Agenda and minutes
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No apologies for absence were received.
The Chair highlighted that at the last meeting of the Committee on 21 January 2020; the Town Centre Crime Review was deferred to May 2020 but this has been deferred again due to the pandemic.
Cllr Lauren Sullivan (Chair of the Knife and Youth Crime Review) advised that a useful multi-disciplinary meeting on 6 March 2020 with representatives from the Police, Schools, KCC, Voluntary Sector and GBC.
The Assistant Director (Communities) confirmed that the Knife and Youth Crime Review meeting was very positive and there is a real commitment to meet and share actions which will tie into future work with the Youth Intervention Panel.
The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that the two topic reviews have been deferred for the time being but their timing will be revisited at the appropriate stage and brought back to the Committee. However, the work already completed will be taken forward with working groups and the partnerships that are already in place.
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday, 21 January 2020 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Leslie Pearton declared an “Other Interest” in Item 5: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking – Presentation, Item 6: Gravesham Modern Day Slavery Strategy 2020-2023, Item 7: Local Policing Update and Item 8: Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel as his daughter is a Prison Officer based at Cookham Wood.
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking - Presentation
The Committee received a presentation on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) by Detective Inspector Kris Eberlein and Sergeant Stacey Chapman that included the following:
· Section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 - Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour
· Section 2 of the of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Human Trafficking
· There is no one type of Modern Slavery; Exploitation, Recruitment, Transit, Control, Money.
· Barrier to disclosing; Lack of awareness that they are a victim, Unaware that help is available, Language barriers, Controlled movement, Fear of repercussions (to themselves or family)Lack of trust in authorities etc.
· Serious Crime Directorate – Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (MSHT) Team will investigate all MSHT offences that have been identified as within the remit of serious and organised criminality and/or of a complex nature. The team deal with Modern Slavery not organised immigration.
· Kent MSHT statistical overview 2019 – 2020:
- 2019: 414 Investigations, 250 National Referral Mechanisms (NRM’s) 25 Arrests
- 2020: 138 Investigations, 96 National Referral Mechanisms (NRM’s) 26 Arrests
The drop in statistics is mainly due to the pandemic.
· The top 3 nationalities for victims safeguarded throughout 2019 were:
- British: 25%
- Vietnamese: 11%
- Romanian: 10%
Detective Inspector Kris Eberlein and Sergeant Stacey Chapman highlighted current investigations and concluded cases to the Committee.
Detective Inspector Kris Eberlein and Sergeant Stacey Chapman fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:
· Convicted criminals are stripped of their assets.
· Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 does provide some safeguarding for people involved in MSHT cases and recognises that they can be both suspects and victims.
· People have to give their consent to enter into the National Referral Mechanism this is a big barrier coupled with the victim not understanding they are a victim.
· The high percentage of British victims safeguarded throughout 2019 mainly relates to County Lines.
· The MHST Team are working with the County Lines Team and Operation Aidant which focuses on child exploitation and child trafficking. Work has begun with secondary schools to raise awareness.
Detective Inspector Kris Eberlein and Sergeant Stacey Chapman offered to provide First Responder training to all Members which the Committee supported.
The Committee thanked the Police for all their good work and offered their sympathies for the loss of their colleagues whilst in service.
The Committee noted the presentation.
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) presented the Committee with a Strategy that aims to increase understanding of modern slavery in our area and that offers an approach that will enable the Council to fulfil its statutory obligations as a First Responder organisation. The Strategy supports the Council’s wider Safeguarding agenda and will ensure that we have procedures in place that are robust and will withstand scrutiny. The Strategy was presented as a draft to the Community and Leisure Cabinet Committee on 15 September 2020 and was fully supported.
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) drew Members attention to the 6 key priority outcomes:
To raise awareness and understanding of modern slavery and its effects across Council
departments and within our local communities
To increase reporting of modern slavery by service providers and the general public
To ensure Council staff and Members have the right knowledge, skills and processes to act
To identify, support, protect and empower victims of modern slavery
To assist in the identification, disruption and bringing to justice of offenders
To have effective governance, processes and clear lines of responsibility
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) highlighted the following:
· The legal framework and strategy are combined in one document so it can be used as a reference tool
· The Strategy will be supported by a detailed action plan
· The draft Action Plan should be completed in the next 2 to 3 weeks
· The Council are working closely with Kent Police and Porchlight; they will be key partners of a small Modern Slavery working group.
· Work will be coordinated through the CSU. The lead safeguarding officer at GBC will work with the Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) to get the group established. The group will report back report to the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee, the Community Safety Partnership and Community and Leisure Cabinet Committee.
· There will be a joint press release for the Gravesham Modern Day Slavery Strategy 2020-2023 that will coincide with Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October 2020
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:
· The CSU recently had made an NRM referral in respect of an individual is believed to be a potential victim of labour exploitation. A separate couple had been victims of labour exploitation and the Council put them in emergency temporary accommodation whilst Porchlight completed the NRM. The couple have been given a reasonable grounds decision and are being supported through the Salvation Army.
· The CSU completed the individual’s NRM referral last week and the decision is still awaited.
· There is currently no additional funding available to support the strategy but now the Council has a strategy and will soon have an action plan and working group, this is a good structure to support a consortium bid, should the opportunity arise.
The Committee thanked the Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) and noted the Gravesham Modern Day Slavery Strategy 2020-2023.
Local Policing Update
The Acting Chief Inspector, Craig West provided the Committee with a Local Policing Update that included the following:
· These have been challenging times; Kent Police have showed resilience and provided a good service with several changes in place such as; community engagement online and chat sessions over Twitter
· Call demand for service: early lockdown saw significant drops in all calls. Calls are now back up to where they were before lockdown, maybe slightly higher.
· Recorded levels of acquisitive crime (burglary, robbery etc) have fallen, homes are safer, more people are working from home, and there are less people out on street.
· There have been drops in shoplifting offences.
· The have been rises in Domestic Abuse; people are at home together for longer periods, financial worries. Work has been done with ‘hidden victims’ with checks on people’s welfare.
· Serious violence levels have dropped.
· Kent Police are working with the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, Spotters (Intelligence Officers)
· Knife Arches and dog detection are being utilised.
· There’s been a significant rise in ASB reporting due to Covid breaches (large gatherings and people without face masks) being recorded as ASB.
· Community Policing Team: have an operation dealing with nuisance use of vehicles / antisocial off-road riding. Several warning notices have been issued, vehicles seized, this will continue throughout the year.
· Human Trafficking: there is an operation coming up regarding sex workers, local brothels and supporting victims.
· Community Protection Notices: Antisocial Alcohol, Begging etc
· Criminal Behaviour Orders and closure orders for premises
· First charge and conviction for a Covid breach resulted in a £400 fine
· PC Wood has joined the Town Centre Policing team in Gravesend.
· Target Organised Crime Group in Gravesend - arrested 5 members last week, seized several vehicles, this is an ongoing investigation
· Kent Police are rising to the challenge and thank all partners who have been involved and provided support including the CSU and local Councillors.
Acting Chief Inspector, Craig West confirmed that he has received a promotion to Chief Inspector and will be moved from the Gravesham area. The new Chief Inspector will start in November and there will be a comprehensive handover. Acting Chief Inspector, Craig West
thanked officers and Councillors for their support and stated that he had enjoyed working with everyone.
Acting Chief Inspector, Craig West fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:
· The Police regularly liaise with the management at the Gravesend branch of McDonalds and the GBC licensing team. The hours of working shifts for the Police will be extended to cover the early part of the evening.
· Electric Scooters are on the Police’s radar. A decision being is being made centrally as to what approach the Police will take.
· Analysts look at Police data and attempt to weed out what is ASB and what is a Covid breach.
· Police Body Cameras are working really well. The technology / equipment has been upgraded and is now a lot quicker to download. The equipment is being used in court and to record ... view the full minutes text for item 84.
Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel Full Agenda (21 November 2019 - latest published)
Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 6 February 2020, please click the link below:
Agenda Pack for the Panel meeting held on 8 September 2020. This Agenda Pack also includes the PCC’s Annual Report 2019-20, please click the link below:
The Committee was presented with the minutes for the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel meeting held on Thursday, 6 February 2020 and the agenda pack for the Panel meeting on Tuesday 8 September 2020, which included the PCC’s Annual Report 2019-20
The Committee noted the information contained within the minutes and agenda pack.