Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cleveland Police and Crime Panel Minutes

Tuesday, 4th July, 2017
05:00 p.m.
Jim Cooke Confernce Suite, Stockton Central Library, The Square, Stockton-on-Tees
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr David Coupe, Cllr David Harrington (Vice Cllr Ken Dixon), Cllr Ian Jeffery, Cllr Chris Jones, Cllr Jim Lindridge, Cllr Steve Nelson (Vice Cllr Dave Wilburn), Charles Rooney, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Cllr Matthew Vickers and Paul McGrath (Non-Political Independent Member).
Judy Trainer, Julie Butcher, Michael Henderson, Steven Hume (Stockton on Tees Borough Council).
In Attendance:
Barry Coppinger (Commissioner), Simon Dennis, Joanne Hodgkinson, Elise Pout (Commissioner's Office), Chief Superintendent Alastair Simpson (Cleveland Police).
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Alec Brown, Cllr Ken Dixon, Andrew Dyne, Cllr Trisha Lawton, Cllr Tom Mawston and Cllr Dave Wilburn.
Item Description Decision
RESOLVED that Councillor Norma Stephenson OBE be appointed Chairman of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2017/18.
Members and officers introduced themselves.
The evacuation procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest.
RESOLVED that Councillor Charlie Rooney be appointed Vice Chair of the Panel for the Municipal Year 2017/2018.
The minutes of the meeting held on 2 February 2017 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
RESOLVED that the Question/issues raised be noted/actioned as appropriate.
RESOLVED that the Annual Report be noted.
RESOLVED that the update be noted
RESOLVED that Programme of Engagement for Police and Crime Commissioner be noted.
RESOLVED that the decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland for the period January to June 2017 and Forward Plan be noted
RESOLVED that the report and discussion be noted / actioned, as appropriate.
RESOLVED that the work programme for 2017/18 be as follows:

- Shared Services - Councillor Vickers (Chair), Councillor Jones, Councillor Coupe and Andrew Dyne, Hartlepool representative (to be advised by Councillor Lindridge

- Off-road Motorcycling - Councillors Coupe, Stephenson and Paul McGrath, Hartlepool representative (to be advised by Councillor Lindridge, Redcar and Cleveland representative (to be advised by Cllr Jeffrey)

- Overall Budget Strategy. Councillors Rooney and Paul McGrath plus Hartlepool representative (to be advised by Councillor Lindridge), Redcar and Cleveland representative (to be advised by Cllr Jeffrey), Stockton Borough Council representation to be advised.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.
There were no public questions.
5.00pm to 7.00pm


Responses to questions raised could be summarised below:

- Members had questions about the policy relating to where resources were allocated in different policing areas. This was an operational decision for the Chief Constable and he did use a resource model that helped with this. The Commissioner indicated that he had a developing scrutiny process and he would be raising this issue through that process and would provide an update to the Panel.

- It was explained that decisions around crime resource allocation was taken centrally and neighbourhood resources were currently allocated based on locations of vulnerability.

- Reference was made to a recently published report that had highlighted that, in the last 10 years, median wages of police officers had reduced by £2 per hour. The Commissioner explained that since 2010 police budgets had reduced by 36%. He indicated that he was aware of the report and intended reviewing it at his earliest opportunity.

- Members noted that there were local procedures relating to police informing local authorities of incidents where some action might be needed by that authority.

- The Panel noted that there had recently been additional police units on Cleveland’s roads, to provide reassurance to the public, given the heightened terrorist risks. Hate crimes were also monitored and resources allocated accordingly.

- Members were keen for the Force to use social media to get good news stories out to residents, to provide reassurance and lessen the fear of crime. Members queried if a Communications Strategy in this regard was in place? It was noted that it was an objective of all local teams to use social media more effectively. The Panel considered that this was an important area and that any lack of knowledge surrounding the use of social media, by officers, needed to be overcome. The Commissioner indicated that he would pass on the Panel’s views to the Force.
Members considered a report that presented the Commissioner's 2016/17 Annual Report. It was noted that the final report would be published on the receipt of end of year financial and performance figures.

During discussion it was suggested that Cleveland Connect should promote online safety more.

Members were also provided with ‘The Journey’ - Cleveland Police’s Annual Review summary 2016/17.

The Chair asked that ‘the Journey’ document be circulated to all Members, serving on the local authorities, covering the Force area.

Noted that the financial outturn report would come to a future meeting.
Consideration was given to a report that provide Members of the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel (PCP) with an update in relation to key matters including;

- Investment in Neighbourhood Policing
- The reformation of Cleveland Police Professional Standards Department
- Cleveland and Durham Local Criminal Justice Board Review
- Community Safety Hub

With regard to the investment in Neighbourhood Policing the Police and Crime Commissioner had a robust long term financial plan, which was detailed in the Police and Crime Plan. The Police and Crime Commissioner had made a commitment to securing value for money, promote a sustainable and effective operating model and a progressive change programme. Neighbourhood Policing continued to be at the very heart of policing in Cleveland. The Police and Crime Commissioner strongly believed that in order for police officers and front-line staff to be at their most effective, they must be close to the communities they served. Despite government austerity measures, a number of efficiencies savings had been made and these savings released an extra £1.5m available for investment in neighbourhood policing in Cleveland.

With regard to the reformation of Cleveland Police Professional Standards Department the details of the statements the Police and Crime Commission had made on 5th January to bring about immediate change to the Professional Standards department involving external support in order to underpin trust and confidence in Cleveland Police were attached to the report.

The Police and Crime Commissioner co-chaired the Cleveland and Durham Criminal Justice Board together with Ron Hogg, the Police Crime and Victims Commissioner for Durham. In April 2016 a review of the work of the Criminal Justice Board was commissioned by Ron Hogg and the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner. A copy of the review was attached to the report.

Following completion of the review in September 2016, a statement of intent had been agreed by all Board members and this was also attached to the report.

The Police and Crime Commissioner was pleased to report that building work had commenced in March on the 10 million pounds state-of-the-art Community Safety Hub in Hemlington, Middlesbrough. Not only would the building be a cutting-edge home for a modern police force and other community safety specialists, but it would be a far more cost-effective option than the current building. The current plan was for the building to be fully operational in September / October 2018.

Discussion around this report could be summarised as follows:

- Members welcomed the increase in investment in Neighbourhood Policing.

- Members asked for clarification of whether reference, in the report, to the appointment of new Police Officers and PCSOs, related to additional posts, or replacement posts. It was indicated that this related to a combination of new and replacement posts. The Chair asked that any future information in this regard was less ambiguous.

- Members noted that there were significant differences in the roles of police officers and PCSOs, and the training they undertook, skills they possessed and level of responsibility they held, reflected this. The Chief Constable had to ensure that the balance between police officer and PCSO posts, within the Force, was appropriate and affective, set in the context of reducing resources.

- PCSOs had an important role to play in maintaining the visibility of the Force, whilst police officers were often involved in other, less visible, areas of police work.

- The Community Safety Hub projected spend was still on course for 10 million pounds.

- There was a discussion about the proposal that Cleveland Police consider the appointment of a civilian Head of Professional Standards, which may assist in consistency/longevity of leadership in this area. A great deal of consultation and direct discussions on this proposal had taken place at the Professional Standards Transformation Reference Group and with staff associations and Force 2020 Board.

- Members discussed the use of the 101 number, versus the 999 number. It was accepted that some 101 calls could quickly change to emergencies and members of the public should not hesitate to escalate the reporting of a situation that they had previously reported via 101, by calling 999.

- The Commissioner and Force recognised the elderly’s vulnerability and susceptibility to fraud. Work to assist in this area was ongoing.

- An in depth review of the control room had been undertaken with a number of recommendations being identified and the Commissioner suggested that he would report on this, to the Panel, at a future meeting.

- In response to a specific question, the Commissioner explained that it was extremely unlikely that Cleveland Police would be abolished, as there would need to be a structural review of policing beyond Cleveland. Police and Crime Commissioners within the North East had all been clear that they did not support any changes to the current structure.
Consideration was given to a report that provided Members with a brief update in relation to meetings attended by the PCC, from February 2017 to June 2017.
Consideration was given to a report on decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland for the period January to June 2017 and Forward Plan.

There was a discussion around the Integrated Offender Management Hub. The Hub was a multi-agency approach and funding was provided by a number of organisations, including the Commissioner. The project identified individuals who were the most prolific offenders and used a ‘carrot and stick’ approach. Individuals received a range of positive interventions to help them but they were required to fully engage, otherwise, they would be subject to a high level of scrutiny and enforcement.
Consideration was given to a report that outlined the revised performance framework and provided Members of the Police and Crime Panel with a summary of performance since the introduction of the Police and Crime plan in December 2016.

The report updated Members on performance associated with the delivery of the Commissioner’s objectives, the wider aspects of the Police and Crime Plan and statutory responsibilities.

The Commissioner had prepared a series of measures and indicators to provide a consistent approach to the monitoring of the Plan’s objectives and scrutiny of the Chief Constable. A table within the report provided details of how and where the indications would be monitored, either through internal processes (both the Force’s and the OPCC), through the scrutiny process or through the performance report prepared for the Panel. The document was attached to the report. The Performance Report June 2017 was attached to the report, this provided an overview of the current performance of the PCC and his Police and Crime Plan.

Discussion on the information provided could be summarised as follows:

- Reference was made to the low levels of female police officers and low levels of police officers from minority ethnic groups, within the Force. The Commissioner agreed that these were figures that needed to be improved and referred to the Everyone Matters Programme, which involved internal training and development that demonstrated how valued staff were and allowed them to better serve the communities within the Force area. The Commissioner indicated that he would bring a report on the programme to the Panel’s next meeting. This would provide a structured response to the specific issue raised by the Panel and include details of the extensive efforts made by the Force to recruit a broad range of people that reflected the community as a whole.

- It was explained that there were a number of groups, some of which were attended by the Commissioner, including strategic and tactical policing groups that analysed crime data in some detail. Trends were considered and attempts made to identify factors influencing those trends, however it was difficult to always understand why some areas were performing better than others, particularly as policing structures, throughout the Force, were consistent.

- The Panel recognised that it was the responsibility of all agencies to assist with reducing crime levels and deal with the underlying reasons for crime. It was agreed that work with children and young people was a critical element of this.

- The Panel noted that the information provided to recent meetings had been high level and not as detailed as had previously been the case. The Commissioner indicated that the Panel could be provided with more detailed statistics, including comparisons with other Forces. Members were reminded of its role in holding the Commissioner to account and noted that other forums received and considered crime statistics and had specific crime reduction responsibilities. An overview of what statistical information was provided to other forums would be provided at the next meeting of the Panel.

- The rise in 999 calls was directly related to demand and therefore a rise in incidents, which had significant consequences for the Force. The Commissioner explained that a review of the Control Room had been undertaken and he would provide an update to the Panel on outcomes.

- 999 calls were routinely analysed to ascertain whether they were appropriate.

- Reducing sickness absence was a focus of activity for the Force and Commissioner. The current rise in absence was a national issue and not limited to the police. It was considered that the rise was linked to the increased challenges, pressures and expectations placed on public sector staff.
Consideration was given to a report that provided detail of current and outstanding scrutiny topics and sought to set the work programme for 2017/18.

Details of the outstanding scrutiny topics were detailed within the report. The Panel was asked to take into account the capacity and resources needed to carry out the review programme to ensure that it was manageable.

There was a discussion about the process for identifying topics and the rationale for undertaking the reviews. Members agreed that the reviews added value to the Panel’s role and allowed in depth consideration of certain issues.
Members considered a report relating to the potential formation of a National Association of Police and Crime Panels. This Panel had been represented by the Chair, at a meeting held on 17 February 2017, arranged to discuss the subject.

There had been discussions at the Police and Crime Panels’ Conference Regional Networks and individual Panels about the potential formation of a Police and Crime Panel National Association.

Further to the discussions described above, an exploratory meeting was arranged to consider this in more detail and the Chair of this Panel attended the meeting on 17 February 2017 in London.

As a result of meeting there had been positive feedback to the proposal to establish a national Association of PCPs, a steering group had been established to draft a report with recommendations for circulation to all PCPs. Notes of the discussion would be fed into the steering group. The views of all Panels would be invited in response to the proposal.

Volunteers for the Steering Group were requested and the Chair of the Panel had offered to assist.

In the meantime, liaison would take place with the Home Office, the Home Affairs Select Committee, the APCC, LGA, CfPS and Grant Thornton to explore the possibility for resources, should an APCP be established.
Members were presented with the Forward Plan.

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