Following the Crime and Disorder Partnership
update to the Performance Monitoring Panel on 27 January 2021,
Superintendent (Supt.) Mark Housley attended to answer
Supt. Housley thanked members for the
invitation to the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel, and
gave an overview of policing and crime figures in the area which
- Confirmation of the Command Team
relevant to South Holland: the local leader and operational contact
was Nick Waters; the Chief Inspector for Boston and South Holland
was Amy Whiffen; the Superintendent across the East was Mark
- Demand for emergency calls had
- Crime had decreased by 3.9% in South
Holland due to impact of Covid which had forced the closures of
town centre shops and night-time economies.
- Violence had increased, particularly
domestic abuse. The Supt. would investigate the reasons for the
increase so issues could be dealt with earlier. Feedback would be
given to the Panel when figures and trends were known.
- The busiest times for police had
been during the rush hour, around 5pm – not late evening as
had often been perceived.
- The response target time of twenty
minutes had been considered reasonable for a rural area.
- Stop searches were few and only
carried out where intelligence had been received, not random.
- Anti-social behaviour reports had
reduced but it was acknowledged that this had been dependent on
tolerance levels which was not controllable.
- Theft of motor vehicles and vans had
been linked to two ATM thefts in the area.
- Burglaries had decreased.
- Data relating to suspects under
warrant and individuals bailed was shared.
- The Supt. acknowledged that
communication with victims of crime needed to improve.
- Demographic data, such as
unemployment statistics and population ages, had been considered
when crime prevention strategies were planned. This had included
work to protect residents from fraud and rogue trader activity.
High unemployment rates were linked to crime, but these were low in
both Holbeach and Spalding at 6% and 4.8% respectively. Areas of
deprivation were challenging and demanded a higher proportion of
- The police strategy needed to be
compatible with local ambitions.
- A review of resources included: PCSO
numbers; the instigation of a Rural Crime Action Team; Roads
Policing Team; 30 additional officers.
Members thanked the Superintendent for the
update and made the following comments:
- Members questioned employment
retention of police and whether the 20,000 recruited nationally
would have made a positive impact.
- Supt Housley replied that retention
had been good and that leaver numbers were low outside of
retirement. A benefit had been seen from the 1220 recruitments in
- Members commented that feedback from
Parish Councils had highlighted there had been a lack of engagement
from PCSOs in rural communities which impeded intelligence
gathering and the exchange of information. PCSOs priorities were
misplaced and had not been community based. How could this have
- Supt. Housley
acknowledged that engagement could have been improved. Strategies
had been imposed rather than drawn from local needs which had been
driven by measures to cope with austerity and funding cuts. There
had been recent improvements in leadership – new Chief
Officers - which valued partnership working and a wider engagement
had been sought. The Superintendent would feedback comments and
would report future actions taken to the Panel at a later
- Members asked whether criminal
reports were able to be made confidentially.
- Supt. Housley confirmed that
identification was protected however full disclosure would be
preferred to assist investigations and prevent future criminal
- Members enquired whether a
collaborative relationship had existed between Lincolnshire,
Norfolk and Cambridgeshire constabularies.
- Supt Housley confirmed that this had
been positive and that regional meetings had taken place.
- Members commented that the police
pilot scheme ‘World Café’ at Sutton Bridge had
- Supt Housley responded that
communities were key to social cohesion with police enforcement the
- Members had been concerned that
emergency calls had been answered by the Norfolk constabulary
instead of Lincolnshire which had caused delays. This had been
experienced in relation to hare coursing when an expeditious
response had been critical. Members thanked Supt Housley for his
work to reduce hare coursing in Lincolnshire.
- Members were concerned about
increased harassment experienced by councillors, especially female
councillors, and that reports to police had not been taken
- Supt Housley was concerned that
harassment reports had not being taken seriously and thanked
members for the feedback. Each incident should have been
- Members thanked the police for the
pilot scheme at Sutton Bridge but stated that youth anti-social
behaviour had been observed when Parish meetings had taken place. A
lack of police response had resulted in a hesitancy of reporting
which in turn had distorted crime figures.
- Supt. Housley confirmed that all
reported crime had been recorded but they had been unable to
respond where reports had not been made. Police and criminal
justice could not provide all of the solutions and the importance
of education needed to be recognised.
- Anti-social behaviour had been a
problem in every parish and members questioned whether the
multi-agency approach to crime prevention had been successful.
- Supt. Housley stated that the
multi-agency approach had been successful however agency budget
silos had hampered progress. Some models had worked well: the Youth
Offending Service and Complex Families model had seen reductions in
youth offending. Increased respect was needed.
- Members asked what action had been
taken with intelligence data provided to police regarding speeding
blackspots. Lincolnshire speeding figures had been too high.
- Supt. Housley responded that
intelligence had informed plans and resources however enforcement
had only prevented speeding when police had been present. Many
speeders had been local residents and the solution had rested with
education and engineering solutions.
- Members asked how Members could
assist the police in a positive way.
- Supt. Housley responded that a
greater understanding was needed from the public, politicians and
MPs in relation to what could be achieved with the limited
resources that had been available. Morale within the police force
had been at a low point and support and appreciation was
- Members requested the
opportunity to shadow police in order to obtain a better
understanding of their work and challenges.
- Supt. Housley welcomed this.
- Members stated that hard-fought
weight limits on roads had not been enforced. Members requested
that police attended to observe the situation.
- Supt. Housley agreed that the
problem needed to be resolved however a police presence had not
been realistic due to limited resources. Consideration of a
different approach would be needed.
- Members stated disappointment that
PCSOs had not engaged with them in relation to speeding issues,
even when this had been directly requested.
- The Supt. acknowledged that improved
performance management and community engagement had been needed and
the resource challenge had been reiterated.
- Members asked what initiatives the
police had planned to put in place to protect South Holland’s
ageing population from crime.
- The Supt. confirmed that plans were
yet to be confirmed but constructive engagement with family members
would be included.
- Members stated there had been
confusion regarding roles and responsibilities of the police which
had negatively impacted public perception. Communication with
residents could have been improved and Parish Councils had been
well-placed to assist.
- Supt Housley agreed that
improvements needed to be in place regarding communication and that
continuous improvement had been an aspiration. Policing had changed
and this had needed to be communicated better.
- Members expressed their support for
the police. The Mini Police programme was praised, and a positive
response had been noted. Was this programme going to be reinstated?
- The programme was halted due to
Covid but had been reinstated. A positive impact had been noted
with a reduction in crime, for example: education and engagement
had limited demand for ‘legal highs’ and removed the
market in some areas.
- Members asked for clarification as
to which emergency service the public should contact when an
extortion attempt had taken place, such as gravel deposited on
- Supt. Horsley confirmed that the
public needed to contact the police by dialling 999 whenever they
had experienced intimidating or threatening behaviour.
That Supt. Housley be thanked for
That improved communication and sharing of information
between the Police, the Council and communities was required, and
that Supt. Housley create a Community Safety workshop in due course
which Members would be invited to attend.