1. The Commissioner introduced the report detailing expenditure in relation to supporting his Police and Crime Plan. He explained that the report was aimed at bringing additional transparency to his work and what actions were being taken to implement the plan.
2. The Commissioner outlined the key points in the report;
· £19,750 contribution to APCC represented good value due to the excellent support provided to portfolio leads on ensuring improvements and compliance across a range of issues nationally. The Commissioner advised that he was the national lead for Performance and the deputy lead for mental health.
· £25,000 for interim Restorative Justice (RJ) service – the Commissioner highlighted some of the benefits of appropriate use of RJ in terms of focusing on victims and the outcomes they want as well as helping make offenders understand the impact they have had on victims’ lives. He added that £200k had been set aside in this, and future financial years, for a new service which will commence 1 October 2017.
· £12k across several specific victim services and engagement activities including Swale Action to End Domestic Abuse (SATEDA) and Medway Domestic Abuse support.
3. Responding to questions and comments, the Commissioner explained that he always tried to provide the requested amounts of funding via applications to his various funding pots, clarifying that he did apply a ‘hold back’ policy where year on year underspend was identified to ensure money was not wasted. The Commissioner explained that the money for victim services was from the Ministry of Justice and involved a significant amount of governance and due process, which was necessary to ensure value for money but his office tried to make the processes as efficient as possible. He also highlighted work going on to address the complex nature of domestic abuse, including further recognition around the difficulties involved with raising awareness of and improving support for male victims of abuse.
4. The Commissioner noted comments by the Panel in relation to issues relating to demand for refuge places and action by CCGs around recognising the importance of managing domestic abuse and recognising where it may be linked to mental health issues. The Commissioner agreed to look into these points and to provide further information.
5. Responding to questions, the Commissioner explained that through his hold to account function, he was aware that in terms of the youth clinics there had been a misunderstanding around restorative justice as opposed to proportionate justice which resulted in the clinics being used for a different purpose to that intended; that had now stopped. He advised that the new contract would provide much more clarity to both the providers and Kent Police and deliver positive outcomes. He also reassured that Panel that significant monitoring of these programmes took place to ensure that they were achieving value for money.
6. Members asked whether the amount given to SATEDA and Medway Domestic Abuse support was sufficient and the Commissioner explained that he usually gave the sum requested but he would check to see if that was the case.
RESOLVED that the Commissioner’s update on expenditure be noted.