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Minutes - draft

These minutes are agreed.

Minutes of the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee of the Metropolitan Police Authority held on 12 May 2011.



  • Reshard Auladin (Chairman)
  • Tony Arbour
  • Chris Boothman
  • Jennette Arnold
  • Toby Harris
  • Jenny Jones
  • Joanne McCartney
  • Caroline Pidgeon
  • Valerie Brasse

MPA officers

  • Jane Harwood (Deputy Chief Executive)
  • Annabel Adams (Deputy Treasurer)
  • Siobhan Coldwell (Head of Policing Policy Scrutiny and Oversight)

MPS officers

  • Lynne Owens (AC, Territorial Policing)
  • Stephen Kavanagh (DAC, Territorial Policing)
  • Anne McMeel (Director of Resources)
  • Steve Rodhouse (Commander, Territorial Policing)
  • Tony Eastaugh (Commander, Territorial Policing)
  • Nina Cope (Director, TP Development)
  • Phil Woolf (Director of Business Performance)
  • Carl Bussey (Director of Professional Standards)
  • Trevor Hughes (Inspector, Status Dogs Unit)
  • Ed Solomons (DPS)
  • Niall Brannigan (DPS)

123. Apologies for absence

(Agenda item 1)

123.1 Apologies were received for Cindy Butts.

124. Declarations of interests

(Agenda item 2)

124.1 No declarations were received.

125. Minutes of the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee 7 April 2011

(Agenda item 3)

125.1 Members agreed the minutes for the above meeting.

Resolved - That the minutes of the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee held on 7 April 2011 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

126. Urgent actions and operational issues

(Agenda item 4)

126.1 The MPS provided a short update on the policing of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. They noted that they had 22 weeks to plan operations, and that the Royal household and partners were engaged throughout. Policing was provided over two operational zones, the procession route and a broader area including the West End. Members were informed that the operations went to plan, including a previously untested movement of members of the public back down the Mall. A number of arrests were made, eight people have been cautioned, five charged, and three bailed. Proactive arrests were made on the basis of intelligence and some were wash-up from the TUC march of 26 March. The police received thanks from both the Prime Minister and the Mayor on their handling of this event.

126.2 Members commended the MPS on the operation and went on to ask a number of questions. They were informed that the cost to the MPS for policing the event has yet to fully calculated but that it is projected to be around £8 million. With regard to the proactive arrest of a number of tenants in Camberwell Green for energy misuse, the MPS informed Members that the electricity board had been forced to declare a critical incident due to the scale of this extraction and the impact that it had had on other residents in the area. These arrests were brought forward to before the Royal Wedding, although not related to it. With regard the arrests in Hounslow, the MPS reaffirmed that they had received specific intelligence regarding the site and that a magistrate had issued a warrant on that basis.

127. Report on the sub committees of the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee

(Agenda item 5)

127.1 Members asked that all exempt items considered be listed in this report in future and that the text be amended to better reflect the diversity of views and extent of discussion.

  • More detail in report from sub-committees, including list of exempt items [MPA]

128. Headline performance report

(Agenda item 6)

128.1 The MPS informed Members that over the previous financial year, confidence in the force had been increasing steadily – best amongst most similar forces - and that crimes of violence had been reduced. They noted that acquisitive crime remained a challenge. Homicide was at its second lowest level over the previous decade, whilst lives lost on the roads had reduced by 50 (to 277). Vehicle crimes had seen significant reductions, and have halved over the last decade. Whilst business robbery is down, personal robbery is up, the acquisition of new smart phones being one driver. The rise in robbery has driven up knife crime, although instances wherein knives have been used to injure are down.

128.2 A Member noted that whilst death and serious injury in road traffic collisions were down, the number of pedestrians killed and injured had risen over the previous year. She expressed a concern that these figures were not reflected in the headline performance report and that the full picture cannot therefore be appreciated. The MPS responded that the report is based upon the targets agreed in the Policing London Business Plan, and that the test for ‘serious injury’ has been set deliberately low in order to encourage enforcement action in this area. The Member replied that it is concerning that there would be a reduction of 42 road safety officers over the next budget period.

128.3 Members commended a road safety initiative in Haringey noted at paragraph 48 of the report. They asked for further information on what was being done on other boroughs. They also asked for further commentary regarding the death and serious injury on the roads of children in particular.

128.4 A Member asked if any work was being done to address the trafficking of stolen goods via ‘gold for cash’ and similar prepaid envelope services. Members were informed that the MPS have good relationships with business and second-hand dealers and new internet providers. Such enterprises are requested to inform the Service about repeat customers and suspicious transactions. With regard the theft of mobile phones, the MPS informed Members that a national register of phones was being established and would be a useful tool.

128.5 Another Member expressed concern that the whole story in relation to rape was absent in the report. Although a survey of rape victims is considered, incidents of rape have been increasing. The MPS replied that a clear rape KPI has been included in the new Policing London Business Plan and that the survey is cited as victim confidence is a key measure in relation to rape given the high levels of underreporting. The MPS agreed to provide a more complete set of figures for rape.

128.6 Members asked what was being done to counteract knife crime and what would be replacing Blunt 2. The MPS responded that to achieve a plateau in knife crime was a solid achievement given that prior to Blunt there was an upward trajectory. The Service has used various tactics including knife arches and stop and search, and this crime type is managed at bi-weekly meetings by senior managers. Blunt 2 has enabled local officers to consider their requirement to tackle knife crime, whilst enabling central tasking where needed. Beyond Blunt 2 the London anti-violence partnership approach has encouraged greater intelligence sharing and enabled early intervention.

128.9 Members received a briefing on Waltham Forest, a copy of which is included at Appendix 1. They were informed that the borough had, over the previous year, focussed on high risk perpetrators and crimes of violence – and this had resulted in fewer instances of violence, assault with injury, youth violence and sexual offences. Reduced sanction-detection has been recorded over offences including motor vehicle theft and residential burglary. The MPS noted that Waltham Forest received the second most support from the Commissioner’s Reserve and that it will continue to be supported as long as problems persist.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

  • Detail of vehicle crime schemes outside of Haringey to be provided in a briefing note [MPS]
  • Inclusion of more rape data in report (overall rapes and sanction-detection rates) [MPS]
  • Briefing note on children killed and injured in road traffic collisions [MPS]
  • Presentation on Waltham Forest to be forwarded to Members [MPS]

129. Update on the Territorial Policing Development Programme

(Agenda item 7)

129.1 Members received a report updating them on the progress of the ongoing TP development programme. They were informed that the different projects are at varying stages of development, whereas some are now being piloted, the business cases for others are still pending agreement. HR is engaged in support of developing an understanding of the levels of displacement that changes would entail, and DCFD are assisting in the development of EIAs.

129.2 Members agreed that the report should be noted but that they still had insufficient information about the programme to offer ‘support’.

129.3 Members stated that they had previously been told at a briefing session that a number of front counters will remain accessible within each borough, whereas now the assumptions seems to be that only one 24 hour front counter will be provided. They raised the point that BME citizens are more likely to use front counters, and that any closure would have an equalities impact. The report stated that front counters will only be taken out of operation with MPA approval, and Members sought clarification around this. They also asked whether the MPS safer neighbourhoods consultation contained specific questions relating to the role of Sergeants.

129.4 The MPS responded that the consultation asked broad and open-ended questions as opposed to anything specific. They stated that some respondents had suggested that the supervision ratios in some areas did appear low. In relation to public access, they noted that they continued to work within the context of a mayoral commitment on front counters, and that any changes would therefore require MPA approval. The MPS expressed the view that diversity should be accommodated and that this required a broad debate regarding methods by which the public may access the Service. They assured Members that no decision as to the number of front-counters per borough had been made.

129.5 Members requested a briefing paper on Operation Hannah and Operation Erin.

129.6 Members expressed concern that EIAs will not be completed until following the agreement of some of the business cases. The MPS responded that they are reviewing their EIA policy, which is currently to produce an initial document that is fleshed out during the business case process, in partnership with the MPA.

129.7 Members noted the unprecedented level of the changes outlined, and asked whether the Programme has been difficult to sell to staff and officers. The MPS responded that senior management are very committed to the change programme and are fully aware of the scale. They stated that officers are being asked to work in an entirely different way – in terms of resource management and problem-solving across business areas. They noted that whilst some are nervous, there is a real appetite for these changes.

129.8 A Member requested location data on automatic number plate recognition equipment, and asked whether its effectiveness in supporting territorial policing was being considered within the review. The MPS responded that it was not, but that that information would be provided.

129.9 Jane Harwood, Deputy Chief Executive of the MPA, suggested that a ‘covering report’, detailing the full extent of MPA oversight of the Development Programme to date, be distributed to members in tandem with any later iterations.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

  • Briefing note on progress of Hannah and Erin [MPS]
  • Covering note with full list of MPA oversight of TP Dev to be provided with future reports [MPA]
  • Briefing note on MPS ANPR coverage to be provided to Members - numbers, locations [MPS]

130. Update on dangerous dogs

(Agenda item 8)

130.1 Members received an update on the progress of the Status Dogs Unit. The MPS noted that Members had previously asked for clarity around actions taken by the unit to reduce costs and explained that whilst the unit’s budget currently sits within CO it may be more rationally situated within TP given that the decision to hold dogs is taken by borough teams.

130.2 Members asked what action was being taken to tackle the breeding of prohibited dogs, to which it was responded that the Unit had reduced the number of dogs under their control to 330 from a peak of 480. The resource that this frees up will allow the Unit to look into more specific problems such as the internet trafficking of prohibited dogs.

130.3 Members were informed that funding cuts to local authorities will impact the Unit insofar as partners such as the RSPCA and Battersea may be forced to cut back provision made for stray dogs. They cautioned that the public will call the police when other services fail to respond.

130.3 With regard work done with magistrates, the MPS noted that the Unit had been involved in writing courts guidance to address a lack of understanding.

130.4 A Member expressed the view that too much resource had been allocated to tackling status dogs, and asked if the average amount of time a dog will be in police captivity had been reduced over the previous year. The MPS responded that the average time had been reduced significantly for those dogs that had been taken in in-year.

130.5 Members were informed that prohibited dogs may be returned to owners when a court decides that it is a good dog with a good owner. The Chair noted that they are often returned with some conditions attached.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

131. Update on the Police Reform And Social Responsibility Bill

(Agenda item 9)

131.1 Jane Harwood agreed to distribute a briefing paper on the current position of the MPA in relation to the Bill.

  • Update on PRSR Bill - MPA current position statement [MPA]

132. 101 – Single non-emergency number

(Agenda item 10)

132.1 The MPS introduced a report that detailed progress made in bringing London in line with the rest of the country with regard the use of ‘101’ as the number for non-emergency contact. Feedback provided on this number has been very positive. They informed Members that all calls to this number will be charged at a flat rate of 15 pence per call (including from mobiles).

132.2 Members asked why year one costs were so high given that much of the infrastructure is already in place and the economies of scale involved. The MPS responded that much of the cost is associated to the remapping of London’s boundaries to ensure that the calls go to the right force. The London 101 project also takes in activity outside of telephony, including the interaction of the GLA and MPS on lost property handling, for instance.

132.3 Members asked whether there was a risk of people calling 999 instead of 101 in the knowledge that this number is free of charge. The MPS replied that there is a risk and that it is anticipated that 7% of calls to 999 would be more properly routed to the non-emergency number. Members were also informed that the system with run in tandem with 0300 for two weeks in order to ensure that all is operating effectively prior to full transfer.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

133. Exclusion of press and public

(Agenda item 11)

Resolved – That members of the press and public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting.

Part 2

134. Minutes of the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee 7 April 2011 (Part 2)

(Agenda item 12)

134.1 Members agreed the minutes for the above meeting.

Resolved - That the minutes of the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee held on 7 April 2011 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

135. Update on the handling of a series of civil claims

(Agenda item 13)

135.1 Members agreed a number of recommendations.

136. Application for funding to settle a claim

(Agenda item 14)

136.1 Members agreed a sum of money.

Meeting closed – 4.00 pm

Summary of action items Status if known
More detail in report from sub-committees, including list of exempt items Complete
Detail of vehicle crime schemes outside of Haringey Complete
Complete Inclusion of more rape data in report (overall rapes and sanction-detection rates) Complete
Complete Briefing note on children killed and injured in road traffic collisions Addressed in Headline Performance Report (June 2011)
Presentation on Waltham Forest to be forwarded to Members Attached at appendix 1
Briefing note on progress of Hannah and Erin Complete
Covering note with full list of MPA oversight of TP Dev to be provided with future reports Will be provided with the TP Development report in September 2011
Briefing note on MPS ANPR coverage to be provided to Members - numbers, locations Ongoing
Update on PRSR Bill - MPA current position statement Ongoing

Appendix 1: Waltham Forest BOCU Sanction Detection Performance

Commander Webster Briefing


This report provides a narrative on the performance of Waltham Forest BCU with regards to sanction detection rates for 2010/11. The content is provided for the attention of Commander Rodhouse prior to his attendance at the MPA Strategic and Operational Policing Committee on 12th May 2011.

The MPA Strategic and Operational Policing Committee Briefing dated Thursday 7th April 2011 indicated Waltham Forest to be in the top three boroughs for the lowest sanction detection rates in 5 out of nine categories, namely,

  1. TNO Sanction Detection: 19.9%
  2. Residential Burglary: 5.9%
  3. Motor Vehicle Crime: 1.6%
  4. Robbery: 9.6%
  5. Knife Crime: 16.3%


Waltham Forest is a Borough that over the last few years has become synonymous with issues of gangs and violence. Politically at both a national and local level tackling these problems have become the number one priority for The Leader of Waltham Forest Council and the local community. Both Boris Johnson and Kit Malthouse have recently visited the Borough and are sighted on the work taking place in Waltham Forest.

During the last year the Waltham Forest Crime and Disorder Partnership (CDRP) has been restructured to focus on risky people and risky places. The local authority and MPS have both invested additional asset into local policing in direct response to the recently launch ‘Enough is Enough’ (Gang Prevention Programme). The new BCU police structure is based upon stronger partnerships, a community policing problem-solving model and enhanced enforcement. A new intelligence and tasking model and integrated offender management policy has been recently introduced.

As an area of risk and harm tackling violence has been the priority for Waltham Forest BCU during the past performance year, which has delivered the following successes:

  • Violence with Injury down 1.2%
  • Assault with Injury down 0.3%
  • Most Serious Violence down 7%
  • Serious Sexual Offences down 0.4%
  • Knife Crime Offences (used to injury) down 14.4%
  • Serious Youth Violence down 1%
  • Homophobic Offences down 23.5%
  • Domestic Violence Offences down 0.1%

The performance of Waltham Forest BCU with regards to some sanction detection rates has been affected by the work to tackle violence and a gradual increase in other key crime types. During the past year total TNO increased by 1%, motor vehicle crime by 3.9%, robbery 5.4% and residential burglary by 8.5%. There is an ongoing target hardening programme in respect of each of these crime types and a new Borough problem-solving model being developed locally with the support of Dr Stuart Kirby. This is focussing on tackling the issues of repeat victims and repeat offenders.

A review and assessment of recent performance conducted by the Borough to improve sanction detection rates has highlighted a number of issues, namely the limited proactivity in the area of motor vehicle crime, a reluctance of victims to support prosecutions and an increase in cross border offending that has affected the North East Area.

On Tuesday 5th May Waltham Forest Police met with Cllr Ali (Waltham Forest Cabinet lead Community Safety) to discuss the Boroughs Sanction Detection rates. Actions were agreed, which included greater collaboration e.g. pilot PIE/MASH, co-locate partnership staff and the LA to purchase additional police officers. These to be directly employed in areas of high crime, support for the gangs programme and provide a taskable asset in support of Community issues.

One finding is that whilst Waltham Forest is highlighted for its poor sanction detection rates a different picture appears if performance is measured against police officer numbers. Figures for the performance year 2010/11 indicate Borough productivity to be 7.4 detections per officer for the performance year. Using that measurement Waltham Forest would be 14th best performing out of the 32 London Boroughs.

Learning from the progress that is being made to tackle the issue of gangs and violence in Waltham Forest the sanction detection performance rate in Waltham Forest is an agenda item for the new CDRP Offender Board. A new BCU organisational model has been developed to reflect priority areas of business and allow increased proactivity in tackling motor vehicle crime. New processes introduced include minimum standards of reporting for priority crimes and gate keepers to enhance the quality of all investigations. The issue of reluctant victims is addressed through existing action plans and investigative strategies, while the North East Area has introduced an area based force desk and task force to respond to the issue of cross border offending.

Operation Connect have met the LA Leader and CEO and supporting the Boroughs Gang Prevention Programme. A matrix of offenders based on harm and risk with a menu of tactical interventions has been implemented. Two Connect staff are seconded to the Borough YOTS to ensure effective working. Twenty six at risk families with children under 18 are managed and supported by Police, Connect and LA staff. As part of the local partnership Connect are involved in Safe and Secure and the EU funded Operation Heart, the latter takes its first cohort of thirty girls in June. Connect have, and continues, to deliver a number of local enforcement actions.

Chief Superintendent Steve Wisbey
3rd May 2011

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