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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Olympic Room Aylesbury Vale District Council Gatehouse Road Aylesbury Bucks HP19 8FF

Contact: Clare Gray 

Note No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To agree the Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 February 2017

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 February 2017 were agreed as a correct record.


HBoS Fraud

At the last meeting the PCC had referred to the HBoS fraud case and the length and cost of the investigation, which had resulted in the case taking over six years to bring to court. The PCC had commented that the cost in time and money for a police force to take on a major fraud investigation was considerable and a judgement had to be made as to whether the £7m spent on this case, and police officer time, could have been better spent in pursuing other crimes, such as child sexual abuse, and the multitude of lower scale frauds perpetuated against smaller companies and the elderly.


He also commented that the entire annual budget for the Serious Fraud Office is just £44m and yet the overall cost of losses from fraud and cyber crime was estimated to be around £200bn.


The PCC reported he was seeking to recover the full cost incurred on the case of £7m through a special grant payment but no response had been received from the Home Office to date. The Cabinet Office was due to have a meeting after Easter to discuss serious fraud issues.


Members noted that the bank had set aside £100m to compensate 64 victims of the HBoS Reading fraud although this sum may need to be increased if there were further claims.


CSE Recommendations (attachment to the minutes)

·         MASH – the PCC reported that he had visited the majority of MASH’s in the Thames Valley and he reported that the larger MASH worked well, whereas he considered that some of the smaller MASH were not sustainable. He would review the performance of MASH at the end of the calendar year. He emphasised the importance of having an education representative on the MASH and needed ‘buy in’ from schools to ensure that all MASH had access to this resource.

·         Perpetrators – the PCC referred to recent cases in the press. He commented on the importance of also looking at lone perpetrators profiles as well and to share all information with partner agencies to bring all intelligence together. The Home Office were also undertaking national work on the profile of offenders to get a better picture of the scale of the issue.

·         Safeguarding in language schools – the PCC reported that this was a widespread issue and that he had been discussing this with the PCC for Sussex who also had a number of language schools in her Force area. He was looking to send a joint letter with Sussex to the Department of Education on this issue.

·         Hotelwatch – he would request a report from the Chief Constable. He referred to an award being presented to hotel reception staff for recognising a potential offender. He also expressed concern about the increasing amount of hotels which did not have a reception and customers could just log in with a card. The Panel also referred  ...  view the full minutes text for item 99.



Public Question Time

Anyone who works or lives in the Thames Valley can ask a question at meetings of the Police and Crime Panel, at which a 20 minute session will be designated for hearing from the public.


If you’d like to participate, please read the Public Question Time Scheme and submit your questions by email to at least three working days in advance of the meeting.


The following public question was put to the Panel on roads policing which would be addressed through the following item on the agenda (minute 101):-


‘From a public perspective and that of local tax payers is it acceptable that the current arrangements in respect of speed camera enforcement within the Thames Valley should operate:

  1. In the absence of any published policies or standards?
  2. In the absence of any published performance metrics?
  3. Is not subject to any objective form of independent scrutiny?

This against and by the PCC's own admission a wide spread public perception that cameras are used principally for income generation; moreover a local context of a rising trend in road casualty rates’.




Themed Item - Roads Policing pdf icon PDF 196 KB

In his new Plan the PCC says that roads policing is a core part of policing. Thames Valley has the largest motorway network of any police force and major trunk roads such as the A34 also cross the area. One of his key aims is for police and partners to address road safety concerns, especially amongst vulnerable groups such as younger people, cyclists and pedestrians. Sue Brown, Team Leader Casualty Reduction Bucks County Council, Cheryl Evans Senior Road Safety Officer West Berkshire Council and Richard Owen, Operations Director, Road Safety Analysis have been invited for this item.


Areas for discussion include:-


·         How the PCC will address his key aim in relation to road safety

·         How the PCC holds Chief Constable to account on the Joint Operation with Hampshire and resourcing

·         Policies on road safety including speed camera replacement and use of average speed cameras

·         Issues being raised by residents on road safety issues

·         Current initiatives in preventing road deaths


The themed item discussed at this meeting was roads policing which is a core part of policing. Thames Valley has the largest motorway network of any police force and major trunk roads such as the A34 also cross the area. One of the PCCs aims is for police and partners to address road safety concerns, especially among vulnerable groups, cyclists and pedestrians.


Sue Brown, Team Leader Casualty Reduction Bucks County Council, Cheryl Evans Senior Road Safety Officer West Berkshire Council and Richard Owen, Operations Director, Road Safety Analysis (Manager of Safer Roads Berkshire) attended the meeting.


The Officers above introduced their experiences of roads policing as follows:-



·         There is a good partnership between the Council and the police. However there have been significant cuts in funding. There used to be a Thames Valley Road Safety Partnership which was a useful co-ordinating body across the area which highlighted good practice and provided good information on roads policing issues. This had now been disbanded because of funding issues, but Berkshire are still using Safer Roads (officers who were originally part of the partnership) to help with strategic issues.

·         In 2010 powers and responsibilities had been devolved to local authorities and there is now significant diversity across the UK in the approach to delivering road safety and the resources available for doing so. The loss of the Road Safety Grant has been significant as it was specific to road safety and gave Local Authorities the ability to use this funding for innovation in road casualty reduction. Now in many Local Authorities the capacity of road safety is often dependent upon accessing alternative funding streams through partnership and co-operating with other Departments.

·         Road Safety is not on any Community Safety Plans for the four District Councils.

·         There is a gap as there is no co-ordination across the area and they only have one link into the police (who provide excellent support). However, they would value better links between road safety and neighbourhood policing.



·         Their main work with the police is linked to the ‘fatal four’,  which includes not wearing a seatbelt, drink/drug driving, inappropriate speed and using a mobile phone, to educate the public around their road safety responsibilities alongside roadside enforcement.

·         They undertake research using MAST which is based on STATS 19 reports looking at the contributing factors and profiling of those involved in crashes. Each campaign or initiative they are involved with includes an evaluation process to measure effectiveness but there are concerns about the lack of police support from roads policing as specialists in enforcement and the added experience they bring when working with local neighbourhood teams.

·         In terms of speed cameras being installed or decommissioned there is no communication with the Local Authority when this is undertaken and no clear guidelines to why these decisions are made.

·         A local version of community Speed Watch was run by West Berkshire in collaboration with Thames Valley Police but they were restricted by the internal police process and the availability of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.



PCC and the wider criminal justice system pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, there is a reciprocal duty for the Police and Crime Commissioner and certain criminal justice bodies to co?operate in ensuring an efficient and effective criminal justice system: Section 10 (3): … make arrangements (so far as it is appropriate to do so) for the exercise of functions so as to provide an efficient and effective criminal justice system for the police area.


The Panel would like the PCC to provide detailed information on how he and other criminal justice agencies are co-operating in ensuring that there is an efficient and effective criminal justice system in the Thames Valley and whether partners have similar or differing priorities and key aims as outlined in the PCC’s new Police and Crime Plan.

Additional documents:


Members noted the report and in particular that under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 there is a duty for PCC’s and criminal justice bodies (including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, youth offending teams and probation) to make arrangements to provide an efficient and effective criminal justice system for the police area.


The Deputy PCC (the PCC had to leave after the previous item) reported the following:-


·         That whilst the PCC currently chairs the Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB), there were no formal levers for the PCC to exert power over criminal justice agencies

·         The PCC and criminal justice agencies meet and discuss current issues on a regular basis e.g prison service in Aylesbury and significant issues for policy.


During discussion the following questions were asked :-


Councillor Birchley - The PCC previously expressed concern about the closure of courts and the need for victims to travel along way to court. Are the use of remote video links being used effectively so they are overcoming the barrier of court closures ? The HMIC report says that in the Thames Valley the right to give evidence by video link rather than attend court was uncertain. Has there been an increase in failed cases due to closures?

The Deputy PCC reported that this had been raised at the LCJB and the concern around the reduction in estate and the impact this would particularly have on victims. The technology needed to be in place beforehand to compensate for the reduction in courts.


Julia Girling commented on the need to make use of video links and how crucial this was for the victim/witness and the need for support from local police officers through the trial process. She also referred to the need to reduce cracked (where a case is concluded without a court hearing) and failed trials. The Deputy PCC commented that they were always looking at how to improve taking cases to court. Cllr Egleton also referred to the fear of crime and the impact on victims and witnesses when court cases were delayed and they were not sure whether to come back when the trial restarted. He also referred to the roads policing item and the fact that the court had no further capacity to take on extra cases. The Deputy Chief Constable reported that the courts take on the maximum number of cases per day so that if one did not go ahead there were other cases that could. They obviously had to prioritise the more serious crimes and used police officers to help them with a system of familiarisation. They tried to make the best use of resources, which sometimes had its challenges.


Julia Girling commented that sometimes witnesses were asked to come back three times because of court delays and sometimes on the third request they did not attend because they had become fed up with the system. It was particularly difficult with vulnerable witnesses. 55% of witnesses when asked said they would not do it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.



Report on the OPCC Strategic Delivery Plan 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 requires the PCC to produce and publish a Police and Crime Plan. In order to monitor delivery of the Plan during the year it is considered best practice to produce a Delivery Plan to facilitate effective management control and delivery of the PCC’s objectives, and will help to demonstrate transparency, accountability and effective governance within his office.


Please click on the link below for last year’s Plan


Additional documents:


Within the report Panel Members noted that the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 requires the PCC to produce and publish a Police and Crime Plan. The Act also requires the PCC to produce an Annual Report on progress in delivering the Police and Crime Plan. There is no statutory requirement to produce and monitor delivery of the Plan but this is considered best practice since it will facilitate effective management control and delivery of the PCC’s objectives and will help to demonstrate transparency, accountability and effective governance by the Office of the PCC.


During discussion the following questions were asked:-


Cllr Mallon - Do you think that you should have a Delivery Plan which shows how you will be delivering your 25 key aims in your full Plan rather than a Plan for your back office ?

The Deputy PCC reported that the OPCC 2017/18 Strategic Delivery Plan was in a different format which showed the business areas which support delivery of the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan. The information in the Delivery Plan showed enough transparency around the PCC’s strategic priorities.


Cllr Page re the Community Safety Fund – when will the Formula be reviewed this year and will we be consulted ? Please could you explain more about the High Sheriff PPA Fund and what it is being used for ?

The Chief Finance Officer reported that earlier this year that PCC and Chief Constable jointly agreed to give £25,000 to each of the three county based High Sheriffs to make awards to local charities and/or community groups that support delivery of the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan. This decision is available on the PCC website. He would keep Panel Members updated on any changes to the formula used to allocate the Community Safety Fund. Cllr Mallon commented that it was important that the Panel were kept informed on this area.

Action: Chief Financial Officer


Cllr Macpherson asked that the Panel review performance of the delivery plan. The Panel agreed that rather than review performance six monthly they should revert back to receiving update reports from the OPCC on particular parts of the Plan for each meeting.


Cllr McCracken (who was not present) had asked that the following question be put to the PCC:-


At your Level 1 meeting you commented that you would be writing to the Government in relation to collaboration with the Fire Service and explaining the difficulties of taking on three different models of Fire Service. What did you learn from your visit to Sussex who have a similar structure to the Thames Valley ? Will you be undertaking an initial feasibility study and what is the timescale for this?


(Guidance document for OPCC Chief Executives in relation to the Police and Fire Business Case - CIPFA are referred to as advising that any transfers should take place at the start of the financial year. It also suggests that PCC's should allow at least nine months for completing the process which amongst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.



Report of the Complaints Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Members are asked to note the report.


The report of the Complaints Sub Committee was noted.



Topical Issues pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To note and ask questions on the topical issues report and particularly to receive an update on:-


·         PCC’s engagement strategy and role of Deputy PCC

·         Updates on Police Funding Formula and collaboration with the Fire Service

·         Any issues arising from the PCC Policy Planning and Performance meeting on 31 March 2017


The Deputy PCC gave an overview of their Engagement Strategy which was to strengthen community and stakeholder involvement and improve the quality and consistency of the Office of the PCC engagement to allow opportunities for the public and stakeholders to inform the PCC’s priorities and activities. It contains the following principles:-


·         Transparency

·         Listening

·         Inclusiveness

·         Partnership


The Deputy PCC reported that there was a calendar of events on their website and that this would be updated to show all community events.


Cllr Sinclair reported that she and the Panel’s Scrutiny Officer had attended the Oxford City Council Scrutiny Committee to report on the work of the Panel. They had made three recommendations to the Panel on the following:-


·         To encourage more consultation on the Police and Crime Plan

·         To rotate meetings across the Thames Valley to increase public engagement

·         To publish outcomes where the Panel has influenced the PCC


The Deputy PCC reported that they had undertaken a large survey before putting the Plan together, which included attending a number of public engagement events to find out what the public’s priorities were on police and crime. Feedback on this survey had been included in the final Plan. Each Local Authority had been consulted on the draft Plan.


The Panel Chairman commented that the Panel had previously rotated around the Thames Valley and there had been no public engagement by doing this – therefore they had decided to meet in Aylesbury which was the central point of the Thames Valley. In terms of the Panel’s work, the Panel had its own website and twitter page and also produced an Annual Report in June to show the Panel’s achievements. Each Member should be producing an ‘outside body’ report (or using the Panel’s Annual Report) to inform their own Local Authority of the work of the Panel.


Cllr Sinclair referred to concerns about cross border issues in relation to taxi licensing and that taxis that were licensed in the Vale of the White Horse were working in Oxford City. The Deputy PCC declared an interest as Leader of the Vale of White Horse but responded that the cost of licensing was a matter for the individual Local Authority. However, in terms of safeguarding, Oxfordshire had a robust system in place. He referred to the event that was being organised by the Panel on safeguarding in relation to taxi licensing. He commented on the recent press release by the APCC on the need for a national taxi licensing database to provide information on where drivers had had their licence refused or revoked. 



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 92 KB

For Panel Members to put forward items for the Work Programme including ideas for themed meetings and to consider if they would like any further discussion on the wider criminal justice system.


The Work Programme was noted.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

16 June 2017


Friday 16 June 2017 at 11am