Staffordshire Commissioner's Annual Report 2019-20

Annual Report 2019–2020

Public services, working together towards common goals are a powerful force for good. “ ” Matthew Ellis


My seventh annual summary report

draw on resources resulting from the moorland fires in the north of Staffordshire in summer 2018. The tragedy of Grenfell will also mean significant changes and new requirements across the country. Some of the savings I mentioned earlier are already being reinvested into new fire safety inspectors who will bring a stronger focus on prevention and identifying risk. Policing continues to see more complexity in the harm caused and crimes committed. With Government funding reducing significantly for policing in the last few years, I have made the decision to ask local taxpayers for more. That said, with efficiencies secured, local people in Staffordshire and Stoke on-Trent have had the second smallest rise anywhere in the country over the last seven years. The Safer, Fairer, United Communities Strategy I set out for the first time in 2013 identifies the challenges and issues which are important for Staffordshire people in addition to what policing has to do regionally and nationally. It is refreshed and updated annually as new priorities emerge and change. During that time, we have led the way in highlighting nationally the challenges for people suffering mental ill-health ending up, inappropriately, in the criminal justice system. We’ve made inroads into supporting better, people suffering domestic abuse and developed highly specialist support services through the creation of New Era.

This annual report for 2019/2020 will be my last as I have decided not to seek election for a third term. Last year’s report referred to the additional responsibility I’ve taken on with the oversight and governance of Staffordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service in addition to policing. My expectation in doing that was for the services to find new opportunities to collaborate and spend public money even more effectively. I am pleased that one year on, the expectation is becoming a reality. Several administrative and support functions are now provided jointly with plans being developed for joint use of some buildings across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The first combined use building is the fire station in Tamworth. Local policing has moved in and it’s working well. Local policing teams in Hanley will soon join fire colleagues in the excellent fire station there too. The Joint Estates Strategy being developed will provide more opportunities to share buildings. So far, more than £1.4million of savings will be available to reinvest back into the frontline operations of both services, with more to come. The flexibility of all involved across both services has been vital in making this work and securing even better value for local tax payers. Despite budgets being extremely tight, the fire and rescue service continues to provide an effective response to all calls for service and has recovered well from the immense

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Since 2013, when I launched the Police Cadets, over 1,400 youngsters between the age of 14 and 17 have had life changing benefits and experiences. Some of those young people may well have ended up on the wrong side of the law… but have not! Criminal justice, the challenges a changing society brings, globalisation and technology have all resulted in making society, and the job for law enforcement and others who keep us safe, more difficult and everchanging. Public services, working together towards common goals are a powerful force for good. The thousands of people I have met and worked with over the last eight years have been overwhelmingly exceptional. I want to thank them all for the work they have done and for their work in the future.

Our work with victims and young people has been recognised nationally, as has our work with Public Health England on the relationship between substance abuse, vulnerability and ending up deep in the criminal justice system. It is highly complex, from the petty offenders ending up in prison for short periods but coming out more hardened criminals, to the work being done to keep young people on the edge of criminality from falling into a life of crime. Since bringing back the 1980s Space scheme in 2015 over 112,000 attendances have been recorded for young people between the ages of 8 and 17. Space is all about engagement with young people but the reductions in anti-social behaviour during the school holidays have been beyond what we could ever have expected. In 2019 the levels of anti-social behaviour In 2016 I established the Staffordshire Youth Commission as part of a project to engage with young people. Its members, aged between 14 and 25 represent the voice of young people and have made a huge difference in allowing the force to develop conversations about crime and what impact it has on their lives. Finally, I want to highlight the extraordinary work so many people have been involved with developing the Police Cadets in Staffordshire. I saw it as an opportunity to bring a greater understanding of young people for the police and young people seeing policing in a different light. were are at a record low throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire Commissioner


Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Safer, Fairer, United Communities for Staffordshire

In 2013, the Commissioner published his strategy for policing and community safety in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Safer, Fairer, United Communities set out his vision for how public services can make a positive difference to local people, working together across four key areas: early intervention, victims, offenders and public confidence.

Modern Policing

A police force that is fit for a changing future

Early Intervention

Tackling root causes before they become a problem


Enabling victims of crime to get the support they need to move on


Preventing offending in the first place and reducing the likelihood of re-offending

Public Confidence

Making sure everything that happens contributes to individuals & communities feeling safer & reassured

These priorities continued into his revised strategy, published in 2017, and he added a fifth priority – to build a modern and transformed police service that is fit for a changing future.


Fire and Rescue Plan 2019-20

On taking responsibility for the governance of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Commissioner issued an interim strategy. This set four priorities for the service which aligned to those in Safer, Fairer, United Communities :

Our four priorities are:

1 2 3 4

Prevention and early intervention

Protecting Staffordshire and its people

Public confidence

Service reform

This report outlines what has been achieved over the last eight years.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Modernising Services

international connections and links to organised crime groups. Managing this complexity has to be balanced against providing the traditional services that communities expect: being easy to contact, there when you need them, providing a reassuring presence and protecting people. Locally, services have become increasingly stretched in dealing with complex societal problems – an ageing population and increases in domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse, alongside other factors such as climate change. These are complex challenges that cannot be addressed by individual services; they require more sophisticated responses. The police, the fire and rescue service and other agencies have had to find innovative ways of working together, focusing shrinking

Even during the Commissioner’s time in office, the landscape of community safety has changed massively. There has been a shift from acquisitive crime to what can be described as ‘high harm’ crimes against people. Complex investigations into child sexual exploitation, modern slavery, human trafficking, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation have become business as usual for police forces. High-profile national events have increased victims’ confidence to report historical and current offences, and the proactive work of all agencies in the safeguarding arena has revealed previously hidden demand. The threat from terrorism has also increased significantly. Offending increasingly has complex cyber elements, national and


over the last few years, but priorities for both Boeing and policing technology have changed, as have the demands upon them. Boeing wish to refocus their work elsewhere and this has come at an opportune time with our agreement to part company on the best of terms, after delivery of the key Niche system in 2020. The Commissioner invested in mobile technology for officers, PCSOs and Special Constables to enable them to spend more time out in the community rather than wasting time having to return to police stations to access IT systems. This functionality has continued to develop since then. He was one of the first commissioners to invest in the allocation of body-worn video cameras to all frontline officers. The impact has been dramatic, with footage often providing vital evidence in bringing a prosecution. Crucially, they have reinforced openness and transparency in policing by providing an extra level of independent scrutiny to make sure police officers behave appropriately when dealing with people and follow procedures properly, and that activities such as stop and searches are fair and effective. The Niche Records Management System is the biggest IT programme undertaken by the force. It replaces 13 existing systems with one integrated solution to improve data quality, better support data sharing with partners, provide real-time information to officers in the field and deliver efficiencies in business processes.

resources on people and places at the highest risk. Our local services also need to be able to dovetail into regional and national activities. This means they have to be easy to do business with, sharing information, skills and resources with partners to prevent and intervene early to deal with the root causes of problems before they become more complex and costly to address. The force has responded well to the twin challenges of adapting to meet new pressures and doing more with less. From the outset, the Commissioner has been clear that local policing is the bedrock of the service; it needs to be protected, highly visible and focused on prevention. Despite financial pressures, he has encouraged the force to make some difficult decisions to do things differently in order to maintain neighbourhood policing numbers, and Police transformation Technology has had to improve to enable this to happen. When the Commissioner took office, 43 police services across the country were broadly doing their own thing. It was clear that Staffordshire Police’s IT was outdated and in need of significant investment. There was a need to provide the force with digital capabilities to meet the demands of modern policing. In 2016, an IT strategic provider , Boeing, was chosen from more than 50 companies to help us in that endeavour. Progress has been made recently invested to further expand neighbourhood teams by more than 140 officers.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Opportunities to co-locate police and fire colleagues are being actively pursued, with Tamworth complete and Hanley on the way. Good regional policing arrangements are an essential component in keeping Staffordshire safe in the face of new threats. These include the Regional Organised Crime Unit, counter-terrorism work and the policing of motorways in Staffordshire and the West Midlands. The Commissioner currently chairs the Regional Governance Group, which brings together the PCCs and Chief Constables from Staffordshire, West Mercia, West Midlands and Warwickshire with their Chief Executive Officers to oversee and guide this work. The complexity of the Criminal Justice System presents a challenge in ensuring it operates wholly in the interests of victims and witnesses and deals effectively with offenders. Partner agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts and Tribunal Service and the National Probation Service operate on a regional footprint which has required our office to work closely with other PCC offices in the region to look at the process from end to end, tackling delays and inefficiencies and improving quality of service.

The entire Niche programme will be delivered over 21 months, with the first set of modules being in place this year. The recent establishment of a police Knowledge Hub has brought together data management, research, analysis and reporting in a way that supports integration with other public services. It is a sound platform for the Commissioner’s Connected Staffordshire strategy, a complex and long- term programme designed to address the barriers to multi-agency data sharing and integrated working. There has been a strong start to the programme, but there remains much more to do. New technology has also made it easier to contact the police. The Smart Alert app introduced by us enabled people and businesses to receive updates on incidents in their area. A new force website is helping people to engage with the police and access services online. Staffordshire’s police estate included some buildings in poor condition with surplus space, so modernising the police estate has been a priority. The Commissioner has progressed the disposal of the former police headquarters and police stations at Stoke, Newcastle, Chasetown, Wombourne and Kinver, with the money generated being used to fund technology and other projects. New developments at Lichfield and Smithfield in Hanley have provided modern accommodation for officers and staff and enabled police functions to be co-located from disparate sites.


Fire service reform

The Commissioner has therefore been keen to make swift progress against the three pillars of the national Fire Reform agenda: Efficiency and Collaboration, Accountability and Transparency, and Workforce Reform. Some of the work that has been done is set out in other parts of this report. The business case centred on new opportunities for the two services to collaborate more and to share some support and administrative functions, work more closely operationally and share buildings. The major benefit of the proposal was that, over time, more of the money available could be used by both services operationally, in the heart of our communities. Importantly, the professions of firefighting and policing remain distinct and separate.

From August 2018, the Commissioner took over governance of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, following approval of a business case submitted to the Home Secretary. He inherited a fire service that was in a good state and well regarded nationally, which is testament to the work of the previous Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority. In the intervening 18 months, our challenge has been to build on these foundations to ensure it is fit for a changing future and the most effective and efficient in the sector.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


see the service in Staffordshire judged by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) as outstanding in the way it promotes its values and culture, an endorsement of many years of hard work. While in a better position than many other services, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s workforce needs to better reflect the communities it serves, but progress has been made in this area too. Police and fire collaboration Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been working hard to enhance the collaboration that was already in place for transport, logistics and occupational health services, and develop

By bringing a similar governance approach to that applied to policing, there is now a broader range of scrutiny arrangements that have increased accountability and transparency. The performance monitoring arrangements by us and the scrutiny of the Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel are in place and plans are in development to expand the scope of Safer Neighbourhood Panels to hold their local fire and rescue manager to account for performance. The fire and rescue sector firefighter workforce is not generally reflective of the communities it serves, and organisational culture has been identified nationally as a major challenge in achieving the required change. It has therefore been satisfying to


together to keep the local community safe are invaluable. Progress is being made to share Hanley fire station and options are being actively explored to do the same at other locations across Staffordshire, where appropriate. Protocols have been developed for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to assist the police in searching for missing persons and gaining entry to premises, where appropriate. These are great examples of creative thinking by operational staff and hopefully the first of many more opportunities to bring skills and resources together to help people.

their approach to further collaborative working under the governance of our office. The first phase of this work went live in 2019, with joint teams now in place for delivering estates, communications, human resources, finance and procurement support. The financial savings from collaboration have been reinvested in additional specialist prevention staff. In December 2019, Tamworth neighbourhood policing team moved into Belgrave fire station. Taking police officers out of a dilapidated police station with excess space and into a modern fire station makes complete sense financially. The benefits of police and fire colleagues sharing information, planning, preparing and training

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Protecting Staffordshire and its people

The Commissioner’s role as the Fire and Rescue Authority carries with it specific legal responsibilities in the protection of life and property. The fire and rescue service delivers this protection through the right balance of education, advice and support, and the use of enforcement powers where necessary. This is vital to keep people safe by ensuring those responsible for buildings comply with fire safety regulations and help keep our firefighters safe when dealing with incidents. It also helps to limit the environmental damage caused by fires in public spaces. The tragic events at Grenfell Tower increased the emphasis on technical fire safety inspections of premises and the use of enforcement powers. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is already responding positively to this challenge, but this is a specialist activity which requires an uplift in capacity. The service is also adapting well to complex and challenging potential threats, such as dealing with terrorist incidents or severe weather events. The Commissioner has already reinvested savings from the collaboration between police and fire in delivering support functions into growing our specialist Fire Safety Teams . Although firm proposals or requirements have not yet been made nationally, all responses to the Grenfell tragedy so far have indicated that there is an urgent need to do this. It is clearly a more effective way of using this money and is a strong start to improving our risk-based inspection programmes.

The Community Sprinkler Project has focused on the risks associated with high- rise building fires and specifically the safety of occupants and firefighters. Funding has been allocated to this activity with match funding provided by partners, and significant progress has now been made to retro-fit sprinkler systems to high-rise buildings. All such buildings will have sprinklers fitted over the next three to five years, with technical support being provided to each project by the service’s fire engineers. partners to promote the benefits of fitting suppression systems in new buildings over five floors. The Commissioner has lobbied for changes to legislation so that such installations are mandated for new buildings of this type. The service continues to play a lead role locally and nationally in addressing the issue of illicit waste sites , and the Commissioner has added to that process by engaging with politicians and officials nationally in an attempt to bring lasting change to a flawed system. He has brought together partners including the Environment Agency, county and district councils, the police and the fire and rescue service to tackle this issue. Services are now joining together to plan for emergency response, use the legislative powers of each organisation to coordinate enforcement activities, and explore options for the removal of waste at high-risk sites. The service continues to work with businesses, architects, planners and



Staffordshire Police The financial context for policing has been immensely challenging, and a reflection of the Government’s drive to reform the service. For many years, central funding has gradually reduced and limits have been placed on local commissioners’ ability to make up that gap through council tax increases. This created a pressure to do more with less and the force has responded positively, implementing more efficient structures and processes, collaborating more, and focusing on priorities and new ways of working supported by new technology. The Commissioner has resisted increasing council tax while more financial reserves were being held than was necessary, as he believes public money should not be sitting in the bank when it could be spent on services.

Following public consultation, he took the early decision to protect the public from council tax increases for four successive years until he was satisfied the force had taken forward the opportunities it had identified to become more efficient and effective. More recently, he reluctantly increased council tax, but only because he felt there was no other option to provide the investment needed by the force. It funded additional neighbourhood policing officers, new specialist capabilities to address new challenges in policing and proactive work targeting prolific criminals, as well as boosting teams dealing with missing persons. Nevertheless, the Staffordshire precept for policing still remains one of the lowest in the country.

Staffordshire Police funding sources 2012/13 to 2019/20

At the end of his term, the force is in a strong place. It is rated as ‘good’ across all areas by HMICFRS, and Staffordshire is one of just four areas out of 43 where overall crime has reduced this year.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Surveys show that 78% of people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are satisfied with the service provided by the police, 78% agree they are value for money and 90% trust them. Over 80% of victims of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) are satisfied with the service they receive.

The extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good

The extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is good

The extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good

Sept 2018 – Sept 2019 compared to the same period in the previous year

Burglaries down 17% Violence down 14%

Criminal damage and arson down 11%

Public order offences down 6%

Sexual offences down 7%

Vehicle crime down 10%

Robberies down 2%


Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Reductions in central government funding have placed similar pressures on the fire and rescue service and were capably addressed by the former Fire and Rescue Authority prior to governance transferring to the Commissioner in August 2018. An Efficiency Plan had been agreed to ensure affordability up to 2020, which included changes to crewing arrangements, reduced management levels and a robust approach to challenging non-pay expenditure. The service finds itself in a strong position, but there will still be difficult decisions to be made given the increasing demands on the service and financial pressures.

HMICFRS recently rated the service as ‘good’ overall and one of only four services to receive either a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating for all 11 inspection themes. According to local surveys, 91% of people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are satisfied with the overall service provided by the fire and rescue service, 93% agree they are value for money and 99% trust them.

The extent to which the service is effective at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is good

The extent to which the service is efficient at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is good

The extent to which the service looks after its people is good

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


How is your money spent?

Income (Police & Crime)

Income (Fire & Rescue)




Early Intervention

Evidence shows the best way of preventing crime and having a positive impact on community wellbeing, quality of life and safety is to stop problems arising in the first place. The Safer, Fairer, United Communities for Staffordshire strategy emphasised the importance of prevention activities and intervening early to help those starting to experience problems and supporting them to address the issues they face. Intervening early not only benefits individuals now and in the future, but also wider society and the economy. The costs associated with late intervention are well publicised. Nearly £17 billion per year – equivalent to £287 per person – is spent in England and Wales by the state on late intervention. This equates to £319 million across Staffordshire and can be broken down into £237 million / £274 per person in Staffordshire and £82 million / £328 per person in Stoke-on-Trent. late-intervention-eif-analysis-2016 There are a number of root causes which leave people more vulnerable to or at risk of becoming involved in crime or ASB, such as truancy, poor educational attainment, lack of access to training and employment opportunities, lack of aspirations and opportunities, poverty, family breakdown, exposure to substance misuse or mental health issues. On taking responsibility for the governance of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

Service, it was clear the same societal factors impacted on demand for their services and it was pleasing to see that the principles of prevention and early intervention were at the heart of their work too. Prevention and early intervention plays an important part in offering children and their families the support they need to reach their potential, so it makes sense to focus on providing help early to address root causes. This can’t be achieved by the police or fire service in isolation, so bringing local council, health and other services closer together has been a central part of the strategy. Over recent years, this has become even more critical. Financial challenges have seen some organisations focus their efforts on delivering statutory duties, providing services to people with developed and complex needs. Despite this, we have worked tirelessly with partners to establish a range of successful preventative and early help initiatives. The financial challenges most public services have faced in recent years have driven many to reduce prevention work in order to maintain the services they provide to people in crisis. In Staffordshire, we chose to invest in the number of officers providing community-based policing by working with the force to find more efficient ways of delivering emergency response and support services. Visible frontline services

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Due to the prominence of early intervention within the strategy and the work being led by the office, Staffordshire was selected by the Early Intervention Foundation as a ‘Pioneering Place’ in 2013. Additionally, in 2015, Staffordshire was the only PCC’s office in the country to form part of the Early Intervention Academy for Police Leaders. The Academy developed a Charter for Early Intervention and guidance for forces on reducing demand by tackling the causes of crime, freeing up police resources and protecting vulnerable people by placing early intervention at the heart of policing. Childhood experiences have a massive impact on lifelong health and opportunity. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) refer to stressful or traumatic events that children and young people can be exposed to as they are growing up. When children are exposed to adverse and stressful experiences, it can have a long-lasting impact on their ability to think, learn and interact with others. Studies have shown that compared to those with no ACEs, those with four or more ACEs are more likely to have been in prison, committed violence in the last 12 months, and have health-harming behaviours (high- risk drinking, smoking or drug use), among other things. Much can be done, however, to build resilience in children, young people and adults who have experienced adversity in early life. Understanding and helping people with this background is therefore an important element in tackling offending and supporting victims. The Commissioner’s

This has been challenging but, with different structures, better technology and new ways of working, the force has been able to maintain the local presence that is so valued by the community and has the capacity for prevention. The principles of prevention and early intervention are at the heart of the fire and rescue service. The service has developed a highly effective and valued approach to prevention, which is focused on those most at risk. Savings from collaboration with police colleagues to deliver support functions have already been reinvested in additional staff dedicated to specialist fire prevention work. The Commissioner has encouraged both services to work more closely together to deliver practical solutions which can impact positively on individuals, families and communities. Working with young people All children deserve the best possible start in life. Too many children face the kind of disadvantage that affects their development and threatens their future health and happiness. Early intervention can play an important part in offering these children and their families the support they need to reach their potential, so working with young people is the main focus of this priority. A range of projects have been led and developed by the Commissioner’s office with this in mind.


problems from escalating and becoming more complex. To this end, we’ve been working with schools to develop educational resources relating to crime and personal safety. The Commissioner provided funding to enable the introduction of a nationally recognised education resource, Values vs Violence , to schools in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The programme is delivered by teachers to raise awareness among children and young people and provide them with some of the necessary skills to keep themselves safe from abuse, sexual exploitation and radicalisation. We’ve also worked with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service on the implementation of the Safe+Sound project, which aims to support informed and positive lifestyle choices to improve health, safety and wellbeing. The project runs a variety of interactive and practical workshops for children, young people and the over-60s, delivered by multiple partners and agencies. The Safe+Sound team uses state-of- the-art interactive mobile pods to deliver its education programmes, creating an immersive learning environment to teach topics like fire safety in the home, road safety, water safety, CSE, substance abuse, gangs and youth violence, emotional wellbeing and CPR. Various scenarios are projected onto three walls of the pod, producing a 270-degree view for students. The software allows participants to answer questions and access more information by

office has worked in partnership with Lancashire Foundation Healthcare Trust, national leaders in the field, and enabled the introduction of new practices to assess victims and perpetrators. Over 500 professionals from a range of organisations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have attended multi-agency training on assessing the presence of ACEs, and attachment and emotion coaching has begun. In 2017, we commissioned Catch 22 alongside Staffordshire County and Stoke- on-Trent City Councils to deliver prevention and support services for victims and potential victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and missing children. This was the first time a consistent service was available across the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke- on-Trent. Catch 22 is now fully embedded into local partnerships and has established a base in one of the Children’s Centres. To provide a snapshot, 1,062 young people positively engaged with Catch 22 in 2018-19. We’ve worked with partners to develop a CSE awareness campaign for use in Staffordshire schools. By using new 360-degree technology, participating schools are provided with an innovative approach to promoting conversation and the development of ‘safety tactics’ within the school setting. The campaign includes a video, storyboard and classroom discussion pack and has been delivered in schools across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Education is an important tool in preventing and supporting children to address any issues they may face, preventing any

swiping sensors on the walls.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


The Prince’s Trust programme engages with young people at risk of offending, victims of crime and those involved in risky behaviour, aiming to improve their health and wellbeing, lifestyles, confidence and employment prospects. With support from the Commissioner’s office, the Fairbridge and Get Started programmes have provided intensive support to 864 young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent; around 60% achieved a positive outcome or progression on completion of the programme, with education and training being the most common outcome. In a similar vein, we worked with Stoke City Football Club Community Trust and other partners to develop a bid to the Premier League / Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund. This provided the trust with the unique opportunity to secure a grant of £250,000 following the investment of £50,000 partnership match funding. The money has been used to develop the Rise Project, which is supporting vulnerable young people from across North Staffordshire who are at risk of exploitation and have multiple barriers to overcome. We also commission early intervention services from Staffordshire and Stoke-on- Trent Youth Offending Services and provide support ‘in kind’ through Staffordshire police officers. We’ve worked to create a consistent approach no matter where you live by providing group and one-to-one support for young people at risk of offending and their families. First-time entrants have reduced from around 600 in 2010 to around 200

in 2018. A report was also commissioned to review the provision, which identified evidenced-based good practice and some recommendations for future models. In 2017-18, the office submitted a successful bid to the Home Office Violence against Women and Girls Service Transformation Fund, which enabled the development and implementation of a new support service project to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM) . The total award was for £250,000 over three years, together with additional investment from the Commissioner’s budget. Barnardo’s successfully bid for this work and has provided support to 800 people and training on FGM-related issues to 692 professionals. Some cases have involved FGM Protection Orders obtained through the courts. In August 2018, Barnardo’s and Staffordshire Police joined forces with a number of organisations – Border Force, the National Crime Agency and other police forces across the Midlands – to implement Operation Limelight at Birmingham Airport. This was a proactive airside operation targeting inbound and outbound flights to ‘countries of prevalence for FGM’.


The Staffordshire Police Cadet Service is all about encouraging young people aged between 13 and 17 – some from challenging backgrounds – to achieve new skills and confidence and connect with the police in a positive way through an exciting programme. Since I introduced the scheme in 2013, 10 cadet groups have been established, with 950 young people continuing to attend regularly for more than a year. The scheme is financially sustainable, thanks to donations from patrons, funding activities and the Commissioner’s Corporate Social Responsibility Fund. It has been heartening to see the positive support from local businesses with a real sense of civic responsibility investing in the future of Staffordshire’s young citizens. Through their passion and commitment, cadet patrons are helping to change young lives. Equally, the support provided by police officers, special constables, PCSOs, staff and volunteers, who have given their free time to support the scheme, has been a vital ingredient in its success. Police cadets work towards nationally recognised qualifications in teamwork, citizenship and personal skills, following a detailed programme that covers every aspect of policing and how they can support the police in keeping our communities safe and reassured. They are not in training to be police officers, but are learning skills they will need in all aspects of their lives and gaining an enhanced sense of civic pride through the support they provide to many public events.

Staffordshire Police Cadets have formed Honour Guards at the National Memorial Arboretum and marched on Remembrance Sunday, and help out in their local communities and at many events and functions every year. They also play a key role in supporting police operations, such as assisting officers conducting roadside checks on vehicles as part of crackdowns on drink driving. Cadets were on hand to give out leaflets advising motorists on the dangers of drinking while over the limit. Cadets at all units have taken part in interactive training over a two-week period by Staffordshire Police’s Prevent CSE Team. The awareness sessions looked at how to spot the signs of CSE, its effects, the law, and where to go to for help. They also included discussions about how to stay safe online and the dangers of ‘sexting’. A Junior Cadet scheme was introduced for children at primary school. Consisting of six one-hour sessions led by a PCSO during school time, the programme includes encouraging good behaviour, road safety, school security, and the impact of anti-social behaviour. There are now more than 6,600 junior cadets from primary and junior schools.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


In 2015, I relaunched the Space scheme, an activities programme for young people to enjoy during the school summer holiday with the aim of reducing low- level crime and ASB. The programme, managed by my office, brought a new approach linking various voluntary and public organisations, including councils across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The scheme seeks to benefit young people through confidence building and personal health and social development, providing positive activities for young people aged 8-17 years during the school summer holidays. A minimum of 30% of Space funding is provided for targeted activities for young people considered

vulnerable, with defined referral pathways from key agencies such as the Youth Offending Service and local support teams, and in areas where there is evidence that young people are at risk of social exclusion or of committing ASB. With investment of up to £180,000 annually and support from local authority partners and other stakeholders, Space has grown year on year. In 2019, there were over 38,000 attendances by local youngsters (68,361 hours of engagement), compared to 15,000 in 2015. Police- reported youth-related ASB has reduced by 50% since 2016, from 1,365 reported incidents, down to 652 in 2019.


‘I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you and Phil/Rob with regards to the excellent support and positive influence you have had on K and, in turn, this has had an invaluable positive knock-on effect within our family. I also wanted to mention how the numerous different activities K has been introduced to and enjoyed has shown him what he is capable of doing and has boosted his confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. If it hadn’t been for the above, I think that K would be continuing on a downward spiral.’ ‘L really enjoyed all of the activities he went on. It gave me some peace and quiet as he can be difficult at home sometimes, it’s one of the positive things that Youth Offending do.’ ‘M’s mother said she felt her son’s behaviour was getting better; she was pleased that staff engaged and spoke to him on his level and fully supported him and them. She felt if there weren’t places and activities like this that kept kids occupied and off the streets, there would be a lot more kids in trouble with the police.’ ‘‘ ’’ 25 Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020

Tackling serious violence Serious violence can affect people at all stages of life. Many survive serious violence but suffer physical, mental or emotional health problems throughout the rest of their lives. While Staffordshire does not have the same levels of serious violence as many other areas, it has increased steadily over the past five years, making it important to take the opportunity to improve this position through early intervention and prevention. This is not purely a policing issue. It is now, rightly, being viewed as a public health problem, which requires agencies to collectively deliver sustainable reductions in serious violence and improve the health and quality of life of all people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. To this end, we’ve played a pivotal role in bringing partners together to develop a multi-agency strategy and action plan and,

while it is early days, we look forward to seeing this approach deliver the expected results. The Commissioner has funded a lead officer to ensure this important work area is implemented. Additionally, we submitted a successful bid to the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund in 2019, being allocated £392,700 to fund a multi-agency approach to prevent young people from committing violent crime. The project will seek to identify the risks they face and address them through a programme of prevention and early intervention. Schools will develop critical thinking skills among their pupils, with tailored support for the most vulnerable youngsters. Professionals across various agencies will be trained in how to spot risk factors, while parents and families will also be given more support.


Preventing cyber crime

support Cyber Champions in the Workplace to act as single points of contact on cyber security within their organisations. Training is provided by Staffordshire Police and the Regional Organised Crime Unit and over 300 people have now been trained. In 2017, we hosted the first online fraud conference attended by representatives from hundreds of local businesses to raise their awareness of cyber crime and how they can protect themselves from becoming victims. We teamed up with Trading Standards, working with the Adult Safeguarding Board to identify ways to support vulnerable people to prevent them becoming victims of financial abuse. We also supported the appointment of a specialist digital PCSO, advising residents across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent on how to stay safe from online criminals.

The internet has brought new and changing threats from criminals, for individuals as well as businesses, and the sometimes international nature of cyber crime makes it a complex area for police and other agencies to tackle. The Deputy Commissioner spearheaded work to develop a partnership approach to cyber crime, which involved a more collaborative approach to tackling the challenges it brings. The Cyber Safe Staffordshire campaign was launched in 2016 to raise awareness of cyber crime and to encourage people to be more confident in taking steps to protect themselves online. The Deputy Commissioner also established the Online Fraud Forum, a partnership of local business and public sector organisations, and a scheme to train and

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Managing Offenders

Nationally, 50% of all crime is committed by ‘career’ offenders who, typically, by the age of 40 will have cost the system £500,000 each. In Staffordshire alone, the cost of offending is £250 million a year. In 2014, the Commissioner established the Staffordshire Offender Management Commissioning and Development Board, bringing together all key partners with a responsibility or interest in the offending arena to support a coordinated, whole- system approach to reducing offending and reoffending in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Partners agreed an ambitious county-wide strategy to guide local action in relation to this agenda, aiming to:

• Promote timely interventions across agencies in Staffordshire to reduce the risk of people becoming involved in offending behaviour; and • Ensure that where people do offend, they are brought to account for their actions while being given the appropriate support and encouragement to move on and to avoid reoffending in the future. A comprehensive action plan was produced to support implementation of the strategy based around four key themes – prevention, diversion, offender management, and offender rehabilitation and resettlement – and multi-agency groups were established to oversee delivery.


Prevention Reducing first-time offending and reoffending is at the heart of the

Staffordshire was selected as a pilot area for out-of-court disposals , designed to improve collaboration and ensure consistent decision-making between youth offending teams, police and partner agencies, when considering instances of minor offending and ASB by young people. The Commissioner supports this approach, which encourages greater use of community resolutions and conditional cautions as an alternative to prosecution, where appropriate. We’ve worked with partner agencies to develop a looked-after children protocol to guide multi-agency action aimed at reducing the number of young people in care coming into contact with the criminal justice system. The Commissioner has also provided funding for a coordinator post to support multi-agency work across the county aimed at diverting young people away from gang-related activity and youth violence .

Commissioner’s early intervention priority and associated initiatives such as Values vs Violence, Youth Offending Prevention Teams and the serious violence strategy, and actions are detailed in that section. Diversion Diversionary approaches allow low-level offending to be dealt with at an early stage and outside of the criminal justice system, where it is appropriate and with the victim’s consent. This avoids unnecessary court proceedings, prevents problems from escalating and gives first-time offenders –

in many cases young people – an opportunity to change direction.

Staffordshire Commissioner Annual Report 2019–2020


Mental health and offending

This included the introduction of a new community triage team, where community psychiatric nurses work with frontline officers to provide support in response to calls from individuals with mental health issues, and an increase in NHS provision for people needing a place of safety. As a result, the number of individuals ending up in custody in these circumstances reduced by over 80% in Staffordshire. I also pushed for a change in the law in this area. The initial change outlawed using cells as a place of safety for under- 18s and placed a time limit on their use for adults, which was a step in the right direction but did not go far enough. In Staffordshire, we have continued to strive to reduce the use of cells as a place of safety for adults to zero. Building on this work, I established a new Mental Health and Community Safety Strategic Board in 2017. The board oversees improvements in health and justice services more generally to ensure that, where appropriate, support is available to divert individuals with mental health needs and other vulnerabilities who come into contact with criminal justice agencies away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate treatment and care. I commissioned social justice charity Nacro to undertake a needs analysis to get a clear picture of the level of demand for mental health diversionary services at different stages of the criminal justice process. The findings have been used to review the adequacy of existing services

Before being elected as Staffordshire Commissioner, it wouldn’t have occurred to me how mental health issues, offending and policing are quite so inextricably linked. At an early stage, I was particularly concerned at the extent to which police cells were being used as so-called ‘places of safety’ for those in mental health crisis because other facilities were unavailable. In some situations, the police may well be needed initially, but once things are under control they are not equipped, nor best placed, to take responsibility for that person for any longer than is absolutely necessary. When people needed healthcare support, too often they ended up criminalised when they shouldn’t have been. In 2014, I commissioned a piece of work to understand the scale of the issues police faced. The Staffordshire Report provided detailed analysis over an eight-week period of all police incidents involving mental health. It illustrated, case by case, the human aspect and the pressures on police officers, often in the middle of the night, dealing with individuals who have some sort of mental health condition. The report led to the agreement of an action plan and a new shared commitment across agencies to improve how they jointly responded to incidents.


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