Following notification from the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner of her intention to appoint to the role of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, for the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel to hold a closed session to agree its recommendations
The Panel held exempt discussions which examined the evidence provided in the Confirmation Hearing session. The final reports of the Panel are appended to these minutes.
The Panel observed:
· Given the level of demand on the Commissioner’s time and the increase in responsibilities being introduced as part of the Home Office review into the role of Police and Crime Commissioners, Members agreed unanimously that there was a clearly identified need for a DPCC to support the Commissioner in the effective delivery of her role.
· The Commissioner and the candidate had worked well together over a number of years in previous roles and the candidate displayed drive, enthusiasm and a work ethic which was similar to that of the Commissioner, which would support a positive working relationship. Further, the Commissioner explained that she had selected the candidate on the basis of trust and confidence in his ability to perform well in the role and support her in the effective delivery of her responsibilities.
· The strength of the candidate’s previous experience in pastoral care in education, youth engagement and youth crime prevention would support the Commissioner in the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan.
· The candidate was keen to enhance the visibility of the Commissioner and her work, as well as promoting the role of Hampshire Constabulary, and was confident in engaging with residents and partner organisations, with a view to providing two-way communication and the sharing of information.
· Through shadowing the Commissioner, the candidate had gained an appreciation of the demands of the DPCC role.
· The candidate was clear that his role, if successful, would be to represent the Commissioner and that any views expressed, or approaches taken would be in accordance with those of the Commissioner and the aspirations of the Police and Crime Plan.
· The candidate was keen to engage with the Panel and the Panel would welcome his attendance at working group meetings of the Panel, as suggested by the candidate, if appointed.
· The candidate provided positive and enthusiastic responses to questions posed.
· Members felt that the candidate had the capability to undertake the role and met the minimum standards of professional competence and personal independence required of an appointed deputy to the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Panel also noted some reservations about the candidate proposed, for which it was agreed reassurance would be sought from the Commissioner:
· The answers given by the candidate were not always well structured and did not fully respond to the question posed in a number of incidences. As a result, Members felt that the candidate did not demonstrate upon all bases, a full understanding of the breadth of responsibilities of the DPCC role. In particular, the candidate focussed his responses upon outward facing responsibilities, and did not demonstrate a significant depth of understanding of the areas the DPCC would be responsible for within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
· In his responses to Members questions, the candidate didn’t reflect upon the extent to which he would need to learn and absorb the information required to be completely effective in the DPCC role. Members specifically highlighted that understanding of the strategic role and priorities of Hampshire Constabulary, how the Police and Crime Plan interfaces with operational delivery by the Constabulary, and the role of partners in crime prevention should be key areas of focus.
· Given his lack of previous experience in policing and criminal justice the Panel consider the candidate may find it difficult to be effective in his ability to deputise for the Commissioner at partnership meetings in the first three to six months in post.
· The candidate’s response to a question regarding his understanding of equality and diversity lacked depth and assurance. The Panel recommends that the candidate undertake focussed training to address this perceived deficiency, such training to cover the Public Sector Equality Duty.
· In response to Members questions to the Commissioner, it was confirmed that the candidate would remain in his position as a local authority councillor for the next year. Whilst the Panel appreciated the candidate’s consideration of the impact of a by-election should he step down, and his commitment not to stand for election in 2023, the Panel were concerned about his ability to fully commit to the role of DPCC during this period.
· Whilst the candidate expressed his commitment to be visible across the policing area, both the Commissioner and candidate have similar political and geographic backgrounds and the Panel would require evidence going forward that the DPCC understood the needs of and could be representative of all communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
· If appointed, the candidate and the Commissioner would need to demonstrate to residents and the Panel how the DPCC role was delivering value for money.
On the basis of the information provided by
the Commissioner, and the discussions held during the Confirmation
Hearing, a vote was held on the recommendation, as proposed within
report of the Chief Executive. The outcome of the vote was 4 For, 4
Against, 1 Abstain. In the absence of a clear majority and in
accordance with the Panel’s Rules of Procedure, the Chairman
submitted a casting vote. This was in favour of the proposed
That the proposed candidate, Mr Terry Norton, is recommended to be appointed to the position of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.