Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Sophie Benfield
To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 3 February 2023.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Members of the Committee are invited to declare any pecuniary or personal interests relating to specific matters on the agenda.
Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
Report to follow.
4.1 Detective Chief Superintendent Arman Mathieson presented this item. Members had received an update report in advance, which included further details on the new Enhanced Operating Model (EOM). The following points were noted:
· The EOM programme had commenced roughly 12 months ago and was a direct response to the HMICFRS Improvement Plan, which had found the current model not fit for purpose, raising serious concern around the Constabulary’s understanding of demand and where its resource was placed.
· In order to deal with this challenge, the ‘Continuous Improvement and Innovation (CII) Project’ was created and started with an initial review of eleven operational departments with the Constabulary. This was aimed at developing a detailed understanding of demand, capability, and capacity within the departments, including engaging with the workforce, to gain an understanding of where they saw inefficiencies and ineffectiveness on the ground, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement.
· This CII research led to the commissioning of the EOM outlined in this report in October 2022.
· The Model reflected an understanding of the Constabulary’s current demand. It was found, for example, in a typical year the Force Control Room likely received around 340,000 contacts, which resulted in around 150,000 incidents and estimated 60,000 crimes. The Force as a whole was made up of 26 core functions, which involved around 200 activities. The EOM would redesign processes to ensure more efficient and effective workflow.
4.2 It was confirmed that prior to the EOM, local policing teams were made up of response officers who dealt with Grade 1 & 2 immediate and priority incidents, which included the initial priority 999/101 response but also carrying a crime workload at the same time. This meant one group of officers were responsible for investigating 80% of crime. The EOM took the same core people and split into response and investigation, which meant there would be around 300 officers focused on response, conducting initial enquiries on attendance and then around 200 officers who would take on the onward investigation. This would clearly improve inefficiencies, timeliness, quality of operation and workload for officers.
4.3 Members were keen to understand how the programme had engaged with all staff to ensure the new Model was understood and change embraced. It was advised that the overall programme started 12 months ago, the first 9 months were focused on speaking with officers and taking on board their observations of the current working practises. There was an ‘all ideas matter’ portal set up where anyone could submit inefficiencies, hindrances, and areas for opportunity, all of which were responded to within 24 hours. Now the EOM had been commissioned and rollout had begun, there was a real atmosphere of co-creation across the Force.
4.4 The other side of consultation was within the redistribution of colleagues under the new Model. It was explained that police officer employment rights were different to other sectors, they were captured within regulations rather than employment contracts and any officers could be moved to any location/role with just 3 months’ notice. ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To receive an overview of the role of the Commissioning Team at the OPCC, including details of the Commissioner’s Fund.
5.1 Kirsten Fruin, Assistant Chief Executive: Victims & Commissioning, Alana Dix, Commissioning Manager, and Evie Whittaker, Commissioning Officer, presented this item. The Panel noted the following points:
· Slide 3 gave an overview of the ‘Commissioning Cycle’ which was followed each time a commissioning process was undertaken, with each process taking up to 18 months to complete.
· An example was given of commissioning for a victim support service. To start, an external company carried out a needs assessment in Gloucestershire which identified any gaps in provision, examined best practise nationally in this area and summarised all this information into a recommended position. In this case it was recommended that Gloucestershire commissioned a separate adult and young person service which included support for areas such as ASB, burglary, assault, fraud etc.
· The team then held a provider market engagement event where they presented the findings of the needs assessment and asked for feedback from providers on the proposed model.
· After considering any feedback, the team would produce a specification, which outlined its requirements, finalise budgets, KPIs and expectations before finally going out to the market for applications.
· Each application would be scored and evaluated, sometimes interviews would be required. Any successful applicant would then have a 6-month mobilisation period.
· All contracts were managed on a quarterly basis via reports and face to face meetings to ensure they were delivering what had been agreed upon.
· Slide 4 gave an overview of what the OPCC commissioned, and in addition they were always looking for co-commissioning opportunities with other partners in the county and regionally that aligned with the priorities in the Police and Crime Plan.
· The team provided support in bidding for national funding opportunities, which had a seen a real increase since Covid and brought additional money into the county to support good work.
· There will be a pilot scrutiny project aimed at establishing a process to dip sample existing contracts to ensure value for money.
· The OPCC has a responsibility to hold the Constabulary and local criminal justice partners to account around adhering to the 12 rights within the Victims Code of Practice, as well as representing on a number of national partnerships.
· Another large part of this role was to manage the Commissioners Fund, providing an oversight of the grants and ongoing management of the projects. The team regularly engaged with projects to help link them with similar projects, particularly for the smaller organisations, to provide opportunity for learning and future support.
· For 2022/23 a 2-year funding opportunity was offered to 34 projects across the county totally just short of £100,000 investment. All projects had to align to support the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan priorities.
· For 2023/24 there is a 1-year funding opportunity which was more specified around early intervention and prevention activity. 18 projects have been successful and are ready to go live on 1st April. This investment totalled £75,000 and spread across the county.
5.2 A member questioned how the office ensured safeguarding within services that were ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To receive a verbal update from the PCC on current activity.
6.1 Members noted the activity briefing note received prior to the meeting and the following highlighted points:
· The PCC had regular meetings with the Chief, at least once a week but some weeks almost daily, in one form or another. They had spent a lot of time discussing the implementation of the EOM to ensure there was clear understanding about what was being proposed, and opportunity for the Commissioner to challenge anything that felt uncomfortable or unclear.
· Holding the Constabulary to account was a very important part of the Commissioner’s job and that of his office. He regularly had conversations with officers and the public to understand issues on the ground.
· Officers were very pleased with the progress made in dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) during the Cheltenham Festival. The new Deputy Chief Constable was very experienced in dealing with the management of large public events.
· Collaboration work continued to go well with the 5 Southwest forces, particularly in the fight against drugs. It allowed the opportunity to share talents across the forces and provide maximum impact for operations.
· The Commissioner continued to welcome the initiative of homes built by prisoner’s on day release. The accommodation provided real opportunities for areas such as public sector key worker accommodation, realistic affordable housing for the community etc.
· The Forest of Dean and Cotswold councils had now signed up to be part of the Solace scheme which used a multi-agency approach to dealing with ASB. The Commissioner hoped that Tewkesbury and Stroud would join the other four districts soon.
· The Commissioner was exploring the issue of the emergency services not being involved in conversations around allocating Section 106 funds from housing developments. The power to allocate the funding was with the planning authorities in Gloucestershire, which were the district councils, but there were other partners who were able to be part of the conversations and identify any particular strains the development would put on existing infrastructure. The point was made that considering the level of housing development around Gloucestershire at the moment, there was no consideration of allocating some of the Section 106 money for things such as additional police stations.
6.2 A member raised that they had previously requested an overview of the several technical transformations the Force had committed to deliver. It was noted there was an enormous amount of work going on in this area and could be categorised into 4 key areas:
· Demand and Efficiency – which covered the roll out of the EOM.
· Force Control Room – a programme to review operational effectiveness.
· Digital and Data Programme – included nationally mandated changes to the national database, roll out Microsoft 365 etc.
· Records Management System – moving from Unify to Niche
ACTION: Add to work plan
6.3 The Commissioner suggested this overview should also include changes to the vetting procedure and project Odessy.
6.4 Responding to a question about the Community Triggers programme, the Panel were advised that this mechanism had been around for a while but there ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider the attached report.
7.1 Ruth Greenwood, Chief Executive for the OPCC, presented this item. The report was taken as read and the following points were highlighted:
· The Home Office were due to make a performance data pack that could be used in future reports to share how Government rated OPCCs. This would be included in future versions of this report.
· It was highlighted at paragraph 3.3 some crime types had increased significantly. This was understood to be as a result of new requirements in recording crime data previously discussed at Panel, which for some crimes, meant they had not been historically recorded in line with what the HMI now wanted to see.
· There was some positive staffing updates for the OPCC. A new Community Triggers Lead, Serious Violence Prevention Coordinator and Senior OPCC Analyst all of which were financed through grant funding.
· Two further posts were being recruited to: a Second Policy and Research Officer to focus on the delivery of the Police and Crime Prevention Plan and a Volunteer and Engagement Officer which will focus on supporting volunteers, local councillors, wand communities. A team structure could be seen on page 7.
7.2 In response to a question on ‘Table 4: Gloucestershire crime overview’, it was confirmed that serious violence was increasing, and it was something the Home Office was particularly focused on nationally. The Homicide rate increase was not related to changes in the way crimes were recorded but it was emphasised, there were a number of incidents that were recorded as homicide in first instance but after the investigation, turn out to be something else. It then took a long time for these incidents to be re-categorised.
7.3 Again, in relation to Table 4 in the report, it was questioned what end of the scale for the MSG position was classed as good. It was explained that generally, 1 was low and 8 was high, but this could also be crime dependant. For incidents that were historically underreported such as sexual violence, officers would want the number to be higher but for burglary for example, you would not want the rating to be at 8. The column next to it ‘Current MSG assessment’ gave members an idea of whether these ratings were average/normal, positive, or negative. This gave further context to whether a 7 in one crime grouping could be classed as average but in another a negative. The Chief Executive confirmed she would consider any further detail that could be added to make this clearer.
ACTION: Ruth Greenwood
7.4 A member noted, in relation to the survey at Annex A of the report, that the ethnicity of respondents was not representative and wondered if enough was being done to engage with all ethnic groups. It was confirmed that the intention was to spend a lot more money in this area to ensure the survey was far more robust and demographically representative in the future. The member offered to help facilitate some engagement work in their ward.