Police Accountability Board Public Notes 9th October 2017

Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime CommissionerNorthants Police Logo



Action Notes and Decision Record

9th October 2017


1. Welcome and Introductions


Stephen Mold (PCC)

Simon Edens (CC)

Martin Scoble (CEO)

James Andronov (ACC)

Paul Fell (Director for Delivery)

Emily Evans (Governance Assistant)

Rachel Swann (DCC)

Paul Dawkins (CFO)

Andrew Wilson (Head of Change) (AW)

Jen Helm (Head of Public Protection) (JH)

Kate Meynell Head of Crime, Intelligence and Safeguarding (KM)


– SM noted that papers were delayed. not providing a proper opportunity for them to be considered. RS explained this was in part due to a change in staff and apologised, making it clear that this will be rectified for the next meeting.


2. Decision Record from Previous Meeting

– All actions were discharged.


3. Sexual Violence

The Force mission is to protect people from harm. A key part of this must be to address the threat and harm posed from the risk of sexual violence and offending. The PCC seeks assurance on a number of matters concerning sexual violence as part of supporting this mission and his commitment to make Northamptonshire safer.

He requests an update on the Northamptonshire Police approach to the management of sexual violence to include:

  • The level of reported sexual assaults/incidents in total and by category
  • The levels of recorded sexual crimes in total and by category
  • Comparisons of the above in relation to national pictures and similar Forces
  • Resolution rates for these crimes, including levels of failed prosecutions and reasons
  • Any trends in relation to these matters


He asks that the response also includes:

  • An explanation as to the work that the Force is undertaking to encourage and support victims of sexual assault to report to them.
  • An update on the compliance of recording with Home Office Counting rules and HMIC data integrity criteria in relation to sexual offences and an explanation of the assurance processes that the Force has in place to make sure that these are met and complied with.
  • Issues that the Force considers to be threats or risks in relation to sexual violence and crimes and the actions being taken to mitigate them
  • Anything else the Force feels may be of interest in providing this reassurance

The Commissioner also recognises that increased activity in relation to sexual offences may lead to additional work in relation to the management of convicted offenders.

As such, he requests reassurance in relation to the MOSOVO unit concerning the:

  • Number of offenders currently registered in the County on the sex offenders register and by category
  • An explanation of the difference between categories and the management regime for each

An update of the current position on MOSOVO performance relating to compliance rates for and quality of visits and management activity and risks associated with these.

Actions and Discussion

  • KM drew attention to the report and gave a brief summary.
  • It was noted that there are some issues with PCSOs not being able to input crime, which may result in crimes not always being allocated as quickly as possible. This was a general crime recording issue rather than sexual violence specific but this was under active consideration by the Force..
  • It was suggested that only a small number of sexual offences are reported
  • SM noted that stretched resources represent risk to members of the public.
  • There was a discussion regarding historic offences and circumstances where the person identified is deceased. A discussion took place here in relation to the need if such a case was being investigated to effectively balance needs of those victims against using resources on other live investigations where an offender still posed an active risk.
  • SM requested assurance regarding the increasing demand and it was suggested that it would be managed and monitored through the demand monitoring framework.
  • It was noted that there has been a shift in public perception of what is acceptable behaviour which has increased the demand, short term.
  • SM requested assurance regarding spike in increased crime recordings over the summer period. AW suggested that there is usually a small increase during the summer months.
  • SM suggested that a communications strategy and some work to look in to the causes of the spike.
  • RS gave summary of work that is ongoing to ensure accurate and timely crime recording.
  • It was suggested that crime recording should be brought as an Agenda item through a future Accountability Board.
  • JH gave brief overview of paper regarding MOSOVO and the current situation regarding high risk offenders.
  • JH noted current risks regarding the backlog in managing sexual offenders.
  • There was some discussion regarding the relationship between visiting sexual offenders and reoffending and the damage that could be caused to the reputation of Northamptonshire Police, if a position existed where visits to registered sex offenders were behind and they subsequently committed further offenders.
  • SM suggested that additional resources could be provided in order to reduce the backlog. It was agreed that this may not be successful due to a lack of trained resources.
  • JH advised that it currently isn’t possible to provide a timeline for reducing the backlog of outstanding visits due to difficulties in ensuring the offender is available for a visit.
  • It was agreed that an aspirational timeline for clearance of backlogs should be constructed JA to undertake this.
  • JH suggested additional resources in high tech crime in order to release resources to manage offenders.
  • It was noted that additional funding is required in the future in order to maintain standards.
  • The challenges regarding obtaining additional funding from the Government were noted.
  • SM requested update in approx. 3 months’ time.
  • SM gave thanks to Kate and Jen for the hard work.

ACTION: PF to ensure crime recording features on a future Accountability Board

ACTION: SM requested that the issue of sex offender management is revisited through the Accountability Board in approx. 3 months’ time. PF to arrange

ACTION: Nicci Marzec to speak to KM to attend a meeting of the Rape Investigation Board.

ACTION: JA to lead on the construction of an aspirational timeline for clearing backlog of outstanding sex offender visits.


4. Budget Update

The Commissioner requests an update on the budget performance of the Force for this current financial year (2107/2018).

He requests data on the current spend of this budget, position against profile, predictions in relation to underspends or overspends and reasons for these and where underspends have been identified and allocated to be spent the areas included and rationale for this.

Actions and Discussion

  • PD drew attention to report and gave brief summary of key points.
  • PD gave predictions regarding year end and the expected overspend.
  • Concerns were noted regarding areas of overspend and some work that is ongoing to understand and analyse current spending.
  • Use of reserves were noted and summarised by PD as well as some carry forwards that have already been approved.
  • SM requested reassurance regarding the current position and PD suggested that it is too early for firm figures.
  • RS suggested that there may be some difficult decisions ahead regarding establishment, given the current financial and funding position.
  • SM noted that the OPCC will be scrutinising the Force accounts to ensure value for money.
  • PD offered reassurance that he will work with the OPCC to provide assurance.
  • SM requested clarification regarding some specific figures, which was provided by PD and AW.
  • There was some discussion regarding the Safer Roads Team and income generated through enforcement.
  • There was some discussion regarding the Emergency Services Cadets and the funding of them.
  • It was noted that the long term picture could mean that there needs to be some challenging decisions going forward.
  • SM gave thanks to PD.

ACTION: PD to send SM spreadsheet as there is some information missing.

ACTION: PD to provide additional information regarding Government grants.


5. SDM Update

An opportunity for the Force to provide and discuss issues and concerns/risks ahead of the full implementation of SDM on 30th October 2017.

Actions and Discussion

  • AW began by noting current staffing issues due to the ongoing staffing issues, with recruits arriving in November.
  • It was noted that the Force Investigation Team are carrying the most vacancies and that Specials could be used to mitigate in the short term.
  • AW noted in challenges in the FCR which is being mitigated via overtime.
  • There was some discussion regarding STORM and Niche and the challenges these systems present.
  • AW noted risks involved with implementing the SDM and actions being taken to mitigate these risks.
  • AW noted pressures regarding policing the night time economy.
  • AW noted thanks to Chief Officer Team for their assistance.
  • It was noted that the SDM video was a success and thanks were given for funding.
  • SE noted that the SDM has resulted in over 70 additional members of staff.
  • SM requested assurance that the SDM will continue to evolve rather than react to change retrospectively.


6. AOB

– None