Agenda and minutes

Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel
Friday, 15th February, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: County Hall - Llandrindod Wells, Powys - Llandrindod Wells, Powys. View directions

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND PERSONAL MATTERS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Keith Evans (Ceredigion County Council), Ken Howell (Carmarthenshire County Council) and Robert Summons (Pembrokeshire County Council).

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

3.

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no questions on notice from Panel Members or members of the public had been received.

4.

PANEL PRIORITY 3 - REVIEW OF THE POLICE AND CRIME PLAN: RESPONSES FROM CEREDIGION, PEMBROKESHIRE AND POWYS pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Having invited the unitary authorities in the Dyfed-Powys area to give their views on a number of points in relation to the review of the Police and Crime Plan, the panel considered responses from the Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys County Councils. The Panel was advised that Carmarthenshire County Council had not been invited to provide a written response because the Executive Board Member for Community Safety had given evidence in relation to the Police and Crime Plan at a previous meeting (Item 11 of the meeting on the 16th November 2018 refers).

 

In response to a query regarding Ceredigion County Council’s response, the Police and Crime Commissioner advised that his Office and the Police Force were attending the Public Services Board and Community Safety Partnership meetings on a regular basis to minimise the risk of duplication.

 

The Commissioner expressed his disappointment with the response from Pembrokeshire County Council written by the Chair of the Safer Pembrokeshire Community Safety Partnership. The letter suggested there were shortcomings in relation to how to the Police and Crime Plan approached serious and organised crime and in relation to how the Commissioner engaged with the Community Safety Partnership. With regard to the issue of serious and organised crime, the Commissioner advised that Priority 3 of the Police and Crime Plan covered this as a key issue, including drug-related crime like ‘county lines’. In relation to Community Safety Partnership (CSP), the Commissioner stated that he had made deliberate efforts to strengthen collaboration since early 2017, was meeting CSP managers on a quarterly basis and had made funding available for CSP activities, including £34k for work on online bullying in Pembrokeshire.

 

The Commissioner pointed out that, in his letter, the Chair of Safer Pembrokeshire acknowledged that he had not been able to consult with partners in the Community Safety Partnership and that the content may therefore not reflect the view of all partners. At Panel Members’ request, the Commissioner agreed to send a copy of his response letter to the Panel.

 

With regard to the response from Powys County Council, the Commissioner advised that his Office was considering to provide an additional £40k to tackle the issues of ‘county lines’. He cautioned that efforts to make savings through co-locating Police and Council Services may not always be long-term sustainable and might result in reduced police visibility.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the responses be received.

5.

PANEL PRIORITY 3 - REVIEW OF THE POLICE AND CRIME PLAN pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prof Ian Roffe provided the Panel with a report on the review of the Police and Crime Plan outlining the context of the Plan, review activities by the Police and Crime Panel and the current status of the Plan. The Panel was advised that the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 placed a statutory duty upon the Police and Crime Commissioner to review the Police and Crime Plan in light of any recommendations made by the Police and Crime Panel.

 

The Panel thanked Prof Roffe for his extensive and informative report. The Panel welcomed to the Commissioner’s suggestion that the Chief Constable attend a Panel meeting later this year to provide an operational perspective on the delivery of the Plan.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report on the review of the Police and Crime Plan be received.

6.

PANEL PRIORITY 2 - POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD pdf icon PDF 122 KB

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Minutes:

Mrs Helen Thomas provided the Panel with a report on the Police Accountability Board meeting held on the 12th February 2019 at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, Ammanford. The Commissioner’s engagement with Sixth Form pupils at the meeting was positively mentioned. The Panel thanked Mrs Thomas for her thorough and informative report.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report on the Police Accountability Board held on 12th February 2019 be noted.

7.

PANEL PRIORITY 2 - HOW THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER HOLDS THE CHIEF CONSTABLE TO ACCOUNT pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor William Powell provided the Panel with a report on how the Police and Crime Commissioner holds the Chief Constable to account. The report was appended with a list of criteria in relation to exempt information as set out in Sections 21-44 of the Freedom of Information Act, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and Section 13 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act. It was noted that, while the Police Accountability Board meetings were held in public and more recently also webcast, the Panel had expressed concern about the non-disclosure of reports relating to these meetings. The report therefore recommended that the Commissioner adopt the criteria set out on the appendix. Panel Members thanked Councillor Powell for his extensive and insightful report.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED

7.1.    To note the report;

7.2.    To recommend to the Commissioner that he formally adopt the proposed criteria for the publication of Police Accountability Board papers.

8.

HMICFRS REPORT ON POLICING AND MENTAL HEALTH pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered an HMICFRS report on Policing and Mental Health, published in November 2018 and appended with the Welsh Government’s Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat. The report described the current role of police forces in dealing with people with mental health problems and set out five main recommendations. The Panel was advised that the item had been tabled to inform the Panel’s future work, in response to Panel Members voicing concern over the issue of policing and mental health on several occasions.

 

Several comment were made stating that capacity issues and long travel times to access ‘places of safety’ were putting people with mental health problems at risk. It was suggested that additional places of safety should be provided to avoid having to retain individuals with mental health issues in police custody without supervision from trained professionals.

 

The Commissioner advised that the Chief Constable was the national lead on mental health issues and was aware of the issues regarding places of safety. Resources had been put in place to continue the Mental Health Triage Scheme of Police Officers and professionals from the Hywel Dda University Health Board. The Commissioner also advised that he was lobbying HMI and the Welsh Government to use additional mental health funding to ease pressures on police services.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be noted.

9.

NATIONAL RURAL CRIME SURVEY pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report on the National Rural Crime Survey 2018. The report was published by the National Rural Crime Network, an organisation of Police and Crime Commissioners and other rural stakeholders aiming to improve rural policing and its central government funding arrangements. The report identified ten key findings relating to public perceptions and fear of crime, under-reporting of crime and the perceived lack of support and understanding.

 

The Commissioner advised that the Dyfed-Powys Force had not taken part in the survey due to its cost implications, however the Force’s Rural Crime Strategy had been informed by local research undertaken by Aberystwyth University.

 

A number of questions and comments were raised in relation to the report, including the following:

 

-        Panel Members suggested that there was a need for increased police presence in rural areas to tackle problems such as livestock rustling. The Commissioner responded that the Rural Crime Team was working in collaboration with the North Wales force to address these issues. A comment was made welcoming the Force’s engagement with rural communities at events such as livestock markets.

-        It was suggested that the Commissioner could raise awareness of the fact that farming communities may be in need of additional mental health and welfare support after Brexit.

-        A comment was made suggesting that improved road infrastructure, such as the Newtown bypass, had the negative side effect of making rural areas more easily accessible to criminals from outside. The Commissioner responded that the Force was using an extensive automatic number plate recognition system and intelligence links with the North Wales Rural Crime Team to tackle this problem.

-        With regard to the issue of communicating and establishing intelligence links with a dispersed rural population, the Commissioner responded that the Force was using a Dyfed-Powys Police messaging service alongside other social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be noted.

10.

IOPC OPERATIONAL ADVICE NOTE pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered an operational advice note from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). The note was intended to support police and crime panels in handling complaints and conduct matters recorded against police and crime commissioners. The Panel was advised that relevant legislation had not changed since 2012 and the note was for information only.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the IOPC operational advice note be received.