Agenda item

Update on Police and Crime Panel Activity.

The Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel, Mr. J. T. Orson JP CC has been invited to attend for this item.  A presentation will be delivered.



The Commission considered a presentation from Mr J T Orson CC, Chairman of the Police and Crime Panel (PCP), which provided details of the activity undertaken by the Panel since the previous report to the Scrutiny Commission.  A copy of the presentation is filed with these minutes.


In his introduction, Mr Orson highlighted that the PCP had recently visited the Police call centre at Enderby; this had been informative.  He confirmed that the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Lord Bach, had attended every meeting of the PCP.  The Chief Constable had only been formally invited to one PCP meeting although he regularly attended meetings at the invitation of the PCC.


Arising from discussion and questions the following points were raised:-


(i)          The Government had not passed the total liability relating to police pensions to the PCC.  However, the position would be reviewed in two years’ time.


(ii)         A member expressed concern regarding the recording of instances of hate crime by the Police.  Mr Orson advised that the PCP felt that hate crime was grossly under-reported and was monitoring the situation.  He had also met with the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss prosecution.  He undertook to follow up the specific case that was referred to.


(iii)       With regard to knife crime, it was noted that during the second quarter of 2017/18 603 offences had been recorded, an increase of 23% compared to the previous year.  During this quarter, the police had carried out two operations and supported a national campaign, all of which had seen successful results.  The PCC had also sponsored an event in November targeted at professionals to raise awareness of knife crime and was using £100,000 of reserves to run a small grants process to tackle knife crime.  The PCC had also made catastrophic haemorrhage packs available in all police front line vehicles.  There had been no mention of setting up a dedicated knife crime unit like in Nottingham, although Mr Orson advised that the two PCCs worked well together.


(iv)       In response to a query regarding the PCP’s confidence in the reporting of crime by the Police, Mr Orson confirmed that the Panel was satisfied with the accuracy of the figures.  This had been a significant area of scrutiny by the Panel including holding the PCC to account for the recent HMICFRS report into the accuracy of crime data recording.


(v)        The PCP had been advised that the PCC had decided to increase the number of Police Officers for 2019/20 and 2020/21 by 107 officers.  It was recognised that recruiting this number of officers in a single year would be challenging and the process was expected to take approximately eighteen months.  It was queried whether the police force shared a HR service with other forces in the region; officers undertook to investigate this and provide the Commission with a written response.


(vi)       The number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) was stable and new posts would only be recruited to when current PCSOs left the service.  However, PCSOs were almost entirely funded through the base budget, giving greater certainty to this resource.


(vii)     It was noted that the level of reserves held by Leicestershire Police was fairly constant at around £28 million.  It was queried whether this level of reserve was too high and suggested that some of the reserves should be used to employ front line officers.  However, members were reminded that ongoing reliance should not be placed on reserves.  The PCP had received a budget report which contained detail on the use of reserves and balances, including the principle that general fund reserves should be the range of two percent to five percent of the total net budget.  The current general fund reserve was £6 million, equivalent to 3.2 percent of the net budget.  Officers undertook to provide the Commission with a breakdown of the level of reserves held by the Police.


(viii)    In response to a query about police response times, the Commission was advised that the PCC’s budget was designed to improve rural response times.  The majority of the additional officers being recruited would be based in neighbourhood police areas to increase police present and visibility.  The PCP was holding the PCC to account on this matter.


(ix)       In terms of the prevention of crime, it was noted that People Zones had recently been established in Coalville and Loughborough aimed at partnership working and early intervention.  A report on People Zones would be considered by the PCP at its meeting in September.  The PCP also gave consideration to the success of activities commissioned by the PCC through the quarterly performance report.


The Chairman thanked Mr Orson for attending the meeting and advised the Commission that the Commissioners would be considering how to improve its engagement with Leicestershire Police.




(a)  That the presentation and information now received be noted;


(b)  That officers be requested to provide the Commission with further information regarding the extent of shared services with other Force areas and a breakdown of the reserves held by Leicestershire Police.


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