Agenda item

Public Question Time

Anyone who works or lives in the Thames Valley can ask a question at meetings of the Police and Crime Panel, at which a 20 minute session will be designated for hearing from the public.


If you’d like to participate, please read the Public Question Time Scheme and submit your questions by email to at least three working days in advance of the meeting.


Mr Andrew Hill, attended the meeting remotely, and through the Chair of the Panel, asked the Police and Crime Commissioner the following question relating to agenda item 8 – Contact Management Performance:


(1)      Her Majesty’s Inspectorate rated Thames Valley Police as “inadequate” in their 2017 report on crime recording and said that your performance was “not acceptable”. The 2019 re-examination found improvements but also that “the recording rate for violent crime are still too low”. Its audit found five sexual offences against children that were not recorded as such.


In your call monitoring report today, we see that there was a sudden ten-fold increase in the number of calls longer than 10minutes in April 2021, and yet almost 25% of crimes audited were still apparently not properly recorded under Crime Data Integrity (CDI) rules.


What does the PCC understand to have triggered the ten-fold increase in April? And, given that the previously recommended “CDI delivery plan”, and “comprehensive training”, is still failing up to 1-in-4 victims – what steps does the PCC advise the Chief Constable to take?


[“The PCC replied that CDI was an important but complex area. Reference was made to the previous Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) inspection which reported that Thames Valley Police had been mis-recording sexual offence crimes as if a person had been subjected to sexual offences several times, each offence had to be recorded separately.  


The PCC reported that call handling staff had been trained to record each offence separately, although this was challenging on occasions as some crimes had been over-recorded. 


In relation to almost 25% of crimes audited not being properly recorded; there were 75% which were properly recorded which indicated victims were not being failed. There had been improvements made since the inspection.


In response to a supplementary question from Mr Hill relating to whether there was any evidence to suggest that victims were being delayed in speaking to Victims First, the PCC replied that despite the challenges around CDI, on first contact with call handlers, Police Officers were despatched, even if the report was not recorded as a crime. Victims would be recommended to contact Victims First if they had been a victim of crime.


The PCC expected Thames Valley Police to meet HMICFRS standards at the next inspection.”] 


Mr Andrew Hill also asked the following question, through the Chair of the Panel, to the Police and Crime Commissioner relating to agenda item 5 – Violence against Women and Girls.


(2)      The report notes distressing figures for sexual offence allegations against serving officers at a rate of more than one a month (some internal, some public complainants). Your report appears to state that key details are not being recorded:


“The data does not specify if the officers were on or off duty at the time the alleged incidents occurred.”


“In eight cases the sex was recorded as unknown”


It is hard to see how even a cursory investigation could fail to identify such core facts. Has the PCC sought or received an explanation regarding the process followed in such investigations, and has the PCC received assurances that all TVP staff have now been assessed relative to the 2006 national guidelines as required under HMICFRS’s July 2020 deadline?


[The PCC replied that TVP have met the vetting requirements under the 2006 national guidelines as required. The question relates to a report in the Oxford Mail. Reference was made to the Professional and Ethical Standards Panel who review the processes and provide assurance to the PCC.”]