Venue: Committee Room 3, Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from:
· Councillor Ken Carter, East Hampshire District Council
· Councillor Tonia Craig, Eastleigh Borough Council
· Bob Purkiss, Independent Co-opted Member
· Councillor Jan Warwick, Hampshire County Council
Members heard that Councillor Peter Latham was attending the meeting as the Deputy Member for Hampshire County Council and that, in the absence of Councillor Warwick, Councillor Bound would be acting as vice-chairman for the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To enable Members to declare to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in their appointing authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or personal interests in any such matter that Members may wish to consider disclosing.
Members were able to disclose to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in their appointing authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests in any such matter that Members may wish to disclose.
No declarations were made.
To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting.
The Minutes from the 5 October 2018 meeting were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
To receive any questions or deputations in line with Rule 31 and 31A of the Panel’s Rules of Procedure.
The Police and Crime Panel (‘the Panel’) received one written question to the meeting:
“The 101 non-emergency call system is not meeting targets for Hampshire Police and nor for the public. Sometimes calls are never answered! Between all parties concerned (Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire OPCC and HCC) could a more local direct form of communication/contact be made available for the public to contact Neighbourhoods Police and PCSO's for non-emergency calls/contact. A trial basis would be most welcome for Bordon and Whitehill Neighbourhoods as there are so many reported incidents on local internet forums being reported that do not get in a timely fashion to the local Neighbourhoods Police team. Please consider re-introducing the possibilities of VS front counters or local telephone staffing as a trial solution, once requirements are understood, since the centralised 101 solution is considered dysfunctional.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner (‘the Commissioner’) provided a response to this question, through which Members heard:
· The 999 and 101 services have, and continue to be, placed under pressure.
· Ensuring the answering of 999 calls remained priority and the Commissioner and his team closely monitored the performance of both services through attendance at the Force Performance Group.
· Hampshire and Thames Valley Police had recently adopted the new National Single Online Home web service, which allowed members of the public to report crime and other incidents online.
· The implementation of the new Contact Management Platform (CMP) was also expected to improve response times to both 999 and 101 calls.
It was agreed that the Commissioner’s response would be forwarded to the member of the public in writing, as they were not present at the meeting.
Further to the Commissioner’s comments, Michael Coombes, Chairman of the Panel’s Finance Working Group, noted that the working group had met several times since the last meeting of the Panel. During these meetings the working group had reviewed information provided on the CMP and felt confident that the Commissioner had strived to both tighten governance around the project and sought to ensure a good audit trail for decisions. The finance working group requested a detailed briefing on the platform be provided to all Members of the Panel, which was scheduled to be presented in February.
The Chairman read to the meeting a response to the Panel’s reply to a previous public question (see appendix one to item 204 of the minutes). The comments were noted to be a positive reflection of the work of both the Panel and the Commissioner in relation to hate crime.
To hear any announcements the Chairman may have for this meeting.
The Chairman updated Members on a recent meeting of the four Upper Tier Council Leaders, attended in his capacity as leader of Isle of Wight Council, which is now a regular meeting facilitated by the Commissioner.
The Chairman noted that he, along with Cllr Bound and the Panel’s supporting officers had attended the PCP National Conference in November. During the event one of the Panel’s supporting officers had hosted two well received workshops on Proactive Scrutiny, highlighting the Panel’s work in this area at a national level.
Collaboration with neighbouring Panels of Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley was ongoing, with Hampshire due to host the next meeting of the group in February. The Chair explained that he had recently written the Commissioner, under the signature of all four Chairs, in support of the Panel’s statutory duty to scrutinise the roles of the four Commissioners in the collaborative work being undertaken by their respective Chief Constables under the South East Regional Integration Partnership (SERIP).
The Chairman explained that the proposed merger between Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue would not have any immediate impact on the Police and Crime Panel. It was understood that the Commissioner had a longstanding invitation to attend meetings of HFRA, and it was believed this would continue under the new arrangements.
The Chairman invited Councillor Bound to provide an update on progress against the Panel’s Proactive Scrutiny looking at how the Commissioner is supporting effective and efficient operational policing for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It was heard that the task and finish group had met several times since the last Panel meeting, with work progressing well in readiness for the responses to the Panel’s scrutiny to be presented to the Commissioner at the July meeting of the Panel.
Following the announcement by the Chair, the Commissioner expressed his support for the proposed merger between Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue.
Police and Crime Commissioner's Announcements
To hear any announcements the Commissioner may have for the Panel.
The Chair invited announcements from the Commissioner who, following the announcement by the Chair, expressed his support for the proposed merger between Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue.
To consider a paper outlining the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed precept for 2019/20, and supporting financial information.
Members received an overview from the Commissioner of his budget report and supporting presentation on the proposed precept for the 2019/20 financial year.
The Commissioner explained that the proposal to increase the precept by £24 per annum for the Band D properties, or £2 per month, was essential to enable the Constabulary to continue to protect the public from risk and harm and to support the Constabulary to make necessary changes towards meeting the changing nature of crime in years to come.
It was heard the proposed increase would provide £16m of additional essential funding and that all monies raised through the policing precept would be utilised in support of the local policing. The Chief Constable had shown her support for the increase, suggesting additional funds would allow for the training and recruitment of circa 210 police officers.
Public consultation undertaken on behalf of the Commissioner had shown that 76.38% of respondents supported the proposal, and the Commissioner explained that the proposed precept was also supported by Neighbourhood Watch, the Hampshire Police Federation and Unison.
The Commissioner explained that several scenarios, had been considered in proposing this year’s precept, which had been shared with the Panel’s finance working group during the lead into the precept setting. The Commissioner shared details of the impact of a £12 increase compared to a £24 increase, with the £12 increase requiring the Constabulary to reduce their establishment by 150, bringing it to an unsafe level.
The Commissioner expressed his concerns that the current funding formula placed the Hampshire Policing area at a disadvantaged position compared to other forces, to an estimated figure of £41.6m per annum. To mitigate this and to protect the forces current capability and meet technological requirements it was estimated that a minimum increase of £12 would be required in 2020/21.
Councillor Frank Rust joined the meeting
Members viewed a short video presentation by the Chief Constable.
The Chairman invited Michael Coombes to provide an overview of the scrutiny undertaken by the Finance Working group leading up to the precept review. He explained that the working group had met six times in the last year and had looked in detail at the scenarios presented, the content of the draft budget report, reserve profiles and other relevant financial information shared by the OPCC.
Mr Coombes highlighted that Members were invited, by the Commissioner, to observe the face-to-face public consultation events. Debate was held at the most recent finance working group meeting around whether such events presented value for money, following which Members concluded that the face-to-face event enabled the Commissioner to gather a more representative public viewpoint which was useful in supporting the Panel’s scrutiny of the proposed precept.
Following their pre-scrutiny, the working group made recommendation to the Panel that the Commissioner’s proposed precept be supported.
The Chairman moved to questions from the wider Panel. In response to questions, Members heard:
· Recruiting the 200 police officers outlined within the budget proposal would bring the Constabulary’s establishment back to full strength. The ... view the full minutes text for item 207.
To consider a report setting out the proposed future work programme for the Panel.
Members received a report from the scrutiny officer to the Panel setting out the
proposed work programme for the Panel together with the future meeting dates for 2018/19.
Members were invited to recommend items for the work programme for the Finance Working Group in 2019/20, following review of the Commissioner’s draft budget, noted under Item 207 of the minutes. These were noted by the Chairman of the working group.
Members also expressed an interested in receiving an update from the Commissioner on the current approach in addressing violent crime reduction and adverse childhood experiences.
· The meetings dates are noted.
· The work programme is agreed.