Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Contact: Sheena Jones 


No. Item


Welcome and Introductions

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The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting including the new Panel Members, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Cllr Eric Carter, Chairman of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Paul Tuthill Vice-Chairman Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority, Peter Tromans, Warwickshire Deputy PCC, Jon Scanlan, Police Strategy and Reform Unit, Home Office  and Kieran Martin Police Strategy and Reform Unit, Home Office.



Named Substitutes

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Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Apologies were received from Councillors May and Mehta.


A declaration of interest was made by Colonel Tony Ward who was a member of the Trust, Integrity and Ethics Committee.



Appointment of Vice-Chairman

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Cllr Michael Wood was proposed and seconded as Vice-Chairman. There were no other nominees.


Cllr Wood was appointed as Vice-Chairman until July 2018.



Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part (asking a question or making a statement) should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by email indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case Monday, 20 July 2015).  Enquiries can be made through the telephone number / email address listed below.

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Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 2 February 2015.

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The Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 June 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Joint Governance of Police and Fire and Rescue services in Hereford and Worcester and Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin pdf icon PDF 295 KB

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The Panel was asked to consider and comment on the report from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) providing a summary of the initial findings from the West Mercia Fire and Rescue Governance Consultation which had finished on 11 September 2017.


At its last meeting, the Panel considered the PCC's draft initial business case for the joint governance of Police and Fire and Rescue services in Hereford and Worcester and Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.


Following the initial comments made by the Panel, the PCC was invited to return to Panel with final proposals prior to the submission to the Secretary of State on 1 October 2017; which had been extended to 9 October 2017.


A Report from the Chief Executive on behalf of the PCC was provided to the Panel outlining an initial analysis of the Consultation results.  The Panel was advised that the Report didn’t include the PCC’s formal response to the Consultation, which would be published in due course. 


The Chairman invited the Chairman of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority and Vice-Chairman Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority and the Officer from the Police Strategy and Reform Unit, Home Office to address the Panel.


Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority (Councillor Eric Carter)


Councillor Carter suggested that as result of various recent discussions, he thought it was important to look for agreement on a local basis for collaborative working as suggested by the Fire Minister.  He urged the PCC to take into consideration the views of the constituent authorities, none of which were in favour of the proposal for a Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner and take into account that they represented a large number of people.  He also circulated a newspaper article from the Shropshire Star, which had run an online poll to ask if readers agreed with the PCC running the fire service. 22% said yes and 78% said no.  He further made the point that only two local authorities in the Country were actually in favour of the proposal.


Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority


Councillor Tuthill highlighted various examples of collaboration between the Police and Fire services eg the new Bromsgrove Police and Fire Station, new stations at Malvern, Worcester, Evesham and the Headquarters of the Fire Authority which were moving to the West Mercia Police Headquarters at Hindlip, Worcester which would result in some economies and integration of control systems eventually. There had already been significant savings from joint working: in 2010 expenditure was £32m and was now £31.7m.  Councillor Tuthill suggested that services should continue to collaborate further and then the situation should be reviewed in 3 years' time.


Officer from the Police Strategy and Reform Unit, Home Office (Jonathon Scanlan)


The Officer explained how:

·         Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) could make proposals to take over fire authority governance responsibilities within their police area;

·         PCCs prepared a business case and must consult with constituent fire authorities;

·         The Secretary of State decided on proposals;

·         If a constituent local authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 225.


Current and Non-Recent Sexual Offences pdf icon PDF 446 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the PCCs Report on current and non-recent sexual offences and determine whether it would wish to make any recommendations to the PCC for consideration.


At its June meeting, the Panel received a briefing paper on current and non-recent sexual offences, following which the Chairman requested that the PCC provide the Panel with a more detailed response to address the Panel's concerns about the increased volume of sexual offences, the number of offences resulting in action being taken and the resource related concerns.


The Chairman thanked the PCC for the Report which addressed most of concerns raised except for the query regarding whether there was a reduction in other criminal investigations or policing caused by the substantial rise in such cases, which the PCC advised that that it was not possible to estimate or quantify.


The PCC confirmed that the grants made to other organisations to support victims of sexual violence had been protected and in some cases increased. Coping and recovery of survivors of sexual crimes was vitally important and although it was early days in terms of being able to provide quantifiable victim satisfaction work some work had been commissioned in this area.


In response to the question about why there was an overall upward trend for rape and other sexual offences, the PCC advised that there was no proven answer but society had changed its attitude toward sexual violence and victims were now more confident to report crimes in this area. Also, the attitude of the Police towards victims had changed and victims now believed that they would be taken seriously.  Reporting standards and recording was more accurate and although the figures were continuing to rise, this wasn't necessarily an indication that that the crime was rising.


It was confirmed that specialist training was provided to all staff involved in this area.


In view of the Panel's concern for this area of work, the PCC agreed to consider enhancing the Sexual Offences section in the Performance Summary to provide more detail.


Police and Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (April 2017-June 2017) pdf icon PDF 374 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (April 2017-June 2017), determine whether it would wish to carry out any further scrutiny or make any comments.


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·       In considering the success of PACT meetings, the PCC advised that they varied considerably according to the area but what was important was what worked for a particular community.  He also thought that there  was always more that could be done to support the process

·       A concern was raised about the worsening performance trends eg confidence in the police was ranked 8 out of 8 (against the Most Similar Group (MSG)), increasing numbers of offence volume above average and an increase in the number of crimes.  The PCC was asked what actions he was taking to address this and reverse the trends. The PCC explained that this was an area of concern and that there are a number of factors to take into account eg some areas were better than others but even so, good practice needed to be replicated to ensure consistency across all areas.  The PCC was carrying out 'Holding to Account' sessions and this was one of the areas of focus. The Police Force were being asked to prepare action plans to address these types of issues and the PCC was confident that the Chief Constable understood the issue and was taking appropriate action

·       It was suggested that it would be helpful if the Performance Summary (without making the report burdensome) could capture some actions to demonstrate outcomes and improvements. The PCC agreed to give the request some thought

·       Paragraph 4.8 of Appendix 2 Delivery Plan Extract was referred to and an update on progress requested.  The PCC advised that the Strategy was now in place and there was a Police Force Lead Officer but that he would provide a more detailed response

·       The PCC was thanked for his support in respect of Community Speed Watch (Paragraph 2.5, page 33). It was suggested that in order to improve the effectiveness of the Scheme that signage should be put up when entering a village with a Community Speed Watch Scheme rather than at the start of where the speed was measured from, this it was suggested would encourage compliance with the speed limit rather than drivers merely slowing down at the point when speed was being measured and then increasing speed afterwards. The PCC was also asked if he could support the towns and villages by sending an advisory warning letter when a speed limit had been exceeded. The PCC agreed that this was something he would support and would look into

·       The general increase in crime figures was referred to and whether there was an underlying trend or a blip. The PCC advised that this was an increase in total recorded crime but that he was not able to advise whether it was an increase in actual crime, it was a complex area where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 227.


Cyber Crime Strategy pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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The Panel was asked to consider the Cyber Crime Strategy and determine whether it would wish to make any comments to the Police and Crime Commissioner.


Nationally, cyber crime was recognised as one of the greatest risks facing the Country and was a key element of the Strategic Policing Requirement.  At a Force level the threat from cyber crime was identified in the Alliance Control Strategy as one of the highest risks faced by the Alliance.


In 2016 the Force signed off the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Cyber Crime Strategy 2016.  This document set out at a strategic level the 4 P’s (Prevent Pursue, Protect, Prepare) approach that was currently being implemented across the Alliance. 


Shortly after the Strategy was implemented operational requirements led to a number of changes in senior police personnel responsible for the implementation of the Strategy.  On a day to day basis the Force approach to cyber crime was now the responsibility of a Superintendent.


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·       There were insufficient resources to prevent individuals becoming vulnerable and more work was needed in terms of safeguarding as it was an area which changed and progressed so quickly. The resources that were available however were being spent efficiently working with the alliance and across the region to share expertise. There also needed to a  joined up approach from a national perspective

·       The PCC was confident that they were able to recruit suitably qualified people to deal with cyber crime, he did however suggest that opportunities were arising in this area in a volunteer capacity

·       Cyber crime did have the potential to affect front line services, but the PCC was aware of this and intended to be as efficient as possible and was actively managing it.


Sixth Annual National Conference for Police and Crime Panels pdf icon PDF 72 KB

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Members of the Panel were asked to indicate whether they would be interested in attending Sixth National Conference for Chairs, Members and Support Officers of Police and Crime Panels on Monday 6 November 2017 from 10am-4pm at Scarman House, Warwick Conference Centre CV4 7SH by advising the Scrutiny Officer by 6 October 2017.


Police and Crime Panels - Consultation on Proposals for National Representation pdf icon PDF 128 KB

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The Panel was asked to consider and comment on the Consultation on Proposals for National Representation. The views of the Panel would be fed back to the Chairman of Hertfordshire PCP who was co-ordinating a response on behalf of all Police and Crime Panels.


The paper set out three options for consideration: an Association, a Special Interest Group or a Combination of the first two options.


The plan was to seek the views of Police and Crime Panels and issue a revised document in mid-October to inform a discussion and agreement on the way forward at the National Conference on 6 November 2017.


The Panel agreed that it supported the principle of forming a national group.  Members of the Panel referred to the PCCs having their own organisation and that it would be appropriate for the Panels charged with scrutiny of the PCC's to have a collective voice too.


Of the options set out in the Consultation paper, the Panel considered that the Special Interest Group within the LGA would be the most appropriate.  All authorities represented on the Panel were all members of the LGA.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 96 KB

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The Panel considered and agreed the proposed Work Programme.


It was also agreed that a Task Group would be established to look at the Budget.  Councillors Stokes, Reynolds, Bowen and Wood indicated that they would be interested in joining the Task Group.



Future Meeting Dates

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It was agreed that the 2018 meetings would be held on Tuesdays in February, June, September and November.  Dates would be circulated to the Panel in due course.