Members to receive an update of the performance exceptions of Leicestershire Police for the period of 1st October 2020 to 31st December 2020.
Members will be asked to comment on the recommendations for further analysis based on exceptions and to note the contents of the report.
The Police and Crime Panel considered a report of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided an update on the performance of the Leicestershire Police for Quarter 3 20/21.
The Chief Executive, OPCC introduced the report and responded to questions of the panel.
Key points included:
· Previous consideration of several outliers and a reminder that last time the panel looked at violence with injury, within this report it could now be seen that was within the normal range as predicted.
· The two outliers in this report namely hate crime and child sexual exploitation (CSE) and the analysis carried out around those.
· In terms of hate crime four different drivers had been identified: changes in national crime recording; another part was increased engagement, with special events trying to promote and make people confident in reporting. There were also two other factors, i.e. Covid-19 acting as a catalyst with restrictions on people and neighbour disputes, incidents in shops etc. and any form of malicious or racist wording would be recorded as hate crime, and an additional spike in reports following the BLM movement. There was a Hate Crime police lead who monitored this area carefully to increase reporting and take initiatives.
· In relation to CSE, this had been monitored for a while, after a slight increase first surfaced during April 2020, there were believed to be three factors here: the timing related again to Covid-19 and possibility with children being at home due to school closures and online issues, with people being online more during lockdown. Increased confidence in reporting might also be a part of it. The film “Are You Listening” was believed to have increased levels of reporting and there was a lot of focused work around missing children which was closely linked to CSE so those were the focuses in terms of analysis. Monitoring would continue and it was hoped by next quarters report to see a decrease or plateau.
· Harassment and Stalking data had gone up and as discussed last time, was quite a complex offence in terms of recording as each incidence was recorded as a separate event, and this could rapidly increase e.g. as each text counted. It was also rare that an incident of domestic assault was a one off incident so there was additional diligence in recording not just the offence at the time but any patterns beforehand.
· Clarified that para 5.4 in the report referred to deaths on roads which was actually 8, and officers were still working on how to reflect this data better.
There was a brief discussion about pressures on policing that could be generated when lockdown eases, around April 12th, and the OPCC and force were mindful of the coming weeks and what might happen with large football events, reopening of establishments and resumption of night time economy.
The Chair invited comments from members of the panel which included the following:
· Assurance was sought regarding the exceptions around CSE, that the data was showing more reporting rather than more offending. In response it was noted that the analysis was that Covid-19 may have played a part in this, some of the reporting seemed to be online reporting that matched the additional time children at home but other parts of the data do require further delving into. Some additional reporting was from the positive effect of things like the film however this was a very hidden crime and had to be explored more with domestic abuse. The indications are this was not just about changes in reporting confidence but also in terms of behaviour related to lockdown.
· Regarding Hate Crime increases data showed the spike was considerable in April 2020 and has been maintained. It was queried whether there are direct victims at end of all these reports or was it something people were reporting what they considered to be offensive on behalf of someone else? Members were advised that people were encouraged to report what they perceive is a problem. Increase in hate crime was largely due to neighbour disputes which might be considered quite minor but were not if people were taking the trouble to contact the police and if someone has gone to that length then someone has perceived a problem. It was known that there is a high level of under reporting in this area. It was noted that there needed to be a clear distinction between a Hate Crime and a Hate Incident as this was an aggravating feature and if not a specific crime it falls into bracket of incident.
Members of the panel thanked officers for the report and explanation around the figures.
That the contents of the report be noted.