Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Suite. View directions

Contact: Committee Section  Email: committee.section@gravesham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology of absence was received from Lucy Connor, Victim Services Delivery Manager, Victim Support and Chief Inspector Andy Gadd.

 

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2017 were signed by the Chair.

 

A point was raised by a Member regarding the previous minutes that the Police & Crime Commissioner was supposed to be invited to the present meeting.

 

The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) explained that the last date offered had not been convenient but a further invitation would be extended.

 

37.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

The Chair stated that her daughter is a Police Officer based at North West Kent Police Station.

 

38.

To consider whether any items in Part A of the Agenda should be considered in private or any items in Part B in public

Minutes:

The appendix to item 8 will be taken in Part B.

 

39.

Special Thanks

Minutes:

The Committee wanted their thanks recorded for the hard work and response time carried out by emergency services on Saturday night when the violent incident occurred at Blake’s nightclub.

 

40.

Victim Support Services

Minutes:

The Committee was advised that due to ill health the Victim Services Delivery Manager, Victim Support had to give her apologies for the meeting but she advised that she would be happy to bring the presentation to a future meeting.

 

The Chair raised the possibility of creating a special meeting before the next date of October for the Victims Services Delivery Manager to give her presentation to Members. The Committee approved the notion and asked whether it would be possible to have the Police & Crime Commissioner attend the same meeting.

 

The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) advised that she would look into possible dates for another meeting; with regard to the PCC, part of his agenda is working with victims of domestic abuse so he may very well be interested in attending. Once the dates have been checked with both parties, a new date will be proposed to the Chair of the Committee.

 

41.

Vulnerability Investigation Team (VIT) pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the two inspectors from Kent Police giving Members clarity and understanding of the work and roles of officers within the recently formed VIT (dedicated team to increase early identification of vulnerable children and adults/vulnerable victims of ASB/crime and provide them with tailored interventions). (Please see supplementary for PowerPoint presentation).

 

Following Members questions and comments, the Detective Inspector and Inspector, Kent Police explained that:

 

·         Crimes are dealt with in their specialist teams for each area, so a case involving domestic abuse would be handled by a domestic team with officers who are trained to deal with the victims and investigate the crime. An officer might also work with an officer in a different area if the original crime has links to something else

·         On the matter of underage children sharing explicit images with each other, it has to be recorded an offence under Police guidelines but it is down to the officer dealing with it whether or not there is a case for prosecution. The Police do not want to criminalise all children and have it impact them in later life, ways will be looked at as tothe most appropriate action to take; , ultimately it is a judgment call to the officer if it is a case of exploitation or  experimentation etc

·         The VIT team was formed in September; prior to September the majority of crimes were dealt with by a common officer but now there are specialist officers that are trained to the requisite level to deal with specific types of crimes, the load is shared out much better with officers training tailored to the crimes

·         There is always a specialist response and often intermediaries are used for the cases where there is sensitivity, language barriers and disabilities as the intermediary helps to build trust between the Police and the victim. The team will help the victims in any way that they can using various different techniques but no matter the disability or nature of the victim there will always be help suitable for them made available

·         Once a crime has been  reported, that suspect’s name will be listed and it will only be removed once there has been evidence to disapprove the crime

·         If a member of the public calls 101 and their report is suspected to be malicious,, there will absolutely be a response from one of the Police Teams whose job it is to investigate the claims and seek out evidence of any possible crime

 

The officers advised that if Members wanted to help and support the issue of children not being criminalised for the explicit images sharing then they should pen a letter to the Home Office who have control and are able to change current legislation. Members asked that also included in the letter is the request that anonymity for the suspects in sexual abuse cases be the same for victims in that no names are released until proven guilty as people’s lives have been destroyed following false  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Altogether Safer - Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls in North Kent pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager, (Community Safety Unit) presented Members with the Altogether Safer Annual Report 2017-18.

 

In December 2016, the Home Office announced that it had created a Violence Against

Women and Girls (VAWG) Transformation Fund and was inviting bids from Local Authorities and Health Authorities to support projects to address this issue. Gravesham’s Community Safety Unit (CSU) saw this as an opportunity to work with some of GBC’s partner agencies to put together a programme of work to help reduce VAWG and submitted a bid in late February 2017.

 

The announcement on the outcome of applications was delayed due to the General

Election but in July 2017 the CSU received notification that the bid was one of 61 projects nationwide that had been successful. Funding was agreed in full for the project (Altogether

Safer – Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls in North Kent) and GBC have been awarded a total grant of £229,000 over three financial years from 2017-18 to 2019-20 (c. £76,300 p.a.).

 

The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) outlined the three approaches listed in the project which the bid money was spent on over the course of the year:

 

The Weekend/Out of Hours Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) Service (Police Station-Based)

 

A Police Station-based Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service at weekend nights/Out of Hours provides readily accessible, expert advice for victims and front-line officers – crucial engagement at the right time. Victims do not have to wait until the following week for this support which can otherwise be too little, too late and result in a disproportionately high ratio of victims declining to support a prosecution in Dartford and Gravesham.

 

The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) explained that they work closely with Inspector Holmes and directly alongside the VIT team; the Choices charity has been very long established with its advisors highly trained to deal with victim support. The IDVAs have been Police vetted and cleared all the necessary security checks, they also have the ability to access Police systems which is invaluable in responding to victims as early as possible..

 

Due to the unavoidable delay in the project being able to commence, the IDVA service began operating in the autumn 2017. Although the service was initially intended to provide cover 12 hours during weekend nights, the pool of IDVAs trained meant that the project had the capacity to provide additional hours during week nights (Thursday and Fridays) as well as further hours at the weekends. This was seen as a good solution to recoup the hours lost earlier in the year whilst also having the additional benefit of allowing the project to ‘test’ demand for the service during other times of the week.

 

Choose Respect Programme

 

Choose Respect is a targeted programme for boys and young men aged 11-18 years displaying challenging, aggressive, controlling or anxious behaviours. The programme addresses factors influencing their behaviour through small group work and 1:1 sessions proven to reduce and prevent violent and aggressive behaviour. The use of social  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Community Safety Strategic Priorities 2018-19 and Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategic Assessment 2017 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

Members were presented with the Part B Strategic Assessment 2017 for the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership.

 

The Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) presented to the Committee, listed at appendix 1, the annual Community Safety Strategic Assessment completed on behalf of the joint Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership and in accordance with our legal obligations under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. This year, the Assessment has been completed by Dartford Community Safety Unit (CSU). It is provided to the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee in order that Members have an opportunity to note levels in recorded crime and anti-social behaviour and to be apprised of any findings that may have an impact on local community safety priorities.

 

Following an introduction regarding the confidential information in the report, the Strategic Manager (Community Safety Unit) answered Members questions:

 

·         Anti-social behaviour (incorporating criminal damage) had been removed off the priority list of crimes but it is felt that it should remain as a priority action to be dealt with by the Police; the matter will be raised at the next CSP meeting on Thursday as proportionately it is still a large component of total crime

·         The matter of FGM can be looked into further to see if it warrants being moved onto the strategy

 

It was agreed by Members that:

 

·         The content of the Strategic Assessment 2017 (Appendix 1) taking into account the limitations of the document this year as detailed below in this cover report be noted

·         A recommendation be made by the Committee to the next CSP meeting that criminal damage be retained as a priority in the Community Safety Strategy

 

44.

Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel Minutes (15 Nov 2017) pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the minutes of the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel meeting dated Wednesday, 15 November 2018. 

 

The Chair advised that the Councils interest were effectively represented by Cllr John Knight and Cllr John Burden at the meeting.

 

Members noted the contents of the minutes.

 

45.

Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

46.

Exclusion

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 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.

 

 

Minutes:

Resolved that the public be excluded from the meeting because it is likely that in view of the nature of business to be transacted there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

47.

PART B Appendix - Community Safety Strategic Priorities 2018-19 and Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategic Assessment 2017

Minutes:

The appendix was presented and noted by the Committee.