Police Accountability Board Notes 9th April 2019


Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo

 

ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD

Minutes

9th April 2019

 

1. Welcome and introductions

Attendees:

Stephen Mold (SM)

Paul Bullen (PB)

Paul Fell (PF)

Louise Sheridan (LS)

Simon Nickless (SN)

Lara Alexander-Lloyd (LAL)

 

  • SM welcomed the meeting. 

2. Action Log

  • It was agreed that PF would share the new Sponsored PCSO literature with SN
  • ACTION – PF TO PROVIDE NEW PCSO LITERATURE TO SN
  • There was a discussion about the outstanding action to provide relevant information in order to demonstrate changes to resources, budget and demand since 2010. SN advised this is now managed under a new Strategic Plan but that additional high level data was now ready to share.
  • ACTION – LAL to tidy-up before sending across to PF & SM.
  • There was a discussion about a purported increase in abandoned 101 calls. Work is being undertaken in FP20 to understand the changing complexity of calls, wrap up times and how the use of increasingly sophisticated IVR allows more people to self-serve rather than remain in the call queue.
  • The Commissioner remains reassured that the response rate to 999 calls is strong.
  • It was agreed that SM and NA would discuss the return of EMOpSS staff in their next 1-2-1. Work currently being done in FP20 around the use of ARV’s policing the motorway network and the best resourcing for the dogs unit.
  • Relevant updates on all other outstanding actions were provided and the Action Log updated.

 

3. Seized Property

  • SN confirmed that backlog has reduced from 12,000 to 3,000 items.
  • However more resource is needed in the team and recruited resources were in vetting. He was content to ensure vetting was prioritised where appropriate on a case by case basis.
  • SN agreed that more work could be done to support the team including the effective recording of items seized in NICHE.
  • Detective Superintendent Mark Behan is leading on the improvements to case investigations.
  • It was confirmed that work is being done in FP20 to review changes to how crimes and cases files are managed. Currently cases have no easily identified OIC. There are plans to change this so that the initial arresting/investigating officer retains ownership.
  • There was a discussion about how cash seizures are currently managed depending on whether it is seized under POCA or PACE.
  • There was concern that whilst a robust plan had been produced to identify anomalies in NICHE and property stores, the current risk has not been mitigated and is reliant on additional resource being recruited. This will take time.
  • It was agreed than SN would resolve the current risk within FSB. Better recording by officers in NICHE will also help.
  • There is a need to provide officers with better training on what items should be seized. This will ease the pressure on storage issues.
  • SM was not entirely assured that recommendations for improvements identified in the 2017 audit and repeated in the 2018 audit had been addressed.
  • SN confirmed that he has introduced a new Assurance Board. The first Mazars report is due later this week.
  • There was a discussion about using Ebay to realise some value from the confiscated property. This has been successful in Leicestershire. SN has tasked this to Paul Dawkins to look into.
  • There was a discussion about the lease on the current store facility. It was agreed that there needs to be a steer from the Chief Officer Team on whether the current premises are suitable. If they are, SM would like a business case and cost comparisons on whether to buy or to lease.
  • ACTION – SN agreed to meet with Kelly Connor and David McInally to discuss the terms of the current lease on detained property store.
  • ACTION – SN TO IMPLEMENT A SHORT TERM FIX FOR CASH COUNTING IN PROPERTY STORES
  • ACTION – SN TO ENSURE THAT NO 2017 OR 2018 ACTION FROM INTERNAL AUDITS ON SEIZED PROPERTY ARE STILL LIVE IN 2020 AUDIT OR PROVIDE ADVANCE EXPLANATIONS TO PFCC IF THIS IS TO BE THE CASE.

 

4. Proceeds of Crime (POCA)

  • There was a discussion about POCA and the percentage of revenue from seizures.
  • It was confirmed that ACC Simon Blatchly has oversight and currently conducting a review under FP20.
  • There was a discussion about Crypto Currency. SN is keen to understand how we future proof the way we deal with POCA
  • It was agreed that POCA seizures are a good news story particularly when stolen goods are returned to the victims of crime.
  • There was a discussion about the challenges in recruitment and retention of staff and how staff are funded.
  • There was concern that for the first time since 2006 funds provided from POCA seizures would no longer raised enough funds to cover the whole costs of staff employed. PFCC agreed that any such shortfall in 2019/20 would be underwritten by PFCC and SN agreed that future structure of the department would be considered in FP20.
  • Lee McBride will be tasked by SN to check if staff are on permanent or fixed term contracts. Stability of employment is also an important factor in staff retention.
  • There was a discussion about missing people and the need to implement some basic financial investigation training for intelligence staff to assist in tracing high risk missing people. This will mean FIU only involved when more formal/advanced skill are required.

 

5. AOB

KIOSK

  • SM expressed his disappointment in the delayed roll out of kiosks and the recent identification of software issue examining mobile phone data. This issue was brought to his attention via a Broadcast email the previous afternoon.
  • SN was not aware of the email and agreed to investigate and provide SM with an explanation.
  • SN provided assurance that kiosks are being used and are having some impact on telephones however they are not an ideal solution as not intended to be at evidential standard
  • It was confirmed that JA now owns the digital strategy and is looking at a long term solution. This work is being supported by Detective Superintendent Mark Behan.
  • ACTION – SN to arrange for an update on the current position with kiosks.