Agenda and minutes

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel
Monday, 25th March, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Committee Room 1, County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ

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

Items
No. Item

Mr A Riley and Ms R Reed attended for agenda item no 6 – Update by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (minute 51 refers).

 

46.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr K Hamilton, Mr P Kendall and Mr J Lynch.

 

47.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

48.

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.

 

49.

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.

 

50.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 21 January 2019 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

(1)    With reference to minute 41(b) – Police and Crime Commissioner Precept Proposals – Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Forecast a response regarding the existence of solar panels in the new Police Station at Phoenix Way, Barrow was still outstanding.  It was agreed a written response would be made to the Panel as soon as possible.

 

(2)    With reference to minute 41(e) – Police and Crime Commissioner Precept Proposals – Precept Proposal and Medium Term Budget 2019/20 to 2022/23 (sixth paragraph, last sentence) the word ‘direct’ be replaced with ‘neighbourhood’.

 

RESOLVED,    that with the inclusion of (2) above the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

51.

Presentation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct

To receive a verbal update by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

 

Minutes:

The Panel received a verbal update from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).  Members were informed they were a non-departmental public body, previously known as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) who were responsible for overseeing the police complaints system in England and Wales, investigating the most serious matters, including deaths following police contact, and set the standards by which the police should handle complaints.

 

Members were informed that on 8 January 2018, the transition from the IPCC to the newly created IOPC consisted of a new leadership under a Director General and a new Board to ensure accountability to the public.  It was explained that non-executive directors form the majority of the Board, and provide independent support and challenge to the Director General as well as oversight of the overall running of the organisation.  It was noted that the new structure also consisted of a more regional approach, with new Regional Directors created to engage with local stakeholders and improve the understanding of the needs of local communities.

 

The Panel were informed that staff were recruited to the organisation from a wide spectrum.  It was explained the IOPC also encouraged recruitment through a ‘trainee investigator scheme’ which provided appropriate training for those applicants with less or no experience.  Members noted that at present approximately 30% of the workforce were ex police officers but none of them were part of the senior infrastructure .

 

Members were informed that the IOPC had reported that they had been allocated £63.11m core cash funding from the Home Office, and an additional £8.23m funding for the Hillsborough investigation.  The Panel requested clarification on funding including the annual cost of the IOPC and it was agreed this would be provided separately to the Panel.

 

A discussion took place regarding the auditing of expenditure and it was explained that this was the responsibility of the Unitary Board who were responsible for the agreement of the Annual Report. 

 

The Panel discussed the oversight and scrutiny of the IOPC and it was explained that they were inspected by the National Audit Committee.  It was agreed that further information would be made available in the future.

 

A discussion took place regarding the provisions of the Police and Crime Act 2017 to increase the powers of the IOPCs which included its investigative process and further safeguarded its independence.  Members highlighted the pro-active steps it had taken by revising its Complaints Procedure to eliminate it becoming a secondary appeals panel and asked what steps the IOPC had undertaken.  It was noted that the major reforms allowed the IOPC to:

 

Ø  initiate its own investigations without relying on a force to record and refer a particular case for investigation;

 

Ø  reopen cases it had closed where there were compelling reasons, such as new evidence;

 

Ø  increase the IOPC’s independence from the police by abolishing ‘managed’ and ‘supervised’ investigations;

 

Ø  investigate all disciplinary investigations against chief officers;

 

Ø  present cases against officers in the police disciplinary process when the force disagreed with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Revenue Budget Monitoring - Quarter 3

52a

Constabulary Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 435 KB

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

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report from Cumbria Constabulary which detailed their Revenue budget monitoring 2018/19 forecast as at 31 December 2018.

 

Members noted that the current forecast of net expenditure amounted to £118.073m compared to a revised budget of £117.427m.  It was explained that the variance amounted to a forecast overspend of £0.646m (0.55%) and was made up of a forecast overspend on expenditure budgets of £1.062m (0.86%) and increased income of £0.416m (6.83%).  The Panel were informed that the forecast overspend had reduced by £0.103m compared to the forecast overspend reported as at the end of September 2018 of £0.749m. 

 

It was explained that the overspend was principally around police pay which included early recruitment of additional police officers, ill-health retirement and overtime costs.  Members noted that a deliberate decision had been made to recruit 25 new police officers in 2018-19 early to meet the Commissioner’s pledge which was earlier than planned.  The Panel were informed that in addition to that another 20 officers had been recruited earlier than expected to ensure they were ready for 2019-20 and help meet the Commissioner’s pledge.

 

Members were informed that higher fuel prices had put pressure on the transport budget.  The Panel noted that the Force had invested in a number of electric vehicles which would only be deployed in city centres but would not contribute to fuel cost savings.  It was explained that the significant costs incurred were due to the geography of the county and the cost of fuel.

 

The Panel noted that the overspend had been reduced through the agreed application of revenue budget reserves (budget support reserve and the injury pension reserve).  It was highlighted that the Constabulary was continuing to look for ways in which the overspend could be managed during the remainder of the financial year.  Members noted that in the event that there was an overspend at the year end, it was proposed that the underspend on the capital budget for 2018/19 be used to fund the remaining deficit.

 

Members noted the Workforce Plan Changes and in particular the forthcoming changes in relation to the Police Education Qualification Framework (PEQF) effective from 1 January 2020.  A discussion took place regarding the effects this would have on the budget and impact on Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).  The Board were informed that the new PEQF entry process would be more expensive and investigations would be undertaken to look at how this could be profiled and dealt with in the future.

 

Members were informed that the largest element of costs incurred for police officers entering the Force through the Apprenticeship Scheme would be met from the Apprenticeship Levy.

 

The Board were informed that police officer recruitment was changing and that different forces were offering a range of different rates which it was anticipated could have an impact on recruitment. 

 

It was explained that PCSO recruitment was not a graduate entry scheme and that the recruitment scheduled for the next financial year was to top up resources.

 

A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52a

52b

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which detailed their Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19 forecast as at 31 December 2018 Report.

 

Members were informed that the current forecast of net expenditure amounted to £99.250m compared to a revised budget of £98.627m.  It was explained that the variance amounted to a forecast overspend of £623k (0.63%) and was made up of a forecast overspend of £646k (0.55%) in respect of Constabulary budget and a forecast underspend of £23k (0.12%) on budgets managed by the Commissioner.  It was noted that the overall overspend represented a reduction of £168k compared with the position reported at September.

 

The Panel noted that the aim remained to contain expenditure within budget by the year end, but, if this did not prove possible, it was planned that the deficit would be met from an underspend on the capital budget in relation to Business Analytics.

 

A discussion took place regarding the balance on the Police Property Act fund and the Panel felt there was still a large amount of money remaining in this.  Members were informed that there had been an increase in applications and the Commissioner was comfortable with the monies still available.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

53.

Annual Review of the Police and Crime Plan 2016-2020 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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

 

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided a high level performance summary against each of the objectives in the Police & Crime Plan.  It provided example of key activity which the Police and Crime Commissioner, along with partners, had delivered during 2018?2019 and included an overview of how this had supported local communities across Cumbria.  It was explained that this report would form the basis of the Annual Report for 2018-2019 and identify keys areas of work for the next 12 months.

 

Members noted that the current Plan identified broad long-term crime, community safety and criminal justice objectives for Cumbria and was accessible to a wide range of audiences.  It was explained that the Plan was developed with input from the public, police and key partners and also linked to the national policing priorities.  The Panel were informed that the primary focus of the Plan was to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, support victims and bring offenders to justice through effective partnership working with statutory and third sector partners, and local community groups.  It was noted that the Commissioner had been clear that he was keen to promote the approach of ‘We Not They’ recognising that it is the responsibility of all to make “Cumbria Even Safer”. 

 

The Panel were informed that the Commissioner had in place a robust and transparent governance framework that enabled him to fulfil his statutory duty and obtain reassurance that the objectives within the Plan were being delivered.

 

A discussion took place regarding the objective to support and enable community groups to prevent and tackle crime and disorder in their area.  The Panel drew attention to the use of CCTV and how this could be rolled out and funded across the county, highlighting the positive effects this had already had in certain areas of the county.  The Commissioner highlighted them as a valuable operational benefit for the police which provided reassurances for communities.

 

Members were informed that Police in the county were more able to afford to pay for extra security cameras, explaining that the cost of installation had reduced across the county following the introduction of 4G or 5G technology to link the cameras to the central system.  Members noted that monitoring the system was where the greatest costs were incurred.  It was explained that whilst some funding could be made available additional funds would also need to be sought from local authorities. 

 

The Panel discussed the large scale operation targeting county lines drug supply activity in Barrow.  Members were informed this operation was ten months in the planning and had resulted in multiple arrests with the seizure of thousands of pounds in cash and quantities of illegal drugs. 

 

Members welcomed the positive outcomes of the recent operation and drew attention to the effects county lines also had on other parts of the county as traffic passed through other areas.

 

The Panel discussed the need for a whole society approach to prevent addiction and Egerton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Update on Complaints pdf icon PDF 182 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Monitoring Officer which advised members of any complaints received in accordance with the Panel’s complaints procedure.  The report outlined where appropriate, what, if any, action has been taken in respect of the complaints.

 

Members were informed that as at the date of the report there were no ongoing complaints.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

55.

Panel Update Report pdf icon PDF 271 KB

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

 

Minutes:

Members received a report which gave an update on key issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of the Panel which included progress on actions agreed at the October Panel meeting, National Policy Developments and the Panel’s Work Programme.

 

A discussion took place regarding the serious violence update and, in particular, the St Giles Trust, a charity which supported young people caught up in reoffending.  It was explained they had released a Home Office-commissioned report, recommending that Ofsted should radically change its approach on how it assessed schools to take into account children becoming part of county lines drug dealing.  It was noted that the report focussed on the Home Office-funded pilot which had taken place in Kent, in which 38 children were given one-to-one casework support, and had found 85% were effectively helped by either leaving county lines gangs or decreasing their activity. 

 

Whilst the Panel acknowledged that the information related to Kent the Police and Crime Commissioner highlighted that the whole country experienced the same issues.  It was explained that there were regional education commissioners whose remit was to care for children and it was felt there was a need in Cumbria to be more closely aligned with them. 

 

The Panel noted that discussions had taken place with regards to improving future monitoring of the Police and Crime Commissioner and this would be discussed as part of the annual review.

 

Members were informed that the Panel would produce an Annual Panel Report which would be discussed further at the next meeting of the Panel in July.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

56.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Panel will be held on Friday 12 July 2019 at 10.30 am in Allerdale House, Allerdale Borough Council, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 3YJ.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Panel would be held on Friday 12 July 2019 at 10.30 am in Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 3YJ.

 

 

It was noted that this would be the last meeting Mr G Sunderland would attend in his capacity as a Panel member as he was not standing for re?election at the forthcoming district elections.  The Chair and Vice-Chair, on behalf of the Panel, thanked Mr Sunderland for his support and positive attitude, highlighting in particular his contributions to the new Complaints Procedure and wished him well for the future.

 

Mr Sunderland thanked the Panel.