Agenda and minutes

Surrey Police and Crime Panel
Monday, 6 February 2017 10.30 am

Venue: Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN

Contact: Huma Younis or Sharmina Ullah 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1/17

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2/17

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 1 DECEMBER 2016 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

3/17

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter,

     

          i.        Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

     

         ii.        Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

     

    NOTES:

     

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner).

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    None received.

4/17

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

    To receive any public questions.

     

    Note:

    Written questions from the public can be submitted no later than seven days prior to the published date of the annual or any ordinary public meeting, for which the Commissioner will be invited to provide a written response by noon on the day before the meeting, which will be circulated to Panel Members and the questioner.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    None received.

     

5/17

SURREY POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER'S PRECEPT SETTING PROPOSAL FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 352 KB

    The Police and Crime Panel is required to consider and formally respond to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Proposed Precept for 2017/18. The purpose of this item is to allow the Commissioner to outline his proposals in more detail and to answer any questions that Panel Members might have.

     

    Following consideration of the Commissioner’s proposed precept, the Panel must either:

     

    a)     agree the precept without qualification or comment;

    b)     support the precept and make comments or recommendations concerning the application of the revenues generated; or

    c)     veto the proposed precept.

     

    Note:

     

    In accordance with the Police and Crime Panels (Precepts and Chief Constable Appointments) Regulations 2012:

     

    (a) The Commissioner must notify the Panel of his proposed precept by 1 February 2017;

     

    (b) The Panel must review and make a report to the Commissioner on the proposed precept (whether it vetoes the precept or not) by 8 February 2017;

     

    (c) If the Panel vetoes the precept, the Commissioner must have regard to and respond to the Panel’s report, and publish his response, including the revised precept, by 15 February 2017;

     

    (d) The Panel, on receipt of a response from the Commissioner notifying it of his revised precept, must review the revised precept and make a second report to the Commissioner by 22 February 2017 (there is no second right of veto);

     

    (e) The Commissioner must have regard to and respond to the Panel’s second report and publish his response by 1 March 2017.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) introduced the report by informing the Panel that for this year at least, the proposed precept increase of 1.99% was a carefully considered decision on his part.  It would have been an easy and simple decision to recommend this increase for the financial year 2017/18 if there had been no projected underspend against the current year’s budget. As current projections indicated a year end underspend of more than £3 million the Commissioner said that he had considered very carefully if a rise in the precept could be justified. 

     

    1. On balance the PCC said he had come to the conclusion that a 1.99% was the correct amount by which to increase the precept, as the Force needed to find £5.5 million of savings to balance the budget next year. The proposed increased was in line with the guidance given by the Minister of State for Policing which stated PCC’s who increased the precept by the maximum allowed without triggering a referendum would not suffer an financial reduction to their central government funding.

     

    1. It was noted that a crucial factor in the PCC’s decision making was the under spend in Surrey Police’s budget and whether in these circumstances it was appropriate to increase the tax burden on local residents.  The PCC explained that the primary reason for this underspend was the difficulty in retaining Police Officers. The PCC shared the view that although this had a positive financial impact, this had a negative impact on operational policing.

     

    1. The PCC highlighted that there were good plans in place to manage the retention issue and that the magnitude of the under spend would be a temporary matter going forward.

     

    1. It was further reported that the Surrey Police budget was stable and this has been achieved by both investing, making significant savings and cost reduction.

     

    1. The PCC advised the Panel that there were reports that the technical work for the new policing funding formula was developing well and this would be in place in a year’s time. However it was noted that there was also a huge risk in terms of the final funding formula, which could possibly reduce the amount of central government funding given to Surrey police.

     

    1. The Chairman referred to the new funding formula and requested that Government recognised how much Surrey residents pay towards their Police Force in comparison to other parts of the country where it is significantly less.

     

    1. A Member made reference to the Policing in your Neighbourhood report, Recommendation 1 and whether the PCC had plans to improve the statistics in relation to recruitment and retention. The PCC advised the Panel that there was no difficulty in recruitment and that training courses were fully booked. However the issue was retaining staff when other neighbouring Police Forces were also recruiting.

     

    1. The PCC further informed the Panel that there was a shortage of detectives in Surrey which was a concern for both the PCC and Chief Constable and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/17

6/17

BUDGET UPDATE pdf icon PDF 159 KB

    The attached reports provide Panel Members with oversight of the budget to fund the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for the financial year 2017/18 and also Surrey Police Group’s and the OPCC’s financial performance at Month 9 for the 2016/17 financial year.  

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The PCC introduced the report outlining the budget proposed for the Office of the PCC by informing Members that a substantial amount of funding was received from the Government to deal with Victim Services and that this was entirely separate from the budget.

     

    1. The PCC was pleased to report that in setting the 2017/18 budget for the OPCC he had achieved a saving compared with the previous year’s budget. This was due to the reshaping of the budget by reducing staff members and putting a sharper focus on services for residents, especially vulnerable residents.

     

    1. The Panel noted that some funds had been put to one side for contingencies. These include plans for the Estate Strategy and the possibility of Fire and Rescue Service governance changes.

     

    1. The Treasurer informed the Panel that another increased cost the PCC would be expecting would be from employing a Sergeant to run the Volunteer Cadets Force.

     

    1. It was also highlighted that the PCC was setting up a grant for the Community Safety Board (CSB) in the sum of £50,000. This would allow the CSB to effectively pump prime any projects or plans that will improve community safety across Surrey.

     

    1. It was further noted that the PCC is including within the OPCC budget a total of £75,000 for consultancy and project work, which would give the PCC sufficient resource to provide adequate support for new areas of activity.

     

    1. Despite these increases the Office budget would still achieve a gross saving of £31,370. 

     

    1.  A Member requested more information regarding the rise in audit fees. The Treasurer explained the Joint Audit Committee determines the audit programme and the rates are charged on a daily rate basis. The number of days fluctuating according to the number of days that are authorised by the Joint Independent Audit Committee, who will increase audit coverage where there are identifiable areas of concern which can lead to higher fees.

     

    1.  Following the discussions around auditing, the Panel noted that Surrey Police’s internal and external auditors were separate firms. Members were advised that Surrey Police internal auditors were RSM Tenon and their external auditors were Grant Thornton.

     

    1. A Member expressed positive feedback on the increase of funding for the Community Safety Fund and queried whether the process for bids on this fund would be the same as the previous year. The PCC advised that the system for allocating grants has changed, which is now operating under a two tier system. Any applications for amounts under £5,000 was simple and could be applied for online. However amounts over £5,000 would mean identifying partners and looking to work with them longer term.

     

    1. The PCC’s office was commended for reducing expenditure and achieving savings for the year. 

     

    1. It was noted that the HMIC publish statistics on the performance of OPCC offices across the Country. In comparison to other forces the Surrey OPCC did reasonably well. However not every office recorded or measured their costs in the same way which made comparisons difficult.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/17

7/17

PROGRESS AGAINST THE POLICE AND CRIME PLAN pdf icon PDF 558 KB

    The Panel are asked to consider progress made against the agreed Police and Crime Plan. The PCC has published a Police and Crime Plan for 2016 to 2020 based on the 6 manifesto pledges he made during his campaign to become PCC. This report provides the Panel with an update on how the plan is being met.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The PCC informed the Panel that he was pleased with the progress against the Police and Crime in his 8 months in post and acknowledged there was a lot more work to achieve a firmer foundation for the future years in office.

     

    1. A Member raised a request whether the PCC would attend a Joint Committee in Woking to discuss his role. The PCC advised that upon a formal invitation he would attend if there were no other diary commitments.

     

    1. The PCC noted the concern with the reduction in positive outcomes in relation to serious acquisitive crime statistics and assured the Panel that this was a priority for the Chief Constable and PCC.

     

    1. It was noted that a campaign into tackling the use of mobile phones whilst driving took place in November 2016 and January 2017. This campaign raised awareness of the impact of using mobile phones behind the wheel and promoted the prevention of it.

     

    1. There was a discussion around the PCC’s relationship with the Courts and Tribunals Service and Court closures. The PCC was queried as to whether he could liaise in the matter of court closures and encourage police staff morale. The PCC noted this concern and said he had recently assumed the Chairmanship of Surrey’s Criminal Justice Board which would be the main mechanism in improving this matter. The PCC went onto say that OPCC liaised with the Court Service on a regular basis.

     

    1. Following the above discussion the Chief Executive of the OPCC assured the Panel that a working group has been established to ensure some mitigating action has been put in place with the impacts of court closures and the changes to listings. It was understood that court closures would also negatively impact on victims of crime.

     

    1. It was stated that 101 had made a number of significant improvements and the PCC was pleased with the system. It was noted that there was still progress to be made going forward and this included following up with victims and making sure they were provided with the right support.

     

    1. The PCC was asked about his Police and Crime plan performance measures as listed on page 65 of the agenda. Panel members highlighted that some of these measures had shown a drop in comparison to 2015/16. The PCC accepted the drop in performance and highlighted measure four which centred on victim satisfaction as being his biggest concern. The PCC explained that feedback from victims of crime is collated over a period of time from a number of different services and sources. The PCC stated that the current performance figures for 2016/17 were satisfactory in comparison to other forces. 

     

    1. A member of the Panel queried whether a named contact for rural crime had been appointed. The PCC informed members that the team had been struck by a period of sickness but rural crime was now an integral part of the Surrey Police recording system. The PCC went onto further say that a named  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7/17

8/17

POLICING IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD (PiYN) UPDATE pdf icon PDF 73 KB

    The Policing in Your Neighbourhood (PiYN) project was launched in April 2016 introducing new ways of working to tackle operational and financial challenges. The Force has now carried out a review to assess how the model has bedded in during the first six months and to identify any improvements that need to be made. Attached is the PiYN post implementation review executive summary for Panel Members consideration and comment.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. A Member raised concern that Local Parishes felt isolated as there was a perceived lack of communication regarding Policing in Your Neighbourhood (PiYN). The PCC assured the Panel that in an effort to strengthen communication he was happy to work with Parishes and would look into formal ways of communicating with Parishes.

     

    1. The Chairman indicated that it would be useful under PiYN for Officers to work with Councillors and Members, particularly in relation to Cyber Crime to make sure it is well understood to promote effective awareness in tackling the issue.

     

    1. There was a discussion around the key findings from the PiYN report and Recommendation 30 on training. The PCC informed the Panel that training had been positive and that the service is regulated regularly. Following from this discussion, Members enquired how training fits with rest days. The PCC advised that rest days are not affected by PiYN and are authorised as per the previous system.

     

     

    1. Members shared the view that there was a lack of police visibility especially in the last few months and were concerned this influenced the rise in the number of burglaries. The Panel were informed that with changing police priorities the only way a member of the public would see a police officer is if a crime had been committed. The PCC expressed the view that the core of PiYN was sound however it was clear more work was to be carried out.

     

    1. The Vice-Chairman indicated that the PiYN report was confusing and complicated and should be less technical especially when made available to the public. The Panel were advised that the report was written by a Police Officer for an internal audience (although had been shared with members for information) and therefore would be technical.

     

    1. The Vice-Chairman further requested whether victims could be asked whether they were happy to be contacted by Councillors to discuss their experiences with the Police and check if they were receiving all the support they needed. The PCC did not feel this approach was appropriate and did not believe it was appropriate to create extra responsibilities for Police Officers.

     

    1. The PCC agreed on having a presentation on PiYN at the next Panel meeting to understand the basics of the new way of working. Members highlighted that no glossary was provided and crucial information in the full PiYN report which had been sent to the Panel separately had been redacted.

     

    1. From the report it was evident that the number of deployable assets were not high as they should be. The PCC agreed that more could be done.

     

    1. It was stated that the public had input into the report which was controlled via Surrey Police. The PCC agreed that the details around the PiYN report needed investigating.

     

    1. A member of the Panel raised concerns around whether discussions were straying into operational policing. The PCC stated that the border between strategic and operational policing was ‘blurred’ but always tried his best to give the Panel answers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/17

9/17

FEEDBACK ON PERFORMANCE MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 92 KB

    For the Panel to consider issues raised during monthly discussions between the PCC and the Chief Constable. The PCC holds monthly Performance Meetings where the Chief Constable reports on progress against the Police & Crime Plan and other strategic issues.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The PCC was asked to provide more information on the transition occurring in the Coroners Office. The Panel noted that this referred to the transfer of staff from Surrey Police to Surrey County Council and further information could be provided later as discussions were still ongoing.

     

    1. Upon request the PCC agreed to give the Panel more details regarding Employee Retention Proposal.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel noted the update on the PCC’s Performance meetings.

     

    ACTIONS/FURTHER INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED:

     

    R4/17 – For the PCC to provide the Panel with details of employee retention proposals as discussed at the November performance meeting with the Chief Constable.

     

10/17

POLICE AND CRIME PANEL: COMPLAINTS PROTOCOL pdf icon PDF 71 KB

11/17

COMPLAINTS RECEIVED SINCE THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 66 KB

12/17

FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME AND RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER pdf icon PDF 212 KB

    For the Panel to review upcoming agenda items and track recommendations and actions made at formal Panel meetings.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    A Member requested that the Panel consider an item on the collaboration work between Surrey and Sussex Police Forces which would also cover what savings had been achieved.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel reviewed the Forward Work Programme and Recommendations Tracker.

     

    ACTIONS/FURTHER INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED:

     

    R5/17- For the Panel to receive an update report on Collaboration between Surrey and Sussex Police Forces at the 12 September 2017 Panel meeting.

13/17

COMMISSIONER'S QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 101 KB

    The Panel is asked to raise any issues or queries concerning Crime and Policing in Surrey with the Commissioner.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Vice- Chairman raised an advance request regarding the number of Police Officers across the county. This information was circulated to the Panel Vice-Chairman prior to the meeting.

     

    1. The PCC advised this information was confidential and was not to be released in the public domain as it could be made use of by criminals in identifying gaps in the system.

     

    1. It was noted that trials for the Cadet Force were taking place in Runnymede, Woking and Epsom. The PCC informed the Panel that the scheme was working very well.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Panel raised issues/queries concerning crime and policing in Surrey with the PCC.

     

    ACTIONS/FURTHER INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED:

     

    None.

     

14/17

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 20 FEBRUARY 2017

    The next public meeting of the Surrey Police and Crime Panel is provisionally scheduled for 20 February 2017 at 10.30am in the Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, subject to the outcome of Item 5.

     

    The Annual meeting of the Panel will take place on 13 July 2017.

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The meeting provisionally scheduled for 20 February 2017 was cancelled.

     

    The next meeting of the Panel will be held on 13 July 2017, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames. This will be the Annual Panel meeting.

     

    The Chairman informed the Panel that she would not be standing for re-election in May and that today’s meeting was her last as Chair of the Panel. The Chairman thanked old and new Panel Support Officers, Officers from the OPCC, the Chief Executive of the OPCC and Panel Members for all their support and dedication over the years.

     

    The Vice-Chairman commended Councillor Dorothy Ross-Tomlin for her excellent chairmanship throughout the years and wished her well for the future.