Agenda and draft minutes

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel
Thursday, 18th March, 2021 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

The Chair welcomed Clare Killeen, Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor, to her first meeting of the Panel.

 

29.

Roll Call for Members and Officers

Minutes:

It was noted that the above members and officers were present at the meeting.

 

30.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Ms M Bellis, Ms D Holden and Mr M Johnson.

 

31.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

32.

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.

 

33.

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.

 

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 28 January 2021 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

With reference to minute 23 (Minutes) – the Chair confirmed that initial correspondence had been received regarding CCTV in Barrow Park and a further update was still awaited.

 

RESOLVED,    that the minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2021 be confirmed as a correct.

 

35.

Revenue Budget Monitoring Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 351 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

 

The Panel received a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) which provided the Commissioner’s Financial Summary 2020/21 forecast as at 31 December 2020. 

 

Members noted expenditure and income variances which included reductions in staffing of £9k and transport £4k, offset by increases in printing, catering and supplies and services of £13k.  It was explained there was additional expenditure on premises of £150k; this was mainly £82k on increased repair and maintenance plus additional cleaning which amounted to £90k (both as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), increased business rates of £49k and £16k on other premises, offset by reductions in utilities of £87k.

 

The Panel also noted there was increased expenditure on insurances of £62k, a £81k reduction in investment income and statutory accounting adjustments of £3k.  It was explained there was £46k of funding provided to the Constabulary with a small overall underspend forecast.  Members were informed that additional net expenditure had been incurred in response to COVID 19 which included PPE, sanitisers, ICT to facilitate homeworking, overtime and reduced income.  However, this had been largely offset by a combination of government grants in respect of lost income, PPE reimbursements and additional patrols and savings to in-year budgets as a result of reduced activity in areas such as travel, fuel and training during the pandemic.

 

Members welcomed the Constabulary recruitment plan in relation to Operation Uplift which continued to proceed well.

 

(b)    Cumbria Constabulary Revenue Budget 2020/21

 

The Panel considered a report from Cumbria Constabulary which provided details of the Constabulary’s Revenue Budget Monitoring 2020/21. 

 

Members were informed that the forecast spend on Operation Uplift reflected early achievement of the Constabulary’s recruitment target of an additional 51 FTE officers from phase 1 in 2020/21 and the commencement of phase 2 which was largely planned and budgeted through the Workforce Plan.  The Panel was informed, however, that a conscious decision to progress recruitment slightly ahead of schedule had been made, which had contributed to the overspend on police pay.  It was explained that staffing in support of the additional recruitment and servicing the additional officers was currently forecast to underspend by £169k; this related to requirements in Learning and Development and ICT, the provision of which were currently under review.

 

The Panel received a breakdown of main Operation Lectern costs which included officer pay and overtime costs on COVID?19 enforcement activities of £288k, first aid/PPE equipment £413k, communications and computing £523k and a reduced income of £572k.

 

Members noted 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 31 Mar 2021.

 

Officers explained the management accounts position at December 2020 also included savings of £919k as an indirect result of the pandemic and Government funding of £701k in respect of lost income and COVID?19 enforcement.

 

The Panel received details regarding the impact on core budgets and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Delivery of the Current Police and Crime Plan pdf icon PDF 592 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report which outlined the work carried out by the Police and Crime Commissioner and his Office during the COVID?19 pandemic.

 

Members were informed that following the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) and the subsequent postponement of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May 2020, the Commissioner determined that the priorities already set out in his Police & Crime Plan “Making Cumbria Even Safer”, would remain the same for 2020?2021.  The Panel noted that the Commissioner had developed an Action Plan which identified key work streams for delivery during this period to support the Police and Crime Plan priorities.

 

In summary, the Panel was informed that during the last year, the Commissioner and his Office had continued to fulfil all statutory obligations and business as usual activities, as well as meet the increasing demands associated with the pandemic.  It was explained that although the Commissioner and his Team had transitioned to remote working staff had remained engaged with each other, partner agencies and service providers. 

 

Members noted that every opportunity to secure additional funding had been explored, with the Team successfully securing a remarkable amount of money which had helped organisations provide an immediate response to the pandemic and ensure victims continued to receive the vital support they required.

 

The Panel welcomed the delivery of the Home Office Safer Streets Fund which provided crime prevention advice, home security equipment and street lighting in an area affected by acquisitive crime.  Members were informed that Cumbria County Council had used the funding to install new street lighting in unlit back alleys and provided an upgrade of existing lighting in the front streets across the whole area.  The Panel highlighted that the scheme had been completed in Barrow ahead of schedule and within budget and asked that their thanks and appreciation be conveyed to Ian Harker, Lighting Manager and all officers involved in the delivery of the project.

 

A discussion took place regarding the development of a Victim’s Communications Strategy to ensure victims were aware of how to access services during the pandemic.  The Panel asked if there had been an impact on victims coming forward during this time and whether there was an understanding of how effective the Strategy had been and if it was felt there would be a longer term impact.

 

The Panel was informed that the Commissioner and his Office had undertaken a needs assessment with providers to keep abreast of the crisis, understand the impact on services and ensure the necessary IT support was available.  It was explained that the OPCC Victims Advocate had conducted regular assurance checks with the providers to ensure victims had continued to receive the right support and that this year there had been a phased release of additional funding to uphold this.

 

Members were informed that feedback had suggested that engagement from victims had increased, particularly from males, and it was felt this was partly due to the digital platform which was available 24 hours a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Update on Complaints pdf icon PDF 258 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 with the Panel’s Complaints Procedure.  The report outlined where appropriate, what, if any, action had been taken in respect of the complaints.

 

Members were informed that as at the date of the report and since the previous report, no further complaints had been received and only one complaint, as advised in the previous report, was ongoing.  It was explained correspondence had been exchanged to ascertain the actual complaint against the Commissioner, and this complaint had now been put to the Commissioner.  Members noted that a response to that complaint was due after the date of the Panel meeting, therefore, a further update would be provided to the next Panel meeting.

 

RESOLVED,  that

 

                   (1)    the report be noted;

 

                   (2)    a further update be made available at the next meeting of the Panel.

 

38.

Panel Update Report pdf icon PDF 192 KB

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

 

Minutes:

Members received a report from the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor (Cumbria County Council) which gave an update on key issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of the Panel on 28 January 2021.  The information detailed an Update on National Policy Developments, Home Office Review into the Role of Police and Crime Commissioners and the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel Work Programme.

 

The Panel welcomed the announcement of an additional £35.5 million to support Violence Reduction Units to support young people at risk of involvement in serious violence.  During the course of discussion particular attention was drawn to the recent violent events in the Barrow area; the Commissioner acknowledged this matter and confirmed a local focus had been reinforced to help deal with the matters together with continued partnership working. 

 

The Chair emphasised the importance of community hubs and how integral they were to communities especially during the recovery phase of the pandemic; he raised his concerns regarding the sustainability of them due to the funding required.  The OPCC acknowledged the importance of hubs and informed the Panel that every opportunity was taken to secure additional funding into the county.

 

A discussion took place regarding the effectiveness of community police officers with local knowledge.  The Commissioner confirmed that police officers were now stationed in 12 smaller rural towns around the county explaining that due to the current pandemic communities had not experienced the full effect of them but felt they would provide a positive outcome in the future.  During the course of discussion members highlighted and welcomed the positive community relationships which existed between the Police and partners throughout the county.

 

A discussion took place regarding the targeted community support and partnership working with Cumbria County Council and the need to avoid duplication.  It was agreed the Vice?Chair would contact the OPCC Chief Executive with a view to investigating how the local Authority and Cumbria Police could work together for the benefit of the communities and the findings would be fed back to the County Council.

 

RESOLVED,  that

 

                   (1)    the report be noted;

 

                   (2)    the Panel’s Annual Report and a report on the Accountability Framework be considered at the next meeting of the Panel in July.

 

39.

Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting of the Panel will be held on Friday 9 July 2021 at 10.30 am at a venue to be agreed.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Panel was scheduled to be held on Friday 9 July 2021 at 10.30 am at a venue to be agreed.

 

 

 

The Chair, on behalf of the Panel, thanked the Commissioner and his Team for their support during his term of office and wished him well for the future.

 

A number of community groups asked that their thanks be conveyed to the Commissioner for the funding and support which he had provided.

 

The Commissioner expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Panel highlighting the support and positive engagement which had taken place.