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, particularly the new Panel Members. The changes to the Substantive membership were:


·       Gareth Prosser was replacing Joe Baker (Redditch)

·       Tony Baker was replacing David Chambers (Malvern)

·       James Stanley was replacing Mike Johnson (Worcester City)


Thanks were also recorded to all those members who had just left the Panel.



Named Substitutes

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Councillor Kit Taylor was a named substitute for Councillor Karen May (Bromsgrove District Council).




Chairman's Announcements

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The Chairman advised the Panel that sadly Bill Longmore, the first Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia from November 2012 to May 2016 had passed away in May this year following a long battle with cancer.


The Panel were advised that the Home Secretary had approved the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC's) Business Case for taking on governance of fire and rescue services in West Mercia.  The procedure  had however been put on hold by the Home Office whilst Judicial Review challenges from the relevant Fire and Rescue Authorities were resolved. As a consequence of this, the Panel would be offered relevant training if required when the Judicial Review challenges had been resolved.




Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Apologies were received from Councillors Dakin, May, Mehta, Smith and Tremellen.


Declarations of interest were made as follows:


·       Colonel Tony Ward was a member of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner's (OPCC's) Trust, Integrity and Ethics Committee

·       Gareth Prosser was a retired Police Officer in receipt of a Police Pension

·       Steve Mackay was a retired Police Officer in receipt of a Police Pension (not West Mercia Police).



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 18 June 2018).  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 170 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 6 February 2018.

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The Chairman advised the Panel that objections had been received from the OPCC in respect of draft Minute number 245: Scrutiny of the Sale of Registration Plate AB1 and the Panel's Report which had subsequently been sent to the PCC.  The Chairman confirmed that the minutes had been checked and verified and as a result one amendment had been made to the Report sent to the PCC. The Chairman reminded the Panel that the minutes were a record of what was discussed at the meeting.


Cllr Mackay advised that draft Minute 242: Apologies and Declarations of Interest was inaccurate as it referred to him as being a former Member of the West Mercia Police Authority and knowing Paul West, the former Chief Constable in a professional capacity. Cllr Mackay was not a previous member of the West Mercia Police authority and didn’t know Paul West, the former West Mercia Chief Constable.  Subject to this amendment, the Minutes were otherwise agreed to be a correct record of the 6 February 2018 meeting and were signed by the Chairman.



Draft Annual Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the draft Annual Report of PCC for West Mercia and determine whether it would wish to make any recommendations to the PCC for consideration. The Report for 2017/18 provided a high-level overview of the PCC’s work over the last financial year.


Under Section 12 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, the PCC was required to report to the Police and Crime Panel on the exercise of his functions in each financial year. Specifically, the Annual Report should report on:


a) the exercise of the PCC’s functions in each financial year, and

b) the progress which has been made in the financial year in meeting the police and crime objectives in the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan.


In accordance with the Act, the Panel was required to review the Report and to make any recommendations to the PCC for consideration. The PCC must then respond to any report or recommendations that the Panel make prior to publishing the final version on the Report.


The PCC introduced the Report and circulated Neighbourhood Team profiles to the Panel for information.  The PCC explained that the last year had built on the foundations set out in his first year in office continuing with the principles of: Putting victims first, and delivering a secure, reformed, reassured and ultimately safer West Mercia and highlighted examples from the Report.


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·       Body Worn Video (BWV) seemed to be giving local Police Officers greater confidence when carrying out their roles but it was too early to confirm whether the number of complaints received had reduced as a result

·       It was confirmed that the Custody Suite in Leominster was not operational and that standards had changed since it had been built. The PCC however, was confident that there were sufficient Custody Suites in West Mercia

·       Although plans had taken a long time to come to fruition, the PCC confirmed that progress was being made for a shared police and fire station in Hereford

·       As mentioned earlier in the meeting, the PCC confirmed his commitment to filling and maintaining the PCSO posts

·       The benefits of Smart Water were often not understood and it was important to continue promoting this

·       Talks were at an advanced stage for a shared police and fire station in Redditch

·       Reducing reoffending on more serious crime was complex, one example of work in this area was the Drive project in Worcestershire. This was a new response to tackling the behaviour of high risk domestic abuse perpetrators, using a one-to-one case management approach. Other services eg mental health were also allocating resources to this area

·       It was suggested that the reference to the levels of recorded crime (page 3) was confusing to the reader when the proportions of crime were not given in the paragraph.


The Panel discussed the Report and the only recommendation made was for the PCC to consider prior to publishing the final version of the Report whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 256.


Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Inspection Report: PEEL Police Effectiveness 2017: An Inspection of West Mercia Police pdf icon PDF 112 KB

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In March 2018, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published its inspection findings into Police Effectiveness as part of its annual rolling programme of inspections on the efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy of police forces within England and Wales (PEEL).  A Report was published for each force alongside a National one.  A copy of the West Mercia Inspection Report was circulated with the Agenda.


The PEEL Inspection Reports provided a judgement grade of ‘outstanding’, ‘good’ ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.  Each force was given an overall grading as well as individual grades for each of the key areas which were subject to inspection in that year.  The overall grading for West Mercia in the latest report was ‘requires improvement’. The table below provided a summary of the grading for each area within the Inspection.


Inspection area



Preventing crime and ASB/ keeping people safe

Requires improvement

Investigating crime/managing offenders


Protecting vulnerable people/ supporting victims

Requires Improvement

Tackling serious and organised crime


Specialist capabilities



Requires improvement

*This area was inspected as part of the 2016 inspection


The PCC advised the Panel that he and the Chief Constable were disappointed with the overall grading, particularly in respect of tackling serious and organised crime and a copy of the letter that he had sent to the Home Secretary was included in the Agenda for the Panel's reference.  The letter set out the PCC's observations and actions on each of the areas raised by HMICFRS for improvement. Beneath these actions were clear plans and targets for improvement.


The PCC explained that he recognised and accepted the failings identified and now had a greater confidence that that there was a focus on the key areas. The PCC was continuing to hold the Chief Constable to account for the activity the Force was taking in response to the areas identified for further improvement and had changed the approach to the holding to account process and had also appointed specific points of contact for the Action Plan.


At the time of the Inspection, the West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police Alliance was undergoing a leadership review and had since appointed a shared Assistant Chief Constable with direct responsibility for shared functions across the Alliance.  The New Assistant Chief Constable had the delivery of policing of serious and organised crime as a priority.


The Chief Constable outlined the background to the PEEL Inspection process and how serious and organised crime (which was one element of this), fitted into the process. West Mercia Police wasn’t in the position it would have wanted to be in respect of this area but the Chief Constable was mindful that the Force was doing a lot of good work, but unfortunately not able to demonstrate and evidence this in a consistent way.  There was now a West Mercia Improvement Plan in place which addressed all of the areas identified for improvement by the HMICFRS.


The Chief Constable highlighted the importance of recognising that the central Leadership  ...  view the full minutes text for item 257.


Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (January 2018 - March 2018) pdf icon PDF 231 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report for January 2018-March 2018 and determine whether it would wish to carry out any further scrutiny or make any comments.


The PCC in introducing the Report to the Panel highlighted that the next holding to account session with the Chief Constable on 26 June (10.30am) would be live on Facebook and would be the first public holding to account session.  The PCC commended the Report to the Panel.


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·       It was confirmed that 'Track my Crime' which would be part of the IT System Athena would be part of Phase 2, but as yet there was no date of implementation

·       There was no target for the number of Special Constables, but it was important to encourage as much interest as possible

·       The PCC was commended on Appendix 2 of the Report, which was simple and understandable

·       In response to the suggestion that it would be helpful if more detail could be provided around road traffic collisions, the PCC explained that some detail was available in the wider report and that the Safer Roads Partnership also supported this area.



The National Association of Police, Fire and Crime Panels pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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In September 2017, the Panel considered options for establishing national representation for Police and Crime Panels.  The Panel considered that a Special Interest Group within the LGA would be the most appropriate.


An inaugural meeting of interested Panels was held in April 2018 at which it was agreed to form a National Association. John Gili-Ross from Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel, was elected as Chairman and he had written to all Panel Chairmen setting out further details including its terms of reference (letter enclosed in the Agenda).  An application to form a Special Interest Group of the LGA had been submitted and it was hoped, this would be considered at the June LGA Board meeting.


The Panel agreed that the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel would join the National Association of Police, Fire and Crime Panels at a membership fee for the first year of £500.



Election of Chairman

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Cllr Wilcox was standing down as Chairman following his term of office. On behalf of the Panel, Cllr Wood thanked Cllr Wilcox for leading the Panel for the last 3 years.


Cllr Steve Mackay was proposed and seconded as Chairman. There being no other nominees, Cllr Mackay was duly elected Chairman of the Panel for 3 years  and took the Chair.



Election of Vice-Chairman

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


Cllr Wood was appointed as Vice-Chairman for 3 years.