Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Sheena Jones 

Media

Items
No. Item

387.

Welcome and Introductions

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Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the Meeting.

 

388.

Named Substitutes

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Minutes:

Councillor Stephen Reynolds for Richard Overton (Telford and Wrekin Council).

389.

Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Graham Ballinger (Wyre Forest District Council), Sebastian Bowen (Herefordshire Council) and Richard Overton (Shropshire Council).

 

During Item 7, Councillor Nigel Lumby (Shropshire Council) declared an Interest as a retired Police Officer (not West Mercia).

390.

Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part (asking a question or making a statement) should notify the by Assistant Director for 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 27 August 2021).  Enquiries can be made through the telephone number/email address listed below.

 

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Minutes:

None.

391.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 13 July 2021.

 

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The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 July 2021 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

392.

Draft Annual Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia- 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 264 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel was invited to review the draft Annual Report 2020-2021 of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and determine whether it would wish to make any recommendations for consideration. The Chairman reminded Members of the Panel to consider the strategic issues in relation to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s plans and activities and to limit the level of focus on their particular localised operational issues. 

 

 

In presenting his Annual Report, the PCC drew attention to a number of areas, including the continued focus on community work and victim support, additional £2m funding to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic including the response to national easing of restrictions, increased Officer numbers and successful financial oversight and estate management.  Particular projects were referred to, mainly ‘Climb’ in partnership with the Children’s Society on diversionary activities for young people and ‘Safer Communities’ in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council.  The PCC informed Panel Members that he was always interested in working in partnership with local authorities on innovative projects.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were noted:

 

·       The PCC welcomed collaboration with local authorities, however not all councils were equally engaged

·       In response to a query over the PCC’s attendance at council meetings, such as scrutiny or full Council, the PCC advised that he was always willing to attend and gave examples of recent activity.  He also believed the frequency of invitations to attend was appropriate

·       Members reported that community confidence in the Police attending an incident varied.  The PCC was clear that if any West Mercia Council was the primary lead authority, it should respond and lead accordingly, however, if the Force was not the lead, it should still support and play an active role in partnership with other agencies.  Specifically in relation to fly tipping, the PCC was due to launch a grant round for local authorities to support projects on non-public land

·       Local Authority Members were advised to challenge their own organisations, for example the way in which civil enforcement officers were organised

·       Speeding was raised by a number of Members.  The PCC reminded Members that Road Safety was also the responsibility of local authorities

·       In response to a concern about the paperwork and bureaucracy involved in volunteer recruitment, the PCC agreed to review the process to possibly allow for more flexibility, mindful of the need to ensure appropriate checks were made on residents wishing to volunteer 

·       Funding had been allocated to recruit an additional 91 Police Officers during the coming year and the PCC agreed to provide further information on their role and destination.  When asked whether recruitment or retention was a concern, the PCC advised that there was no issue and West Mercia often overachieved on national recruitment targets.  The PCC agreed to include some data on recruitment and retention in future performance reports

·       Members praised the excellent communication around major incidents, however, reported that although there was some good social media presence it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 392.

393.

Police & Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (January - June 2021) pdf icon PDF 459 KB

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Members were asked to consider the Police and Crime Plan Activity and Performance Monitoring Report (January to June 2021).

 

During the discussion the following points were made:

 

·       The PCC agreed to follow up the lack of consistency across the area in levels of satisfaction, particularly for victims of burglary

·       Members were concerned with the overall increase of 54% in pedal cycle casualties in comparison to the previous year.  The PCC reported that cycle usage during the pandemic had increased however was also aware of a lack of consistency in cycling proficiency schemes

·       Councillor requests to the Police for speed limit reductions were sometimes rejected, however, the PCC stated that setting of speed limits was a function of the Highways Authority with the Police being a consultee.  The PCC was asked to consider speed limit reductions more carefully, with a request that local Councillors were consulted and involved in any determination, however the PCC clarified that this was a role for each local authority

·       Inappropriate speed was often a factor in road incidents, with drivers often driving at the set limit.  The PCC advised that he supported driver education schemes

·       A Member referred to a local road safety scheme whereby 3 Parishes were willing to fund ANPR cameras, however, the scheme appeared to have stalled.  In response the PCC clarified that he supported community projects however further assurance was being sought on this proposal

·       In response to a query about work to increase hate crimes being reported to the Police, the Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) advised that a new model, successfully piloted in Telford and Wrekin, had been implemented

·       When asked about the effectiveness of partners working together in relation to support for domestic abuse, the PCC reported that domestic abuse was interlinked with a vast number of other areas.  It was generally under-reported and prevalent across all communities.  Preventative work did not always take priority however the PCC hoped for a greater focus in the future

·       A Member had concerns that crime reports to Parish Councils was now done at area level rather than Parish level.  The PCC committed to providing all councils with crime information that was appropriate to them although the DCC was aware of some technical issues due to a change in system

·       In response to a question about the PCC’s level of engagement with Parish Councils, the PCC believed it was high.  A report on his activity would be presented at the next meeting

·       A Member was generally concerned about the way in which graphs and charts within the report were presented.  The PCC agreed to seek clarity and assurance on the presentation, however would welcome debate about what performance data would be more meaningful

·       Concern was raised about the increase in cyber fraud, with a request for detailed information to be included in future reports on cyber crimes.  The PCC advised that cyber fraud was not always seen as a victim crime and more awareness was needed to equip residents to have better protection  ...  view the full minutes text for item 393.

394.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 133 KB

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It was agreed that:

 

·         An Item on Diversity and Inclusion would be added to the Work Programme and would be requested for the 25 November 2021 meeting

·         An update on Audit and Finance was agreed for the 25 November 2021 meeting

·         Discussions would take place before the next meeting to determine whether the Potential Item on Implementation of the Road Strategy (including Road Safety) be proposed as a Task Group or future Agenda Item.