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.


Named Substitutes

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Councillor Peter Dyke was substitute for Councillor Helen Dyke.


Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Apologies were received from Cllrs Helen Dyke and William Parr.


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)

        Kuldip Sahota declared that he was standing for Police and Crime Commissioner in the May 2020 election.



Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part (asking a question or making a statement) should notify the Assistant Director Legal and Governance 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 4 February 2020).  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 128 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 27 November 2019.

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The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Proposed Precept and Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

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The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) apologised for the delay in confirming the proposals in respect of the Budget for 2020/21, Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 – 2022/23 and the precept for 2020/21. The delay was due to the general election and late grant notification from Government. The PCC thanked the Panel Members for their understanding and further apologised that detailed Scrutiny via a budget task group had not been possible this year due to the delay.


The headlines from the proposals were:


·         A Net Revenue Budget for 20/21 of £235.8m including an extra £11m

·         93 additional police officers

·         £225.20 per year average Band D Council Tax (£8.54)

·         £0 reserves used on reoccurring expenditure

·         £130.7m Govt Grant (an increase of £8.269m from 19/20 Grant)


The funding supported:


·         Financial stability without reliance on reserves

·         An increase in police visibility

·         Investment in tools for police officers to carry out roles more effectively

·         Extra resources being placed in areas of public concern – investigations into tackling drugs and most serious crimes

·         Greater investment in crime prevention and victim services

·         Putting West Mercia at the forefront


The Budget had been set in the context of:


·         Increased demand and complexity

·         A 2.5% Police Pay Award

·         Increased Employers Contribution for Police Pensions

·         ICT infrastructure investment/reform

·         Delay in delivering reform and savings due to delay in end of Policing Alliance

·         Every penny of taxpayer’s money spent in West Mercia


The total funding of the proposals for 20/21 was £235.805m:


·         £102.303m (43%) from Council Tax (inc. Collection Fund Surplus)

·         Proposed 3.94% (£8.54 Band D average) Council Tax increase – Additional £5.48m revenue

·         £130.718m (55%) Government Grant

·         £2.784m (1%) use of Reserves for one off expenditure


The PCC pointed out that the key risk for which there was no specific provision in Earmarked Reserves was, the obligation for reasonable costs in implementing the exit strategy for the Strategic Alliance with Warwickshire and in negotiating and implementing a revised collaborative arrangement.


Recruitment of police officers was continuing and by the end of July 2020, there would be 2238 police officers, including the additional 93 officers being recruited this year. The extra funding should ensure further development of clear metrics to measure impact of additional officers/resources and the dedicated Problem Solving Hub, which included increased resources for tackling rural crime.


The Chief Constable highlighted that:


·         The Force priorities had been reset in January 2019 and were safer people, safer roads and safer homes.

·         Last year, 115 additional Police Officers were recruited, and all were in post and on response shifts, with some areas in West Mercia having new teams providing improved Police Officer visibility.

·         The total uplift of Police Officers was 308 (including the additional 93 to be recruited this year). This year, it was intended to move the more qualified and experienced officers into the investigative, problem solving and safer roads teams. 88 officers would move to support the investigative model, 20 officers to support local problem solving teams to tackle the issues that matter most to local people and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 331.


West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner - End of Term Report pdf icon PDF 80 KB

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The Report was noted.


Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (Oct - Dec 2019) pdf icon PDF 305 KB

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The Panel was invited to consider the Police and Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report for October-December 2019.


During the discussion, the following main points were made:


·         A Member expressed concern about the increase in drug related offences and possession of weapons over the last few months and enquired whether this was a general trend or whether there were other reasons for the increase.  The PCC explained that some of the increase was due to increased police activity around county lines in addition to exposing the problem and it being more of a focus.  Going forward as more resources were put into the investigative teams, there would also be more investigative outcomes.

·         A question was asked about what the impact of the increased numbers of policing had been and it was suggested that better communication and feedback to communities would raise the confidence of the public in the Police.  The PCC acknowledged that the Force needed to be better at communication and he was holding the Chief Constable to account for this.

·         It was confirmed that the Home Secretary had engaged the independent experts from the policing sector to assist the Forces in in assessing and agreeing the costs of termination of the Strategic Alliance with Warwickshire and charging mechanisms for any ongoing collaborations. 

·         There were multiple entry routes for the recruitment of police officers including degree and degree level apprenticeships.

·         In response to a question about what a positive outcome would be for measuring the performance of West Mercia Police in complying with the best use of the Stop and Search Scheme, the Chief Constable advised that it would be finding something and detaining a perpetrator.

·         It was noted that theft of/from vehicles was reducing, but the PCC was concerned about the levels of reporting.

·         The long term trend for burglary was still up but was reducing year on year.

·         There were increased volumes of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), but numbers were low overall, the increases may be due to the various operations in progress.

·         It was noted that the Police Officer recruitment was going well but that 180 experienced officers were retiring.  The PCC was able reassure the Panel that he was confident in the skills mix of the Force to cope with the loss of the experienced officers.

·         Action Fraud - November 2019 was the 7th consecutive month that volumes had remained above the average and if this trend continued, the monthly average would increase.  The PCC suggested that this required a national response as Action Fraud was no longer fit for purpose.  He was lobbying government and working with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) on this.

·         Concern was expressed about the abandoned rate for 999 calls, which had increased for the quarter and the PCC was asked what measures were being taken to improve this.   The PCC advised that the performance had improved with 90% of call being answered in 10 seconds and was subject to weekly monitoring.

·         Shropshire were taking part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 333.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 81 KB

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The following additions to the Work Programme were noted:


·       Confirmation of the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner - June

·       Child Safeguarding – June

·       Visit to West Mercia Police Control Room

·       Progress on GET SAFE

·       Budget Task Group

·       Performance Framework for the Budget