Police Accountability Board Notes 14th July 2020

Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo




14th July 2020


1. Welcome and introductions


Stephen Mold (SM)

Paul Fell (PF)

Nicci Marzec (NM)

Helen King (HK)

Louise Sheridan (LS)


Nick Adderley (NA)

Simon Nickless (SN)

Caroline Marsh (CM)

Sarah Crampton (SC)

Vaughn Ashcroft (VA)

Colleen Rattigan (CR)


Apologies were accepted from

James Andronov (JA), Simon Blatchly (SB), Pauline Sturman (PS)


  • SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.


2. Previous minutes and action log

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

3. HMICFRS Update

  • Detective C/Supt. Caroline Marsh provided an update on the Forces progress against HMICFRS Area’s for Improvement from the September 2019 Inspection Report.
  • In response to the findings of the HMICFRS PEEL inspection the Force established the Futures Project to direct and manage a Service Improvement Programme
  • Each Area for Improvement (AFI) has been allocated to a Senior Responsible Officer (SRO). A Department Business Lead has also been allocated to deliver the improvements required.
  • The progress of the action plans are monitored by the Business Assurance Team (BAT) who provide reassurance to the Chief Constable that improvements are being realised.
  • A PowerPoint presentation was used to outline the Forces self-assessment against the AFI’s that make up each Cause for Concern.
  • It was clear that a number of the AFI’s have progressed well.
  • Timescales and processes for completion were also explained and examples given.
  • There was a discussion about crime investigators having the appropriate skills, accreditation and support.
  • Triage and assessing risk now fully understood
  • 73% of officers in Crime and Public Protection are now PIP 2 qualified. This was an increase from 66% in Feb 2019 but a decrease from 77% in January 2020.
  • CM explained this reduction was due to the increase in the number of officers in the team.
  • SM suggested that it would be clearer going forward if this figure were to be shown as the number of officers rather than the percentage of officers.


Action – CM to provide actual numbers of PIP 2 qualified officers from February 2019 to present day.

Action – SN to provide the breakdown on the areas where FP25 and demand work has been completed, including the numbers of officers and staff now required in those areas as a result.


  • CM confirmed there had been an increase in VCOP compliance (Code of Practice for Victims of Crime) and work is being undertaken to make further improvements with NICHE and STORM optimisation.
  • Significant progress has been made investigating crime where the focus has been reducing the length of time investigations spend in different queues.
  • Digital evidence from mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices queues are reducing, particularly on the more serious HTC work stream.
  • This follows an investment in GreyKey which speeds up turnaround of work and getting Kiosks up and running.
  • Proposals to increase the number of self-service viewing suites from two to eight and the number of competent users from 14 to 28 were welcomed.


Action – SM would like to know (1) what is an acceptable number of devices waiting to be viewed, (2) What is roll out plan for Kiosks and (3) what is the plan for clearing the backlog of historic cases.CM/CR to provide


  • There was a discussion about the use of Bail and ‘released under investigation’ (RUI).
  • The use of Bail is stable whilst the use RUI is decreasing. There is more work to be done and an assessment is due to be carried out by the BAT.
  • Data provided in the report was only for the last 6 months. SM asked what the trend looked like over a longer period e.g. from January 2019.
  • CM agreed to send to SM.


Action – CM to send Bail and RUI trend from January 2019 to present day to SM


  • There was a discussion about the number of people currently wanted on PNC.
  • CM confirmed the number of people circulated as wanted had decreased and the Force has a consistent approach on how this was being managed via Op Woodpecker.
  • CDD have also developed a risk matrix to grade the Wanted Crime so these can be prioritised by Senior Officers.
  • There was a discussion about Protecting Vulnerable People.
  • Reviews by the BAT have been completed and there is an established audit process within the FCR.
  • Currently looking at areas of vulnerability and how vulnerability is dealt with.
  • It is anticipated that high risk inspections like Child Protection will start as early as October but HMICFRS PEEL inspections will not restart until 2021.
  • SM requested that the Review data should include the number of missing persons reviewed.
  • There was a discussion about how the Force responds to missing children.
  • The BAT have completed a review and work is now being done around ‘High risk missing markers’ led by Chief Insp. Vaughn Clarke and overseen by ACC Sturman.
  • A report will be sent to the Chief Constable in the next 10 days which he will discuss with the Commissioner.
  • There was a discussion about Protecting Vulnerable People
  • Strategic problem profiles are completed per quarter and monitored by the Chief Constable through FEM. In addition the Force has better data from QLIK focusing on seven priory areas.
  • The Force has invested in two additional Superintendent posts and has signed off a new Public Protection Model providing a more holistic approach to safeguarding within each LPA.
  • There was a discussion about the change to the Forces Operating Model including a central record of the skills available within the existing workforce – this is ongoing.
  • SM suggested that there was an opportunity to join up the work of the ACE and Youth teams particularly in the Public Protection world.
  • Learning & Development (L&D) have done a lot of work to provide what HMIC want to know around officer skills and officer accreditation. They have also come up with another proposal as to how they can pull the data not available from MFSS in a different way.
  • There was a discussion about the Future Demand Review. The Chief Constables model is dynamic and the Commissioner is confident in the process.
  • Force will continue to work on the Demand model and finesse the strategic plan.
  • Overall, the Commissioner was pleased with the progress made to date and will continue to monitor in his weekly reviews with the Chief Constable to ensure this continues.

4. Budget Monitoring

Force strategic priorities performance update


  • Sarah Crampton provided an update on a number of performance measures and targets that the Chief Constable has adopted to improve the performance of the Force.
  • The performance update clearly shows that the Force is moving in the right direction.
  • More crime is now being reported online with improvements to the digital platform and the ability to upload Statements.
  • Crime resolution rates are improving against peers but better use of Out Of Court Disposals (OOCDs) and Restorative Justice could improve further.
  • The Force is also investing in more PIP 1 courses and maintaining strong crime recording standards.
  • Victim satisfaction rates are good (3 in 4 are satisfied)
  • SM commented that there should be some ambition in certain areas such as rape and sexual violence
  • SM asked for more detail and breakdown of Force data in this area as it is an area of significant public interest.


Action – SC to provide a breakdown on CSEA and Rape and sexual offences


  • SC confirmed that the reduction target on residential burglary remains on track and the Force is no longer an outlier within its MSG.
  • The Burglary Team have had some excellent remand and conviction results so the short and medium term future is encouraging.
  • More work is being done on Burglary prevention – looking at work being done in the West Midlands and what can be learnt from them.
  • There are also good links between OPFCC and the Force via the Safer Street Fund.
  • Domestic Abuse increased during April and May. Northants was one of the few Forces who showed an increase. However, Northants was also one of the few Forces who continually encouraged victims to come forward and the only Force to broadcast a weekly Live Facebook chat session.
  • DA reports were mostly violence without injury with more stalking cases as secondary investigations.
  • Victim satisfaction rates remain high but court conviction rates are falling.
  • SM would like to commission a report on this to understand what the issues are in Northamptonshire (is it intergenerational) and identify hot spots.


Action – NM to commission a study to analyse incidents of DA and to identify any sociodemographic trends


  • There was a discussion on rape and sexual offences.
  • Offences have reduced in the last two months however the Force remains an outlier when compared to its peers.
  • Work is underway to understand why this is from both a victim and perpetrator prospective.
  • It should be noted that stranger offences remain very low
  • SM would welcome a proposal from the Force for an ‘Education and Prevention Programme’ particularly as 40% of rape offences in the last 12 months are domestic related and 22% are linked to alcohol.
  • SM has set aside investment to cover this
  • There was a discussion on Knife crime
  • Incident levels remain high but are not more serious in nature.
  • A Task and finish group has been established to better understand the problem and a NDQIS pilot is underway to focus on accurate identification on the true levels of knife crime in the county.
  • Levels have been stable for the past 6 – 9 months
  • It was agreed that this is an area that the OPFCC can support strategically and operationally via the Youth team in particular.
  • There was a discussion about those killed and seriously injured on our roads.
  • Speeding is one of the main causes of injury and death on roads
  • Enforcement continues and is increasing
  • As one of the Force’s seven strategic policing priorities, a new campaign focusing on road policing is being launched this summer
  • There was a discussion about child sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Fewer referrals of CSE and CSA have been recorded during lockdown but this is expected to go up in September when children return to school.
  • There has been an increase in historic offences (+15 years ago)
  • SM asked for more information about historic offences and a narrative to explain the increase for public confidence.


Action – SC to provide information regarding historic sexual offences and the decade in which the offence took place.


  • There was a discussion about Serious and Organised Crime
  • Main risk is growth in cyber crime
  • Response times and availability of resources has improved.
  • Officers are spending more time out of stations. This is currently below target but improving.
  • Victim satisfaction – improving trend and doing more work on why someone says they are not satisfied.


5. Crime Prevention


  • Paper submitted and reviewed in relation to crime prevention.
  • It was agreed that it did not sufficiently articulate the structure, activities of the department or the wider force in its current format
  • It was agreed that SM, NA and PF would discuss further outside of the Accountability Board.


6. Budget conditions letter update


  • Vaughn Ashcroft provided a quarterly update on the progress against the 2020/21 budget conditions letter with the Chief Constable.
  • The report sets out the progress against a number of areas including police uplift, overtime savings and investment expenditure.
  • Police uplift: Commissioner is pleased where we are. Good process not just in terms of the number of officers through the door but right training and progress.
  • Investment Funding: Commissioner is happy that the summary reflects what has been agreed with the Chief Constable.
  • SM stated that there were still some areas agreed in principal for investment but NA had agreed to provide some additional detail.
  • VA and HK will work through some of the financials to make sure we are on the same page.


Action – VA and HK to work through the financial detail of each investment area.


  • Burglary: The Commissioner offered his compliments to the Force for the excellent work and achievements in this area.
  • Neighbourhoods: The Commissioner would like more clarification and will discuss separately with the Chief Constable.


Action – SM and NA to discuss investment funding for Neighbourhood Policing.


  • ASB: Good success in this area but mostly focused on drugs.


Action – In the next report, the Commissioner would like more information about other areas of ASB, what it is, where it is happening and whether it involves repeat victims


  • Op alloy: A proportion of the work has been delivered to ensure officers are accurately recording attendance at mental health incidents. Tac Advisors are in place across both LPA commands, Custody and the FCR.
  • Office 365: Progress has been painfully slow but is now starting to pick up. PF and Heather Cowley in the OPFCC are well sighted and fully engaged to drive progress.
  • Qlik: Very pleased with progress. There will be a demo at the next FSB which PF attends.


Action – LS to check diary to see if SM can attend for the Qlik demo.


  • Update on Overtime Saving Target: – The commissioner has asked for more clarity in the next report.
  • Overall a really positive report. Both the Commissioner and Chief Constable offered their thanks to Colleen Rattigan and Vaughn Alexander for the work they had done.


Action – PF will speak to CR to agree a plan for future updates. Proposal will be for an overall report such as this but with a couple of specific focus areas for more details.


  • There was a discussion about Early Intervention and report on CIRV team.
  • It was agreed that when the new Superintendent starts this area would be reviewed to ensure that there is the appropriate level of grip, control and oversight.

7. A.O.B

 No additional business was raised.