Agenda item

Draft Police and Crime Plan - Report of Police and Crime Commissioner


The Panel considered a report of the Police and Crime Commissioner which presented the draft Police and Crime Plan 2021-22 in advance of its launch for consultation (for copy see file of Minutes).


In presenting the report the Police and Crime Commissioner informed the Panel that she had carried out a survey between October and December 2020 to ascertain public priorities.  Over 1,200 responses were received and this provided an idea of what local residents wanted addressing in the Police and Crime Plan.  The Police and Crime Commissioner informed the Panel that the proposed priorities for 2021/22 were as follows:

·        Safer Communities – Investment in neighbourhood policing to reassure public, tackle crime and ASB, provide prevention advice, solve problems, and build confidence;

·        Safer Business – To gain a better understanding of the crime faced by businesses and shop workers to address business crime, threats and abuse;

·        Safer Online – To tackle the emerging threats of cyber enabled crime by developing new tactics and capabilities to safeguard those using online platforms;

·        Safer People - To protect, support and respond to victims, witnesses and vulnerable people and tackle abuse and exploitation in all their forms;

·        Safer Roads - To prioritise and tackle the areas of highest harm and risk known as the fatal 4: speeding, mobile phones, drunk and drug driving, and seat belts;

·        Safer Countryside – To understand and respond to the needs of rural communities and tailor services accordingly.


Councillor Boyes thanked the PCC for her presentation.  The Draft Plan was a good start and consideration now needed to be given to how the priorities were prioritised and how much resource would be devoted to each priority.  Councillor Boyes expressed disappointment at the ability to contact the police using the 101 number which rang for a period of time and then rang off.  Councillor Boyes considered this could deter people from reporting incidents.  Councillor Boyes also referred to the use of off-road bikes and lack of police presence over the last 15 months or so which had led some to think they could ‘get away’ with anti-social behaviour.  He expressed hope that as the country emerged from the pandemic there would be more of a police presence, including PCSOs, which had been the bedrock of community policing and intelligence gathering in County Durham.


The PCC replied that the 101 number was a top priority.  There was an on-line facility to report incidents, although it was acknowledged this was not available 24/7.  Referring to off-road bikes, the PCC was looking to support Operation Endurance.


Councillor L Hovvels referred to the Neighbourhood Wardens service and asked whether more powers could be devolved to the Wardens.  Councillor Hovvels referred to off-road bikes and the cost of target hardening schemes which were very expensive for small communities.


The PCC replied that partnership working was part of problem solving and undertook to work with the Neighbourhood Wardens service to address problems.  Target hardening schemes did not address the problems of off-road bikes but merely displaced them to another area and therefore the root cause of the problem needed to be addressed.


Councillor Potts raised the problem of PC and PCSO coverage in the Evenwood area.  The PCC replied that she would investigate this issue outside of the meeting and provide feedback to Councillor Potts.


Councillor Potts referred to plans for a new custody suite and expressed concern that this would result in increased police officer time taking detainees to custody which in turn would lead to the removal of police officer resource from the front line.


The PCC replied that when she was elected she had undertaken a review of work on the new custody suite which had taken place, including the risk, the legal issues, the HMICFRS reports and she had visited every police station with a custody facility within County Durham and Darlington.  She had also visited centralised custody suites in other force areas.  Any decision made on the future of custody would be based on what was best for County Durham and Darlington.


Councillor Dulston considered that the areas of focus in the draft Police and Crime Plan were the correct ones and reflected concerns which were raised by communities.  Councillor Dulston endorsed the comments made by Councillor Boyes regarding the 101 number.



That the report be noted.

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