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PCC performance under spotlight at Panel meeting

The members of the Norfolk Police & Crime Panel came together for a public meeting his morning - the last one ahead of the next Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections on 5 May 2016.

The county's PCC, Stephen Bett, presented his final performance report for scrutiny by the councillor and independent members responsible for challenging and supporting his work, and holding him to account for how he carries out his role.

Speaking to Panel members at County Hall, Stephen said:

"It genuinely is with great pleasure that I present this police and crime performance paper to you today. To my mind, it has good news written right through it and showcases some serious achievements, both by Norfolk Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

As the report makes clear, when I drafted my first Police and Crime Plan back in 2012 the world of policing was a very different place. If a day is a long time in politics, four years is a lifetime in policing.

We originally set nine numerical targets as the objectives for Norfolk Constabulary – however it soon became clear that the landscape for performance and monitoring was shifting, and shifting fast.

The Home Secretary held a review of target-driven performance monitoring and asked PCCs to consider the potential negative impact and limitations of setting cold, hard targets and driving forces hard to achieve targets that are out of date almost as soon as they are set.

Members, we needed to be smarter.

As you know, last month I brought a paper to you outlining the new performance framework and a new approach to performance monitoring. I believe this is the way forward.

As the report before you shows, there are many ways in which performance can be monitored and managed: the bi-monthly Police Accountability Forums, the HMIC strategic performance PEEL reviews, and success and positive outcomes across the spectrum of police and crime.

The HMIC reports speak for themselves - good, outstanding, good, outstanding. Not too shoddy I would say. To have a force at the top of the Premier League is a magnificent achievement and one which every member of the Norfolk policing family should be rightly proud of.

Targets have their place, but in a world moving as fast as policing they simply don't tell enough of the picture.

We have seen a number of emerging issues during the period of the Police and Crime Plan. With partners, the police and OPCCN have acted with such initiatives as the launch of a joint cybercrime unit with Suffolk, for example. However, there is more to do in areas such as child and adult sexual exploitation, human trafficking, new psychoactive substances, improving support for the vulnerable in the criminal justice system …..The list goes on.

As you will see, the paper is also full of achievements, innovation and initiatives driven by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  I won’t go through them all but a few highlights include:
  • a new and enhanced victim assessment, referral and support service for Norfolk, which went live on the 1 April 2015 provided by Victim Support
  • a restorative justice service for Norfolk and Suffolk provided by Victim Support
  • specialist services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, including a new independent domestic violence advocacy service, which went live on 1 April 2015, provided by Leeway
  • the launch of Gateway to Employment – an ambitious initiative between the OPCCN and Department for Work and Pensions to get 100 Norfolk employers to take on an ex-offender
  • the OPCCN producing a 60 second video entitled ‘What is a Police and Crime Commissioner?’  The video received more than 10,000 views online.  The video was so well received by other PCC offices that a second version has been produced by the office for the Association of PCCs for national distribution and use in the run-up to the May PCC elections.
And these are just a few of the successes. There are many, many more. Not bad for a very small team.

To summarise, Chairman, I am proud of every single person who has contributed and helped deliver the Police and Crime Plan.

If this report was an end of term report I would be giving both Norfolk Constabulary and the OPCCN an 'A' grade – with a note in the comment section saying very clearly:

'Well done and thank you. But there is much, much more to do.' ”

The reports from this morning's Police & Crime Panel meeting are published on the Norfolk County Council website.