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. The changes to the Substantive membership were:


·         Adam Kent was replacing Karen May (Bromsgrove)

·         Sarah Rouse was replacing Tony Baker (Malvern)

·         Julian Grubb was replacing Gareth Prosser (Redditch)

·         Jabba Riaz was replacing James Stanley (Worcester City)

·         Rob Adams was replacing Emma Stokes (Wychavon)

·         Helen Dyke was replacing Juliet Smith (Wyre Forest)

·         Kuldip Sahota was replacing Stephen Reynolds (Telford and Wrekin)


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


Named Substitutes

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Cllr Peter Whatley was a substitute for Cllr Sarah Rouse (Malvern).



Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Apologies were received from Councillors Gwilym Butler, William Parr and Sarah Rouse.


Declarations of interest were made as follows:


·       Julian Grubb was a retired Police Officer in receipt of a Police Pension (not West Mercia Police)

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


Appointment of Co-opted Members pdf icon PDF 69 KB

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It was recommended that the Panel agreed to the co-option of 5 elected members as set out in the Report and notified to the Panel, or such members as may be nominated from time to time by their respective authorities to achieve the balanced appointment objective.


Given the nominations from each of the authorities, to secure political balance the additional co-opted members would be 1 Labour councillor, 3 Conservative councillors and 1 Liberal Democrat councillor.  Nominations to these places were received as follows:


Shropshire (3 co-optees):  Councillors Butler, Parr (Conservative) and Evans (Liberal Democrat)

Telford and Wrekin (1 Labour Co-optee): Councillor Lavery

Herefordshire (1 Conservative Co-optee): Councillor Durkin


Accordingly, the Panel agreed that Councillors Butler, Parr, Evans, Lavery and Durkin or such members as may be nominated from time to time by their respective authorities to achieve the balanced appointment objective be co-opted to the Panel.


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 17 June 2019).  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 119 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 7 February 2019.

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The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 February 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Draft Annual Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia pdf icon PDF 62 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the draft Annual Report of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and determine whether it would wish to make any recommendations to the PCC for consideration. The 2018/19 Report 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 West Mercia Police and Crime Panel (PCP) 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 had 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 made prior to publishing the final version of the Report.


The PCC introduced the Report and explained that the last year had built on the progress made in previous years, continuing with the principles of: Putting Victims and Survivors First, Building a more Secure, Reformed, Reassured and ultimately Safer West Mercia.


The PCC highlighted some of the areas of focus for the year:


Putting Victims and Survivors First


·         The launch of the Victim Advice Line, a dedicated victim support service in April 2019

·         The work taking place through the Drive Project to deter perpetrator behaviour


Building a more Secure West Mercia


·         The PCC’s Drug Strategy published in May 2019

·         Keeping the communities safe by managing the demand of the 999 service and working to improve the 101 service (acknowledging that there was still further work to be done)

·         The development of the Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) Strategy, which was being consulted on shortly


Reforming West Mercia


·         Continuing with the organisational reform and although the Strategic Alliance was coming to an end, negotiations would continue with Warwickshire to identify future alternative collaboration arrangements which would be mutually beneficial

·         Continuing with the new Policing Priorities by investing in the workforce, with a focus on well-being and sickness

·         Continued work around estates focusing on ensuring police buildings were fit for purpose and located where they were most effective



Reassuring West Mercia’s Communities


·         The PCC had continued his activity engaging with the community, working together with partners to be part of solutions to local issues, with ongoing support for SmartWater and focusing on rural and business crime.


During the opportunity for questions, the following main points were made:


·         A Member questioned the information provided as part of the ‘The Year in Numbers’ and asked if 62% of 101 calls were answered within 30 seconds, what was happening with the other 38% of calls.  The PCC explained that he received a weekly performance update and on average the wait time was 40 seconds with 10% of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 300.


Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) 'Peel: Police Effectiveness 2017 An Inspection of West Mercia Police' - Update Report pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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The Panel received an update report outlining how the Force and the PCC were responding to findings outlined in the 2017 PEEL Police Effectiveness Inspection Report. 


The PCC was pleased to advise that the Force had been disengaged and he was keen to ensure that a similar situation didn’t occur in the future.


During the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:


·         A Member suggested the number of offences carried out whilst on bail or awaiting sentencing was increasing. The PCC explained that the process of gathering ‘good’ evidence could take a while, but it was important that the justice process was fair. The PCC was unsure whether the changes to the pre-charge bail limit as part of the Policing and Crime Act was connected to this or not

·         A Member referred to Area for Improvement (AFI) 3 which was about the force taking steps to understand the reasons why a high proportion of crimes related to domestic abuse fell into the category ‘Evidential difficulties; victim does not support police action’ and asked whether as part of the measures being taken, dip sampling was being used. The PCC explained that there had been significant work around this AFI as the levels were too high and there were issues around timeliness and quality, which was a focus for the newly formed Strategic Priorities Board jointly chaired by both Assistant Chief Constables (ACC)

·         The force had arranged for a number of peer reviews to feed into their approach to SOC, with input from both Merseyside and Derbyshire.  The PCC agreed to check when the findings from the peer reviews would be available

·         More recently, the force had been subject to a Home Office supported strategic framework review of serious violence and vulnerability, focusing on issues such as county lines and gang violence.  The review focused on partnership approaches and it was anticipated that the findings from the review would help inform the partnership work around preventing people from being drawn into SOC.

·         It was confirmed that the HMICFRS Inspection regime was not being carried out jointly with Warwickshire, both forces were inspected separately.


The Report was noted.


Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (January - March 2019) pdf icon PDF 302 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report for January to March 2019 and determine whether it would wish to carry out any further scrutiny or make any comments.


The main points made during the discussion were:


·         It was noted that in respect of oversight of complaints made against the police, the Police and Crime Act 2017 included significant changes to the police complaints and discipline system. Notably, the Act gave PCCs a greater role in the police complaints system. A question was asked about the staff resource implications of these changes.  In response the Chief Executive, OPCC explained that these changes had yet to take place, but the Home Office had agreed a 6-month implementation phase and consideration was being given to approaching the changes from a regional perspective and a draft joint Business Case with West Midlands, Staffordshire and Warwickshire was being prepared

·         The Home Office had announced that it would be closing the online crime reporting tool (Track my Crime) with effect from 1 August 2019.  Police Transformation funding had been used to develop the Single Online Home website (SOH), the new national digital public contact platform for police forces, being delivered by the NPCC’s Digital Policing Portfolio, which over 40 forces in England and Wales had committed to joining, including West Mercia. In future SOH would provide the platform for online reporting. It wouldn’t necessarily have a tracking facility

·         With regard to Regional financial investigation (FI). The PCC explained that the money was shared out between partners, (including the courts), government and the Police.


The Report was noted.


Commissioning Activity of the Police and Crime Commissioner Including the Changes to Victim Support Services pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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The Panel received a presentation on the commissioning process used by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office on the coverage of activity and recent changes to victim support services, which had received endorsement from the Ministry of Justice. 


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·         A Member asked about what support was available for speeding in rural areas. The PCC explained that he was willing with local authorities to assist with engineering for safe enforcement sites and acknowledged that there was still more to do, but ultimately there was a balance between community priority and keeping people safe.  The PCC also advised that there would be an average speed camera pilot shortly

·         The PCC was commended on the SmartWater Scheme in Claines.  It was suggested that a similar scheme would be welcomed in Worcester in respect of Asian gold burglary which was an increasing crime.  The PCC advised that that the SmartWater Scheme was open to all and the detail would be provided to the Panel.  Essentially, the PCC offered 25% towards the cost, kits at a reduced price, signage and help with the distribution.  The PCC didn’t lead on the Scheme, it was community led (although he was part of the solution)

·         The PCC was asked about his views in respect of re-habilitation of offenders, particularly young people just entering the workforce. The PCC, whilst understanding the importance of punishing crime was also keen not criminalise young people so as to reduce their life chances.  The PCC was also mindful of the views of communities

·         The Panel would be provided with referral waiting times for specialist victim support

·         It was confirmed that West Mercia were members of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, which facilitated the sharing of best practice

·         The PCC’s commissioning schemes were audited by the Worcestershire and Warwickshire Internal Audit Team.


The Report was noted.


Complaints 2018-19 Annual Report pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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The Panel was reminded that one of its functions under the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 was to deal with non-criminal complaints about the conduct of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and his Deputy via its approved procedure as detailed in the Agenda report. 


The Democratic, Governance and Scrutiny Manager reported that during 2018-19, four complaints were recorded concerning the conduct of the PCC.   Two of these were referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and both were returned to the PCP as they did not merit investigation by the IOPC. No further action was taken on either of these complaints by the PCP.  One of the remaining 2 complaints was withdrawn and the regulations for complaints were disapplied for the fourth complaint as it was repetitious.


The Report was noted.