Police Accountability Board Notes 10th March 2020

Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo




10th March 2020


1. Welcome and introductions


Stephen Mold (SM)

Paul Fell (PF)

Paul Bullen (PB)

Louise Sheridan (LS)


Simon Nickless (SN),

James Andronov (JA)

Vaughn Ashcroft (VA)


Apologies were accepted from

Nick Adderley (NA), Pauline Sturman (PS), Colleen Rattigan (CR)


  • SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.


2. Previous minutes and action log

  • Minutes of previous meeting where circulated with the meeting papers. No changes have been requested
  • Outstanding actions from the Action Log have been updated.
  • SN provided an update on NPAS and plans to reduce from a 24/7 to an 18/7 service which will provide significant savings.
  • SN also highlighted the likely impact on the Force, should the service relocate to an airbase in the East Midlands.
  • PB advised that the regionalisation issue has been flagged. Elaine Grocock from the Reginal team will advise when next NPAS meeting is scheduled so that one of the PCC Exec’s can attend. Likely to be April

Action SN send formal note to SM so that he can raise concerns with John Campion from PCC’s point of view.

3. Treasury Management Update

      • The Treasury Management report was discussed along with the assumptions and risk appetite contained within it.
      • HK explained how the budget, capital Programme, Treasury Management and Capital strategies were integrated and all updated
      • VA outlined that depending on the time of year cash balances were between £3m and £30m and it was important to try and have these levels working effectively for the organisation.
      • The Capital programme slippage had meant that internal borrowing was able to be used to finance capital expenditure but the future plans did increase this level
      • SM queried how the relationship worked with the Treasury Advisers who also undertake similar services across Northants.
      • VA advised that Paul Dawkins and HK had reviewed alternative provision previously and found that the existing contract was not being used to its full benefit.
      • VA advised that Link (the Treasury Advisers) were able to advise on the market conditions, compliance with the prudential requirements and to advise the best time to invest and borrow and where from.
      • VA confirmed that Force staff place the investments, in accordance with relevant authorisations, not the advisers.
      • HK and VA outlined how the finance restructure will build more resilience and capacity within the team to spend more time on Treasury Management and to take on the work of Fire when it transfers, hopefully at the end of March 2021. This will give enough time to train the individuals in their roles and put in place processes and systems to undertake the requirements.
      • Additionally the contract for advisers would be tendered in the near future and it was intended to do this for both Fire and Policing.
      • SM asked VA and HK to further consider the risk appetite in the 2021/22 Treasury Management Strategy for consideration.
      • SM approved the strategy and acknowledged that JIAC would also review it on the 11 March 2020.

4. Budget Monitoring

  • VA gave an update on the paper
  • SM explained he did not wish to see the OPFCC and Capital Financing on the face of the Force paper. He wanted the paper to focus on the Force position.
  • HK/VA agreed this would be actioned in future reports.

Action HK/VA to write future reports with a focus on the Force position.

  • VA went through the report and highlighted key areas and SM raised a number of questions which VA and SN answered.
  • SM asked when the OPFCC was able to draw down on the uplift funding. HK and VA advised that the Home Office had not set those requirements as yet.
  • SM asked HK to write to the Home Office or Minister to Query this.


Action HK to write to Minister Brokenshire to clarify how to draw down the uplift funding

  • There was a discussion about taser grant funding. HK confirmed that the grant information has been received. She will review and sign off later today
  • SM asked if the Force was satisfied that it had asked for enough money from the funding available
  • SN confirmed that tasers are not personal issue. Funding provides sufficient access for LRO’s in stations and also covers increased storage requirements.
  • VA agreed to share the Grant return with SM


Action VA to send original grant submission for Taser funding with SM

  • There was a discussion about operational policing and the strength of PCSO’s following some recent resignations. The next PCSO recruitment is planned for May. SN will review and bring forward if PCSO numbers are low.


Action SN to review PCSO establishment and consider earlier recruitment if required

  • There was a discussion about the LRO establishment, the pressure to keep this stable and wider plans to increase other teams such as MOSOVO.
  • SN confirmed the Force now has 360 response officers. It has also increased Custody by three inspectors and has seven additional sergeants based at Weston Favell to help manage the larger response teams.
  • SM would like a summary paper that shows the new structure. He would also like to know the breakdown of length of service as it is particularly helpful when talking to the public


Action SN to send summary of LRO and Custody establishment to SM including length of service data.

  • There was a discussion about detection rates (currently around 10% and in line with other forces) and the crime data integrity programme (crime recording inspections)
  • SN advised we are the 43rd Force to have an inspection. A hot debrief is expected later this week.

Action SN to send CDI top line numbers and a high level summary to PF


  • There was a discussion about Op Tuckhill and associated costs.
  • SM also asked for an explanation on the delayed recruitment of LIO’s
  • SN explained this was due to the focus on police officer recruitment. SN will include in update to PF
  • There was also a discussion on the over spend in Central Operations.


Action LS to set up a meeting for NA/SM/PF/SN to discuss commercial opportunities of the firearms range.

  • Commenting on the under spend related to Specials and volunteers, SM asked for reassurance that we remain committed to them.
  • SN reaffirmed the Forces commitment and explained that it was unusual to list them as a separate entity with a separate structure. A lot of work has been done to reintegrate and ensure that tasking’s are aligned to Force priorities.
  • SM queried the ICT systems and costs of dual running systems and asked for more information in this regard. JA advised that this was regularly reviewed at the Digital Board.
  • Regarding improvements to QLIK. SM confirmed he would be willing to offer financial support should the Force need to add capability into cleaning data more quickly.
  • SN confirmed he will discuss with SM once he has completed his assessment.
  • In reviewing the reserves, SM requested a breakdown on the additionality funding in 2019/20

Action HK to provide a breakdown to SM of additionality funding.


5. Police and Fire Interoperability

  • An interoperability programme update was provided to outline the progress made in bringing the two organisations closer together from an operational perspective.
  • SH explained that page three of the report provides the operational focus whilst page 10 sets out the strategic objectives.
  • The key priorities on page five are the focus of the effort.
  • There was a discussion on the work being undertaken to deliver a joint JESIP capability in control room and joint command platform
  • It was agreed that SM’s original vision of ‘purple’ will now be reinvigorated with the recruitment of Transformation Director who will lead on Enabling Services.
  • Key priority for new Executive board is to define ambition over next three months and mitigate any stresses in each organisation
  • SM expressed his disappointment that he hasn’t seen any real progress. His expectation in the next 3 months is that both Services will come forward with clear ambition.
  • On reviewing the strategic objectives (page 10) SM would like to see a timeline for delivery.
  • It was agreed that the Gold Strategy outlined on page 10 of the report provided a suitable framework from which to build and accelerate progress.


6. AOB

COVID – 19 Coronarvirus

  • JA confirmed the Force is well organised and prepared to deal with any major outbreak in the county with a scalable resources plan around responding and investigating
  •   No additional business was raised.