Agenda and minutes

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel
Friday, 16th October, 2020 10.30 am

Venue: This will be a virtual meeting, therefore, will not take place in a physical location. To view this event please click link below:

Contact: Lynn Harker  Email: lynn.harker@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

Members were advised this would be the last meeting of the Panel which Linda Vance would attend in her capacity as an Independent Member.

 

The Chair and Vice-Chair, on behalf of the Panel, thanked Linda for her valued contributions and service to the Panel and wished her well for the future.

 

The Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, on behalf of his Office and the Chief Constable, thanked Linda for her work with the Panel and the challenges she had given him and wished her every success for the future.

 

Linda Vance thanked everyone for their kind words and offered any support in the future to both the Panel and the Commissioner. 

 

1.

Roll Call for Members and Officers

Minutes:

All of the above members and officers were in attendance at the meeting.

 

2.

Election of Chair

To elect a Chair of the Panel for the ensuing year.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that Mr W McEwan be elected Chair of the Panel for the ensuing year.

 

Mr McEwan thereupon took the Chair.

 

3.

Election of Vice-Chair

To elect a Vice-Chair of the Panel for the ensuing year.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that Miss H Fearon be elected Vice-Chair of the Panel for the ensuing year.

 

4.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Ms M Bellis and Mr A Kirkbride.

 

5.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

6.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the Agenda.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,    that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting for any items of business on this occasion.

 

7.

Public Participation

To receive any items of public participation.

 

(Questions and petitions must be received in writing by Lynn Harker, Senior Democratic Services Officer at least seven working days before the date of the Panel meeting).

 

Minutes:

There were no items of public participation to be considered at this meeting.

 

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 7 February 2020 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

With reference to Minute 26 – Apologies for Absence it was noted Miss H Fearon should have been included.

 

RESOLVED,    that with the inclusion of the above amendment the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2020 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

9.

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner's Annual Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider a report by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Annual Report 2019-20.  Members noted that it was consistent with last year’s format and had been written with accessibility in mind, so that a member of the public could easily understand how the Commissioner had carried out his functions and what his key achievements had been so far.

 

Members received additional information with regards to the current pandemic.  The Commissioner informed the Panel that the Force had been involved in enforcement and assistance during the lockdown in March and April highlighting the increasing challenges the Constabulary now faced as crime returned to normal levels. 

 

During the course of discussion the Commissioner confirmed contingency plans were in place but raised his concerns regarding pressures on resources due to part of the senior team being engaged to manage the county response through the Strategic Co?ordination Group.  It was highlighted that the Force had managed the situation well but, bearing in mind that crime had returned and anti?social behaviour had increased, he explained that regular discussions regarding resilience of individuals were being undertaken with the Chief Constable and the situation would continue to be monitored.

 

The Panel welcomed the partnership working and highlighted the Cohesion Group which had been established in Barrow?in?Furness to consider hate crime.  The Commissioner acknowledged the community cohesion work being undertaken in Barrow together with other effective community groups and activities in the area and agreed to consider inclusion of this information in a future Annual Report.

 

Members drew attention to the wide success of the Commissioner’s themed videos regarding anti-social driving and were informed they appeared on a number of social media platforms which allowed an analysis of data to be undertaken.

 

The Panel raised their concerns regarding county lines and was informed of successful operations during the summer.  During the course of discussion the importance of the continued co?ordination and collaboration with other partners to combat this was highlighted.

 

A discussion took place regarding the 101 Service and concerns were raised regarding the dissatisfaction of the public with the length of time it took the Constabulary to answer those calls.  Members asked whether extra resources or improved hard and software could be introduced to overcome those issues.

 

The Commissioner acknowledged the service had to be as effective as possible.  He informed the Panel that improved technology had been introduced together with approximately 80 staff being employed in the control room of which 15?20 would be available at any one time.  It was agreed that further information on the number of officers available in the control room would be made available separately to members.  It was explained that following the success of the introduction of access via e-mail it was anticipated that live chats would also be introduced in the future. 

 

A discussion took place regarding the use of e-mails and members were informed they involved a series of levels of response; a call?back request could be made which would take place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Annual Report from the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel

To receive a verbal update from the Chair, Cumbria Police and Crime Panel.

 

Minutes:

The Chair of the Panel informed members that in normal times the Police and Crime Panel would have presented an Annual Report at the July Panel meeting but due to the current pandemic this had not been possible.

 

He explained that whilst this had not been undertaken to allow a focus on the response and recovery from the pandemic, further information regarding the activities of the Panel would be provided at the next meeting.

 

11.

Police and Crime Plan 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To consider a report by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Panel received the Police and Crime Plan 2020-21.  Members were informed that following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent postponement of the 2020 Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, the Commissioner had determined that his priorities set out in the current Police and Crime Plan would remain the same for 2020-2021. 

 

It was explained that to underpin this, the Commissioner had developed an Action Plan, setting out key pieces of work that would deliver those priorities over the next year.  Furthermore, it was noted that as an immediate response to Covid-19, the Commissioner had developed an Emergency Plan, detailing the measures and arrangements he, and his office, had put in place to support Cumbria Constabulary, partner agencies and local communities during the pandemic and beyond, and how he continued to fulfil his statutory responsibilities. 

 

A discussion took place regarding priorities to tackle crime and anti?social behaviour.  Whilst the Panel welcomed the delivery of the Home Office Safer Streets Fund, providing crime prevention advice, home security equipment and street lighting in the Barrow area raised their concerns regarding the lack of communication with members and officers of Cumbria County Council.  It was agreed that this matter be investigated with the Project Officer with a view to a representative attending a meeting to discuss the matter further.

 

During the course of discussion an issue was raised regarding anti?social behaviour in Eden and a lack of communication between all partners including the local members.  It was agreed that local councillors would be engaged in any processes in the future.

 

The Panel asked for further information regarding the Priorities to Support Public Accountability and it was agreed this would be provided separately to members.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

12.

Appointment of Independent Co-opted Members of the Panel pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To receive a report from the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Panel (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Panel received a joint report from the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Panel which provided an update on the process to recruit two new Independent Members of the Police and Crime Panel and recommended the appointment of two Independent Members following the recruitment process. 

 

During the course of discussion it was confirmed that there were applicants from the south of the County and members noted that the membership of the Panel was balanced through elected member representation.

 

RESOLVED,  that Ruth Hunter and Jonathan Little be appointed to the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel as Independent Members for a four year term of office as of 1 January 2021.

 

13.

The Policing of Children in Cumbria pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To note a report on the Policing of Children in Cumbria (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

Members received a paper regarding The Policing of Children in Cumbria.

 

The Panel was informed there were approximately 12 million children in England and Wales, 112,000 of which lived in Cumbria; the vast majority lived healthy, safe and stable lives but, amongst those children there were some who were exposed to childhood trauma and increased vulnerability.

 

Members noted that over a million young people faced risks from any of the so-called ‘toxic trio’ of living in households with addiction, poor mental health and domestic abuse.  It was explained that Cumbria was well below the national average for children living in households where those vulnerabilities were prevalent, however, data from the Children’s Commissioner highlighted an increase in the prevalence of the toxic trio for children under one with a similar trend in relation to children under 4.

 

The Panel was informed it was important that those children and their families were identified at the earliest opportunity and that Cumbria Constabulary recognised the correlation between Adverse Childhood Experiences and a greater risk of needing acute safeguarding support in later life, mental ill health and entering the criminal justice system.

 

Officers explained that a Child Centred Policing (CCP) approach was vital to achieving this aim.  Members welcomed the Child Centred Policing Teams which would be based within the Local Focus Hubs in three policing areas in Cumbria to improve the lives of children within communities and would be managed by a Sergeant plus five others.

 

A question was raised regarding the recruitment of children to the Stop and Search Scrutiny Panels and it was agreed officers would provide further information on this matter.

 

During the course of discussion officers emphasised the need to work collaboratively with a range of partners to ensure positive outcomes.  It was explained that during time success would be measured in the reduction of repeat offenders and hopefully a reduction in the number of younger people going missing.

 

The Panel welcomed this initiative and looked forward to a future update.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

14.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2020/21 - Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 350 KB

(1)    Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Budget Report

 

To receive a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (copy enclosed).

 

(2)    Cumbria Constabulary Budget Report

 

To consider a report from Cumbria Constabulary (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

(1)    Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Budget Report

 

To Panel received a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided the Commissioner’s Revenue Budget Monitoring 2020/21 forecast as at 30 June 2020.

 

Members noted that the expenditure and income variances included reductions in staffing of £4,000, training and conferences £2k, transport £3k and printing and other running costs of £9k.  It was explained there was an additional expenditure on Premises which amounted to £69k and was mainly on additional cleaning due to COVID 19 and small overspends on utilities and maintenance.  The Panel was informed those additional costs were partially offset by a reduction in expenditure of £14k on property insurance.

 

The Panel noted that the funding provided to the Constabulary was +£630k with the overspend, in the main, due to additional costs in response to COVID 19 and included PPE, sanitisers, ICT costs and overtime, and totalled £632k.

 

Members were informed that the savings to in?year budgets as a result of reduced activity in areas such as travel, fuel and training during the pandemic were estimated at £521k, however, they were offset by reductions in core income of £512k.  It was explained that additional contributions to local and national collaborations had increased (£138k).

 

(2)    Cumbria Constabulary Budget Report

 

Members considered a report from Cumbria Constabulary which provided details of the Constabulary’s Revenue Budget Monitoring 2020/21 as at 30 June 2020.

 

The Panel was informed that the forecast spend in respect of the Constabulary’s COVID 19 response assumed the current level of additional cleaning and purchase of PPE to at least September 2020.  It was explained this also included £331k of ICT hardware purchase.

 

Members noted that the forecast income related to reimbursement of costs received from the purchase of PPE kit on behalf of other forces or public services.  It was explained that in mid?July it had been confirmed that expenditure on ‘medical grade PPE’ would be reimbursed by central Government, therefore, the management accounts position at June assumed £250k would be received based on actual spend to 30 June plus estimated spend for July to September.

 

The Panel received an update on the impact on core budgets and was informed that with reduced activity levels in some areas a total potential saving of £521k was anticipated based on the assumption that the reduced activity continued until at least the end of September 2020.  It was explained those savings were offset by a forecast reduction in route income of £512k.

 

Members were informed of Operation Uplift 2020/21 which was a Government programme to recruit 20,000 additional police officers nationwide.  It was explained the forecast spend on Operation Uplift assumed an additional 51 full?time equivalent officers would be recruited by 31 March 2021. 

 

The Panel welcomed Operation Uplift emphasising this was a significant achievement for Cumbria and congratulated everyone concerned.  In response, the Commissioner gave a positive update on the effects of this, informing members that additional resources had allowed for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Update on Complaints pdf icon PDF 419 KB

To consider a report from the Monitoring Officer (Cumbria County Council) (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from the Monitoring Officer (Cumbria County Council) which advised members of any complaints received in accordance the Panel’s Complaints Procedure.  The report outlined where appropriate, what, if any, action had been taken in respect of the complaints.

 

Members noted that there had been no complaints since the last meeting of the Panel and that there were currently none outstanding.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

16.

Panel Update Report pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider the Panel Briefing from the Senior Policy and Scrutiny Project Officer (Cumbria County Council) (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

Members received a Panel Update report which provided information on key issues and developments that had occurred since the last informal meeting of the Panel on 20 July 2020.

 

The Panel welcomed the new guidance on Modern Slavery and emphasised the need for everyone to be aware of the signs of this.

 

Members received an update on Taser changes and were informed that trained police officers could be equipped with a more effective Taser following the approval of a new model by the Home Secretary. 

 

The Panel was informed that a number of police officers and all firearm officers were Taser trained.  It was explained that training and annual licenses were a significant cost but taking into account the geography of the county their use was supported in controlled situations.

 

It was agreed that further detailed information regarding the more effective Taser would be circulated to members.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 

17.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Panel will be held on Thursday 28 January 2021 at 10.30 am at a venue to be confirmed.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Panel would be held on Thursday 28 January 2021 at 10.30 am at a venue to be confirmed.