Overview and Scrutiny Commission

19 February 2020

7.30  - 9.10 pm


Bracknell Forest Council Logo


Councillors Angell (Chairman), Mrs Birch, Brossard, Gbadebo, Mrs Mattick, Temperton and Tullett

Mark Glanville, Parent Governor representative

Apologies for absence were received from:

Councillors Virgo, Mrs McKenzie-Boyle, McLean, Mossom and Porter and Virgo

Tracey Wright, Parent Governor representative

Executive Members Present:

Councillor Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection

Also Present:

Councillor Kirke

Andrew Hunter, Director: Place, Planning & Regeneration

Ann Moore, Head of Democratic and Registration Services

Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety


32.          Minutes

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 9 January 2020 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.



33.          Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

No declarations of interest were made and there were no indications that members would be participating while under the party whip.



34.          Urgent Items of Business

There were no items of urgent business.



35.          Public Participation

No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.



36.          Crime and Disorder Panel - Crime Data Integrity re-inspection report

Deputy Chief Constable, Jason Hogg attended the meeting to discuss the integrity data inspection report which had been published in July 2018. This was a reinspection following the HMRIC inspection in 2017 with both reports having an ‘inadequate’ outcome.


The Deputy Chief Constable explained that:

·         HMRIC inspectors were serving and ex police officers from different parts of the country

·         data integrity was about processes, knowledge and skills of the front-line staff

·         the most accurate way to look at crime data was the Crime Survey of England and Wales

·         Thames Valley Police were committed to putting resources in the right area based on crime data and hearing the voice of victims

·         an action plan was in place which had been shared with HMIC

·         Thames Valley Police were a good police force with outstanding features, good reputation but officers and staff do not have a good understanding of crime reporting and recording

·         processes had been reviewed so that the control room was used to record the crime at the time of the report and create a small group of experts.

·         investment had not been made into the back office which had led to this issue but this was to protect the number of police officers

·         between the two reviews the measure needed to achieve ‘good’ had altered so despite good progress Thames Valley Police remained inadequate

·         examples were given where circumstances around incidents could lead to inaccurate recording by officers and the very particular way that all indirect disclosures needed to be captured

·         He had investigated the highlighted incidents and reassured members that it was not a reflection of the service received by resident

·         Thames Valley Police had identified that an additional 16,000 crimes would need to be reported but whilst these needed to be dealt with by crime room and would not lead to further investigations or would be connected with another crime

·         a monthly meeting reviewed the audit information in depth

·         crime data integrity inspections have been replaced by PEEL inspections


In response to questions from Members the Deputy Chief Constable advised that:

·         focus continued to be on solving crimes which were investigated

·         Superintendent Felicity Parker, Local Policing Area (LPA) Commander for Bracknell and Wokingham was leading the improvements for responding to victims for Thames Valley Police with a new text service to update victims on progress. He added that he contacted five victims every month himself.

·         contact management platform would support operators to see where caller lived, the last time they called and help categorise the crime

·         protocols were in place with schools re. sexting so that advice is provided rather than criminalise activity that would affect young people’s futures

·         support available to schools through Community Safety Partnership on issues such as knife crime

·         HMRIC inspectors would be invited back once procedures were in place to remove the label of being ‘inadequate’ but detection rates had continued to be good

·         Acknowledgment that call waiting times on 101 continued to be a key issue for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office and that this was affected by staff turnover and implementation of new systems

·         The use of 30mph roundel road markings were not permitted on the three roads identified as the lamp column spacing were not in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD). Now Thames Valley Police were aware of the issue, they were concerned about speed enforcement on these roads. The presence of the roundel markings created the possibility of drivers making a legal defence and avoiding prosecution on a technicality. The Council could ask the Department of Transport for an exception.

·         Using a cut-out officer at the side of the road had not been deployed in Thames Valley as there was not yet strong evidence on its effectiveness and other proven methods were considered more cost effective.


The Chairman thanked the Deputy Chief Constable, Jason Hogg for attending the meeting.



37.          Work Programme Update

The Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairmen updated the Overview & Scrutiny Commission on work programme progress to date. There were no proposed changes to the Overview and Scrutiny work programme such as scope, scheduling or duration. It was observed that despite the intentions of the new structure that there were still only a small group of Councillors participating in the review activity.


Councillor Tullett, Chairman of Wellbeing and Finance Overview and Scrutiny Panel advised the Commission that his projects were on schedule. He encouraged members to participate in the healthy eating, activity and exercise review activity which was scheduled for 20 February 2020.


Councillor Mrs Birch, Chairman of Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel advised the Commission that her Panel had undertaken the Care Leavers review, had prepared recommendations and were working on the report to capture the activity. She agreed with observations that there had been disappointing engagement by others and had reflected that the day-long review had been too long.


In the absence of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Community and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Councillor Angell, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission advised that the first part of the burials review looking at burial space had recommended that the Council continue to provide this and suggested two preferred sites. Councillor Harrison thanked everyone who had taken part in the first part of the review as it was a very timely piece of work.


Councillor Angell, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission advised that the first part of activity on Climate Change would be considered at the next meeting on 10 March 2020. He advised that representatives from Frimley Park Health Trust had been invited to attend the Commission meeting scheduled for 2 April 2020.
























For further information contact: Kirsty Hunt