Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford

Contact: Rebecca Preen  0300 300 4193

No. Item


Members' Interests


To receive from Members any declarations of interest and of any political whip in relation to any agenda item.








Chairman's Announcements and Communications


To receive any announcements from the Chairman and any matters of communication.








Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 25 May 2017 and to note actions taken since that meeting.





RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 25 May 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.





To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 2 of Part A4 of the Constitution.








Questions, Statements or Deputations


To receive any questions, statements or deputations from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 1 of part A4 of the Constitution.










To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review  in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.10 of Part D2. 








Requested Items


To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member under Procedure Rule 3.1 of Part D2 of the Constitution.








Executive Members Updates


To receive a brief verbal update from the Executive Member for Community Services and the Executive Member for Regeneration.







Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) PEEL Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB


To discuss with the Police and Crime Commissioner and senior police officers the findings of a recent HMIC PEEL report, the support of vulnerable children, a recent rise in gang related culture in Central Bedfordshire and any other areas of concern.


Attached are background papers which comprise an overview and summary of the Inspector’s report and the Minutes from a Police and Crime Panel meeting held on 19 April 2017 at which the HMIC report was discussed, with input provided from the Inspector of Constabulary.


Below can be found the link to the full report:-


Additional documents:



The Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) introduced the report, advised on the current position of Bedfordshire police and highlighted improvement measures around victim safety, particularly those in relation to children and vulnerable people. There had been an increase in domestic violence convictions and victim satisfaction with the service and a sharp rise in hate crime, emergency calls and officer redeployment to Manchester and London due to recent national events, creating additional pressures on policing levels within Bedfordshire. Figures quoted in the report in relation to community policing numbers were not as low as they appeared as previous calculations hadn’t included investigatory CID officers, with the Chief Constable committed to increasing those numbers before the end of 2018.


A return to a community policing model would increase public engagement and police presence at community and cohesion events and despite the current low numbers, the boost to the front line initiative was a priority for the Police and Crime Commissioner, facilitating the return to work of officers currently on sick and long term leave. There was a recognised need to address the root cause of speeding in the region, reducing offences and establishing long term solutions.


In light of the report and update Members discussed the following in summary:-

·           That improvements and outcomes were the joint responsibility of the Local Authority, the police, Town and Parish Councils and other strategic partners, including the three local Community Safety Partnership (CSP) teams, acknowledging the different challenges each area of Bedfordshire brought.

·           Whether the re-introduction of community policing would be implemented in time in order to effect an improved HMIC inspection.

·           That there was a need to populate the community police hubs and concentrate resource in the most appropriate places, enabling the reporting of crime in the absence of traditional ‘front desks’.

·           Concerns regarding the long term viability of Bedfordshire police as a standalone force and the benefits of working cohesively with neighbouring forces.

·           A lack of confidence within the rural community in the police and that areas assigned to officers were too large leading to ineffectual outcomes.

·           A need to improve public communication in order to mitigate widespread public dissatisfaction with Bedfordshire police and reinstate officer attendance at Town and Parish Council meetings.

·           Confirmation that a recruitment freeze had been lifted but there was a need for clarity around demand led areas which was proving a challenge for management, with concerns that open vacancies increased pressures on an already under resourced force.

·           The need to identify challenges and training needs in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and the most vulnerable at the earliest possible stage in order to mitigate long term escalations in cost, victim impact and resource.

·           Given a recent national report in relation to stalking offences and poor offender profiling, concerns that processes locally didn’t go far enough to support improvements.



1.     That the updated HMIC report be scrutinised at a future meeting.

2.     That improvements be made to support effective communication with the public, ensuring partnership working with all blue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.