Welcome and introductions
PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)
Louise Sheridan (LS)
Helen King (HK)
CC Nick Adderley (NA)
Colleen Rattigan (CR)
D/C Supt Paul Rymarz (PR)
D/Supt Joe Banfield (JB)
Sarah Crampton (SC)
- SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were accepted from Ivan Balhatchet, 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.
Strategic outcomes requirements letter update
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner agreed a Strategic Outcomes Requirements letter with the Chief Constable as part of the budget setting process for 2023/2024.
The Commissioner requires a report outlining progress against the contents of this letter to this point.
- The Annual Strategic Outcomes Requirements report was taken as read.
- The Commissioner confirmed he was pleased that the Force had quickly identified that a pilot approach to direct DA deployments had not resulted in an improved service to victims and with changes to the Response shift pattern, scheduled appointments were still able to provide a more effective deployment. Therefore, quickly adapting to something else.
- The Commissioner asked if increased arrests rates have resulted in fewer repeat rates.
- SC confirmed that was correct.
- There was a discussion about GoodSAM Rapid Video Response.
- The Chief advised he believed this was due to procurement issues and had been advised that increased delegations may be able to assist in such circumstances.
- HK agreed to investigate this query with commercial for an update on GoodSAM, the procurement process and the current position. She would also ask their professional advice as to whether increased delegations would assist in such circumstances.
Action – HK to ask the commercial team for an update on Good Sam and to query if increased delegated authority would have assisted in this situation. HK emailed commercial and received a full response which has been shared with the PFCC and CR. The response set out the procurement process and timelines and highlighted that in this instance increased delegations would not have made any difference.
- On Cyber Enabled Fraud, the Commissioner asked for clarification that the cyber monthly forum referred to is the one which Heather from the OPFCC runs and operates.
- CR confirmed that it was and the narrative on this and some other joint work is currently being reviewed.
- On ANPR, the Commissioner was pleased with the progress alongside that of the Road Policing Team which is clearly delivering increased activity relating to motoring and driving offences.
- There was a discussion about Power BI and the opportunity to appropriately make some additional joint investment, particularly as Fire will need a herculean effort to get them to where policing are.
- The Chief Constable confirmed that it would be of benefit for both Police and Fire to be on the same system.
- A joint data visualisation team would also be a benefit.
- Power BI also has some Microsoft functionality which might better integrate with other systems.
- The work to evaluate Power BI as an alternative solution is ongoing.
- There was a discussion on Neighbourhood policing.
- The Chief Constable provided assurance that the NHP Blueprint including uplift plans is on track and a further update will be provided in August.
- On Emergency First Responders, the Chief Constable confirmed that a report is due next week, and he will discuss this with the commissioner in their 1-2-1 meeting.
- There was a discussion about a further extension to the target hardening contract and an increased budget contribution of £65k
- The Commissioner asked if target hardening was just for DA victims.
- CR agreed to find out
Action – CR to confirm how the Target Hardening budget is being allocated.
- It was agreed that Burglary, Vehicle Crime and ASB would be covered in the performance update.
- On Knife Crime and Serious Violence, the Commissioner is keen to replicate a Thames Valley Knife Crime Conference to discuss the tackling of knife crime.
- LS has requested information from the OPCC in Thames Valley.
- The Chief Constable confirmed that whilst Force progress on serious violence is moving at pace, some support on getting the right partners around the table may be required.
- There was a discussion about the national Op Sceptre week of action.
- A social media campaign ran through this period and extra funding was secured to trial a campaign on other platforms not tried before including Tik Tok.
- CR is waiting for the results of this trail and will update when they are available.
- On Effective Justice, the Force has been ranked 1st for the last 3 consecutive months for file quality.
- The Commissioner acknowledged the good work being done here.
- There was a discussion about modern services that are fit for purpose.
- The Chief Constable advised that the new Response shift pattern will support this journey and includes a CPD day for all response officers within the pattern.
- On the Budget Letter Requirements regarding the improvements against or delivery of all identified arears in the last HIMCFRS PEEL inspection report, CR advised that the Force was well placed.
- 260 documents have been submitted in evidence compared to 115 last time.
- A further temperature check will be taken in September when inspectors return
- In the interest of clear, open and transparent communication, the Commissioner requested that Paul Fell be continually updated in relation to any matters that might require a briefing to the Commissioner.
- There was a discussion about the functionality provided by the Enabling Services Department is well known to all and commonly branded.
- The Commissioner sought assurance that Force updates are joined up with Fire.
Action – CR to relook at this with Paul Bullen to ensure work across both emergency services is joined up.
- Overall, the Commissioners was positive about the good work that is taking place.
The Commissioner welcomed the first of these updates. He acknowledged that it was early in the year and as such was generally satisfied with progress against the outcomes identified within the letter.
There was more to do to deliver all the required and agreed outcomes, but he was pleased that the Force were adopting dynamic approaches to solving problems and were changing these if they did not reap the benefits and successes that had been anticipated.
Force matters of priority update
The Chief Constable has adopted a suite of performance measures and targets relating to Force matters of priority for 2023/2024.
The Commissioner requests a presentation/report that shows performance against these measures and targets to this point.
- The Performance update report was taken as read.
- The Commissioner advised that he wanted to focus on Serious Violence and Neighbourhood crime.
- Both are areas where the Commissioner has concerns and therefore requires additional focus.
- On Neighbourhood crime specifically, the Commissioner asked if there is an overarching neighbourhood crime plan, if the Force understood why neighbourhood crime has increase and if it does, what is their plan to address this.
- The Chief Constable confirmed that there is a neighbourhood crime plan and this was discussed in detail.
- He confirmed that he was disappointed the SAC offences where not as good as they should be.
- Op crooked remains in place regarding burglary which is 34% down compared to the national baseline.
- The Chief Constable conceded that the Force has been slow to react to robbery accepting that whilst the numbers are low, these are high harm offences.
- He confirmed that the planned increase to the Neighbourhood policing team will help.
- Residential burglary peaked in August last year and this data is still retained within the performance figures.
- More recently, despite an increase in March, April – June show that offences are lower than the same period last year.
- Op Crooked confirms that there has been a high level of attempt offences, but entry has not been gained.
- An operation on the West LPA to counteract a spike in offences has seen an increase in proactive patrols to disrupt known local offenders.
- The driver for the habitual offending is largely for drugs.
- There was a discussion about diversion schemes for known habitual offenders which are in progress but take a long time to achieve.
- The Chief Constable reiterated that this has his full attention.
- The Commissioner confirmed he is not content with the current performance on neighbourhood crime and sought further reassurance.
- SC agreed to provide further data to provide this.
Action – SC to provide some additional data around neighbourhood crime performance to reassure the Commissioner.
- There was a discussion about motorcycle nuisance in urban areas.
- The Chief advised that motorcycles are being seized but offenders cannot be prosecuted in the same way as ASB offences which can be prosecuted as a criminal offence.
- The Commissioner asked if motorcycle nuisance was a problem in a particular area, could the Force make better use of conditional cautions.
- He confirmed that he is willing to fund diversionary activity if this could help.
- Corby Woods was identified as a particular area of concern.
Action – CR to contact AM in Corby Council to discuss opportunities to restrict motorcycle off road access.
- There was a discussion on vehicle crime.
- SC confirmed that the Force are disrupting this activity but latest data for the last quarter is slightly higher than this time last year.
- The Chief Constable pointed out a 43% reduction in vehicle crime against the national average but is alive to the situation and more work is being done to disrupt this activity.
- Again, the planned increase in Neighbourhood policing will assist with this ambition.
- There was a discussion about the theft of vehicle parts.
- The Chief Constable advised this is largely being driven by the cost and shortage of replacement parts. The NPT are aware of this and acting on any information/intelligence as it is received.
- On Serious Violence, whilst knife crime is down in terms of recorded offences, under 18 involvement is still high as it is in robbery and other serious violence offences.
- The Commissioner asked how CIRV and the Youth team are linked into this and reiterated the need for a knife crime summit with partners.
- The Chief Constable advised that the Force is continuing its proactive approach to taking knives off the street and delivering education programmes in schools.
- Andy Glenn is currently reviewing CIRV as part of a larger piece of work in this command.
- The work of the ACE team is hugely beneficial, but school partners need to play their part in reducing the number of young people being permanently excluded.
- The Commissioner asked LS to obtain some feedback from the Manager of the EI team on knives and crime.
Action – LS to speak to JJ to find out what feedback the youth team are getting from young people on knives and crime
- On outcomes, the Commissioner noted that 43% of robbery offences have an identified suspect and questioned why outcomes for these offences was poor.
- The Chief Constable confirmed that data and support from the Observatory alongside the work of Supt. Glenn is looking to understand and address this.
- The Commissioner requested further detail on the percentage of suspects where there was no positive outcome and the reason why this was the case.
Action – SC to provide further detail on the percentage of suspects where there was no positive outcome and the reason why this was the case.
- There was a discussion on how well the Force are protecting people from harm and reducing repeat victimisation rates.
- SC advised that the repeat victimisation rate has fluctuated throughout the past year but has stabilised in recent months.
- 2% of all victims are currently considered persistent victims (more than 5 crimes in a 12-month period)
- Analysis has shown that a growing number of victims are commercial premises.
- Personal repeat victims tend to be linked to violence and sexual offences.
- On preventing future offending, particularly with under U18 crime, the Commissioner confirmed that he was happy to discuss additional investment into the VRU with Supt Glenn.
- The Commissioner requested a further report of SAC offences in September to ensure work in this area had intensified.
- On positive outcomes, SC confirmed the current position for the Force is 14.2%. The average for the last quarter was 14.5%
- With some additional focus on other areas, this could improve further.
The Commissioner welcomed the fact that in many instances the Force performance was positive in comparison with the baseline figures set in the Home Office Digital Poling and Crime Measures and in comparison, with peers.
He was clear however that he was less satisfied with the data that showed neighbourhood crimes were increasing and, that positive outcomes were still below where he would expect them to be. More work was required to deliver better results for local people, and he requested a further update relating to these offences in September.
The Commissioner reinforced the view that he had made at a previous accountability board that serious violence was an area also that required additional focus and work this year and welcomed the fact that there was renewed focus on this and strengthened resources being brought to bear in relation to it.
Rape and serious sexual offences update
It is expected that the Operation Soteria approach to serious sexual offences will be rolled out nationally in 2023.
The Commissioner requests a paper to be presented to the accountability board meeting in relation to the Force approach to rape and serious sexual offences.
The paper should present current and three years performance in relation to these offence types, including recorded crime, repeat victimisation rates and positive outcome rates. It should also articulate the Force approach currently to the investigation and management of these types of offences, including how victim support is provided, identify any gaps between this and the Operation Soteria approach and clarify how these can addressed.
- D/Supt Joe Banfield provided an update.
- The National Operating Model (NOM) to be used by all 43 Home Office forces was released on Monday 10th July (delayed from June)
- The NOM appears to be more a set of principles that the HO would like forces to engage and embrace.
- Northants adopted these some ago and already have a dedicated Rape Investigation Team (SOLAR). The team is led by a DCI who also leads on VAWG.
- The SOLAR team is part of PVP rather than CID meaning they are co-located within the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Child Abuse Units.
- This link between rape and DA offending is a key part of the Soteria review as approximately 35% of recorded rapes have a domestic element.
- There was a discussion on crime recording for rapes that are revealed historically.
- JB confirmed 51% of outcome 15 and 16 are for historic offences where the victim doesn’t want any investigation.
- The relationship between the force and CPS is key to the effective investigation of rape offences. Regular meetings have taken place to deliver service improvements on both sides.
- Regional training with CPS is suspect focused and not on victim focussed.
- The Commissioner asked if all victims are automatically referred to Voice for support.
- JB believed that there is an automatic referral process but will confirm directly with Paul Fell
Action – JB to confirm all rape victims are automatically referred to Voice or is this done manually.
- JB welcomed the investment in mandatory counselling has been welcomed and the Force is leading on mandatory counselling support and can already demonstrate how beneficial that is in supporting officer welfare, workload and compassion fatigue.
- D/Chief Supt Paul Rymarz commented that the long-awaited report was heralded as the answer to all the questions but cautioned that it is still a concept.
- JB and his team have dealt with many of the issues ahead of time.
- Forces who have waited for the NOM will now have some serious work to catch-up; Northants started 3 years ago and is in a much better place as a result.
- There is still some work to do but the fundamental building blocks are there.
- There was a discussion about digital devices and whether this was still an issue in the investigation of rape and SSO. The Force is now able to examine these at the scene and also offer appointments.
- The Digital strategy is using DMIs to streamline investigations.
- On recorded crime, the Commissioner commented that the overall trend data appears to be down in all RASSO offences. When the trend line was going up, the Force explained this was the result of an increase in the confidence of victims coming forward to report RASSO crimes. Why was the trend now downward.
- PR explained that all victims who wanted to come forward to report offences have done so and resulted in a increase in non-recent delayed reports.
- Non recent offences are now stable, the rest is recent/current offending.
- It was noted that there has been a slight downward trend on repeat victimisation.
- PR commented that JB and his team have done some amazing work in this area. If there are any gaps in compliance with the NOM these will be reviewed.
- He also confirmed that there are few vacancies meaning the shortfall of detectives is reducing.
- The Chief Constable confirmed that his decision to ensure that leaders in the Detective Crime Command had a proven and creditable detective background was the right one to make.
- The Commissioner was assured that the Force has laid strong foundations for the implementation of the National Operating Model.
The Commissioner was pleased that on an initial assessment of the new national guidance the Force felt it was in a strong position because of the early work it had implemented.
He was further assured moves to align the SOLAR teams more closely with child protection and domestic abuse units.
The Commissioner acknowledged the positive work that had taken place and already demonstrating improvements in these hugely important investigations.
- No further business was raised.