The Panel considered a report of the Police and Crime Commissioner which presented the draft Police and Crime Plan 2017-2021. The Panel also received an oral presentation from Lord Bach which provided further explanation of his Plan. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 7’, and the presentation slides are filed with these minutes.
Arising from the presentation the following points were made:
(i) This was an early first draft of the Plan and sections were to be added on Governance and holding the Chief Constable to account. It was noted therefore that the Panel’s formal role in reviewing and making recommendations on the Plan would be carried out when the final draft plan was submitted to the Panel in February 2017.
(ii) The PCC was minded to change the title of the Plan as he felt that it needed to make reference to partnership working. He invited suggestions for the new title.
(iii) Where the Plan referred to visible policing this did not just refer to being able to see police officers/staff in person but included the public being able to communicate with the Police via social media technology such as Twitter.
(iv) The Chief Constable had been consulted on the contents of the Plan and was in agreement with the greater part of it. One of the few areas where there was disagreement was the extent to which Police Officers would be visible, but a form of words on this subject for the Plan was being agreed between the Chief Constable and the PCC.
(v) In response to a question about the lack of targets in the draft Police and Crime Plan and how it could be judged whether the Plan had been successfully implemented, Lord Bach stated that he did not intend to include specific targets in the Plan and was of the view that targets could be misleading and did not provide the complete picture of whether an initiative had been successful. Members stated that the dashboard provided by the former PCC had been of some use in assessing crime data and performance, and in response the PCC made Members aware of the monthly crime report which the force sent to the Home Office which contained some of the information that was in the dashboard. The PCC stated that he was sceptical about crime figures and was of the view that targets were not the only way of judging success.
(vi) The issue of the lack of targets in the Plan was raised further by Members in regard to commissioning and how Community Safety Partnerships would know how their use of the Commissioning money would be judged. The PCC acknowledged that organisations in receipt of commissioning funding were entitled to a fair assessment criteria but he stated that the clarity on this would not be improved by the setting of targets.
(vii) The PCC recognised that cybercrime was an increasingly significant problem and stated that in his view it needed to be tackled more on a regional and national level rather than locally due to the resources required to tackle it. He felt the National Crime Agency should take the lead on cybercrime and stated that he would be using mediums such as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to promote the importance of tackling cybercrime. It was asked whether there was a lead PCC for cybercrime and the OPCC agreed to find out and inform Members.
(viii) The PCC acknowledged that there was at present too little weight given in the Plan to preventative work such as early intervention, the County Council’s Supporting Leicestershire Families programme being one such example.
(ix) Members supported the intention in the Plan to improve the Police101 non-emergency telephone system. It was noted that respondents to the consultation had overwhelmingly indicated that they preferred to report matters not requiring a 999 call via another non-emergency phone line. Members also reported complaints from the public about poor response times to 101 calls. It was agreed that a report on this matter would be submitted to a future Panel meeting.
(x) An Equality Impact Assessment of the Plan was being undertaken. The Commissioning Framework was also subject to an Equality Impact Assessment.
(a) That the early first draft of the Police and Crime Plan 2017-21 and the comments made thereon be noted.
(b) That it be noted that the final draft Police and Crime Plan would be submitted to the Panel’s meeting on 3 February 2017.