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Q1 2023/24 National Crime and Policing Measures

1.   Statement of Contribution.

The Government’s National Crime and Policing Measures (NCPM) are intended to complement the local priorities that are set out in Police and Crime Commissioners  Police and Crime Plans; nonetheless the Government is clear that forces must achieve significant reductions in crime and restore the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system. The six key priorities of the NC&PM are: –

  1. Reduce murder and other homicides.
  2. Reduce serious violence.
  3. Disrupt drugs supply and county lines.
  4. Reduce neighbourhood crime.
  5. Tackle cyber-crime.
  6. Improve satisfaction among victims – with a particular focus on victims of domestic abuse.

On 31 March 2022, the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) formally published the ‘Police and Crime Plan 2021-2025’. The objectives set within the plan have been formulated with the NCPM in mind.

The PCC wants to ensure that all agencies are working together to reduce crime, support victims and make communities safer, to ensure delivery against the NCPM priorities. This collaboration is achieved through regular engagement with local communities, the police, partners, and community safety organisations. The PCC’s position as the Chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board also enables him to monitor the provision of an effective and efficient criminal justice system in Warwickshire.

In terms of the PCC responsibilities to ‘hold to account’ the chief constable for the performance of Warwickshire Police, the PCC holds a formal monthly ‘Governance and Performance Board’ (GPB) meeting with the chief constable. The purpose of the GPB is to focus on specific areas of force performance and the meeting is also attended by senior officers and staff from both the force and the OPCC. The minutes of the meetings are published on the OPCC website. At each GPB a topical ‘Focus’ subject of particular interest is selected for in-depth scrutiny and discussion.

2.   Warwickshire Police Overview

The NCPM are set to be monitored on a quarterly basis and the Government’s baseline for the NCPM data is June 2019. There is an expectation that PCC’s will explain how their force is performing against the measures (Specified Information Order).

Whilst there are national key performance measures against the six priority areas, some of these are not available or appropriate for the force to report against. A case in point is the priority to ‘reduce serious violence’, where one of the national metrics is hospital admissions of under 25’s for assault with a sharp object. However, this data is not held by the police and the force are unable to assess its reliably e.g. does the data exclude residents outside of Warwickshire who present at hospitals near the force boundary?

The force has therefore selected some additional proxy measures which are used to assess Warwickshire Police’s contribution to the national priorities. The force has used comparative data where it is available to contextualise performance. It is expected the force will continue to develop its approach with the OPCC to ensure it is appropriately aligned with the national position.

3.   Performance Q1 2023/24

3.1. Reduce Murder and Other Homicide

The latest data available data in the force’s Performance Report for June 2023, shows that there were no recorded homicide offences in the month, with one homicide recorded during the last six-months – representing a 50% reduction on the same period last year. Warwickshire Police are not considered to be an ‘outlier’ by the Home Office.

OPCC Commentary

The comments in the Performance Report are noted regarding the small number of homicides committed in Warwickshire.

The National Police Chief’s Council’s has requested all forces to produce a ‘problem profile’ of homicide and ‘near-misses’. This is a positive development, as it will enable a better understanding of the position and identify areas for improvement in Warwickshire

3.2. Reduce Serious Violence

The Govt. measures are: –

  1. Hospital admissions for persons under 25 years old injured with sharp instrument (NHS).
  2. Offences involving discharge of a firearm.

The force’s proxy measures are: –

  1. Offences involving the use of a firearms.
  2. Offences involving knife crime or sharp instruments.
  3. Serious violence (Violence with Injury / Robbery).

a) Offences Involving the use of Firearms.

The Home Office data collection reports on offences where a firearm was used as a ‘threat’. In Q1 2023/24, there were 26 firearms offences recorded with 17 offences recorded in June 2023. It is understood that this recent increase was driven by repeat offenders – predominately children and young persons (C&YP) – using BB guns or air weapons to threaten other C&YP. There was however one serious shooting involving a sawn-off shotgun which was recorded as an attempted murder.

b) Offences Involving Knives or Sharp Instruments.

In May 2023, there were 50 crimes of knife crime recorded, representing the highest figure in the last 12-months and substantially above the 3-year average.

Graph showing knife crime incidents compared to the three year average

Figure 1 – Knife Crime Volumes

The comments in the performance report are noted regarding the potential for a seasonal increase during Q2 2022/23, driven by the school holidays and increase in the night-time economy.

c) Serious Violence.

  • Violence with Injury

In June 2023, Violence with Injury offences increased by 12% (n=481) representing the highest total during the last 3-years, most notably in the North Local Policing Area (LPA). In May 2023, the ‘action taken’ outcome rate at 7.3%.  Volumes are predicted to rise during Q2 2023/24, given the previous experience of the last few years.

  • Robbery

In June 2023, the volumes of Robbery Personal retuned to the 3-year average, however the incidents where a knife (or threat of knife) was used during the commission of the offence has increased, constituting a third (n=10) of all offences. There is concern regarding the low ‘action taken’ rates (3.2%), albeit caution is advised due to volitivity in the relatively small volume of such offences and in expressing them as a percentage.

OPCC Commentary

The recent increase in the volumes of firearms offences / knife crime / serious violence is a cause for concern, as are the relatively low ‘action taken’ rates; compounded by the expectation that volumes may continue to rise during Q2 2023/24. The PCC will therefore hold to account the Chief Constable on these matters at the Governance Performance Board, to ascertain what proactive measures the force is implementing to mitigate against the predicted seasonal increase and improve the ‘action taken’ rates.

The OPCC Policy and Partnerships Team continue to work closely with partners to support the delivery of the county’s Serious Violence Prevention Strategy and oversee delivery of the Serious Violence Duty, including the undertaking of a countywide Needs Assessment. Work on this will continue over the next two years, including delivery of a range of county and local intervention to reduce and prevent serious violence.

In addition, the OPCC has been working closely with Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire County Council, and other partners, to review the necessary partnership governance and oversight arrangements for Serious Organised Crime (SOC), recognising the links from this to Serious Violence, and to develop and propose new arrangements that are fit for the future.

3.3. Disrupt Drug Supply & County Lines

The Govt. measures are: –

  1.  Drug Related Homicide.
  2. Police Referred Drug Treatment (supplied by Public Health England).

The force’s proxy measures are: –

  1. Drug related homicides.
  2. Organised Crime Group (OCG) disruption.

a) Drug related homicides

There were no recorded homicide offences in Q1 2023/24.

b) Disruptions.

*Information not included in the Performance Report.

OPCC Commentary

A key priority for the Police and Crime Plan 2021-2025 is to Fight Crime and Reduce Reoffending, with a focus on Violent Crime and Organised Crime. The Plan provides a narrative as to how this will be achieved and the measures by which the success of the plan will be measured. The PCC will continue to closely monitor performance and ‘hold to account’ the Chief Constable in this area of considerably public concern.

3.4. Reduce Neighbourhood Crime

The Govt. measures are: –

  1. Burglary.
  2. Theft Person.
  3. Theft from, and of, vehicle (Crime Survey England & Wales – CSEW)

The force’s measures are the corresponding Home Office Recorded Crime categories.

a) Burglary

In June 2023, volumes of Burglary Residential decreased to the second lowest level in the previous 12-months and below the 3-year average. In May 2023, the ‘action taken’ rate remains at 4.3%. There is again a recommendation made in the Performance Report regarding improving these outcome rates.

b) Theft Person

In Q1 2023/24, volumes have remained stable but are significantly above the preceding months and above the 3-year average and the forecast.

Graph showing theft from person offences in Q1 2022/23 compared to forecast and actual data.

Figure 2 – Theft from Person Volumes

This trend is observed in all three Local PAs, where over half of the offences were related to ‘pickpocket’ crimes. A recommendation is made in the Performance Report to for increased prevention, particularly at tourist sites, including the need for a public information communication campaign.

c) Theft from, and of, vehicle

In June 2023, volumes are now back in line with the 3-year average and are also below the forecast. Warwickshire remains an ‘outlier’ in its MSG but has improved two places nationally to 36th. Decreases were experienced in both the East and South LPA but increased in the North by 23 offences (n=126). Of note is that motorcycle theft accounted for 21% of offences in the North LPA. In May 2023, the ‘action taken’ for Vehicle Crime was 1.5%.

OPCC Commentary

a) Burglary

In light of the recommendation made, the force’s performance will continue to be monitored and scrutinised in the expectation that improvement will be made in Q2 2023/24.

b) Theft from Persons

In light of the recommendation made, the force’s performance will continue to be monitored and scrutinised in the expectation that improvement will be made in Q2 2023/24.

c) Theft from, and of, vehicle

The Home Office has previously identified Warwickshire Police as an outlier, a position driven by comparison with the force’s performance with its Most Similar Group (MSG) of police forces – Warwickshire has historically suffered due to its proximity to the metropolitan West Midlands area and its crime profile.

Given the latest performance data, the PCC will again ‘hold to account’ the Chief Constable on these matters at the Governance Performance Board, to ascertain what proactive measures the force is implementing to mitigate against these series of offences and improve the ‘action taken’ rates.

3.5. Tackle Cyber Crime

The Govt. measures are: –

  1. Confidence in law enforcement response.
  2. Percentage of businesses experiencing cyber-crime. Data taken from non-police sources.

The force’s proxy measures are: –

a) Action Fraud cyber dependent victim referrals where advice given

*Information not included in the Performance Report.

OPCC Commentary

The force has previously provided advice to victims of cyber-dependent crime in 100% of cases.

3.6. Improve Satisfaction Among Victims

The Govt. measures are: –

  1. Victim satisfaction with police by victims of domestic abuse.
  2. Victim satisfaction with police (CSEW) – Not available.

The force’s proxy measures are: –

  1. Force’s own domestic abuse victim satisfaction survey (not comparable with other forces).
  2. Domestic abuse victim satisfaction survey

Warwickshire Police has now set ‘target rates’ for Victim Satisfaction with domestic abuse at 80% or above. In June 2023, the rolling 6-month ‘whole experience satisfaction’ trend stood at 77% and was therefore below the target. The rolling satisfaction rate for domestic abuse has trended downwards for the last 6-months, falling from a high of 83% in December 2022 to 77% in June. 2023. Levels remain just below the target set. A recommendation is made in the performance report to seek to improve domestic abuse satisfaction to avoid a downwards trend.

OPCC Commentary

In light of the recommendation made, the force’s performance will continue to be monitored and scrutinised in the expectation that improvement will be made in Q2 2023/24.

In August 2021, the PCC collaborated with the Home Office in the funding of a new Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme in the county. On 31 March 2023 that funding ended, but with the offer of continued match funding, the OPCC were able to make a successful bid to the Home Office for additional funding of £300,000 over the next two years.

The OPCC has also continued to work closely with Warwickshire County Council and other partners in delivering the aims of the county’s ‘Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy’. This has included reviewing the governance arrangements and working closely to link the work of the county’s VAWG Board with the work of the Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB). This is particularly important in relation to progress to improve criminal justice outcomes for victims of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse.