Agenda and minutes

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Panel - Friday 17 July 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Web ex meeting. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairperson

Minutes:

Cllr Colin Hay was elected Chairperson for the year 2020/2021.

 

2.

Election of Vice Chairperson

Minutes:

Cllr Steve Robinson was elected Vice Chairperson for the year 2020/2021.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

 

4.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 3 February 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

 

5.

Covid-19: Lessons learned and Policing the 'new normal'

The Panel to discuss the PCC’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including:-

Ø   what actions did the PCC take to ensure that the Police were able to respond effectively?

Ø   were there specific issues relating to capacity and resources? If so, how were these managed?

Ø   What does the PCC see as the main challenges going forward?

 

The Chief Executive report to the Panel (agenda item 7) includes links to the webcast holding to account sessions between the PCC and the Chief Constable, and provide information and context.

 

Minutes:

5.1       Martin Surl, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), informed the Panel that this had been a challenging time for both the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the Constabulary. He had ensured that the Chief Constable had had the space needed to get on with operational matters, and had also dug into finance reserves to ensure that there were no concerns with regard to funding: £1m was released to support Covid-19 activity.

 

5.2       Staff welfare during this time had been a key issue and the PCC commended the way in which the Chief Constable had supported officer’s health and wellbeing.

 

5.3       The Chief Constable stated that from the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic he had wanted the Police approach to be one of education, engaging with the public, with enforcement as a last resort. A bespoke command structure had been put in place early in the pandemic, Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden as Gold lead, which included identifying future threats and issues, and monitoring the impact on resources.

 

5.4       It was explained that one of the biggest challenges in the early stages had been the amount of information coming through and the rapid turnaround needed to achieve the requirements of the latest guidance from national government.

 

5.5       Initially 40/50 officers had displayed symptoms of Covid-19 and 200 members of staff had self isolated, but as the time progressed this number reduced significantly. Thousands of hours had been put in by the special constables; many had been furloughed by their employer and so were able to give more time to the Police. The service moved to 12 hour shifts so that there was no overlap between teams in order to reduce the potential for infection. The majority of the enforcement activity undertaken related to people travelling into the county.

 

5.6       There was a drop in reported crime relating to burglary and shoplifting. However there has been a small increase in the number of domestic abuse (DA) incidents in the county. Early in the pandemic the Police had engaged with perpetrators and victims of DA, keeping a close eye on activities and making it clear that they remained vigilant.

 

5.7       The PCC and Chief Constable stated that they were proud of the response from Gloucestershire residents and partners. It was felt that the county was in a positive place as it emerged from the pandemic.

 

5.8       In response to a question the PCC acknowledged that the 101 system was struggling. The complexity of calls being received was in excess of what was originally envisaged when the system was established; in its current state it was not sustainable. A significant number of calls received by the Police should have been directed to other agencies. This was under review; any changes would be directed by the Chief Constable as this was an operational matter. This also linked to the need for new ICT systems to replace those currently in use; this would be at a significant cost.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

OFFICE OF THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER - CHIEF EXECUTIVE REPORT pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1       Richard Bradley, CEO OPCC, gave a detailed presentation of the report.

 

6.2       The Panel engaged in a discussion with regard to the PCC’s aspirations for a new court complex in Gloucestershire. The PCC acknowledged that his remit did not cover this issue but given the impact of the justice system across society he thought it important to try and ensure that Gloucestershire had a fully accessible court complex. The PCC informed the Panel that a particular frustration was the lack of response from Gloucestershire MPs.

 

6.3       The Panel agreed that the courts in Gloucestershire were in a sorry state of repair, were not accessible for people with disabilities, essentially not fit for purpose. There was no agreement from the Panel on the PCC’s preferred location for a new court complex, given that it was not a central site and public transport options were limited. The PCC stated that he did not mind where the court complex was located, but thought that the Quedgeley site with its proximity to the cell complex was the better option. The most expensive part of a court was the cell complex, therefore this proposal had the potential to save millions of pounds. It was also close to the Park and Ride facility.

 

6.4       Although outside its remit, and mindful that the Panel could not lobby on behalf of the PCC, it was agreed that Gloucestershire did need an up to date and accessible court complex; it would not be helpful for the people of Gloucestershire if they had to have their cases heard at courts outside the county. It was therefore agreed that a letter be sent to Gloucestershire MPs to ask for their support in maintaining a Gloucestershire based court system.

ACTION:        Andrea Clarke

 

6.5       The Panel asked that its thanks be passed on to all Police staff and volunteers for their commitment and dedication to keeping the residents of Gloucestershire safe during the pandemic.

 

6.6       The Panel agreed to support the Black Lives Matter Statement agreed by Leadership Gloucestershire as described in the report.

 

6.7       Members also thanked officers for providing the additional information on domestic abuse and Special Constables (these were available on the council’s website).

 

7.

OPCC Draft Annual Report pdf icon PDF 6 MB

Minutes:

7.         The Panel agreed that this was a good report, and an improvement on the previous year. Panel Members were particularly impressed with the parking buddies in use at some Gloucestershire schools and requested details on how to acquire these for schools in their divisions/wards.

ACTION:        Andrea Clarke

 

7.2       In response to a question it was explained the Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR) were now managed by Safer Gloucestershire, Chaired by the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. Previously they could take up to 4 years to complete but now that they were in the purview of Safer Gloucestershire this had been reduced to 12 months where possible. It was noted that there were 4 currently being undertaken. The Deputy PCC informed the Panel that he would be instigating a review of completed DHRs to identify whether the learning points had been picked up across partner organisations.

 

8.

OPCC Appointment of Chief Executive Officer pdf icon PDF 59 KB

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1       The PCC reminded the Panel of the background to the appointment of Mr Bradley to the post. Supporting documentation was included in the agenda pack. Mr Bradley discussed his work experience and background, and the changes/achievements he had put in place since his interim appointment as CEO in 2019.

 

8.2       The Panel agreed that having worked with Mr Bradley for some years, both as Deputy CEO and Interim CEO, that it could support this appointment; that Mr Bradley had the professional competence to exercise the role as set out in the role profile, and that he has the personal independence to exercise the role, as set out in the role profile.

 

9.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Panel may wish to exclude the press and public from the meeting during the consideration of the remaining items on the agenda in accordance with the provisions of section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (schedule 12A paragraphs 1,2 & 3) which are:

 

Ø  Information relating to any individual.

Ø  Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

Ø  Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Minutes:

The Panel agreed that it was not necessary to go into exempt session to discuss the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.