Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Lewes
Contact: Ninesh Edwards, Senior Adviser, Democratic Services West Sussex County Council (033 022 22542)
Appointment of Chairman and Vice Chairman
The Panel will be invited to appoint a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the
2017/18 municipal year
Election of Chairman
1. The Panel proposed and seconded Bill Bentley as Chairman of the Panel for the forthcoming year. The appointment was agreed by the Panel.
2. Resolved – that Bill Bentley is elected Chairman of Sussex Police and Crime Panel for the ensuing year.
Election of Vice-Chairman
3. The Panel proposed and seconded Christian Mitchell as Vice-Chairman of the Panel for the forthcoming year. The appointment was agreed by the Panel.
4. Resolved – that Christian Mitchell is elected Vice-Chairman of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel for the ensuing year.
5. The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personal interest in any business on the agenda. They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it. If in doubt contact Democratic Services, West Sussex County Council before the meeting.
6. In accordance with the code of conduct members of the Panel declared the following personal interests
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting on 7 April 2017
7. Resolved – that the minutes of the meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel held on 7 April 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.
Items not on the agenda which the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
8. There were no urgent matters.
The Panel is required to undertake an annual review of proportionality to
take account of any changes to the political composition of constituent
authorities during the course of the previous year. The attached report
provides the latest political composition of local authorities in Sussex and a
calculation of proportionality of the Panel.
The Panel is also required to consider the appointment of those members of
the Panel with a one year term of office including Independent Co-opted
Members, and one additional member from one of the county councils in
Sussex to address any perceived imbalance in political proportionality.
9. The Panel considered a report by the Clerk to the Panel which set out the political makeup of the Panel’s constituent authorities. The Panel was asked if it approved the appointment and reappointment of the independent co-opted members; if the County Councils in Sussex should provide an additional representative; and the political affiliation of any additional County Council Members
10. Resolved – that the panel agrees:
1) To renew the appointment of Mr Peter Nightingale , Independent Co-opted Member, to take effect immediately;
2) The appointment of Mrs Susan Scholefield as an Independent Co-opted Member of the Panel for a one-year term, renewable for up to give years.
3) Notes the appointment of Councillor Joe Miller as second representative for Brighton and Hove City Council
4) That either East or West Sussex County Councils should be invited to appoint an additional local authority Member for a one year period of office; and
5) The appointment of Liberal Democrat Councillor from East Sussex County Council to take effect immediately.
Public Question Time
A maximum of 15 minutes will be allowed for questions from the public to
the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Panel.
Better responses can be provided when we receive advance notice of
questions. Therefore it would be helpful if questions could be submitted by
noon on 27 June to allow substantive answers to be provided. If you intend
asking a question of the Commissioner or the Panel under this section of the
agenda please can you contact Laura Johnston prior to the meeting by calling
0330 22 22536 or email email@example.com.
The questioner will be able to ask his/her question at the meeting, to which
the Commissioner will provide a verbal response. On hearing the response,
the questioner will have the opportunity to ask a supplementary question
(one further question, which must be on the same subject as the original
question). Supplementary questions, due to their nature, need not be
submitted in advance. Members of the Panel may be allowed to pose followup
questions, at the discretion of the Chairman. In the event that the
questioner is unable to attend the Chairman can ask the question on their
Questions can be posed to the Commissioner or to the Panel.
Questions to the Commissioner:
• Should relate to the role of the Commissioner, (strategic/policy
issues), and not to operational matters or to individual grievances.
• Must not be defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive
• Must not require the disclosure of confidential information
Questions to the Panel:
• Should relate to the role of the Panel (which is to hold the PCC to
• Must not be defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive
• Must not require the disclosure of confidential information
11. There were no public questions for the Panel. The Chairman expressed his disappointment at the lack of public questions and encouraged panel members to think creatively of ways to engage members of the public in the work of the panel.
The Police and Crime Panel is required to review the Commissioner’s annual
report. The Commissioner will outline the attached annual report which
provides an update on the performance against the priorities, objectives and
measures set out in the Police and Crime Plan for the period 1 April 2016 –
31 March 2017.
The Panel is asked to review, put questions to the Commissioner, and make
recommendations on the annual report if necessary. All recommendations
agreed by the Panel will be published in a report from the Chairman to the
12. The Panel considered the Commissioner’s Annual Report which provided an update on performance for the period 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017 against the priorities and objectives set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2017/21
13. The Commissioner introduced the report, which was based around four key priority areas, and highlighted that there was a statutory duty for Police and Crime Commissioner’s to produce an annual report.
14. The Panel raised the following issues with
· Previously outdated data has been used in the introduction to the report but this had now been removed so that the introduction contained no data. The Commissioner was asked to indicate whether the level of reported crime had gone up or down in the year. The Commissioner responded to that the purpose of the report was to show what she had achieved as Commissioner but crime figures were available online, via Community Safety Partnerships and could be seen being discussed with the Chief Constable during her monthly Performance and Accountability Meetings (PAMs).
· The Panel further pressed the Commissioner on why she would not confirm whether the numbers of reported crimes had risen or fallen in Sussex. The Commissioner said it was nationally known that the numbers of reports of some crimes had increased and some had decreased . Changes to the way crimes are reported had made a difference to the figures. The Commissioner reiterated that this was not the purpose of the report but that she would be happy to share the details with the Panel.
· The Panel asked the Commissioner what work is being undertaken to ensure that the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC) Inspection ‘requires improvement’ judgement, is down to the policing model changes and not another underlying cause. The Commissioner had questions the Chief Constable at her PAM on 24 March on the ‘requires improvement’ judgement, particularly around the response to investigate crimes, reoffending and protecting the vulnerable. The Commissioner and Chief Constable were being thorough with scrutiny. Both were disappointed with the outcome but grateful that HMIC recognised the challenges faced by Sussex Police during a period of significant change. Sussex Police would respond in an immediate and constructive manner and there was confidence that HMIC will improvements in effectiveness as part of the 2017/18 inspection. The Commissioner highlighted the following as an example: an action plan had been drawn up to improve work with victims of domestic abuse and stalking and harassment including the initiation of a gold group. Training had also been rolled out to all front line police and body worn video cameras had been provided to all neighbourhood policing teams to aid prosecutions.
· The Panel questioned how the Force was managing the decision to increase the number of Armed Response Officers (AROs); specifically how many AROs did Sussex Police currently have and how close were they to meeting the target?. The Commissioner responded that there should be the target number of AROs across Surrey and Sussex within 18 months. The ... view the full minutes text for item 81.
The report presents a summary of the revenue and capital outturn for
2016/17 subject to audit for the overall police fund under the direction of the
Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Panel is asked to note and comment on the Financial Outturn Report.
16. Iain McCulloch, Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of the Office of Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (OSPCC), introduced the report and explained that is presented a summary of the revenue and capital outturn for 2016/17
17. The Panel made the points below
in the discussion that followed:
· The Panel was very concerned that the Commissioner was seeking to use already pressured Section 106 (S106) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) budgets when they would usually be spent on schools, libraries, healthcare and highways. The Commissioner responded that there were specific areas where S106 could be spent on policing and Sussex Police had not previously been proactive at applying. Monies could only be spent on, for example, automatic number plate recognition, vehicles to protect the community or police estates, but only if the subject development was sufficiently large. The Commissioner noted the Panels concerns but all emergency services were entitled to apply.
· The Panel questioned the Commissioner’s office budget increase. The CFO responded that the increase was due to the cost of developing the business care around the Fire and Rescue Service and legal costs but that they had since received the legal costs back so there was actually an underspend. Currently the budget was £1.274m.
· The Panel sought absolute assurances that the underspends in police officer and police staff budgets, along with a reduction in numbers, was a one-off situation which would not be repeated next year. The CFO responded that he now sat on Sussex Police’s ‘Establishment Board’ to keep a close eye on how they were monitoring recruitment and variations during the year. This would give the OSPCC a better understanding of the recruitment situation.
· The Panel was concerned that the capital outturn was inaccurate by 35% which made the financial position seem worse that it actually was. The CFO responded that capital estimates are always estimates until business cases are prepared, and will be amended during the year, but there would always be variations.
18. Resolved – That the Panel noted the report.
The Medium Term Financial Strategy sets out the key financial issues facing
the Police and Crime Commissioner over the period 2017/18 to 2010/21, and
provides options for delivering a sustainable budget and capital programme
over the medium term.
The Panel is asked the note and comment on the report.
19. Iain McCulloch, CFO of OSPCC, introduced the report and explained that it set out the key financial issues facing the PCC over the period 2017/18 to 2020/21 and provides options for delivering a sustainable budget and capital programme over the medium term.
20. The Panel made the points below in the discussion that followed:
· The Panel expressed their concern that serious and organised crime and drug crime was increasingly spreading to rural areas. The Panel asked the Commissioner if she was satisfied that the initiatives highlighted in paragraph 7.1 compensate for the reduction in neighbourhood policing. The Commissioner replied that that initiatives were in place to assist and help the police work more smartly. It required a co-ordinated effort, including Community Safety Partnerships, to work more closely together, to tackle the problem.
· Some concern was expressed that some detail was lacking surrounding the savings. The CFO responded that the Commissioner had shared the report with the Panel for information and more detail would be forthcoming during the year.
21. Resolved – that the Panel noted the report.
The report provides an update on the diversity outcomes following the two
police officer recruitment campaigns that Sussex Police carried out in 2016.
The report also outlines some of the specific initiatives that the Force has
implemented to improve all areas of under-representation and the learning
that has been taken following the conclusion of these campaigns.
The Panel is asked to note and comment on the report
22. Mark Streator, Chief Executive Officer of the OSPCC, introduced the report and explained that it provided an update on the diversity outcomes following the two police officer recruitment campaigns Sussex Police carried out in 2016. Mr Streater highlighted that Sergeant Michelle Palmer-Harris had been influential in the success of the recruitment campaigns, and would help co-ordinate a new campaign.
23. The Panel made the points below in the discussion that followed:
· The Panel congratulated Sergeant Palmer-Harris on her work to date but expressed concern that Sussex Police were ranked 35th worse for black and minority (BAME) diversity in the Country. Surrounding counties were performing much better so the Panel questioned what learning had been taken from them. The Commissioner responded that she was on the Board of the College of Policing where a lot of shared learning was undertaken. Surrey and Sussex Police Forces were also the first to join the ‘ He for She’ Campaign. The Chief Constable was the workforce lead nationally for development so would take a lead role on this.
· The Panel were encouraged by the steps being take by the OSPCC but questioned if there were any plans in place for the retention of BAME officers. The Commissioner responded that the College of Policing was developing a programme of Recruitment, Retention and Progression of BAME officers. Phase 1 ran from October 2016 to May 2017 and included a survey and evidence gathering. Phase 2 took place in June 2017 and included analysis of the data gathered in Phase 1; all the details were available on the College of Policing’s website. The Commissioner regularly follows up with the Chief Constable.
· The Panel questioned what happened to members of the Force that being disabled during service. The Commissioner responded that Diversity Officers provided support to officers in this situation and there was a huge amount of support available.
24. Resolved –
1. That an update on Police Officer Recruitment and Diversity Outcomes be presented to the Panel in a year’s time.
That the Panel noted the report.
The Host Authority is required to submit to the Panel an annual budget
report (attached) detailing income and expenditure of the Panel during the
previous year. The report also includes a summary of the main achievements
of the Panel over the last year.
The Panel is asked to consider and comment on its annual report.
25. The Panel considered the annual report from the Clerk to the Police and Crime Panel which provided the annual budget report setting out the costs of the operation of the Panel over the course of the last year and a summary of the main achievements of the Panel.
26. Members of the Panel thanked the host authority for its effective support to the Panel.
The Panel requested training on how to identify strategic issues and ask strategic, rather than operation, questions.
27. Resolved – that the Panel:
1. Notes the budget outturn for 2016/17
28. Cllr Howell left the meeting at this point.
The Panel is asked to agree the attached Work Plan for 2017/18 and suggest
any further topics to be added to the work programme as either agenda
items or for the establishment of a Working Group.
29. The Panel considered the Work Plan of the Panel for 2017/18. The Chair invited the Panel to make any comments on the topics highlighted in the Work Programme and make suggestions on any further topics that should be considered by the Panel.
30. Resolved – That the Panel agreed the Work Plan.
Three pieces of correspondence have been received since the last meeting of
the Panel. The report provides details of the complaints received and the
There is currently one issue under ongoing discussion, which may or may not
result in a complaint requiring handling by the Panel or the Clerk to the
The Panel is asked to consider the report and raise any issues or concerns.
31. The Panel received a report from the Clerk to the Panel providing an update on complaints received in the last quarter.
32 Resolved – that the Panel notes the report.
Report by the Clerk to the Police and Crime Panel.
Written questions may be submitted by members of the public up to two
weeks in advance of a meeting. The Chairman of the Panel or the
Commissioner will be invited to provide a response by noon of the day before
There have been no questions received from correspondents prior to this
meeting of the Panel.
33. The Panel noted that there had been no written questions received.
Commissioner’s Question Time
The Panel is asked to raise any issues or queries concerning crime and
policing in Sussex with the Commissioner.
There will be one question per member only and one supplementary
question; further supplementary questions allowable only where time
permits. The Chairman will seek to group together questions on the same
34. The Panel raised the following issues and questions of the Commissioner:
· The Panel expressed concern about the handling of 101 non-emergency calls, particularly the percentages of calls answered versus calls dropped. The Commissioner had previously stated that she was more concerned with how the calls were handled rather than focussing on targets for numbers of calls answered but the Panel did not feel this was a satisfactory response in holding the Chief Constable to account. The Panel requested that the figures be made public on a monthly basis. The Commissioner responded that the 101 non-emergency number had received 440k calls in a year, 52% of calls were answered within 60 seconds. The Commissioner asked the Panel whether it was about the speed the call was answered or how happy the person was at the end of the call. The Commissioner was keeping a close on performance and had asked the Deputy Chief Constable to monitor the situation, Additional staff ad been recruited and the online reporting facility has been improved. Performance has been improving aside from a drop when technical issues had arise and new recruits had been answering calls. A gold group has been established the monitor the situation. If there was a spike in 99 calls then 101 call handlers could switch to 999 calls and vice versa. Any planned savings for 2017 have been suspended as delivering a good service is critical and public feedback suggests improving consistency and the outcome of calls in more important the time taken to answer them.
· The Panel queried whether the Commissioner was satisfied that Sussex Police was still able to offer a satisfactory service given the extra demands on officers’ time following the London terrorist attacks. The Panel also questioned whether there had been any impact on health and wellbeing. The Commissioner informed the Panel that there had been no calls on Sussex Police to assist with the London attacks but when the threat level had been increased (Operation Temperer) police officers were working 12 hours shifts to cover the heightened security. The Chief Constable was aware of the additional strain this placed on staff and support was put in place.
· The Panel questioned when the Commissioner would publish the business case around the possible takeover of Fire and Rescue Services. The Commissioner told the Panel that the business case had been written and the OSPCC was currently convening a meeting with the relevant authorities. Once this had taken place the business case would be published.
· The Panel asked the Commissioner to keep a close eye on the changes to the Sussex Police following cuts to the ‘preventative’ strand of the Force. Whilst there were no compulsory redundancies being undertaken, concern was expressed that specialisms were no longer being valued. An example was given of previous changes to licensing officer arrangements resulting in a steep increase in alcohol related crime. The Commissioner noted the Panel’s comments and would pass them on.
· The Panel noted that the Commissioner had been ... view the full minutes text for item 89.
The Panel is asked to note the Commissioner’s response to the Panel’s
recommendations from the last meeting on 7 April 2017
35. The Panel noted the Commissioner’s response to its recommendations from 7 April meeting.
Working Group Appointments
The Panel is asked to agree for the Precept Working Group to act as a critical
friend to development of the Precept.
The Panel is further asked to note the current membership and make any
other changes to the membership as appropriate.
• Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council
• Eileen Lintill, Chichester District Council
• Tony Nicholson, Lewes District Council
• Peter Nightingale, Independent Member
• Dave Simmons, Adur District Council
36. The Panel considered the membership of the working group to act as a critical friend in the development of the precept.
37. Resolved – that the Panel agrees the membership of the working group as follows:
· Bill Bentley – East Sussex County Council
· Eileen Lintill – Chichester District Council
· Tony Nicholson – Lewes District Council
· Peter Nightingale – Independent Member
· Dave Simmons – Adur District Council
· Norman Webster – Mid Sussex District Council
· Christian Mitchell – West Sussex County Council
Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the Panel will take place on Friday 6 October 2017,
11.00 a.m. at County Hall, Lewes.
Future meeting dates below:
Friday 19 January 2018
Friday 19 February 2018 (to be cancelled if not required)
38. The next meeting date of 6 October 2017 was noted.
The meeting ended at 1.26 p.m.