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Q2 2023/24 National Crime and Policing Measures

1. Introduction

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 NCPM 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.

2. Specified Information Order

In August 2021, the ‘Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) (Amendment) Order 2021’ came into effect, requiring PCCs to publish information relating to a police force’s performance against the NCPM and thereby enabling greater public scrutiny of police performance and to allow the electorate to hold PCCs to account more effectively. The order states that: –

  • PCCs are required to provide a statement on the contribution of their force to achieving improvements against those priorities.
  • The information must be published in a prominent place on the PCC’s website. The purpose of this requirement is to make it as easy as possible for the public to access the information, and quarterly updates should be made following the publication of quarterly crime statistics.

3. Statement of Contribution.

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 consideration of the requirements of the NCPM.

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 is attended by senior officers and staff from 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.

4. Warwickshire Police Overview

The Government’s baseline for the NCPM data is June 2019 and are to be monitored on a quarterly basis, with an expectation that PCC’s will explain how their force is performing against the measures.

The Home Office recognise that not all measures will apply equally to every force, so PCCs must consider how best to apply these measures in their force area. 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. This data is not held by the police and the force are unable to assess its reliability, for example does the data include residents outside of Warwickshire who present at hospitals in the county. 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 that the force, in liaison with the OPCC, will continue to develop its approach to ensure it is appropriately aligned with the national position.

5. Performance Q2 2023/24

5.1. Reduce Murder and Other Homicide

Force Data

During Q2 2023/23, there were two recorded homicides, both classified as murder. These unrelated matters occurred in August 2023 in the East and South Local Policing Areas (LPA) and represent the first homicides in the county since April 2023.

Warwickshire Police are not considered to be an ‘outlier’ by the Home Office.

OPCC Commentary

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

5.2. Reduce Serious Violence

The Govt. measures are: –

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

The force’s proxy measures are: –

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

Force Data

a) Serious Violence
  • Violence with Injury
    In September 2023, offences reduced by 2.2% (n=403) on the previous month and were broadly consistent with the 3-year average and forecast. Following the peak that was  experienced in Q1 2023/24, volumes are predicted to remain relatively stable during Q3 and Q4 2023/24.
  • Robbery
    In September 2023, volumes decreased by 29% (n=30) when compared to the previous month but remained comparable to the 3-year average and the forecast, as the below graph illustrates: –
    A graph showing robbery volumes
b) Offences Involving Knives or Sharp Instruments

In September 2023, there were 27 offences representing the second consecutive monthly decrease since the peak experienced in July 2023 that was commented upon in the Q1 2023/24 OPCC Scrutiny Report. It is positive position that the further increase that were anticipated during Q2 2023/24 did not materialise.

c) Offences Involving the use of Firearms

The Home Office data collection reports on offences where a firearm was used as a ‘threat’.

In Q2 2023/24, there were 13 offences recorded – including the use of a firearm in a murder. This figure represents a 50% decrease from the levels in Q1 2023/24, where it was noted that those figures were driven by repeat offenders of children and young persons’ (C&YP) using BB guns or air weapons to threaten other C&YP.

OPCC Commentary

Across all categories there has been a reduction in volumes throughout Q2 2023/24 – a positive position! The following activity by Warwickshire Police has seemingly had the desired impact: –

  • Operation Outfitter
    A Warwickshire Police led initiative that focused on a core group of 17 young people suspected of being involved in serious violence and offensive weapon offences across Nuneaton and Bedworth. A secondary group of young people were identified, as being likely to be influenced and potentially exploited by the core group. This was a multi-agency operation which saw the effective use of police powers to deal with those committing the most serious harm, whilst identifying intervention opportunities for the less serious offenders to divert them away from the criminal justice system and prevent an escalation in offending. The enforcement element of Outfitter saw several targeted operations including warrants, high visibility and plain clothes patrolling, and traffic enforcement operations which saw a number of the primary young people of interest put through the justice system and a number remanded in custody.
  • Operation Sceptre
    Operation Sceptre are nationally coordinated intensification weeks focusing on knife crime.  Warwickshire Police support activity engaging in a number of activities.
  • Safer Neighbourhood Teams
    The teams are heavily involved with their local schools and provide educational inputs to students concerning knife crime. There is a well-established interventions programme with the school and intelligence shared at the SOCJAG Tactical Groups inform where to direct this activity.

    A significant amount of engagement occurs with Warwick University, with activity intensified during the beginning of the academic year due to the new student cohort.  Protect messaging is shared and information offered to ensure young people make good decisions to protect themselves from becoming a victim of serious violence.

  • Enhanced Policing During Night-Time Economy
    Whilst the analysis of data in the Homicide Problem Profile was relatively

    Warwickshire Police invest additional resources during recognised peak periods for the night-time economy in an effort to prevent offences before they occur through the deployment of high visibility patrols. These same officers are then also available to manage any anticipated increase in demand with a view to negating a threat before it has the opportunity to escalate.

5.3 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.

Force Data

a) Drug related homicides

This information is not included in the performance reports.

b) Disruptions.

The Warwickshire Police Performance Quarterly Insights – August 2023 report provides information for Q1 2023/23 on the number of County Lines and OCGs operating in the county.

Of note is that that there were 18 confirmed disruptions during this period, representing a small decrease from the preceding quarter. Also, that 4 adults and 5 children were safeguarded from the OCGs.

OPCC Commentary

Information regarding drug related homicide is not specifically included in the performance reports. The recent homicide investigations are currently ‘live’ and therefore the relationship between the deaths and controlled drugs is not presently a consideration for this report.

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 considerable public concern.

5.4. Reduce Neighbourhood Crime

The Govt. measures are: –

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

The force’s measures are: –

  1. Home Office Crime Recording category
  2. Home Office Crime Recording category
  3. Home Office Crime Recording category

Force Data

a) Burglary (Home)

In September 2023, volumes increased by 26% (n=97) albeit they remained below the 3-year average for this high-harm offence type of significant public concern, as the below graph illustrates: –

A graph showing volumes of burglary (homes) offences recorded in Q2 2023-24

b) Theft from, and of, vehicle

In September 2023, volumes decreased by 2% (n=319) and were below 3-year average and are the forecast, with substantial decreases in the East LPA (5%) and the South LPA (16%). Despite this decrease levels are still high when compared to the national position, predominately due to cross-border crime with the West Midlands area. 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 reduce the levels of vehicle crime and to improve the detection (action taken) rates.

c. Theft from Person

In September 2023, volumes (n=20) were comparable to the 3-year average and the forecast. It is a positive position given that the elevated rates that were identified in the Q1 2023/24 have now reduced.

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 Q3 2023/24.

b. 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.

c.Theft from Persons

The reduction in levels to the 3-year average and forecast is a positive development and as such no further comment is made.

5.5 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: –

  1. Action Fraud cyber dependent victim referrals where advice given.

Force Data

This information is not included in the performance reports.

OPCC Commentary

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

5.6. Improve Satisfaction Among Victims

The Govt. measures are: –

  1. a) Victim satisfaction with police by victims of domestic abuse.
  2. b) 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).

Force Data

Warwickshire Police has now set ‘target rates’ for Victim Satisfaction with domestic abuse at 80% or above. In September 2023, the rolling 6-month ‘whole experience satisfaction’ trend stood at 80%, representing a marginally improvement on the previous month.

OPCC Commentary

In light of the recommendation made, the force’s performance will continue to be monitored and scrutinised in the expectation that the target will continue to be met in Q3 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.