Agenda and minutes

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Venue: MS Teams meeting

Contact: Jamie Sheldon  Email: jamie.sheldon@plymouth.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To sign and confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3 July 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair proposed the minutes of 3 July 2020 to the panel for approval; this was seconded by Councillor Haydon.

 

Councillor Peterman requested that the minutes reflect his attendance at the meeting of 3 July 2020 and Councillor Croad requested that his apologies were recorded in the minutes as they were submitted.

 

Under this item Councillor Derrick raised that issues discussed at the previous meeting regarding the draft annual report had not been included, specifically regarding Police Community Support Officer numbers and data on violent crime in the form of a graph/ trends.

 

The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

13.

Declarations of Interest

Members will be asked to make any declaration of interest in respect of items on this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made by members.

14.

Public Questions

To receive questions from (and provide answers to) members of the public that are relevant to the panel’s functions.

 

Questions should be no longer than 100 words and sent to Democratic Support, Plymouth City Council, Floor 3, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ or democratic.support@plymouth.gov.uk

 

Questions must be received at least 5 complete working days before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised the Panel that no public questions had been received.

15.

101 Deep Dive pdf icon PDF 768 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner, introduced the report on the 101 Deep Dive scrutiny.

 

Members were advised that the review would commence in October, would be reported in December 2020 and would focus on the following three key areas: defining and setting customer service standards; understanding and assessing the delivery services to the public; and continuous learning and development within the contact service. The OPCC would convene a bespoke OPCC Panel which would include existing scrutiny panel volunteers and councillor advocates, supported by task and finish activity led by the OPCC. The OPCC Panel’s work would be informed by focus groups, analysis of complaints and correspondence into OPCC and Force and public surveys. 

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner highlighted the following key points:

 

·          

the risk that police officers were taking to protect the public; this was in response to two serious assaults to police staff in Devon and Cornwall and London;

 

·          

£1.3 million had been invested to support the highly vulnerable to access help via phone or online opportunities;

 

·          

there was a 93.4% increase in calls – an increase in crime reported both on the telephone and online;

 

·          

increased growth in contact methods, more help to access policing.

 

The Panel discussed:

 

·          

the Police Officer injured in Cornwall and offered their condolences;

·          

the positive move towards the digital age with Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) and questioned if the reopening of front desks was realistic?

·          

if Verint was helping to support staffing levels and what could be done to reduce call wait times?

·          

that the 10% increase in calls was substantial and questioned what could be done to reduce the number of calls? Could the calls be diverted to a pre-dialling system or answer machine for non-emergency cases?

·          

why the numbers of calls were increasing when crime figures were on a slow decline? Was the increased demand on resources during the summer when tourists were in the area be taken into account?

 

·          

the reduced visible presence of Officers in communities, calling 101 could be seen as the only way to speak to a police officer or representative. In Kingskerswell a survey was undertaken asking the public ‘when they last saw an officer?’ The response was that it had been years; there was a request for more information on why this was happening? Why Officers were no longer a visible presence;

·          

key issues to address included the number of staff on duty, the quality of services and on-call waiting times. It was questioned if call wait times were good enough? 4 to 5 minutes was a long time to wait. Did the information take into account abandoned calls? What was the abandon rate of calls?

 

           How was the length of wait time measured?

           Could social media channels be used to reduce the number of calls?

           Could a call back system be employed for low risk calls?

 

 The Police and Crime Commissioner clarified that –

 

·          

the implementation of Verint, a system which predicted staffing levels required from previous call data,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Commissioner's Update Report pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner, introduced the Commissioner’s Update report ‘as read’ and highlighted:

 

·        

the Road Safety National Survey, encouraging this survey be promoted and completed: 46,000 had completed the survey to date. It could be found on the home page OPPC Devon and Cornwall:

https://www.devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk/

 

·        

the level of resource required to set up and establish the Virtual Remand Courts, the lack of priority given to this by the Government and the backlog of cases. Devon and Cornwall Police lobbying challenges faced in MP Service and the limited number of people allowed in the chamber.

 

The Panel discussed:

 

·        

reference to page 32 (1.11) the road safety community speed watches. The board meeting businesses drivers and how they would feel to know company workers endangering lives of customers and children area which needed to be looked at in October. Noted the lack of visible information regarding project EDWARD;

 

·        

Virtual Courts: why were the police managing this and not contractors? Was it sustainable for 6 officers to manage the process 5 days a week?

 

·        

why was ‘Clean Devon’ not listed? Highlighting the Devon and Cornwall police program ‘Clean Devon’ Multi- agency group focusing on the huge problem with littering and fly tipping. The Panel highlighted their appreciation to the team creating the website as well as the need for pressure to be put on organisations regarding litter;

 

·        

concerns as the Autumn Budget scrapped at multiyear spend review. What funding was left? There was a huge increase towards violent crime and it was important to ensure this aspect was highlighted. Investing to make ‘safe places safer’ also needed to be highlighted;

 

·        

would the army support be required to support the police force? What roles and powers would the army have and what accountability would there be? Could any thoughts be brought back to the panel to scrutinise?

 

The Police and Crime Chief Commissioner clarified:

 

·        

Vison 0 was a multi-national road traffic safety project which aims achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic. Zero deaths on roads. The commitment to make all roads safer, not just major roads but aiming to make rural roads safer too;

 

·        

‘Edward’ has been launched – (Every Day Without Road Death); this was now being implemented so would hear more about this going forward;

 

·        

the virtual remand court was currently being run by police team not the escort service contracted by government. It was currently not legally possible for contractors to complete/manage virtual meetings. Police teams were currently managing due to risk in court space, lobbying by MP’s by October but legislation was not due to early next year. Looking to withdraw police resources by December as it currently required 6 police officers 5 days a week: this was not sustainable;

 

·        

Clean Devon was not listed in the Commissioners Update Report as the OPCC were not directly involved. Heart-warming to hear support, nice to know we’re on the right track with issues peninsular Devon and Cornwall, Torquay and Plymouth, thank rural crime.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Continuing to Deliver an Effective Policing and Crime Service to the Public Throughout Covid 19 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner, introduced the report on Continuing to Deliver an Effective Policing and Crime Service to the Public Throughout Covid 19.

 

The following key points were highlighted:

 

·          

there was no additional financial support or ‘covid’ money to give to the  community since August 2020;

 

·          

on the 25 September 2020 the Estates and Police team in Barnstaple moved the enquiry office to open in new location in Seven Brethren;

 

·          

Safe Summer Scheme – there were discussions around extending the current Marshalls Scheme but in different locations, taking wardens from beauty hotspots and bringing them into towns and cities, to support businesses. Money was going directly to local authorities, requests support to help from funding given to local councils;

 

·          

ACS Glen Mayhew who led the local resilience forum, had organised an Award Ceremony to recognise members for support and efforts during Covid. Hannah Hart with others awarded for the virtual remand court implementation, Dr Davina Cull was a new member of staff awarded for supporting victim care service and facilitating funding from Government. Additional thank you to Andrew Kirchin in Communications and Emily Owen in Commissioning who were nominated for working alongside the Police force. 

 

The Panel discussed –

 

·          

deep dive requested in increased reports of use of crack cocaine and street drink during lock down. Increased reported rates of injury. Needs to be a priority focus towards drug and alcohol, looked at within Health and Social care scrutiny committee;

 

·          

offered congratulations on the relocation in Barnstaple and questioned where the new custody was moving, what would the local impact be when officers removed from the area, would the front desk be in Roundswell or Seven Brethren and what was the safety of the old building?

 

·          

deep dive requested in Domestic Abuse figures, was there any evidence it had increased? No evidence in Torbay that it has been reported to increased? Other areas are a concern such as Drug Abuse, fraud with elderly people and vulnerable people;

 

·          

more additional focus needed over PPE for officers and staff, looking forward would be critical with the second wave and future supplies. Was the supply adequate?

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with the announcement stating an audit on the impact of the ethnic minority communities across the area and how they are being disproportionally impacted upon was to be completed. The commissioner’s report highlighted the outcomes, impact and victims. What was the Commissioners teams’ role within communities where initial evidence showed the communities were being disproportionally treated within Devon and Cornwall?

 

 The Police and Crime Chief Commissioner clarified:

 

·          

there was an increase in reported issues such as violence since Covid; the team were focusing on prevention. Last year a drug Seminar called Frank Conversation was held. Consider a scrutiny within the local authority on drug and alcohol services to support the endeavour against drug use;

 

·          

the new front desk would be at Seven Brethren, creating a temporary custody unit. Help from North Devon at the length of time they can stay in the area.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Impact of Covid on Criminal Justice Processes (verbal)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner, introduced the Impact of Covid on Criminal Justice Processes update.

 

It was highlighted that the Criminal Justice Board had no powers as it was a group of people trying improve locally, the Criminal Justice system. As it was not a statutory partnership the government did not recognise the Criminal Justice Board as an emergency response provider during the Covid crisis. Therefore the Local Criminal Justice Board did not have any say in what could be done to help.

 

The Government have been trying to improve this and PCC’s have been having weekly and fortnightly meetings with Ministers. Issues were experienced with the lack of access to information which should be transparent. In terms of probation, the organisation had been working from home, when prisoners were released on license they were not having face to face meetings. Work was ongoing to try to help partners improve the service. The Commissioner had gone to the Judiciary to help establish identified locations for Nightingale courts and two locations had been found in Cornwall. Nightingales court created so other civil business can be moved out so criminal cases can be dealt with more securely.  

 

The Panel discussed:

 

·          

that the community payback in Teignbridge area had not been in operation since lockdown, at least 9 months;

 

·          

that there was a degree of crisis in the justice system which needed to be fixed rapidly. It was considered that the investment in police numbers could go into the system. With regards to the level of prosecution, outcomes had fallen from previous years however it was questioned what was currently being achieved?

 

·          

request to see additional data information and report regarding RUI;

 

·          

responsibility to Dorset Devon and Cornwall probation service, what was the Commissioner’s responsibility and was it possible to have figures of completion as well as data regarding Community Payback?

 

The Police and Crime Chief Commissioner clarified:

 

·          

that the Minister for Justice had announced that the PCC would be consulted on community payback programs regarding more visibility and transparency at local levels;

 

·          

Realised Under Investigation, defence lawyer based in Cornwall part of the Criminal Justice Board who has produced a paper about RUI;

·          

5 PCC’s have formed the Regional Reducing Reoffending Board.

 

Councillor Biederman proposed and Councillor Atherfold seconded to note the report.

19.

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner's Performance Report pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner, introduced the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Performance report and highlighted that the data was correct up to March 2020.   

 

The Panel discussed:

 

·        

why calls to the 999 number had increased?

 

·        

the performance summary and failure to give adequate priority to the rise in violent crime;

 

·        

Public Confidence in Policing: for the 12 months prior to 1 April 2016 this was 72%, compared to the 56% reported today - that was a fall of 16%, and yet the PCC rating remained GREEN;

 

·        

that there was no strategic indicator and focus on crime prevention and crime types in the report;

 

·        

Violent Crime Trends: there was an absence of a strategic indicator relating to any crime type, but in the 2015-16 report violent crime was rated RED (for the 12 months prior to April 2016) as follows:

(a)Violence with Injury 4.6 cases/1000 population.  This compared with 8.9/1000 in today’s report (+93%)

(b)Violence without injury 4.7 cases/1000 population. This compared with 8.8/1000 in today’s report (+87%).

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner clarified:

 

·        

policing responded to what was happening in the communities right now; it was highlighted that there was an increase in domestic abuse reports involving knives in the home, that organised crime groups were not as high as in other areas, there was an increase in robbery and levels of theft/ shoplifting had been going down due to the shops being shut;

 

·        

new figures would have been provided had the election for a Police and Crime Commissioner happened; it was questioned if the Panel would be happy to consider a new report which could be reviewed and to help whether to support the budget? The information provided was reporting on the previous Commissioner’s plan.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Atherfold and seconded by Councillor Hackett to note the report.

20.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel - Complaints against the PCC pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the Complaints Against the Police and Crime Commissioner report and informed the Panel to note that a complaint was received when the Panel last met – the Panel now had the opportunity to discuss that complaint as it had been concluded.  

 

Fran Hughes advised the Panel that the IOPC had reviewed the complaint and it was decided that there was nothing unlawful in the Commissioner’s conduct and that the Chair and Fran would have a discussion the next steps to be taken prior to the next meeting.  

 

It was proposed by Councillor Biederman and seconded by Councillor Atherfold to note the update.

21.

Work Programme (to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Panel Members discussed the draft work programme and raised the following items for inclusion:

 

·        

update on the recruitment plan;

 

·        

an update on drugs on county lines; was this disturbed with Covid and what is the current state of play/ challenges and next steps?

 

·        

an update on 101 calls;

 

·        

Culture of Policing – motivated arrests.

 

Members were asked to contact Jamie Sheldon to prioritise items with a deadline of 2 October 2020.