Agenda and minutes

Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel
Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Chamber - Aberaeron County Hall - Aberaeron. View directions

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND PERSONAL MATTERS

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Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

The Panel was advised that, due to technical difficulties, the meeting would not be webcast.

 

VARIATION OF BUSINESS

The Panel agreed to vary the order of the business on the agenda so at to bring forward Item 10 (Mental Health and Policing) to discuss after Item 7 (Questions on Notice from Members of the Public to the Commissioner) and Item 14 (Anti-Social Behaviour) to discuss after Item 8 (HMICFRS PEEL REPORT).

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interests made at the meeting.

3.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR FOR THE PANEL pdf icon PDF 359 KB

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Minutes:

The Chair thanked Panel Members and Officers for their work and commitment during the year.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that

3.1.    Councillor Alun Lloyd-Jones be appointed Chair of the Panel for the forthcoming calendar year;

3.2.    Professor Ian Roffe be appointed Vice-Chair of the Panel for the forthcoming calendar year.

4.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 26TH APRIL 2019 pdf icon PDF 325 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel meeting held on the 26th April 2019 be signed as a correct record.

 

5.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES (IF ANY)

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Minutes:

Minute Item 7 – Drug Related Offences

In response to a query on Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs), the Commissioner advised that there had been no further developments because the use of these facilities would require authorisation by the Home Office.

6.

QUESTION ON NOTICE FROM PANEL MEMBERS TO THE COMMISSIONER

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6.1

QUESTION FROM COUNCILLOR KEITH EVANS

I was scanning a Law Society report recently and came across a piece that referred to the use of a Harm Assessment Risk tool by various Police Forces.

1.    Could you confirm, Commissioner, what use Dyfed Powys Police currently makes of such algorithms?

2.    Whether their procurement and use currently complies with the seven recommendations contained in the Commission report?

3.    In the event that Dyfed Powys Police are not compliant, what steps will you take as the Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account ensuring that they will be compliant in the future?

4.    In page eight of your Police and Crime Plan, Commissioner, you highlight your commitment to maximising the use of technology. In hindsight, should this be caveated to take account of the risks identified in the Commission’s report?

 

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Minutes:

“I was scanning a Law Society report recently and came across a piece that referred to the use of a Harm Assessment Risk tool by various Police Forces.

 

1.    Could you confirm, Commissioner, what use Dyfed-Powys Police currently makes of such algorithms?

2.    Whether their procurement and use currently complies with the seven recommendations contained in the Commission report?

3.    In the event that Dyfed Powys Police are not compliant, what steps will you take as the Police and Crime Commissioner to hold the Chief Constable to account ensuring that they will be compliant in the future?

4.    In page eight of your Police and Crime Plan, Commissioner, you highlight your commitment to maximising the use of technology. In hindsight, should this be caveated to take account of the risks identified in the Commission’s report?”

 

Response from the Police and Crime Commissioner

The Commissioner advised that Dyfed-Powys Police was currently using algorithms for risk assessment and was also exploring their potential for predicting the use of police resources. A PhD researcher at Cardiff University had been appointed in 2013/14 to develop these algorithms for Dyfed-Powys Police. Research results had been published but further work was required to render them operational. On the question of risks, the Commissioner advised that the Force was developing a risk-assessment tool modelled on the ALGO-CARE framework used by Durham Constabulary, which required that algorithms in a policing context should be lawful, accurate, challengeable, responsible and explainable.

 

It was suggested that there were particular risks in relation to the potential to link facial recognition with data recognition. The Commissioner advised that such risks would have to be carefully considered, however the Force’s CCTV was not currently using facial recognition or artificial intelligence.

7.

QUESTION ON NOTICE FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO THE COMMISSIONER

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7.1

QUESTION FROM R.R.

What are the plans to appoint additional police officers following the huge increase in the police precept recently? In particular, how many officers and at which locations?

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Minutes:

“What are the plans to appoint additional police officers following the huge increase in the police precept recently? In particular, how many officers and at which locations?”

 

Response from the Police and Crime Commissioner

The Commissioner advised that a precept increase had been necessary to address ongoing financial pressures on the police budget, in particular due to increased pension contributions, and that Dyfed-Powys still had the lowest precept in Wales. Dyfed-Powys Police was currently employing 1.135 police officers, which was somewhat below the Force’s average of 1.145 police officers but represented a lower reduction in officer numbers than many other police forces. The Commissioner further advised that police efficiency was not merely a matter of officer numbers but the overall force staffing structure. The force was increasingly employing other staff members as a cost-effective means to tackle cybercrime and other investigative work traditionally undertaken by warranted officers. Overall, staff numbers were sufficient and had increased by 17.5% over the last years.

 

A query was raised in relation to staffing figures in different parts of the Dyfed-Powys area. In response, the Commissioner advised that while all wards were working towards establishment figures, recruitment and retention was more challenging in some areas such as North Powys and North Ceredigion. The Force was launching recruitment and transfer schemes to address these issues. He further advised that the Force was able to use resources in a flexible manner to respond to major events and population fluctuations due to tourism.

 

In response to a query, the Commissioner advised that the Force was currently employing 148 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). PCSO numbers had remained unchanged and the posts were 50% funded by Welsh Government grants. The Force was currently reviewing the management structure for neighbourhood policing to include directly aligned sergeants.

8.

MENTAL HEALTH AND POLICING [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 10] pdf icon PDF 366 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel considered a report from the Police and Crime Commissioner on the impact of mental health issues on the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan. The Chief Constable, who was the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for Mental Health and Policing, advised that the main issue in this context was the continuing demand that mental health related issues placed on police services in the Dyfed-Powys area. Effective collaboration of police and mental health services in the ongoing triage scheme was key in addressing these issues, however the scheme had been reduced from four to three days per week. The triage scheme provided immediate access to mental health records and care plans to improve the response to vulnerable people and carry out welfare checks or direct them to mental health resources. The Chief Constable further advised that current funding arrangements were not sustainable, with £1.9m of triage funding in Wales coming from police budgets. The Commissioner added that he and his counterparts in other areas of Wales were lobbying the Welsh Government to manage the pressures created by mental health related issues.

 

In relation to the review of the Mental Health Act, the Chief Constable advised that he had supported two main issues in his role on the advisory board:

1.    A complete ban on using police cells for housing individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Instead, health boards and trusts would have to be equipped with appropriate facilities;

2.    The transport of these individuals in private ambulances rather than police vehicles.

He advised that legislation on the revised Act was expected in 2022.

 

Several Panel Members welcomed the Chief Constable’s recommendation against the use of police cells.

 

In response to a query, the Chief Constable advised that there would be Crisis Care Cafes and sanctuaries in all counties in the Dyfed-Powys area.

 

In response to a query, the Chief Constable advised that they were regularly consulting with mental health charities such as Hafal, Gofal and Mind Cymru, however further avenues for collaborations, for instance with regional Public Health Boards, could be explored.

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.

9.

HMICFRS PEEL REPORT [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 8] pdf icon PDF 442 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel considered a report on the most recent PEEL assessment carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

 

The Commissioner advised that the report had been published in May 2019 and was based on a reference period of October to November 2018. The report presented a mixed picture with one area of performance (effectiveness) being evaluated as good and two areas (efficiency and legitimacy) as requiring improvement. This represented a shift from the previous report, which had found that only one area (efficiency) required improvement.

 

The Commissioner advised that, upon having sight of the draft report, he and the Chief Constable had expressed a number of concerns in relation to the methodology and evidence base of the assessment and highlighted several inaccuracies in the draft report. This had been done both in writing and in personal correspondence with representatives of HMICFRS. As some of the highlighted concerns and inaccuracies had not been addressed in the final report, further letters had been written to HMICFRS and later to the Home Office, but no substantive response had been received.

 

Several Panel Members suggested that there were some inconsistencies in the report. The Panel expressed concerns over these inconsistencies and HMICFRS’s communication in relation to the issues highlighted by the Commissioner and Chief Constable.

 

In response to a query on the longer-term strategy of the Force, the Commissioner advised that he had asked the Chief Constable to provide a vision for policing up to 2030 which should be aligned with the HR function. This vision would complement the Vision for Policing 2025 developed by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC). The Chief Constable advised that the Force’s Continuous Improvement Team was developing strategic HR and demand work under consideration of best practice from other police forces and other organisations.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

10.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 14] pdf icon PDF 432 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel welcomed to the meeting Dr Nia Edwards-Behi and Jomarie Turner, two representatives from the West Wales Anti-Racism Network who presented evidence in relation to their experience of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and the authorities’ response to it. Dr Edwards-Behi advised that the network was run by volunteers and had been founded in 2017 in response to a parade using blackface at Aberaeron Carnival. Dr Edwards-Behi advised that racism and racist harassment was not always taken seriously and that it could be difficult to think of racist acts as anti-social acts breaking the law. The reason for this was that racist harassment was often compounded of numerous small-scale incidents (microaggressions) that were sometimes dismissed as “banter” but could have a significant impact on targeted individuals. Dr Edwards-Behi further advised that it would be desirable to have a dedicated line or text messaging service for reporting racist incidents in environments where it was not safe to speak on the phone.

 

Both witnesses reported incidents from personal experience that they felt had not been dealt with adequately by the police and other authorities. In one case involving offences against a child, one witness reported having been passed around between the police, social services and other agencies without receiving a substantive response. The witness stated that she felt nobody had been able to advise her on the matter and that there had been a lack of clarity as to which authority was responsible for dealing with incidents of this kind. Panel Members advised the witness to contact her local County Councillor for immediate help and guidance and provided contact details. The Commissioner advised that the victim support service Goleudy and the Force’s support officer for hate crime should also be able to provide advice. He asked to Chief Constable to undertake a review into the police response to the incident.

 

The Commissioner advised that the Force was encouraging the public to report incidents of this nature at any scale. His office would try to arrange a meeting with the West Wales Anti-Racism Network to discuss expected police responses to racist incidents and ASB. They would also explore the suggested text messaging service.

 

RESOLVED that the evidence provided by the members of the West Wales Anti-Racism Network be received.

11.

DRAFT ANNUAL REPORT OF THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 9] pdf icon PDF 358 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel consider the draft annual report of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Commissioner advised that his office was looking to produce a video version of this year’s report and welcomed feedback by the 12th July 2019.

 

In response to a query on the impact of Scrutiny Deep Dives, the Commissioner advised that an evaluation report could be provided to the Panel for its next meeting. The evaluation report would explore to what extent recommendations from the Deep Dive assessment had been implemented.

 

The Panel raised several queries and recommendations in relation to the draft annual report, including the following:

-        It was suggested that the report could make further reference to the Commissioner’s work with the Panel, for instance through directing readers to the Panel’s Annual Report;

-        A suggestion was made that the report could be restructured to reflect more closely the priorities of the public.

 

In response, the Commissioner advised that a link to the Panel’s annual report would be included together with an image of today’s Panel meeting. He also advised that hard copies of the final report would be circulated.

 

RESOLVED that the draft annual report be received.

12.

DECISIONS TAKEN BY THE COMMISSIONER [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 11] pdf icon PDF 266 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel received, for information, a report detailing the decisions made by the Commissioner for the period 27th April to 26th June 2019.

 

In response to a query on the Commissioner’s decision to not contribute to a Modern Day Slavery Helpline, the Commissioner advised that the requested amount of £10.000 had been deemed too high, however he would consider supporting the service with a smaller contribution if this became available in the future.

 

A question was raised in relation to the Commissioner’s investment into community activities. The Commissioner advised that the decisions had been concluded yesterday and a full decision log would be available in the future.

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.

13.

FEEDBACK FROM THE POLICING ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD ON THE 7TH MAY 2019 IN LLANDRINDOD WELLS [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 12] pdf icon PDF 362 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel received a report on the Policing Accountability Board (PAB) meeting held on the 7th May 2019 in Llandrindod Wells. Panel Members who had been in attendance at the meeting advised that the Facebook live interaction had been very popular and that there had been a particular interest around issues like Crimestoppers.

 

In response to a query, the Commissioner advised that he would hold Facebook live sessions after every PAB meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.

14.

FEEDBACK FROM THE CEREDIGION RURAL CRIME MEETING [FORMERLY AGENDA ITEM 13] pdf icon PDF 365 KB

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Minutes:

The Panel received a report on the Ceredigion Rural Crime meeting. Councillor Lloyd Edwards thanked the Commissioner, Councillor Keith Evans, Councillor Alun Lloyd-Jones and Professor Ian Roffe for attending the meeting. He advised that attendance had been affected by the nice weather but representatives from the Farmers Union Wales had been present. Attendees had been informed on the Rural Crime Strategy and the work of the Commissioner and Panel. Issues raised at the meeting included sheep-worrying and possible responses and support in relation to rural crime. A follow-up meeting was planned for October and it was hoped that this could be broadcast on S4C and local news.

 

The Panel thanks Councillor Edwards for his work in engaging with local communities and making them aware of the work of the Panel.

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.