Hampshire Police and Crime Panel

Proactive Scrutiny

In 2014 the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel agreed to introduce proactive scrutiny sessions to their work programme for 2014/15, enabling them to build on their ‘statutory functions’ by focusing on scrutinising core elements of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s ‘Police and Crime Plan’.

Since this time the Panel has continued to undertake a programme of proactive scrutiny, which is agreed annually and led by the Panel’s Plan working group. The scrutiny topics chosen by the Panel have originated from key areas of focus or concern outlined within the Police and Crime Plan, as well as topics of public interest or newly emerging threats.

For each review the Panel has sought the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including criminal justice partners, statutory bodies, voluntary sector organisations and members of the public. From the evidence received recommendations have been drawn and submitted to the Commissioner, with the intention of supporting the objectives of the Police and Crime Plan and enhancing the safety and wellbeing of the residents of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The topics reviewed by the Panel to date are listed below; for further information on the Panel’s scrutiny of each topic please see further details and links to documentation below:

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

Find out more about our proactive scrutiny work programme.

Cyber Crime – Cyber Fraud (January 2018)

The nature of crime is changing, and nationally and internationally there is a rising threat from cybercrime. This was recognised by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) within his Police and Crime Plan, noting that vulnerable people, who were once victimised within their homes and communities, are now being targeted through online mediums.

The Panel’s review aimed to scrutinise and support the PCC in his intention to keep the residents and communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer through preventing cyber fraud, and focused upon how well the PCC was working with partners to identify and prevent cyber fraud. The scrutiny further considered how the PCC had contributed to efforts to educate and inform the residents of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to recognise and protect themselves from cyber-enabled fraud.

Efforts made to combat cyber fraud were recognised through the report, with the evidence provided suggesting that Hampshire Constabulary had been one of the leading forces regionally and nationally in its approach to preventing cyber crime. Another positive indicator noted was that take up of victim support across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight had been higher than the national average, with the greatest area of uptake being in relation to online shopping fraud.

The evidence received to this scrutiny strongly suggested a need for greater engagement by the PCC with both residents and partner organisations, in raising awareness of the profile of cyber fraud and sharing prevention messages. A number of examples were brought forth, however, demonstrating that the PCC and his office had made positive efforts to engage with the community and sought to support partners in delivering innovate approaches to do so.

In order to support the Commissioner in his commitment to keep communities safer the Panel has made a number of recommendations addressing the concerns raised, making suggestion upon improving the approach to tackling cyber fraud across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.

Police and Crime Panel Cyber Crime Proactive Scrutiny letter to the Commissioner  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 194kB

Police and Crime Panel Proactive Scrutiny Cybercrime Cyber Fraud Evidence  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 2MB

Traffic Related Crime and Nuisance (October 2017)

Following public consultation, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) launched his Police and Crime Plan in December 2016, within which he set out his key priorities for delivery to 2021. Road safety is mentioned as one of three key public concerns outlined by the PCC within his Plan, and through it the PCC demonstrated his intention to protect existing measures which keep the public safe, whilst seeking innovation in preventing and tackling these issues.

The Panel’s scrutiny focused upon the traffic related crime and nuisance which is causing the greatest concern within the communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and also considered elements relating to road safety.

The level of response to this scrutiny demonstrated that traffic related crime and nuisance was of significant public concern. The evidence received suggested particular concerns relating to the use of the A32, speeding and animal casualties within the New Forest and also highlighted a need to better protect vulnerable road users.

Heavily discussed were the efforts of local Community Speedwatch groups, a number of whom attended the Panel’s meeting to provide further evidence. Volunteers expressed disquiet over the lack of ability to operate on roads where the speed limit was above 30mph and suggested that improvements were needed in the approach taken to analyse and make use of data being produced by the volunteers. During the meeting the Chief Executive of the OPCC offered support in undertaking analysis of data being produced by Community Speedwatch groups, and it was heard in the January meeting of the Panel that the OPCC were developing a tool to do so.

Efforts made by Hampshire Constabulary to prosecute offenders were recognised, with evidence demonstrating that the maximum numbers of speeding penalties allowable were being issued annually and that 97% of those caught using their mobile phone at the wheel received a penalty.

In order to support the Commissioner in his intention to prevent and tackle traffic related crime and nuisance and to improve road safety across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight the Panel made a number of recommendations seeking to address the concerns raised.

A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.

Police and Crime Panel Traffic Related Crime and Nuisance Proactive Scrutiny Letter to the Commissioner  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 189kB

Police and Crime Panel Proactive Traffic related crime and nuisance Proactive Scrutiny Evidence  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 5MB

Police and Crime Commissioner response to the traffic realted crime and nuisance recommendations  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 232kB

Rural Crime (July 2017)

In October 2014 the Panel produced its first scrutiny report which focussed upon ‘Rural Crime’, and considered the actions of the then Commissioner in his aim to reduce the gap in solved crime rates between rural and non-rural areas. Through this report the Panel found that more could be done to help inform and empower local communities to protect themselves, to raise confidence in rural community policing and to improve the partnership approach to rural crime.

The Panel’s report also discussed the variation between the perception of crime and the reality of crime, and how this had driven a disproportionate fear of crime within rural communities. A key message from the evidence received to the review was the need for visible community policing and communications to alleviate these fears.

The Panel agreed that it was timely to revisit the topic of rural crime, to consider progress made against some of the key areas discussed in the Panel’s previous report on rural crime and look to identify and discuss those of current interest.

This scrutiny found that the evidence received demonstrated that many of the concerns which were important to rural communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight at the time of the Panel’s previous scrutiny in 2014 were still relevant today. The evidence also raised a number of new areas of concern, which have risen to the fore since the publication of the Panel’s last report, including concerns over the effectiveness of the 101 service within rural communities.

Efforts made to combat rural crime were recognised through the report, including Hampshire Constabulary maintaining a dedicated rural crime team and the introduction of the Hampshire and IOW Rural Crime Partnership. It was further recognised that the Commissioner, and his office, had started to explore more innovate approaches to enhance engagement with rural communities and taken steps to improve the firearms application process.

In order to support the Commissioner in his commitment to keep rural communities safer the Panel has made a number of recommendations addressing the concerns raised, making suggestion upon improving the perception of policing and the approach to tackling crime within rural communities.

A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.

Police and Crime Panel Rural Crime proactive scrutiny outcomes and recommendations to the Commissioner  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 234kB

Police and Crime Panel Rural Crime proactive scrutiny evidence  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 1MB

Police and Crime Commissioner response to the Rural Crime recommendations  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 227kB

Restorative Justice (April 2017)

This proactive scrutiny explores and makes recommendation upon the topic of ‘restorative justice’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in his intention to keep communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe and secure, through reviewing the progress made towards achieving the vision of the Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches Strategy. This scrutiny also considered how the Commissioner was engaging partners across the two counties in delivering this agenda, as well as increasing awareness and engagement from the wider community.

This scrutiny found the Commissioner and his office had engaged well with a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector partners, consulting with them in the development of the new Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches Strategy. In particular the Panel noted that, in launching his new Restorative Justice and Restorative Approaches Strategy, the Commissioner had acknowledged the need for, and made commitment to, making restorative justice available to all victims and perpetrators, regardless of the nature of the crime. This expands upon the provision of the previous strategy and was commended by a number of those responding to the review.

In order to support the Commissioner in his intention to make restorative justice available to all victims and perpetrators, the Panel has recommended that the Commissioner seeks further engagement with partners who work with perpetrators, within education services and those who are specialists in the field of domestic and sexual abuse. With regards the use of restorative justice for victims of sensitive crime types, such as domestic and sexual crime, the Panel has asked that the Commissioner to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent the risk of further harm or re-victimisation.

The Panel has further suggested, through this report, that the Commissioner considers opportunities to increase public understanding of the benefits and availability of restorative services, to encourage those who might benefit to self-refer to these services.

A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.

Police and Crime Panel Restorative Justice Proactive Scrutiny Outcomes and Recommendations to the Commissioner  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 254kB

Police and Crime Panel Proactive Scrutiny Restorative Justice Evidence  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 540kB

Police and Crime Commissioner Response to the Restorative Justice Proactive Scrutiny Recommendations  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 297kB

Domestic Abuse (January 2017)

This proactive scrutiny report explores and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘domestic abuse’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in his intention to tackle domestic abuse and enhance protection for its victims. Additionally, this report considers how the Commissioner is engaging partners across the two counties in delivering this agenda, as well as increasing awareness and engagement from the wider community.

This report finds that the Commissioner and his office, through the use of their commissioning strategy and through active engagement in stakeholder meetings, have played an integral role in bringing partners together to form new alliances and deliver innovative and nationally recognised approaches to tackling domestic abuse. Key to delivery of both well established and innovate new approaches has been the availability of both grant funding and commissioning streams and this report makes recommendation to the Commissioner that he continues with this approach, with a view to ensuring that local needs and priorities are considered when funding decisions are made.

The Panel have identified, through this report, that increasing engagement with victims and survivors of domestic abuse and partners within Portsmouth and the IOW, should better inform and enhance the pan-Hampshire and the IOW approach to tackling, and supporting victims, of domestic abuse. The Panel have also suggested that consideration is given to the development of a Hampshire and IOW wide media strategy which, with the input of partner agencies, could seek to raise further awareness of all forms of domestic abuse.

Police and Crime Panel Proactive Scrutiny Domestic Abuse Report  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 737kB

Police and Crime Commissioner Response to the Domestic Abuse Proactive Scruitny Recommendations  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 261kB

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery (July 2016)

This report concludes and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘human trafficking and modern slavery, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in his aim, under priority four of the Police and Crime Plan, to ‘improve the sharing of information across all Hampshire and Isle of Wight-based public sector agencies’ and the sharing of intelligence ‘between police forces’ to prevent offending and to ensure those ‘committing or intending to commit serious and organised crimes’ across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight ‘are being actively pursued’ and applied a particular focus on human trafficking and modern slavery. Additionally, this report considers how the Commissioner is engaging partners across the two counties to support victims of these crimes, as well as increasing awareness and engagement from the wider community.

This review has identified a need for a fuller understanding and wider awareness of the picture of human trafficking and modern slavery across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, whilst recognising that the Commissioner and his office have taken a lead in progressing this agenda. In particular the introduction of the Modern Slavery Partnership for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has brought partners together to lead a multi-agency coordinated the approach across the two counties and the evidence reviewed has reflected that Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are amongst the frontrunners nationally in the approach to preventing these crimes and seeking to identify and support survivors.

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery (HTMS) report  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 2MB

Delivery Against Police and Crime Plan (March 2016)

Members of the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel reviewed the evidence received in relation to their review of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (Simon Hayes) delivery against his Police and Crime Plan during his term in office. This review considered the overall progress made against the four strategic priorities which were defined by the PCC within his Police and Crime Plan and further sought feedback on how the PCC has engaged partner agencies, key stakeholder groups and members of the public in the delivery of these objectives

In summary, the Panel observed that the overwhelming majority of responses that were received to this scrutiny reflected positively on the progress the Commissioner and his office have made in delivering against the objectives defined by the Commissioner within his Police and Crime Plan. In particular the Panel noted that the evidence strongly demonstrated efforts that had been made by the Commissioner to encourage, facilitate and foster multi-agency working and to engage with younger members of the community as part of the ‘social change agenda’.

Anti-social Behaviour (January 2016)

This report concludes and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘anti-social behaviour’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire in his aim, under priority three of the Police and Crime Plan, to support, scrutinise, and challenge partners across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to ‘work together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour’ in the community and to implement ‘a geographically targeted and coordinated campaign to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in their most deprived/vulnerable areas’. Additionally, this report considers how the PCC is engaging partners across the two counties in the use of the Community Remedy Menu.

Evidence received by the Panel has praised efforts made by the Commissioner and his office to encourage and facilitate a holistic multi-agency approach in tackling and preventing ASB across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In particular, through the introduction of his Alliance meetings, the Commissioner has created forums within which information and best practice can be shared enabling a joined-up approach at both strategic and operational levels. This report makes recommendations which aim to encourage greater cross-district working, where benefits can be identified, with particular focus on those areas where higher deprivation is present.

Child Sexual Exploitation (October 2015)

This report concludes and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘child sexual exploitation’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire (and the Isle of Wight) in his aim to ‘work effectively with Hampshire Constabulary to ensure that children at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) are safeguarded and referred to appropriate services’ through leading the introduction of a ‘Sexual Crime Strategy’ and by raising awareness and encouraging ‘joined up working around CSE’. Additionally, building on the work of the Panel’s ‘victims and witnesses’ proactive scrutiny, to understand how the PCC is improving the experience of victims and witnesses of CSE across the criminal justice system.

This report found that the Commissioner had been instrumental in setting up a multi-agency ‘Gold Group’, establishing multi-agency executive commitment to prevent, and support, victims and potential victims of CSE. Further evidence was received by the Panel praising efforts made by the Commissioner and his office to encourage and facilitate a multi-agency agency approach in tackling and preventing CSE across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The Panel have identified a need for greater consistency pan-Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, in the assessment of children at risk of sexual exploitation, and opportunity for the Commissioner, through his influence with partners, to increase the use of shared technology to support the automation of the risk-assessment process.

Mental Wellbeing (July 2015)

This concludes and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘mental wellbeing’ through a ‘light-touch’ scrutiny, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with a focus on how the Commissioner, through his influence and work with Hampshire Constabulary and other partners, is encouraging and supporting delivery of the recommendations of the ‘Use of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983’ review, as well as delivering against the commitments of the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordant.

The Police and Crime Panel found that the Commissioner was already working with partners across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to improve outcomes for people affected by mental health issues. Specifically the report demonstrated that, through partnership working, the levels of Section 136 detentions and the use of police-based places of safety had fallen considerably since 2013, with evidence highlighting that the Commissioner had been a vocal advocate in the delivery of actions to reduce police-based place of safety detentions. Evidence received by the Panel however highlighted a need for greater information sharing between the providers of mental health services, particularly in capturing and recording data on those at higher risk of suicide, with the Panel identifying an opportunity for multi-agency training to further the understanding of suicide prevention across frontline services.

Victims and Witnesses (April 2015)

This report concludes and makes recommendations on the topic of ‘victims and witnesses’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in his pledge to “introduce a multi-agency Victims & Witnesses forum” with the aim of “establishing a joined up approach to improving the experience of all victims and witnesses across the criminal justice system”.

The Police and Crime Panel found, that there are a wide range of services and organisations currently in operation across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, focused on providing support to victims as they journey through the Criminal Justice System. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the same level of service is available to meet the specific needs of witnesses. The Panel have identified opportunities for the Commissioner to encourage greater sharing of information and best practice between criminal justice service agencies, as well as for victims and witnesses to have more direct and timely access to information.

Youth Offending (January 2015)

This report concludes and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘youth offending’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Commissioner in his aim to have ‘fewer young people entering the criminal justice system’.

The Panel found through a mix of written and oral evidence that whilst there are a broad range of schemes and programmes currently in place across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to prevent and reduce youth offending, there are gaps in the current provision, and suggest that evaluation of those schemes and programmes funded by the Commissioner, as well as a review of the spread of funds would better inform a pan-Hampshire and IOW approach in the delivery of services. Additionally, the Panel identified an opportunity to better engage young role models in volunteering activities within their own communities and makes recommendation to the Commissioner on Restorative Justice services as well as commissioning of services which provide greater access to information on life skills and employability.

Rural Crime (October 2014)

This, the Panel’s first proactive scrutiny report, concludes and makes recommendations upon the topic of ‘rural crime’, where Members reviewed the actions of the Commissioner in his aim ‘over three years to reduce by 50% the gap in solved crime rates between rural and non-rural beats, whilst improving existing solved crime rates in non-rural areas’.

The Panel found through a mix of written and oral evidence that more can be done to help inform and empower local communities to protect themselves from rural crime, to increase confidence in rural community policing, and to improve partnership working between agencies with a responsibility for responding to rural crime. Recommendations will be made to the Commissioner from the Panel through this report which aim to contribute to reducing rural crime rates within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.