Agenda item

Update from the PCC

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson, OBE, MPhil, will provide a verbal update.


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) gave a strategic overview of the progress made towards the four key priority areas in his Police and Crime Plan. Key points included:


·       He was pleased to report that there had been significant operational improvements in a number of areas, including in road safety, community engagement, and in reducing violence and serious harm.

·       Wiltshire was now the second or third best performing force in England and Wales in terms of disrupting County Lines activity.

·       In 2021 Wiltshire Police only issued 192 speed enforcement tickets but had issued over 2,400 so far in 2023.

·       There had been support from the Justice Department to improve efficiency with courts and the probation service.

·       A new call centre would be opened in Swindon to manage 101 calls. Swindon had been selected as the base for the centre due to its large workforce.

·       There was strong engagement with the Chief Constable’s Chief Officer Group.

·       The complaints process had been formalised, with the Complaints Resolution Team in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) being the initial point of contact.

·       They had received around £2.6 million through bids to the Home Office’s Safter Streets Fund, which they would use in close consultation with the local authorities.


The PCC then took the opportunity to congratulate the Chairman on his reappointment and commended the cross-party Panel for the way that they held him to account. In addition, he praised the Chief Executive of the OPCC, Naji Darwish, and his staff, for formalising the governance processes that his office had in place.


During the discussion, points included:


·       The Panel thanked the PCC for the update and welcomed the progress made towards his priority goals.

·       The PCC reported that since the Panel’s last meeting his office had received similar levels of complaints from pro and anti-foxhunting groups, which gave him confidence that he was handling these issues in an impartial manner. 

·       The Panel welcomed the appointment of a new interim head of Human Resources (HR) at Wiltshire Police to improve the staff retention rate.

·       It was explained that armed forces personnel could join Wiltshire Police without a degree.

·       It was planned to hold an engagement event in Tidworth to promote the police as a career path for ex-military personnel.

·       Cllr Amin reported that he was still hearing lots of concerns about County Lines from residents and the Chairman queried whether there was a discrepancy in the level of community engagement between Swindon and the rest of the county. In response, the PCC stated that there was a need to do more to tackle drug issues and that he would be attending a conference considering the issue which was due to be attended by the MP for South Swindon Robert Buckland.

·       A Super Intendent had been employed to come up with initiatives to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system in Wiltshire.

·       The Chief Executive of the OPCC confirmed that the Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) inspection process involved monitoring targets a monthly basis.

·       When asked about his long-term plan to tackle knife crime and gang culture the PCC highlighted that they were making the necessary operational changes but acknowledged that it would take time to change public perceptions about the issue. 

·       It was noted that crimes could be reported anonymously through the CrimeStoppers charity.

·       In response to a question about the impact of the PEEL assessment on the morale of the force, the PCC explained that both issues were interconnected. He believed that the streamlined command and control processes had improved leadership and accountability.


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