Chief Constable's Formal Report - Northern Ireland Policing Board 6th October 2016

  • 06 October 2016

Chief Constable's Formal Report - Northern Ireland Policing Board 6th October 2016

Crest centred

Chief Constable’s Report

Northern Ireland Policing Board

6 October 2016

INTRODUCTION

The October Meeting of the Policing Board will include the Director General of the National Crime Agency. This is an important opportunity to bring accountability and increased public understanding of collaborative working.  PSNI’s close working relationship with the National Crime Agency, for example, allows us to avail of additional expertise and resources in the wider fight against serious and organised crime.  The outworkings of this collaborative approach have been seen in respect of successful prosecutions against those involved in child sexual exploitation, cyber crime and financial crime.  The National Crime Agency offers local law enforcement access to an existing global network, extending our reach against those involved in criminality that so frequently crosses borders.

FINANCE UPDATE

2016-17

At the end of August, PSNI is projecting a breakeven position, which includes absorbing the costs of Op Kenova estimated at £1.3m for the remainder of the year. The financial impact of other issues previously discussed with the Board, including police officer headcount, continue to be kept under review.

Beyond 2016/17

As previously reported to the Board, an information gathering exercise was formally commissioned by the Department of Justice to help inform a definitive Resource budget for 2017-18 and to provide indicators for Resource budgets up to 2019-20.  Some of the information requested includes how budgets are attributed to each statutory function and Programme for Government commitments, and the impact of a range of potential budget reductions ranging from 3% (£20m) to 6% (£40m) in 2017-18, to even more significant reductions in future years.  

PSNI discussed the potential impact of such budget reductions with the Resources Committee in September before submitting the return to the Department of Justice.  Even with budget cuts at the lowest end of the range (3%), combined with other financial pressures, the PSNI could be required to absorb as much as £62m in 2017-18.  This would undoubtedly have a significant impact on our capacity and capability.  PSNI will continue to keep the Board informed of further developments and we will require the Board’s input and support as we face the difficult challenges ahead.

HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATE

  • Employee Engagement and Wellbeing

Following the results of the Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Survey, completed in conjunction with Durham University, an action plan has been developed to ensure that the learning from this survey is carried forward.  An Employee Engagement Working Group has been formed and six initial actions will be delivered by the end of the calendar year –

  1. Implementation of a Wellbeing Strategy that focuses on the wellbeing and personal resilience of officers and staff.
  2. Refocus of PSNI Sickness Absence and Temporary Duty Restrictions Policies to ensure they are consistently applied and are not seen to unfairly impact on our staff.
  3. Re-establishment of the Corporate Flexible Working Advisory Group to examine the operation of our flexible and remote working policies and balance this with demand modelling in Districts and Departments.
  4. Allocation of duties, annual leave and overtime to ensure an appropriate distribution across Districts and Departments with due regard to early notification of working arrangements at key family times (for example Christmas and school holidays).
  5. Student office allocation and transfer requests to be re-examined to ensure the process is transparent and equitably applied in a ‘common sense manner’ that considers individual and organisational needs.
  6. Locally delivered employee engagement mechanisms to be implemented from an agreed, consistent and corporate framework.

In addition, a range of health and wellbeing facilities and programmes are available to employees.

  • Leadership development

The newly formed Human Resources Leadership & Professional Development Team ran a successful Leadership event on 6 September for newly promoted Inspectors.  The themes of the day were Managing Others, Managing Yourself and Managing Performance.  Further events are being planned as a result of the positive feedback from this one.

PRIORITY BASED RESOURCING (PBR) UPDATE

As previously reported to the Board, the PBR process is taking place within PSNI in order to encourage the transformational change that is necessary at a time of increasing demand and reducing budgets.  The PBR Team have developed a set of clear design principles to ensure a common framework for leaders throughout the organisation.  Phase 2 of the process is expected to recommence in approximately four weeks.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAMME

As previously reported to the Board, the Strategic Partnerships Programme has been established to coordinate the Service’s response to a number of reports that impact on the strategic direction of the organisation.  Activities have now been mapped to allow alignment between Fresh Start/Organised Crime Task Force/Joint Agency Task Force/Policing Board outcomes/measures/objectives against existing plans and activities, such as Policing with the Community activities, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Police Effectiveness Efficiency and Legitimacy (HMIC PEEL) reporting areas and internal Corporate Plan work.  While this important work will continue, the PSNI will require input and support from the Policing Board in future months in prioritising resources across increasing, complex demands.

MID-YEAR PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE POLICING PLAN

A mid-year update against Policing Plan targets has been included at Appendix A.  Significant successes have been seen in respect of overall confidence in police, tackling crime against older people, reducing the number of statute barred cases and reducing the average working days lost for police officers.  Areas for improvement can be seen in respect of hate crime, road traffic detections, organised crime measures and average working days lost for police staff.

CROSS BORDER CO-OPERATION

The Cross Border Organised Crime Conference took place in Fermanagh on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 September.  This annual event provides an opportunity for agencies from both jurisdictions to come together, build relationships, share knowledge and focus on particular topics of organised crime impacting on both sides of the border.  This year issues covered included fuel fraud, rural crime, drugs, cyber enabled financial crime and tiger kidnapping. 

In addition, the Cross Border Policing Strategy 2016 was launched at the conference.  This document is an update to the 2010 Strategy and is jointly produced by the Department of Justice, Department of Justice and Equality, An Garda Síochána and PSNI.  The joint strategy covers a range of policing areas, including operations, rural policing, community relations, intelligence sharing, ICT, service improvement and emergency planning.

This year’s Cross Border Organised Crime Conference was the first since the Joint Agency Task Force was set up, formed as a result of the Fresh Start Agreement.  The Conference provided an excellent opportunity to focus on a number of the Task Force’s priorities and continue to build upon existing working relationships.  The Task Force is currently focussing on six priority areas; rural crime, child sexual exploitation (CSE), human trafficking, financial crime, excise fraud and drugs.  Results in the first six months of the 2016 calendar year included –

  • 19 rural cross border vehicle check points carried out in border locations.
  • PSNI, assisted by An Garda Síochána, arrested and charged nine people for domestic burglary offences.
  • Arrest and charge of four people in possession of six fraud devices.
  • Ten multi agency operations alongside partner agencies including Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Trading Standards and Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
  • HMRC collection of £4,921 from people travelling on illegal diesel.
  • 22 searches on both sides of the border in relation to CSE.  Seven arrests made by PSNI.
  • 18 proactive search operations in relation to human trafficking in the Newry and Derry City areas, resulting in 23 potential victims of human trafficking being recovered.
  • 23 searches in relation to excise fraud.
  • Five people involved in excise fraud arrested and three organised crime groups dismantled.

POLICE COLLEGE UPDATE

The Review of the Police College at Garnerville has now been completed and a full report was delivered to the Chair of the Board on Tuesday (4 October).  As the Board will be aware, this Review was commissioned following reported incidents of impropriety at the PSNI Police College at Garnerville.  The aim of this Review was to restore the confidence of the Board and the public by remedying any deficiencies whilst ensuring that lessons are learnt to avoid any recurrence.  The Review focussed upon five areas –

  • Content of the Student Officer Programme
  • Culture within the Police College
  • Verification of examinations and assessments
  • Accreditation and relationship with the Ulster University
  • Benchmarking

The Review Team included independent external members and has resulted in a number of recommendations being made.  PSNI will continue to work with the Board with a view to full implementation of these recommendations.

OPERATIONAL UPDATE

  • Significant drug seizures

The PSNI, along with other law enforcement agencies, continue to conduct a wide range of drugs operations in Northern Ireland. These range from investigations targeting the importation and large scale supply of drugs to street level dealing. An example of success against the importation and large scale supply of drugs came on 25 September, when officers arrested a man following the seizure of a large quantity of cocaine, heroin and herbal cannabis, with an estimated street value of £1.2 m.

  • Freshers’ Week

Over the last number of years, a multi-agency response has been implemented in the Holyland/University area of South Belfast to address issues that emerge with new influxes of residents into the area in September.  Police work with Belfast City Council wardens, representatives from the universities and further educational institutes, the Landlords Association, local residents, licensed premises and voluntary groups to support community safety and minimise anti-social behaviour in the area during the Freshers’ period.

A significant policing operation is being implemented in the Holyland/University area of South Belfast. Officers are on the ground and they have been dealing with incidents of anti-social behaviour and working with partner agencies to address on-street drinking and noise issues. Items of alcohol have been seized, advice and warning has been given and personal safety talks are also being delivered to a range of students to advise them of the steps they need to take to protect themselves and their property and to be a responsible neighbour.

In the first week of the policing operation preliminary figures indicate that we have spoken to around 210 young people about their behaviour.  There have been 10 arrests and 14 Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND) being issued.  Officers are on the ground and they have been dealing with incidents of anti-social behaviour.  There have been 32 referrals to Universities and eight landlord referrals.

Our Officers have also been attending various Freshers’ Fairs across Northern Ireland providing safety advice and guidance to all students.

  • Tackling anti social behaviour

During the summer months, officers conducted an anti-vehicle crime operation in the area of Galliagh, Derry City in response to increased levels of this type of criminality and the subsequent impact on the local community.  This led to a number of vehicle seizures and prosecutions for traffic offences, including the arrest and detention of two men who were in the process of gaining unlawful entry to a parked vehicle.   Both men subsequently pled guilty to the offences of taking and driving away and criminal damage which led to a very positive reaction on social media from the community.

  • Responding to the Security Threat

PSNI officers continue to operate against the backdrop of a severe threat, meaning an attack is highly likely.  On 26 September four men were charged with terrorist offences as part of an investigation into dissident republican terrorist activity.  The discovery of a fully prepared Explosive Formed Projectile (EFP), designed to penetrate armour plating, is indicative of the continued intent to murder police officers.

Other charges in the last month included –

On 2 September a Royal Marine from Northern Ireland appeared in court charged with offences relating to dissident republicanism, including bomb-making and storing weapons.

On 16 September a man admitted possessing a document or record likely to be of use to terrorists.  This followed the discovery of a list of names of police officers and members of the judiciary within his jail cell.  He was sentenced to two years (one in custody and one on licence).  This sentence will run consecutive to his 11 year sentence for an earlier explosive offence.

  • Bravery recognition

Five PSNI officers have recently received awards from the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire.  Three responded to a house fire in Castledawson that they came across during a routine patrol.  The officers rescued the householder and performed first aid prior to the arrival of NI Ambulance Service and NI Fire Service.  Another two officers responded to a house fire in Lisburn and rescued a young woman, performing first aid before the arrival of NI Ambulance Service.

  • Visit by Ceejay McArdle

PSNI was delighted to have young Honorary Constable Ceejay McArdle visit us last week.  Ceejay is Irelands’ youngest Garda at four years old.  Having just completed his most recent course of chemotherapy for leukaemia he visited PSNI for one day.  Officers and staff from District Policing Command, Operational Support Department, Crime Operations and Corporate Communications were delighted to host him for the day and we wish him all the best in his fight to get well.

CONCLUSION

The financial outlook continues to be a cause of significant concern for policing in the years ahead.  It is clear that there are major challenges and difficult decisions in the future.  PSNI will need the input and support of the Board in meeting these challenges and prioritising our reducing budgets.

 

APPENDIX A - Quantitative Performance Report – 29 September 2016

The following report details progress against all the quantitative targets in Appendix 1 of the 2016-17 Policing Plan.  The most recent information and where possible both financial year to date and rolling 12 months figures have been provided.  The data was taken from PRiDE on 29th September 2016 unless otherwise stated.

APPENDIX 1

QUANTITATIVE TARGETS WITHIN POLICING PLAN 2016-17

 

CONFIDENCE IN POLICING

Increase the level of public confidence in the police’s ability to provide an ordinary day to day service (85.8% in October 2014 to September 2015).

 

Source: Department of Justice Perceptions of Policing, Justice and Anti-Social Behaviour: Quarterly Update to December 2015

Increase the level of overall confidence in the local police (68.6% in October 2014 to September 2015).

 

Source: Department of Justice Perceptions of Policing, Justice and Anti-Social Behaviour: Quarterly Update to December 2015

 


 

HATE CRIME

Financial Year

1 Apr – 25 Sep 15

1 Apr – 25 Sep 16

% Point Change

Increase the outcome rate for crimes with a racist motivation by 2% points.

16.7%

15.1%

-1.6% points

Increase the outcome rate for crimes with a homophobic motivation by 2% points.

25.8%

22.6%

-3.2% points

Increase the outcome rate for crimes with a sectarian motivation by 2% points.

11.7%

11.1%

-0.6%

Rolling 12 Months

26 Sep 14 – 25 Sep 15

26 Sep 15 – 25 Sep 16

% Point Change

• Increase the outcome rate for crimes with a racist motivation by 2% points.

16.0%

18.6%

2.6% points

• Increase the outcome rate for crimes with a homophobic motivation by 2% points.

27.6%

24.6%

-3.0% points

• Increase the outcome rate for crimes with a sectarian motivation by 2% points.

14.0%

15.1%

1.1% points

 

OLDER PEOPLE

Financial Year

1 Apr – 25 Sep 15

1 Apr – 25 Sep 16

% Change

Increase the outcome rate for domestic burglary in which older people are victims by 2% points.

6.6%

9.1%

2.5% points

Reduce the number of offences committed against older people by 2%.

3,872

3,426

-11.5%

Rolling 12 Months

26 Sep 14 – 25 Sep 15

26 Sep 15 – 25 Sep 16

% Change

• Increase the outcome rate for domestic burglary in which older people are victims by 2% points.

6.1%

8.3%

2.2% points

• Reduce the number of offences committed against older people by 2%.

7,540

7,063

-6.3%

 

ROAD SAFETY

Increase of 10% in the number of drivers detected* for:

April – August 2015

April – August 2016

% Change

Drink/Drug Driving offences

1,658

1,254

-24.4%

Speeding offences

3,682

2,553

-30.7%

Mobile Phone offences

2,805

2,260

-19.4%

Seatbelt offences

775

527

-32.0%

No Insurance offences

2,559

2,419

-5.5%

* Detections are made up of fixed penalty notices issued, discretionary disposals issued, those referred for prosecution and completion of a speed awareness course

Please note: Figures are provisional and subject to change.     Source: PSNI Statistics Branch, Lisnsharragh

ORGANISED CRIME

Increase the number of organised crime groups whose activities have been frustrated, disrupted and/or dismantled by 3%.

 

Frustrated

Disrupted

Dismantled

Total

% Change

1 April  to 31 Aug15

31

22

11

64

 

1 April to 31 Aug 16

30

27

6

63

-1.6%

Please note: Figures are provisional and subject to change.     Source: PSNI Crime Operations Department

 

Increase drug seizures by 3%.

April – August 2015

April – August 2016

% Change

2,211

1,922

-13.1%

12 mths to 31 Aug 2015

12 mths to 31 Aug 2016

% Change

5,298

5,308

0.2%

Please note: Figures are provisional and subject to change.     Source: PSNI Statistics Branch, Lisnsharragh

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

1 Apr – 38 Sep 15

1 Apr – 28 Sep 16

% Change

Reduce by 5% the number of statute barred cases by 31 March 2017 compared to the number recorded in 2015/16.

97

61

-37.1%

Please note: Figures are provisional and subject to change.     Source: PSNI Criminal Justice Branch

 

RESOURCES

Financial Year

April – August 2015

April – August 2016

% Change

Reduce the Average Working Days Lost for Police Officers by 10%.

1.11

0.94

-15.6%

Reduce the Average Working Days Lost for Police Staff by 10%.

0.87

0.80

-8.6%

Rolling 12 Months

12 mths to 31 Aug 2015

12 mths to 31 Aug 2016

% Change

• Reduce the Average Working Days Lost for Police Officers by 10%.

1.18

1.01

-14.1%

• Reduce the Average Working Days Lost for Police Staff by 10%.

0.83

0.85

2.9%