|Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2018.|
The Chair updated the Panel with regard to minute PCP 32/18 - Police and Fire Panel Conference. The Chair had approached the Police and Crime Commissioner regarding the issue of the Home Office not allowing the Panel to use any of their budget to affiliate to the Association of Police and Crime Panels. The Commissioner had raised it through the Labour Group of Police and Crime Commissioners so the Chair felt it would be worthwhile Councillor David Coupe and Councillor Matthew Vickers contacting the Conservative Panel Group of Police and Crime Commissioner Members to try and raise support for the issue.
|Consideration was given to a report that informed the Panel of the arrangements in respect of the office of Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, pursuant to the resignation of Chief Constable Mike Veale.|
Chief Constable Mike Veale resigned with immediate effect on 18 January 2019.
The Commissioner was constrained by the law from giving full details of the circumstances which led up to Mr Veale relinquishing the role he informed Members of the following:-
Allegations of inappropriate behaviour on the part of Mr Veale were brought to the attention of the Chief Executive & Monitoring Officer. This took place on 17 December 2018. Mr Dennis took appropriate action in response, including all timely and necessary steps to ensure that information was gathered; that the legal rights and welfare needs of those who had come forward were catered for; and that the Commissioner received appropriate and timely briefings about the matters alleged and advice about them.
It was appropriate once those steps were complete, for a decision to be taken about how the allegations should be handled. It became clear, following the completion of Mr Dennis' work, that the allegations fitted the mandatory criteria for referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). They were so referred on 17 January 2019.
Mr Veale had the benefit of advice and welfare support from the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) and from legal advisers retained by CPOSA. He offered his resignation which was accepted and took effect on 18 January 2019.
At the point of resignation Mr Veale requested solely that he receive payment in lieu of notice to an agreed date of 5 March 2019, along with any outstanding expenses. This was an acceptable arrangement. Details of the precise sum to be paid to Mr Veale were being finalised by officers and would be notified to the Panel when available.
The IOPC would announce its decision as to whether and if so in what way the matters referred to them should be investigated. In relation to this aspect of matters, the Commissioner would update the Panel at the meeting as appropriate.
The Commissioner was proud to oversee an organisation where individuals felt able to come forward and he was also keen that Members had the opportunity to acknowledge the proper and diligent way in which his Office had handled the matter, drawing Members' attention also to the fact that individuals had confidence to report such issues to the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner in the knowledge that matters would be handled fairly and lawfully.
The Commissioner supported the Force and his Office in taking all necessary steps to ensure that such matters were handled with sensitivity, professionalism and in full accordance with the law. Some of the steps taken to ensure that the law was respected had been the subject of public comment and it is important that the Commissioner re-stated his commitment to fair process for all concerned, including those who raised the allegations and Mr Veale this included exercising restraint in public comment.
With regard to the Interim Chief Constable Arrangements, Chief Constable Lee Freeman had been appointed to lead Cleveland Police until a permanent Chief Constable was recruited.
Chief Constable Freeman joined Cleveland from Humberside Police where he had lead with distinction since 2017. Chief Constable Freeman had served with the City Of London Police, Lincolnshire Police and had spent time on secondment to Lincolnshire County Council as an Assistant Director. Members welcome Chief Constable Freeman to Cleveland. Chief Constable Freeman was committed to continue the positive programme of culture change within Force and to ensure that it continued to keep the communities safe in circumstances of challenging financial and operational demand. As a police area, Humberside shared many features in common with Cleveland and Chief Constable Freeman's track record in Humberside had positioned him to hit the ground running as Cleveland's Interim Chief Constable.
The Commissioner formally placed on record his thanks to the Police & Crime Commissioner for Humberside, Keith Hunter, who agreed to Chief Constable Freeman's placement with Cleveland Police for the necessary period.
A joint Decision Notice / Decision Record Form (DRF) had been published by the Police & Crime Commissioners, which set out the legal and financial arrangements underpinning the Interim Chief Constable appointment and the consequential adjustments within Humberside Police in particular.
A formal collaboration agreement was being entered into to formalise the arrangements. Copies of the DRF and the Collaboration Agreement were attached to the report. The internal messages by the PCC and the Force in relation to this matter were also attached to the report.
The OPCC team were making preparations to launch the recruitment process for a substantive Chief Constable.
Chief Constable Freeman was given the opportunity to address the Panel and outlined that it was a privilege to be at Cleveland Police and he wanted to help and support Cleveland Police in any way that he could. He felt that Cleveland Police had a real pride in the area and people should be optimistic about the future of the Force. The quality of the staff that he had met had been exceptional and Cleveland Police could be a top force in the future.
Members shared the Commissioner's disappointment that Mr Veale's tenure as Chief Constable should have come to an end in this manner and that his Chief Constableship had been short. Nonetheless, it was a clear sign of a positive standards culture that allegations of inappropriate behaviour, even in respect of the most senior officer, should be challenged and reported.
A Member raised issues around the selection process and that references weren't taken up for Mike Veale until after the selection process had finished. Also Mike Veale was under investigation while the selection process was taking place and that this wasn't reported to the Panel. In response it was reported that the taking up of references doesn't form part of the College of Policing's recommended Chief Constable Recruitment Process. Mike Veale did offer as part of his application references which he had recently received and references were taken as part of Cleveland Police's Police Officer Appointment Procedure after conclusion of the selection process. In terms of the issue of the investigation which was notified to Mr Veale shortly before his appointment at Cleveland, questions had already been answered in the Panel's previous examinations of this issue but the Chief Executive was happy to re-iterate what he had said previously and was content to reinforce his assurance to Members that the appropriate legal duties had been followed by the Commissioner in respect of the appointment of Mike Veale.
|Consideration was given to the Police and Crime Commissioner's Cleveland Police and Crime Plan.|
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cleveland's Police and Crime Plan was a statutory document. Requirements for the plan were set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and the Policing Protocol Order 2011. This plan must have regard to the Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) issued by the Home Secretary.
The PCC 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.
Barry Coppinger was re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland on Friday 6th May 2016. The Commissioner's manifesto included a 5 point community safety plan that had been used as a basis upon which to develop the current 2019-2020 Police and Crime Plan.
The Commissioner was keen to ensure that Cleveland Police constantly evolved and improved the services to the communities. The Commissioner would maintain his commitment to the five objectives set out in the existing plan:
Investing in our police
A better deal for victims and witnesses
Tackling re-offending (henceforth to encompass Tackling Offending and Reoffending')
Working together to make Cleveland safer
Securing the future of our communities
The Plan built upon the first Police and Crime Plan the Commissioner published when elected in 2012, updated to reflect the emerging needs of the public and was responsive to the new and emerging threats that were faced. The Commissioner had placed a fresh emphasis on preventing violence and abuse, cyber-crime and fraud, improving criminal justice processes, early intervention and prevention.
|A question was raised about cyber-crime and if Cleveland Police was working with Teesside University as it was a leading university delivering courses in fighting cyber-crime. In response it was noted that Cleveland Police were collaborating with Teesside University and there was a lot of on-going training and development work.|
A question was raised about Cleveland Police's policy on tackling shoplifting. In response it was noted that there had been a change in the way Officers responded to shoplifting. There was an evolving process on-going that was looking at the issue of shoplifting while recognising the vulnerabilities of the smaller retailers together with the fact that major retailers need to do more to help tackle the issue.
A question was raised about the recent Speed Watch campaign. Congratulations were given to the Commissioner as over 1500 people had either been warned or prosecuted by Cleveland Police. In one Middlesbrough area there was a maximum speed limit of 20 mph but drivers had been recorded at over 50 mph. In response it was noted that Cleveland Police were doing a lot with motorists and ward councillors to help tackle the issue. There was also an offer from Cleveland Police to local residents to get involved with Speed Watch campaigns.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update in relation to key matters of the Commissioner since the previous meeting in September including:-|
- A whole system approach to domestic abuse
- White Ribbon Campaign
- Restorative Cleveland Launch - 23rd November
- Cleveland Divert Launch - 2nd January
- Anti-extremism Event - 23rd January
With regard to the Whole System Approach to Domestic Abuse programme, it was noted that a full evaluation of the programme was being conducted and would be reported on in July 2019. The evaluation would inform future decision making about embedding the model long term.
The White Ribbon Campaign followed 16 days of action which ended on Monday 10th December 2018 (Human Rights Day) with an event to highlight the coercive controlling behaviour training being delivered to our officers and partner agency staff. The event also formally launched the Teeswide Violence Against Women and Girls Communication Strategy and showcased local perspectives on the issues of violence against women and girls, its impact on communities across Cleveland and the ongoing work by Cleveland Police and partners to tackle its issue on a long term basis, making our communities safer and stronger.
It was noted that the award-winning Restorative Cleveland service would officially launch on Friday 23 November at a conference at the Community Safety Hub in Hemlington.
The Cleveland Divert project went live as a pilot on 2nd January 2019 with an initial focus on perpetrators of shoplifting and drunk and disorderly offences. Full implementation of the project which would include other offence types would start on 1st April 2019.
Following the appointment of Sara Khan, independent Anti-extremism commissioner. Sara was drawing up a programme on tackling extremism for publication and would be consulting across the country in the autumn to feed into the programme.
The Commissioner invited stakeholders to attend an event on 23rd January focusing on the response to counter extremism across the Cleveland area.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided the Panel with an update on the PCC's scrutiny programme and presented the performance report of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Police and Crime Plan.|
The Commissioner's Police and Crime Plan objectives were as follows:
Investing in our Police;
A Better Deal for Victims and Witnesses;
Working Together to Make Cleveland Safer; and
Securing the Future of our Communities.
The report updated the Panel on the performance associated with the delivery of the Commissioner's objectives, the wider aspects of the Police and Crime Plan and his statutory responsibilities.
Holding the Chief Constable to account was the key duty of the Police & Crime Commissioner and must encompass all of the functions of the Chief Constable and functions of those who were under the Chief Constable's direction and control: this means, particularly:-
- How the Chief Constable discharges his duty to have regard to the Police and Crime Plan;
- How the Chief Constable has regard to national and regional Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR);
- How the Chief Constable complies with the law generally and police codes of practice in particular;
- How the Chief Constable deals with his functions in relation to the handling of complaints against the police;
- The effectiveness and efficiency of Cleveland Police's work in relation to collaboration and partnership;
- How effective and efficient the police arrangements are for engagement with local people;
- How well Cleveland Police achieves value for money in all that it does;
- How Cleveland Police addresses its equality and diversity duties; and
- How Cleveland Police deals with its responsibilities, working in partners, in respect of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
The scrutiny of the Force was one of the main responsibilities of the Commissioner as set out in the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011. Delivered through the Commissioner's standards and scrutiny programme effective checks and balances were undertaken through a schedule of regular meetings.
Since the last Police and Crime Panel the PCC had held the following meetings:-
Scrutiny, Performance and Delivery meetings
- 29 October 2018
- 30 November 2018
- 11 December 2018
The minutes of the above meetings were attached to the report.
Since the last update to the Panel there had been a Working Together meetings on the:-
- 13 December 2018
The minutes of the above meeting were attached to the report.
In addition to the meetings above, the Commissioner continued to attend the following meetings to complement his scrutiny programme:
- Daily review of the Control Room and Serious Incident Logs;
- Weekly accountability meetings with the Chief Constable;
- Monthly crime performance monitoring;
- Attendance at the Force's monthly Force Performance Group; and
- Attend at least one local area meeting in each of Cleveland's neighbourhood police team areas.
The overview of the performance information from the Police and Crime Plan was also attached to the report.
It was noted that the Commissioner was lobbying Government for funds for the national contract for victim support services that was run by the Ministry of Justice to be devolved so that he could improve the services to victims and also to witnesses through the court process.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided Members with a brief update in relation to consultation and engagement activity of the PCC between November 2018 and February 2019. Future engagement work of the PCC was also be summarised. |
The PCC's consultation and engagement activities focused on increasing understanding of the policing and community safety needs of the communities of Cleveland, ensuring that strategic planning effectively delivers the policing service that communities require.
The PCC attended a number of meetings on a regular basis with key partners, stakeholders and residents from across the Cleveland area.
In addition to this the PCC attended many regional and national meetings representing Cleveland.
The Your Force Your Voice' engagement initiative continued to take place with community meetings in all of Cleveland's 79 ward areas being visited on an annual basis. Since coming into office in November 2012 the PCC had attended over 615 community meetings allowing him to better understand the needs of local communities across Cleveland.
Since coming into office the PCC had been very aware of the particular issues faced by communities in the rural fringes of Cleveland. In order to tackle this the PCC established the Tees Rural Crime Forum, which he chaired, and was attended by the Police, partner agencies and rural community members and landowners. OPCC funding also provided a dedicated Rural Crime Prevention Officer. In addition to this there was a task force of Rural Volunteers and Special Constables. On 7th January a meeting was held with rural landowners and farmers to discuss ongoing concerns regarding rural crime and the police response to rural issues.
All of the issues raised at community meetings were raised with Cleveland Police for action where necessary.
Included within the report was a summary of key other meetings attended by the PCC. The full diary was published on the PCC website.
The future meetings of note were detailed within the report.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided the Panel with an update on decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Forward Plan.|
The Commissioner makes all decisions unless specifically delegated within the Scheme of Consent / Delegation. All decisions demonstrated that they were soundly based on relevant information and that the decision making process was open and transparent.
In addition a forward plan was included and published on the PCC website which included items requiring a decision in the future. This was attached to the report.
Each decision made by the Commissioner was recorded on a decision record form with supporting background information appended. Once approved it was published on the PCC website.
Decisions relating to private / confidential matters were recorded although it may be appropriate that full details were not published.
Decisions made since the last meeting of the Police and Crime Panel were attached to the report.
A member raised a question about Appendix 2 of the report and the funding that had been given to various community organisations. It was agreed that the Member would receive a detailed response to the question from the Commissioner.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Review of the Overall Budget Strategy - Task and Finish Group.|
The Task and Finish Group was established to understand the key issues and financial pressures as part of the budget setting process in order to inform the work of the Panel and PCC.
The Task and Finish Group met on 17 January 2019 to receive information about the Police and Crime Commissioner's overall budget strategy for 2019/20. Discussion took place about funding and planning assumptions, total funding projections and funding pressures.
The Group met again on 28 January 2019, following confirmation of the settlement from the Government, to discuss the proposed precept increase with the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The key findings and conclusions were:-
The increase in Total Funding for Cleveland is 5.77%, which will be the lowest in the Country
In overall cash terms, before Precept is considered, the organisation has less Cash than it had last year from the Government, taking into account the additional Pensions Costs that have been passed from the Government to Local Forces. In real terms therefore, the settlement equates to a further cut in Government funding of approximately £2.1m
Precept increases up to £24 would be permitted
Any precept increase for Cleveland of less than £14.50 would result in further cuts
A £24 precept increase at Band D would provide approximately £1.8m additional funding for Cleveland and would provide the opportunity to reinstate some of the services that had been lost as well as providing additional funding and investment
Reserves were at a relatively low level and were necessary for serious incident response and to manage other potential risks
The impact of the proposal to increase the precept by £24 will increase a household council tax bill by 46 pence per week for a Band D property. However, as only a small minority of properties in Cleveland fall into Band D or above, in the vast majority of cases, the increase will equate to 31-41p per week in a household council tax bill
In the public consultation results, over two thirds (68%) of respondents said they would be prepared to pay an extra £16.00 - £24.00 per year, for Band A to D properties, to help maintain current Policing Services in Cleveland and to provide an additional £1.8m for investment in Community Policing
The Task and Finish Group concluded that, given future uncertainties, there was a strong argument for taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the current flexibilities. The Group felt that a £24 precept increase would allow much needed investment in the Force. The Group were also mindful that if the Force did not take advantage of the current flexibilities, it would be difficult to argue for additional funding in the future.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Commissioner's Precept Proposals for 2019/20.|
Legislation required that the Commissioner agree his budget and associated precept and basic council tax for the forthcoming year before 1st March each year. However before doing so he must notify the Panel of the precept which he proposed to issue for the following year.
The balance of the cost of the police service not paid for by central government was met by local taxpayers through a precept on their council tax. In Cleveland this would equate to about 27.5% of the overall income that the Commissioner would receive in 2019/20. It was the responsibility of the four local billing authorities to collect this.
Legislation required the precept for 2019/20 to be set before 1st March 2019 and that the first step in enabling this to happen was that the Commissioner was required to inform the Panel of his proposed precept by the 1st February 2019.
In making his proposal on the Police precept the Commissioner had taken into account the following:
The views of the public of Cleveland
The financial impact on the people of Cleveland.
The financial needs of the organisation as currently projected both for 2019/20 and in the future.
The limits imposed by the Government on a precept increase before a referendum would be triggered in Cleveland.
The Commissioner had discussed my proposals with both the Chief Constable and engaged and consulted with the public on the options available to me.
The Final 2019-20 Police Settlement was announced in a written ministerial statement by the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd MP on Thursday 24 January 2019 and no changes were made to the Provisional Settlement which was announced on the 13th December . Full details of the settlement can be found on the Home Office website.
The main points within the settlement were a headline of £970m additional funding for the service which included:-
- £161m additional formula funding,
- £153m of pension grant,
- £59m additional funding for Counter Terrorism,
- £90m additional funding to tackle Serious and Organised Crime and
- £509m as a result of additional council tax flexibilities.
Of the £970m approximately £813m is for local policing
- £509m precept
- £143m pension grant
- £161m additional Funding.
Precept flexibility of up to £24 for all PCCs (or equivalents) in 2019-20. - this was only confirmed on the 29th January.
£161m additional grant funding - made up of primarily £146m increase in core grant.
The settlement, including and assuming that each Police Force area increases the Police element of council tax by £24, and pension grant, represents an average cash increase (total funding) of 7.2% between 2018-19 and 2019-20.
£160m additional Counter Terrorism funding (announced at the 2018 Autumn Budget) equivalent to an annual increase of £59m an 8% increase on total CT funding.
New Requirements - The minister's letter referred to the requirement to "drive efficiency, productivity and effectiveness".
It was important to reflect that this increase in funding did not reflect the significant increased Pension costs that had been passed to Forces to pay from 2019/20 onwards.
The 2019-20 settlement provided more funding than had been previously expected. A letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) outlined the Policing Minister's 4 priority areas to "drive efficiency, productivity and effectiveness next year":
- Continued efficiency savings in 2019-20 through collective procurement and shared services. There would be an expectation that every force contributed substantially to procurement savings and the Home Office would be working with the police to agree the "right force level objectives for 2019-20 and 2020-21".
- Major progress expected to resolve challenges in investigative resource identified by HMICFRS, including recruitment of more detectives to tackle the shortfall.
- Continue to improve productivity, including smarter use of data to deliver £50m of productivity gains in 2019-20.
- Maintain a Serious and Organised Crime response that spanned identification and management of local threats as well as support for national priorities.
This meant for Cleveland in 2019/20 in terms of Funding and Costs:-
An increase in Police Grant of £1,753k or 2.1%
A Pension's Grant of £1,324k
However the impact of Police Pension changes to Cleveland was £3.3m.
Therefore in overall cash terms, before Precept was considered, the organisation had less cash than it had last year, from the Government, taking into account the additional Pensions Costs that had been passed from the Government to Local Forces.
In real terms therefore this was a further cut to Government Funding of circa £2.1m.
Based on the increase in precept being proposed then the overall impact on the Core funding for the organisation, taking into account the additional Pensions costs was detailed within the report.
Based on these revised assumptions, and the information received and forecast around other areas of funding, then the entire funding expected to be available to the Commissioner for the next 4 years, in comparison to 2017/18 and 2018/19 was detailed within a table within the report.
The Commissioner had considered various options and various factors in deliberating on his proposal for precept in 2019/20. He had taken into account the needs for the continued delivery of Policing and Crime services within Cleveland. The Commissioner had spoken with the Chief Constable and had consulted with the public. Based on these views and the financial needs of the organisation over the medium term the Commissioner formally proposed a precept increase of £24 on a Band D property for 2019/20.
To aid the Panel in considering his proposal on Precept the Commissioner had attached to the report:-
- Draft Budget based on a £24 Precept Increase
- Draft Capital Budget
- Full details of the Precept Consultation
Members also received a detailed presentation that covered the following key areas:-
- Communities Served
- Why are the communities so vulnerable
- Growing demand for services
- Reduced resources
- The benefits that will be delivered
- Investing in local policing to make a difference
A question raised about the use PCSOs in communities and in response it was noted that the Commissioner would still like to have named PCSOs in every ward in the Cleveland area.
It was noted that Commissioners proposals did not include the removal of two ranks within Cleveland Police and that this initiative was now under review.
A question was raised about the increase in the amount of the budget that would be spent on the Commissioners staff and if it would not be better to spend the extra money on frontline staff. In response it was noted that some of the Commissioners staff were frontline staff including investigators. The Commissioners office was under review and they were looking at ways that the office could deliver services more efficiently. A detailed response would be circulated to Members giving the breakdown of the Commissioner's office staff.
Members felt that given future uncertainties, there was a strong argument for taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the current flexibilities. Members felt that a £24 precept increase would allow much needed investment in the Force. Members were also mindful that if the Commissioner did not take advantage of the current flexibilities, it would be difficult to argue for additional funding in the future.
A vote took place and the recommendation was agreed.
|Consideration was given to a report that sought approval for the production of an Annual Report for the Police and Crime Panel for 2018/19 and its contents. |
The production of a Police and Crime Panel Annual Report would provide a useful reference document for the public setting out the role and responsibilities of the Panel in plain English and also highlight key activities and achievements over the past year. It was proposed that the Report be set out as follows:
What is the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel
Panel Role and Responsibilities
The Panel's Core Programme
Key Activities and Achievements (including the work of Task and Finish Groups)
The Police and Crime Panel and the Public Contacts and Further Information
The Panel authorised the Panel Chair, to agree an initial draft for circulation to Panel Members and finalise the Annual Report following comments from Members.
|Members were presented with the Forward Plan for the Panel.|