Police Accountability Board Notes 11th February 2020

Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo




11th February 2020


1. Welcome and introductions


Stephen Mold (SM)

Paul Fell (PF)

Paul Bullen (PB)

Louise Sheridan (LS)

Kate Osborne (KO)

Nicci Marzec (NM) – by conference call for Safeguarding paper


Nick Adderley (NA)

Pauline Sturman (PS)

Colleen Rattigan (CR)

DCI David Lawson (DL)

Detective Supt. Richard Tompkins (RT)

Chief Supt Caroline Marsh (CM)


Apologies were accepted from

Simon Nickless (SN), James Andronov (JA)


  • 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 have been update
  • Following an update from NA regarding NPAS.  NA has agreed to discuss the operational requirement for Northants with Supt. Ash Tuckley.
  • Action – NA to discuss NPAS requirements for Northants with Supt Tuckley


3. Safeguarding and welfare of children

      • DCI Lawson provided an overview of the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) which was established in July 2019
      • This included the work being undertaken by the force and partners to address the issues raised by HMICFRS, Ofsted and a number of serious case reviews.
      • DCI Lawson confirmed the new process has encouraged greater transparency and clearer integrated processes.
      • Key focus is identifying those at high risk and keeping children safe.
      • SM questioned whether the NSCP has fully embraced this as a partnership with joint responsibility and a no blame culture.
      • DCI Lawson confirmed there has been a definite shift in culture citing a recent Ofsted inspection of Children’s First as a good example.
      • Serious case reviews for adverse incidents are another example. Now a learning panel and cases are reviewed from learning perspective. Learning and preventing rather than apportioning blame.
      • SM asked if all agencies are clear with process including PPN
      • DCI Lawson confirmed structures are in place but it would be beneficial to have clear process charts; who sits where, what structures are etc.

      ACTION – SM made offer to support the mapping of partner agencies process charts for safeguarding children It was agreed that Nicci Marzec would support DCI Lawson to do this.

      • There was a discussion about improvements to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH team) and the process for managing daily risk including clear signage on who does what in a secure lock down environment for data integrity
      • There was a discussion about Children First removing case load limits
      • SM asked if there is any evidence that genuinely points to better outcomes for children
      • DCI Lawson confirmed that this is work in progress, still a few processes to work through but no children were put at risk as a result. A new DA triage process provides real early intervention opportunities to the safeguarding hub and ability to put out fast communications via Op Marvel
      • A number of boards/strands chaired by senior officers were discussed.
      • Training within Public Protection and with front line officers is totally integrated with Children First with officers being encouraged to be professionally curios – “Look for it don’t just be sent to it”.
      • Overall DCI Lawson felt there has been a very positive move forwards with clear and consistent communications and support from HMIC to ensure looking at best practice elsewhere.
      • There was a discussion about the lack of clarity in the supporting role of PCSOs and concern that they could be straying into activities that they are not qualified or appropriately supervised to undertake.
      • NA confirmed he is waiting for a review to be completed on the PCSO role, looking at effectiveness in areas of high crime, specialist skills of prevention and intervention, powers etc. No decision yet as waiting for the report.
      • There was a discussion about a ‘Vulnerability book’ and plans to turn this into an app creating a public protection guide for frontline officers.
      • There was a discussion about the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). Whilst it is evident that positive progress is being made, further progress is required.
      • Similarly, the Sunflower Centre which is now being managed by Voice has remedies in place to reduce the backlog. Opportunity to review as hearing too many cases.
      • Generally recognised that there are still some significant challenges not least in how the two new unitary authorities will play out but also in the churn in the senior management within Children’s First and the uncertainty this creates.


      Action – DCI Watkins and Nicci Marzec to work out how early intervention offer can be more joined up. (OPFCC and force).


4. FP25

  • There have been discussions at previous accountability boards, relating to the design of the new operating model for the Force (FP25).
  • Detective C/Superintendent Caroline Marsh provided an overview of work undertaken so far using recognised change methodology.
  • DCS Marsh provided a comprehensive update on the work and timescales for FP25, as well as the business benefits already achieved and those anticipated with future changes.
  • Phase 1 (initial Investigation Team) and phase 2 (Place Based Policing Model) are complete.
  • Currently coming to the end of phase 3 of plan and moving into phase 4 which includes KPI’s and transforming the Force culture.
  • FP25 team constantly review change processes that are not working as well as expected or where fluctuations are high.
  • SM asked how we know we are providing a better service and outcomes for the public.
  • DCS Marsh confirmed satisfaction rates are rising (slightly higher at 1%) and receiving positive feedback on services like managed appointments. The Force still need a better grip of service recovery as this will also drive improvements in satisfaction rates.
  • There was a discussion about the Strategic Planning Cycle which works towards a Strategic Planning Day where the chief constable considers his focus and priorities for the following year.
  • SM asked if this could be adjusted (circa 6 weeks earlier) to enable future precept proposals to be built in.
  • It was agreed that feedback from the public is important and having this conversation with them before the Strategic Planning day would be beneficial.

Action – DCS Marsh to revise strategic planning cycle do that the precept consultation is complete before the strategic planning day.

  • There was a discussion about the changes to crime investigations which are now managed within LRO
  • This is expected to have a positive impact with less crime going out for secondary investigation.
  • Overall a comprehensive review of FP25 progress including timeline and benefits and SM very encouraged by direction of travel.
  • Performance framework absolutely in line with the Police and Crime Plan.
  • In the interest of saving time SM asked for the KPI element of the briefing to be provided outside of this meeting.

Action – LS to arrange meeting with DCS Marsh Caroline to talk through KPIs


5. Registered Sex Offender visit backlog


  • At a recent Force Strategic Board meeting there was a discussion, as a part of the performance presentation that related to MOSOVO and a current backlog on visits to registered sex offenders (RSO’s).
  • This is a significant concern to the PFCC
  • Detective Supt. Richard Tomkins provided an update on the work that is being undertaken in the short term to rectify this position and, the longer term plans to avoid a repetition.
  • 2016 – 2018 saw annual growth in sex offender numbers approach double digit figures with a 65% increase since 2012.
  • This is a positive reflection of the work done around Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and a significant uplift in the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) resulting in more prosecutions.
  • Likely to continue to increase. 115 cases in high-tech crime unit. Plus increased action against ilicit images.
  • In 2018/19 there was a surge in activity and resources to reduce a previous backlog with 4 additional officers. Annual visits have come around again and the team have struggled to clear these.
  • There was a full and frank discussion about how the team proactively look at long term sex offenders including the use of the reactive management of low risk offenders who have been offence free for more than three years. (If offence free for 5 years, risk of reoffending reduces to less than 5%).
  • Reactive management system will take a full 12 months to complete a full review so impact on workload and case management not available until September 2020.
  • Key issue for team is work load and crime with 50% linked to POLIT.
  • There was a discussion about the best way to structure the team so that officers can focus on visits and not on any subsequent investigations that result when electronic devices such as phones are surrendered.
  • This includes better use of neighbourhood policing teams (Neighbourhood officer accompanying trained MOSOVO officer) potential to increase both capacity for visits and learning.
  • Proposal being reviewed as part of FP25 with potential increase in team by 1 officer.
  • Going right direction but want to get in front of the curve
  • There was a discussion about how at a national level there might be opportunities to support this work, through looking at shutting down access to sites involving indecent images of young people.


6.  AOB

  • There was no other business.