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 the PCC which provided further explanation of his Plan. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 7’, is filed with these minutes.
The Chairman welcomed the Chief Constable to the meeting for this item. The PCC paid tribute to the Chief Constable and officers in the OPCC for the role they had played in developing the Plan.
Arising from discussion the following points were made:
· Substantial changes had been made to the Plan since it was considered by the Panel at the previous meeting. Comments made by the Panel and other partners had been taken account of and incorporated into the latest draft. An additional theme had been added to the Plan which was entitled ‘Viable Partnerships’. The PCC felt it was important to add this theme because the other four ‘V’s’ did not demonstrate that effective partnership working was essential for the Plan to be implemented successfully. The Panel welcomed the additional focus on partnership working.
· The PCC acknowledged that more work needed to be done to broaden the demographics of those that responded to the survey for the Police and Crime Plan. The Panel agreed that this was an important issue to focus on.
· The Panel noted that there was no reference in the aims of the Plan to improving public confidence in the Police and it was felt that this could be a stronger theme as confidence can be increased by increased visibility, ease of access to police services, or providing a sufficiently robust response to specific crime or problems in a specific locality. The PCC agreed that it was important to improve public confidence in the Police. It was noted that public confidence in the Police was routinely measured by local surveys.
· It was suggested that the aims relating to victim services at point 40 of the Plan should include reference to monitoring victim satisfaction. The PCC acknowledged that this was a good point and agreed to give consideration to including victim satisfaction in the Plan.
· The PCC intended to focus on what was best for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and would bear this in mind when making decisions on whether to enter regional collaborations with other Forces. However, decisions not to take part in collaborations would be reviewed regularly to ascertain whether circumstances had changed and if it had become in the best interests of the Force to join the collaboration.
· One of the PCC’s aims was to broaden the scope of the 101 telephone service so that it could deal with wider issues than just reporting crime. The PCC further explained that he did not want the 101 service to merely give out phone numbers for other services but wanted it to be able to make referrals to other agencies without the caller having to put the phone down. However, the PCC made it clear that he would not continue to invest in the 101 service if it became apparent that the investment was not producing results and improvements were not being made. The Panel welcomed the aim to improve the 101 service.
· The Chairman noted that at point 24 the Plan referred to diversity and he suggested that the threat vulnerable people can face from radicalisation could be included at this point in the Plan. The PCC accepted this point and agreed to give it further consideration.
· The Panel welcomed the intention in the Plan to increase the number of black and minority ethnic people in the Force and asked for further details on how this would be achieved. The PCC stated that further consideration needed to be given to the matter and the details could not be announced yet. It was noted that as there had been a freeze in recruitment over the previous few years this had negatively impacted on the Force’s ability to diversify its staff.
· In response to a request from a Panel Member that the PCC make tackling cyber-crime a priority when commissioning, the PCC acknowledged that more could be done locally but stated that in his view the government placed too much responsibility on individual Police Forces to tackle the problem and more should be done at a national level. It was noted that Action Fraud, the national Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, had been set up to deal with these issues however more needed to be done to publicise the service.
· It was noted that the Plan intended to adopt a zero tolerance approach to the supply of Class A drugs and it was questioned whether in conjunction with this the PCC intended to adopt a zero tolerance approach to firearms. The PCC agreed to give this further consideration.
· It was noted that whilst tackling crime in the 18 to 24 year age group had been a priority for the previous PCC, this age group was not prioritised in the current PCC’s draft Plan. It was noted that the18 to 24 year old age group were more at risk of becoming first time entrants into the criminal justice system and were at risk of receiving less support from a modernised probation service under the new arrangements, and of receiving age appropriate sanctions from the courts. The PCC stated that he did not underestimate the vulnerability of 18-24 year olds however all age groups could be vulnerable and therefore he had not singled out a particular age group. It was noted that Integrated Offender Management engaged with 18-24 year olds.
· In response to a suggestion the PCC agreed to separate those with Mental Health problems and those with learning disabilities in the Plan as they were not necessarily related. It was also noted that the section on Mental Health referred to suicide but suicide did not appear elsewhere in the document and it was pointed out that suicide was not just related to mental health issues but could be a consequence of a crime that had been committed.
· It was suggested that the Plan could contain more on the role of the community in tackling mental health issues and that the Police could play a role in facilitating training in this area. The PCC accepted that the Police had a role to play in dealing with mental health but was of the view that the Police already spent too much time on it and that other statutory bodies should take a lead role. It was noted that that the Police were represented on the Health and Wellbeing Boards; the PCC attended the Leicester City Board and the Deputy PCC attended the County Board.
· It was agreed that the wording of paragraph 47.a would be amended to make it clear that there would be a new service to tackle the problems of drugs and alcohol.
· Clarification was given that the figure of 13,250 referrals given at point 49.b of the Plan related to the number of occasions when police officers or staff attended a property and had concerns about children. Therefore there could be multiple referrals for each visit.
· With regard to Value for Money it was suggested that the PCC appeared to be devolving more responsibility to partner agencies through existing structures whilst in contrast spending 1.2% of the police budget on his office. In response it was noted that the cost of Leicestershire’s OPCC was 20 pence below the average per head of population. By way of comparison Northamptonshire spent 1.4% of its budget on its OPCC.
· In response to a question regarding how the performance of the PCC could be judged given the lack of targets in the Plan the PCC stated that he did not think crime figures or public satisfaction surveys were a good way of measuring the performance of a PCC and that a broader view would need to be taken . The PCC did state that he wished to raise awareness amongst the public of the role of the PCC. It was noted that the PCC was only doing one term of office so he would not be able to be measured by voting at the next PCC election.
· It was noted that where Step 3 of the Equality Impact Assessment Form referred to ethnicity this was a self-assessment of ethnicity by the people who had completed the telephone survey.
That the Panel accepts and supports in full the Police and
Crime Plan subject to the comments now made and amendments proposed.