Welcome and introductions
PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)
Nicci Marzec (NM)
Helen King (HK)
Paul Fell (PF)
Louise Sheridan (LS)
CC Nick Adderley (NA)
Colleen Rattigan (CR)
DC/Supt Paul Rymarz (PR)
D/Supt Lee McBride (LM)
D/Supt Rich Tompkins (RT)
Ian Bailey (IB)
SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.
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.
In May 2022 the Commissioner received a paper form the Chief Constable that described the process and progress of Integrated Offender Management across Northamptonshire Police and the County as a whole.
At that time, it was agreed that this matter would again be reported in 6 months to incorporate an update on the progress of IOM, to be informed by the planned evaluation, and to include a description of the results and barriers to this point.
- D/Supt Lee McBride provided an update on progress of the IOM to date.
- A review of working practices and policies has been completed. These have also been benchmarked against Leicestershire’s HMICFRS report to ensure the project continues to progress effectively.
- The team are working collaboratively with colleagues in HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).
- In the last 9 months the scheme has worked with 156 offenders, of which 44 have been arrested for further offending.
- There are currently 107 live IOM Offenders being actively managed with 40 offenders in the Fixed cohort, 53 in the Flex cohort and 14 in the Free cohort.
- The top 10 DA perpetrators were originally adopted by the IOM within the free cohort however upon review it was agreed that other methods of management were more suitable, and they have been subsequently returned to the Domestic Abuse Team for ongoing management.
- Electronic tags are offered to neighbourhood offenders – the national pilot in 12 Forces is underway. IOM currently have five nominals wearing a tracker.
- LM advised that as part of the Forces Observatory project to improve partnership working, the IOM are building a performance management package through QLIK.
- The software will give police and probation a better understanding of the offenders being managed which in addition to their offending history will also provide opportunities to review their associations to identify any other persons who are at risk or require safeguarding intervention or support.
- The App is now live and currently being tested by the IOM team
- Work to improve data sharing between the Force and Probation continues with D/Supt McBride visiting both the Wellingborough and Bridge Street offices later this week to see the interface between the two systems and how it can be shared readily with MAPPA.
- There was a discussion about MAPPA 2 (violent or other sexual offenders) and MAPPA 3 (other dangerous offenders)
- The IOM currently manage 25 MAPPA subjects from these two categories
- Since August, the IOM team have attended 30 MAPPA meetings, engaged with the subjects and completed relevant management activity.
- Whilst it is still early days, the benefits of this approach have been positive.
- The roll out of an Offender management app will further support this approach and will include a diversion pathways scheme which aims to intervene earlier to stop the offending behaviour from either happening or escalating.
- The Commissioner commented that whilst the report was informative in terms of what the team had been doing, he could not see any reference to outcomes.
- Regarding the 44 offenders who had been subsequently arrested for similar or other offences, the Commissioner asked if there was any comparative data to show whether this was a good or bad outcome. Also, did the team have any sense as to whether the reoffending behaviour was because they need to do it (drug or alcohol dependency for example) or the arrests are for less risky offences and that is part of the journey.
- There was a discussion relating to the 44 arrested members of the IOM cohort. LM made the point that these arrests had been a variety of offences but there was some evidence that these arrests were for a range of lower threat and risk offences than for those offences that had caused them to be adopted onto the IOM scheme. It was accepted due to the chaotic nature of some of these offenders and the persistent offending of them that it was inevitable that offending would not immediately stop but a reduction in risk was welcomed.
- LM added that the IOM is still early on in terms of the establishment of the team and the cohorts.
- Work is ongoing to agree what success looks like for the offending profile with the aim of reducing their reoffending behaviour completely.
- There was a discussion about the types of interventions currently being used for those offenders subject to Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPOs) and Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders (STPOs)
- LM confirmed that a dedicated and skilled IOM officer is allocated to work with these offenders to promote desistence and monitor compliance.
- An STPO has successfully been on a drugs syndicate in Wellingborough and is being utilised to the full extent. This is working well and also creating Niche occurrences.
- Returning to the DA Perpetrator Cohort, The Commissioner was keen to understand why these nominals had been handed back to the Domestic Abuse Team.
- LM responded that it was because the cohort is so interchangeable with the top 10 nominals changing frequently it was difficult to get the correct processes and interventions in place to manage them. It was therefore agreed that for DV perpetrators, MAPPA would be a better management and prevention strategy.
- Nicci Marzec questioned why, having identified the top 10 nominals, and accepting that they might not always be in the top 10, have chosen them would it not make more sense to continue to work with them.
- Det Chief Supt Paul Rymarz confirmed that the aspiration is still to manage them, and it doesn’t matter that they are not within the IOM team as will be getting support from other teams.
- The Commissioner commented that he would like to see a more holistic approach on how the Force is dealing with DA which should be inclusive of other partners to prove whether or not the interventions are working.
- The Chief Constable agreed adding that we need a better understanding of what interventions work and why.
- It was confirmed that the IOM team are working alongside Supt Sarah Johnson and Sean Scannell, the Strategic Prevention and Delivery Manager in Prevention and Intervention.
- With high-risk offenders, MAPPA will always take priority.
- The evaluation continues to ensure the Force has a better understanding and grip if a person reoffends and that is partly why DA offenders are coming into the IOM to manage.
- The Commissioner asked for a timeframe for the evaluation being completed
- LM advised that it will be in the New Year.
- It was agreed that PF would review the success measures with LM outside of the meeting
Action – PF and LM to discuss and agree success measures for the IOM evaluation.
- There was a discussion about a PADS type approach to the management of juveniles where they had been identified as a suspect multiple times over three years, but there had never been any judicial outcomes thus allowing attempts at early intervention.
- This will identify future cohorts (under 18’s and 18 – 24 year olds) via QLIK
- The QLIK app identifies those nominals with Disposal Orders in last 12 months rather than having to rely on manual processes.
Having received this paper the Commissioner was reassured that further work had progressed since the previous update earlier in 2022, and that the Force had looked at peer comparisons.
He made the point however that he was interested in what difference this process was actually making in reducing reoffending and therefore making Northamptonshire Safer.
The Commissioner requested a further a update in the New Year, post the evaluation about the outcomes of the IOM project and how this can be evidenced to reducing reoffending and crime.
EMSOU (FS) update
In March 2022, the Commissioner received a paper at the accountability board that covered the following:
The performance of EMSOU FS in terms of scenes visited, DNA and Fingerprint evidence recovered, idents made and conversion to positive outcomes.
The report commented the Chief Constables assessment of the service provided by EMSOU FS, as well as providing comparative figures for other Forces in the EMSOU FS collaboration.
At that time concern expressed that Northamptonshire was not receiving the same service as some other forces in the region in terms of % of scenes visited, and forensic outcomes.
The Commissioner would like a report that outlines the comparative performance, across the regional forces of EMSOU FS in terms of scenes visited, over 12 months, (especially relating to neighbourhood crime), DNA and fingerprint lifts, idents made and how these relate to positive outcomes, as well as progress made since March, relating to gaining a fuller understanding of the issues of concern from the earlier report and how improvements have been made in this time.
- Ian Bailey provided an overview of EMSOU FS performance.
- Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) are Northamptonshire Police employees and part of the East Midlands Specialist Operations Unit Forensic Services collaboration (EMSOU-FS).
- There are 18.7 FTE CSIs within the Northants team, providing the Force with a service across all crime types of volume, serious, complex, and major crime.
- The Commissioner asked if this was the right level of cover and was interested to know how this compared with other counties within the collaboration.
- IB advised that Lincolnshire had 20 CSI’s and whilst it had a lower crime profile it was a much bigger county in terms of square miles.
- Derbyshire and Notts have 26 CSIs and Leicestershire have 28.
- The Chief Constable added that whilst he could ask for more CSI’s it was more important to look at the conversion rates. There were however an additional 2 CSI coming online and had been recruited bring the number to 20.7 FTE.
- The Northants CSI attendance profile has remained steady in the region over a long period with Leicestershire having the busiest profile.
- In terms of forensic recovery for all crime types, Northants recovered fingerprints at 46% of scenes attended making them the joint highest recovering force, sitting significantly above the regional average of 41%.
- In contrast, Northants DNA Recovery at scenes sits at 33%, below the average rate of 36%.
- For burglary, Fingerprints were recovered at 48% of crime scenes and DNA at 17%
- Looking at CSI attendance rates at domestic burglaries, the Commissioner questioned why Leicestershire as an example, had a higher attendance rate than did Northants.
- This is most likely down to the decision-making process in FCR about which jobs it send CSI’s to. Work is taking place to explore this.
- Once at the scene, the CSI makes the decision on the investigative process and what to recover.
- This is based on several factors including how quickly they get to scene and how well was it protected. i.e. weather conditions
- DC/Supt Rymarz agreed to discuss FCR policy with Supt Chris Hillery
Action – PR to discuss FCR policy regarding CSI deployment with Supt Chris Hillery – how they were deployed and for the ones that CSI did not attend, was that the right decision.
- Returning to DNA recovery, the Commissioner asked is there more we should be doing.
- IB confirmed provided reassurance regarding the EMSOU FS training that is undertaken, regular dip sampling and peer assessments.
- The Commissioner wanted to understand why recovery rates of DNA was much lower than the recovery of fingerprints and elsewhere in the EM region.
- In most crime types, DNA recovery is lower than other Forces yet fingerprint recovery remains one of the strongest across the region.
- The hypothesis was that DNA can be more discriminatory and that the Northants CSIs are more experienced, but no definitive answer was put forward.
- On burglary and theft of motor vehicles, 1 in 3 crime scenes recover DNA evidence and 1 in 2 recover fingerprints.
- This trend in Northants is steadily increasing with Northants CSIs recovering fingerprints in 65% of all Theft of Motor Vehicles.
- When comparing all crimes attended between 1st Sept to 31st Aug 20/21 compared to 21/22, Northants recorded crime has only increased by 1%, with CSI’s increasing their attendance by 6.2%.
- When comparing residential burglary attended between 1st Sept to 31st Aug 20/21 compared to 21/22, recorded crime has fallen by 11.6% in Northants, with CSIs increasing their attendance by 2.1%.
- The good work of the burglary team was acknowledged with Rich Tomkins advising that their proactive approach to investigations, including calling out CSIs where they identify a pattern continues to reap benefits.
- Turning to Commercial burglary – between 1st Sept to 31st Aug 20/21 compared to 21/22, recorded crime has fallen by 13.9% with CSI attendance reducing by 13.7%
- D/Supt Rich Tomkins felt that more could be done at Commercial burglaries and is planning to review those committed in October to ensure any lines of enquiry or forensic opportunities were not missed.
- There was a discussion on conversion rates.
- A forensic detection counts when a suspect is identified on forensics is charged with the occurrence.
- Conversion rates for fingerprints has declined across the region.
- Similarly with DNA, conversion rates are currently 7% lower than the regional average, a change from previously being the highest performing.
- The actual data set is small however and a review of each individual crime investigation would need to be conducted to ascertain the reason for this.
- There was a discussion about how a forensic ‘hit’ is manged and what processes are in place to ensure that the IIT or OIC act on the evidence obtained.
- Within the burglary team there is a slick process, but this is not as robust in other crime types.
- It was agreed that Hits and Idents need a better management process for chasing.
- The Chief Constable agreed to review this process, particularly in relation to where cases had been closed by the Initial Investigation Team (IIT)
- It was agreed to revisit in 3 months when the Chief Constable has had a chance to review.
Action – Improved management system for Hits and Idents from CSI’s – The Chief Constable agreed to review this process, particularly in relation to where cases had been closed by the Initial Investigation Team (IIT).
Action – PF to ensure that results of the review in three months is placed on accountability board agenda
The Commissioner thanked the Chief Constable for this informative report. It was assuring to note that Northamptonshire CSI appeared to consistently recover fingerprints at a greater percentage of scenes than others in the region, but there remained questions in relation to:
- The percentage of scenes visited by CSI, in comparison with other Forces
- The differential in recovery rates for DNA, in comparison with fingerprints and with other Forces
- The conversion rate of forensic evidence to outcomes.
The Commissioner asked for further work to be undertaken to better understand this so remedial action can be considered.
- No further business was raised.