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Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
The two independent co-opted members, Mike Short and Iain McVie both declared an interest in item 5 on the agenda – The appointment of independent members for the Dorset Police and Crime Panel 2020-2024.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2020 and the notes from the informal meeting held on 25 June 2020
The minutes of the meeting held on 4 February were agreed as a correct record with Cllr Dove requesting under minute 55 that the Youth Offending seminars be added to the workplan.
The notes from the informal meeting of 25 June were also noted with a request from Cllr Dove that the item on Police Welfare (P43) be brought to the next meeting with an update from the PCC.
To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public. Public speaking has been suspended for virtual committee meetings during the Covid-19 crisis and public participation will be dealt with through written submissions only.
Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to two questions or a statement of up to a maximum of 450 words. All submissions must be sent electronically to email@example.com by the deadline set out below. When submitting a question please indicate who the question is for and include your name, address and contact details. Questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.
Questions will be read out by an officer of the council and a response given by the appropriate officer at the meeting. All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.
The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on Monday 21 September 2020.
No public questions had been received for the meeting.
For the Panel to consider if
a) they would wish to extend the term of the current co-opted members and, if so, ask for formal confirmation that those members are willing to continue to serve for a further term on the Panel; or
b) Proceed with a selection and appointment process;
The two independent members left the meeting for this item.
The Service Manager for Assurance advised that as the Chairman had left the meeting Cllr Dove would Chair the item. The Service Manager for Assurance introduced the report and advised that PCP nationally are required to have two independent members, the current two members were appointed when the PCP was established in November 2012 and re-appointed again in 2016. The Panel had two options, a. to re-appoint the current two members; or b. to carry out a new selection process.
In the interests of continuity, imminent departure of the current PCC and positive contributions to the panel it was proposed by Cllr Fry and Seconded by Cllr Pipe that Mike Short and Iain McVie should be invited to remain as independent members on the panel.
Decision: that both independent members, Mike Short and Iain McVie be invited to remain on the PCP for a further four years.
On returning to the meeting both Mike Short and Iain McVie accepted the invitation to remain on the PCP.
Update on Covid 19 - Verbal
The PCC delivered an update to the panel:-
“Before I provide this update, I want to take this opportunity – if I may – to update the Panel on a couple of developments that have occurred over the last few weeks and months.
First, members may have seen that a new Deputy Chief Constable for Dorset Police has been appointed. Scott Chilton, an ACC from Hampshire Police, will be joining the Force next month, upon DCC David Lewis’ retirement.
As ACC, Scott was strategic lead across all investigations teams, custody, the wider criminal justice system and intelligence. He brings a great deal of experience from his extensive policing career and I look forward to welcoming him to Dorset.
I am sure the panel will also join me in recording our gratitude for the work undertaken by DCC David Lewis – he has provided extraordinary leadership and service not just to Dorset, but also through regional and national roles that he has held. We all, of course, wish him the best luck in retirement.
Second, I wanted to highlight the national PCC review that was announced a few weeks ago. Member have already seen my response, and will be aware that part one of this review focuses on the role to data, with a particular emphasis on fire governance and the interaction between PCCs and directly elected city mayors, in recognition of the government drive for further local devolution. Part two of this review, the details of which has not yet been announced, will take place after the PCC election in May 2021.
Finally, members will have seen the news, earlier this year, that forces were well on the way to meet the target of 6000 newly recruited officers by March 2021, with 4336 officers recruited to the end of July. Dorset is well on track to meet its own target of 50 new constables.
Forces in England and Wales are anticipating an announcement that will confirm the local targets and funding for the second year of the national Uplift programme. Once the announcement is made, I will ensure that this Panel is updated, but – as it stands – we do not yet know what this will look like. I am hoping that the Prime Minister’s promise for 20,000 new recruits will be honoured, but I am conscious that the pandemic may, unfortunately, alter those plans.
Moving on to the pandemic, then, the last time we met, I explained the activity undertaken by myself, my office and Dorset Police in relation to COVID-19.
That update was wide-ranging and I won’t repeat it all here, but you’ll recall that I informed the Panel that, by early April, the initial governance response had been superseded by extraordinary Gold structures, which were well embedded and operating effectively. The Force and OPCC had returned to a business as usual state, with OPCC providing oversight and scrutiny of the Force’s response through not only the usual strategic Force Boards, but also the new Gold structure, ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To receive an update of progress against the Police and Crime Plan Q1 2020/21, to enable Panel members to scrutinise performance, seek assurance and assess outcomes achieved in the reporting period.
The Director of Operations introduced the Monitoring Report (for 2020/21 Quarter One) which had been created so the Police and Crime Panel and public could see the progress made by the PCC, and in particular the additional area/s of focus since May 2020.
Prior to the Covid outbreak, and the suspension of the 2020 PCC elections, the Panel learned that the vast majority of the PCC’s 100 commitments had been met.
The Director of Operations highlighted the commitments and achievements to date within the report. In addition to the original 100 commitments, the PCC and team had identified a range of other commitments for the PCC’s additional, unexpected, year of office, which also includes three areas of focus (vulnerability, anti-social behaviour and violence reduction), Further information is available at www.dorset.pcc.police.uk
The PCC then highlighted a number of issues, including an emergency funding scheme to provide money to small charities who were affected by Covid 19, victims of offender charities and further grants for community youth projects.
In response to a question regarding misogyny being included as a hate crime the PCC noted that this was both a complicated and controversial issue and would welcome any thoughts my panel members being shared with him by email. The definition of hate crime is a matter for Government and, currently, neither gender nor sex are a protected characteristic.
In relation to the continued work to remove barriers to reporting hate crime, the Chief Executive of the OPCC gave an update of work carried out with the BCP Citizens Advice Bureau who put together a best practice video, the link to which is below together with the press launch:
Link to the PCC funded hate crime video produced by Citizens Advice BCP - https://www.citizensadvicebcp.org.uk/hate-crime-project/
The PCC advised that the number of domestic abuse cases reported during lockdown had remained similar to pre-lockdown levels, and although there had not been a massive surge in sex offences and domestic abuse it was important to note there was still a lot of uncertainty. It was requested that these statistics be included in the minutes and are detailed below;
April to Aug
DA Crime - 2020 = 3,986 2019 = 3,884 (+2.6%)
DA Incidents – 2020 = 3,487 2019 = 3,233 (+7.8%)
The panel received an overview of Pillar 2 – including information on a survey carried out on Dorset Police’s response to Covid-19. The majority of respondents felt that the Police had carried out a good job and public messaging had been clear. The Driver Awareness Scheme had been delivered on-line for the first time. £266,000 had been secured to tackle acquisitive crimes in Pokesdown and an Anti-Social Behaviour Survey had been carried out through the summer.
The dashcam scheme, Operation Snap, was still running successfully and most speed cameras were now digitalised. The PCC asked the Panel to look at a National Road Safety Survey which was asking for views on enforcement.
Referring to page 47 in the agenda pack (Safer Streets ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
This paper updates members on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s work to support the development of a joint approach to serious violence within Dorset, recognising the operational independence of the Chief Constable.
The Chief Executive of the OPCC introduced the report on Serious Violence and gave a resume of the PCC’s scope and remit and the role of the OPCC in supporting Dorset Police to develop a better service.
With regard to knife crime the Chief Executive wanted to make the extent of the problem in Dorset very clear and that Dorset was a very safe area with few incidents of knife crime. The OPCC was keen to build a preventative model to make sure this remains the case, focusing on the headline aim of developing a Public Health Response to Serious Violence.
In response to questions from the Panel, the PCC felt that the Public Health approach was the right way to utilise Police resources, it was tried, tested and recognised as best practice. It was proven to reduce crime and the PCC was frustrated that he had been unsuccessful in securing funding.
The need to build a preventative model and positively influence young people was noted and the Chief Executive also highlighted the previous Panel discussions on youth offending for the benefit of new members.
There was some discussion around the prevention of knife crime, engaging with and educating young people in a proactive and collaborative way. There was also agreement that good news and positive outcomes should be celebrated and shared with communities.
Action – the PCC and the Chairman of the PCP would write again to try and seek national funding for this subject although the OPCC had previously applied unsuccessfully, even with the support of local MPs.
Point of Order – Proposed by Cllr Taylor and seconded by Cllr Haines
Decision: that the 3 hour meeting time limit be extended to complete the panels business.
This paper updates members on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s work to address the position of Dorset Police as a national outlier for stop and search disproportionality. Stop and search is an operational policing matter and, therefore, the responsibility of the Chief Constable.
The Chief Executive presented his report to the Panel. The latest national statistics on stop and search, from March this year, highlighted that black people were approximately 25 times more likely to be stopped and searched in Dorset than white people.
He further explained that the find rate (the proportion of times officers find searched for illicit items) is higher for searches involving white people than black people.
Finally, where action is taken following the stop search, black people are more likely to be arrested – with one in ten of white individuals being arrested versus one in five of black individuals.
The Chief Executive noted that the PCC has repeatedly requested an explanation for these facts but, to date, has yet to receive an adequate response. As a result of this position, the PCC issued a formal challenge to the Chief Constable in January 2018, to further set out his requirement for a satisfactory explanation.
To support this challenge and his scrutiny of the Force, the PCC also commissioned an independent review of the Dorset Police stop and search data, process and procedures. Those findings and recommendations were issued to the Force in November 2018 and have been formalised in the Force’s stop and search improvement plan, but to date have yet to have the desired effect.
The Chief Executive highlighted the role of the Stop and Search Independent Scrutiny Panel, and noted that broadly speaking, the panel had been supportive of the actions undertaken by officers, albeit that they continue to note the disproportionality ratio with disappointment.
He also noted that the Scrutiny Panel’s minutes were published on the PCC’s website for further information, and Dorset Police published its quarterly stop and search performance pack on its website.
The number of Stop and Search complaints were very low, averaging five per year in each of the last five years, but Stop and Search disproportionality remains a priority improvement area.
The PCC also summed up the frustrations felt by himself and his team and re-iterated that the force was not an outlier in respect of other areas of operational policing, such as the use of Taser.
Finally, reflecting on the current work underway, the Chief Executive highlighted that Dorset Police was currently engaging with a leading academic to better understand and develop insights into its stop and search data. This work would be reported back through the Force’s Disproportionality Board in due course.
Action - to see the academic work and actions that come out of it at a future meeting. Put on forward workplan.
Cllr Dove proposed, supported by Iain McVie and Cllr Fry.
Decision: that the paper be noted and an update come back to the panel in 6 months time, to include work achieved and target data for the panel to scrutinise what success looked like.
Complaints Update - Verbal
Iain McVie gave the panel an update on a recent complaint. “The panel had upheld the decision made by Chief Executive”. There were no additional outstanding complaints.
To consider the Work Programme for the Panel. Panel members are invited to identify and suggest topics for inclusion in the forward Work Programme.
The Service manager for Assurance presented the workplan and highlighted the forthcoming informal training session on 19 November and the next meeting scheduled to take place on 10 December. Other items from today’s meeting would be scheduled into the programme.
To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.
There was no urgent items.
To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.
There was no exempt business.