Agenda and minutes

Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel
Friday, 16th November, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: Chamber, - County Hall, Carmarthen. SA31 1JP.. View directions

Contact: Kevin Thomas  01267 224027

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND PERSONAL MATTERS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor L. George (Powys County Council).

 

The Chair referred to the fact that Councillor Eryl Morgan was no longer a member of the Panel and suggested that a letter be sent to him thanking him for his contribution to the Panel during his term of office.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that a letter be sent to Councillor Eryl Morgan thanking him for his contribution to the Panel during his term of office.

 

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interests.

3.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 27TH JULY 2018 pdf icon PDF 247 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel held on the 27th July 2018 be signed as a correct record.

4.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES (IF ANY)

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Minutes:

4.1 Minute 5.1 – Agenda Item, Question by Councillor A Lloyd Jones

 

An update was requested with regard to the Welsh Government funding for the All Wales School Liaison Programme SchoolBeat. The Police and Crime Commissioner reported that the Welsh Government had agreed to fund the programme for a further 12 months, from April 2019 to March 2020. The Police and Crime Commissioner announced that this timeframe will be used to prepare in collaboration with other forces reports and evidence regarding the benefits of the programme across all of Wales.

 

4.2. Minute 5.2 – Agenda Item, Question by Councillor M. James

 

Following the Police and Crime Commissioner’s invitation for Panel Member’s to attend the Chief Constable’s Rural Crime Fora and Partnership meetings, further information regarding the dates of the meetings was requested. The Commissioner announced that invitations with specific dates will be circulated. He also clarified that meetings are currently held at two levels: strategic-level meetings chaired by the Chief Constable, and county-based Rural Crime Team meetings which are multi-agency meetings.

 

A follow-up question was raised regarding the Dyfed-Powys Police force’s representation at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, which represents the first anniversary of the launch of the Rural Crime Strategy. The Police and Crime Commissioner reported that the Rural Crime Team will be present at the fair and offered to share details regarding specific events with Panel Members.

 

4.3 Minute 7 – Agenda Item, Decisions taken by the Commissioner

 

An update was requested regarding the specific date for the opening of the Carmarthen Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) base and the consistency of NPT opening hours across the force. The Police and Crime Commissioner replied that, to the best of his knowledge, the Carmarthen base had opened and is operational. He also reported that the opening hours of NPTs as well as larger police stations were under review as part of wider demand work, led by Assistant Chief Constable Vicki Evans. The Police and Crime Commissioner was not able to provide a specific date for the completion of this work.

 

4.4. Minute 8 – Agenda Item, Police Accountability Board

 

An update was requested as to whether the results of a recent staff survey could be shared with the Panel. The Police and Crime Commissioner responded that the results of last year’s survey will be forwarded to Panel Members and that the results of the most recent survey will be shared once they are available. He pointed out that the most recent survey is based on a slightly bigger sample size and therefore provides more reliable results. The Police and Crime Commissioner also noted that last year’s staff survey registered an increase in staff motivation, which counters the national trend of decreasing police force motivation.

 

In relation to the quantification of average 101 calls, it was noted that members of the public reported delays with getting through. The Police and Crime Commissioner responded that while average recorded call times in the force is approximately 70 seconds, he was aware that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

QUESTION ON NOTICE TO THE PANEL FROM A.T., CARMARTHENSHIRE

“I was shocked to see that the panel is not representative of the society it serves. There is only one older white woman on the panel and the rest are older white men. Could a system be put in place to ensure that the panel is more representative of our society? This system should ensure that there are younger women on the panel, particularly mothers with childcare responsibilities, a panel member from BME, a panel member who is disabled and a panel member from the LGBT community. Why was it decided that the panel should be made up of County councillors, because these are overwhelmingly retired, white straight older males. We still have a very patriarchal society where structural and institutionalised sexism and racism exist and this panel does nothing to try and address this. Where the majority of Panel members represent mostly one group of our diverse society means they are likely to exhibit unconscious bias against certain groups and this can contribute to poor decision making and discrimination against those groups of people.”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“I was shocked to see that the panel is not representative of the society it serves. There is only one older white woman on the panel and the rest are older white men. Could a system be put in place to ensure that the panel is more representative of our society? This system should ensure that there are younger women on the panel, particularly mothers with childcare responsibilities, a panel member from BME, a panel member who is disabled and a panel member from the LGBT community. Why was it decided that the panel should be made up of County councillors, because these are overwhelmingly retired, white straight older males. We still have a very patriarchal society where structural and institutionalised sexism and racism exist and this panel does nothing to try and address this. Where the majority of Panel members represent mostly one group of our diverse society means they are likely to exhibit unconscious bias against certain groups and this can contribute to poor decision making and discrimination against those groups of people.”

 

Response by the Chair

“The composition of Police and Crime Panels is dictated by Schedule 6 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. In respect of Welsh Panels, the schedule provides that it is the Secretary of State who will prescribe the number of councillors from each of the relevant local authorities who sit on a Panel. The Secretary of State must also agree the number of co-opted members that the Panel may appoint.

 

In the case of the Dyfed-Powys Panel the Secretary of State decided that the 4 Councils in the force area would each be able to nominate 3 of their councillors as members of the Panel. In addition the Panel would be able to appoint 2 co-opted members.

 

Following the local authority elections in 2017 the lead officer to the Panel wrote to the Heads of Democratic Services for the 4 Councils reminding them of the statutory requirement to reflect the geographical and political balance of their respective authorities and expressing the hope that any nominations would also reflect the gender, age and racial balance of their communities.

 

Whilst it is acknowledged that the current membership of the panel is not an accurate reflection of the overall age, gender and racial balance of society in the force area, this is largely due to the balance of the membership of the 4 Councils. The Panel itself has no power to change this.

 

It is only in respect of the co-opted members that the Panel has any say in who is appointed. During the last public recruitment exercise for co-opted members in 2016 eight applications were received of which 2 were from women. One of those female applicants was appointed.

 

In the circumstances I therefore propose that the following steps be taken;

 

1.                  That following the next local authority elections, the Lead Officer to the Panel again write to the 4 local authorities stressing the importance in ensuring that their nominations are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE FROM PANEL MEMBERS TO THE COMMISSIONER:

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6.1

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

Youth Offending

 

“The Minister of Justice in a recent report indicated that the number of young people being found guilty of offences in Ceredigion has reduced significantly over the last 12 years, 75% down in fact. Figures for 2017 indicate that there were 37 first time offenders.

 

Does the Commissioner have comparable data for the rest of the Force Area?

 

The Commissioner expends a considerable amount of money on schemes to support our Youth and prevent crime. If data indicates a similar reduction in the rest of the Force area and bearing in mind the huge pressure on budgets, will he be reducing the resources allocated to this area of work?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Youth Offending

 

“The Minister of Justice in a recent report indicated that the number of young people being found guilty of offences in Ceredigion has reduced significantly over the last 12 years, 75% down in fact. Figures for 2017 indicate that there were 37 first time offenders.

 

Does the Commissioner have comparable data for the rest of the Force Area?

 

The Commissioner expends a considerable amount of money on schemes to support our Youth and prevent crime. If data indicates a similar reduction in the rest of the Force area and bearing in mind the huge pressure on budgets, will he be reducing the resources allocated to this area of work?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that the report reflects a long-term decreasing trend in youth offending across all counties in Dyfed-Powys. He attributed the reduction to the successful work of youth organisations and programmes such as SchoolBeat. These programmes deal with low-scale offences in the school context to prevent young people from becoming stigmatised by going through the formal justice process. The Commissioner suggested that an 85% reduction in first-time offenders over the last 10 years, identified by the Ministry of Justice Youth Justice Statistics 2016/17, could be largely attributed to the success of such programmes. He also pointed out that in Dyfed-Powys, total funding for these programmes amounts to 10% (£180,000) of his Office’s funding and only 0.1% of the wider Dyfed-Powys Police Force and Commissioner funding. He concluded that the funding should not be reduced and instead made a continued commitment to fund the programmes during his term in office.

 

A query was raised on how effectiveness of spend was measured in the area of prevention. The Police and Crime Commissioner answered that research by Dr Gareth Norris from Aberystwyth University measured a statistically significant reduction in youth offending. He announced that these quantitative findings will be coupled with qualitative data to corroborate the success of the programmes.

 

6.2

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“Whilst it is accepted that it is impossible to predict with total accuracy the demands that may be placed on the force in the future especially from one-off tragedies and incidents, it could be argued that some of the budget forecasting for 2017-2018 was not as robust as it might have been. What steps is the Commissioner taking to ensure that such forecasting will be as robust as it reasonably can be in the future?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“Whilst it is accepted that it is impossible to predict with total accuracy the demands that may be placed on the force in the future especially from one-off tragedies and incidents, it could be argued that some of the budget forecasting for 2017-2018 was not as robust as it might have been. What steps is the Commissioner taking to ensure that such forecasting will be as robust as it reasonably can be in the future?”

 

The Commissioner replied that his Chief Financial Officer is working with the police force to critically review all areas of financial management. He reported that the Chief Constable has set up a Finance Gold Group with all senior managers to ensure a consistent understanding of financial issues across all business areas. He also reported the development of a detailed action plan, which sets out the review of police officer pay, staffing levels, overtime arrangements, procurement and income generation. The Commissioner noted that he receives financial reports from the Chief Constable on a monthly basis and that the Chief Finance Officer meets the Director of Finance bi-weekly. He emphasised that the Chief Constable has strengthened his Finance team to improve financial management support and changed reporting mechanisms to achieve more robust and timely budget reporting. In addition, a financial management audit has been included in the Internal Audit Plan for 2018/19. The Commissioner also remarked that major and critical incidents will remain difficult to predict and may require setting aside a general reserve to ensure financial stability. In addition, members of the Corporate Finance team will advise each Operational Gold Group on the financial implications of major incidents.

 

The Panel welcomed the Commissioner’s response as reassuring, in particular the initiatives regarding procurement, external funding and the establishment of a reserve for critical incidents.

 

6.3

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“A comparison of the assets and liabilities shown in the statement of accounts for 16/17 and 17/18 appears to show a significant weakening in the overall financial health of the budget. Is this part of a longer trend and if it is what steps is the Commissioner taking to reverse it?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“A comparison of the assets and liabilities shown in the statement of accounts for 16/17 and 17/18 appears to show a significant weakening in the overall financial health of the budget. Is this part of a longer trend and if it is what steps is the Commissioner taking to reverse it?”

 

The Commissioner replied that the issue was mainly due to funding reductions from the Treasury in London. He emphasised that the balance sheet provides only a snapshot of the financial situation, which is currently dominated by long-term liabilities, especially pensions. The Commissioner explained that pension liabilities had fallen £130 million in the current year due to changes in financial and demographic assumptions and that the reduction in long-term assets from £86.2 to £84.5 million resulted largely from their reclassification as current assets (£1.9 million). The Commissioner pointed out that all current and future police (but not staff) pension costs will be paid for by the Government. He also noted that the total reduction in reserves from £27.2 to £20.5 million was caused by investments in activities and infrastructure as well as revenue pressures such as last year’s police pay settlement. The Commissioner expressed concern that a consistent trend of diminishing reserves across police forces in Wales and England is driven by UK policies. He announced identifying the optimum level of reserves for Dyfed-Powys Police with careful consideration. He also commented that the use of nearly all capital reserves in the mid-term financial plan will go towards critical infrastructure developments and therefore increase assets where appropriate. The Commissioner alerted Panel Members to a seminar at the end of month which provides the opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail.

 

The Panel agreed that the selling of assets and use of reserves is unsustainable but acknowledged that the Commissioner’s financial planning was prudent given the circumstances.

 

6.4

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“On page 69 of the statement of accounts, under the heading ‘segmental income’ was a figure of £1,067,000 from the ‘Resources Directorate’. Please could the Commissioner explain what this relates to? Is the Commissioner satisfied that every effort is being made to maximise the income streams that are available in order to reduce budgetary pressures and the burden on local tax payers?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“On page 69 of the statement of accounts, under the heading ‘segmental income’ was a figure of £1,067,000 from the ‘Resources Directorate’. Please could the Commissioner explain what this relates to? Is the Commissioner satisfied that every effort is being made to maximise the income streams that are available in order to reduce budgetary pressures and the burden on local tax payers?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner clarified that the item ‘segmental income’ includes a range of departments within the Director of Resources’ portfolio and reflects a new reporting requirement to align segmental reporting. The item includes figures such as the vehicle recovery scheme (£96,000), site-sharing income (£313,000), rent of buildings and land (£365,000), firearms licensing income (£278,000), and course and conference fees (£15,000).

 

The Commissioner stated that Dyfed-Powys Police are actively exploring income streams but more could be done in the identified areas. He reported exploring opportunities for further income generation from providing training courses to other forces and partner agencies. He pointed out that the Chief Constable’s Finance Gold sub-group will also review opportunities for income generation including estate development, collaboration and partnership working and charging arrangement for specialist police services. In addition, he emphasised lobbying of national discussions to review the vehicle recovery scheme and firearms licensing and work on grant funding opportunities. The latter, he reported, records recent successes regarding the Police Reform and Transformation Board Adverse Childhood Experience grant (£6.7 million across Wales) and the Home Office Serious Violence Strategy grant (£1 million for Wales, equating to around £200,000 for Dyfed-Powys).

 

6.5

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“Given the current government’s attitude to the funding of the police service nationally, has there been any indication that the Home Office top up grant for pensions is under threat? Given the potential for pensions liabilities to place a significant burden on the budget, are such matters taken into account when authorising early retirement? What steps are being taken to reduce the risks that these issues pose?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“Given the current government’s attitude to the funding of the police service nationally, has there been any indication that the Home Office top up grant for pensions is under threat? Given the potential for pensions liabilities to place a significant burden on the budget, are such matters taken into account when authorising early retirement? What steps are being taken to reduce the risks that these issues pose?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner replied that the Home Office has given no such indications. He pointed out, however, that draft Directions published by Her Majesty’s Treasury on the 6th September contain a significant increase (22.1% to 31.8%) in employer pension contributions for the Public Service Pension Schemes. Although the Home Office will cover part of the expenses, Dyfed-Powys Police would be faced with additional costs of £1.6 million in the 2019/20 budget and a further £2.5 in 2020/21.This would result in a major increase of Dyfed-Powys Police’s staff expenditures, which already comprise 80-85% of revenue budget spending. The Commissioner reported that this could result in a loss of 38 police officers in 2019/20 and 97 by 2020/21 or corresponding precept increases of 3.2% and 8.2% respectively. The Commissioner offered to forward a briefing note on the subject to the Panel. He assured that police services and associations across Wales and England, including Dyfed-Powys Police, are taking every opportunity to highlight and lobby on the issue. 

 

The Commissioner further clarified that while there are no current programmes for voluntary early retirement or redundancies, the mid-term financial plan for 2018/19 included provisions of this kind. It has been decided to include skills and competences as assessment criteria to ensure an effective skills mix in the Force. A review of the Force’s financial situation suggests that 17 full-time equivalent police officer positions will be approved for early retirement. Successful applicants will receive a severance payment but no earlier access to their pension. The Commissioner pointed out that the scheme had been developed with advice from Gwent Police, which already has a similar scheme in place. He also emphasised that while resourcing is ultimately the Chief Constable’s responsibility, they maintain a close dialogue on the matter.

 

The Panel welcomed the establishment of robust procedures for early retirement.

 

6.6

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“On page 81 of the statement of accounts in the column ‘total surplus assets’ there is an entry of £1,437,000 for ‘assets re-classified’. Please can the Commissioner confirm what this means and what assets they refer to?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS for 2017-2018

 

“On page 81 of the statement of accounts in the column ‘total surplus assets’ there is an entry of £1,497,000 for ‘assets re-classified’. Please can the Commissioner confirm what this means and what assets they refer to?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that the items classified as surplus assets are buildings, mainly former police stations. He further clarified that these assets comprise of:

 

·         £462,000 adjustments to property, plant and equipment relating to reclassifying  the former Probation building as the operational base for Carmarthen;

·         £ 975,000 reclassifications of assets which are likely to be sold within the year as ‘assets held for sale’.

 

The Commissioner reported that the buildings to be sold had become a financial drain in light of changes to operational policing and that he could provide list of those properties to the Panel. Additionally, the Commissioner noted that responsibility for the Force’s estate now falls within his Office.

 

6.7

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“What is your understanding of the operational independence of the Chief Constable and how does this impact in practical terms on how you hold the Chief Constable to account?”

 

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Minutes:

“What is your understanding of the operational independence of the Chief Constable and how does this impact in practical terms on how you hold the Chief Constable to account?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner reported holding the Chief Constable to account by asking him to demonstrate progress towards priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan and to consider recommendations made by the Commissioner. He also noted a considerable amount of collaboration regarding organisational issues such as finance and estates. He clarified that he cannot direct any Chief Constable staff nor order the Chief Constable to take any specific operational course of action. The Panel requested that the Commissioner communicate clearly towards members of the public the roles that he, the Chief Constable and the Panel play in the wider process. The Commissioner reported already undertaking measures to that effect, but agreed that the public requires further clarification.

 

6.8

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“Please explain in particular how you hold the Chief Constable to account in relation to Serious & Organised Crime, Counter terrorism, special operations and covert surveillance activities.”

 

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Minutes:

“Please explain in particular how you hold the Chief Constable to account in relation to Serious & Organised Crime, Counter terrorism, special operations and covert surveillance activities”

 

The Commissioner reported that the Home Office recently launched a Serious and Organised Crime Strategy, which forms the basis for holding the Chief Constable to account on these matters. He noted having recently reviewed the Force Control Strategy for Serious and Organised Crime, in particular regarding Class A drugs. He announced that, in response to community concerns across the Dyfed-Powys area, the issue of Class A drugs will be scrutinised in detail in an upcoming Deep Dive Report. The Commissioner emphasised that he and the Chief Constable are involved in collaborative initiatives on serious and organised crime with forces across Wales and England, such as the All Wales Policing Group, the Joint Firearms Unit and fortnightly Policing Board meetings. With regard to covert surveillance, the Commissioner explained that his oversight of the Chief Constable to relies on the Covert Surveillance Authority’s annual inspections of the Force. He commented that the most recent inspection report from April 2018 emphasised the Force’s high compliance and made only minor recommendations.

 

In response to a Panel question, the Commissioner clarified that his Office does not have formal responsibility for recruiting Deputy and Assistant Chief Constables. He reported declining the Chief Constable’s offer to be involved in the process. However, the Commissioner’s Chief of Staff was involved in the recruitment of the Deputy Chief Constable.

 

A member positively mentioned a Dyfed-Powys Police presentation on county lines and encouraged that the Panel receive the materials for information. The Commissioner emphasised that county lines is a key issue and offered providing the materials to the Panel.

 

In response to a question on the Force’s IT resilience, the Commissioner stated that the importance of the issue is reflected in significant IT expenses. He also pointed out his membership of the National Digital Policing Board and the Police ICT Board, which work collaboratively across Wales and England.

 

Regarding the risks of a no-deal Brexit, the Commissioner reported holding the Chief Constable to account ‘in readiness.’ He remarked that the Force is undertaking preparatory work in collaboration with partner agencies such as local resilience fora. He also pointed out that the Force will have access to a member of the All Wales Brexit team.

 

6.9

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“Please explain the governance structures that you have put in place  and how you ensure that they are strategically aligned to the main risks that the force faces”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“Please explain the governance structures that you have put in place and how you ensure that they are strategically aligned to the main risks that the force faces”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner reported that the Force’s governance structure was significantly streamlined in September 2017. He announced that the structure is currently being reviewed with regard to the central themes of risks and finance. The Commissioner offered circulating a scheme of the 2017 structure to the Panel.

 

6.10

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“How do you monitor the strength of the connection between your Police and Crime Plan and what operational officers actually do on a day to day basis? How do you ensure that operational officers are aware of your priorities?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“How do you monitor the strength of the connection between your Police and Crime Plan and what operational officers actually do on a day to day basis? How do you ensure that operational officers are aware of your priorities?”

 

The Commissioner responded that the Police and Crime Plan is underpinned by a delivery plan which sets out key deliverables in relation to the Plan’s four key priorities. He emphasised that the priorities are reinforced on many occasions including Chief Officer Roadshows, divisional performance meetings and informal engagement with staff.

 

6.11

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“How do you receive information from the force regarding its performance? Is it provided to you by the Chief Constable and his officers or do you and your officers have direct access to force management data. If the former , how do you satisfy yourself that the information you receive from the force is accurate?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“How do you receive information from the force regarding its performance? Is it provided to you by the Chief Constable and his officers or do you and your officers have direct access to force management data. If the former, how do you satisfy yourself that the information you receive from the force is accurate?”

 

The Commissioner explained that he receives regular performance updates in the form of Force reports and meetings with the Chief Constable and staff. He commented that his Office is able to collect certain performance information directly thorough Police systems and HMIC inspection reports. The Commissioner also pointed out that he has expert knowledge regarding the Force’s monthly statistical bulletin and compares the data with external sources such as the Office of National Statistics.

 

6.12

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“Please give examples of occasions where by holding the Chief Constable to account you have achieved positive outcomes for the people of Dyfed-Powys. Are there any occasions where you feel your actions have not achieved the desired aims and if there are, what have you done to address this?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“Please give examples of occasions where by holding the Chief Constable to account you have achieved positive outcomes for the people of Dyfed-Powys. Are there any occasions where you feel your actions have not achieved the desired aims and if there are, what have you done to address this?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that his Office’s scrutiny activities include volunteer schemes, which provide and independent reviews on the Force’s delivery, a quality assurance panel, which examines police contact with the public, and deep dive scrutiny projects. He suggested as notable positive examples:

 

·         An internal review of out of court disposals for youth sexual offences. This was undertaken by the Force in response to the Commissioner’s Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel, resulting in five recommendations to improve police officer’s handling of these case;

·         Effective oversight of commissioned contracts led to transferring an outsourced victim support team to an in-house Goleudy team. This saved £20,000, increased resources available for victim support and provided the service with full access to other Force departments and partner agencies.

·         Following the Brechfa bank holiday rave, a community meeting plus follow up meeting was held with the Chief Constable and Natural Resources Wales. This resulted in improvements to the action plan, prevention activities and operational response.

·         The development of the Rural Crime Strategy, which followed the Commissioner’s engagement with the agricultural industry and representatives of NFU and FUW.

 

The Commissioner referred to the Force’s current financial position as an area where his oversight has not achieved the desired aims.

 

6.13

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR WILLIAM POWELL

“Having had an opportunity to attend and observe a meeting of the Police Accountability Board, I think it is fair to say that (like the meetings of this Panel) the level of public attendance is very low. Would the Commissioner therefore agree that in the interests of openness and transparency, it would be far more appropriate for such meetings to be webcast (and therefore accessible to the vast majority of residents) even if that is at the expense of limiting the number of suitable venues at which they can be held?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“Having had an opportunity to attend and observe a meeting of the Police Accountability Board, I think it is fair to say that (like the meetings of this Panel) the level of public attendance is very low. Would the Commissioner therefore agree that in the interests of openness and transparency, it would be far more appropriate for such meetings to be webcast (and therefore accessible to the vast majority of residents) even if that is at the expense of limiting the number of suitable venues at which they can be held?”

 

The Commissioner reported that Police Accountability Board meetings were webcasted during the previous Commissioner’s term in office but achieved only limited viewing numbers. He announced, however, that webcasting will be reinstalled from May 2019 because attempts to engage with the public in person had not been very successful.

 

7.

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO THE COMMISSIONER:

Additional documents:

7.1

QUESTION FROM A.B.

“Is it time for our council tax to fund the police less and use it to fund private security companies to police our community instead, as I and my neighbours no longer have any confidence in the police at all, and no longer bother to report drug crime in our area?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“Is it time for our council tax to fund the police less and use it to fund private security companies to police our community instead, as I and my neighbours no longer have any confidence in the police at all, and no longer bother to report drug crime in our area?”

 

The Commissioner expressed his fundamental disagreement with the nature of the question. He pointed out that Dyfed-Powys Police scored higher than other forces in a recent survey on the public perception of police work in Wales and England, in particular with regard to confidence in policing. The Commissioner recounted several instances of the Force’s proactive take on increased drug crime. He reported that, between 2016 and 2018, these efforts had resulted in 117 convictions (totalling sentences of 421.5 years) of individuals trafficking drugs at a street value of approximately £3.6 million. The Commissioner acknowledged that some smaller local targeting may be required in addition and has raised the issue with the Chief Constable. He also emphasised that local information, provided by members of the public and additional CCTV provisions, is crucial for drug policing.

 

In response to a request for further information regarding the drug crime Deep Dive, the Commissioner stated that the work is underway and is being coordinated by his Chief of Staff. Methodologically, the deep dive report will be based on focus groups with staff members, and aims to identify the Force’s current drug crime strategy and its effectiveness. The Commissioner announced the presentation of results in January 2019.

 

The Panel asked how the Commissioner is addressing drug-related problems in the Llanelli’s main square. The Commissioner replied that CCTV has been put in place and the Town Centre Team reinstated. He noted that while the presence of the Dyfed Drug and Alcohol service in the area should be welcomed, location and management of the service may be subject to discussion.

 

7.2

QUESTION FROM E & C.

How do you, as Police Commissioner, monitor the work of Dyfed-Powys Police, in enforcing the speed limits that are in place outside schools, such as our own at Talgarth?”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

How do you, as Police Commissioner, monitor the work of Dyfed-Powys Police, in enforcing the speed limits that are in place outside schools, such as our own at Talgarth?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner offered to attend the school with the Powys Road Safety team to discuss issues further. He also reported engaging with Sergeant Ian Price, who is responsible for the GoSafe partnership that campaigns for 20mph speed limits outside schools on a national level.

7.3

QUESTION FROM C.D.

“What measures do you have in place as Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure that Dyfed Powys Police has a 'fit for purpose' policy to alert minors to the phenomenon of 'Stranger Danger?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“What measures do you have in place as Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure that Dyfed Powys Police has a 'fit for purpose' policy to alert minors to the phenomenon of 'Stranger Danger?”

 

The Commissioner replied that personal safety is a key topic of the All Wales School Liaison Programme, which is currently delivered by fourteen school community policy officers in the Dyfed-Powys area. He emphasised, however, that the focus of the programme has shifted from ‘Stranger Danger’ to alerting children to the danger of known and unknown adults inviting them to go somewhere unexpectedly. This reflects the fact that children are statistically at higher risk from individuals they already know and aims to make children less afraid of the world.

7.4

QUESTION FROM C.D.

“How regularly are you as Police Commissioner updated by the Chief Constable on incidents of this kind - and how is the effectiveness of liaison and communication with LEAs, schools and local communities, in the event of incidents being reported?”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“How regularly are you as Police Commissioner updated by the Chief Constable on incidents of this kind - and how is the effectiveness of liaison and communication with LEAs, schools and local communities, in the event of incidents being reported?”

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner explained that the Force’s Command and Control Centre investigates incidents of this kind and that neither he nor the Chief Constable are informed about them on a regular basis. The Panel suggested that children in small rural schools may be at higher risk because they are more trusting. The Commissioner responded that these schools are equally covered by school community officers, which provide all children with the personal skills to recognise and respond to risks. The Commissioner was then asked to enquire with the Chief Constable whether School Liaison Officers could provide additional programmes during school holidays. He agreed to forward the message, but cautioned that School Liaison Officers tend to be employed in other areas during summer holidays as these are peak demand times.

 

8.

PANEL PRIORITY 3 - SCRUTINY OF THE POLICE AND CRIME PLAN pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel, in accordance with the provisions of Sections 12 and 28 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, received for consideration a report from the Police and Crime Commissioner setting out the progress being made in implementing the Police and Crime Plan.

 

The following questions/issues were raised on the report:

 

A query for further information was made regarding the statutory compliance of estates. The progress report notes a delay in compliance processing due to staff reorganisation, grading the item as ‘not compliant’. The Police and Crime Commissioner clarified that the reason for the grading lies with a delay in getting information from suppliers. He emphasised that the report predicts a rapid increase in the compliance rate, with full compliance being reached within a month. A query was raised regarding the Commissioner’s confidence in the robustness of these predictions. The Police and Crime Commissioner admitted that the predictions are based on very recent information and still await detailed scrutiny by his executive team. The Commissioner’s Chief of Staff added that management information provides a level of assurance for the predictions.

 

A comment was made regarding the ‘not compliant’ item referring to the register for risks to the Police and Crime Commissioner. It was suggested that the grading reflects the fact that the Force had failed to implement over 200 HMRC recommendations before the appointment of the new Chief Constable, and that this failure should have been addressed by the Joint Audit Committee. In response, the Police and Crime Commissioner clarified that the item in question does not refer to the Force’s risk register, but to risks in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office such as data protection. The Commissioner emphasised that the Force’s risk register item would have been graded as fully compliant.

 

In relation to the Engagement Strategy and Action Plan, concerns were expressed that the Commissioner’s presence at rural summer shows only engages one type of community in the Dyfed-Powys area. It was suggested that the Commissioner diversify his public engagement and tailor message towards different communities. The Commissioner replied that an Engagement Team responsible for addressing the matter had been facing reorganisation and staffing issues. He also emphasised his involvement in various engagement activities in different parts of the Dyfed-Powys area and noted that progress towards higher compliance is underway. 

 

The Panel questioned how the Commissioner will be weighting the potentially conflicting aims of maximising value for money versus spending as locally as possible, especially with regard to the estates function. The Commissioner acknowledged that cost effectiveness is crucial but stated that local companies should be promoted unless trade-offs in cost-efficiency are too detrimental. He also announced that significant estates projects, such as the Carmarthenshire custody project, will provide local employment opportunities.

 

With regard to the issue of domestic abuse, concerns were expressed on whether there are sufficient provisions for offering services to people without internet access. In particular, it was asked whether police officers can supply hardcopy information when called to incidents of domestic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE COMMISSIONER pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel received, for information, a report detailing the decisions made by the Police and Crime Commissioner for the period 16th August - 12th October 2018. The following issues were raised:

 

It was noted that the contract for the Policing Education Qualifications Framework had been awarded to the University of South Wales. The Panel asked whether the University of Wales Trinity Saint David had been taken into consideration. The Commissioner responded that the award resulted from a robust and competitive regional tender process.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner pointed out an inaccuracy relating to the CWVYS Grant Agreement. He clarified that his decision in September had been to extend the original agreement until March 2019 at a value of £13,750.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s decision be received and supported.

 

10.

PANEL PRIORITY 2 - HOW THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER HOLDS THE CHIEF CONSTABLE TO ACCOUNT pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel received a report on the requirements of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, which placed a statutory responsibility on the Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account. This was undertaken at meetings of the Police Accountability Board. The Panel noted that the last two Police Accountability Board meetings had been held on the 6th August and the 5th November 2018 and that notes of the meeting on the 6th August, attended by Councillor Powell and Professor Roffe, were appended to the report.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 


11.

PANEL PRIORITY 3 - SCRUTINY OF THE POLICE AND CRIME PLAN - CALL FOR EVIDENCE FROM CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 147 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel wished to satisfy itself that the Well-Being of Future Generations Act Plan for Carmarthenshire and the Police and Crime Plan for Dyfed-Powys were consistent with each other and served to promote collaborative working between public services throughout the country. As part of this process, the Panel invited Councillor Cefin Campbell, Executive Board Member for Community Safety, to attend the meeting for the purpose of setting out the Council’s view on this issue. Cefin Campbell gave evidence on several questions posed by the Panel:

 

1. Whether he considers there is any need to review the Police and Crime Plan in light of the changing nature of the threats to our communities.

 

Councillor Campbell reported being overall satisfied that the plan meets the needs of Carmarthenshire. He pointed out that the plan’s four main priorities cover major operational issues linked to crime and disorder in the area. He welcomed the Police and Crime Commissioner’s commitment to reviewing the plan annually, noting that this would enable adequate responses to quickly changing threats. The Councillor suggested that the focus should be on adapting operational matters, overarching strategic aims could likely be retained. The Councillor also informed Panel Members that operational matters are reviewed with partner input (including the Public Services Board) on a regular basis, ensuring targeting of resources is based on current need.

 

2. Whether he considers there is any need to review the plan in order to better align it with the well-being plan for Carmarthenshire to ensure the needs of Carmarthenshire residents are addressed as effectively as possible.

 

The Councillor informed that there are two relevant points of reference for Carmarthenshire: the well-being plan of Carmarthenshire Country Council and the well-being plan of the Public Services Board (PSB). He noted positively that none of the thirteen well-being objectives identified in the Council’s plan are crime or disorder related, reflecting the comparatively low rates of recorded crime in the Dyfed-Powys area. He identified two of the four key objectives in the PSB plan, Early Intervention and Strong Connections, as relating to crime and disorder and pointed out that both objectives are recognised in the Police and Crime Plan. The Councillor concluded that the Police and Crime Plan aligns closely with the well-being plans.

 

A query was raised asking whether the plans made any reference to police officer’s close involvement with people with mental health issues. Cefin Campbell pointed out that several general objectives in the plans relate to mental health issues. The Police and Crime Commissioner added that the Police Force has infrastructure in place to address these well-being objectives, for example the Adverse Childhood Experience programme for which it received Welsh Government funding.

 

3. Whether he considers there is any need to change how the Police, Council and other public sector stakeholders collaborate in Carmarthenshire in order to assist in effective delivery of the Police and Crime Plan.

 

The Councillor emphasised that a strong working relationship between these organisations already exist, as exemplified by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

THE REPORTS RELATING TO THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE NOT FOR PUBLICATION AS THEY CONTAIN EXEMPT INFORMATION AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH 12 OF PART 4 OF SCHEDULE 12A TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) (WALES) ORDER 2007. IF, FOLLOWING THE APPLICATION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST, THE BOARD RESOLVES PURSUANT TO THE ACT TO CONSIDER THESE ITEMS IN PRIVATE, THE PUBLIC WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING DURING SUCH CONSIDERATION.

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) (Wales) Order 2007, that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item as the report contained exempt information as defined in paragraph 12 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

13.

COMPLAINT AGAINST THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the application of the public interest test it was UNANIMOULSY RESOLVED, pursuant to the Act referred to in Minute 12 above, to consider this matter in private, as disclosure would (a) place in the public domain sensitive personal information about a member of the public and (b) Part 4 of the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 provide that the Panel shall not publish the outcome of any complaint until both parties have had an opportunity to comment upon the publication of that outcome.

 

The Panel received a report on a complaint recorded against the Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

 

13.1   To note the complaint.

13.2   That the Panel takes no further action in relation to the complaint as it is the Information Commissioner who has regulatory responsibility for data protection legislation.

 

14    ANY OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS

The Police and Crime Commissioner reported a self-referral to the Information Commissioner for having his car broken into in London. The Police and Crime Commissioner reassured that no confidential materials had been left in the car.