crime Plan there was a priority lead. The plan worked across Gloucestershire and heavily involved partners. Each priority lead worked in conjunction with a Police Lead. The report detailed activity across the period January to March 2018.
19.2 The Panel was informed that the Police and Crime Commissioner had set the Chief Constable the challenge of reinstating neighbourhood policing. The Constabulary had grasped that opportunity and received good feedback around police being back within communities. In September, an independent review of neighbourhood policing would be conducted and a report would be brought back to the Panel. There was a discussion around the re-focus on neighbourhood policing with members giving anecdotal examples of where it was working well in the County.
19.3 Members were informed that with the support of colleagues that work had been carried out to reduce the amount of young people going into custody and acquiring a criminal record. In 2010 1516 young people went into custody, in 2017 that figure had reduced to 650. One member referenced the role of PCSOs as the ears of the Constabulary and asked what training they had to ensure they understood the work around vulnerable children. It was confirmed that the Children First approach was embedded within the activity of the Police and Crime delivery plan. The Children First programme was aimed at preventing children from entering the Criminal Justice system and using restorative approaches as an alternative by involving their victims. To date more than 135 young people had benefited from this approach.One member commented about the difficulties for parents in understanding who to go to if they were having issues of a criminal nature with their children. Part of the increase in the budget was the reintroduction of school officers.
19.4 One member encouraged people to sign up to Community Alerts.
19.5 Some members raised their concerns about young people speeding and racing on mopeds and motorbikes. It was felt that this was an issue that was growing in some communities. The Commissioner explained that the Constabulary had doubled the size of the Traffic and Community Enforcement Team and there was a new vehicle that could provide equipment in small communities to help prevent and catch those who were speeding and committing other motoring offences.
19.6 One member referred to a cross party supported motion at Stroud District Council regarding activity to encourage car drivers to take account and show greater consideration to cyclists. She asked whether the training for Police officers would encourage officers to talk to drivers around the best way to open car doors to avoid cyclists and to understand from the council what routes had more cyclists on them. In response the Commissioner explained that the Constabulary was responsible for training officers which they did to the highest standards.
19.7 One member welcomed the increased emphasis on technology particularly around the use of body cams. He explained ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
To consider proposals to join the association.
The Police and Crime Panel agreed to become a part of the National Association of Police Fire and Crime Panels. This was a forum to allow for collaborative discussion of issues and to share ideas and experience as well as to provide a direct liaison to the Home Office and dialogue with other relevant bodies.
The candidate is given an opportunity to address the Panel and then
answer questions from the members.
The attached papers include guidance on how the Panel will conduct the
hearing alongside papers relating to the appointment. The Panel is provided with:
· The name of the person whom the PCC is proposing to appoint
· The criteria used to assess the suitability of the candidate for the appointment
· Why the candidate satisfies the criteria
· The terms and conditions on which the candidate is to be appointed
21.1 The Police and Crime Commissioner introduced Stewart Walton as his preferred candidate for the role of Chief Finance Officer. This was a part time position which had previously been subject to a trial during which the role was met by the Chief Finance Officer for the Constabulary. The Commissioner emphasised the importance of having an individual who could provide good strategic financial advice and scrutinise the Constabulary’s figures and performance. This was a part time position. Two candidates had been interviewed and given a presentation to the Commissioner.
21.2 Stewart Walton introduced himself to the Panel, He was an Accountant and had carried out similar roles to this. He had provided oversight and non executive roles in the past and was used to providing challenge where needed.
21.3 The Police and Crime Panel supported the appointment.