Police Accountability Board Minutes 11 April 2023

Welcome and introductions



PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)

Louise Sheridan (LS)

Stuart McCartney (SMc)

CC Nick Adderley (NA)

DCC Ivan Balhatchet (IB)

ACC Ash Tuckley (AT)

Colleen Rattigan (CR)

Sarah Crampton (SA)


  • SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies were accepted from Nicci Marzec and Paul Fell.


Previous minutes and action log

  • Minutes of previous meeting were circulated with the meeting papers. No changes have been requested.

Outstanding actions from the Action Log have been updated.


Shown on Agenda but being dealt with jointly by Police attendance at end of Fire accountability board meeting

Manchester Arena report


The Commissioner requests a jointly authored and delivered paper from the Chief Fire Officer and Chief Constable relating to the Manchester Arena report.

The paper should

  • Outline the key learning points from that report
  • Demonstrate the work that is ongoing within both organisations to remedy any findings or recommendations from that report
  • Articulate to the Commissioner where and how this work is being completed on a joint basis between the two organisations.

Provide assurances that there is an effective process in place in both organisations to implement the learning and recommendations

  • A joint paper was presented by Area Commander Phil Pells and Supt. Jen Helm.
  • The Manchester Arena Inquiry (MAI) is an independent public inquiry, established on the 22nd October 2019 by the Home Secretary. The purpose of the inquiry is to investigate the deaths of the victims of the 2017 attack.
  • The (MAI) findings were published in three volumes:
  • Volume 1 (Security for the Arena), Volume 2 (Emergency Response) and Volume 3 (Preventability).
  • Volume 2 of the report is concerned with the emergency response to the explosion which contains a total of one hundred and forty-nine recommendations.
  • A gap analysis has been completed to establish ownership, priority ratings and theme, for example Command and Control.
  • Of those one hundred and forty-nine recommendations:
  • Fifty-three are for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service;
  • Sixty-five are assigned to Northamptonshire Police;
  • Fourteen are relevant for the Local Resilience Forum.
  • Seventeen recommendations are considered as not applicable or overlap the agencies.
  • A number of key themes have been identified and these will be scrutinised and monitored via a JESIP JOL (Joint Operational Learning) action note to Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance and Local Resilience Forums.
  • The Commissioner asked if the joint briefing note had been done.
  • Phil Pells advised that the JESIP JOL has not yet been published. The NPCC have taken a strong position nationally whereas the NFCC have taken a more local view – there is a risk so let’s do something about it.
  • Phil Pells confirmed that in Northants they have identified where the themes apply to police and where they apply to fire.
  • Some are only applicable to fire, and some are only applicable to police however both Services are working collectively to support each other.
  • The Commissioner praised this approach adding that it provides a real opportunity for sharing and better embedding of learning across both organisations.
  • All recommendations made in the report were accepted by Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and both have been proactive in their response.
  • The first Joint Operations Learning Forum (JOLF) meeting took place in November to review and action identified recommendations.
  • Progress towards the one hundred and forty-nine recommendations was presented in an MAI Action Dashboard and discussed in detail.
  • It was accepted that a number of recommendations made in the report are awaiting direction from the Home Office, College of Policing, HMICFRS and NPCC. Whilst both Northamptonshire Police and Fire Rescue are not able to immediately implement those, a gap analysis has been completed and where possible, measures have been introduced.
  • The Commissioner commented that he would like to see a tabletop or full MTA exercise undertaken to test our emergency response.
  • Phil Pells advised that some MTA exercises have been completed but they are costly and would require additional funding to do more.
  • The Commissioner asked about overall governance.
  • It was confirmed that both Phil and Jen co-chair the JOLF but overarching governance sits under the Inter-Operability Board.
  • An Action Plan tracker is monitored and actioned at the monthly JOLF and the MAI Action Log can also be accessed by authorised Local Resilience Forum partners on Resilience Direct, enabling accessibility and transparency.
  • ACC Tuckley confirmed that there is lots of really good work going on and that is all captured with the Joint Interoperability Board.
  • A key objective is understanding what learning can be applied to other responses. This includes looking at how emergency responders can share templates and best practice.
  • There was a discussion about training and exercising with reference to ‘the Scottish model’ with links into LRF and awareness of the NILO role.
  • The Commissioner asked if there was any investment that should be made into the Control room to make it easier, for example commonality of systems.
  • There was a discussion about Airbox systems (specialist software which helps users to visualise their environment and share mission critical data)
  • Airbox is used by the ambulance service and by police firearms however NFRS do not currently have access to this system
  • Fire do not have this system and discussions are being had with the LRF to see if any funding is available. The cost of this enhanced capability is currently unknown but is being explored.
  • Through appropriate sharing agreements the Fire NILO have access to Firearms airwaves.
  • It was confirmed at a national level there is no such mechanism for sharing information.
  • There was a discussion about the LRF which is in good shape, functioning well and working together following a change of governance, leadership, and structures.
  • ACC Tuckley now Chairs the LRF.
  • Lincolnshire is considered to have the best LRF and a recent visit to them has demonstrated that our LFR is now on parr with them.
  • ACC Tuckley advised that there have been lots of conversations on governance of LRF nationally.
  • There was a discussion about communication issues and the need to follow JESIP principles.
  • ACC Tuckley reiterated the need to invest in testing exercises. Front line staff change so it is important to ensure officers are suitable trained and confident when responding in a crisis situation.
  • There was a discussion about Hydra systems and immersive learning.
  • This forms part of the capital refresh strategy to look at where this facility is based and how it can be improved.
  • The MAI Inquiry and recommendations will also inform wider organisational learning through the Strategic Threat and Risk Assessments. Assessment.
  • The Commissioner asked if the Chief Constable was assured that the Force Control Room was suitable prepared in the event of a MTA.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed that he was and happy that the command structure in place could grip.
  • The Chief Fire Officer confirmed Firefighters are more aware of JESIP now and he is confident in their ability to respond.
  • There was a discussion about NHS processes. In the event of a full-scale emergency incident, a logger is sent to log everything that is said. The Chief Fire Officer suggested that a similar facility would be useful for police and fire.
  • There was a discussion about the role of firefighters in an MTA. The Chief Fire Officer advised that two fire authorities have introduced additional payments for this as it is not technically covered within the firefighter role map.
  • Having said that, the Chief Fire Officer was confident that the size, closeness and working relationship in Northants would mean that in the event of an MTA, the Chief Constable could pick up the phone and ask for support from firefighters and they would respond without hesitation.
  • Overall, good progress has been made against the recommendations, supporting further interoperability opportunities and in some cases processes and procedures already implemented.
  • This is very much a joint service approach across both Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire Rescue Service.


Assurance statement:

The Commissioner welcomed the joint report and sought assurance in relation to the gap analysis work that relevant individuals have been identified to ensure all work streams are owned and accountable.

 The Commissioner then suggested that a full exercise be undertaken in the county, and he was prepared to provide funding to stress test the structures that have been put in place, relating to a marauding terrorist attack.

 The Commissioner also placed on record the fact that he was pleased with the work that had been delivered and questioned how this could be built upon to deliver additional benefits.

 The Commissioner was assured that both organisations were working well on this and that the services have responded to the report in a through and professional manner.


Strategic Outcomes Requirements Letter


The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner agreed a Strategic Outcomes Requirements letter with the Chief Constable as part of the budget setting process for 2022/2023.

The Commissioner requires a report outlining progress against the contents of this letter at year end of 2022/2023

  • The Chief Constable advised that of the nine strategic objectives, seven have progressed really well; two are currently off track.
  • These are objective 5 – consideration with the Chief Fire officer to deliver a joint proposal for Public Safety officers and objective 8 to deliver a sustainable strategy and plan to reduce the average examination time for electronic devices.
  • On objective 5, the Chief Constable confirmed that ACC Tuckley is working at pace on a plan for how to deliver Public Safety officers.
  • The Chief Fire Officer has been to Devon and Cornwall to see how the Emergency tri-responders are utilised.
  • The Chief Fire Officer has confirmed his agreement to a trial in South Northants
  • It was agreed that ACC Tuckley will share the Chief Fire Officers report with the Chief Constable so that he can complete his review.
  • The Commissioner expressed his disappointment at the lack of progress and reiterated his desire for this scheme to be piloted in one or two areas of the county.
  • He also confirmed that should police and fire fail to reach an agreement on how this might work he will look to pilot this with either NNC or WNC

Action – NA to consider the Chief Fire Officers review of the D&C model and agree a proposal for piloting Public Safety Officers.

  • On objective 8, there was a discussion about the amount of work that has been completed to reduce the Digital forensics queue and the length of time that devices are held for examination.
  • DCC Balhatchet confirmed there are currently around 360 devices awaiting examination with a churn of around 65.
  • Whilst the Commissioner was pleased with the progress the Force had made, this is an area where he still has concerns as there is no cohesive vision on the examination of devices across the region or indeed nationally on kit and procurement. In addition, there is a new SLA for national standards related to RASSO cases.
  • The Commissioner agreed to raise this with the policing minister.

Action – SM to raise concerns that there isn’t a national sustainable plan for the examination of electronic devices.

Repeat victimisation

  • The Commissioner felt that work in relation to repeat DA victimisation was positive.
  • He was interested to know if reducing rates was a positive or negative measure. (We want the number to reduce but for victims to still come forward and report DA)
  • SC confirmed that the Force try to intervene as early as possible.
  • The definition of a repeat victim is measured as 2 or more incidents in a 12-month period.
  • The FCR have interventions for repeat callers (3 in 90 days or 5 in 9 months)
  • The Commissioner asked for an update on funding he provided for Video solutions in October 2022.
  • ACC Tuckley advised that a lot of work has already been done but procurement is a barrier. He is working closely with the Commercial team to resolve this as quickly as possible.
  • There was a discussion about the GoodSAM app which provides the ability for those calling emergency services to instantly share their location and live video from their mobile device.
    • The Commissioner asked ACC Tuckley to ensure any tender arrangement includes NFRS.
    • There was a discussion about DA arrest rates.
    • The Commissioner wanted to know why the positive outcome rates in the North LPA were higher than in the West LPA.
    • ACC Tuckley advised that the North LPA issue more Out Of Court Disposals but it does fluctuate.
    • The Commissioner requested that the Force undertake a wider piece of analysis to understand if the use of OOCDs versus charging decision provides a better or worse long-term outcome.

    Action – SC to compare the use of OOCD in DA cases versus Charging decision as a successful long-term positive outcome measure.


    ANPR Network

    • The Chief Constable confirmed that the new Road Policing Team (RPT) commenced in January 2023 and since then, the operations department have now accounted for 1,422 ANPR Interactions out of 1,611 (over 88%).
    • Positive vehicle interaction outcomes have risen from 20 to 200. This will be a key driver to the management and reductions of KSI’s and the illegal use of the road network.
    • The Commissioner was pleased that the additional investment was already showing a significant difference and requested that a presentation to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel should be scheduled.

    Action – SMc to schedule in approximately 3 months’ time.

    Citizens in Policing

    • The Commissioner asked how the delivery plan and performance framework for CiP links to opportunities in NFRS.
    • ACC Tuckley confirmed that whilst the plan is focussed on policing, it is reviewed jointing with the Joint Operations Team.
    • The Commissioner asked for an update on the number of Special constables and whether there is a target operating model for them.
    • The Chief Constable confirmed there is a performance framework for them with a medium-term plan to look at how they can be integrated into Neighbourhood policing teams and in more rural locations to add value.

    Prevention and intervention activities.

    • The Commissioner commended the Force on the enhanced version of the Ministry of Justice Turnaround Programme.
    • He was impressed wit the Force being able to demonstrate real early signs of reduced offending and risk associated with the cohort of young people identified.

    Officer recruitment

    • Officer recruitment is going well
    • The Commissioner is keen for the Comms teams to work together to share this good news story.

    Focus on crimes (Vehicle crime)

    • Whilst the Force is completed a vehicle crime strategy including OSARA profile the Commissioner remains concerned that there is still insufficient grip of acquisitive crime.
    • DCC Balhatchet hopes to see improvements and has allocated an inspector to it to increase the current low outcome rates for investigations.
    • DCC Balhatchet is also reviewing Serious Acquisitive Crime (SAC)


    • Visibility is now better understood through live reporting via QLIK and has been modified to give a better understanding of officers ‘true visibility’.
    • In the year to date the force has been achieving 64.2% true visibility overall (4.2% above the current target).
    • There was a discussion about Officer visibility being slightly higher in the North LPA than in the West LPA
    • ACC Tuckley advised that stations like Daventry can skew the data slightly.
    • PCSO visibility has increased by 8%
    • Overall, the Commissioner was very pleased with the increased visibility from both officers and PCSOs
    • The Chief constable commended the work of ACC Tuckley and C/Supt Adam Ward who have led on these improvements.
    • There was a discussion about the amount of time officers spend on preparing reports and case files.
    • The Chief constable confirmed that they are looking at solutions through the Innovations Working Group in DDAT to reduce the number of forms and paperwork that officers have to complete.

    Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

    • In the last quarter the force has seen an increase in the monthly demand for new requests under the scheme
    • A new guidance document has recently been published by the Home Office which re-emphasises the need for multi-agency panel meetings and sets a target 10-day initial contact with the applicant and a 28-day delivery period from the point of application.
    • The Force confirmed just over a quarter of cases were outside the delivery period.
    • A revised framework will be published shortly, and a new multi-agency panel process has been put in place which has helped speed up processing of information sharing and decision-making stage down from 7 to 2 days.

    Neighbourhood alert

    • Neighbourhood Alert has now achieved more than 30,000 sign ups, with an agreed domain name change and re-branding to ‘Northamptonshire Talking’ now purchased as part of OPFCC investment.
    • The Commissioner commented that as regional tv and more traditional media channels diminish Neighbourhood alert will become even more important.
    • ACC Tuckley confirmed that the Force are promoting Neighbourhood alert and Supt Rachel Handford had more than doubled the number of subscribers which was to be commended.

    Stalking prevention Orders

    • The use of SPOs was raised across all forces in Autumn 2022, with only 12 forces having used more than 5 in the 12 months to Sept 2022.
    • Northamptonshire Police has seen an increase in use of this orders with a concerted focus on making best use of them.
    • Th Commissioner commented that this was a really good news story and encouraged the Force to communicate this success.

    Out Of Court Disposals (OOCD)

    • A working group will be set up to review and rectify the disproportionality within OOCD.
    • Following feedback from the Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB) and initial scoping this has now resulted in joining this strand of work with the NPCC Race Action plan.
    • The goal is to ensure all youths irrespective of ethnicity, social status, upbringing, religion and culture are afforded the same opportunity for resolving their crime without the need to attend court.
    • There was a discussion about the current delays within the local criminal justice system.
    • DCC Balhatchet commented that the target 28-day turnaround on CPS cases has increased to 56 making the local CPS one of the worst performing in the country.
    • High lawyer vacancies and the inability to attract lawyers to fill vacancies in CPS is a real concern.
    • There was a discussion about the recruitment for the new Deputy Chief Constable.
    • The Chief Constable confirmed the post is currently being advertised. The closing date is the end of April.


    Assurance Statement:

     The Commissioner was pleased with the update and the level of detail the force was able to provide. He was also pleased that this work will become part of the ongoing accountability process.

     The Commissioner sought further clarification on the figures relating to repeat victimisation and that in relation to Domestic Abuse and VAWG, he wanted reassurance that the investment is being used to improve frontline operational policing. The Commissioner also requested further information and assurance in relation to the difference in the DA outcome figures between the North and West areas of the County.

    The Commissioner then sought assurance on the figures relating to out of court disposals as he felt this was an issue that needed to be raised at the LCJB.

     Overall, the Commissioner was assured that good work and improvements are being delivered and he would like the force to be able to maintain and increase this momentum to delivery more improvements.


Force Matters of Priority update for 2023/2024


The Commissioner requires a paper that describes the Chief Constable’s matters of priority for 2023/2024.


The paper should articulate what these are and why they have been adopted. It should also describe the targets and key performance measures relating to these and the baseline against which they will be measured with rationale for them.


  • Northamptonshire Police adopted 4 Matters of Priority (MoP) for a 3-year period (2022/23 to 2024/25) to reflect the long-term risks they posed to residents in the county.
  • It was agreed that the focus of each priority should be reviewed each year to ensure the key aspects of each were being prioritised. It would also ensure the focus aligned to national agendas from the Home Office and HMICFRS.
  • Following a recent review, the Forces MoP will remain unchanged except for a refinement to the current approach to Serious and Organised Crime.

Drug Harm

  • The Commissioner asked if the Force will still record the numbers of interventions as well as the effectiveness of the disruption.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed that it will, and the impact will be measured on whether it is minor or major.
  • The Commissioner asked if the Force had considered using the Outcomes Star™method which is a nationally recognised evidence-based tool for measuring and supporting change when working with people.
  • SC agreed to look into this method

Action – Sarah Crampton to review the Outcomes Star™method.

  • On KPI3 SC to reword to reflect top third aspiration.
  • On KPI4 which relates to satisfaction rates, the Commissioner suggested that the Force looks at what it can do differently to address a long-term decline.
  • The Commissioner was supportive of KPI6, KPI7 and KPI8.


  • On KPI9 relating to repeat victimisation, the Commissioner was supportive but cautioned that it needs to be sustainable, and that multiyear funding would be required.
  • Overall, the Commissioner was supportive of the Forces approach to

Serious Violence

  • As with VAWG the Commissioner was supportive of the Forces approach to serious violence.
  • Following the introduction of the Prevention and Reduction of Serious Violence Regulations laid in December 2022, The Commissioner reminded the Chief Constable of the additional scrutiny that will be required from the OPFCC as a result.

Service Delivery


  • SC confirmed that the Force will continue to improve its data quality but will do so without the need for a KPQ on data quality as a standalone measure as it can evidence data quality through other things that they are doing.
  • On KPI24 the Commissioner commented that the focus here seems to be on Domestic Abuse but the Force should consider expanding into reporting on repeats for all serious violence.
  • SC explained the focus includes victims of the most the most serious offending but also those who are low harm but regular/repeat callers.
  • The proposal for a revised KPI26 which relates to mental health now includes comparative data which provides the opportunity to evaluate new initiatives such as Right Care Right Person.
  • C/Supt Mick Stamper has been appointed at the lead to ensure that if right care right person elevates some of the pressure on resourcing, more officers can be deployed to fight crime.
  • On KPI27, the Commissioner commented that this change should not just be about meeting a HMICFRS metric of success, more that it is the right thing to do for the public.

Given the increase in those killed and seriously injured on our roads, the Commissioner was supportive of KPI29 given this presents the greatest risk of death in the county.


Assurance Statement

The Commissioner welcomed the report and noted that the Force were still undertaking work in relation to the matter of priority for 2023-34.

 The Commissioner noted that there should be an agreed baseline to enable accurate monitoring and performance management and he sought some assurance that progress and success can be easily identified and communicated.

 Overall, the Commissioner was assured with the direction of travel and would discuss the priorities with colleagues in the OPFCC and provide feedback to the Force.



  • CR asked when the results of the IPSOS MORI survey will be available.
  • The Commissioner confirmed this will be towards the end of May.
  • It was agreed that the results form the most recent 12 weeks of action can be shared with the Police, Fire and Crime Panel.

Action – SMc to schedule a meeting to share results of recent 12 weeks of action.