Venue: Virtual Teams Meeting - Microsoft Teams. View directions
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from:
It was also heard that the Chairman, Councillor Dave Stewart, would not join the meeting until 11am, and therefore Councillor Jan Warwick would act as Chairman in his absence.
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 29 January 2021 meeting were reviewed.
It was noted that that the first paragraph, under item 294 should read £15 per annum, not £15 per month. The minutes were otherwise confirmed as a correct record.
Questions and Deputations
To receive any questions or deputations in line with Rule 31 and 31A of the Panel’s Rules of Procedure.
No questions or deputations were received by the Panel on this occasion.
To hear any announcements the Chairman may have for this meeting.
It was noted by the Chairman that this would be the final meeting of the Panel during the 2020/21 municipal year. The Chairman thanked Members for their contributions and commitment throughout the year and for responding to changes and challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was further recognised that this would be the last formal meeting attended by Michael Lane, as the Police and Crime Commissioner, with a new Commissioner to be elected in May. On behalf of the Panel, the Chairman thanked the Commissioner and his team for their proactive and transparent approach to working with the Panel.
Members heard that the current term of the Panel’s two independent co-opted Members would end at the end of the municipal year and that a recruitment process would shortly commence, encouraging applications for these roles.
The Chairman expressed concern over a recent assault which had taken place in Southampton, which had appeared to have been racially motivated. It was heard that the Commissioner had been invited to provide an update later in the meeting on efforts undertaken to encourage and promote equality, diversity and inclusion and that the Panel’s Equality and Diversity working group would monitor the progress of this work.
Recognising the impact of the murder of Sarah Everard on the perception of safety within communities both locally and nationally, the Chairman invited the Commissioner to comment upon mechanisms in place to keep residents safe across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The Chairman advised Members that items 8-12 of the agenda, noted as items 305-309 of the minutes, would now be brought forward, with items 6 and 7, items 303 and 304 of the minutes, to be heard after a short break.
Police and Crime Commissioner's Announcements
To hear any announcements the Commissioner may have for the Panel.
Councillor Dave Stewart assumed the Chair.
The Chairman invited announcements from the Commissioner, who, further to the Chairman’s earlier announcements, noted the recent racially aggravated assault in Southampton and the wide and long lasting impact such incidents had on local communities. The Commissioner recognised his role in supporting the importance of inclusivity and in encouraging vibrant and respectful communities.
The threat and fear of violence against those vulnerable, and highlighted through recent national issues was acknowledged. The Commissioner noted that an average of 108 domestic abuse incidents were attended by and 51 violent crime reports were made to Hampshire Constabulary each day. The Commissioner recognised that long term solutions were needed to change the behaviours of those who would perpetrate such crimes.
Members heard that waiting times for answering 101 calls at Hampshire Constabulary had reduced considerably from approximately two minutes in the previous year to 22 seconds for 90% of calls. Emergency 999 calls were answered in five seconds, with 99% achieving response targets.
The Commissioner highlighted the importance of outcome based commissioning in future grant rounds as well as seeking new and innovative approaches which could make a difference within local communities.
An update was heard on the County lines intensification week, which had been widely reported in the press. 17 suspected dealers were arrested, along with 100 other individuals. 82 mobile phones were seized along with £1m of drugs and £53,000 in cash, disrupting local supply chains.
To receive the Police and Crime Commissioner’s End of Term Report, outlining delivery against his Police and Crime Plan during his term in office (2016-2021).
Members received a presentation from the PCC highlighting delivery throughout his term in office.
Members heard that, once completed, the Commissioner’s end of term report would reflect upon what had been delivered, through the Police and Crime Plan, during the previous 5 years and would also present an opportunity to identify lessons learnt and opportunities for improvement going forward.
Thanks were offered by the Commissioner to his team for their work in supporting the Panel and its working groups, which had been maintained during the last year despite the ongoing challenge and pressures of the pandemic.
The Commissioner recognised the value of the contribution of residents to the delivery of his role and the Police and Crime Plan, both through accessing services and providing direct feedback.
Investments in policing were acknowledged, and included increased funding for policing, in part raised through increases to the policing precept. 460 new police officers had been recruited to the frontline, PSCO's numbers protected and an increase in investigators and police staff.
The importance of partnership was recognised by the Commissioner, who highlighted that each year more than 70 projects had been supported through grant funding, adding value to local communities and protecting and supporting residents. During the pandemic, engagement with commissioned partners had identified how continuity in service would be maintained and areas for additional support identified.
Other areas of work highlighted by the Commissioner included the extension of Restorative Justice provision and the Cyber Ambassador scheme and a significant increase in the number of third party Hate Crime Reporting Centres, which had grown from 3 to 70 centres during the current term.
That the Commissioner’s presentation is noted.
The Chairman closed the meeting by thanking the PCC for his service and offering the thanks on behalf of the Panel to Hampshire Constabulary for keeping residents safe, particularly through the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
To receive the Police and Crime Commissioner’s draft Annual Report for 2020/21.
Councillor McKinney joined the meeting at this point.
The Chief Executive explained that, whilst the draft annual report would normally be presented to the Panel at their meeting in October, with a new PCC taking office from May, the Chairman of the Panel had agreed to bring the review of the draft report forward to this meeting.
Members received a draft copy of the Commissioners Annual report for 2020-21 and were invited to raise comments and recommendations in accordance with Section 28(4) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.
Areas questioned by Members included strengthening links with Community Safety Partnerships during grant rounds, funding for victims of Domestic Abuse and accessibility to Third Party Reporting Centres.
In response to a question regarding how outcomes were being measured, to ensure that activity through the year was contributing to keeping residents safer, it was heard that further detail would be added to the final report highlighting the measurable impact and examples of work undertaken across the year.
Members also offered their congratulations for the success of the delivery of the Cyber Ambassador scheme over the last year, which had focussed upon keeping local young people safer online. Members questioned how online media was being utilised to share the work of the Cyber Ambassadors and how schools were being engaged and ambassadors trained. Members heard that the OPCC had recruited an additional Cyber Ambassador Scheme Co-ordinator during the year to expand delivery of the project into colleges and special education settings. Members heard the two co-ordinators held regular virtual meetings and, resulting from the pandemic, more of their work had moved online. An example was given of the use of TikTok and social media to reach out to young people locally, which had the additional benefit of material being accessed by young people beyond the Hampshire Policing area, bringing increased national attention to the work of the scheme.
That the Panel receives the draft Annual Report of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, reviews the document and makes any report or recommendation to the Commissioner, in line with Section 28(4) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.
To receive an update from the Commissioner on the latest round of grants funding.
Members received a presentation from the Chief Executive on the latest grants round. Members heard that:
· 93 applications had been received, totalling more than more than twice the £1.5m funding available. The maximum amount available under a single bid was £50,000, although Members heard that no single application had been made to that level during this grants round.
· 57 applications in total were successful and a table was provided showing how these projects aligned with the various objectives of the Police and Crime Plan.
· The endorsement of the local Community Safety Partnership (CSP) was sought for every bid, and a number of other key partners had been engaged in the decision making process including Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) leads and District Commanders. Members heard that ongoing focus would be applied to improve communication with CSPs to enable relationships to be maintained and improved.
· Whilst the process for applying and awarding funding was prescribed, the Commissioner and his team had focused on ensuring the process was fair and transparent and where possible enabled a proportionate distribution across the policing area. It was recognised that there was still some inequity in the provision of services at a local level and Members heard the OPCC would be focussing on addressing these gaps during the year to enable a full service offer across all districts.
Councillor Stewart joined the meeting.
In response to Members questions it was heard that:
· A comprehensive review of Youth Services was being undertaken, as present funding was being made by the PCC through three separate approaches, with some commissioned locally and others with a pan-Hampshire and Isle of Wight approach. In particular consideration was being given to securing longer term funding.
· Where an existing provider had been unsuccessful in securing ongoing funding, the OPCC offered support in enabling continuity of service for victims and vulnerable service users, including the transition of caseloads to other providers.
· All applicants were encouraged to approach their local CSP before applying, with a redacted copy of each application made provided to CSPs for endorsement before funding was awarded. Where possible the OPCC would also meet with each CSP to understand how the applications for funding met with local needs and service provision.
That the update on the Safer Communities Fund 2021-22 was noted.
Councillor Hunt left the meeting at this point.
To receive a verbal update from the Commissioner outlining how he is supporting and holding to account the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary in embedding a culture of diversity and inclusion across the force.
Members received a presentation from the Chief Executive on the latest approaches to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Members heard that:
· £861,737 had been awarded by the Commissioner to fund the advancement of Equality and Inclusion within Hampshire Constabulary. This had enabled a comprehensive three year programme to be launched, starting in April 2021, which would encourage a positive culture of inclusion and appropriate behaviours. The programme would include focus upon the awareness of unconscious bias, enabling strong leadership and monitor the use of force and stop and search powers.
· Progress would be monitored by the PCC and the Strategic Independent Advisory Group (SIAG), with a five-point action plan, an indicative timeline, agreed key actions and a quarterly review process. In response to Members questions it was heard that monitoring would include identifying lessons learned from the outcome of recent disciplinary hearings and measuring cultural change resulting from the investment made.
The Chief Executive remarked upon the positive support and engagement from the Constabulary in developing this work and offered his thanks to the Panel’s Equality and Diversity working group for their support and scrutiny of this area of focus.
That the Panel note the update on Diversity and Inclusion.
Police and Crime Panel - Updates from Working Groups
To receive a verbal update from recent meetings of the Panel’s working groups.
The Chairman of the Panel’s working groups were invited to provide an update on work undertaken since the previous meeting of the Panel.
Cllr Dave Shields, Chair of the Equality and Diversity working group, explained that during their most recent meeting the working group had explored issues around racial disparity and how it can manifest within the workforce and explored current work to review and enhance the use of stop and search. Discussions had also focussed upon hate crime against nomadic communities, with an update heard from the Chief Executive on the partnership approach being taken to support Gypsy and Traveller communities. Members further heard that the working group were considering the impact of the Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs) and how representative they were of local communities.
It was heard that the Plan Working Group, at their most recent meeting, had reviewed the Commissioner’s latest grants round, focussing upon how bids made would support collaborative working and at how improvements in response rates for 101 and 999 calls had impacted upon public confidence in policing. The Chairman of the working group, Councillor Simon Bound, further explained that, alongside the expansion of the Safer Streets programme, the working group would be looking at the changing requirements of the estates programme and had requested a further update on the impact of the pandemic and plans going forward.
Bob Purkiss briefly left the meeting at this point.
Michael Coombes, Chairman of the Finance Working Group, explained that whilst the working group had not been required to meet since January, future meetings had been planned to coincide with key dates during the forthcoming financial year.
In the absence of the Chairman of the Complaints Sub-Committee, Bob Purkiss, the Chairman advised Members that the Sub-Committee had not been required to meet during the previous quarter.
To consider a report setting out the proposed future work programme for the Panel.
Members received a report from the Democratic Support Officer to the Panel setting out the proposed work programme for the Panel.
That the work programme is agreed.
Councillor Griffiths left the meeting at this point
The Chair paused the meeting for a 10 minute comfort break, suspending the meeting from 11:15 to 11:20.
Following the break Councillor Dave Stewart assumed the Chair and items 6 and 7 of the agenda, items 303 and 304 of the minutes, were heard.