To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services which presents an update by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime on the delivery of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan 2021-24.
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report which highlighted the Scrutiny Board’s commitment to maintain a watching brief surrounding the delivery of the new West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan 2021 – 2024. The Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime had provided a written update for the Scrutiny Board, which was appended to the report along with a copy of the published West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan 2021-2024.
The following were in attendance for this item:
· Councillor Coupar, Executive Member for Resources
· Councillor Garthwaite, Leeds representative and Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel
· Councillor Amanda Carter, Leeds representative and Vice Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel
· Julie Reid, Head of Policing and Crime, West Yorkshire Combined Authority
· James Rogers, Director of Communities, Housing and Environment
· Paul Money, Chief Officer Safer Stronger Communities
· Nadeem Siddique, Head of Community Relations and Cohesion
· Claire Smith, Head of Safer Neighbourhoods and ASB Services
· Chief Inspector Pete Hall, Leeds District Police
· Gerry Shevlin, Domestic Violence Programme Manager
· Simon Hodgson, Head of Community Safety Services
The Chair welcomed the attendance of the Head of Policing and Crime who explained that the Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime was unable to attend today’s meeting. The Head of Policing and Crime then gave a brief introduction to the update report provided to the Board.
The Chair also welcomed the attendance of Councillor Garthwaite and Councillor Amanda Carter in their capacity as Chair and Vice Chair of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. Both gave a brief introduction to the role of the Police and Crime Panel, as well as highlighting key areas of priority for the Panel this year.
The following areas were also raised during the Board’s discussion:
Ø Consultation on the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan – the Board discussed the engagement methods used as part of the consultation across West Yorkshire and while acknowledging that response levels had been relatively low, the Head of Policing and Crime explained that consultation will be continuing linked to the supporting strategies that are being developed to support the delivery of the Plan. Reference was also made to the appointment of the Mayor’s Inclusivity Champion to increase the focus on engagement in services from lesser heard communities.
Ø Public trust and confidence in policing – the Board discussed the importance of community engagement in terms of helping to instil public trust and confidence in policing.
Ø Police representation from BAME communities – the Board was interested to learn what proportion of the West Yorkshire Police force represents BAME communities. The Head of Policing and Crime agreed to provide further information on this, including a breakdown of senior management level posts too. Linked to the Mayor’s pledge to increase police officer and police staff numbers, it was highlighted that particular importance had also been placed on doing more to attract, recruit, support and promote talented individuals who represent the diverse communities across West Yorkshire.
Ø The West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – the Board discussed the valuable work undertaken by the VRU in terms of addressing the underlying risk factors that increase the likelihood that an individual will become a victim or a perpetrator of violence. The Board also welcomed the longer-term funding commitment by the Home Office in terms of awarding a 3-year settlement of £15 million.
Ø Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund – The Board noted that over £208k in grants of up to £6k had been awarded to voluntary and community groups across West Yorkshire and discussed how such grants are awarded and also evaluated in terms of impact. The Head of Policing and Crime agreed to provide further information in terms of the groups that had received grants.
Ø Motorcycle/quad bike related anti-social behaviour (ASB) – Reference was made to the persistent problems of motorbikes and quad bikes being ridden anti-socially. As well as applying for additional funding towards tackling this matter, the Board noted that Leeds District Police has appointed a Sergeant to better co-ordinate the work of the current Off Road Bike Team as well as looking to add dedicated PCSOs to the team, stingers, drone capability and covert bikes.
Ø Improving communication links with the public and Elected Members – It was acknowledged that more could be done to communicate the positive impacts of Policing initiatives with the public as well as better utilising the role of Elected Members in helping to disseminate key information across local communities too.
Ø Responding to 101 and 999 calls – Following a request made by the Board, the Head of Policing and Crime agreed to provide further details surrounding 101 and 999 call handling data.
(a) That the report and the accompanying appended information be noted.
(b) That the additional information requested by the Board, as referenced above, be circulated to Board Members once available.