Police Accountability Board Notes 10th December 2019

Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo




10th December 2019


1. Welcome and introductions


Stephen Mold (SM)

Paul Fell (PF)

Paul Bullen (PB)

Nicci Marzec (NM)

Helen King (HK)

Louise Sheridan (LS)


Nick Adderley (NA)

Simon Nickless (SN)

Colleen Rattigan (CR)

James Andronov (JA)

Vaughan Ashcroft (VA) – Finance paper

D/Supt. Paul Rymarz (PR) – Disposal for sexual offences paper

Sarah Crampton (SC) – Quarterly performance paper


Apologies were accepted from Simon Blatchly


  • SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.


2. Minutes of previous meeting and action log

  • Minutes of previous meeting where circulated with the meeting papers. No changes have been requested
  • Outstanding actions from the Action Log will be updated post meeting.


3. Budget Update 

    • HK provided an update around the current uncertainty for both the national and local funding model.
    • It is likely that the national funding settlement will not be announced until January – more than a month later than usual.
    • The uncertainty, and ongoing issue of single year settlements limit the forces ability to finalise their financial plans.
    • The local funding settlement relies upon the business rate retention starting position. A prudent 1.75% increase in growth has been assumed however this may need to be revised to 1.5%. (Historically Northants has grown 2% every year but forecast this year is lower).
    • Last year the council tax surplus generated an additional £1.2 million. Latest figures indicate it will be around £600k this year but anticipating £750k
    • Consultation on precept will start in next week.
    • VA updated on impact of assumptions on overall force budget for 2020/21 including pay awards, Regional CJ Collaboration and MFSS contingency.
    • There was a discussion about MFSS and SN updated on the risk associated with MFSS changes.
    • VA updated on other pressures highlighted in MTFP and budget including additional costs associated with IT, increase in mobile data and cloud storage.
    • SN advised Caroline Marsh has been asked to review operational performance of change programme including Qlik, Pronto and Office 365, both in terms of capacity and capability.

    Action – SM asked for clarification on what areas the force are deprioritising and the strategic intent for doing so. (What difference does the increased investment make that enables us to stop doing something else)


    • SN confirmed FP25 captures evidence based approach to the strategy and is confident that force can provide the level of rigour that gives the PFCC reassurance.
    • There was a discussion about the S106 contract and an associated one year cost of £20k, for NCC to act on our behalf with the aim of securing a minimum return of £100k. Fire are a statutory consultee in relation to S106 and are able to generate a significant financial return from developments. The charging schedule for fire could be recreated for police. SN managing to make sure any contributions secured are used in line with development conditions
    • The positive work around reducing use of NPAS was highlighted. A future discussion around future model will be required at National PCC/CC level
    • The drone pilot supported by PFCC is progressing
    • There was a discussion on recruitment milestones to 2021. SM confirmed he is pleased with the progress made to date.
    • There was a discussion around police officer establishment numbers. SN confirmed he is introducing a more holistic approach to ensure greater rigour within resource planning, particularly around the number of student officers joining response teams and approaching recruitment as one piece rather than in silos (FCR, Officers, PCSO’s etc).
    • In terms of the overall MTFP both VA and HK are comfortable with forecasts and assumptions with the vast majority of areas coming out as expected. Greater level of confidence in IT budget this year although there are still challenges in understanding use of mobile data.
    • There was a general discussion on the use of multi systems such as Storm, Niche and other command and control functions.
    • SM suggested that a day is arranged to facilitate a deep dive – want high level understanding to review emerging technologies that will provide better outcomes in the longer term and benefits of better use in technology.

   Action – LS to arrange Digital Deep Dive day in January to understand increase in expenditure versus improved outcomes. IT is the big outlier but also the big enabler. Focus should be on single points of failure in terms of project delivery and realisation plans for operational benefits

  • SM authorised payment for the recruitment of potential joint Fire and Police IT head. Budget for next year. ACO role in progress. Structure to join it all together. IT post to be prioritised.
  • There was a discussion about the noted increase in the HR budget.

SM asked for more info on Enabling services. HK will provide breakdown.

Action – HK will provide breakdown in relation to the different component parts of 6the costs that make up enabling services departments.

  • There was a discussion on Pay award pressures. SM will want to highlight to new Policing Minister and MPs after the General Election and take the opportunity to reiterate the unfairness of funding formula calculation which means Northants police lose out by approximately £2.5 million.Action –  HK provide more info re £2.5 million for NA for next meeting with HMICFRS
    • SM commended the work that has been done particularly given the uncertainty around the funding formula. Requested that VA and HK consider remodelling a scenario 2.5.
    • Taking the discussion full circle, SM will need to announce his precept intensions by the end of January.
    • NA confirmed he has set out his strategic priorities for the Force including bolstering areas that support online/cyber, vulnerability and criminal justice however record levels of recruitment create a gap in funding due to the shortfall on the percentage pay increase.
    • SN will have report for NA tomorrow.


4.  Performance Update

    • SC provided an overview on the forces quarterly performance to December 2019
    • SM commented that it would be useful to have an indication if the numbers had gone up or down added.

    Action – SC to add an indication of the direction of travel of the indicators on slide 1 to future iterations.

    • SM commended the force on its significantly improved position on residential burglary.
    • There was a discussion about the DA car which is having a positive impact offering scheduled appointments to victims. Having an officer and specialist crewed together expands the wrap around service.
    • Key piece is to prevent repeat victimisation and reduce reoffending.
    • Whilst it was acknowledged that conviction rates are not where they need to be, JA keen to emphasise high levels of victim satisfaction even when not arresting.
    • There was a discussion on Knife crime and the accelerating trend. NA confirmed this is one of the forces seven priorities.


    Action – currently receive quarterly report from NHS on hospital admissions. SM to see if we can get this data more regularly


    • Challenges around identifying SOC gangs and maintain intelligence on them was also covered.
    • The number of children missing is increasing. NA has escalated through children’s safety board and has assurances from them that this will improve. SM offered to speak with Theresa Grant should this not be the case.
    • There has been a long term reduction and downward trend in road fatalities but now starting to see a slight increase. NA confirmed actively pursuing Fatal 4 via response, ANPR improvements and new Interceptors to tackle.
    • #Whoyougonnacall and launch of Single Online Home have had a positive increase on crime reported on line. Would like to see corresponding reduction to wait times on 101
    • ASB perception of percentage of crime is rising.
    • The increase in homelessness and mental health issues remain a significant challenge. Op Alloy is included in base budget from April and brings in ambulance service which should help manage demand.

5. Disposal of Sexual Offences

    • D/Supt Paul Ryman provided an update on rape and serious sexual offence disposals and conviction rates.
    • Most significant is the 10% rise in reported rapes and 20% rise in other sexual offences.
    • PR explained offences are often committed by intimate partners and may include the disclosure of historical offences. Charging rates are low as many victims are not supportive and the evidence necessary to acquire a conviction is difficult to obtain.
    • PR confirmed the rise in reported offences can be attributed to the use of the DASH form
    • There was a discussion about the DASH form that is completed and whether it is made clear at the outset that any disclosure will have to be recorded and investigated. Making this clear gives the victim the option to disclose or not disclose other sexual offences.
    • PR agreed that this was a fair challenge however there is strong academic reasons why questions are asked and the rationale for this is to obtain the truest picture.
    • There was a discussion about how well do we investigate and achieve an outcome for the victim.
    • PR confirmed victims are not having to wait significant amounts of time for an officer to attend and where attendance is deemed appropriate.
    • Continuity within his team means the standard of each investigation is very high whether or not the victim is willing or if there is any evidence.
    • In addition, the support services offered are significant. Voice, Rape Crisis and Serenity are all available even if the victim does not want to go through the judicial process.
    • There was a discussion about the onerous and time consuming pre-charge process.
    • PR and his team have a good relationship with CPS and are working well at a tactical level.
    • Issues tend to be at Crown Court where rape cases can be delayed up to three times. The impact of this on the victim is significant.

    Action – SM will pick up and see where we can apply pressure, via the new LCJB.


    Action – PR to look at Derbyshire as a distinctive outlier. (Derbyshire has a higher rate of positive action when compared with MSG).


    Action – Continue to explore prevention measures. Education around healthy relationships is key. Look at Nottingham pilot in this area and other “No means No” messages.

6. A.O.B

  • There was no other business.