Police Accountability Board Minutes 9 April 2024

Welcome and introductions.



PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)

Jonny Bugg (JB)

Paul Fell (PF)

Vaughan Ashcroft (VA)

Louise Sheridan (LS)

A/CC Ivan Balhatchet (IB)

ACC Tuckley (AT)

Detective C/Supt Emma James (EJ)

Colleen Rattigan (CR)


  • SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies were accepted from Paul Bullen


Previous minutes and action log

Outstanding actions from the Action Log have been updated.


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 2023/2024.


The Commissioner requires a report outlining progress against the contents of this letter at year end of 2023/2024.


  • The report was taken as read with CR providing additional commentary.
  • Meaningful progress has been made across all measures.
  • The paper was written before the end-to-end review on Domestic Abuse however the Chief Constable has shared this review with the commissioner.
  • The review has highlighted capacity issues which have hampered their capability and capacity to investigate high risk crime.
  • As a result of the review, the force is undergoing a wholescale change in the way it now responds to DA. This will lead to a better response and improved outcomes.
  • D/Chief Supt. Paul Rymarz is the thematic lead.
  • On violent crime, a number of positive initiatives are underway.
  • The Serious Violence Partnership Prevention Strategy was launched in March as was the Youth Violence Intervention Unit
  • The Observatory is carrying out regressive analysis of the 350 most prolific Serious Violence Offenders in the county.
  • New legislation has been announced by the government which will add zombie style knives and machetes to the list of prohibited offensive weapons.
  • The revised neighbourhood blueprint will build trust and confidence in neighbourhoods.
  • There was a discussion about ANPR. More than a quarter of all vehicles stopped in the county, are due to ANPR.
  • 30 cameras have stopped working due to the 3g network turned off.
  • AT confirmed this will be fixed imminently.
  • There was a discussion about whether these older cameras could be upgraded from the money collected from speeding fines.
  • PF advised that he would check how much money was available and if this was possible.

Action – PF to check if there is money available to upgrade older ANPR cameras connected to the 3G network.


  • On officer numbers and recruitment, the Commissioner was concerned that establishment could drop to 1493 FTE. Were this to happen, the Force might have to pay back some of the additional uplift money already secured for the Uplift.
  • Reassurance was provided by NA that the current headcount is 1523.
  • The Home Office monitor headcount rather than FTE.
  • There was a discussion about running additional recruitment campaigns to ensure that there is an additional cohort in the calendar.
  • The Commissioner noted that the Force had recently run a successful PSCO recruitment campaign and he would rather spend £10k on another police officer campaign than risk losing Home Office funding.
  • It was agreed that VA would review and authorise a budget for the Chief Constable to run an additional recruitment campaign for police officers.
  • The Chief Constable also agreed to review reasons for current attrition of recruits waiting a start date to understand pinch points for people dropping out.

Action – VA to review and authorise budget to recruit additional police officers.

Action – IB to review reasons for current drop out reason for recruits waiting for a start date.


  • These was a discussion about Northamptonshire Talking which now has more than 40k members – Supt. Rachel Handford has done outstanding job increasing membership.
  • There is an Opportunity to use new social media tool to link in with Northamptonshire Talking.
  • ACC Tuckley confirmed that Corporate Communications now reports into him, and both are aligned.
  • On Youth Violence, The Commissioner was pleased that the OPFCC EI and Youth teams were working closely with police colleagues.
  • The Serious violence Duty review will inform future intervention work.
  • There was a discussion about response times.
  • CR advised that Grade 1 and 2 responses are within control limits and performing well.
  • It was noted from the paper that HMICFRS are calling for standard response time of 15 mins.
  • PF commented that were this to happen, it would significantly impact on Northants.
  • The Commissioner reiterated that he did not and still doesn’t agree with the Chief Constable Adderley’s change to the response target (local to national) particularly as the Force are now not hitting the national target.
  • CR argued that the previous local target was a stretch target. Whilst the force is not necessarily hitting response times, the quality of investigation has improved. The Commissioner challenged this stating that while he accepted that there had been some improvement is positive outcomes, he was still seeing reductions in response times and reductions in victim satisfaction levels, both requiring further improvements.
  • Evidence shows that when officers spend more time at incidents it results in better outcomes, but this does then impact availability to be sent to the next emergency call.
  • It was agreed that response times needs further work particularly for some geographical areas where the force cannot achieve target this target.
  • The Commissioner welcomed the focus on VOI and e scooters.
  • There was a discussion about Fraud Prevention.
  • The Chief Constable confirmed that the Force has adopted the national plan and also enhanced this with additional work delivered by the team based at Wootton Hall.
  • In addition, EMSOU have a dedicated fraud team also based at Wootton Hall and manged under the Economic Crime Governance Group.
  • The Commissioner commended the work that the Force have been doing in relation to knife crime to understand the causes.
  • ACC Tuckley agreed, the Force did not previously receive any Serious Violence Duty funding. It has however had plans, strategies, focus and grip over the past 2 years which is what has made a difference.
  • Serious Violence Duty was secured by the Commissioner in 2023
  • ASB hot spot patrolling has launched and has had positive results so far.
  • There is a budget for officer overtime from the funding whilst local partners gear up.
  • Overall, the Commissioner was pleased with the positive progress that had been made in all areas and in particular, the positive reduction in recorded incidents of knife crime and U18 involvement.


Assurance statement:

The Commissioner thanked the Chief Constable for his cooperation in delivering the strategic outcomes and acknowledged the positive progress that had been made across the board.



Repeat victimisation.

The Commissioner seeks a report in relation to repeat victimisation. This report should identify the levels of repeat victimisation over the past 3 years for:

  • Victims of assault and violence
  • Victims of domestic abuse
  • Victims of Rape and serious sexual offences
  • Victims of acquisitive crime
  • Victims of Anti-Social Behaviour


It should highlight for the Commissioner not only these levels but trends and changes in patterns over this period.


It should also provide the Commissioner with an overview of the processes that are in place in to identify repeat victimisation for these categories of crime and behaviour at the earliest opportunity and how the Force effectively when such victims are identified ensure that the matters reported by them are looked at and investigated collectively as well as individually.


  • The report was taken as read with ACC Tuckley providing additional commentary.
  • Repeat victimisation is monitored via a number of governance boards and when appropriate within Performance FEM.
  • A repeat victim is classified by the Audit Commission as ‘any person or location that is subject to more than one crime or non-crime incident in a rolling 12-month period’.
  • Northants police has adopted this definition to allow for national comparisons on performance.
  • There is a flag process within FCR via PRONTO to allow officers to see the full picture.
  • Most recent data show a gradual reduction across all crime types.
  • The Commissioner acknowledged positive progress both in terms of repeat rates and the overall demand created as a result of repeat victimisation.
  • The main driver for the reduced level is in relation to violent offences and highlights the continued positive action taken to reduce more serious harm occurring. It was noted however that a considerable amount of the reduction in violence repeat victimisation was in relation to matters such as stalking and this resulted largely from changes to counting rules.
  • ACC Tuckley confirmed there is a strategy in place for all types of offences including violence, rape, DA, ASB and burglary.
  • All have a prevent pillar to underpin each strategy.
  • There was a discussion about the use of AI technology and whether that could be used to interrogate the data repository to help improve outcomes even further.
  • The Commissioner was pleased to see particularly good progress made in relation to high risk DV.
  • The Commissioner asked if there was any insight into the 10% reduction.
  • ACC Tuckley confirmed it was due to arrests and the use of DVPOs.
  • There was a discussion about GoodSam. PF agreed to send a copy of the GoodSam findings and evaluation statistics from Kent police.

Action – PF to send GoodSam evaluation produced by Kent police to AT.


Assurance Statement:


The Commissioner welcomed the improvements made in the identification and recording of repeat victims. This had previously been acknowledged by HMICFRS, in the recent PEEL inspection of the Force.

 Whilst changes to Home Office counting rules had some impact on the overall reduction, particularly in relation to violence, it was clear that improved identification was allowing the Force to provide an better service which was to be welcomed.

 It was agreed that having one strategic lead for repeat victimisation was a sensible approach and the Commissioner was in favour of the Chief Constable pursuing this.




No further business was raised