The Police and Crime Panel considered a report of the Police and Crime Commissioner which presented the Quarter 1 2018/19 performance report. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 5’, is filed with these minutes.
Arising from discussions the following points were noted:
(i) In response to a question from the Chairman regarding the levels of confidence the public had in reporting crime, the PCC stated that there was no formal intelligence on the issue however on the whole he believed more people were prepared to come forward to report crimes. The PCC emphasised that the public were encouraged to report all crimes. The PCC said that there was some anecdotal evidence that some people did not report crimes due to issues with the 101 telephone service.
(ii) A member also raised concerns regarding the 101 and 999 telephone services particularly relating to the care and assurance shown by the call handlers to those people calling in. In response it was acknowledged that public expectations of the telephone services were high and these expectations needed to be managed. The service offer to the public via the 101 and 999 telephone services was being reviewed and it was hoped that in future the issues the callers were raising could be resolved as early as possible in the process. However, resources were finite and any funding given to 101 and 999 telephone call handling would have to be taken from other areas of policing.
(iii) In response to queries from a member regarding how the Force would cope with the increasing crime and maintain effective policing in the future, the PCC provided reassurance that he was monitoring the situation and in his view new approaches were required to cope with the increasing demand. Members were reminded that in the report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services published in March 2018 Leicestershire Police had been rated as ‘Good’ in all areas that the force had been assessed against and no areas had been identified for improvement
(iv) With regard to the increase in rapes being recorded the PCC stated that he believed this was partly due to an increased confidence on the part of victims to report. There were sometimes difficulties caused by victims not taking part in a medical examination or supporting the prosecution all the way to Court which hindered the prospects of conviction. The PCC clarified that the figures for rape by strangers were very low and in most of those cases the perpetrator was caught. Most rapes were committed in a domestic situation by a person known to the victim.
(v) Clarification was given with regards to paragraph 10c of the report and it was explained that the Integrated Offender Management team were managing 328 prolific offenders, a figure which had gone up from 316 the previous year.
(vi) It was explained that whilst tackling drug trafficking across county lines was a priority it did not fit into one of the specific categories of crime that the Home Office recorded and therefore was not referred to under the Headlines – Recorded Crime section of the report.
(vii) In response to a question about media coverage of knife crime in other parts of the region reassurance was given that Leicestershire Police had appeared on television and radio to disseminate messages about knife crime, and the Force had been involved in the national knife crime campaign involving the boxer Anthony Joshua. Leicestershire Police and the OPCC had recently submitted a bid for funding from the government’s early intervention fund in relation to knife and violent crime. The outcome of the bid was not known and was not expected to be announced for several weeks.
(viii) The PCC praised the work of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, and in response to a request agreed to provide Panel members with copies of the Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy.
(ix) Members commended Leicestershire Police for their work on the digital hub and their success in reducing the turnaround times for digital examinations.
(x) The PCC shared Panel Members’ concerns about the approach of large stores to shoplifting and the stores’ failure to heed advice given by the Police.
(xi) Reassurance was given that Leicestershire Police were preparing for an increase in Brexit related hate crime and the PCC was leading on the issue nationally along with two other PCCs. There were no extra resources being allocated to the issue and it was hoped that the impact on neighbourhood policing would be kept to a minimum.
That the contents of the report be noted.