To receive an update of progress against the Police and Crime Plan Q3 2019/20.
The Panel considered a report outlining the progress against the Police and Crime Plan. The PCC introduced the item and announced that on finishing his second term, he had achieved 98 of the 100 commitments under his Police and Crime Plan, he thanked his team, Dorset Police and the panel members.
The monitoring report provided information on the financial outturn position for the Q3 period of the year, including updates on the following items which are listed under the relevant pillars:-
Pillar 1 – Protecting People at Risk and Harm – Cllr Mohan Iyengar.
Cllr Iyengar had recently been appointed to this pillar which was predominately focussed on a strategic approach to preventive work. He referred to the classification of certain vulnerability groups, where efforts are concentrated and tied into the measures and scores.
Hate crime figures had gone down. Where there was discussion over precept figures and talk about officers on the beat, Cllr Iyengar noted also, that a lot of preventative work was hidden, especially when it came to fraud, however visible policing was still vital and he urged the PCC candidates to take note of that.
Financial cuts had reduced preventative work, such as education in schools etc. He was hopeful these roles would come back as an aid to early intervention strategies and that the new PCC would have a clear plan for this area on how to keep people safe, supporting vulnerability when it was needed most. The schools were a big growth area for crime prevention, it was regrettable that, because of the schools academy process, there was no co-ordinated scheme to take the project forward. A “one system” approach across all schools would help in education for preventative measures.
Pillar 2 – Working with our Communities – Cllr Les Fry and Cllr David Taylor.
Cllrs Fry and Taylor presented pillar 2 of the Police and Crime Monitoring Report.
In response to a question regarding supporting youth crime prevention, the PCC agreed that he would like to see more youth club facilities available. Unfortunately, there was no funding allocated to youth clubs but the OPCC could fund some limited initiatives in clubs to keep young people safe, especially with knife crime prevention work.
In relation to fly-tipping, the PCC advised that this was not a policing issue. The only instance where the Police could get involved with fly tipping was when it was actually taking place, the public could dial 999 and the Police would attend.
The minimum wage levels were discussed, and the point was made that the starting salary for a Police Officer was only £19,000, which would make it hard to get 50000 new recruits to meet Government targets. Following the 3-year degree apprenticeship those recruits would not be fully qualified until 2025.
A joined-up approach to reviewing crime education in school should go on the forward plan.
Pillar 3 – Supporting Victims, Witnesses and reducing Reoffending – Cllr Bill Pipe and Cllr Molly Rennie.
The PCC had supported the Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service (STARS) in setting up an office in Dorchester and encouraged them to develop a long-term business plan to allow the organisation to move forward. Cllr Rennie advised that the Domestic Abuse Forum had supported STARS and helped them to find premises and form relationships with other organisations
A response had been submitted to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the Managing Vulnerability: Women guidance, this would be shared with the other 3 pillar leads.
A visit to the Verne prison had been arranged and the findings would be reported back to the panel, Cllr Rennie thanked the panel for their help with gaining useful contact details.
Pillar 4 – Transforming for the Future – Iain McVie and Cllr Barry Goringe.
It was noted that the OPCC are in the process of recruiting a Complaints Review Officer. Legislation had gone live with Guidance and Regulations issued. This change may result in an increase in complaints.
A scrutiny review would be carried out at the end of the next financial year.
There was on outstanding scrutiny report relating to police bail which would be presented at the next meeting.
Members asked the following financial questions to the PCC:-
1. The chief constable’s income has risen by £1.5m in year can the OPCC please expand on R3 and provide the detail on who provided this funding?
£0.5m has come from additional government grants, such as the uplift grant and cyber-crime grant, that were announced or bid for after the budget was set
£0.5m has come from other organisations for officers on secondment. These include organisations such as the National College of Policing, National Police Air Service and Regional Organised Crime Units and will offset against the increased pay budgets.
£0.2m has come from the Commissioner for funding for a domestic abuse project, run by Dorset Police, in addition to the budget. Other additional income comes from the Driver Awareness scheme and other chargeable events such as Bournemouth Air Show.
2. The OPCC has stated that the BWV programme has been completed, yet there is an underspend in the programme. Can the OPCC please confirm if the programme is complete?
Yes, the programme is complete and has been delivered under budget. ICT costs were lower than budgeted. The cost savings allowed the project scope to be extended to additionally provide a pool of BWV cameras for members of the special constabulary.
3. At the next Q4 meeting, the OPCC is requested to confirm the actual drawdown on reserves in order to offset the internal borrowing of £2.3m.
At Q4 we will confirm the exact amount of internal borrowing required to fund the capital programme in the current year. We won’t need to draw down on any of the reserves to fund this borrowing as it is the cash flow that will be used to fund the borrowing, rather than investing the money in accounts receiving low rates of interest.
In response to a question regarding drivers using mobile phones, rolling cigarettes etc when driving, the PCC advised that Police had invested heavily in the “No Excuse” road safety and road enforcement scheme and referred to Operation SNAP which was the response to the ever increasing request to submit video and photographic evidence from members of the public in relation to witnessed driving offences.