Agenda and minutes
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An apology for absence was received from Cllr Gurjit Kaur Bains.
The minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2019 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Leslie Pearton declared an “Other Interest” in Item 6, Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategy 2019-22 as his daughter was a Prison Officer based at Cookham Wood.
The Assistant Director (Communities) presented the Committee with the Terms of reference for the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair explained that the minutes of the Committee were reported to Full Council and could be reserved for discussion.
The Committee noted the Terms of Reference.
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) provided Members with details of key work that had been undertaken during the period April-September 2019 or that was planned for delivery this year in addressing the strategic priorities identified in the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategy 2019-22.
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:
· To support the work of the Community Safety Partnership the internal community safety budget of £15,000 is utilised. There is also the Police and Crime Commissioner Community Safety Fund of c.£34,000 which the partnership bids for each year, however; the areas the money is spent on has to meet criteria of the PCC i.e. contribute towards the priorities in the Policing and Crime Plan and not overlap/duplicate work already funded by the PCC. The Community Safety Unit (CSU) also bids for external funding e.g. from the Home Office and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
· The Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategy 2019-22 is meant to be a broader document rather than an action plan. Further detail on what actions have taken place will be reported to the relevant Cabinet Committee.
· The Community Safety Unit are working closely with KCC and the Waste Management Team at GBC to tackle fly-tipping and other environmental crimes.
· There have been a couple of ‘Cuckooing’ cases in the Borough. A multi-agency approach has proved very successful and the victims have been well supported.
· Priority 2 has a focus on continuing to reduce ASB incidents by taking a holistic approach in each case looking at any underlining issues which need to be addressed. This involves looking at the causes of ASB and what drives that behaviour.
· The Community Safety Priorities - Public Opinion Survey was widely promoted and community groups were targeted. However, the response from ethnic minorities was quite low and the method of community engagement will be reviewed for the next consultation.
The Committee noted the report and thanked the Community Safety Unit and Community Safety Partnership for a really good strategy.
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) provided Members with details of key work that has been undertaken during the period April-September 2019 or that is planned for delivery this year in addressing the strategic priorities identified in the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategy 2019-22.
The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) highlighted the following:
· In Gravesham, a total of 5,370 offences were recorded between April-August 2019 compared to 5,915 offences in the previous year – a drop of 9.2% (545 fewer crimes). This compares to an average decrease across Kent and Medway of 8.8%.
· In the time periods considered, violent crime (comprised of violence against the person,
sexual and robbery offences) has reduced by 7.3% or 190 fewer crimes from 2,610 to 2,420 offences.
· Overall the Total Crime by Offence Category table on page 41 shows decreases against most of the offence categories apart from vehicle crime and ASB which have seen a slight increase.
· The Altogether Safer – Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Project
has been funded by the Home Office, having been awarded c.£248,000 over three years (including additional funding awarded in 2018-19) from the VAWG Transformation Fund.
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) have been introduced at North Kent
Police Station since late 2017 for 12 hours per week. The intention is to provide victims
with expert support and advice at the right time, reducing the risk of repeat victimisation and prosecution withdrawals. The OOHs IDVAs have supported 232 adult victims during
that time who between them had 306 children who would have potentially witnessed or
experienced some of the consequences of domestic abuse in the home.
· Choose Respect Programme: A target of 70% was set against each of the following measures – end assessments demonstrating these were exceeded for each indicator with the following results:
- 100% were able to identify respect, honesty and empathy as helpful for effective
- 100% now had the ability to be assertive (i.e. not to bow to peer pressure to behave in a particular way);
- 100% agreed their aggression had decreased;
- 100% were able to identify 3/+ healthy behaviours;
- 100% felt their understanding of feelings had increased;
- 100% felt able to identify strategies for managing feelings as a result of Choose Respect;
- 98% were able to identify relationship skills/factors including self-esteem, assertiveness and healthy boundaries;
- 92% felt their ability to cope with stressful situations had increased;
- 87% were able to identify that abuse occurs in relationships because of power and control;
- 78% felt feelings of anxiety and worry had decreased.
· KECC and Rethink have organised and delivered a range of community engagement events, used as opportunities to open discussions about VAWG issues and increase awareness of services. A major initiative has been the delivery of an annual women and girls only conference and social event – the latest having just taken place in September 2019. The Sadi Awaz Suno (Listen to our Voices) event has been incredibly successful: the original ... view the full minutes text for item 69.
The Assistant Director (Communities) presented the Committee with the Councillor proposed options for review at future meetings of the Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee:
1. Town Centre Crime
2. Illegal handling and use of drugs/alcohol in public places
3. Knife and violent youth crime
4. Rural and semi-rural areas
The Committee discussed each topic in turn and Members highlighted their preference.
The Committee felt that two reviews should be selected now and the remaining topics could be considered at a later date along with any new topics Members may wish to consider.
· The Committee conduct a review of Town Centre Crime, chaired by Cllr Baljit Hayre
· The Committee conduct a review of knife and violent youth crime, chaired by Cllr Lauren Sullivan
· The Chair of the Committee (Cllr Steve Thompson) will liaise with the Chief Executive to clarify the political balance for each sub-group. Once clarified the membership of each sub-group will be decided.
· Both reviews to run concurrently and be completed by March 2020.
The Committee considered the Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2018
The Cabinet Member for Community & Leisure explained that the Police and Crime Commissioner will be coming to the Civic Centre on 12 November 2019, 2pm – 4pm.
The Cabinet Member for Community & Leisure stated that he is happy to raise any items Members may have at the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel.
The Chair advised that for future meetings it would be good to have the agenda pack for the Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel as well as the minutes.
Members noted the content of the minutes
The Chair explained that if Members of the Committee had any items they would like the Committee to consider then they should contact the Chair or Assistant Director (Communities) or the Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit).
Note: Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox (Cabinet Member for Community & Leisure) spoke with the leave of the Chair on this item.