Agenda and minutes

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel
Friday, 12th July, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria. CA14 3YJ

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

Mr McEwan thereupon took the Chair.

 

2.

Election of Vice-Chair

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

 

Minutes:

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

 

3.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr RK Bingham, Ms G Dinsdale and Mr K Meller.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

5.

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.

 

6.

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.

 

7.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 25 March 2019 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

(1)    With reference to minute 51 – Presentation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct – the 7th paragraph, penultimate sentence should read ….. pro?active steps ‘the Panel’ had taken .….

 

(2)    With reference to minute 52(a) – Revenue Budget Monitoring – Quarter 3 – the 4th paragraph, 2nd sentence should read ….. be deployed in ‘urban areas’ but would …..

 

RESOLVED,    that with the inclusion of the above amendments the minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

8.

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel Chairman's Annual Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To consider a report by the Chairman, Cumbria Police and Crime Panel (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received the first Annual Report from the Chairman which provided information on the Panel’s role and responsibilities, including statutory duties.  It also acted as a point of reference for partners, external organisations and the public for the work that was carried out by the Panel. 

 

Members welcomed the report and suggested that the Foreword should highlight the Panel’s achievements. 

 

With reference to the information regarding ‘Challenges Facing Policing’ and the 42% funding which derived from the Cumbria Police policing precept; officers were asked to clarify the figure as this was different to the information contained in the OPCC’s report.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner supported the document and felt it was a balanced, helpful and positive report.

 

The Chair conveyed his thanks to the officers for the work they had undertaken to produce the report.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

9.

Police and Crime Commissioner's Annual Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 2 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 (OPCC) which presented the text for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s third Annual Report, covering the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

 

Members noted that the Annual Report was consistent with last year’s format and had been written with accessibility in mind, to enable a member of the public to easily understand how the Commissioner had carried out his functions and what his key achievements had been to date.

 

A discussion took place regarding the Out of Court Scrutiny Panel which had provided visibility of how the Constabulary was administering out of court disposals.  Members asked for a presentation on this at a future meeting.

 

The Panel drew attention to the role of a Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking Co?ordinator whose remit would ensure that all multi?agency partners worked together to support victims and to investigate perpetrators of those crimes.  It was agreed that the OPCC would provide members with further information on the role.

 

Members welcomed Cumbria’s Mini Police scheme which had been launched in 2018.  It was noted that participant schools and mini police officers had taken part in a number of events including road safety patrols, local litter picks, educational talks on county lines drug dealing and supporting local events.  The Panel was informed that Cumbria currently had 26 member schools.  The Barrow Borough Council representative asked for details on the schools in the Barrow area as the County Council’s Local Committee for Barrow was undertaking a school safety initiative and would like to involve them.

 

The Panel noted that the OPCC had received 51 Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests.  Members were informed they were received from a broad range of people with a significant number from the media.  It was explained that, for transparency, all FOI requests were published on the OPCC website.

 

The Chair, on behalf of the Panel, thanked the Police and Crime Commissioner and his Team for an informative Annual Report.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

10.

Serious Violence and County Lines pdf icon PDF 245 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which summarised how he continued to work with, and support, the Constabulary, partners and local communities to target resources to reduce the impact of serious violence and county lines across Cumbria.

 

Members were informed that the Commissioner recognised serious and organised crime as a priority.  The Panel noted that it was often perceived that rural communities were immune from serious crime but the targeting and exploitation of rural communities by organised criminality was now well documented.  Concerns were raised regarding the high demand for all common drug types in the UK which was linked to the county line drug supply networks and had been identified as a driver for an increase in serious violence. 

 

The Commissioner emphasised the work he was undertaking with the Constabulary to ensure focus and levels of resource to tackle county lines drug supply activity in Barrow and other parts of the county.  He informed the Panel that he had held the Constabulary to account through a Public Accountability Conference focusing on serious organised crime and drug supply.  The Commissioner was assured the Constabulary fully understood the scale and complexity of this threat across Cumbria and had the capability and capacity to proactively target, pursue and dismantle serious and organised criminals and networks, as well as bring offenders to justice.  It was emphasised to the Panel that the Constabulary did not work in isolation and engaged with partner agencies at a local, regional and national level.

 

The Panel noted that the Commissioner also held the Chief Constable to account at their weekly meetings where discussions took place regarding current and emerging operational business as well as to review areas of improvement.  A discussion took place regarding the areas of improvement and it was agreed that a link would be circulated to the Accountability Framework which contained this information.

 

Members raised their concerns regarding the lack of neighbourhood policing.  The Commissioner acknowledged the concerns of members but emphasised that extra funding would be required to enhance local neighbourhood policing. 

 

The Panel felt there could be more community involvement ie parish councils and schools and asked how the Force proposed to engage with them.  The Commissioner informed members that a future approach would be through the local focus hubs which would formalise the process of sharing information and intelligence between partners, ensuring interventions were targeted and cohesive.

 

Members were informed that when the Government had consulted on the Serious Violence Strategy, it had indicated that this issue could not be resolved by one agency alone and that a wider collaborative approach would be required.  It was explained that the Strategy confirmed a ‘public health approach’ as the best means to deliver this.  It was noted that taking this into consideration, the OPCC had instigated a review of the county’s partnership arrangements through Safer Cumbria to ensure the correct structure was in place and aligned with the Government’s proposals.

 

The Panel’s attention was drawn to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19 Quarter 4 to March 2019 and Provisional Outturn

11a

Constabulary Budget Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from Cumbria Constabulary which provided details of the provisional outturn on the Constabulary’s Revenue budget for 2018/19.  Members noted that the figures quoted at this stage were reported as provisional as the final accounts were still subject to audit but it was not envisaged that there would be any significant changes.

 

Members were informed that the figures showed net revenue expenditure on Constabulary controlled and managed budgets amounting to £115.397m which represented an overspend of £217k (0.19%) against the approved adjusted budget of £115.180m.

 

The Panel noted the overspend was made up of an overspend on expenditure budgets of £836k (0.69%) offset by additional income totalling £619k (10.21%).  It was explained the final overspend of £217k represented a reduction of £429k compared to the overspend reported at the end of Quarter 3 at 31 December of £646k.

 

It was highlighted to members that the overspend had already been reduced through the agreed application of revenue budget reserves amounting to £470k.  The net overspend prior to application of reserves was therefore £687k which represented 0.6% of the adjusted budget.

 

The Panel noted the significant pressures the police pay budget had experienced during the year due to the requirement to fund a higher than budgeted number of police ill health retirements under Police Pension Regulations.  Members queried whether the Force had experienced problems with staff sickness.  It was confirmed that the budget pressures were due to very individual circumstances experienced by the Force in the past year.

 

Members drew attention to the underspend on the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) pay.  The Panel was informed this was due to the number of PCSOs leaving their position to become a regular police officer.  The Police and Crime Commissioner supported the PCSOs taking this route to become police officers; whilst he encouraged recruitment via the Police Education Qualification Framework highlighted the challenges the Force were facing.  The PCC drew attention to the positive recruitment which had taken place via the military and felt the PEQF could preclude them in the future.

 

Members drew attention to Lincolnshire Police Force who were taking legal action over the controversial policy for all new police officers to have a degree qualification.  The Panel offered their support of the PCC being supportive of Lincolnshire Police Force.

 

RESOLVED,  that the Constabulary Revenue budget provisional outturn for 2018/19 be noted.

11b

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Budget Report pdf icon PDF 1019 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided details of the provisional outturn on the Commissioner’s Revenue budget for 2018/19.  It was explained that the figures quoted at this stage were reported as provisional as the final accounts were still subject to audit but it was not envisaged that there would be any significant changes.

 

Members were informed that the total net expenditure amounted to £98.823m compared to an approved budget of £98.627m.  It was explained this was a net variance of £196k (0.20%) and represented an overspend of £217k in relation to funding provided to the Constabulary and an underspend of £21k on budgets managed by the OPCC.  The Panel noted the forecast variation of £196k represented a reduction in the forecast overspend of £427k compared to the £623k reported as at 31 December 2018.

 

RESOLVED,  the quarter 4 provisional outturn position for the revenue budget for 2018/19 be noted.

 

12.

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 had 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.

 

13.

Panel Update Report pdf icon PDF 277 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 March Panel meeting, National Policy Developments and the Panel’s Work Programme.

 

The Panel discussed the report and drew attention to the omission of member training.  Members also highlighted that recruitment of Independent Members to the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel would be required next year.  Whilst the Panel acknowledged recruitment was required raised their concerns regarding the lack of continuity due to the process.

 

Members were informed that on 2 May Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) had released their first group of Police, Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspections for 2018/19, including Cumbria Constabulary.

 

The Panel noted that HMICFRS reported that Cumbria Constabulary was again ‘good’ in all inspected categories for effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy, highlighting it as being particularly good in a number of areas.  It was highlighted that crime recording had been rated as ‘outstanding’.  Members also noted there were areas which required further improvement.

 

The Commissioner welcomed the findings of the inspection and highlighted that his aspiration was to gradually become outstanding across the whole Force.

 

The Panel were informed that the Local Government Association, alongside the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Frontline Consulting had released the updated Police and Crime Panel non-statutory guidance which would be circulated to members.

 

A discussion took place regarding forthcoming meetings and dates and the Chair of the Panel expressed an interest in attending the Police and Crime Panel Conference on Tuesday 19 November in Coventry.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

14.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Panel will be held on Monday 14 October 2019 at 10.30 am in the Control Room, Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith, CA10 2FA.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Panel would be held on Monday 14 October 2019 at 10.30 am at Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith.