07/2021 – Public Safety Service pilot extension
DN 07/2021 Date: 15/03/2021
The Public Safety Service (PSS) aims to prevent vulnerability and reduce harm, improving the resilience of communities and the Services serving them. Public Safety Officers (PSO) are based in one location and work to develop in depth knowledge of their community and that community’s assets to help the community help itself and improve the targeting of Service interventions where they are needed most, assessing vulnerability and undertaking prevention activity for multiple organisations simultaneously.
A pilot was launched in Craven District in April 2020 with two PSOs, one based in Bentham and one based in Grassington. The pilot has completed its first year and a full evaluation has been undertaken (attached).
Despite running entirely during coronavirus restrictions, the evaluation shows that there is significant benefit to be had from the PSS, both for the Services the PSOs support and especially for the communities they serve. There is significant evidence that the PSS helps to improve visibility, trust and confidence in public services, tackle vulnerability quickly and effectively, and save lives. Moreover, for the Services that fund it, for every £1 invested, there is a return on investment of £4.50. This is mainly from PSOs preventing the need for acute care or more expensive interventions by preventing vulnerability from turning into harm, despite not being able to enter homes or undertake the full scope of their functions.
So far the pilot has been funded through the Policing Priorities Fund (see DN 02/2019). The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will now contribute funds to the PSS as well. Currently the Yorkshire Ambulance Service is a partner in the PSS but does not contribute financially. However, the PSS was always intended to work across police, fire, health and local authority. To attain its true potential and enable roll-out county-wide, an enhanced co-funding model is required with contributions from other partners. The evaluation demonstrates clear benefit and use from health and social services, and there is evidence from the Cornwall Tri-Service model that there is also benefit to Children’s Services and other local authority services. Therefore an external partner has been commissioned to develop a full partnership business case.
As a result, it is proposed to extend the pilot for a further year while expanding the number of PSOs by two to explore benefits outside of coronavirus restrictions and test the model in different settings.
The Commissioner has decided to extend the Public Safety Service pilot for a further year, committing NYFRS funding in addition to funding from the policing precept. The pilot extension will seek to further understand the benefits of the Service outside of Coronavirus restrictions, and will increase the number of Public Safety Officers by two to allow for assessment of the role in different contexts. The Commissioner has also decided to invest £50,000 to commission the development of a partnership business case to develop an enhanced co-funding model.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
Statutory Officer Advice
Legal, Management and Equality Implications
The Commissioner’s Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, is satisfied that this report does not ask the Commissioner to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.
Financial and Commercial
The Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer and S151 Officer has advised that sufficient funding has been provided within the Police and Fire budgets to support this ongoing pilot.
Public Safety Service Pilot Phase Two Evaluation
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