Agenda and minutes

Draft Plan and Precept Proposal, Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel - Thursday, 6th February, 2020 2.00 pm

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 21 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

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1.      The Commissioner provided a brief update, related to points raised at the previous meeting.  He explained ongoing activity to manage the waiting list for the cadet scheme, indicating that additional volunteers were needed to assist in this.  The Commissioner commented that the Chief Constable was keen to use some of the newly recruited Officers to support the cadet programme.  Members commented positively on the cadet programme and the Commissioner welcomed the feedback.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2019 were an accurate record and that they be signed by the Chair.



Draft Police and Crime Plan and Associated Budget and Precept proposals pdf icon PDF 375 KB

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1.      The Chair introduced the item, clarifying that the intention was to scrutinise the proposed draft plan and to consider the need for the additional requested precept funds.  It was confirmed that consideration of the Plan and Precept would be conducted in parts, as usual.


Policing Plan


2.      The Commissioner provided an overview of the Plan and background as to the purpose of and legal requirements for the Plan. He highlighted that the Plan represented one of the most important elements of how the Police were held to account. He commented that while always mindful of his manifesto, he also took into account other key factors when reviewing his plan and associated precept, including changing trends, operational pressures, new challenges, feedback from the public, Police Officers and Staff and the Panel.  The Commissioner explained that the priorities in the Plan were based on the Policing Survey, community engagement and the operational opinion of the Chief Constable.  He explained that he wished to strike a balance between operational needs and realities and the views and expectations of the public.


3.      In outlining the Policing Survey, the Commissioner explained that the methodology had been improved, building on learning from previous surveys, maximising good practice and addressing flaws.  This meant the most recent survey was more robust and he thanked the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) staff for their hard work in delivering and promoting the survey, which had resulted in a three-fold increase in responses.  He noted that while the feedback from the survey was very important, some very key crime issues were not highlighted as priorities by respondents but in his view, these had to be treated as priorities because it was vital to recognise the impact of these crimes on victims.  Key examples included domestic abuse.


4.      The Commissioner explained that based on all the information considered, no significant changes were required to the Plan.  He advised that various minor updates were proposed to reflect developing arrangements and projects related to Policing and the Plan.  He drew the Panel’s attention to the details outlined in the report and highlighted a few positive examples such as the Plan referencing Violence Reduction Units, the securing of additional government funding for unique policing pressures on Kent (e.g. Brexit) and also specific consideration of knife crime within the ‘Fight Crime and Anti-social Behaviour’ priority.


5.      The Commissioner also commented on the improved situation in relation funding for Policing which had been unexpected in previous years and had led to significant review and updating of the Kent Police Medium-term Financial Plan (MTFP).


6.      The Chair congratulated the Commissioner on the response to the Policing Survey and also commented that Kent Police had clearly been performing well, in view of national assessment and the previous positive updates provided by the Commissioner.  The Chair opened the item to questions.


7.      Members asked a range of questions in relation to the Policing Survey and the Plan.  Key issues raised by the Panel and responded to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 341.


Mental Health and Policing - Verbal Update

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1.      The Commissioner provided a verbal update on key activity in relation to Mental Health and policing.  He highlighted a research project conducted by Victim Support which had suggested increased risks to those with mental health issues faced, such as higher chances of burglary and being a victim of ASB or violence.  The Commissioner explained that the recommendations from this work included the need for much more joined up working within the criminal justice sector as the crucial mental health factors were often not identified early enough.  He advised that he was working to relevant partners to achieve this.


2.      The Commissioner described some positive developments including more safe havens, improved telephone service for use prior to any s136 detentions.  He also commented that CCGs and Mental Health trusts were taking these issues more seriously.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.



New Complaints Legislation pdf icon PDF 406 KB

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1.      The Panel considered the decision taken by the Commissioner to take on the Model 1 approach to the changed Police Complaints system.  Mr Harper, OPCC Chief Executive, explained the implications of the change and the Commissioner taking on the Appeals function.  It was explained that the process would apply only to those complaints where there is no serious or gross misconduct.  The process and review responsibilities coming under the control of the Commissioner related to low level complaints.


2.      He advised that the main focus of the change was shifting the emphasis from blame toward practice improvement.  The new approach would make the complaints system much more efficient and more transparent in due course.


3.      Mr Harper highlighted that scale of the work and volume of complaints which may require review was not yet known as the definition of relevant complaints had been expanded.  An additional member of staff was being recruited to help manage the expected significant increase in workload.


RESOLVED that the Commissioner’s decision be noted.



Panel Annual Report - 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 284 KB

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RESOLVED that the report be approved.



Future work programme pdf icon PDF 195 KB

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RESOLVED that the work programme be noted.



Questions to the Commissioner pdf icon PDF 181 KB

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Question 1:


Can the PCC advise the Panel whether he is taking any specific action to hold the Chief Constable to account on Kent Police’s response to Modern Slavery and Sexual Exploitation, particularly regarding vulnerable children? Also, can the Commissioner advise whether this holding to account, includes consideration of whether Kent Police are collaborating effectively with relevant partner agencies, such as Border Force and HMRC?

(Richard Palmer – Swale Borough Council)


1.      The Commissioner advised that he held the Chief Constable to account on these and other key issues via the Performance & Delivery Board meetings.  He had received relevant reassurances from the Chief Constable and reports at the Performance & Delivery Board had shown the significant efforts made by Kent Police to tackle these issues.  These included the investment in the Misper and Child Sexual Exploitation teams, working with partners and communities and making numerous arrests and referrals. 


2.      The Commissioner advised that he was assured that Kent Police did collaborate with the Border Force, HMRC and the National Crime Agency.  He also commented that the OPCC were committed to working with suppliers to ensure that his office is not investing in any organisations with links to modern slavery or other organised crime.



Questions 2


Over the past two years, this Panel has supported the Commissioner’s request for additional resources, in particular for the recruitment of more Police Constables. Can the Commissioner please confirm (a) where this additional capacity has been allocated both in terms of activity and District, and (b) give evidence of the difference this additional resource has made in reducing crime and improving visible community policing? And can the answer to (b) please be supported by a document (info graphic) which can be easily shared with residents who ultimately pay and want to see where their money is being spent?

(MJ Holloway – Dover District Council)



3.      The Commissioner provided a note on the recent allocations of Officers.  He advised that geography was a difficult point to capture as the resources have been provided at a Divisional level rather District.  This meant that there would not be an even spread of extra officers in each District but he explained that the resources had been deployed based on demand.  The Commissioner accepted that this would not please all residents but he was satisfied that this deployment based on demand was appropriate.


4.      The Commissioner commented that crime was down in areas with new Town Beat Officers but also highlighted some other positive operational activity such as Operation Eminent which sought to tackle knife crime and had led to 1152 arrests, 292 warrants, 1247 stop and searches and 127 cash seizures.  He advised that such operations would not have been possible with reduced resources, so evidenced the benefits of the increased Officer numbers he had supported.


5.      In terms of sharing more information about the deployment, he advised that he would engage with Kent Police about improved communication and infographics to assist.



Question 3:


At a recent meeting of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 346.


Minutes of the Commissioner's Performance & Delivery Board meeting held on 25 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 531 KB

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At the conclusion of the meeting the Commissioner made a brief statement.  As this was the last meeting scheduled prior to the PCC Elections, wanted to thank the Panel for their robust scrutiny, highlighting the importance of effective scrutiny and transparency for roles such as his with significant authority.  The Commissioner praised the constructive approach the Panel had taken and the beneficial relationship that had developed over the course of his term of office.  The Panel welcomed the positive comments from the Commissioner.