Agenda and minutes

Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel
Tuesday, 28th March, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Darent Room, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone

Contact: Joel Cook/Anna Taylor  03000 416892/416478


No. Item


Minutes of the Police and Crime Panel held on 2 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

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1.    The Policy Officer clarified that page 5, paragraph 1 under ‘Proposed Precept’ should read £5 per year rather than £5 per week. 


2.    The Policy Officer confirmed that the Panel’s report on the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan had been published and the Chairman had received a response from the Commissioner confirming that he had accepted the suggestions made by the Panel and amended the wording of the Plan. 


3.    The Chairman thanked the Commissioner for revising the wording of his Plan following comments from the Panel. 


4.    The Commissioner updated Members on the issues raised within the minutes and in particular Mrs Bolton’s questions. 


RESOLVED that, subject to the above amendment of £5 per year,  the minutes of the meeting held on 2 February were an accurate record and that they be signed by the Chairman. 


Police Cadet Scheme - progress report pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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1.    The Police and Crime Commissioner introduced his report on the Police Cadet Scheme.  The Commissioner thanked a number of organisations who, from their own budgets, had contributed to the Scheme; he particularly thanked Gravesham Borough Council and the charity Safer Kent. 


2.    The Commissioner explained that the plan was for 12 cadet units in total across Kent.  This was with an aim of meeting the demand ensuring that the resources were available where there was demand. 


3.    Kent Police was recruiting a full time Youth Ambassador to work not only with the Police Cadets but with young people across the county. 


4.    The Chairman offered the use of KCC outdoor education facilities for cadet activities and the Commissioner thanked the Chairman for his suggestions and confirmed he would look into them. 


5.    A Member asked whether the Commissioner envisaged that the cadet scheme would result in young people joining the Police Force at an appropriate time.  The Commissioner explained that the Cadet scheme gave young people policing experience, and they could apply to join the Force if they were interested.   


6.    A Member congratulated the Commissioner on the scheme, there were benefits but there were also a lot of resources being put in to the scheme and the Member asked how the success of the scheme would be evaluated?  The Commissioner confirmed he did not wish to set targets but that he would ensure value for money and ensure that the young people felt that the scheme was worthwhile. 


7.    One Member commented on the £10 per month subscription, there was a concern that some vulnerable young people may not be able to afford this amount.  The Commissioner confirmed he had made funding available to the Force to ensure the circumstances of young people did not prohibit them from applying and participating in the scheme. 


8.    In response to a question about safeguarding of cadets and preventing potential radicalisation the Commissioner confirmed that he would provide information outside of the meeting. 


9.    The Commissioner confirmed, in response to the Chairman’s question, that the Youth Ambassador would be an individual over 18 employed by Kent Police directly. 


10. A Member asked for more information about the Commissioner’s ‘Backing Young People’ document.  The Commissioner explained that this would be published on Monday alongside the Police and Crime Plan; it pulled together work done by the Commissioner to ensure young people in the county had a voice.  The Commissioner wanted to ensure that those who could not vote had a voice and felt they were listened to. 


11. The Chairman stated that the scheme had the support of the Panel and he wished the scheme well.  


RESOLVED that the Police and Crime Panel note the PCC’s report on Kent Volunteer Police Cadets and that the Commissioner provides information to Panel members about safeguarding and preventing potential radicalisation.


Mental Health - verbal update (focus on progress in engaging others)

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1.    The Commissioner said that Kent Police and Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) had agreed a new mental health strategy outlining ways in which organisations can work together to support those in crisis. 


2.    In relation to governance, the Commissioner said this would be underpinned by a Mental Health and Policing Board that the Assistant Chief Constable and the KMPT Chief Executive had invited him to lead, at which he will hold both to account.  Kent MPs had also invited the Commissioner to host a round table event on mental health.  This group included the KMPT Chief Executive and representatives of most Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the county and focussed on issues specific to policing, commissioning of future services and working together following the introduction of the Policing and Crime Act that prevents children from being held in police cells under S136 and adults only in extreme circumstances.  The Commissioner explained that he was awaiting clarification on the definition of extreme circumstances.


3.    The Commissioner was pleased to report that the street triage service was returning in limited form in Medway and Thanet from April, funded by the CCGs.  The service will comprise of a mental health practitioner and police officer attending any incident where a person may have mental health issues and run Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights in Medway and Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Thanet. The Commissioner added that both services would be for all ages


4.    The Commissioner explained that both he and his predecessor had provided funding to reduce long waiting times for counselling sessions for child victims of sexual assault. Following engagement with CCGs, many had now agreed to take this on from the new financial year, so Commissioner funding would no longer ‘prop up’ a NHS statutory service.


5.    The Commissioner’s Mental Health and Policing Fund had opened, with £250k funding available for community groups and local authorities to bid into for new projects or the expansion of current services to help reduce demand on policing due to mental health.  The Commissioner said that some money had already been allocated to those projects agreed last year, such as the continued presence of MIND counsellors in the Force Control Room, funding for two crisis cafes and the Medway safe haven bus.  The Commissioner asked Panel Members to promote his fund where appropriate. 


6.    The Commissioner reaffirmed his commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of officers and staff, particularly in light of the recent Westminster attack and thanked those people who had taken time to write in or thank officers and staff for the job they do. He also referred to the longer term impact on the relatives, friends and colleagues of those involved in the Westminster attack, and those who witnessed it.


7.    A Member thanked the Commissioner for his update, and asked if he was confident that alternative accommodation was available for young people in mental health crisis who could no longer be held in police  ...  view the full minutes text for item 219.


Public engagement plans pdf icon PDF 243 KB

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1.    The Commissioner introduced his report; he holds the Chief Constable to account but was accountable to the people of Kent and it was therefore incumbent for him to get out and about to ensure wherever people live, they are getting a good service.  


2.    The Commissioner said his website had changed.  It was based on the template for the Force website, which had saved money, and was clearer and more accessible.  The Commissioner had also embarked on new ‘Question Time’ events as well as visiting schools and he was keen to be accessible to as many of Kent and Medway’s diverse communities as possible.  The Commissioner offered his presence at any groups Members might be aware of. 


3.    A Member asked whether there would be an increase in visible policing. The Commissioner confirmed that was what he expected to see and that if it didn’t happen he would continue to hold the Chief Constable to account.  The new policing model should release some demand on police officers to provide a more visible policing presence.  The Commissioner explained that he went out on patrol with police officers to ensure they were not taken away from their regular duties in order to talk to him.


4.    Another Member asked what plans the Commissioner had regarding engagement with Looked after Children (LAC) and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)?  The Commissioner explained that he had done some work in this area; in addition there was a challenge in the county with LAC and UASC.   The Commissioner was keen to take suggestions if there were particular groups Members were aware of which would like to discuss issues with him.  The Commissioner did have concerns around the exploitation of young people, and was keen to ensure that he engaged with young people directly.


5.    A Member referred to bullet point 1 on page 13, that the Commissioner would ensure concerns are listened to and acted upon, and asked how this would be done?  The Commissioner explained that he kept records of issues raised so that he could see an overall picture of issues raised and acted on.  He also ensured that local policing teams were aware so that they could take action where appropriate.


6.    The Chairman was pleased that the Commissioner would be present at the Kent County show this year and was aware that the Youth Council would welcome the Commissioner’s presence at a future meeting. 


RESOLVED that the Police and Crime Panel thank the PCC for the report on actively engaging with residents in Kent and Medway.


Questions to the Commissioner

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1.    My question relates to how useful the police in Kent and Medway find CCTV run by local authorities, and the value the police attach to the service in the light of possible alternative approaches to the use of technologies. This is also in the context of your statement that your policy of not funding local authority CCTV ‘will not change’.


In particular how many suspects have been apprehended as a result of live monitoring by local authority CCTV and of these what percentage result in convictions? Can you also provide equivalent figures for passive viewing of CCTV? Has there been an increase in relevant crime figures where live monitoring has been discontinued? Similarly have the figures changed where CCTV monitoring, both live and passive, have been discontinued?


Finally what is your view on the deterrent value of CCTV? (Don Sloan)


2.    The Commissioner confirmed that CCTV provided reassurance to residents and businesses and important evidence to the police. 


3.    It was the Commissioner’s opinion that CCTV did provide a deterrent, but, given the funding pressures on councils, he knew that some had been reviewing and reducing their services, and some were clubbing together to provide a service.  Some councils had applied to police forces for funding and it was extremely rare that any force made a contribution to CCTV.  It was not a statutory requirement for police forces or Commissioners to provide CCTV funding. The Commissioner gives £500k to CSPs every year so he considered that they might wish to use some of this for CCTV. The Commissioner suggested the Member might wish to contact local authorities direct for any statistics.


4.    The Commissioner considered that CCTV was important and that it did benefit residents and businesses but the police were also researching what other methods of evidence capture could be used such as dash cam footage for example. 


5.    The Member asked for clarification on the £500k to CSPs and the Commissioner confirmed that he gave a grant of £500k to CSPs across the county, and that some used part of this to fund CCTV. The Commissioner said he hoped that councils will continue to provide the service but he understood it had to be in context of pressures on councils.


6.    The HMIC recently found that Kent Police was deemed as good in their recent review, which was reported in the local media. But the HMIC did state that Kent has a “significant problem” with how it works with victims of crime, having noticed “worrying overall trends” as more than one in five crime investigations (21.9%) failed to progress due to the victim not supporting police action. This places Kent Police as the second worst force in the country and is significantly higher than the national average (13.8%). They also reported a “considerable fall in victim satisfaction” over the last five years. The HMIC warned that these figures “suggest that the force has a significant problem with how it works and supports victims”.


These results are not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 221.


Commissioner's Decisions 013 & 014 pdf icon PDF 300 KB

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1.    Regarding decision 13 – Mobile First, Integrated Software Procurement.  A Member asked for confirmation that if something was not suitable to Kent Police that the contract would enable the Force to quickly replace or remedy the problem.  The Commissioner gave the assurance that there would be clauses within the contract that if the service was not working for the Force they could get out of the contract. 


RESOLVED that the Panel note the Commissioner’s Decisions.


Future work programme pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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RESOLVED that the Panel note the work programme.