Following public consultation, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) launched his Police and Crime Plan in December 2016, within which he set out his key priorities for delivery to 2021. Within the Plan the Commissioner identified ‘Enabling effective and efficient operational policing’ as one of the four key pillars that would be given priority within his plan and support the delivery of his overall mission.
During the Panel’s meeting in January 2018, to consider the PCC’s proposed precept, recommendations were made to the PCC, by the Panel, regarding the allocation of funds to operational policing. Additionally, the Panel noted a March 2018 survey by the Hampshire Police Federation reported that 98% of those who responding did not have confidence in the Commissioner. Reflecting the priority the Commissioner placed upon operationally efficient policing throughout his Plan, the Panel felt that this would be a timely and proactive opportunity to undertake a review of this topic.
Within his plan the Commissioner outlined his first and overarching concern as “being visible, accessible and accountable to the people I represent ensuring their concerns are heard and addressed”. In order to achieve this strategic aim to “Enable effective and efficient operational policing” evidence to this review demonstrated that the PCC should consider a similarly proactive approach in engaging key stakeholders and those responsible for delivering and supporting operational policing.
Evidence received by the Panel articulated how the PCC and his team had driven, supported and concentrated efforts to support operationally effective policing for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The work of the PCC and his team in areas beyond policing was recognised to have contributed to reducing demand on police time and deliver services to prevent crime and support victims. The Commissioner was recognised for tackling difficult subject areas and engaging young people in his approach, whilst applying for grants and lobbying central government to maximise the funding available to support policing within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Those who responded to the Panel’s call for evidence were clear that communication of such achievements was key to the perception of the Commissioner’s success in supporting operationally efficient and effective policing. Comments received suggested that the PCC needs to be visible to partners, and through directly conveying the vision of the Police and Crime Plan could engage and inspire partners to support its delivery. Where engagement and communication with stakeholders had not been fostered, confidence had dipped and understanding of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan objectives and delivery was weak. The Panel’s scrutiny identified a desire from stakeholders to enhance their direct engagement with the PCC and further support delivery of the objectives of the Police and Crime Plan.
The Panel has made a number of recommendations addressing the concerns raised and making suggestion upon improving the approach taken by the PCC in enabling effective and efficient operational policing.
A letter to the Commissioner outlining, in full, the Panel’s findings and recommendations from this review is published below.