Police Accountability Board Public Notes 10th July 2018

Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo




12th July 2018


1. Welcome and Introductions


Stephen Mold (PCC)

Paul Fell (Director for Delivery)

Louise Sheridan (Executive Assistant)

Simon Edens (CC)

Rachel Swann (DCC)

James Andronov (ACC)

Carol Hever (HR)


2. Decisions and Actions from Last Meeting

– SM welcomed everyone to the meeting.

– SE asked if the minutes referring to the SDM 6 monthly review could be amended.

ACTION: Change the wording ‘wellbeing’ to ‘emotional readiness’. (Action item 3 bullet point 7)

– It was agreed that the action for RS to ensure that crimes are not filed at source based on crime category had been dealt with. RS confirmed that this had been actioned and as she had previously indicated she was confident this took place on the basis of vulnerability and solvability and not categorisation.

– There was a discussion about increasing the number of Special Constables (numbers currently below 300). A new recruitment window will open in August. PF will continue to monitor numbers with Mick Stamper and Kate Beck. All present reiterated that the key success measures were how many hours members of the SC undertook and in which areas of policing. SM made the point that he recognised a number of SCs had joined the regular Force but he was keen on ensuring that numbers built upon to replace these.

– RS updated on the timeline for improvements to the SDM. RS explained that she would like to understand and agree the communications plan before releasing the recommendations for improvement. This has been delayed due to staff illness.

ACTION – RS to speak to Ian Wills regarding redrawing graph on page 26 of the SDM presentation. RS reported that this had been tasked but she wished to confirm that it had taken place.

– JA added that the SDM is constantly being reviewed to drive improvements.

ACTION – C/fwd AN to provide list of partnership funded Police Officer posts.

ACTION – C/fwd AN to send SM link to absence video

– PF confirmed that information gathered on SM visits are now fed back to the force via Deborah Denton and Richard Edmondson. PF has also started  to share relevant information form the Commissioners inbox. This was going to Corporate communications. RS requested that this go to CDD in future as well (Sarah Calvert).

– All other actions were discharged.


3. HMICFRS Data Integrity Inspection

– RS provided an overview of the HMICFRS audit process and highlighted that our FCIR and Deputy FCIR are highly regarded.

– RS explained that in April she changed the audit routine and methodology to that used by HMICFRS which uncovered a potential for 20% under recording of crime. There have only been a couple of months audit completed thus far and so not yet statistically significant but indicates towards this. This was in the main due to a failure to recognise or record multiple offences in one incident. (e.g. Have recorded the offence of an assault but may not have picked up the additional crime of harassment). Therefore the victim was recognised and supported, but potentially not all offences recorded and dealt with surrounding their call to us.

– RS recognised that the Force Control room is very efficient and functioning well but this indicates that additional resource and modelling is needed to record this potential increase

– There is an action in train in the Force to review end to end crime processes and this will be taken to the Change Board to agree and commission.

– RS updated on 24 hour recording issue explaining that this is an arbitrary measure, however one that HMICFRS inspect upon. Managed appointments are working well. Mick Stamper is reviewing the idea of having a Closure Officer which will further add to the improvements already seen.

– SM conveyed that he is supportive of all the measures in place to drive improvement. However SM remains concerned about the perceptions of those who are victims of crimes SM reiterated that it is important that public don’t think that we are under
recording crime. He is comforted that the force recognised what needs to be done, is addressing this and systems are in place to continue to drive improvements in crime recording. SM made the point that he was willing to defend some slowness at times in recording crimes IF he was assured that all relevant crimes were being recorded and recording outside the required 24 hours was as a result of an agreed service provision to a victim of a managed appointment / other intervention.

– Another Crime Auditor would help but would incur an additional cost of £32k. SM made the point that if he were to support any additional positions this would need to be based on a proper business case following the process review and with some reassurance that this additional post would assist in the rectification of any issues identified.

– RS was not able to give a date when she would be in a position to provide a full report on the end to end crime process review process as this was to be commissioned by the Change Board.

– SM suggested it might be possible for the Force to use someone like IBM to consider options around online direct recording systems which looks at key words and decision making trees. It is imperative that an online system is implemented before next inspection. It was acknowledged this would need to be in conjunction with the Force’s move to Single on line Home

– RS reiterated that the force had a very clear position on crime recording and the accuracy and transparency needed in this. Its importance in terms of confidence in policing, and especially for victims of crime was recognised. From the audit work completed since April 2018 she had a high degree of confidence that any potential under recording issue related more to the omission of secondary matters as opposed to large number of victims having no crime recorded in relation to their complaints and as a result receiving no service.


4. HMICFRS AFI Report and Recommendations

– RS confirmed view from HMICFRS is that the force has provided a balanced Force Management Statement.

– RS would like to publish a summary that the public and staff will understand including the challenges faced.

ACTION Simon Blatchly to research what this might look like and associated costs.

– RS explained the process in place to manage and respond to AFI in HMICFRS reports. Each area is now owned by a Chief Superintendent or Chief Officer and all are overseen by her as the chair of a Gold group

– SM stated that he was aware that it was not possible for the Chief Officer Team to identify what grading would be achieved at any subsequent HMICFRS inspection but he asked what the level of confidence was that current AFI would have been progressed to the stage where they were no longer identified as AFI in next PEEL inspection. RS stated that the force was now starting to build its evidence ready for the next inspection. It is impossible to determine the HMICFRS judgement in advance but the areas that had most progressed or remained gaps would be identified through this process.

ACTION RS to Report Progress Back to Accountability Board Through the Set Agenda HMICFRS Item.

– SM was reassured but would like to see evidence of the improvements being made.

– RS confirmed MOSOVO improvement plan is on track. RS and JA confirmed that they are confident that the outstanding RSO visits will be at a manageable level, by the end of September

– Aspiration is zero but expectation that will be firmly under control by the end of September

– SM asked about Kiosks JA confirmed that they would be live by end of October. Need process around them to ensure they work efficiently and correctly including agreement on what needs to be seized evidentially.

– JA working through guidance for officers so that they are focussed on right stuff. Backlog 700 computers and phones. Reviewing all cases from past 2 years to make sure digital examination is complete.

– SM asked if backlog has reduced. JA confirmed the backlog had not reduced because the demand is the same.

– SM asked if there was anything the force needed in terms of help or support. JA declined confirming a plan is in place.

– There was a discussion about partnership activity and support to matters relating to cross cutting issues such as serious and organised crime, as well as the ongoing discussions in relation to unitary status for local authorities in the County. RS said there was a fantastic opportunity to influence together rather than separately. Need to ensure governance of  key partnerships are both strategic and aligned and OPCC and Force need to be joined up.

ACTION: JA/RS/PB/NM/MS to arrange a meeting to join up the work being done. Arrangements will be made by LS.

ACTION: PF to check with MS and make sure JA included on chief execs board. JA believes he is no longer invited.

– SM asked for reassurance that regarding the cause for concern about SOC and that this would be resolved ahead of next PEEL inspection.

– JA leading work on SOC improvement strategy and associated AFI’s.

– Operation Viper launched today 10 July.

ACTION: RS will complete a review across all areas of the Peel report and ask for support as necessary (see above).


5. Establishment Numbers

– CH provided an update on PCSO numbers confirming that establishment is now 81.

– SM was expecting to see 88 establishment plus 12 sponsored posts to be added.

– There was a conversation in relation to the difference between an identified 88 at the time of the SDM business case and why this was now 81. This was agreed as core base funded establishment.

– PF confirmed that he and Mick Stamper had discussed up to 12 PCSO’s. By October it was hoped to have 9 sponsored posts in place. It was agreed by SE, RS and JA that operationally the Force supported recruitment of the additional 3 sponsored posts.

ACTION PF and MS go back out to Parishes with a view to recruit a further 3 by April but to keep finance and HR teams briefed.

– CH confirmed police officer establishment at the end of May was 1209. In June Establishment reduced to 1206 as a result of workforce modernisation. These were posts that the PCC was aware of.

– CH confirmed that HR intend to map establishment to provide reassurance.

– SM asked when the 18 posts previously discussed and agreed at accountability board on 27th March will be recruited.

– CH confirmed establishment will be 1218 rising to 1241 by Oct/November adding that it was previously agreed that establishment would increase to 1231 with a flexibility of 10

– SM would like a table by rank which includes a breakdown of deployability in terms of recruits under training.


– CH confirmed that duties management has this information but the system they use makes it difficult to run reports and the data is difficult to manipulate.

– CH confirmed they are currently recruiting 2 new posts to look at abstraction prediction and workforce issues. Workforce and Succession Planning will not work unless there is visibility across teams

– CH confirmed they are boosting transferee’s recruitment by keeping it permanently open.

– CH on Police Constable Apprenticeship’s confirming they have been delayed until November due to issues with the training provider and lack of government clarity regarding the starting salary.

– There was discussion in relation to levels of Detectives accredited to PIP2. JA suggested that this was at approximately 55% and Mark Behan had a plan to raise this to 80%.


6. Demand

– Verbal Operation Stereo update provided by JA.

– Overall demand just below last year but average length of time at each incident has increased from 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

– Only 20% of incidents relate to crime. 80% relate to other issues like mental health, welfare considerations and missing persons.

– Pressure on demand has been compounded by the world cup, Silverstone and mutual aid for the US Presidential visit.

– JA has been conducting more research into why the amount of time spent at jobs has increased and it appears to be largely due to the complexities of incidents.

– JA confirmed that there has been insufficient officers across teams but this picture is improving and more resourcing has been allocated to CMU and the Missing Persons Unit.

– SM offered to support via the OPCC

– SM agreed that there is an opportunity to raise and address issues and apply pressure to other organisations via the Prevention and Intervention Board and to meet and influence the newly appointed Mental Health Commissioner

– JA confirmed that the Custody Healthcare initiative will be fully resourced by next month.



– SM asked for an update in relation to a recent incident where there was a potential if not managed correctly for an impact on public confidence. RS gave assurance that staff involved had been dealt with and arrangements made for no repetition of these events.

– There was a discussion in relation to recruitment of a new Chief Superintendent to a vacant post