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Annual Report 2021/22

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Foreword by the Police and Crime Commissioner

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe

This is the sixth annual report during my time as Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the first released during my second term of office. I am naturally delighted to have been re-elected to the position and remain humbled by the faith electors have placed in me to deliver on their behalf.

This report outlines the progress made over the course of 2021-22, an exciting period which marked the end of the delivery of my first Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire and the launch of my new plan which sets out my key ambitions for policing, criminal justice and community safety through to 2025.

You will see over the following pages that a huge amount of activity has taken place across the year to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing, ensure that Warwickshire Police has a sustainable financial future, communities are protected from crime and the most serious of harms, with strong support in place to help victims cope and recover.

That is achieved not only by the police but also through strong partnership working, which has been strengthened in a number of key areas and continues to form a large part of the work of my office.

Equally important is ensuring that I can engage effectively with communities of all kinds across Warwickshire. I was pleased that, with the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions over the course of the year, I was able once more to get out and about around the county, meeting people face-to-face and hearing their concerns and suggestions.

The year also included the retirement of Warwickshire Police’s Chief Constable, Martin Jelley QPM. I want to place on record my thanks for his exemplary leadership of the force, particularly over the period that it transitioned away from the former alliance with West Mercia Police.

I was delighted to be able to appoint Debbie Tedds to succeed Martin, the first female Chief Constable in the force’s long history. Debbie is Warwickshire through-and-through and has the benefit of having served at all levels within her home force over a distinguished policing career. She is both well-known and well-respected locally, regionally and nationally and that can only serve Warwickshire well.

Philip Seccombe TD

Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The year in headlines
  3. The Police and Crime Plan
  4. Engagement with communities
  5. Policy and partnership activity
  6. Commissioned services
  7. Holding to account
  8. The Office of the PCC
  9. Spending the Police Fund
  10. Governance and statutory functions
  11. Conclusion

1. Introduction

The year 2021/2022 was an eventful year for all working in public services including for myself and my office. A number of key events took place which shaped the year and will continue to have an impact into the future. The global pandemic continued to provide a backdrop, affecting both the work and home lives of all who live and work in Warwickshire. For that reason some of my activities were curtailed or delivered in a different way; as the year drew to a close the constraints of the pandemic began to lift and a sense of optimism grew.

This annual report describes some of the highlights of the year, with links for more information where appropriate.


2. The year in headlines

April

  • The office was in the pre-election period, with the election due to take place in May.

May

Philip Seccombe holding the signed Oath of Office

Philip Seccombe holds the Oath of Office after being sworn in as Police and Crime Commissioner for a second term.

  • On Thursday 6 May the election took place – there were four candidates and I was elected for a second term.
  • Relaunch of the Independent Custody Visitor Scheme.

June

  • Recruitment took place for a new Chief Constable – Debbie Tedds was selected as the first female Chief in Warwickshire.

August

  • Beating Crime Plan launched by the Home Office.

September

  • The first draft of the Police and Crime Plan for 2021-25 was shared with the Police and Crime Panel and other partners.
  • Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme launched.
  • The Appropriate Adult Scheme was launched.

October

  • The restructure of the OPCC took shape.

November

  • The Chief Constable delivered her first annual statement to the Police and Crime Panel, outlining her priorities for the year.

December

  • The Commissioner’s Grants Scheme was launched, with organisations invited to bid for funding.

January

  • The Commissioner held a briefing for all interested in applying for grants, and facilitated networking between partners.

February

  • Recruitment for a Deputy PCC was launched.
  • Review of approach to Holding to Account took place.
  • Victim’s Needs Assessment published.

March

  • The 2021-25 Police and Crime Plan was published.

3. The Police and Crime Plan

Warwickshire Police and Crime Plan coverWith a new term of office comes the statutory responsibility of preparing a new Police and Crime Plan which ensures police and other community safety partners are focussed on the issues which are of greatest concern to the public across Warwickshire.

As a re-elected Commissioner, I was keen to build on the successes of my first term which delivered, among many other achievements, record numbers of police officers for Warwickshire Police; strengthened the teams tackling crimes against the most vulnerable in society; saw increased investment in victim services; introduced improved forensic services; and delivered much-needed new IT systems across the force to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing.

In formulating the new plan it was crucial to gain a full understanding of the public’s priorities, so an extensive online and telephone survey was carried out across a representative sample of respondents from all parts of the county. This helped assess perceptions of policing within Warwickshire, as well as identifying the key issues in communities that required greater focus.

Originally commissioned in early 2020 in anticipation of elections that year, the survey was supplemented by questions in the subsequent budget consultations to test if public perceptions had changed, after the election was moved to 2021. The surveys also captured any new emerging priorities.

Other research, such as Warwickshire County Council’s ‘You Say’ Survey 2020, the Crime Survey of England and Wales and feedback from victims of crime also helped to shape my understanding of perceptions of policing and the criminal justice system.

The work of sector advocates, such as the Victim’s Commissioner, has also been considered along with input from the Chief Constable and partners across Warwickshire.

The research was rigorously analysed to ensure there was a strong evidence base to draw conclusions from. It means that the new plan for 2021-25 is carefully derived from the priorities highlighted by the public and aligned with the expert opinions of those involved in the frontline of community safety.

The five priorities of the new plan are:

  1. Fight crime and reduce reoffending
  2. Deliver visible and effective policing
  3. Keep people safe and reduce harm
  4. Strengthen Communities
  5. Deliver better justice for all.

Each priority has an additional three areas of focus to direct activity. The plan can be viewed in full at: www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-and-crime-plan/.


4. Engagement with communities

One of my main roles is to be the voice of the public on matters of policing and public safety. To do that, I need to engage widely and truly understand the issues that concern local people. I am passionate about listening to the people of Warwickshire and hearing first-hand how they feel about crime and policing in their area.

I adopt a wide range of different approaches to engaging with communities, including media engagement, online events and through social media, though my preference has always been to meet people and community groups face-to-face whenever possible. The pandemic therefore presented challenges in being able to do this across the year, though I am delighted to now be able to meet people without restrictions.

I have, for the first time, recruited a Communications and Engagement Officer to help me deliver a structured programme of engagement with communities across the county. This will build upon the activity I have previously carried out and ensure my office has the capacity and resilience to deliver more events and opportunities to engage with the public across the year.

Already this is having a beneficial effect, with two online engagement events held with local parishes and for applicants to my Grants Scheme in December 2021 and January 2022 respectively, alongside a greater number of visits in person as restrictions have eased. These have included my attending parish council meetings in person to engage with residents around local issues in their area, including since November 2021: Whitnash, Eathorpe, Rowington, Leek Wootton, Southam, Stoneleigh, Snitterfield and Hartshill. I plan to continue these across the course of the year.

The Commissioner talks to members of the Safer Neighbourhood Team and a Town Warden during a walkabout in Rugby.

The Commissioner talks to members of the Safer Neighbourhood Team and a Town Warden during a walkabout in Rugby.

I have also attended numerous events organised by Warwickshire Police and partner organisations, including events on issues as diverse as County Lines crime, walkabout engagement visits in Stratford-upon-Avon and Rugby and events for young people in Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.

Through my grants scheme I fund projects that work with vulnerable members of the  community and I have been able to visit a number of these to meet with service users during the latter half of the year, to help me understand their personal journeys and how the organisations I fund support them.

In addition to this I continue to receive considerable correspondence from members of the public.  This comes into the office mainly via email, but occasionally in the form of handwritten letters or telephone calls.  Correspondence is dealt with in a timely manner, and many who contact us are responded to that same day. Where I am unable to be of direct assistance, I encourage my team to constructively signpost individuals to a useful response.

During the last year I received:

Summary Statistics: Total
Casework Opened 1822
Casework Closed 1855*
Emails Received 6282
Subject Access Requests 2
Freedom of Information Requests 60

* Includes some casework opened in the previous year which was closed in 2021/22.


5. Policy and partnership activity

In the last year I have built capacity for policy and partnership work through the establishment of the specific team within my office. They will support me by working collaboratively with colleagues from statutory and third-sector organisations to achieve the shared strategic outcomes that reduce crime, support victims, and make communities safer. The team has mapped out how it will contribute to achieving delivery of the plan’s strategic priorities. This has included an evaluation of the office’s commitments and contributions to partnership meetings and arrangements to ensure these remain relevant and effective.

As the nature of crime, criminality and community safety changes, so does the need to evolve and develop partnership arrangements in response. To that aim I, and my office, have a close working relationship with local government across the county, in particular in relation to community safety, crime prevention and providing support to help victims and survivors of crime to cope and recover. Over the last year, in partnership with the County Council, we have launched a new Domestic Abuse Support Service. In addition, we have supported District and Borough Councils and their local Community Safety Partnerships in a review of their strategic community safety priorities and the development of initiatives to achieve them. I have provided a range of grants to support this partnership work across the county.

Some new areas of interest for the Policy and Partnership Team are homelessness (in particular, its links to offender management and drugs/alcohol) and broadening work on addiction to include gambling.  The team has been supporting the County Council’s Homelessness Board through attendance at and contributions to the work of its Offending Subgroup. The team has invested time into learning more about gambling addiction and its crossover links to other areas of business such as offending, domestic abuse, and drugs and alcohol.  Both issues appear in the Police and Crime Plan for the first time and will be reflected in guidance to services bidding against future commissioning contracts to encourage robust understanding and referral pathways for these issues across the board.

Philip Seccombe signing the White Ribbon promise

Philip Seccombe signs a pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women or girls during White Ribbon Day in November 2021.

Tackling violence against women and girls continues to be a key activity, and I have contributed to the development of a new county-wide strategy to bring partners together. The team will have a renewed focus on hate crime, modern slavery and fighting organised and violent crime. Modern slavery and human trafficking exists in many forms and often a regional and national response is best in the longer term. But Warwickshire needs to be responsive and effective in partnership working in its own right. I am committed to being an active member of the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network and supporting the use of the National Referral Mechanism.

Locally I continue to work with partners to tackle serious organised crime; this work is enhanced by the activities of the regional organised crime unit (ROCU). The ROCU has been particularly beneficial in tackling county lines, providing a robust and coordinated regional response to the activity of drug dealers from urban metropolitan areas who use communities in the shire counties as a market for controlled drugs. The Regional Policy Officers have been working closely with the ROCU to enhance the performance framework, the prevent approach within the ROCU and to facilitate PCC engagement in the strategic developments.

Also working regionally and nationally I take very seriously my role to ensure that Warwickshire Police and the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU) are effectively tackling threats of terrorism locally and that those vulnerable to radicalisation are being safeguarded appropriately. In 2021/22, the national threat level from terrorism moved from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE following the tragic attacks on the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and the murder of Sir David Amess. It has since moved back to SUBSTANTIAL. During this time, through the RGG and my local Counter Terrorism briefing, I sought reassurance that the system was working effectively to counter the threat and ensure the safety of Warwickshire’s communities.

In October 2021, the four PCCs held a second “deep dive” session with the WMCTU. This focused on the progress made to improve the management of terrorist offenders in light of the learning that came out of the Fishmonger’s Hall attack inquiry. We were pleased to see the changes that have taken place in the last 12 months since our first deep dive on this topic but will continue to monitor this. I also engaged in the delivery of a national project which saw the Special Branch functions of local police forces move into counter terrorism policing. I have been active in seeking assurance that this arrangement has a positive impact on the service to Warwickshire’s communities and will continue to do so.

More locally, and coming out of remote working, Victim Support were able to re-establish themselves within Bedworth Police Station’s Victims Harm Hub. The benefits of working in the same physical location are felt by all, following the enforced isolation, with the prevailing view that this approach offers the best approach to support victims of crime.  My mission to put victims and witnesses at the very heart of the criminal justice process is demonstrated by the scale of the contract delivered by Victim Support, who have offered emotional and practical support to over 9000 victims of crime over the year.  Most support yields positive feelings and better life outcomes over a relatively short time frame. Many victims need practical and emotional support and assistance with advocacy. However, some traumatised victims need more in depth support and guidance to help them cope and recover in the longer term. Victim Support regularly receive strong feedback from their clients and the following piece of commentary is not untypical:

You have been brilliant thank you so much for all your support, I really appreciate it.  The Investigator had asked about yourselves and I said you had been brilliant and he said a lot of people had given the same response.

Victim Support also attract very high satisfaction ratings from the public when Warwickshire Police undertake independent telephone surveys to gauge public satisfaction in policing response to reported crime.

My office continues to lead the Victim and Witness Forum, which sits within the Criminal Justice arrangements. The work of the Forum has been particularly focused on delivering the recently revised government ‘Code of Practice for Victims of Crime’ in which 12 rights for victims have been clearly defined and explained. My office also engages with the national arrangements and leadership coming from the Victim’s Commissioner.

The effectiveness of the Local Criminal Justice Partnership is a critical factor not only in delivering justice, but in ensuring the confidence of victims, witnesses and the wider community in criminal justice arrangements. As the pandemic recedes, the impacts to victims and survivors as a result of court backlogs and other demands in the system has become increasingly concerning. I continue to support improvements in this area of work, both as the Chair of the LCJB, and through the work of my team.

The partnership has been refreshed under my leadership and with strong commitment from local system leaders. The stage is now set for the delivery of shared activity, with focused resource to achieve this.  Two new areas of focus have been identified – Restorative Justice and Ancillary Orders, with priorities identified for both.  Beyond these local arrangements, through the team I also contribute to APCC groups and discussions regarding criminal justice, supporting the Regional Criminal Justice Collaboration Forum, the Regional Disproportionality Committee, and a group looking at the response to improving rape and serious sexual offence outcomes for victims. These will be ongoing pieces of work in 2022/23.

In the drugs landscape, Dame Carol Black’s reviews and the subsequent publication of the government’s 10 Year Drug Strategy has allowed partnership work in this area to further evolve, encompassing the importance of partnership working. In late 2021 the Drug and Alcohol Strategic Partnership was established – a front runner of this government policy.  The Needs Assessment I commissioned this year by Tonic was also timely in this regard and provided us with greater insight into the current needs profile of people in the criminal justice system in Warwickshire presenting with drug or alcohol misuse.  The present service providers, Change Grow Live and Compass, have maintained good delivery against their contracts, and a current focus is ensuring the Drugs Testing of Arrest programme is resilient. The appointment into the regional team of a Strategic Drugs Coordinator has provided expertise and capacity into the office, to enable partners to deal with this issue that causes significant harm in the county.

The Commissioner talks to members of the Safer Neighbourhood Team and a Town Warden during a walkabout in Rugby.

An example of the publicity the Rural Crime Team uses to show the results of its activities on social media. This stolen caravan was recovered after a vehicle stop on the A46 near Stratford in June 2021.

Rural Crime remains a key priority of mine. Many Warwickshire areas are rural and relatively isolated and at risk from criminals who stalk the countryside seeking agricultural plant and machinery. There are those also who heed no respect for private farmed land and see it as a haven for barbaric sports such as hare coursing and other acts aimed at the brutalisation of animals. Historic buildings and places are also seen as lucrative targets by criminals many of whom are organised and have no interest in protecting our heritage. I remain committed to supporting the efforts to combat rural crime developing good partnership strategy, working with Historic England and ensuring the Warwickshire Rural Crime Team continue to be properly resourced and are proactive in targeting rural crime gangs and recovering stolen goods.

There were many successes in 2021/22 many of which were publicised on very effective social media publications by the team aimed at reassuring Warwickshire communities and showing determination to do more.

Also working with communities, I maintain a focus on bringing partners together to encourage harmony between travelling and settled communities. I encourage partners to work with the force in dealing with short term unauthorised encampments and note a reduction in the frequency of such encampments causing issues. I also bring people together to work collaboratively to address longer term matters such as establishing temporary stopping arrangements for travelling people and developing better relationships and understanding between travellers and settled communities. However, it is anticipated that a new offence of criminal trespass will become law via the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will become a new statute soon. The Commissioner does not condone law breaking by any individuals or groups. However, there will be much work to be done between all interested parties to ensure expectations are managed sensitively and effectively following enactment of the Bill and the realisation of the new offence.

Chief Fire Officer Ben Brooks, Councillor Martin Watson, Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Debbie Tedds, and Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe

Launching the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, from left, are: Chief Fire Officer Ben Brooks, Councillor Martin Watson, Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Debbie Tedds, and Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.

Continuing the theme of matters at the heart of community interest, I maintained my focus on road safety over the last year both locally and regionally. There are 143 miles of major roads and motorways in Warwickshire and in 2020 14 people were killed and a further 228 were seriously injured on them.  As chair of the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership I am bringing partners together to achieve the ambition of reducing death and serious injury on Warwickshire roads by 50% by 2030. I work with partners to support initiatives and make grants to make roads safer, and I ensure that support is there for victims of road accidents, in post-crash response and victim care.

I have funded BRAKE for a second year to provide a specialist Independent Road Victims Advocate. This service continues to be ground-breaking and innovative and is leading the way nationally in road victim care and support. In 2021/22 the Brake IRVA service supported 41 individuals from 25 road trauma events involving fatality and most serious injury. Support involved emotional support, practical support and advocacy.  Providing such support attracts comments such as:

I live by myself and there was a lot to organise, with the police, NHS and solicitor on top of the trauma. I have a best friend who has been amazingly supportive, but we were both finding everything emotionally overwhelming. Trying to co-ordinate everything, as even the hospital doesn’t liaise with my GP, was something we were both struggling with. Being able to speak face-to-face was the first time we felt properly supported. After this meeting we felt stronger and more able to carry on.

Road victims are not forgotten either and this year I took part in an online service for  the World Day of Remembrance for Road Victims on Sunday 21 November 2021, where we heard from Sheila Vale who received life changing injuries as was hit by a car in a country lane South Warwickshire.

I continue to be a passionate supporter of Community Speed Watch, which enables communities to help themselves. There are now nearly 70 groups around the County with over 600 volunteers helping to make Warwickshire roads safety by deterring excess speed.


6. Commissioned services and grants

6.1 Commissioned services

I continue to commission services to victims and survivors of crime in Warwickshire. In excess of £1.2 million annually is provided for our commissioned services to meet the needs of victims and survivors across the county. These are the current contracts:

  • General Victim Cope and Recovery Services delivered by Victim Support;
  • Sexual Abuse and Violence Recovery Service delivered collaboratively by Barnardos and RoSA;
  • Child Sexual Exploitation Recovery Service delivered collaboratively by Barnardos and RoSA;
  • Adult Substance Misuse Services for Criminal Justice Service Users delivered by Change Grow Live (CGL);
  • Children and Young People Substance Misuse for Criminal Justice Service Users delivered by Compass.

These contracts were awarded on 1 April 2019 and some were due to end on 31 March 2022, however I have taken advantage of the opportunities outlined in the original specifications to extend the contracts to improve the alignment of the commissioning cycle.  As such I have extended the contracts to end in March 2023 and my office is working with procurement professionals in Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire County Council as appropriate to devise, procure and establish new services to be operational from April 2023. The specifications will focus on achieving the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan 2021-25 ‘to reduce crime, support victims and make communities safer’.

In preparation for this I commissioned Tonic Consultants to undertake a comprehensive Victims Needs Assessment for Warwickshire. Following a tender process this started in October 2021 and reported in February 2022. The Needs Assessment analysed victimisation in the county, reviewed existing services and assessed how well existing commissioned services meet victims’ needs. The final report is available on our website and has provided insight to inform the specifications being prepared for the planned commissioning activity to ensure that we are still commissioning the services most needed by victims in Warwickshire. Following on from this I then commissioned a separate needs assessment to understand the requirements of road victims. Staffordshire University will complete this in early 2022

6.2 Commissioner’s Grant Scheme

Grants, both large and small, are a key way that I contribute directly to making Warwickshire safer. I build capacity within organisations which deliver on-the-ground services to those who need them most, at the time that they need them. During 2020/21 I streamlined the process for applications to reach the widest audiences. Successful projects are spread across Warwickshire and tackle a range of issues such as domestic abuse, rural crime, victims of crime, cybercrime, county lines, mental health, sports diversion and youth justice, mentoring ex-offenders and more.

The 2021-22 grants round yielded:

  Total Detail
Applications received 78 51 for the Small Grants Scheme and Road Safety Fund

17 from Community Safety Partnerships

10 for Direct Awards

 

Applications awarded 58 26 for the Small Grants Scheme and 5 Road Safety Fund

17 from Community Safety Partnerships

10 Direct Awards

 

 

Funding[1] was allocated as follows:

  • £158,841 for general Small Grants
  • £173,381 for Community Safety Partnerships
  • £68,983.34 for Roads Safety Fund projects
  • £59,995 for a Domestic Abuse Victims Programme
  • £68,000 for a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme
  • £25,000 for Sports, Youth Diversion & Youth Justice projects
  • £15,000 for Reducing Reoffending projects
  • £477,647 for Direct Awards to support partnership working – to Warwickshire County Council, Stratford District Council and National Probation Services

Throughout the year my team monitor grant recipients to ensure that the funding is being to put to good use and that projects provide value for money. Each organisation must provide quarterly reports on outcomes and expenditure.

6.3 National funding opportunities

In 2021/22 I applied for and was successful in securing the following external funding from the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office:

Funding stream Amount   Project Details Process for securing
Critical Support Funding, including the late Covid top-up critical support funding (MOJ) £219,720 To specifically provide improved services for the victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  This much needed funding has helped to reduce waiting times, deliver improved counselling and support services across the county and crucially enabled more victims to receive the support that they need. Expression of interest submitted by OPCC
ISVA/IDVA uplift funding (MOJ) £372,155 To provide additional ISVA and IDVA capacity to work with victims Expression of Interest submitted by OPCC
Safer Streets 3 Funding (Home Office) £249,000 To deliver projects in key hotspot areas across the County to address the violence against women and girls agenda (VAWG). Application submitted by OPCC, supported by partners
Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Funding (Home Office) £200,000 To deliver an intervention service, which supports domestic abuse perpetrators to change their behaviour and therefore reduce reoffending. Application by OPCC, supported with PCC match funding.

In total over £1.4m of victim service and other related grants from the Ministry of Justice were received. This was used to commission services for victims of crime, in addition to providing part funding of specialist victims services in the high harm areas such as domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault. Much of this funding was awarded through a bidding process, with some elements of the funding being provided over multiple years to ensure that service provision is sustained over the medium term.  These services provide crucial support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities through outreach services and referral centres. The level of need amongst clients, both adult and child, increasingly isolated due to the pandemic rose significantly, a trend which has been seen nationally, and this has impacted on the capacity of services to cope with demand during the year. The funding will help to reduce waiting times, provide additional counselling for sexual assault victims and offer improved support services to more victims of these terrible crimes, all of which are key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.

A new emergency contact point was installed in Court Street, Leamington Spa thanks to the Safer Streets funding which was secured by the OPCC and county partners.

A new emergency contact point was installed in Court Street, Leamington Spa thanks to the Safer Streets funding which was secured by the OPCC and county partners.

In May working with partners, specifically including the County Council, my office completed an application for £249,000 from the Home Office under the Safer Streets 3 Programme, which was successfully awarded. The funding sought to create interventions to reduce Violence Against Women and Girls and increase feelings of safety in public spaces across the County, summarised here:

  • Leamington Spa, Brunswick: developing a virtual reality programme, educating students on staying safe and identifying locations that can be made safer;
  • Nuneaton, Meadow Street and Riversley Park: improving two parks and nearby streets as places where women and girls reported feeling unsafe;
  • Rugby town: intervening in two areas to address specific concerns, including a communication campaign and situational crime prevention techniques;
  • Rural communities. Working with local communities, using situational crime prevention techniques to address the specific issues identified.

I also provided match funding of £100,000 to support a successful bid submitted to the Home Office for £200,000 to fund a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme for Warwickshire. Once received, the funding was awarded to a local charity, the Family Intervention Counselling Service, which delivers an intervention service that supports domestic abuse perpetrators to change their behaviour and therefore reduce reoffending, whilst also offering parallel therapy and counselling support to connected victims. The service was launched on in September 2021 and in the eight months following, 79 perpetrators and 76 victims were referred to the service.

In looking ahead, the totality of the victim services and related grants receivable in 2022/23 is still in the process of being finalised by the MOJ.  However, in addition to approximately £700,000 of core victims grant allocated to Warwickshire, over £400,000 of additional funding has already been confirmed through the bidding process. I remain optimistic that other bids made by my office, the results of which are not yet known, will be successful and again result in further funding for these critical services. This will supplement the local funding that I have made available, specifically for domestic abuse, sexual violence and critical support services.  For 2022/23, the Home Office have also confirmed an ongoing commitment for a further £200,000 of domestic abuse perpetrator funding given the success of the scheme. My office has submitted and is awaiting the results of a bid to the Safer Streets 4 programme, working with partners to further this important area of work in new areas across the county.


7. Holding to account

7.1 Holding to account activities

During 2021/2022 I continued with the established arrangements for holding the force to account, adhering to the detail set out in the Policing Protocol 2011.  I continued to meet with the Chief Constable and senior officers and staff on a weekly basis for the duration of the year, returning to face-to-face meetings as soon as possible, in order to maintain the strong working relationships in place.  The meetings covered wide ranging topics, relating to current strategic and operational matters and open minutes of these meetings are published on my website.

In addition to this I also met monthly with the force for a more formal set of meetings, namely:

  • Performance and Accountability Meeting;
  • Force Governance Board.

At each Performance and Accountability Meeting I considered a specific topic of interest, alongside current policing performance data. The full schedule of topics considered is offered below: each topic was determined from the (previous) Police and Crime Plan with consideration of the force’s own Fit for the Future Strategic Plan. I want to ensure I have a good understanding of the successes and challenges the force faces across the range of policing topics, to understand how the force’s work meets the articulated requirements of the Police and Crime Plan and to enable dynamic scrutiny when issues arise.

Schedule of topics for 2021/22:

April Repeat Victims
May Criminal Justice
June Diversity
July County-lines
August Evolve Programme
September Public Contact
October Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls
November Road Safety
December Strategic Assessment
January Sustainability
February Investigations and Outcomes / VAIWG Strategy
March Homicide and National Policing Measure

The purpose of the Force Governance Board was to consider governance matters in which both parties have an interest and to make decisions in a clear and transparent way. Standing agenda items included recruitment and establishment, finance, estates, and Alliance transition.

Minutes and other papers of these meetings are published on my website. Although the meetings are not public, there are always opportunity for interested parties to review what has been discussed and to submit matters of interest to the Commissioner, using the standard methods of contact.

In addition to these formal meetings, I have also approached holding to account through my programme of visits and meetings with force personnel and regular conversations with the Chief Constable.  I utilise the insight offered by my team to build my knowledge and understanding of how the Chief Constable is approaching her operational responsibilities. I deploy members of my team strategically to attend force meetings; interacting with the force governance to ensure I direct resources where they are most needed.

For 2022/2023 a review took place of my approach to Holding to Account. The review concluded that we were carrying out the functions outlined in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and described in the Policing Protocol appropriately but suggested some improvements to the approach. In 2022/2023 a new approach to the monthly meetings has been initiated, with a Governance and Performance Board replacing the Performance and Accountability Meeting and Force Governance Board.

7.2 Scrutinising police performance

In addition to the holding to account activities set out above I have also conducted routine scrutiny of Warwickshire Police’s performance. Through my team I have established a protocol where the Force send a monthly report of performance data to the office, which is considered and used as the substantive discussions at the monthly meetings. As this is an area of growing importance nationally, I have invested in further performance capability in the office to build capacity in this area. The team are able to review datasets and work with the force to understand the explanations for trends and to be able to use the information effectively to seek improvements where identified. The Police and Crime Panel has provided another layer to this process, continuing to show a commitment to understanding the force’s performance and requesting regular updates on my office’s activity in identifying areas to probe and issues arising.

I am also supportive of the Government’s strategic priority for there to be a relentless focus on cutting crime and to improve police performance, monitored through the National Policing Measures. These set out the Government’s key national priorities on crime and the measures fall under the following headings:

  • Reduce murder and other homicides
  • Reduce serious violence
  • Disrupt drugs supply and county lines
  • Reduce neighbourhood crime
  • Tackle cyber-crime
  • Improve satisfaction among victims – with a particular focus on victims of domestic abuse.
Meeting newly-appointed police officers

Meeting newly-appointed police officers

The measures are intended to help focus effort on key national priorities, allow performance to be measured and help to demonstrate value for money in policing. As required by the amended Specified Information Order[2] there is an expectation that I publish on my website commentary on Warwickshire’s progress against the policing measures. I did this for the first time in April 2022 and will continue to do so quarterly.

Recruitment of Police Officers, against the 20,000 national target set out by the government, continues to be a key driver in my holding to account activity. I want to ensure that Warwickshire is adequately resourced to meet the changing needs of the local communities and that policing continues to work to reflect the communities it serves.  The regional approach to the provision of training for new police recruits is proving to be really successful. Across the region, over 2800 officers have been recruited onto either the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship course or the Degree Holder Entry Programme and we are now starting to see those recruits complete their courses. In 2021/22, the course received a positive inspection from Ofsted but I will be keen to ensure there is continuous improvement going into the next phase of the contract.

7.3 Professional services and complaints

High standards of behaviour of those working in policing is essential to ensuring that people have trust and confidence in those who serve them. I hold the force to account on their approaches to finding and addressing those who do demonstrate the values of the profession.

I, and members of my team, meet with the Professional Standard Department on a quarterly basis to monitor and review complaints performance data and raise any issues of concern. In addition, I am represented at a force meeting to discuss Ethics, Culture and Conduct, which enables me to have a broad understanding of current issues and matters of interest.

Since February 2020, I have had responsibility[3] for carrying out appeals of complaints that have been dealt with by Warwickshire Police. These are called Complaint Reviews and enable members of the public dissatisfied with the outcome of the process undertaken by Warwickshire Police to make a representation for it to be reviewed. In 2021/22, my office conducted 38 complaint reviews and made recommendations in 14 cases. Any recommendations arising from the review are referred to Warwickshire Police and monitored by us. Learning is also an integral part of every complaint and any lessons learned are used to continuously improve the service provided to Warwickshire communities.

Complaint Reviews are a mandatory responsibility, but there are further areas in which I could have a role if I determine this would offer a better service to the public.  I continue to keep this under consideration.

In addition to Complaint Reviews, I also have a further role in Police Appeal Tribunals (when a police officer is dismissed) and in Pension Forfeiture.  I have reviewed the processes for both activities in preparation for action.

7.4 Custody Visitors and Appropriate Adults

Volunteers have continued to offer significant capacity and capability to the office, and I am very grateful to every individual who has played a role in the criminal justice system. After more than a year of restricted physical Custody access, and many custody visits being completed virtually, I relaunched the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme in May 2021. Recruitment took place to replenish the number of volunteers, following some stepping back during the pandemic and numbers currently stand at 16, with further recruitment planned. Volunteers continue to undertake visits, with the south panel conducting visits weekly and the north panel (due to current low numbers) every two weeks. Issues arising are fed back to the Custody Inspector or escalated as appropriate. Additionally, volunteers also gave their time to support learning for custody personnel at away days and training sessions.

In additional to the longstanding Custody Visiting scheme, I now host a new volunteer Appropriate Adult scheme, in order that Warwickshire can provide best practice provision for vulnerable adults in custody. The scheme launched in November 2021 and is going from strength to strength. Most occasions where a vulnerable adult requires an Appropriate Adult in custody are now serviced by our dedicated volunteers, rather than the private company previously relied upon. There are plans to review and expand the scheme in early summer 2022.


8. The Office of the PCC

Over the last year there have been a number of changes to the structure of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, all with the aim of improving the support offered to the Commissioner to deliver his role effectively and efficiently. The Office completed an exercise in which it clarified the statutory responsibilities of the role and identified the priorities set out in the Commissioner’s manifesto and Police and Crime Plan and worked to deliver an office structure to deliver this.

In order to build resilience and capability there is now a layer of management across the organisation and the work functions have been split into four teams.  These are:

  • Business Services and Assurance
  • Policy and Partnership
  • Finance and Commissioning
  • Communications and Engagement.

Each team has an agreed set of priorities which delivering the key statutory functions of the office and the priorities of the Police and Crime Plan in an appropriate proportion. The headcount of the office has remained largely unchanged, standing at 13 currently, with a small regional team also becoming more integrated into the office.An organogram of the Warwickshire OPCC


9. Spending the Police Fund

Under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 I have a statutory duty to set the force budget and determine the policing precept. In properly exercising this responsibility it is essential that I achieve value for money and seek to drive out inefficiencies and maximise effectiveness wherever possible for ‘A safer, more secure Warwickshire’.

Over 95% of the annual budget is delegated to the Chief Constable to deliver operational policing.

9.1 The annual budget

The following table provides a high-level comparison between the approved revised budget for 2021/22 and actual expenditure at the aggregated group level – the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable. The outturn shows that an increased contribution to reserves was made of some £2.424m, at year end, being £1.540m above the budgeted level, due primarily to increased income from commercial vetting. This has proved to be a successful source of income, through work to commercialise the contractor vetting service, which has received accreditation and is undertaken on a national basis. However, the ongoing challenge will be to plan, forecast and manage this work to mitigate any risks and to support sound commercial and financial planning over the medium term.

There have been a number of other variations (notably in police staff pay and transport which was considerably underspent in 2021/22 but was offset by increased officer pay and overtime) and increased direct revenue financing to fund capital costs. Income streams were healthy and included mutual aid income for support provided at the G7 and COP26 events, in addition to additional funding received for undertaking additional work on County Lines as part of the regional response.

The 2021/22 budget was good and balanced and this remains the financial strategy into 2022/23 and beyond. Contributions to the general, budget and transformation, infrastructure and safer roads reserve have all been approved in the light of the improved outturn. The Medium Term Financial Plan was last refreshed and approved in February 2022 and has identified various cost pressures and saving requirements over the next three years, and early planning is therefore taking place to identify options. My team and I will be monitoring the 2022/23 budgetary position over the coming year to help aid future financial decisions, to ensure that these are taken appropriately and in good time.

Budget 2021/22     £m Outturn 2021/22 £m Variance            £m
Pay costs – officers, staff and PCSO’s 87.974 88.263 0.289
Other employee expenses 0.711 1.055 0.344
Premises costs 3.065 3.166 0.101
Transport 2.754 2.417 (0.337)
Supplies & services 12.649 14.854 0.205
Third party payments 8.963 9.954 0.991
Capital financing 3.262 3.592 0.330
Gross Expenditure 119.378 124.301 1.923
Income – general (6.605) (8.276) (1.671)
Vetting unit – net (1.036) (2.738) (1.700)
OPCC – net 2.624 2.557 (0.067)
Net force/PCC Budget 114.359 112.844 (1.515)
Safer Roads – net 0.107 0.002 (0.105)
Total net budget 114.466 112.846 1.620
Funding available (115.350) (115.270) 0.080
Contribution to/(from) reserves 0.884 2.424 1.540

The table below provides a high-level summary of the 2021/22 Police and Crime Commissioner controlled budget and expenditure, which showed an overall underspend against the budget of £67,000 in 2021/22.

Budget 2021/22        £m Outturn 2021/22          £m Variance            £m
Office pay and running costs 1.056 0.958 (0.098)
Commissioned services and grants (net) 1.568 1.599 0.031
TOTAL 2.624 2.557 (0.067)

The outturn for 2021/22 was lower than budgeted due to a number of staff vacancies during the course of the year, including the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner position. Aside from staff salaries, the office running costs budget also includes a variety of costs including internal and external audit costs, bank charges, specialist treasury management services and legal fees, along with more general running costs associated with the office.

Over the last year, the financing of projects across Warwickshire that help victims of crime, improve community safety and reduce reoffending has never been more crucial. One of the key functions of my office is to deliver these objectives through the management of the commissioned services and grants budgets, including road safety grants in line with my Police and Crime Plan objectives. These costs are budgeted for and are shown as a net cost in the table above, being offset by core Ministry of Justice victims services grant and other grant funding bid for and received from the Home Office and MOJ, as described earlier in this report.

9.2 Reserves

As a result of the 2021/22 outturn, Warwickshire’s reserve balances stand at £15.041m at the end of the year, which represents approximately 13% of core funding. The general reserve has been increased from £5m to £6m in line with the reserves strategy to manage risk and increase resilience, reflecting our growing gross expenditure and increasing reliance on commercial income. Reserve levels are a local decision, and they are essential for managing risk, especially in the current uncertain times.

The financing of the capital programme is a medium-term challenge and the identification of sustainable funding, rather than relying predominantly on borrowing will remain a key focus. Steps to address this are already being taken through direct revenue financing and contributions to the infrastructure reserve in 2021/22 will also facilitate this strategy. In Warwickshire, our reserves will be used to support the ongoing transformation of the police force over the medium term through the Empower programme which will consider people, place and technical work to ensure that services remain effective and responsive to local needs, are efficient, fit for purpose and continue to keep our communities safe. I continue to monitor our reserve balances and they are formally reviewed annually to ensure that they remain adequate against current risks, such as rising inflation and uncertainty regarding the outcome from the Government’s review of the funding formula.

9.3 Capital

The capital programme is an important element to enable the ongoing transformation of the force.  During 2021/22, £15.974m of investment in our assets was made across ICT, vehicles, estates, plant and equipment. The majority was spent on digital services under the Evolve programme which included the extensive replacement of ICT infrastructure and devices, in effect accelerating the ICT replacement programme, which has allowed access to contemporary ICT sooner than anticipated.

There has been some slippage with estates and vehicle investment, partly due to supply chain issues affecting the supply of materials and vehicles, but also due to some pausing of work pending the outcome of the internal estates review. These areas of work will begin to progress more swiftly once the national supply chain and local strategic issues are resolved.

Funding of the capital investment in 2021/22 is mainly through borrowing but also through capital receipts from the sale of excess land at Leek Wootton and also from revenue contributions, capital grants and some Section 106 funding (funding paid by developers for community infrastructure projects). Sustainable capital financing in the medium term will be essential to ensure capital investment in services is secured given that central government capital grant funding from 2022/23 has been removed, and this will be a focus of future budget setting work.

9.4 Value for money

The Government pledged to recruit 20,000 police officers nationally over a three-year period which will offer improved value for money, operational resilience and service improvements in Warwickshire. In 2021/22 the force successfully recruited 41 additional officers financed through this programme and funding for a further 55 officers is also available in 2022/23 as part of the third and final tranche of the programme. This will increase officer numbers in Warwickshire to over 1,100 officers, being some of the highest levels in recent years. Precept funding in each year has helped to fund the essential equipment and support services that these increases in officers bring, to increase their productivity and this investment will help to drive down crime and deliver operational improvements across the county.

The new collaboration for delivering forensics services with West Midlands Police from September 2021 is also offering improved value for money, by providing state of the art services at reduced cost compared to previous levels and avoiding the significant capital investment that would have been required for the service, had it continued through the previous arrangements.

The Medium Term Financial Plan (2022/23 to 2026/27) includes further cash savings of approximately £3m over the next three years, to deliver our good and balanced budget which will secure long term sustainability for the force. The Chief Constable is currently working on plans to deliver these through the Empower programme, but the success of our commercial contractor vetting service will also have a bearing on the level of savings required. The position on this and other spending and income will be monitored closely during the course of the coming year.

The estates review has considered the operational estate need over the medium term and the force will begin to access new vehicle replacement contracts, agreed nationally through Blue Light Commercial, when they are fully operational and the current supply chain issues are resolved, benefitting from economies of scale and national buying power.

In pursuance of achieving value for money, my office has recently recommenced the process of recommissioning key services and work will continue throughout 2022/23 to ensure that the services that are provided are fit for purpose and meet local needs. My office has secured additional funding for key services in Warwickshire for victims and to improve safety for Women and Girls and to work with Domestic abuse perpetrators to reduce reoffending, in addition to securing more funding for additional services to support the victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  This work will continue with all opportunities for gaining additional funding being explored. The commissioners general and road safety grants process is delivered through a robust, formal application, evaluation and award process to ensure that value for money is driven out of all expenditure.

I set a good and balanced budget in 2021/22 which has been underspent and has therefore contributed to reserves. It allowed for no routine reliance on reserve funding for day-to-day costs, and the force is now operating in a sustainable manner where costs are matched by available funding. The challenge for Warwickshire Police will be to operate within the boundaries of the approved revenue budget for 2022/23, recognising that transfers from reserves can only be undertaken to meet one-off costs where there is a recognised earmarked reserve being held. I will continue to hold the Chief Constable to account for this as Warwickshire Police navigates the continuing economic uncertainty, including the effects of rising inflation; challenges in recruiting police officers and also in filling some key vacancies; supply chain shortages for some goods; while also awaiting the outcome of the Government’s review of funding for territorial police forces and how this may impact on medium term financial plans.


10. Governance and statutory functions

Debbie Tedds with Philip Seccombe

Warwickshire’s Chief Constable Debbie Tedds with Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.

Most notably in July I appointed a new Chief Constable. A thorough recruitment process took place, and Debbie Tedds was appointed as the successful candidate. The first female Chief Constable in the history of Warwickshire Police, Debbie has made her career in Warwickshire and was able to demonstrate the leadership approach that I require to see Warwickshire Police through the coming years.  As the year draws to a close, I have just commenced recruitment for a Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner to add resilience and capacity to my role.

The role and powers of Commissioners are likely to expand in the coming years and I have continued to pay close attention to this changing landscape. In March 2022 the Government published the second part of the review into the powers and responsibilities of Police and Crime Commissioners. My office and I contributed evidence to the review, which built upon the reforms announced in part one, which focused on strengthening the role of PCCs and making it easier for the public to hold their PCC to account. Part two seeks to further strengthen the role of PCCs, particularly with regards to partnership working and the wider criminal justice system.

The reforms suggest that there will be enhanced collaborative working with the Probation Service, including better access to data, while also strengthening the influence PCCs have within the wider criminal justice system. Guidance to further underpin the role PCCs have in convening partners to fight crime and drugs misuse is also set to be published.  I welcome these reforms and will continue to monitor the implications locally of the legislation as it is enacted over the coming months and years.

Across my role, I continue to ensure strong governance arrangements are in place to enable me to meet my statutory responsibilities. I have robust internal arrangements to ensure that my work is conducted with openness and transparency and is always directed at providing the best service for the residents and communities of Warwickshire, offering high quality activity, while using public funds wisely. I am responsible for ensuring that my business is conducted in accordance with the law and proper standards and that public money is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and effectively. This includes ensuring the maintenance of a sound system of internal control through the year and that arrangements are in place for the management of risk.

The Joint Annual Governance Statement reflects the established governance framework, and it is published alongside the annual accounts of the PCC. A joint corporate governance framework also sets out how governance operates for both the Chief Constable and the PCC.

CoPaCC Open and Transparent Quality Mark 2021

The OPCC achieved the CoPaCC Quality Mark for the seventh year in succession.

You can find significant information on my website – including a full list of the formal decisions I have taken, with details included where possible. I have also ensured that I have complied with the wider requirements around transparency and the publication of information, including the newly-brought-in requirements for publishing complaints and performance information. CoPaCC (Comparing Police and Crime Commissioners) are a body which advises and supports police and criminal justice organisations and monitors policing governance in England and Wales. This year, for the seventh year in succession, the Warwickshire OPCC was awarded the ‘CoPaCC Quality Mark’ in recognition that we have met our statutory requirements of openness and transparency.

I report to the Joint Standards and Audit Committee, who continue to meet quarterly to consider matters relating to internal and external audit, corporate governance, monetary management, standards and ethics, risk registers and HMICFRS action plans. The Audit Committee consists of five members, all independently recruited for their professional skills and expertise; the newest member joined in September 2021.

Over the year, a programme of internal audit activity was completed by Warwickshire County Council as part of the contract in place. Topics considered were Complaints Reviews, commissioned services and the financial return to the Ministry of Justice.

At the regional level, the four forces of Warwickshire Police, West Mercia Police, West Midlands Police and Staffordshire Police and their respective PCCs collaborate across a number of specialist areas of policing, in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness and to meet their obligations under the Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR). There are formal collaborations in place across regional organised crime, counter terrorism, police air support, public order training and the delivery of police training to the new recruits. The four forces also work together across a number of other specialist policing capabilities such as firearms and roads policing, and Warwickshire has a bi-lateral collaboration with West Midlands Police for the provision of forensic services.

In March 2022, PCCs and their Chief Constables participated in an exercise to help us understand our respective roles should there be a major incident, such as terrorist attack. As a PCC, it’s my role to provide civic and community leadership during a major incident but also to ensure the provision of support services to victims and witnesses. We will continue to build on our approach in 2022/23 to ensure we sufficiently prepared and joined up with our partner agencies.

Governance of the collaborative activity takes place at the Regional Governance Group made up of the four PCCs and four Chief Constables. The structure enables oversight and collective decision-making in respect of the formal collaborations. It also provides a forum for oversight of national programmes that may have local and regional implications. This activity is facilitated by two Regional Policy Officers, jointly funded by the four PCCs. They provide policy support and scrutiny of the regional collaborations and also lead the coordination of regional criminal justice governance arrangements.

Another area of collaborative activity with partners has been bringing the joint activities of the Alliance to a final position. As of March 2022, the separation of Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police into two separate police forces is almost complete. The separation has taken considerable time due to the complexity of the alliance arrangements established, with IT and data being the last areas to be disentangled. Over the year I have supported and worked with the Chief Constable during the final stages of the transition of services following the termination of the former strategic alliance.  The final three areas of service – transactional finance and HR services, forensics and digital services – completed this process during the year and are now being delivered in a variety of ways under a new operating model to ensure that the Warwickshire force remains affordable, efficient and sustainable into the future.  These key projects were achieved within the available capital and revenue budget and in a timely fashion, before the end of the financial year, which has represented a significant achievement, particularly so given the pandemic and the ongoing challenging economic environment.

Warwickshire Police now stands alone and has an established direction of travel for it’s continuing development, taking on board the lessons learnt from the collaboration. As part of the separation, Warwickshire Police invested in a significant IT change programme, which has now been fully implemented, with personnel now able to access the most up-to-date technology; delivering efficiencies and improvements to the entire workforce.  Looking forward I will work with the force on their new transformation programme, “Empower”, which will consider how to gain further benefits from the new technology, deliver a new estates strategy and carry out a review of the police operating model.

Nationally another collaboration is being reviewed and reconsidered – the National Police Air Service. This is an important part of the policing response in Warwickshire and over the last year, I have actively contributed to debates with my PCC counterparts in the region regarding the future development of this service. I have been focused on ensuring the service delivers value for money, whilst at the same time providing the best support to operational police officers in Warwickshire.

I also continue in my role as a Director for Blue Light Commercial and throughout the year I was a trustee for the Road Safety Trust.


11. Conclusion

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this report, and that it goes some way to demonstrate the breadth and volume of activity I have been involved in.  I am always keen to hear from residents and communities and to have an opportunity to listen to the matters that concern people. I commit to using my role to make Warwickshire safer, influencing strategically where I am able.

Looking forward to 2022/2023, I have set a clear direction of travel through the new Police and Crime Plan and have committed to strategic activity, working with and holding to account the force, while also working in partnership with others on shared priorities.

[1] Individual Grants are available on my website

[2] Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) (Amendment) Order 2021

[3] Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2020

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