Agenda item

Consideration of the Commissioners Annual Report 2023/24


The Annual report was presented by the Commissioner who explained the progress made against his strategic plans. 


The Commissioner highlighted the following from his report:

  • Commitment to the SPACE programme had been made for a further two years.
  • Road safety, including safe vehicles, ANPR Cameras, speeding and vehicle crime remained a priority.
  • New leadership in both the Police and Fire Service was leading to improved confidence in local services. 
  • Financial forecasts and resources, as highlighted in the annual report, were promising.
  • The recruitment of additional police officers was on track to increase by 250 by the end of May 2024.


The Commissioner thanked the Fire and Rescue and the Police Services; all their staff; volunteers; his Deputy; and the Commissioners team for their support over the past months and helping to provide services in challenging and demanding times.


Following the Commissioners presentation and questioning from the Panel, the following summary of information was shared.  This was in addition to that provided in the written report:


  • Demand for Police services had been managed locally based on knowledge of the area, its challenges and work force capacity.
  • Work was taking place with partners to ensure that the right and most appropriate services attended incidents.  The Commissioner assured the Panel that emergency services would continue to respond to call outs but it was hoped that specialist services would be able to assist in a more timely way.  When more detail was available all partners, including local authorities would be consulted.
  • It was felt that to mention the behaviour of other forces in the Commissioner’s foreword, was inappropriate as there were also issues locally which needed addressing.  The Commissioner agreed to revisit the wording in the annual report as it was not the intention to downplay any problems which Staffordshire services may have.  There was a need to reassure the community that these issues were being addressed.
  • The recruitment of officers was reflecting the community in terms of ethnicity and gender, and it was essential that people feel comfortable in their workplace.
  • Anti-social behaviour was a priority and full access to CCTV and surveillance equipment was critical.  There were many operating systems and managing the amount and type of information coming into the system was challenging.  The project this year would be to understand and develop ways of working together to establish what was available and how it could be used.  It was felt that Community Safety Partnerships were in an ideal place to understand local issues and through working together could focus on local solutions.
  • Technology and consistency within the Fire service was highlighted as a particular issue by the Panel, with some local teams having to print out information before they could respond to incidents as they didn’t have smart technology.  The Commissioner explained that different information storage systems meant that it might be some time before all information was available electronically, but it was confirmed that all front-line services now had smart phones and the service was working its way through the other issues raised in the inspection report.
  • Fire crews of three were being piloted in South Staffordshire, for on call crews.  These were normally used as a backup response and wouldn’t normally be expected to be working alone.  The results of the pilot would come to the panel in due course.
  • Public perception and the need to address incorrect social media was raised. 
  • The Commissioner felt that the service had improved but was not yet where he wanted it to be.  The ‘Engage’ process and support offered was welcomed but the speed of change was frustrating for all concerned, this was despite all the hard work and effort from all involved.  Economic factors also had an impact of delivery.
  • The need to build public confidence in the 101 system was discussed.  The Commissioner reported that a web site was being developed to enable non urgent issues to be reported on line.  Work was continuing on the answering of calls withing a responsible time.
  • The need for the public to see base line data, so that they could see improvement, was raised.  Members were reminded that the Commissioner held regular meetings with the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer to hold them to account.  There were also public performance meetings held with the Chief Constable which could be viewed or watched via Public Meetings - Staffordshire Commissioner (



a)   That the report be received.

b)  That the Panel respond formally to the Annual report including the feedback provided during the meeting, particularly relating to the public perception, performance and fire service pilots and technology. 

c)   That information on the pilot scheme in South Staffordshire (three member crew) be reported back to the panel at an appropriate time.

Supporting documents: