Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Police and Crime Panel
Thursday, 7th February, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room 1. View directions

Contact: Fiona King, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: f.d.king@dorsetcc.gov.uk - 01305 224186

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman offered congratulations on behalf of Panel members to the Chief Constable on being awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours List 2019. This was not only good news for him but for all the residents of Dorset.

 

He advised members that this would be the last meeting of this Panel before Local Government Reorganisation, when the newly constituted Dorset Police and Crime Panel would consist of 12 members, 5 from each of the new councils plus 2 co-opted independent members.  He took this opportunity to thank all members for their time and efforts over the past 6 years.

 

He also paid thanks to Dorset County Council for hosting the Panel and to the Group Manager for Governance and Assurance for his for support, direction and hard work to get the Panel where it is today.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Bernie Davis, Christchurch Borough Council and Janet Dover, Dorset County Council.  Jon Andrews, Dorset County Council attended as a substitute.

3.

Code of Conduct

Panel members are required to comply with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 regarding disclosable pecuniary interests.

 

§     Check if there is an item of business on this agenda in which the member or other relevant person has a disclosable pecuniary interest.

§     Check that the interest has been notified to the Monitoring Officer (in writing) and entered in the Register (if not this must be done on the form available from the clerk within 28 days).

§     Disclose the interest at the meeting (in accordance with the County Council’s Code of Conduct) and in the absence of a dispensation to speak and/or vote, withdraw from any consideration of the item.

 

The Register of Interests is available on Dorsetforyou.com and the list of disclosable pecuniary interests is set out on the reverse of the form.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations by members of disclosable pecuniary interests under the Code of Conduct.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2018 were confirmed and signed.

 

The Group Manager for Governance and Assurance, Dorset County Council advised members that all items that had previously been requested were either included on the agenda or were included on the work programme for future meetings.

5.

Public Participation

(a)               Public Speaking

 

(b)               Petitions

Minutes:

Public Speaking

There were no public questions received at the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 21(1).

 

There were no public statements received at the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 21(2).

 

Petitions

There were no petitions received at the meeting in accordance with the County Council’s Petition Scheme.

6.

Confirmatory Hearing for Chief Constable pdf icon PDF 170 KB

 To consider a report by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Chief Executive, OPCC which outlined the appointment process for the selection of the Chief Constable for Dorset Police. 

 

The Chief Executive, OPCC explained that the confirmatory hearing for the appointment of the Chief Constable was required by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

 

The Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel had acted as a silent observer on the appointment process and confirmed that it had been clear, honest, unbiased and transparent and he was satisfied that the marking system was fair. The Chairman confirmed in writing to Panel member’s (copy to the OPCC) that the entire process had been clear, honest, unbiased and transparent.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner introduced his preferred candidate to members, Mr James Vaughan and reminded members that a confirmation hearing was held in respect of Mr Vaughan’s appointment as Temporary Chief Constable exactly one year ago.

 

This vacancy had been advertised locally (PCC website) and nationally (Association of PCCs website) and feedback received confirmed that the national chief officer cohort knew about the vacancy.  However, with the vast majority of Chief Constable appointments in recent years, the campaign resulted in a similarly low number of applications; in this particular case one.

 

The Chief Executive made reference to the fact that there had only been 1 candidate for selection and highlighted the process and issues around this. He explained that the role of the Chief Constable was not what it used to be, and was more about trying to move resources around without not necessarily having the resources they needed. Alongside this the level of strategic risk that went with that role was also significant. He also highlighted that in a larger force the salary of a Deputy Chief Constable would not be that much different to a Chief Constable’s salary of a smaller force (such as Dorset) and felt that this could be a reason why there were no other applications.  He confirmed that the selection panel had received training for the selection process. References had now been taken for Mr Vaughan and no concerns had been raised.

 

In response to a request for further information on references the Chief Executive explained that for each of the competencies candidates were required to supply one or more referees for these. These included the PCC, the former Chief Constable, a range of staff associations, people at similar levels in partner agencies and also another Chief Constable.  Each referee was written to individually and provided with the evidence as supplied by the candidate for verification.  The Chief Executive was content that the process was robust and advised that no one had come back with any areas of concern.  On being asked whether two or three generic references were also taken, the PCC noted that if there had been an external candidate in the process he would have done so. 

 

Following a question about the scoring for the shortlisting, the Chief Executive advised that for each of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Budget and Precept 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Forecasts 2019/20 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 403 KB

To receive and consider the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed budget and precept requirement for 2019/20 and to independently scrutinise its content to decide upon its appropriateness.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the PCC’s Chief Finance Officer which set out the proposed precept for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.

 

Members were advised that the precept decision for 2019/20 needed to consider both the immediate and the medium-term resourcing requirements to enable the delivery of the Police and Crime Plans in the context of the changing and increasing demands on policing.

 

The final 2019/20 Police Settlement was announced recently which advised that PCCs had been given the flexibility to raise the precept by £24 for a Band D equivalent property.  The PCC urged members to take full advantage of this flexibility to enable the force to continue to maintain the high quality services it was currently able to provide whilst also allowing investment in new capabilities to meet growing demand and the expanding mission of modern policing.

 

The PCC addressed members about the rationale for the proposed precept increase and considerations involved in this process prior to taking any questions and his opening address is attached as an Annexure to these minutes.

 

The Chief Constable updated members on the increasing demand on policing; and what the £24, if approved, would be used for. He circulated a diagram which showed the demands on Dorset policing over the last 12 months along with the daily figures relating to demand over the same period. Overall crime in the county had risen by 8.9% and violent crime by 22%.  Officers were seeing a continuing upward pressure on the 101 and 999 services and these were also expected to rise again next year.  The types of crimes now being investigated were very different to a few years ago and there was still a rise in the defence of non-recent sexual offences. 

 

Unprecedented levels of demand had been seen throughout the summer months and he had briefed the Force to say a better plan was needed in the coming months to address these seasonal demands.  He also highlighted that officers were spending too much time dealing with inappropriate calls which should be addressed by other agencies. 

 

With regards to the recent settlement, the Chief Constable noted that this was the first one for 8 years which would allow him to bring about investment in critical areas that required growth.  He had sent a comprehensive letter sent to the PCC which set out his plans for future budgeting in terms of the precept and a summary of this was included with the report at Appendix 7.  He highlighted his main areas of focus which were:-

 

  • Rural crime prevention/detection enhancement.
  • Marine crime prevention/detection enhancement.
  • Tackling county lines drug networks.
  • Volunteer Police Cadets.
  • Improvements to youth justice.
  • The Bobby Van scheme.

 

He would also be looking carefully at county and conurbation approaches to homelessness to try and tackle street sleeping in order to offer a more focused approach.  He had managed through the budget proposal to put a small about of money into the innovation fund to help take Dorset Police which was currently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Police and Crime Plan Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To receive an update of progress against the Police and Crime Plan Q3 2018/19. Each ‘Pillar’ of the Police and Crime Plan will be reviewed in turn, supported through a brief introduction from the PCC and the PCP ‘Pillar Lead’.

 

·         Pillar 1 – Protecting People at Risk and Harm (Cllr Kerby and Cllr Quayle)

·         Pillar 2 - Working with our Communities (Cllr Iyengar and Cllr Davis)

·         Pillar 3 – Supporting Victims, Witnesses and Reducing Reoffending (Cllr Pipe and Cllr Manuel)

·         Pillar 4 – Transforming for the Future (Iain McVie)

 

The following documents have been produced documents to support the discussion:

 

Annex A – Drink/Drug related arrests at Road Traffic Collisions

Annex B – Finance Update (to follow)

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report informing them of the progress against the Police and Crime Plan and Priorities 2017-21.  The report provided information on the financial outturn position for Quarter 3 2018/19. 

 

The PCC highlighted areas of work related to each of the pillar themes.  Members of the Panel, who were leading on each of the themes in the Plan, were also invited to provide updates.

 

Pillar 1– Protecting People at Risk and Harm – Cllr Andrew Kerby/Cllr Byron Quayle

 

Councillor Andrew Kerby advised the Panel that he had been invited to a meeting in relation to the Disclosure and Barring System (DBS) and that he was currently in the process of writing his report.  He explained that a completed DBS form was initially sent to the DBS office in Liverpool and thereafter forwarded to DBS offices in other parts of the country for any previous address listed on the form.  If the post involved dealing with vulnerable people then an enhanced check would be conducted. There had previously been an issue with the DBS checking turnaround times, however, this had reduced to 1.62 days in November 2018 from 17.97 days in June 2018 demonstrating improved efficiency in this area.

 

He had been provided details of the work of the Dorset DBS team and had been assured that his key areas of focus on safeguarding and turnaround times were being met and that the team were doing a good job. 

 

Members asked about the requirement for Councillors to have more than one DBS check for each organisation and the Panel was informed that this could be avoided by using the online service and also that moving to the Dorset Council would require a single check.

 

The Chairman asked the PCC what direction he was giving to the Chief Constable to reduce the overstretch of police resources, in particular with regard to mental health related incidents.

 

The PCC advised that there was a good protocol in place with the mental health crisis teams that could receive people under Section 136 from the Police. Hahnemann House in Bournemouth was receiving 40 people a day on average, a third of which were taken there by police officers and this had an impact on resources by reducing the amount of police time.  A second retreat was currently being built in Dorchester that would include an "airlock" of two doors to enter the premises and an anti-room for any form of disturbance or violent behaviour.

 

General welfare issues, however, were becoming more prevalent and the PCC was in discussion with the fire service concerning sharing of resources in this area of work.  Attendance by the fire service at non-injury Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) had been discussed at the previous Panel meeting, however, fire officers were not currently empowered to undertake breath tests following RTAs.

 

The Chairman asked the PCC about the steps he was taking to bring in other agencies to relieve the strain on police resources.

 

The PCC advised that discussions concerning multi  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Update from the PCP Training Day pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To consider a report emerging from the discussions at the PCP Training Day, held on  Friday 7 December 2018, summarising the Panels’ decision not to pursue a specific review of frontline policing, but instead to continue to maintain an oversight of this through the Quarterly Monitoring Reports of the Police and Crime Plan.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report from the Chairman which informed members of the key issues discussed and developed at the recent Panel training day.  The Panel’s formal support and approval was sought in relation to these key outcomes.

 

Resolved

1. That the proposed scrutiny review of frontline policing was closed within the PCP Forward Plan and oversight continued through the routine quarterly monitoring of the Police and Crime Plan be approved.

2. That the principle to establish an informal partnership forum which sought to join-up and share common outcomes and activity in addressing criminal justice be approved.

 

Reason for Decision

To support and develop the effectiveness of the Police and Crime Panel.

 

10.

Complaints Update

To receive an update from the Chairman of the Panel of any non-criminal complaints that have been received by the Panel in respect of the PCC.

Minutes:

The Group Manager – Governance and Assurance advised members that a further correspondence from an existing complainant in relation to a previous topic, the ‘Lush: paid to lie campaign’ had been received and that a meeting of the Sub Committee would be convened on 18 March 2018 to independently review and consider whether the correct complaint processes had been followed.

 

Noted

11.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To consider the Work Programme for the Panel.

Minutes:

The Panel considered its Work Programme and noted the items to be considered for their next meeting on Tuesday 9 July 2019.  As the Panel had approved the precept proposal it was confirmed that the reserve date of Monday 18 February 2019 would not now be needed.

 

The Group Manager – Governance and Assurance reminded the Panel of its decision that following Local Government Reorganisation, the new Panel would consist of 10 elected members and two independent members.  Induction sessions, supported by the OPCC, would be arranged prior to the first meeting on 9 July 2019.  He also suggested that further work may be required to ensure that the provisional dates in the forward plan were properly aligned with the quarterly monitoring reports

 

Noted

12.

Questions from Panel Members

To answer any questions received in writing by the Chief Executive by not later than 10.00am on Tuesdey 29 January 2019.

Minutes:

There were no questions by members of the Panel.