- Police, Fire and Crime Plan 2021-26
- Fire and Rescue Service
- Information & Transparency
- Victims’ Services – Voice
- Force Performance
- Your Local Policing Teams
14th September 2021
1. Welcome and introductions
PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)
Nicci Marzec (NM)
Paul Fell (PF)
Louise Sheridan (LS)
DCC Simon Nickless (SN)
ACC Pauline Sturman
D/Chief Supt. Paul Rymarz
D/Supt. Richard Tompkins
Supt. Emma James
Colleen Rattigan (CR)
Apologies were accepted from
CC Nick Adderley and ACC Simon Blatchly
SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. Previous minutes and action log
3. Positive Outcomes
In January 2021 the Commissioner received a report from the Chief Constable at an accountability board relating to positive outcomes. The Commissioner expressed his concerns about progress being made in relation to the improvements in these. At that time, it was agreed that an update would be provided at the September meeting.
The Commissioner therefore requests a paper that outlines progress that has been made since this time in relation to the improvement in positive outcomes and the work still ongoing.
The report should also cover the current year to date and last 12 month rolling data for positive outcomes for the following crime types.
Rape and serious sexual offences
The report should also show the national and MSG position in relation to these and any direction of travel relating to these comparators
The Commissioner was provided with some reassurance that the Force understanding of the gaps in positive outcomes was getting stronger and that overall, there was some improvement being seen in positive outcome rates, but this was slow and slower than he would like to see.
The Commissioner made his concerns clear to the Force Chief Officer Team that his expectation was that this progress needed to be maintained and while there were clear improvements being made the public expected the police to undertake effective investigations to try to bring offenders to justice, when they became a victim of crime.
The Commissioner was supportive of the Force having a proportionate investigation policy but remained concerned about the level of positive outcomes and evidence of poor application and management of the policy that he wanted to see addressed.
4. Firearms Licensing
The Force has suffered in recent times with issues in respect of firearms licensing resulting in backlogs and delays in the processing of applications and renewals of matters associated with firearms.
The Commissioner is aware that the Force is cognisant of this and has a recovery plan in place to resolve these concerns.
The Commissioner requests a report that outlines the workload of the firearms licensing department and how this might have changed over the last 3 years. He wishes to see reported, the average times taken for all applications, renewals and other licensing activity and how this has changed over 3 years.
He also wishes to be updated on the recovery plan to rectify the identified issues with clarity over the ambition for timescales for firearm processes and for clearing any existing backlogs to achieve these.
Action SM to arrange a discussion with PDS about the feasibility of a product to join up such systems. PF to take forward.
Action – PF to review what ‘Horizon scan’ tools are available
The Commissioner welcomed the overview presented to him of how the firearms and shotgun licensing regime worked. He was reassured that the process for granting certificates was robust within Northamptonshire Police.
He was supportive of the approach undertaken during the COVID pandemic; prioritising renewals of existing certificate holders, over and above new grants or variations.
The Commissioner recognised that this approach, along with some staffing issues, had led to a backlog in work and some unacceptable delays in processing these applications.
The Commissioner was assured that there was a robust recovery plan in place to clear this backlog and was informed by the Force that the backlog would be back to pre-Covid pandemic 2018 levels by the end of 2021.
5. HMICFRS report into police response to DA in pandemic
HMICFRS report into police response to DA in pandemic
In June 2021 HMICFRS published their thematic report “Review of policing of domestic abuse during the pandemic 2021”
This report contained three recommendations, all directed to forces.
The Commissioner requests a report that outlines the three recommendations and the actions taken in respect of these by Northamptonshire Police. The report should clearly outline any changes made or required as a result and where not completed the timescales for that completion, as well as outlining and explaining any direct references to Northamptonshire within the report.
Action – SM and PF to obtain more information to raise this issue.
Recommendation 1 – Forces continue to adopt online contact methods in respect of DA victims
Recommendation 2 – Forces immediately review their capacity to provide ongoing support and safeguarding to victims of DA whilst awaiting trial at court:
Action – Nicci Marzec and ACC Sturman to influence and encourage North and West Unitaries to work together on the DA issue and work towards a single approach.
Recommendation 3 – All forces immediately review their use of outcome 15 and outcome 16 evidence-led prosecutions.
Action – D/Supt Tompkins to check if any issues as a result of new 2 Unitary process, with some PPN not being disseminated to schools.
The Commissioner was provided with a detailed overview of how the Force had responded to the recommendations made by HMICFRS in this inspection report.
The report was a national thematic report and did not relate specifically to any Force.
The Commissioner was assured in relation to the recommendations contained within the report that they had been completed in Northamptonshire.