Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 3rd February, 2015
Time:
5.00 p.m.
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, The Square, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E(Chairman), Cllr Charles Rooney(Vice-Chairman) Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr George Dunning, Cllr Ian Jeffrey, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Bernie Taylor, Cllr Brenda Thompson
Officers:
David Bond, Steve Hume, Margaret Waggott, Peter Kelly, Graham Birtle, Peter Mennear (SBC)
In Attendance:
Barry Coppinger (Commissioner), Iain Spittal (Cleveland Police), Michael Porter, Simon Dennis, Joanne Hodgkinson (Commissioner's Office)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Chris Abbott, Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher, Cllr Paul Thompson, Gwen Duncan
Item Description Decision
Public
PCP
43/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE/MOBILE PHONES
 
PCP
44/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
PCP
45/14
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 21 OCTOBER 2014
 
PCP
46/14
MINUTES OF THE COMPLAINTS SUB COMMITTEE
 
PCP
47/14
MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO THE COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the issue raised, and the response from the Commissioner, be noted.
PCP
48/14
TASK AND FINISH SCRUTINY REVIEW - REVIEW OF COMMISSIONER'S PRIORITIES
RESOLVED that the recommendations, findings and comments be agreed.
PCP
49/14
POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER'S POLICE AND CRIME PLAN 2015-2017
RESOLVED that the Plan and discussion be noted and the report prepared by the Panel's Task and Finish Group, that undertook a review of Commissioner Priorities, be forwarded to the Commissioner for consideration as part of the overall consultation process for the Cleveland Police and Crime Plan 2015-18.
PCP
50/14
TASK AND FINISH SCRUTINY REVIEW - REVIEW OF OVERALL BUDGET STRATEGY
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
51/14
THE 2015/16 PRECEPT PROPOSAL
RESOLVED that the Panel supports the Commissioner's proposed precept of 1.99% for 2015/16.
PCP
52/14
QUARTER 3 MONITORING REPORT ON PROGRESS AGAINST THE POLICE AND CRIME PLAN
RESOLVED that the report and discussion be noted/actioned where appropriate.
PCP
53/14
DECISIONS MADE BY THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR CLEVELAND
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
54/14
PROGRAMME OF ENGAGEMENT FOR POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
55/14
APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR NON POLITICAL INDEPENDENT MEMBERS
RESOLVED that

1. the Panel agree the arrangements for the appointment of a replacement non-political independent member as detailed in the report at paragraph 5.

2. delegated authority be given to the Director of Law and Democracy (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council), in consultation with the Chairman and Vice Chairman to amend and finalise the arrangements and associated documents, detailed in the Appendix and paragraph 4 of the ereport, should it be considered necessary to do so.

3. the following members be appointed to serve on the appointment Panel:

Cllr Paul Thompson
Cllr Ian Jeffreys
Cllr Terry Laing
Cllr Norma Stephenson
Cllr Bernie Taylor
PCP
56/14
PUBLIC QUESTIONS
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
PCP
57/14
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
RESOLVED that for 2015/16 onwards the Panel holds scheduled meetings during the months of July, September, November and February.
5pm/7pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PCP
43/14
The Chairman presented the Evacuation Procedures and reminded those present to turn off, or turn to silent, any mobile phone, or similar device, they might have with them.
PCP
44/14
Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal, non prejudicial interest as his son was a security guard.
PCP
45/14
The minutes of the meeting held on 21st October 2014 were confirmed as a correct record.
PCP
46/14
The minutes of the Complaints Sub Committee held on 16 October 2014 were noted.
PCP
47/14
Reference was made to an incident that involved social media and a re-tweet coming from the Commissioner's office which some had suggested was of a party political nature. It was explained that the Commissioner's office did have a social media policy, however, this incident had been human error, the error had been spotted very quickly and dealt with immediately. In response to some press reports of the incident, the Chairman, pointed out that, should any members of the Panel make any comments to the press on any issue, they should make it clear that those comments were their own personal views and not the views of the Panel as a whole.
PCP
48/14
Members considered a report that presented the findings of a review that had included the scrutiny of Commissioner's priorities.

The report presented a number of comments,findings and recommendations and these were supported by the Panel. Recommendations had included:

- that standard and consistent terminology be adopted by the Office of the PCC to avoid future misunderstanding.

- that communication with agencies could still be improved and the PCC objective should be reviewed to ensure this was addressed.

- that the PCC's objective be explicit about communication with the public as well.

- that the PCC and the Police and Crime Plan 2015-18 makes clear the Commissioner's commitments and objectives to residents who see anti social behaviour as a priority.

- that a clear definition of neighbourhood policing feature in the updated Police and Crime Plan and other relevant documentation to provide clarity for residents and all other interested bodies.
PCP
49/14
As part of the Commissioner's planning processes the Commissioner had revised his Police and Crime Plan to ensure it reflected current crime and antisocial behaviour issues. Members of the Police and Crime Panel were asked to note the attached draft Police and Crime Plan 2015-2017.

It was noted that the Police and Crime Commissioner's objectives and commitments would remain unchanged for the duration of the plan.

The plan's appendices would be updated once the precept had been agreed and an updated copy of the plan circulated to all Police and Crime Panel members.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cleveland's Police and Crime Plan was a statutory document.

The Commissioner had a duty to keep his plan under review and in particular to review the plan in the light of any changes in the SPR and any report or recommendations made to the PCC by the Police and Crime Panel.

This reports sets out the findings from the PCCs review of the Police and Crime Plan 2015-2017.

The Police and Crime Plan 2013-2017 was published on 1 April 2013 in accordance with the requirements set out in the legal framework. Since then, the PCC had undertaken a number of activities in reviewing the Police and Crime Plan, including:

• SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats)

• Reports showing 1st and 2nd years in office showing progress against the plan as reported to the Home Office, APACE and the Police and Crime Panel.

• Monthly monitoring of progress against objectives.

• PCC and Deputy Chief Constable consultation presentations regarding the budget to each of the four local authorities.

• Briefing to the Cleveland MPs.

• Consultation event with partners.

Observations and findings from the review were shown below.

The PCC objectives would remain the same for the period of the PCCs current term of office:

Retain and develop neighbourhood policing.
Ensure a better deal for victims and witnesses.
Divert people from offending, with a focus on rehabilitation and the prevention of reoffending.
Develop better coordination, communication and partnership between agencies to make the best use of resources.
Working for better industrial and community relations

Review findings showed that the objectives continued to reflect the vision of the PCC and that their wording was sufficiently broad enough to support legal requirements. No changes to objectives were planned.

It was noted that the Panel had agreed the contents of the Task and Finish Group's Review of the Commissioner's Priorities and some members referred to events they had attended where they had had an opportunity to feed comments in to the consultation on the Plan.

A draft copy of the Plan was circulated and discussion on it has been summarised below:

- it was noted that under Retaining and developing neighbourhood policing the first sentence provided a good definition of Neighbourhood Policing ' Neighbourhood policing aims to provide communities with access to policing services through a named point of contact, influence over local policing priorities and feedback on local issues and solutions.

- reference was made to customer satisfaction ratings that had dropped. It was noted that the Commissioner had scrutiny processes in place where concerns were discussed and this matter had been raised.

- the Commissioner was committed to working with partners in diverting people from offending and to helping with the austerity affecting residents.
PCP
50/14
Members considered a report of the Panel's Task and Finish Group looking at the Overall Budget Strategy. The Group found that:

- the savings plans for 2014-16 were well advanced and set to be achieved overall. This should ensure a balanced budget for that period. Using the information available, General Fund reserves would be used to balance budget in 2016-17 and further savings would need to be identified to address a gap of 2.6m in 2017-18 rising to 6.5m in 18-19. The overall financial position therefore remained challenging;

- to partly address the budget gap for 2015-16, the PCC proposed a 1.99% precept rise;

- the Police Office and PCSO staff numbers had stabilised ahead of schedule, and to avoid further reductions in frontline capacity, future savings would increasingly need to come through collaboration, and better ways of working, including estates and technology. The demand on the police continued to evolve and the Group was conscious of the ever increasing pressure on resources, including non-‘visible' police activity;

- the process for allocating community safety funding/ PCC Initiatives had further developed, and there was scope for partners including Community Safety Partnerships to develop programmes on a multi-year basis, subject to the submission of a business case. The Group reiterated its support for the community safety work undertaken through use of this funding and its importance to the achievement of the PCC's Police and Crime Plan, and local Community Safety Plans.

The Panel discussed the report and specific reference was made to sickness levels. It was accepted that there was a significant cost associated with this and there was a great deal of work being undertaken to improve the Force's performance in this area.
PCP
51/14
A report and notification from the Commissioner, regarding the proposed precept for the financial year 2015/16 were considered by the Panel.

The Commissioner indicated that he had taken into account the following in making his proposal on the precept for 2015/16:-

• the financial impact on the people of Cleveland
• the financial needs of the organisation as currently projected both for 2015/16 and in the future
• the offer of a grant from the Government if he chose to freeze the precept
• the limits proposed by the Government on a precept increase before a referendum would be triggered in Cleveland
• the advice of the Chief Finance Officer in terms of the realistic options that he had

The Commissioner also indicated that he had discussed his proposals with the Chief Constable and had engaged and consulted with a wide partner base and the public's representatives.

The Commissioner also emphasized the need for the continued delivery of high levels of Policing and Crime services within the Cleveland area and that in light of his discussions with the Chief Constable and wider partners, he believed that a precept increase of 1.99% for 2015/16 best served the needs of the communities of Cleveland. He therefore proposed a precept increase of 1.99% for 2015/16.

Panel members asked various questions about the report and made a number of comments regarding the Commissioner's proposal. The Panel then concluded by agreeing that the proposal should be supported.
PCP
52/14
Members considered a report that provided an update of performance scrutiny undertaken by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland to support the delivery of the priorities of the Police and Crime Plan for the third quarter (October - December) of 2014-15.

During consideration of the report there was discussion that has been summarised below:

- the Panel noted the Commissioner's support for the Living Wage campaign and congratulated him for Cleveland PCC's accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation.

- there was concern at increasing rates of recorded sexual offences. It was noted that the whole of the country was seeing an increase in these crimes and this was considered to be positive in the sense that people were more confident in reporting. Some crime was historical and work had been undertaken to identify this. The Commissioner referred to the work that was being undertaken to deal with violence against women and girls and a 20 point plan that was being implemented. Members were reminded of the work of the Tees Sexual Violence Strategic Group.

- members noted the increase in some crimes and it was explained that crime for the year would have increased, however, improvements in crime recording would also have been responsible for the increase.

- it was explained that, in terms of deployment of resources, prevention of personal harm was a priority.

- there was a discussion on Domestic Abuse and it was suggested that the Panel receives a report at a future meeting.
PCP
53/14
Members considered a report that provided an update in relation to the decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner between 1 October 2014 and 31 December 2014.
PCP
54/14
Members considered a report that provided a brief update in relation to meetings attended by the PCC from October to December 2014
PCP
55/14
Members considered a report that proposed a process for the appointment of a non-political member, in light of the resignation of one of the existing two non-political independent members.

PCP
56/14
The Panel received a report relating to Public Questions.

Members were reminded of the agreed procedure for considering questions, on notice, and noted that no such questions had been received for this meeting.
PCP
57/14
The Panel considered a report that proposed changes to the months when scheduled meetings of the Panel would take place, for 2015/16 onwards.

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