Merseyside Police Authority (30th August 2012) Part 2 Item 6 – Chief Constable’s Annual Report, 2011-12, Item 7 – Merseyside Crimestoppers Annual Report 2011/12 Part 2

Merseyside Police MP32
Merseyside Police MP32 (Photo credit: kenjonbro)

This continues from Part 1 of the report on the Merseyside Police Authority meeting of the 30th August 2012, which covered agenda items 1 to 5. The agenda and reports for item 6 and 7 (apart from appendix 1 for item 6) could be found on the Merseyside Police Authority’s website but since the Merseyside Police Authority was abolished it no longer has a website.

Reports of the Chief Constable
Agenda Item 6 – Chief Constable’s Annual Report 2011-12

The Chief Constable, Jon Murphy, told Members of the Police Authority how the Chief Constable’s Annual Report was to be delivered. He said it was a “statutory requirement”, but that they had done everything they can to minimise the cost. The Chief Constable continued by saying that the community focus newsletter would go to 30,000 homes, supplemented by a corporate e-flyer and they should expect the e-flyers and newsletters distributed to the community at a cost of £860. He mentioned the “key corporate messages” and asked if anyone had any questions?

Professor Alf Zack-Williams (Independent) commented that he welcomed the report, but he suggested that they needed another set of pictures to indicate police activities over and above what they had here. He gave the example of diversionary activities and told people about his own son in the Beavers, where the guy organising it was a police officer. He thought it would be useful to have pictures illustrating this.

The Chief Constable said it was a useful observation and asked his officers if they were still in a position to do so?

The answer given by an officer to the Chief Constable was “No”. A discussion then took place between the Chief Constable and his officers. At the conclusion of the discussion the Chief Constable announced that they would consider it.
The Chair asked if anyone had any comments? No more were made, so the report was moved and noted.

Agenda Item 7 Merseyside Crimestoppers Annual Report 2011/12

The Chief Constable, Jon Murphy said that Crimestoppers had been adopted in 1994, 0800 555 111. He claimed that 100% of the calls were disseminated with 330 actionable calls. In addition to the phone, he advised that members of the public could contact them via text or the internet. The Chief Constable said that although calls were down 1%, the yield was up 41% with actions resulting from every 9.1 calls. He detailed the kinds of information provided, but wanted to make the point that they were getting increasingly high quality community intelligence from Neighbourhood Inspectors and PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) with regards to information on criminality. He was not concerned over a 1% decrease and mentioned a success story as an initiative with Tranmere Rovers FC had resulted in the Crimestoppers number being sent out with season tickets which “continues to be a success story for the Force”.

A Member of the Police Authority said the proactivity was welcome, with evidence of Merseyside Police going out and promoting the number. They mentioned the current hiatus with the current Chair of the Crimestoppers Board stepping down.

The Chief Constable said that Ian had come in to see him and he had been asked to find somebody interested and suitable, there would be a meeting with the Chief Constable and someone in the near future.

The Chair said that the representative on the Crimestoppers Board was one of the legacy issues that fed into the Transition Committee, he expressed the view that it was important that the linkage between the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Crimestoppers Board  was not lost. He said it was an important role.

A Member of the Police Authority referred to the page 42 in reference to the Most Wanted figures and the table on page 47. The Member said that Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley have “quite a lot here” and did the Chief [Constable] have a comment? The Member said was it of some use but not as useful as other forces?

The Chief Constable said it had come up in discussions prior to the meeting. He asked if the figure for Hampshire, was because they never cancel it when they arrest someone? He said he didn’t know the answer, but wanted to make it clear. He explained that when they  introduced Crimestoppers to Merseyside, they carried on using a different hotline number for murders whereas other forces just use Crimestoppers and link to the Most Wanted. He said it was “dangerous to read much into it”.

The Chair said that it does skew the figures quite a bit.

The Chief Constable said a pre meeting question had been whether Crimestopppers was just calls or whether it included texts? He said it was just telephone calls, with no text messages whatsoever and said that the vast majority use the telephone.

The Chair said there was no reason to use text, although landlines can send SMS, it was complicated and most people use mobiles.

The Chief Constable said a mobile phone could block its number being sent with the call, but the number couldn’t be blocked on a text.

Someone else said something about texts.

The Chief Constable said that a system exists.

Mrs Frances Street (Independent), referred to a radio program about Wonga money, where other people’s names had been used to gain £400, the police had been quoted that they won’t investigate anything under £500. She asked how many of the calls to Crimestoppers were finger-pointing, for example people ringing about their neighbours being a “pain in the neck”?

The Chief Constable said that when it was first introduced, it had been raised as a concern, but one in nine led to actions, the rest were often well-meaning but often contained information they knew already.

The Chair joked that Mrs Frances Street just wanted to know if anyone complained about her, he said information from Crimestoppers was one link in an evidence chain and that they could fill in gaps in the information.

Mrs Frances Street (Independent) said there was the potential for time-wasting.

The Chair said that when he was on the Board, there was the fear from the public as calls after 5pm were recorded, with the person phoned back the next day which had caused real ???. Then it was made anonymous, the flow rate improved and people had more confidence. With an increase in success levels, people were confident to speak as there were so many avenues, even community messaging could within an hour result in doors being kicked in. He said the confidence in communities was fantastic and that a bright spark was writing a song.

Mrs Frances Street (Independent) asked if was a rap?

The Chair said it was to make it more accessible to young people.

A Member of the Police Authority referred to page forty-nine and the information about firearm discharges. The Member said that they had one in the area, about which the public had a lot of concern Jon [referring to the Chief Constable], since then they had had a public meeting, however there had been a more recent firearm discharge that had made the front page of the [Liverpool] Echo, resulting in another public meeting to reassure people. The Member said that going back to June, there had been a more recent firearm discharge, with lots of work done by the police, they had arrested someone and found a firearm and there had been another public meeting, with a lot more recently. Although people these days buy and use upper parts for AR-15’s either to practice or for self-protection, but some people have another agenda in mind which is why now producing medical records are essential before one is allowed to purchase a gun.

The Chief Constable said he had been on leave, there was detailed Crimestoppers information, here to illustrate to Members and the public, other than Crimestoppers they received information through their own intelligence sources.

The Chair said the information would be included on the next report.

The Member said the worry is at the moment about firearms, people are concerned, especially when the same type of thing happens in the same area.

The Chief Constable understood people were concerned, he said they had made some “really good arrests last week” in the tit-for-tat shooting and that someone was in custody at the moment.

The Chair asked if there were any more questions? There weren’t any. He said the report was for noting, but he welcomed it and commended the work in reducing crime on Merseyside.

The Chair then moved the meeting onto agenda item 8 which was another report of the Chief Constable entitled Sustaining Excellence Programme – Overview.

Cotinued at part 3 (Sustaining Excellence Program Overview & Officers on Restricted and Recuperative Duties).

Merseyside Police Authority (30th August 2012) Declarations of Interests, Minutes, Chairman’s Announcements, Minutes of Meetings, Collaboration Agreement for the National Police Air Service Part 1

Merseyside Police Volvo
Merseyside Police Volvo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The papers for this meeting can no longer be found on the Merseyside Police Authority website as Merseyside Police Authority was abolished in November 2012 and replaced with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Some of the pages handed out at the meeting itself can still be found on this blog, Item 5 (Joint Report of the Chief Executive and Chief Constable) National Police Air Service: Collaboration Agreement (4 pages) (Page 1 of 4, Page 2 of 4, Page 3 of 4, Page 4 of 4, item 4G (minutes of the Grant Making Panel (Police Property Act Fund) of 23rd August 2012) (5 pages, Page 1 of 5), and 4H (minutes of the Transition Committee of the 23 August 2012) (3 pages). Copies were available at the meeting itself.

The former Mayor, Cllr Moira McLaughlin arrived in plenty of time at 1.39pm, as the meeting started a few minutes late at 2.04pm. Including the Police Authority Members (and staff), Merseyside Police officers (and staff) and public there were about forty people present.

The Chair, Cllr Weightman (Labour, Knowsley Council) welcomed Members of the Police Authority and public to the meeting. He asked for apologies.

Apologies were given for the only Conservative Councillor on the Police Authority, Cllr Blakeley (Wirral Council), Labour Cllr Frank Prendergast (Liverpool City Council), Mr Tom Kelly (Independent) and another Member of the Police Authority.

1. Declarations of Interest

The Chair, Cllr Weightman  asked for any declarations of interest.

A Member of the Police Authority declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 4G (minutes of the Grant Making Panel (Police Property Act Fund) of 23rd August 2012) as his interest was regards to one of the grants.

A Member of the Police Authority declared a personal interest in item 4F (minutes of the Estate Strategy Committee of the 16th August 2012) because it referred to the Joint Command and Control facility as Sefton Council may sell the Police Authority the land.

The Chair said these interests were noted, where there any others?

2. Minutes (Merseyside Police Authority, 21st June 2012)

The minutes of the meeting held on the 21st June 2012 were agreed as a correct record.

3. Chairman’s Announcements

The Chair said he had three things to raise. The first was that at the beginning of 2011, they had commissioned a training provider called The Learning Curve for management training. He said their aim was to build on existing skills that staff had, with an emphasis on organisational change and transferring to the new governance scheme. The Chair continued by saying that there had been the opportunity to do a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Management at level seven, which was a diploma consisting of two management units with a choice of optional subjects which counted as points towards the award. Cllr Weightman said it was equal to a Masters Degree and three staff (who he named as Paul Caton, June Hackett and Mark Turley) had gained this qualification, he congratulated them for taking the time to increase their qualifications.

Professor Alf Zack-Williams (Independent) also offered them his congratulations and said it was the essence of a good employer to have training facilities. He gave the example of a female cleaner, who within five years of starting work had gained a BSc (Hons) within five years after starting on an access course. Prof Williams said they were leaving a good legacy for the successor [to the Merseyside Police Authority].

The second announcement the Chair wanted to make was to remember Cath Kane who had retired after thirty-six years service. He said that Cath had written to him and mentioned the close relationship, hard work and dedication of Members of the Merseyside Police Authority. He proposed that they invite her to the next meeting to give a small presentation and hoped Members would support and agree to this.

The third announcement the Chair made was about the proposed farewell dinner and the issue of internal correspondence. He said it had been decided closed, but one Member had put this on the internet and was claiming credit for stopping the dinner. The Chair felt that this was not true as it had been a decision of Members of the whole Authority, an all-Member Authority decision, not the decision of one individual Member, which he wanted recorded in the minutes.

He moved the meeting onto agenda item 4.

4. Minutes of Meetings

4A The minutes of the Transition Committee of the 5th July 2012 were moved and agreed.

4B The minutes of the Service Improvement Committee of the 19th July 2012 were moved and agreed.

4C With reference to the minutes of the Finance and Audit Committee minutes of the 26th July 2012, on page 18, agenda item 5, resolution (iii) he wanted them to write to the Local Authorities with regards to changes in Council Tax Benefit and asked them to accept this change? They did.

4D The minutes of the Community Partnership Committee of the 2nd August 2012 were moved and agreed.

4E The minutes of the Performance Scrutiny and Review  Committee of the 9th August 2012 were moved and agreed.

A Member of the Police Authority having previously declared a prejudicial interest in item 4G left at this point.

4F The Chair asked for an amendment to the minutes of the Estate Strategy Committee meeting of the 5th July 2012 in respect of item 4. He wanted (a) to read rejects and (b) to read instructs the Chief Constable for a full and comprehensive report to the next meeting of this Committee. Another Member of the Police Authority said the amendment was in line with the mood of the meeting. The Chair asked if people were happy and the amendment and minutes were agreed.

4G The minutes of the Grant Making Panel meeting of the 23rd August 2012 were moved and agreed.

The Member of the Police Authority having declared a prejudicial interest who had left the room returned. The Chair thanked Julie for calling him back.

4H The Chair moved on to the minutes of the Transition Committee meeting of the 23rd August 2012 and drew people’s attention to item 13 which set up an Audit Committee and referred also to minute 12. The minutes were moved and agreed.

The Chair moved the meeting on to agenda item 5.

5. Collaboration Agreement for the National Police Air Service (Joint Report of the Chief Executive and Chief Constable)

Paul Johnson (Chief Executive/Treasurer) introduced the joint report (agenda item 5) of himself and the Chief Constable on the National Police Air Service: Collaboration Agreement.  He said that back in October [2011] they had had representations from Hampshire Constabulary regarding their willingness to enter a national collaboration, which they had agreed in principle.

A significant step had been to join the regional support air group which had led to savings. He wanted to clarify external perceptions with the public over the perceived loss of a helicopter. A major consideration had been the future of [the helicopter] G-XM11, as there was the expectation that they would donate it to the national pot, to be used as a general cover aircraft, but not as a free gift, but it would remain an asset on their balance sheet and be paid for. Paul Johnson had asked for a valuation and it had been valued at £800,000 to £900,000.

NPAS [National Police Air Service] had come back with a national agreement, but in June [2012] they had signed an agreement with the Norwegian Government on behalf of the Oslo Police Department, which had removed the final obstacle to signing up to NPAS. Beryl Heath and Chris Mar were going through the final agreement and they were more or less there, with the original deadline being tomorrow (the 31st August 2012), officers were working on the detail and there was confirmation on the third page at item five of the financial position. The lease to Norway, was not threatened by the NPAS agreement and NPAS had been helpful at approving the Norway situation. He was asking the Police Authority to authorise him and the Chief Constable to sign up to the agreement, once some small minor issues had been sorted.

Paul Johnson said that compared to other areas in the country it had been a wise decision to enter into regional arrangements, which had been ironed out last year. The issue of the redundant helicopter had been sorted out and hopefully there would not be a repeat of things suffered last year [in Norway]. He asked for authority from the Merseyside Police Authority.

The Chair said that there was a lot more to this for the region, but they wouldn’t be bullied by the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP and the Home Office, they had done a deal with the Norwegian Government and got money back that they wouldn’t have received in the first place because it was old. All of the North West had gained as it had been extended from eight to twelve years, so the North West had got a good deal as Merseyside [Police Authority] had led the way. He said it was a “fait accompli” as a [statutory] instrument by the government said they had to, they could take out a lengthy court case but it would just waste money. The recommendation in the report was agreed.

The Chair then moved to agenda item 6 (Chief Constable’s Annual Report).

Continue to Merseyside Police Authority (30th August 2012) Part 2 Item 6 – Chief Constable’s Annual Report, 2011-12, Item 7 – Merseyside Crimestoppers Annual Report 2011/12 Part 2

Update on Merseyside Police Authority positions for 2012 with respect of Wirral Council representatives

The following two councillors were chosen to represent Wirral Council on Merseyside Police Authority (which will be abolished in November 2012 to make way for the new Police and Crime Commissioner):-

Cllr Chris Blakeley (Con) (who replaced former Cllr Kate Wood) and
Cllr Moira McLaughlin (Lab) (who replaced Cllr Tony Smith)

Following the AGM of the Merseyside Police Authority on the 21st June 2012 they have been appointed to the following internal Merseyside Police Authority committees as well as an outside body each.

Cllr Chris Blakeley

Appointments Committee

Performance Scrutiny & Review Committee

Professional Standards Committee

Finance and Audit Committee

Service Improvement Committee

Transition Committee

Standards Committee

Estate Strategy Committee

Inspections Sub-Committee

Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee

Joint Police Officer and Joint Police Staff Consultative Committee

Police Pension Scheme – Scheme Manager Committee

Independent Member of Standards Committee – Selection Panel

Tender Opening Panel

Grant Making Panel (Police Property Act Fund)

Senior Officer Conduct Panel

Wirral Local Strategic Partnership (Outside Body Appointment)

Cllr Moira McLaughlin

Community Partnership Committee

Finance and Audit Committee

Estate Strategy Committee

Police Appeals Tribunal

Renumeration Appeals Panel

Wirral Community Safety Partnership (Outside Body Appointment)

Cabinet (Wirral Council) 6th September 2012 Agenda and reports published

The Cabinet, agenda and reports have been published.

Some interesting items:-

3 Chief Constable

“The Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Jon Murphy will attend the meeting together with the Area Commander, Chief Superintendent, John Martin.”

4 Audit Commission Annual Audit Letter

£75k extra cost in relation to HES (Highways and Engineering Services), see (Audit Commission Public Interest Report).

10 Freedom of Information Requests and Local Government Ombudsman

Interest: The author has made at least nine FOI requests to Wirral Council and is mentioned in this report at 2.5.3 .

11 Local Development Framework – Joint Waste Local Plan for Merseyside and Halton

12 Restructure of the Human Resources and Organisational Development Department

Signs of honesty at Wirral Council’s Department of Adult Social Services

OPINION by John Brace

A recent job posting for an Approved Mental Health Practitioner describes the reason behind a job at Wirral Council thus.

At the current time we are unable to respond to this in a timely manner which means the service is not functioning effectively and we are incurring costs as a council in that we are supporting people longer in residential care or hospital than is needed and are funding this until an assessment can be completed.

So, older people with dementia (or a mental health problem are being kept in residential care or hospital for longer than required due to Department of Adult Social Services delays? Oh and this is costing the Department of Adult Social Services money in care home fees?

So let me get this straight, the disabled are being penalised because of delays caused by Social Services and this person will be hired to stop them costing so much money?

So where are these people going after they live either hospital, nursing home or residential care? Will the burden for caring fall on their families (if they have one)? Surely there should be an assessment done of their needs? Is this what the four week delay whistleblower was referring to?