- Police and Crime Plan
- Fire and Rescue Service
- Information & Transparency
- Victims’ Services – Voice
- Keep Safe Scheme
- Protect Your Home
8th September 2020
1. Welcome and introductions
PFCC Stephen Mold (SM)
Nicci Marzec (NM)
Helen King (HK)
Louise Sheridan (LS)
Stuart McCartney (SMc)
CC Nick Adderley (NA)
ACC James Andronov (JA),
ACC Simon Blatchly (SB),
Colleen Rattigan (CR)
Supt. Dennis Murray (DM)
D/Supt. Paul Rymarz (PM)
Apologies were accepted from DCC Simon Nickless (SN) and Paul Fell (PF)
2. Previous minutes and action log
3. Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO)
Action – The Commissioner is keen to understand why 50% of victims are not willing to support police investigation and asked for more information as to whether this relates to historic or recent cases. Also keen to understand if there is anything more that VOICE could do to support victims – PR to provide information
Action – The Commissioner would like a review of the most recent recorded cases 38% occurring during 2020) to be reviewed against other Forces in our most similar group (MSG) to ensure that the Force is not an outlier in this area. The Commissioner further requested that Tom Smith from the OPFCC be involved in this analysis.
The force provided an update on the recording of offences and noted that a high proportion of non-recent offences recorded date back to the period of the 1960s through to the 1980s.
The Commissioner asked for recorded figures for the last six months to help identify what further work needs to be undertaken to make communities safer.
The Commissioner felt that the Force were on a positive trajectory but this was an area which he felt needed additional investment as well as multi-agency approach and requested a broader piece of work on this to deliver longer term solutions. This work should be led by the OPFCC and supported by the Force.
As part of this the Commissioner requested comparative information about the force’s performance. The Chief Constable suggested hosting a symposium to bring key partners together which the Commissioner agreed but felt it was important that the Force compiled detailed information before to help inform the wider work with partners including CPS, Public Health, Voice and Rape Crisis.
Overall Assurance Statement
The Commissioner welcomed the work that had been done in this area to provide the Force with a better understanding of the nature and context of this offending. He also recognised and welcomed the significant work undertaken to improve overall investigative standards with the appointment of additional trained detective officers and the leadership shown in this area. He was assured by the overall direction of travel.
The Commissioner and Chief Constable agreed that this was an area that required a problem solving approach wider than solely the police and agreed a seminar, with partners would be organised to try and address some of the longer term prevention issues and concerns.
The Commissioner remained concerned with the fact that the Force appears to be an outlier with its peers and there is insufficient contextual understanding as to why this might be, as well as the positive outcome rate for sexual offences and the fact that between 40% and 50% of victims of rape reports do not wish an investigation to take place.
The Commissioner requested that this subject be brought back to the accountability board in 6 months to check progress on these areas.
4. Use of Force
Action – DM to engage with and involve the Commissioner in any reassurance work as appropriate
Action – DM to include the MSG comparison in the quarterly Use of Powers performance product.
Northamptonshire Police presented to the Commissioner an update on the use of Stop and Search, the use of force and the deployment of Taser.
The Commissioner felt that such reports needed better graphs to aid with accountability in terms of identifying trends and to ensure everyone is treated equally.
The Force agreed to provide such information quarterly to allow the Commissioner to review. The Force also explained that more work is being undertaken in relation to training and engaging with the community.
Overall Assurance Statement
The Commissioner highly commended the work that had been and was being undertaken in this area, with evidence that Northamptonshire Police has moved further and faster than other Forces in its understanding of use of force and disproportionality and the use of that information and data to change the methods it uses to operate. This approach was holistic and involved local community members.
The Commissioner recognised that there was still evidence that there was disproportionality in the use of force powers, although this had significantly reduced and the direction of travel was both positive and welcomed. He welcomed the further work ongoing in relation to disproportionality and hypothesis testing of the reasons for this and the fact that this greater understanding ought to provide the basis for further advances.
The Commissioner recognised that the use of force figures are misleading as a large percentage of them are compliant handcuffing. There was a recognition that the Force needs to record this as a national requirement but it could lead to a misunderstanding with the general public as to what force actually means.
This might be an areas which PCCs and PFCCs could raise with The Home Office.