Agenda item

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales' Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020 to 2024 & Precept Proposal 2020/21

To consider the attached report

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Panel and member of the public to the meeting and suggested due to new appointments the Panel and the Commissioner’s Team provide introductions.

 

The Commissioner and his Team provided background information and a detailed presentation on the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020 to 2024 & Precept Proposal 2020/21 with particular reference to the following:

 

(Alun Michael)

 

·         Police Grant

·         DRIVE Programme

·         Women’s Pathfinder

·         Swansea Help Point

·         Neighbourhood Policing

·         Working with Partners

·         Recorded Crime/Public Experience of Crime

·         Potential Precept Zone

·         Cumulative Impact of Central Government Decisions on Police Funding

·         Change in police officer numbers 1979 – 2018

·         Precept history

·         Precept Settlement 2020/21

 

(Matt Jukes)

 

·         Operational context

·         999/101 calls – Increase in calls (not necessarily reporting crime, but calls for help where other services are not available 24 hours a day)

·         Current and emerging operational context – risks to South Wales’ communities (drug harm and supply; serious violence; domestic violence and abuse; child exploitation; rape and serious sexual offence; counter terrorism)

·         Recorded crime is rising (more complicated crime e.g. fraud)

·         Recorded crime over the last five years

·         Time to investigate to a positive outcome

·         Non-Crime Demand (missing persons, LAC, mental health)

·         Hidden harm – drug deaths (South Wales highest area in the UK for drug deaths)

·         Disrupting supply chain

·         What we have in place (public service centre; agile and digital; developments)

·         Quality of outcomes

·         Reduction in recorded crime (anti-social behaviour; burglary; vehicle offences)

·         Quality of service (public perception; domestic abuse victims)

·         Operational Summary

 

(Uma Hussain)

·         Budget Forecast 2020 – 2021

·         Police Settlement 2020 – 2021 – Uplift

·         Changes in Central Government cash funding to Police forces

·         Independent value for money judgement

·         Difference in the amount of crime experienced in South Wales compared to most similar Forces and All Forces 2018 - 19 (based on HMICFRS data). 

·         £58m efficiency savings 2010 – 2019

·         Medium term financial projections

·         Precept history

 

(Peter Curran)

·         2021 Budget – Police Grant/Police Precept

·         Council Tax bands across South Wales Police area

·         Percentage of dwellings below Band D charge

·         Financial Summary

·         Precept Public Consultation Survey

·         Precept Settlement 2020/21

 

The following questions/matters were raised by the Panel and answered in detail by the Commissioner’s Team:-

 

·         Ages of the drug related deaths – young or old

·         Proceeds of crime

·         CCTV – contributions/funding by Local Authorities

·         CCTV – crime detection or prevention

·         Partnership working/precept rise

·         Commissioner’s office – how much does Commissioner give to Chief Constable; how much he keeps; is Commissioner’s office contributing to efficiency savings

·         What has been done to minimise level of precept

·         What is the rationale for the cuts in the capital grant

·         Decarbonisation agenda

 

Agreed that the following items be included as agenda items at a future meeting:

 

·         CCTV

·         Decarbonisation agenda

·         Difference in the amount of crime experienced in South Wales compared to most similar Forces and All Forces 2018 - 19 (based on HMICFRS data). 

 

A short break was taken at 1.10 p.m.

 

The Panel reconvened at 1.20 p.m.

 

Matt Jukes summarised advising four areas of policing costs (police officers; non-operational police staff (HR, recruitment); operational staff (call handlers, PCSO’s) and non staff spending (technology)) and how these would be negatively affected if the budget was not met.

 

Further discussion  took place regarding public perception, child poverty,  reasonable/realistic risks, rising recorded  crime.

 

Alun Michael and the Officers then left the Meeting to enable the Panel to consider the recommendation.

 

Simon Jones reminded the Panel on the voting procedures and advised the Panel that they must vote to either:-

 

a)    Support the precept without qualification or comment

b)    Support the precept and make recommendations, or

c)    Veto the proposed precept (by the required majority).

 

A vote was then taken on whether to support the precept of 5.9% which was supported but not unanimously.

 

A comment was made that although the precept was agreed it was disappointing that the financial burden had fallen on the tax payer rather than the Government and as such it was

 

Resolved that:

 

The Panel supports the precept of 5.9% which is £272.72 for a Band D property with comment that the Panel was disappointed that the financial burden of policing continues to be put on the council tax payer as opposed to direct funding from Central Government. The Panel however supports the precept to allow the police to maintain its current level of service. 

 

Mr Michael and the Officers re-entered the Meeting and were advised by the Chair of the decision of the Panel.

 

Mr Michael thanked the Panel for their outcome.

Supporting documents:

 

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