Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions
Contact: Committee Section Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Ejaz Aslam, Cllr John Caller, Cllr Aaron Elliott and Cllr Leslie Pearton. Cllrs Jordan Meade, Cllr Bob Lane and Cllr Harold Craske substituted.
The minutes of the meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday, 20 January 2022 were agreed and signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were made.
Kent Police Update
The Committee received a verbal update from Inspector James Beautridge.
In the Town Centre there are currently 3 PC’s and the following figures are from October 2021 – March 2022: -
Knife Crime and Serious Youth Violence Topic Review
Cllr Rana updated the Committed with the work being done on the Knife Crime and Serious Youth Violence Topic Review.
There have been two workshops where a number of different parties were invited to. It was well attended and the feedback and questions were very positive. One of the main points that was mentioned was that although a lot of work was being done in the background this was not communicated to residents either via social media or through websites.
What was found was that perception of crime plays a big part in in people feeling safe. Reporting needs to be encouraged and the police need to communicate positive actions. PACT meetings are a great way of the police communicating with communities and a good way of putting their worries and issues across and the Police being able to know what areas they should be focusing on.
Attendance is crucial that the police attend any incidents. Early reporting of crimes allows the PCSO’s to stop any further crime. At Kings Farm and Whitehill the PCO’s, who patrolled the area, are quick to respond to local issues e.g. car crime or unruly behaviour by teenagers and actually stopped further crime happening.
PCO’s that are out patrolling in those areas have regular contact with the local councillors, which is good.
Another area that was reviewed was the statistics of crime. The improvement statistics that Kent Police have made on knife crime was hardly known or there was very little information available to the public. People need to know where to go to view these statistics and also be able to report a crime online. Publishing the statistics has shown that Gravesham is one of the quietest towns in Kent regarding knife crime.
The second part of the review was regarding young people. How do the different organisations in Kent engage with them to stop knife crime becoming a real issue. What was found was that there was no central place where activities were being advertised to inform children and young people where to go and participate in the clubs / activities. Not many people knew that Charlton Football Club were hosting a “kick about” at Kings Farm. The Violence Reduction Unit mentioned this event which had a real positive effect as it took a number of children off the streets to play a game of football. This should be advertised as positive news.
What was also found was that the Northfleet Youth Hub, The Grand, and youth clubs were hosting events that were being run successfully but were not being advertised anywhere so parents and guardians were unaware they could take children to these events. Communication has to get better along with engagement with young people to inform them of where to go for events in their local area. Whilst there is an issue, there is a lot of good work happening to reduce knife crime further.
From May 2022, further funding from the Government will be available to run youth programmes ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Town Centre Topic Review
The Committee received a verbal update from the Assistant Director (Communities) regarding the Town Centre Topic Review.
Members of the Topic Review group met last week to look at the scope and next steps for this review. As the Town Centre Crime review is quite broad, Members agreed the first meeting would be to confirm that daytime responses to crime and understand the actions taking place. The review would then move to discuss the night time economy and the crimes association with that. Additional partners would be asked to speak to Members e.g. Kent Police, G-Safe, Street Pastors and representatives from licensed premises to establish the facts around the current position.
A subsequent meeting would be held to discuss how to make the town safer especially for women and girls. Plenty of ideas have been forthcoming and one of those approaches was to look at sending a questionnaire to businesses, residents and visitors to get their ideas around what steps can be taken to help people feel safe.
Those meetings will take place with a report coming back to this Committee in October.
Following questions and comments from Members, the following was discussed:
The Committee were presented with the minutes of the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel held on Wednesday, 8 December 2021.
The Committee noted the minutes.
To move, if required, that pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from any items included in Part B of the agenda because it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted that if members of the public are present during those items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act. Part B Items likely to be considered in private.
Items likely to be considered in private
Resolved pursuant to Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from any items included in Part B of the agenda because it is likely in view of the nature of business to be transacted that if members of the public are present during this items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.
Strategic Assessment 2021 – Summary of Key Findings
The Community Safety, Strategic Manager informed the Committee of the key points raised in the Gravesham Annual Strategic Assessment 2021 – A Summary of Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour prepared on behalf of the Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP).
The production of the Strategic Assessment is an annual exercise carried out by all
CSPs with the primary purpose of reviewing levels of crime, disorder and anti-social
behaviour (ASB) in their area and providing an opportunity to revise existing
strategic priorities to reflect changing circumstances.
The report highlighted changes in levels of crime and anti-social behaviour and the Borough’s position against that of other Kent Districts and Medway. It concluded with recommendations that have been adopted by the CSP and that will form part of its prioritised work programme over the next 12 months.
Following questions and comments from Members, the Community Safety, Strategic Manager explained that:
Resolved that the Committee considered and offered comments upon the content of the report as appropriate.