Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Cllr Aaron Elliot. Cllr Alan Metcalf attended as substitute.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee held on Tuesday, 14 March 2023 were agreed and signed by the Chair.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Cllr Pearton declared an interest as his daughter was a prison officer at Warren Wood.

 

4.

Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

Before the item commenced the Chair thanked Simon Hookway (Assistant Director) following his departure from the council after 37 years of service. Many members of the committee worked closely with him during that time and really valued the support and assistance that he provided to them.

 

Members of the committee joined the Chair in recording their thanks and wishing Simon the very best of luck for the future.

 

The Strategic Manager introduced this item and stated it was for the new members of the committee to help inform them about its terms of reference. The committee were reminded of their important function in scrutinising the work of the partnership and that it was a statutory requirement for local authorities to have this committee.

 

The committee noted the report.

 

5.

Tackling Nuisance Bikes and Vehicles

Minutes:

Due to police unavailability, this report was not discussed.

6.

Safer Streets Project pdf icon PDF 6 MB

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager, Community Safety Administrator, and G-Safe Business Crime Reduction Initiative delivered a presentation to members (included in the agenda pack), and highlighted the following key points:

 

·       A successful application was submitted for just over £61k, matched to a total of £122k by Gravesham Community Safety Unit (CSU) in collaboration with other partnerships.

·       The project area covered approximately half of each of the previous Ward areas of Pelham and Riverside.

·       The CSU focused on strengthening formal surveillance where the police had proposed it would be worth having additional CCTV. New cameras had been introduced as a part of this work.

·       The CSU had also focused on streetlights as part of strengthening surveillance. They had secured external funding to upgrade the current heritage street lighting. This part of the project had been delayed slightly due to a component in the streetlights which prevented the upgrade. The contractors had to create a new part which allowed for the upgrade to proceed. However, it was predicted that it would be completed by January 2024.

·       The CSU worked on improving natural surveillance, such as clearing the overgrown vegetation, fly-tipping and improving poor lighting on the pedestrian footpath between Thames Way and the Overcliffe.

·       The G-Safe Free Radio Trial and Upgraded Radio Link was introduced.

·       The Gravesham Safe Space Scheme had created locations within the town centre where anyone feeling vulnerable could access help.

·       Bystander Effect training was delivered by Cultivating Minds.

·       Targeted work was delivered to raise awareness of Violence Against Women & Girls (BAME communities) through working with key partners.

·       Two evening and nighttime economy town centre audits had been performed – one at the beginning of the Project and the second on 29 September this year. The Strategic Manager emphasised that when they spoke to residents when it was still light and there was more footfall, residents said they felt safe due to it still being visibly light and busy. However, once it got to 11pm there was very little footfall, and it was dark in a lot of areas. Residents expressed that they felt unsafe due to it being dark and isolated. Corporate work was being undertaken to boost the evening and nighttime economy.

·       The CSU had achieved a full spend, with no overspend.

 

Following questions and comments from members, the Strategic Manager, Community Safety Administrator, and G-Safe Business Crime Reduction Initiative explained that:

 

·       The Strategic Manager would double check with the Parking & Environmental Enforcement Services Manager regarding the strength of the streetlights.

·       G-Safe was a Business Crime Reduction Partnership. They were self-funded from membership subscriptions. It was a very affordable service, but they’re not an emergency service nor a response team, but instead a community initiative that works with businesses to provide a radio and intranet system that was accessible online. It was a well-established and well regarded.

·       The police have a direct crime reporting link via Disc and G-Safe always encourage businesses to make a police report where necessary.

·       G-Safe had one paid employee who deals with the radios,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Policing Update

Minutes:

Due to police unavailability, this report was not discussed.

 

8.

Suggestions for future Topic Reviews

Minutes:

The Chair of the committee encouraged members to put forward suggestions for future scrutiny topic reviews. The following were suggested:

 

1)     E-Scooters and Dirt Bikes

2)     Anti-social behaviour, particularly related to groups of school age individuals in the time frame after school. This links to education at school and encouraging children to be a part of the community/and be more socially conscious.

3)     Rural crime.

 

The Chair thanked Members for their suggestions and advised they would take them away to discuss with the Strategic Manager, and bring this back to the next committee meeting.

 

9.

Latest published Minutes of the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Minutes:

Members of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee were presented with the minutes for the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel. This was for information only. Cllr Mochrie-Cox, the GBC representative on the panel welcomed questions from members and advised if they had any queries to contact him.

 

The committee noted the report.