PCC on 2012-10-25
Session date: 
October 25, 2012
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Andrew Morley, Interim Chief Executive, MOPAC


I am going to start today and start by asking some questions about the MOPAC Challenge mechanism. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime has set up what he calls MOPAC Challenge, which is the principal mechanism through which the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime hold the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the top team to account. I believe earlier this month some performance targets were set as part of a 20-20-20 vision.

Perhaps I can start, Mr Morley, with you. Could you just very briefly tell us what that 20-20-20 vision is?

Supplementary Questions: 


Answer for 20-20-20

Answer for 20-20-20

Answered By: 
Andrew Morley, Interim Chief Executive, MOPAC

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): Yes. There is a sort of 20-20-20 challenge. In terms of the performance, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and the Mayor have made a challenge of the MPS which the Commissioner has accepted for a 20% reduction on seven neighbourhood crime types. They are violence with injury, robbery personal and business, burglary residential and non-residential, theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle, theft from a person and criminal damage, otherwise known as vandalism.

Would it help if I just explain how we identified those seven crime types? Would that be helpful?

Joanne McCartney (Chair): That would. That is one of my first questions. Perhaps by saying that you identified it, can I ask what consultation you did? I know the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime said he wants targets that can speak to the public and I want to know how you judge what the public wanted.

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): If I talk about how we identified the crime targets first, then we can talk around the level of consultation around some of that.

We specifically identified those offences which were victim-based offences rather than state-based, so those that are discovered by the police such as possession of offensive weapons and drug offences, because a decrease in those offences could be as a consequence of a reduction in police activity. We also excluded other serious offence types such as rape, serious sexual offences and hate crime, where we actually would not want to disincentivise increased reporting around some of that. Therefore, the seven neighbourhood crime types are victim based, they are high volume, have a sizeable impact and are clearly understood.

In terms of consultation, it resonates strongly with those crimes that the public tell us that they care about from the work that we do in terms of the public attitudinal survey and the work that we do in talking to our neighbourhoods. We certainly consulted with the MPS on that and in coming to that decision, so there was not a specific consultation on these crime types, but it drew from consultation that happens routinely.

I should also say that these are our headline targets. This is not the totality of the monitoring arrangements that we have in place. MOPAC officers will be routinely monitoring performance data coming out from the MPS and if there is anything there that is of concern, that will be raised either through the MOPAC Challenge or with the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime's bilateral meeting with the Commissioner, as indeed where there is good performance to see whether or not there is anything that we can learn which we can apply more broadly. These are headline figures. It is intended to be something that the public can understand and grip but it is not the totality of our monitoring arrangements and our accountability arrangements. We do intend to make sure we are routinely monitoring and asking questions about other offences as and when they come to our attention for either good or negative reasons.

Joanne McCartney (Chair): The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime previously has stated that he wanted the MOPAC website just to have those crime types on it. Given that you say that you are going to be monitoring others, how are you going to make sure that they are publicly available and publicly accessible to the public who are interested in them?

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): We are in the process of working through. I think we acknowledge in MOPAC that we have not done as much as we can around the transparency bit, so certainly the website is not as up-to-date as we would like. We are doing some significant work around that. Most of the data that we will be scrutinising is MPS data, so I may ask Craig Mackey [Deputy Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police] to talk about the extent to which that is publicly available because we would not want to replicate what is already out there. Our activity is around analysing MPS data and identifying as part of that whether there are any concerns. I do know that the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is concerned to ensure that there is transparency, so I am sure that we will be doing everything that we can as appropriate to make sure that data around performance is available. Craig, I do not know if you want to

Joanne McCartney (Chair): I was going to ask Craig: are you happy with the targets that have been set or is there anything that you as a police force have professionally thought that should be in there and that you should be delivering on?

Craig Mackey (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service): Thank you, Chair. Although there is a focus clearly from the Mayor's office about those types of crimes, it does not mean we are not monitoring all the crimes we deal with as we always have done. We have got both a daily dashboard and a weekly dashboard of what is going on across the MPS, so we know from those very low-volume high-impact crimes to very high-volume crimes. We know what is going on across the piece and we monitor those and we do provide weekly data to the Mayor's office in terms of those crime types.

A lot of the crime types as well now are uploaded onto the internet so you can go onto the National Crime Mapper and actually look at a lot of crimes in your area. There are new ones now with postcode search where you can put comparators between postcodes, so a lot of that data is out there and is available on the website.

Joanne McCartney (Chair): OK. Can I ask, one of the concerns I think is that you have said you have excluded crime types which if people report will go up. However, of course, the police force and ourselves are very used to asking questions and dealing with those sorts of crime types and we are aware that there may be very different factors as to why crime types may go up.

Do you think the public is not bright enough to understand that, too? Is that why we are not publicising or setting clear, publicly available targets in your headline targets?

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): No, I certainly do not think that that is the case. I certainly would not accept that sort of challenge. These are headline targets. They are volume targets. They are impact targets. It is about where we can ask and where we can use diagnostics to identify how the police are performing in terms of making London safer. As I say, these are not exclusive targets. It does not mean that we will not be monitoring. So whereas there might not be targets, we will be routinely monitoring data across all police performance.

I can absolutely assure you that if there are issues of concern around that, we would absolutely be raising it with the Commissioner in the bilateral meetings that we have with the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and within the MOPAC Challenge. Of course, the MOPAC Challenge is a public meeting. The bilateral meeting with the Commissioner is minuted and agendaed, so there will be transparency and I can reassure you on that. I would also anticipate that this Committee would not allow us to get away without asking difficult questions if there were areas of concern.

I think, going back to the data point, the presumption is that data will be open and that we will share as much data as we possibly can. That is already the case and we will want to do so similarly to ensure that the public is informed, as are this group and other interested parties, to ask intelligent questions of us.

Joanne McCartney (Chair): OK. Jenny wanted to come in on this point.

Jenny Jones (Deputy Chair): I just think that is complete nonsense and you should put this data up immediately. I think that is a completely nonsensical reason for not putting data up. I am absolutely appalled at what you are telling us. We have gone through this year after year with the police and you are just trying to hide things if you are not putting it up.

Plus, on this so-called Challenge, the press and bloggers are finding incredibly difficult to find out about it. They were only told the day before. You are talking about holding this Challenge in public, but actually you make it quite difficult for people to get there.

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): Can I make two points on that? I have not said that we will not put the data on the site. The issue is about the seven crime types for which we have set specific targets. I have said that we are absolutely committed to openness and transparency around police performance to inform accountability, so the premise of the question is not right. We have not said that we are not putting data up. We are not in of the intention of hiding information and data.

On the second point around the MOPAC Challenge piece, this is a developing entity. It is a new thing. We absolutely recognise that we want that to be as the primary source of challenge a meaningful meeting and that does require the public and the press and other people to have ample notice of it. I am confident that in time and with experience you will find that to be a very effective forum for the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime to hold to account the MPS.

Jenny Jones (Deputy Chair): Somebody said it was as challenging as asking somebody if they wanted milk in their tea.

Joanne McCartney (Chair): We will monitor it.

Fiona Twycross (AM): I just wanted to come in and ask a question about domestic violence and why that was not covered. It would seem to fit the general criteria but obviously also fit the reservation about not including areas that if reporting increases the figures are likely to go up. Surely the MOPAC Challenge should be more ambitious and it should be about addressing issues that are of considerable concern.

The figures on domestic violence really are of huge concern and I cannot believe that they are not of huge concern to the general public and going back to Jo's point about actually giving the general public some credit in terms of being able to understand that if figures go up it might be because reporting is increasing. It is an area that we need reporting to increase in order to address it. I just wondered if you could comment a bit on why domestic violence was not included as one of the seven key indicator crimes, given its significant and given its seriousness.

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): OK. The first thing I will say is that the Mayor absolutely recognises the significance around domestic violence and violence against women and has made some very ambitious commitments around that within the manifesto. For example, continuing the provision for Rape Crisis and the commitment to develop a panel under the Domestic Violence Service. There are some very firm, tangible commitments around some of that and we have had a successful violence against women strategy, as I am sure you are aware.

In terms of why it was not included in this, I think it is the case that we did not want to put cases in that disincentivised reporting. Also, domestic violence is not in itself a category. So we will be monitoring it. I think the point that I wish to make I want to make the distinction between headline targets and the assumption or the premise that that means that we will not be monitoring or holding to account the MPS for performance against other metrics, which we absolutely will. The Mayor's commitments around violence against women I think do support a very strong priority to be afforded to that area. As part of the London Crime Reduction Board, which the Mayor chairs and the Deputy Commissioner chairs the Delivery Group, it is one of the priorities of that group.

There is a lot of activity and as part of that there will be routine monitoring of performance which will be publicly available and which this Committee will see. It is entirely appropriate at some stage that that might be something and in fact, I think it has been agreed that that will be a theme of one of the MOPAC Challenges. In the MOPAC Challenge there is a general performance piece but there will also be thematic sessions where we can have a discussion about our record and I am fairly confident, if I recall, that violence against women is one of those that will be discussed, and rape.

Fiona Twycross (AM): So that will be covered at one of the MOPAC Challenges. I am concerned that, going back to the truism that what gets measured gets done, if it is not on the list of the key priorities, then there is always obviously a danger that it would not get covered and it would not get addressed properly.

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): I recognise the concern. Again, I go back to what I said earlier. We as MOPAC officers are routinely monitoring all MPS data. Within that, we are identifying good practice and bad practice to inform the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime's interventions both at bilateral meetings with the Commissioner but also the agenda for the MOPAC Challenge. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is absolutely committed to ensuring that we hold the police to account across a range of activities. This is a mechanism to ensure that we have headline targets which resonate with the public and that the public can understand. There may be a discussion around that. I have explained the rationale for identifying the offences that we have done. However, it does not mean that we are only measuring or only monitoring those targets. We are monitoring all MPS data.

Craig Mackey (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service): If it may help, we are reporting weekly on domestic violence, domestic violence incident numbers, domestic violence sanction detection rates and domestic violence arrest rates, so those are being reported and monitored weekly. They are part of the suite of key performance indicators that the MPS monitors on a weekly basis.

In relation to rape, as I think some of the debates we have had before around this table, the one we are monitoring is rape sanction detection rates.

Joanne McCartney (Chair): Can I ask just on that? In your answer to Fiona [Twycross], you said that one of the reasons you did not want to put these types of crimes up was because you thought it might disincentivise people from reporting. I do not get the link between making something a target and it disincentivising someone from reporting.

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): You are quite right to challenge that because that is clumsy language. A rise in reporting is not necessarily a bad thing because it talks to confidence and that is what we do not want to be confusing in the performance metrics. It absolutely is the case and the 20% challenge is supposed to be a very broad one, which is why we tried to identify those offences where we think that is both achievable and does not fall into any other complex issues. It is more about making sure that we do not misunderstand that an increase in reporting in cases of domestic violence or rape may very well be a good thing. It is not a good thing, but it may be a positive commentary on the confidence in the ability of the police service to respond to that and the criminal justice service, and we would not want to get those two confused.

Joanne McCartney (Chair): I just want to pick up on something you said. These targets were picked because they were very achievable. That seems to be the wrong way to pick targets.

Andrew Morley (Interim Chief Executive, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime): Sorry. No, you are quite right. This is a new experience for me. They are challenging but we do have a level of confidence that they are attainable. Obviously we would not set targets that are not attainable at all and they are huge challenging targets, which is what I think the Commissioner said when he agreed to accept the challenge.

Craig Mackey (Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service): A 20% reduction and the challenging one in the 20-20-20 we spoke in another place about reducing 20% of costs. The challenging one is the 20% uplift in public confidence. That is the challenging one.