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Panel slates police plan

March 19, 2013 3:08 PM
Angus Macpherson

Angus Macpherson - Tory Supercop

The draft 'Police and Crime Plan' produced by Conservative police chief Angus Macpherson has been attacked by the Wiltshire Police and Crime panel. Amongst other things the panel criticised Macpherson for ignoring his own manifesto pledges from the election in November last year, and for not having any meaningful goals, targets, timescales or budget allocations.

Macpherson has picked up on the Tory idea of getting the voluntary sector to do more in the public service area, though without, according to the panel, having any idea about what to do if the volunteers don't come forward.

The document itself was criticised as being too scary - pictures on the front include a punch-up, an old lady being terrorised by hoodies, a distressed young lady and a handcuffed villain, balanced only by a smiling call-centre girl.

The panel, which is chaired by Wiltshire councillor Richard Britton (Con), made a total of 22 recommendations:

1. That the front cover pictures be reviewed to present a less frightening impression.
2. That the PCC's manifesto commitments be moved to the front of the plan.
3. That chapter numbers be added.
4. That the plan includes reference to the two missing manifesto aspects - drugs and licensing, to include details such as strategic direction, changes emerging from
central government and the means of the effective delivery of these changes.
5. That the costs of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) be more comprehensively broken down e.g. overheads, oncosts, etc.
6. The Panel repeats the concerns expressed during its consideration of your precept proposal regarding the levels of reserves and requests that further consideration is
given to both their level and their wider use for delivering other priorities within the plan.
7. That clarity is provided around Police staff numbers shown at the bottom of page 48, with definition, breakdown and costs. In particular we feel it is important to
distinguish between 'back office' police staff and those directly engaged in policing activities.
8. The plan should include reference to your commitment not to reduce the level of Neighbourhood Police Team (NPT) staff and provide a breakdown of the NPT
9. That in setting your priorities, delivery dates and deadlines you ensure that they reflect the information contained in the Joint Strategic Assessment (JSA) and are
fully aligned and coordinated with the JSA.
10. That priorities be set for the Chief Constable which are measureable and transparent to the Panel and the general public.
11. That the plan includes reference to mainstream crime by which we mean prominent and public criminal activities.
12. That the plan includes more detail on your proposals for addressing rural crime.
13. That the Service Standards should be linked to priorities, detail how they were set and by whom; and include measures by which performance can be monitored and
the PCC held to account.
14. That wherever there is an undertaking or objective within the plan there will be an explanation of how progress towards that objective will be measured and reported,
how often, and when the activity started or is due to start.
15. That the actual figures for both calls answered within 30 seconds on 101 and 999 calls answered within 10 seconds be amended to show the correct figure (differing
figures on Pages 35 and 45).
16. That on page 46, within 'Holding the Commissioner to account', the wording be changed to make clear that the Police and Crime Panel are not the first point of
contact for members of the public wishing to complain about any of the PCC's decisions. Rather they should contact the OPCC directly, referring to the Panel
only if they do not receive a satisfactory response.
17. That the plan recognises the statutory powers of the CSP's and shows alignment with their plans and priorities.
18. That the plan clearly displays the governance mechanisms exercised by the OPCC over the Chief Constable.
19. That the plan includes a definition of Anti-Social Behaviour, and indicates the baseline for the measurement of the 10% reduction.
20. That the plan includes details on the performance management of Special Constables.
21. That the plan provides clarity on how the one-off investment fund of Β£1 million will be managed and resourced, including details of eligibility, any restrictions on
usage, who approves such bids and the funding process.
22. That the plan shows targeted savings in the context of releasing resources.

The Plan was considered by Wiltshire Cabinet on March 19th, though their response was, inevitably, less critical and consisted of suitably humble and respectful questioning of some aspects of the plan.

The Cabinet agenda includes the plan at page 91, the Panel report at page 163, and the Cabinet response at page 167