The Government is clear that PCCs must achieve significant reductions in crime and restore the public’s confidence in the CJS.
The Beating Crime Plan is the Government’s strategy to do this; it makes clear, evidenced-based and targeted interventions, underpinned by common sense policing lay at the heart of reducing crimes such as burglary and robbery. The Home Secretary has also made it clear to Chief Constables and PCCs that they must get the basics right and improve forces’ performance across the country.
To support the Beating Crime Plan, the HO introduced a number of measures to focus effort on key national priorities and allow performance to be measured. They were introduced in early 2021 and many use year ending June 2019 as a baseline.
Below is an overview of Kent Police’s performance against the measures:
Reduce murder and other homicides
In 2022/23, there were 15 murders and other homicides; an increase of 7.1% (or 1) on the previous year.
Reduce serious violence
In 2022/23, there were 156 offences classified as Gun crime; a decrease of 27.8% (or 60) on the previous year.
Knife related offences
Data from NHS regarding u25 admissions for assault with a sharp object is not available; Kent Police use proxy measures based on recorded offences.
In 2022/23, tier one and two knife related offences decreased by 6.6% (or 62) compared to the previous year.
The VRU monitors knife enabled Serious Violent Crime for under 25s. In 2022/23, there was a 15.6% increase compared to the previous year.
Violence with injury
In 2022/23, there were 18,059 offences; a decrease of 1.3% (or 232) on the previous year. Compared to year ending June 2019 baseline, a decrease of 10.8% (or 2,182).
In 2022/23, there were 1,261 offences; an increase of 5.8% (or 69) on the previous year. Compared to year ending June 2019 baseline, a decrease of 36.4% (or 721).
Disrupt drugs supply and county lines
In 2022/23, there were 4,826 drug offences; an increase of 16.2% (or 674) on the previous year. Compared to year ending June 2019 baseline, an increase of 52.2% (or 1,656).
[N.B. This type of offence is influenced by proactive policing; levels and trends should not be considered a measure of criminal activity in relation to drugs]
Trafficking in controlled drugs increased by 85.3% (or 964) on the previous year; and increased by 111.3% (or 1,103) on the June 2019 baseline.
Possession of drugs (excl. Cannabis) increased by 9.7% (or 64) on the previous year; and increased by 37.9% (or 199) on the June 2019 baseline.
Possession of Cannabis reduced by 15.2% (or 358) on the previous year; and increased by 20.7% (or 342) on the June 2019 baseline.
Reduce neighbourhood crime (NHC)
[N.B. Relates to four crime types, namely Personal Robbery, Theft from the Person, Vehicle Crime and Residential Burglary]
In 2022/23, there were 15,332 NHC offences in total; an increase of 4.2% (or 614) on the previous year. Compared to the year ending June 2019 baseline, a decrease of 33.5% (or 7,730).
Personal robbery increased by 15% (or 161) on the previous year; and decreased by 32.1% (or 584) on the June 2019 baseline.
Theft from the person increased by 4.8% (or 48) on the previous year; and decreased by 18.6% (or 237) on the June 2019 baseline.
Vehicle crime increased by 7.2% (or 562) on the previous year; and decreased by 27.5% (or 3,151) on the June 2019 baseline.
Residential burglary decreased by 1.3% (or 63) on the previous year; and decreased by 43.8% (or 3,714) on the June 2019 baseline.
[N.B. There is no local or national data available relating to confidence in the Police response to cyber-crime. A proxy measure of the number of recorded online / cyber-crimes where the victim was an organisation has been used]
In 2022/23, there were 114 online related offences where the victim was an organisation; a decrease of 29.2% (or 47) on the previous year.
Improve satisfaction among victims, with a focus on victims of DA
Kent Police conducts three satisfaction surveys:
DA - in 2022/23, overall victim satisfaction was 88.4%; a small reduction on 89.2% in the 12 months to March 2022.
Hate Crime - in 2022/23, overall victim satisfaction was 82.7%; a reduction on 87.5% in the 12 months to March 2022.
Rape - there are two key elements based upon whether a) the victim felt they were treated with dignity and respect, and b) they felt they were treated fairly throughout the case.
In 2022/23, 93.6% of victims felt that officers treated them with dignity and respect; a reduction on 96.2% in the 12 months to March 2022.
In 2022/23, 89.1% of victims felt they had been treated fairly throughout the case; a reduction on 90.9% in the 12 months to March 2022.
Policing Vision 2025
First published in 2016 by the APCC and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Policing Vision 2025 set out a decade-long plan for policing to shape decisions about how police forces use their resources to keep people safe.
It set out what a police service should look like in 2025:
1) Local policing tailored to society’s complex and diverse needs.
2) Specialist capabilities better prepared to respond to existing and emerging crime types.
3) A workforce of confident professionals able to operate with a high degree of autonomy and accountability.
4) Digital policing will make it easier for the public to make contact with the police.
5) Joined up business delivery of policing support services and community safety.
6) Clear accountability arrangements.
As evidenced through this report, I am satisfied that Kent Police is either delivering, or on the path to delivering the Policing Vision 2025.
Whilst funding nationally remains difficult, the force has the highest number of officers in its history, has continued to increase its accessibility and visibility with local neighbourhood policing forming the bedrock of its service, and delivered appropriate specialist capability to tackle all forms of criminality. Accountability arrangements are also clear and transparent with opportunities for the public to observe them in practice.
New or amended legislation represent real opportunities to make Kent safer.
During 2022/23, I am satisfied that Kent Police embraced new legislation such as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022 to keep local communities safe.
Having received updates at my Performance and Delivery Board meetings, I am also reassured the force provides training for officers and staff, empowers them to take appropriate action and puts in place the right resources to address relevant provisions.