Agenda and minutes

Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel - Wednesday, 15th November, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Joel Cook / Anna Taylor  03000 416892 / 416478


No. Item


Minutes of the Police and Crime Panel held on 28 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:


1.    In relation to a question about the power to issue a penalty notice for parking in a restricted area outside a school the Commissioner confirmed that he was waiting for an update from the Force and would then inform the Panel. 


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 28 September 2017 were an accurate record and that they be signed by the Chairman. 


Update on Expenditure to Support the Police & Crime Plan pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Additional documents:


1.    The Commissioner introduced his report which provided examples of how recent published expenditure supported delivery of the ‘Safer in Kent’ priorities. 


2.    The Amelix ‘Is it worth it’ tour was engaging and an alternative to traditional lectures. 


3.    Magnate Generation focussed on providing business opportunities with an aim of empowering young people and giving them opportunities in life.


4.    The Commissioner referred to Shepway Chariots.  This was not directly associated with crime diversion but was an example of where money raised from seized and auctioned property belonging to offenders, often vehicles used to commit crime, was being invested back into communities. 


5.    Alongside these projects the Commissioner said he had protected funding for Community Safety Partnerships, and this was due to continue for 2018/19.  The victims fund had also been protected for the past 2 years and would be protected next year. 


6.    Next year there would be further work on hate crime.  The Commissioner reported that the Communities Together fund was currently closed due to its popularity and this would reopen next year.


7.    In response to a question about Magnate Generation the Commissioner would report back to the Member on which school in Folkestone would be involved in the initial project.   A member asked if £500 was sufficient funding for Shepway Chariots, and the Commissioner confirmed that Shepway Chariots were entitled to apply for more funding in the future if necessary.


8.    Regarding Amelix Ltd a member asked if there were any action points regarding digital sunset activities.  The Commissioner explained that he was keen to listen to young people about their experiences in relation to cyber-crime.  The digital sunset project aimed to discourage the use of electronic devices in the evening.  The Commissioner was exploring youth engagement to ensure that those who don’t have a vote do have a voice.  The related data would be published in due course.


9.    In relation to membership of the National Rural Crime Network a member said that Kent ranked in the top 5 for rural crime.  The Commissioner said that the intention of the funding was to share best practice and the Commissioner was asked what he had gained from the network given the enormity of rural crime.  The Commissioner regularly engaged with groups and the NFU/countryside land owners to ensure that he understood the challenges that they faced.  Rural crime was a priority, there was a focus on raising awareness of the challenges, learning from others good practice and bringing this good practice to Kent. 


10. In response to a comment about engaging with young people who were at risk of entering the criminal justice system, the Commissioner explained that the Police Cadet Scheme would be expanding over the next couple of years.  The national target was 25% of police cadets to be from ‘vulnerable’ backgrounds but over 30% of Kent’s cadets were considered vulnerable.  Work was also underway focussing on domestic violence in rural communities where there was evidence to suggest that there were problems in isolated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 248.


Opportunities for the Future: progress update pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Additional documents:


1.    The Commissioner introduced his report. 


2.    Referring to the paragraphs on Lobbying for a fairer funding settlement for Kent the Commissioner commented on the previous proposals to review the funding formula which had not been successful, this had now been reviewed and put on hold by the Home Office.  Kent police had been judged by HMIC as good or outstanding in the PEEL assessments but this would be extremely difficult to maintain if the current funding situation continued.   


3.    Further collaboration was ongoing, the PCC would be appointed as an additional member of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority when legislation was changed and had also had discussions with the ambulance service to look at opportunities.


4.    The Commissioner confirmed that there was a Cybercrime unit within the Serious Crime Directorate.  The Police Cadet scheme continued to be successful and the Commissioner had aspirations for it to go county wide.  


5.    The Commissioner highlighted the role of the Special Constables, they were excellent and volunteered a huge amount of time. 


6.    In response to a question about the funding formula the Commissioner explained that the advice from the Home Office was that it was necessary to see what was in the budget the following week.  Amber Rudd had made some comments about the policing budgets and the often high levels of reserves, there were concerns that this was not positive; however PCCs across the country had suggested a number of other options to the Government. 


7.      A Member asked how the Commissioner was ensuring the schemes involving young people were effective.  The Commissioner referred to the Safer in Kent: Backing Young People document which set out how the Commissioner would hold the Chief Constable to account for issues affecting young people, it was important for young people to have a voice. 


8.    A Member asked why there was no mention of the dedicated Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) unit and CCTV within the ‘ideas tests during the consultation’ section of the paper, the Commissioner explained that he was looking into these issues, he was looking at more innovative ways of using CCTV and had had discussions with private sector organisations.  ASB would be considered as part of budget setting process and commissioning intentions for next year.


9.    In response to a question about the length of time it takes to clear Kent’s motorways after road traffic incidents the Commissioner explained that road closures were often necessary for investigations following an incident, particularly in cases of injury or death; it was not always possible to speed things up.  In response to a point about ensuring the public was kept informed of road closures and delays the Commissioner explained that information was provided via social media and through Kent Online and Kent Live.


10. In response to a question about drone technology and whether this was used in Kent when dealing with road traffic collisions the Commissioner explained that Kent police did have drones with fixed cameras, which were in use for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 249.


Emergency Services Network update pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Additional documents:


1.    The Commissioner introduced his report.  The Airwave system was now hard to maintain and costly; the report sets out progress with the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP), which would replace Airwave.   


2.    The Commissioner explained that if there were further delays in implementing the programme nationally, he wanted to ensure Kent was not paying the additional costs. 


3.    Members thanked the Commissioner for his excellent report which clearly set out a number of problems and tried to reassure members.  There were concerns about the current capacity for answering 999 and 101 calls and a service which was currently under stress. The Member asked what process was in place to ensure that the transfer is successful and service is maintained for the people of Kent.  The Commissioner’s Chief of Staff explained that both he and the Chief Finance Officer were members of the steering group.  The primary change was the implementation of a new Integrated Command and Control System to support the transition from Airwave to modern 4G technology.  This had been procured and the transition would take place during 2018,  well ahead of schedule for the South East to go-live with ESN. From a public perspective, the intention was that there would be a seamless, continuation of service throughout the transition. 


4.    Regarding the interface with partners, the Chief of Staff explained that ESN was extending to all emergency services and in addition many Home Office departments would also be using ESN.  Its multi-functionality would improve communications between partners.  The Chairman asked whether other groups, such as Community Wardens, who currently had access to police communications, would be included in the new network.  The Commissioner said that he would respond to this point outside the meeting. 


5.    Members were concerned that if there were delays Kent Police would have to pay additional costs, how much contingency was there in the budget to cover any further delays?  The Commissioner explained that if the programme kept to plan there was a contingency but the big risk was if the programme didn’t happen and Kent Police were left with the bill to continue the airwave contract.


6.    Members were pleased to see the synergy and cooperation between Essex and Kent Police Forces, the Commissioner was content that the costs were under control locally, considering that this was a national programme Kent Police could not be entirely in control at all times.  Kent Police had budgeted for every known eventuality; the current mobile handsets had a good period of longevity so there was confidence that, if there was a delay in implementation, there wouldn’t be additional costs. 


7.    The savings from the ESN had not been accounted for yet as Officers wanted to ensure that these would be available, the risk was around additional costs through direct cost or top slicing of the government grant.


8.    The South East would not be the first to implement the ESN, the transition  would have been tested in other areas.  Members were assured that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 250.


Future work programme pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


1.    Members noted that there had been a light agenda this month, this was in part due to the closeness of meeting dates and this would be considered when planning future meetings. 


RESOLVED that Members note the Panel’s Future Work Programme.


National Association of Police and Crime Panels - (oral item)

Additional documents:


1.    The Panel’s Policy Officer gave members an update on progress with the National Association of Police and Crime Panels.  Previously Kent was in a minority not supporting a national association but in the summer all panels were consulted on the concept of setting up a smaller special interest group within the LGA.  Kent supported this and at a National Conference of Police and Crime Panels the previous week it was agreed that a steering group of the LGA and Hertfordshire’s Panel would be set up. 


RESOLVED that the Panel note the update on the National Association of Police and Crime Panels. 


27 September 2017 Performance & Delivery Board Meeting Notes pdf icon PDF 375 KB

Additional documents:


1.    The Commissioner explained that the background papers to the Performance and Delivery Board were published on his website in advance. The next Board meeting would take place in the first week of December and all Members were welcome to attend.


RESOLVED that Members note the Commissioner’s Performance and Delivery Board meeting notes.