Venue: Ashburton Hall, Elizabeth II Court, The Castle, Winchester
Apologies for Absence
The Monitoring Officer to the Panel welcomed Members to the meeting.
Apologies were received from:
· Cllr Philip Lashbrook, Test Valley Borough Council
· Cllr Martin Pepper, Gosport Borough Council
· Cllr Ian Stephens, Isle of Wight Council
· Shirley Young, Independent Co-opted Member
Members heard that Councillor Ian Ward was in attendance as the deputy member for Isle of Wight (IOW) Council.
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 consider a report setting out the membership and proposed appointment of members to the Panel.
Members received a report from the Democratic Services Officer to the Panel detailing the membership of the Panel for the 2022/23 municipal year and the proposed appointment of local authority co-opted members, pending final confirmation of the political proportionality for the year.
That the Panel noted:
· Its Membership for the 2022/23 municipal year, as laid out in Table 2 of the report.
· Nominations for local authority co-opted members would be sought following confirmation of the Panel’s appointed membership for 2022/23, which would enable the Panel to better meet the balanced appointment objective. The appointments would be considered by the Panel at its next meeting on 21 October 2022.
Election of Chairman
To elect a Chairman of the Panel for 2022/23.
The process of electing a Chair, which was set out in the Panel Arrangements, was explained and it was noted that the appointment would be for a period of one year, until the annual meeting in 2023.
Councillor Margo Power, seconded by Dave Stewart, proposed that Councillor Simon Bound be elected Chairman. No other nominations were received, therefore the proposition was put to the vote and carried.
Councillor Simon Bound took the Chair.
Election of Vice Chairman
To elect a Vice Chairman of the Panel for 2022/23.
Councillor Bound called for nominations for Vice Chairman until the annual meeting in 2023.
Shirley Young was proposed by Councillor Margo Power and seconded by Councillor Matt Renyard. Dave Stewart was proposed by Councillor Dave McKinney and seconded by Councillor Tonia Craig.
Both nominations were put to the vote, with Dave Stewart elected as Vice Chairman, by nine votes to four, with one abstention.
To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting.
The Minutes from the 25 April 2022 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 Panel received
two public questions in advance of the meeting from Mr Arun
Glendinning, as noted within the appendix to the minutes.
Members heard that when the new complaint regulations came into force, in February 2020, Hampshire Constabulary moved to a new recording system, which reported data directly to the IOPC. Data recorded on the previous system was no longer accessible and therefore could not be shared with the IOPC, as was the case for many other police forces in the UK. The Commissioner explained that data was reported by the IOPC on a retrospective basis, and data reported since September 2021, which would feature any future statistics from the IOPC.
As a result of the
questions raised by Mr Glendinning, the Commissioner confirmed she
would be writing to the IOPC, as it was considered important for
public transparency and scrutiny that this data be published on a
regular basis, and committed to publish any future performance data
from the IOPC.
Following questions, the Panel received three deputations. Mr Arun Glendinning and Ms Teresa Skelton spoke on the topic of the Police and Crime Panel Annual Complaints Report and Mr John Morse spoke on the topic of Police and Crime Panel Sub-Committee and Working Group Arrangements.
To hear any announcements the Chairman may have for this meeting.
The Chairman welcomed those Members who had recently joined the Panel and offered his thanks to Councillors Dave Ashmore, John Beavis MBE, Andrew Joy and Sarah Vaughan along with former Councillors Trevor Cartwright MBE and Ken Muschamp, who served on the Panel during the previous municipal year.
The Chairman confirmed that he had written to the Commissioner, following the Panel’s meeting in April, highlighting the Panel’s concerns and expectations regarding information shared by the Commissioner with the Panel. The Chairman noted and thanked the Commissioner for her response and attendance at a recent meeting of the Plan Working Group.
Police and Crime Commissioner's Announcements
To hear any announcements the Commissioner may have for the Panel.
In reply to the Chairman’s announcements the Commissioner confirmed her intention to provide written information to the Panel in advance of meetings, whenever possible, to support the Panel’s scrutiny of the information presented. The Commissioner confirmed details of savings realised through the restructure and relocation of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and how this would be reinvested in operational policing delivery would be brought to a future meeting.
The Commissioner thanked the Chairman and other Members of the Panel who had recently attended the PCC’s awards event. The Commissioner extended an invitation to Panel Members to visit Custody and Hampshire Constabulary’s Contact Centre, once refurbishments were completed.
At both a local and national level, the Commissioner continued to raise awareness of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and the night-time economy risks. The Commissioner noted a recent national statement she had issued, along with the Deputy Major of London, regarding the treatment of rape victims as suspects and the national rape review. Members heard that Hampshire was one of the first areas in the country to offer vulnerable victims, including those of rape and serious sexual assault, the opportunity to give evidence via video for a subsequent court case under Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. Members heard that such evidence would be captured as closely as possible to the time of the offence and it was further noted that officers on the IOW were the first nationally to make a charge under the new non-fatal strangulation offence under the Domestic Abuse Act.
The Commissioner noted that the highest ethical standards were expected by residents from their police force. Nationally, the Commissioner recognised that a significant amount of focus was needed to improve the public’s trust and confidence in policing and how police were being held to account. It was requested that a future item be added to the Panel’s work programme to consider how the Commissioner was holding the Chief Constable to account for ensuring Hampshire Constabulary were meeting requirements and national legislation regarding equality and diversity.
Members heard the annual grants round, with funding issued in April, had seen over £1,000,000 of funding issued pan-Hampshire and IOW to support crime prevention.
The Commissioner further noted the Modern Day Slavery exhibition, which had been travelling around Hampshire and the IOW, and the launch of Operation Foundation, focussed on pursuing offenders of domestic abuse. Operation Sceptre continued to crackdown on knife crime across both counties and the Country Watch team had set up barn meetings across rural communities to enhance engagement with residents.
The Commissioner’s request to have the name of Hampshire Constabulary formally changed to include the Isle of Wight had been formally laid down before parliament on 6 June and, at the time of the meeting, was being debated in the House of Lords.
Hampshire Constabulary, along with other surrounding forces, had made strong representation to the Home Office regarding the £5,000 payment being offered by the Metropolitan Police ... view the full minutes text for item 78.
To receive an update from the Commissioner following changes to the office arrangements for the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Members received a presentation from the Commissioner, outlining recent changes to her office arrangements.
The Commissioner noted the information contained within the presentation had been shared with the Plan Working Group in advance of the meeting, and thanked Members of the working group for their feedback.
Members heard that:
· Through the restructure, the Commissioner had sought to drive best value for public money, deliver efficiencies and improving effectiveness.
· The Commissioner felt confident that the office now had the appropriate staffing to fulfil their statutory duties and deliver the objectives outlined within the Police and Crime Plan.
· As a result of the restructure and relocation of the office it was anticipated that savings of £704,000 per annum would be achieved, which would be reinvested into meeting demand for operational policing.
· Redundancy costs had totalled £558,000, with an anticipated payback period of 14 months.
· Six previous senior leadership posts had been reduced to three, with each new senior manager leading a specific business area. The Commissioner further explained that Hampshire County Council’s Policy and Rewards Team had reviewed all new role profiles to ensure that they would offer appropriate value for money.
In response to Members questions it was heard that:
· The new structure went live from 1 June 2022, although the office were awaiting the arrival of three new members of staff to complete the new structure. The Commissioner expressed that she had been extremely pleased with high quality of new individuals who had joined and that they had already demonstrated effectiveness in delivery.
· The new Head of Communications was producing a new Communications strategy which would consider how to engage with all residents, including those without access to the internet/social media. The Commissioner expressed that she would be happy to share this with the Panel when available.
· Inflationary pressures were being closely monitored. Whilst inflationary pressures had been built into the budget, rising oil costs could exceed the amount budgeted for, particularly given the amount of fuel needed by the Constabulary’s fleet. It was heard that neighbourhood teams had started to roll out electric vehicles and there was a focus upon making the Constabulary as green as possible through the utilisation of push bikes, walking foot patrols and renewable energy where appropriate. The Commissioner further explained that roads policing couldn’t use electric vehicles, at present, as they needed to be active on the roads all day and were unable to stop to recharge. Due to the weight of vehicles it was also impractical for armed response to use electric vehicles.
· An allowance for 3.5% pay raise in policing salaries had been built into the budget, which Members heard was the highest level allowed for by PCCs nationally within their budgets. The actual amount to be awarded was unknown, but it was hoped that the Home Office may provide a strong indication before the summer recess.
· The Commissioner committed to bringing a report on inflationary pressures to the appropriate working group of the Panel in the autumn.
That the update ... view the full minutes text for item 79.
To receive a quarterly update from the Police and Crime Commissioner detailing performance of and delivery against the Police and Crime Plan.
The Commissioner invited the Business Programmes and Projects Manager to give an update on delivery of the Police and Crime Plan and the structure of the Police and Crime Plan Implementation Plan. Members heard that every pledge within the Plan had been coded, with project owners assigned to each. Delivery would be monitored and dates of meetings of the Panel had aligned to the Implementation Plan, to allow appropriate and timely updates to the Panel. Further discussed was how the plan linked to and supported the Commissioner’s oversight and scrutiny of the performance of Hampshire Constabulary.
The Commissioner expressed her commitment to being open and communicative, to deliver the Plan and to seek to increase public confidence in policing.
Members of the Panel noted concern over the lack of information presented by the Commissioner to the Panel in advance of meetings, which they felt reduced the Panel’s ability to scrutinise the Commissioner’s delivery effectively in public and to have constructive conversations during meetings. Members also suggested that responses to questions raised through its meetings be shared in advance of the next meeting. The Commissioner addressed these concerns by noting that she was happy to be guided by the Panel regarding the information to be presented to the Panel and its working groups.
The Commissioner explained that each of the projects/objectives within the Police and Crime Panel would have specific funding assigned to them. Members suggested baseline data for, and regular updates on the status of each project, be shared with the Panel in terms of delivery and budget, spend and savings to enable the Panel to effectively scrutinise and support the Commissioner in delivery of the Plan.
It was suggested that an easy to read version of the Police and Crime Implementation Plan could sit alongside the Police and Crime Plan to enable the Panel and members of the public to view and track delivery. In response, the Commissioner explained that consideration would be given to this suggestion through the development of the annual report and how this information could be displayed on the Commissioner’s website.
In response to a question regarding how the Commissioner and her office captured qualitative feedback, to evaluate the effectiveness of delivery and how safe residents felt as a result, it was heard that Hampshire Constabulary undertook public confidence testing which was reported to the Home Office and the Commissioner would consider how this could be published on the OPCC website.
In reply to further questions raised by the Panel it was heard that:
· The Home Office had set the requirement for all new Police Officers joining policing from March 2022 to complete the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF). Forces who were struggling to meet their uplift requirement had been offered some flexibility, and it was noted that Test Valley Constabulary had recently offered a hybrid approach to aid recruitment. The Commissioner was confident that any flexibility around the degree requirement by other forces would present little risk to police recruitment plans, noting that Hampshire ... view the full minutes text for item 80.
To receive an update from the Commissioner detailing progress against delivery of the Estates Strategy.
Members received a report from the Head of Estates at the OPCC outlining an update on the delivery of the Commissioner’s Estates Strategy.
The Commissioner highlighted to Members that:
· Issues identified in relation to the estates and facilities management had been fully rectified.
· The 600 additional officers would require growth in the estate. To meet demand, the sale of two police stations had been stopped, with the Commissioner clear that assets which may be required in the immediate future should not be disposed of.
In response to Members questions it was heard that:
· Southampton Police Station required a significant amount of renovation, with works expected to take up to a year. Availability of custody was key and therefore other custody suites would be used to meet demand during the renovations.
· In reply to a request from the Panel to receive further details of the new strategy, the Commissioner confirmed that the full strategy, which would be produced by the end of December, would be presented at an appropriate meeting of the Panel’s working group, with headline information to be relayed to a future meeting of the Panel. The Panel expressed that they were keen to have early visibility of the detail to enable them to support the Commissioner in the successful delivery of the Estates Strategy.
· The Commissioner confirmed that new building was planned in Petersfield, a joint station in Redbridge and a new blue light hub in Cosham. £75,000 of One Public Estate funding had been secured by Isle of Wight Council and the Commissioner was in talks with Ministry of Justice regarding a potential site for a new blue light hub.
· The Commissioner was aware of concerns about accessibility of police front desks via public transport, which was of particular concern to those engaged with probationary services who needed to regularly report to a front desk. Members heard that the Commissioner had engaged with the Fire Service with regards to utilising retained fire stations to provide additional police front desks.
· In order to maintain visibility of the condition of the police estate the Commissioner had agreed a process for feedback from Hampshire Constabulary. Representatives of the OPCC sat on the Estates Board, which was chaired by the OPCC’s Head of Estates and Facilities. A regular testing and inspection regime had been agreed and all buildings were considered legally safe.
That the update on the Estates Strategy was noted.
Councillor Tony Jones left the meeting at this point.
To review the Panel’s draft Annual Report for the 2021/22 municipal year.
The Chairman introduced the Panel’s draft annual report for the 2021/22 municipal year.
That the Panel received and agreed the draft annual report.
That, following the meeting and addition of a foreword from the Chairman, the final report be published.
To consider an annual report setting out the activities of the delegated officer and the Complaints Sub-Committee in relation to complaints made against the Police and Crime Commissioner and former Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.
Members received a report from the Democratic Services Officer to the Panel detailing the activities of the Complaints Sub-Committee over the last 12 calendar months.
That the annual complaints report was noted.
To consider a paper monitoring the Police and Crime Panel’s budget for 2021/22, in advance of agreeing the proposed budget for 2023/24.
Members received a report from the Finance Officer to the Panel which monitored the budget for 2021/22, in advance of agreeing the proposed budget for 2023/24.
That the Panel:
· Noted the final financial position for 2021/22.
· Noted the current performance against the budget for this financial year.
· Agreed the revised budget for 2022/23.
· Agreed the proposed budget for the panel for 2023/24, subject to confirmation of the Government grant for 2023/24.
To consider a report outlining proposed arrangements and membership for a Policy and Performance Working Group and Complaints Sub-Committee to operate under the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel (PCP).
Members received a report from the Democratic Services Officer to the Panel outlining proposed arrangements and membership for a Policy and Performance Working Group and Complaints Sub-Committee to operate under the Panel.
The Democratic Services Officer explained that following feedback from Members of the Panel and the OPCC, it was proposed that the previous Plan Working Group, Finance Working Group and Equality and Diversity Working Group be combined into one new Policy and Performance Working Group. It was heard that this would create efficiencies and prevent crossover of activity which had existed under the previous three working groups.
Following notification from the OPCC, regarding updated dialogue being used by the Home Office, a proposed change of wording to paragraph 4 (page 76 of the report) was noted by the Democratic Services Officer as follows:
To scrutinise the budget and how it reflects the priorities of the Police and Crime Plan. Key activities may include reviewing and receiving update against the Medium-Term Financial Strategy and in-year financial performance and scrutinising the financial impact of any significant projects or activity.
A vote was undertaken on the proposed update to the wording, which was agreed.
Members were invited to express an interest in membership of the Working Group and Sub-Committee. Nominations were noted as follows:
· Dave Stewart – Chairman
· Councillor Stewart Bailey
· Councillor Joanne Bull
· Councillor Tony Jones
· Councillor Lesley Meenaghan
Policy and Performance Working Group:
· Councillor Narinder Bains
· Councillor Geoff Blunden
· Councillor Simon Bound
· Councillor Dave McKinney
· Councillor Matthew Renyard
· Councillor Margot Power
· That the Panel agree the continuation of the Complaints Sub-Committee and the introduction of a Policy and Performance Working Group for the 2022/23 municipal year, in accordance with the Terms of Reference set out in appendix one and appendix two of the report.
· That the Panel agree the membership of the Complaints Sub-Committee and Policy and Performance Working Group for the 2022/23 municipal year, as noted in the minutes.
· That Terms of Reference for a Task and Finish Group, to review and pre-scrutinise the Commissioner’s proposed precept annually, be considered at the next meeting of the Panel in October.
To consider a report setting out the proposed future work programme for the Panel.
Members received a report from the Democratic Services Officer to the Panel setting out the proposed work programme for the Panel for the 2022/23 municipal year.
That the work programme was agreed.