Agenda and draft minutes

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel - Friday, 9th July, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Conference Room A/B, Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle, CA1 1RD

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

Items
No. Item

Members received a message from the outgoing Chair, Mr W McEwan, expressing his thanks and appreciation for their commitment and contributions.  He thanked the Police and Crime Commissioner and his colleagues for their co?operative and proactive approach to the work of the Panel and officers of the County Council for their support.  He wished the Panel well for the future.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner thanked Mr McEwan for his co?operation, pragmatic approach and positive contributions during his time as Chair of the Panel.

 

40.

Election of Chair

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

 

Minutes:

Mr M Johnson and Mr P McSweeney were nominated for Chair of the Panel.  It was

 

RESOLVED,  that Mr M Johnson be elected Chair of the Panel for the ensuing year.

 

Mr Johnson thereupon took the Chair.

 

41.

Election of Vice-Chair

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

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,  that Mr RK Bingham be elected Vice?Chair of the Panel for the ensuing year.

 

42.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Ms M Bellis, Ms G Dinsdale, Ms D Holden, Ms R Hunter, Mr R Marshall and Ms G Shearer.

 

43.

Membership

To note any changes in membership of the Panel.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that:-

 

(1)    Mr W McEwan and Miss H Fearon (Cumbria County Council representatives) were no longer members of the Panel and had been replaced with Mr D Whipp plus one outstanding vacancy.

 

(2)    Mr A Kirkbride (Allerdale Borough Council representative) had been replaced by Mr A Smith.

 

The Chair welcomed Mr J Little, Independent Member, to the meeting of the Panel.

 

44.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

45.

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.

 

46.

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.

 

47.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 18 March 2021 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,    that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

48.

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner's Annual Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 377 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received the police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) fifth Annual Report which covered the period from 1 April 2020 to the 31 March 2021.  Further to previous discussions with the Panel a more user?friendly format had been developed with accessibility in mind, to ensure the public could easily understand how the Commissioner had carried out his role during the year.  Members noted that further details had also been provided within the public documents of the Chief Finance Officer’s Narrative statement in the final accounts and the Annual Governance Statement.

 

A discussion took place regarding prisoners undertaking work in communities and members asked how this was funded.  The PCC confirmed that although he had agreed to co?ordinate this project within the county it was not funded from his Office but was the responsibility of probation and prison rehabilitation services.  It was explained the scheme was at a very early stage and it was anticipated that a number of organisations and statutory bodies would be offered the opportunity to be included in the project.

 

The Panel raised their concerns regarding the data relating to drug?use and related crimes in the county.  The PCC acknowledged their concerns and informed members this was a national problem highlighting the need for communities and wider partners to create a culture where illegal drugs were not acceptable. 

 

Members raised their concerns regarding the potential lack of activity regarding reported crimes.  The PCC explained that whilst it may appear that no action was being taken he assured members this was not the case and emphasised the importance of reporting crimes as this provided vital intelligence for future use.

 

Members discussed the use of the 101 service and local hubs for non?emergency crimes or incidents.  They highlighted concerns regarding the length of time for 101 calls to be answered and the lack of availability of IT resources for some members of the public to allow them to report crimes.

 

The PCC acknowledged the issues around the timescales for 101 calls to be answered explaining this was a national problem.  Whilst appreciating that a minority of the public did not have access to technology he felt there was a need to continue the 101 service but explained there were several ways to report incidents.  He highlighted that although a number of statutory agencies who had been part of the service initially had subsequently withdrawn the police still provided a non?emergency, 24 hours 7 days a week service informing members of the challenges around approximately 30% of the calls being non police?related matters.

 

The Panel discussed relationships which had previously existed between local police officers and councillors.  Whilst acknowledging resource issues members highlighted the benefits this had within communities.  The PCC explained that this interaction should now take place at the local focus hubs where partner agencies worked together to secure the best possible outcomes for the public.  It was agreed that the PCC would provide details of local hub Inspectors to the Panel.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Police and Crime Plan for Cumbria pdf icon PDF 371 KB

To consider 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 provided an overview of the process for developing the next Police and Crime Plan for Cumbria, including how the Police and Crime Panel and the public would be consulted.  It was explained that the Plan was the key document which set out the Police and Crime Commissioner’s objectives for policing and for his work with partner agencies.

 

Members were informed that an eight weeks public consultation was currently underway to seek views on the policing matters most of concern to Cumbrian residents, to help formulate the Plan.  Officers confirmed that the survey site was monitored and the information would be contained in the Annual Report.

 

The Panel felt there was a need to focus on the impact of the additional police officers over the next three years to ensure the extra resources were effective, therefore, felt it was fundamental to review this in consultation with the Chief Constable.

 

Members noted that the final draft Plan would be brought to the Panel’s meeting in October for comments prior to formal adoption and launch in early November.

 

RESOLVED,  that

 

                   (1)    the timeline for development of the Police and Crime Plan be noted;

 

                   (2)    the Panel provide feedback on the Plan;

 

                   (3)    the Panel participates in the public consultation and encourages residents and partner organisations to take part.

 

50.

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel Chairman's Annual Report 2019-21 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the draft Cumbria Police and Crime Panel Chairman’s Annual Report 2019-21 which reflected the range of activity undertaken by the Panel over the last two years highlighting its importance as a tool to promote the valuable work of the Panel to the public and partners.

 

The Panel agreed that the logos of all local authorities in Cumbria should be included on the Report.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

51.

Accountability Framework pdf icon PDF 364 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a copy of the Commissioner’s Accountability Framework for 2021-2024 which enabled him to discharge his statutory responsibilities, make decisions and hold the Chief Constable to account.  It was explained that since his election in May 2021, the Commissioner had reviewed this framework to ensure it remained fit for purpose.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

52.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 348 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 March 2021. 

 

Members noted the expenditure and income variances which included +£10k; the overspend was largely as a result of overspends on supplies and services which were offset by underspends on staffing. 

 

Officers explained the funding provided to the Constabulary was -£616k; the underspend at the year?end was largely as a result of reduced expenditure on non-staff budgets such as supplies and services (£1.6m), other employee costs (£103k), transport costs (£79k) and increased income of £163k.

 

It was explained that much of this underspend was attributable both directly and indirectly to the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the Constabulary’s activities and were partially offset by additional expenditure on police pay. 

 

Members noted that £890k was a result of the deliberate decision to recruit the Constabulary share of the operation uplift officers ahead of target, police staff pay of £140k, PCSOs of £62k and third part related costs of £224k highlighting that the Constabulary recruitment plan in relation to Operation Uplift continued to proceed well.

 

(2)    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 of the additional expenditure on pay expenditure which included police officers +£890k in relation to police officers.  This increase was largely as a result of the deliberate decision to recruit operation uplift phase 1 and 2 officers in advance of the target date and a number of acting/temporary promotions £736k, additional spend on Operation Lectern £111k plus additional overtime in Crime £108k, TP £108k, Uplift £39k.  It was explained those increases were partially offset by a reduction in costs of Police Pensions of -£212k.

 

The Panel noted 62k additional spend in relation to PCSOs which was principally due to changes to the original workforce plan including starting one full?time equivalent above budget and a reduction in the number of leavers in the year compared to the original forecast.

 

Members were informed that after removing £413k of income lost due to COVID 19 the additional income arises, in the main, due to abnormal loads income of £74k, mutual aid £114k and other reimbursed services £63k.  It was explained they were offset by reductions in POCA income £30k, Sale of Goods and Assets and Fees.

 

The Panel received details of the non-pay expenditure which included other employee -£103k, transport -£79k and supplies and services -£1,587k.

 

The Panel noted that the main change between figures reported at the end of December and year?end was in relation to costs incurred in relation to the response to the COVID pandemic, government grants received to offset those and ongoing savings to core activity as a result of the impact of the pandemic.  It was explained the resulting underspend had been transferred  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Update on Complaints pdf icon PDF 261 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 noted that correspondence had been exchanged to ascertain the actual complaint against the Police and Crime Commissioner, and this complaint was put to the Commissioner. 

 

The Panel was informed that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s view of the subject matter of the complaint was that it was not properly within the remit of Police and Crime Panel.  It was highlighted that this was an important point that needed to be resolved finally and, on behalf of the Panel, permission was being sought from the Home Office (in accordance with the terms of the grant to the host authority for the Panel) for the Panel to be able to seek Counsel’s advice on the point.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

54.

Panel Update Report pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To consider the Panel Briefing from the Senior Policy and Scrutiny Project Officer (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 18 March 2021.  The information detailed an Update on National Policy Developments, Funding Opportunities, Public Consultation Survey on Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan 2021-2024 and the Public Accountability Conference.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

55.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Panel will be held on Thursday 14 October 2021 at 10.30 am in the Council Chamber, County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Panel would be held on Thursday 14 October 2021 at 10.30 am in the Council Chamber, County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ.