Agenda item

Update on Police Performance

To receive a verbal update from Chief Inspector Gerry Parker.


Chief Inspector (CI) Gerry Parker, District Commander addressed the Committee and provided Members with a detailed update, highlighting the following areas and reporting on the close work between the Police and its partners:

·                    Overall Crime – It was noted although there had been an increase in recordable crime for the District it was still one of the lowest levels in Essex.  Members were advised that when reviewing the figures provided they should be mindful that although some large percentage increases were reported these often equated to a small increase in actual numbers.  The Police were working with Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the area to strengthen this and it was noted that the Active Citizen cohort was increasing.


·                    Resources – Members were reminded that the Police Station at the Council Offices was manned 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  CI Parker reported that he had allocated four Officers as rural Officers to the Rural team and he outlined the work of this team.


·                    Current crime – It was noted although there had been an increase in recordable crime for the District it was still one of the lowest levels in Essex.  CI Parker highlighted a couple of specific cases where arrests had led to the prevention of further crimes occurring.


·                    Domestic abuse was a key contributor to the increase in common assault figures recorded.  It was noted that domestic abuse crimes were a priority for the force and Officers in the District were now equipped with body worn video.


·                    Stalking and Harassment volumes had significantly been affected following a rule change to the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2018.


·                    Dwelling burglaries were being targeted through targeted patrols, high visibility, use of social media etc.


·                    Anti-Social Behaviour – The Police were working closely with the Community Protection Team and CI Parker reported that eight community protection warnings had recently been served.  Covert patrols in key areas of the District had been undertaken and recent operations had had a significant impact on drugs and supply in the District.


·                    Public Engagement – Members were provided with a list of public engagements undertaken during the last few months and it was noted how these were an opportunity for residents to engage with the Police across various locations. 


Councillor P G L Elliott joined the meeting during this item of business.


In response to the questions raised by the public at the start of the meeting, CI Parker advised that:


·                    in respect of the question regarding the growth to the population of Burnham-on-Crouch and the strategy to ensure the level of policing met this this was a question for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) around precept funding, demand and how that reserve was allocated.  CI Parker requested that the resident raise the question to the PFCC at the forthcoming public meeting.


·                    the Police received a large amount of CCTV from Burnham-on-Crouch residents and businesses and it was not possible to response to every person and advise what had been done regarding it.  CI Parker was due to be speaking to the media to highlight the work that the Police had achieved and what they were going to do and made specific reference to the ‘you said, we did’ campaign.


·                    In response to the question from Mr Milne, the CI provided an update on work that had been undertaken, including forensic investigations.  He advised that he would be tasking this to the intelligence team to action.


In response to a number of questions raised by Members they were provided the following additional information:

·                    CI Parker recognised the frustration of local farmers following a number of recent burglaries highlighted by a Member who also detailed some of the prevention measures introduced.  CI Parker stressed the importance for the public to report any crime as the District would not get any uplift in resource unless reported.


·                    Members were advised that although it was recognised that problems with vehicles parking on pavements and blocking others were an issue this was a low priority in comparison to other policing matters.


·                    CI Parker advised that six officers were now allocated to response control and would work 24 / 7 on the response team with a further six to supplement the policing team.  Officers were using mobile devices to report crime on the street and as a result intelligence reports had increased.   He had committed to getting people back into the Schools and highlighted some of the recent initiatives to increase public engagement such as coffee with cops etc.  CI Parker explained he was always requesting additional funding / specialist resourcing and it looked as though there would be another precept rise for 2019 / 20 from which he would be fighting for as many Officers for the District as possible.


·                    A Member commented on the volunteer group which had previously been set up in Burnham-on-Crouch and located within the Town centre and whether this could be reinstated.  CI Parker agreed to put this on the list.


The Chairman thanked CI Parker for attending the meeting and commented on the improvements made and the ongoing work of the Chief Inspector.


In response to a question Members were advised that it was the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) who decided on the allocation of funding.  Members were reminded at this point of that the PFCC would be attending the Council in January.


A question regarding Council Tax being paid and passed onto the Police was raised and in response the Director of Service Delivery advised that the Director of Resources would looking into this, speak to Councillor S J Savage, obtain the relevant information and report back to Members.