Agenda and minutes

Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel - Thursday 7 March 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Matt Hitch  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


The Chairman took the opportunity to welcome Cllr Kelvin Nash, who had replaced Cllr Elizabeth Threlfall on the Panel. The Chairman thanked Cllr Threlfall for her contribution to the Panel’s work.  


Apologies were received from:


·       Cllr George Jeans

·       Cllr James Sheppard

·       Cllr Vijay Manro

·       Cllr Sudha Sri Nukana




Minutes and Matters Arising

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2024 as a true and correct record.

Supporting documents:


On the proposal of Cllr Ross Henning, seconded by the Vice-Chairman, it was:




To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2024 as a true and correct record.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


For transparency, Cllr Kelvin Nash declared that both his son and daughter in law were both serving detectives in Wiltshire Police. He made an additional declaration that he used to work in communications and IT. As a business consultant, he played a part in bringing Airwave into several police forces. He had worked with a number of forces in South West England as well as the Metropolitan Police Force and West Midlands Police Force. Over his career he had held a number of roles including with all three blue light services. He was also member of Wiltshire and Dorset Fire Authority.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive announcements through the Chairman.


The Chairman noted that the Panel would be kept up to date about the Home Affairs Select Committee’s findings into the Police and Crime Commissioner Model.


Public Participation

The Panel welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public received in accordance with the Panel’s constitution.


Please note that questions must relate to the responsibilities and functions of the Panel and must not relate directly to operational policing matters.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 29 February 2024 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response, questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on 4 March 2024. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on Wiltshire Council’s website.



There was no public participation.


Progress Against PEEL

To consider a report on the progress made towards addressing the findings of a Police Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) through the ENGAGE Process.

Supporting documents:


The Panel considered a report updating them on the progress made towards addressing the findings of a Police Effectiveness and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) through the ENGAGE process. The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Philip Wilkinson, OBE, MPhil explained that Wiltshire Police were making significant progress against the assessment criteria and he was optimistic that the force would be able to come out of the ENGAGE process following the conclusion of their forthcoming PEEL inspection. However, the PCC was keen to emphasise that there were a number of legacy challenges still to overcome and that progress had been faster in some areas than others.


During the discussion, points included:


·       The Panel thanked the PCC for the update and welcomed the progress made towards addressing the findings of the HMICFRS inspection.

·       The Deputy Chief Constable was leading an Evolve Team to look at innovation and improvement to achieve and surpass HMICFRS standards.

·       In response to a query about what the PCC and Chief Constable were doing to oversee the accountability of middle management, the PCC emphasised the importance of buying into cultural change and ensuring that officers were promoted in line with their attitude and ability. The PCC challenged a third of middle managers to go further in buying into the cultural change required.

·       The PCC informed the Panel that the motto of Wiltshire Police was Primus et Optimus (First and Best) and he always welcomed new recruits to come on a journey to improve the force. The PCC highlighted the importance of honesty and openness in addressing the challenges faced by Wiltshire Police.

·       It was noted that paragraph 5.2 of the report referenced positive anecdotal feedback from the public, but that this contrasted with evidence on page 37 of the agenda pack showing that dissatisfaction had gone up. The Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Naji Darwish, clarified that figures on page 37 referred to the number of formal complaints regarding specific policing action, which had been increasing nationally since 2020 following the introduction of new legislation. Anecdotal evidence was in the form of more positive feedback from stakeholders and councillors regarding visibility and accessibility of local policing. This was an important element of triangulation, however, was not included in the Police and Crime Plan Highlight and Performance Report, which provided statistical information used to judge performance.  

·       Details were sought about the relative satisfaction rates in police performance between Swindon and the rest of Wiltshire, as well as the findings of the audit assessment of Swindon Community Police Team by Operation Evolve. The PCC reported that he had recently been to two parish council meetings in Swindon where he had received positive feedback. He stressed the need to translate improvements in performance into the public feeling safer. The Chief Constable would be able to provide further information about the audit assessment of Swindon Community Police Team.

·       When asked about Wiltshire Police’s abstraction policy and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Police and Crime Plan Highlight and Performance Report

To receive the Highlight and Performance Report.

Supporting documents:


Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Philip Wilkinson, OBE, MPhil, gave an update about the progress made towards the targets in his Police and Crime Plan, in particular efforts to reduce waiting times for 101 calls. In order to give the Panel greater insight, the PCC gave a brief overview of the process followed in the Crime and Communication Centre to respond to 101 calls. Key points included:



·       The PCC clarified a number of acronyms in the report including, CCHQ (Centre Call Handler) and CRIB (Crime Recording Incident Bureau). He explained that call handler would triage information and pass it on to the police for an immediate response if required. Incidents requiring further investigation would be passed to the CRIB team.

·       The PCC was pleased to report that, in the last two years, the response time to 101 calls had fallen from 28 minutes to around eight minutes, although this often fluctuated with demand. Greater automation was being introduced to reduce the amount of typing that call handlers would have to do when transferring information. Members of the CRIB team would also call the public back so that they were not required to stay on a call for an unnecessary length of time.

·       Progression was available for call handlers, as they were able to join the CRIB team. The PCC reported that in the last three months, 14 call handlers had gone on to become police officers.



During the discussion, points included:


·       The Panel welcomed the improvement in response times for victims and further efforts to improve efficiency.

·       It was confirmed that the CRIB team were highly trained in investigative processes.

·       The public were notified that they would be called back, so they were not left on hold for longer than necessary.

·       When asked about why response times to attend incidents were higher in Swindon than the rest of the county, the PCC noted that response times were a combination of geographical and manpower issues. The Panel noted that they would welcome further information on the differentials in response times at their next meeting.

·       When asked about whether similar efficiencies implemented to improve the response times to 101 calls could also be applied to online reporting, the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Naji Darwish, noted that online reporting was a national system. It had the same information requirements compared with speaking to an operator. The PCC observed that a number of forces had raised this issue with the police minister to see how technology could improve reporting.

·       The Panel stated that they would welcome text appearing when the public received a call back from the CRIB team, so that they were aware who was calling them and to make clear that it was not a nuisance ‘phone call.

·       The PCC was asked about whether there were multi agency toolkits to share information about individuals who committed persistent low-level offences. The PCC explained that persistent offenders were known to neighbourhood teams and that bespoke responses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


OPCC Commissioning, Grants and Partnerships

To receive a performance summary from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) about commissioning, grants and partnership work in 2023/24. To also receive a budget overview for these items for 2024/25.

Supporting documents:


The Director of Operations at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Rob Llewellyn, gave an overview of commissioning plans for non-policing services for financial year 2024/25, as well as the progress that had been made in 2023/24. He was pleased to report that over £5.2 million in 2024/25, including the addition of the Serious Violence Duty Grant and Safer Streets Fund from the Home Office. They were also awaiting confirmation of an additional £1 million of additional money for anti-social behaviour hot-spot policing as well as £500,000 for immediate justice, a project of restorative justice for relatively low level offenders.


The Director of Operations noted that their focus in the forthcoming year would be embedding the systems that they had implemented and ensuing that they worked effectively across the whole system. There would be an emphasis on performance management and improving outcomes. He noted that the key risk to the programme was uncertainty about funding beyond March 2025, given the likely election later in 2024. However, overall, the Director of Operations was very positive about the commissioning programme and outlined the achievements across the three core portfolios of their work:


A.    Victims and vulnerability

B.    Criminal justice and reoffending

C.   Community safety and youth



During the discussion, the following points were made:


·       The Panel thanked the Director of Operations for his report.

·       In response to a question about whether Wiltshire Police planned to introduce the role of Deaf Champion to help people with a hearing impairment, the Chief Executive of the OPCC, Naji Darwish, noted that the force were reviewing their equality and diversity strategy to make it as inclusive as possible. A new Director of People would start their role in April to review the plans.

·       Further details were sought about the initial resourcing challenges that had occurred under the new provider responsible for custody healthcare provision. The Director of Operations said that the relationship with their provider had matured well, and the terms and conditions had been improved to attract healthcare professionals. 

·       The Panel sought the Director of Operations’ view on the relative merits of face-to-face and online interventions. The Director noted that there was a mixed picture, but they monitored the effectiveness of both closely. He noted that online meetings tended to be used more for lower-level interventions. Those for the more serious crimes had significant face-to-face engagement.

·       When asked about offender management and reoffending, the Director of Operations stressed the complementary skills of the private and public sectors in addressing this challenge. He noted that the OPCC would hold discussions with businesses later in the year to discuss opportunities for those coming out of the criminal justice system. They would also discuss how they could provide early intervention to stop people entering the criminal justice system.  

·       The PCC confirmed that the public consultation on where the public would like to see further investment, did help to set his priorities. He emphasised the importance of those coming out of the criminal justice system not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Update from the Police and Crime Commissioner

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson, OBE to provide a update on relevant information for the Panel not covered under the previous items.


Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Philip Wilkinson, OBE, MPhil, provided an update about the National Police Air Service (NPAS). He explained that a number of forces in the South West of England were building up their own drone capacity to reduce their reliance on helicopters from NPAS. He reported that he had been helping to build a consensus that it would be possible for the service to be delivered more cost effectively at a local level and had been asked the policing minister to help draw up an operational construct for regional aviation support.



During the discussion, points included:


·       The Panel thanked the PCC for the update.

·       In reply to a question about whether there would be a reversion to the model used in the 1990s, when helicopters were shared with the air ambulance, the PCC spoke about the need to deliver a layered concept. Part of the consideration would be the opportunities presented by new technologies such as drones and satellites. They would also look at potential opportunities for collaboration with other agencies such as the coast guard or air ambulance.

·       The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner were working with the Wiltshire Community Foundation to complete a mapping exercise of organisations providing support to young people. The PCC stated that he was keen to set up a list of youth organisations on his website to ensure that they all knew about each other and could make the most of their available resources. It was also noted that Area Board could be a convening group for local organisations. 



To receive an update on how the Police and Crime Panel can improve its communications with the wider public.


The Chairman reported that Wiltshire Council’s website had been updated to be more user friendly for screen readers. The update had made the pages on the website about the Panel more easily accessible for people with a visual impairment.


Forward Work Plan

To note the forward work plan and consider future topics for updates.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman introduced a report on page 61 of the agenda pack prepared by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) inviting the Panel to identify four topics on which they would most like to receive strategic briefings. A list of potential topics was handed out to each member of the Panel and they were each invited to select four topics. The topics that received the most votes were:


·       Reducing reoffending – progress against strategy (eight votes)

·       Work to reduce anti-social behaviour (seven votes)

·       Serious violence - new duty and partnership activity (four votes)



The following topics each received three votes:


·       Neighbourhood harm reduction – progress and priorities

·       Scrutiny panels and IAGs – out of court disposals, use of force and stop and search.

·       Road safety – the new strategy and delivery plan with performance metrics


The Chairman used his casting vote to select neighbourhood harm reduction as the fourth topic to be considered.



Some members of the Panel also stated that they would welcome further information about the work done by volunteers to help Wiltshire Police. The Chief Executive of the OPCC, Naji Darwish, explained that this would be covered under the neighbourhood harm update. The Panel were also keen for information on stop and search to be included in the anti-social behaviour update. The PCC reported that they held a PCC awards for volunteers and the Chief Constable had developed a portfolio in the Neighbourhood Harm Reduction Team to support volunteers.


Any Other Business

An opportunity for Members to raise any other matters, or questions for the Police and Crime Commissioner.


The Chairman reminded the Panel that they had discussed the possibility of bringing an annual report about their work to the respective annual Full Council meetings in May. He noted that the Panel’s next meeting was not until June, so there would be limited opportunity for the members to comment on a report before the annual Full Council meetings on 17 and 21 May.


On the proposal of the Chairman, it was:




That it was delegated to the Democratic Services Officer to write an annual report on behalf of the Panel, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, to be presented to the respective Full Council meetings of Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, on 21 and 17 May 2024.


Future Meeting Dates

To note the future meeting dates below:


·       Thursday 27 June 2024, 10:30am

·       Thursday 26 September 2024, 1:30pm

·       Thursday 14 November 2024, 10:30am

·       Thursday 16 January 2025

·       Wednesday 5 February 2025



The next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel will be on 27 June 2024 at 10:30am in The Enterprise Network, Salisbury.


Other future meeting dates were:


•Thursday 26 September 2024, 1:30pm

•Thursday 14 November 2024, 10:30am

•Thursday 16 January 2025

•Wednesday 5 February 2025