Agenda item

Activity of the Gravesham Vulnerability Panel (GVP) (Community Safety Partnership Sub-Group)


The Chair welcomed Steve and Lorna Nolan from Gravesend Sanctuary and Junior Dann, Chief Inspector, District Commander Kent Police and James Beautridge, Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police to the Committee.


The Community Safety Operations Manager apologised for the use of an acronym on page 11, he confirmed it stood for house in multiple occupation.


The Committee were provided with an overview of the Gravesham Vulnerability Panel meeting and discussed Case Studies.


The Gravesham Vulnerability Panel had been established through the Community Safety Partnership (CSP). The Panel was a multi-agency group and comprised of representatives from a very wide range of statutory and voluntary sector organisations. They met on a monthly basis, virtually by Teams, and the meeting was chaired by Kent Police (usually the CSU Inspector or Sergeant) and was administered by the Community Safety Unit. 


The Community Safety Operations Manager informed the Committee that the Gravesham Community Safety Partnership were reviewing the Terms of Reference and an update would be provided at the next Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee.


Case Studies


The Community Safety Operations Manager introduced Case Study 1 referred to in the report and added the following:


A representative from the Gravesham Vulnerability Panel (GVP) informed the Community Safety Operations Manager that agencies had come to rely on the GVP as they gave valuable support and resources to enable adults to receive advice from other agencies and that they felt supported throughout the process.   This enabled the vulnerable person to recover from their long journeys.  


A short testimonial from Look Ahead:  


I have come to rely on GVP for invaluable information and advice. It has proved to be a vital resource to enable me to assist my customers.  To be able to have access to so many different professionals for help and advice has brought about greatly improved outcomes for the customers I support.    I know that I have access to a wealth of knowledge in my continued support of this customer. These are resources that I may not otherwise have been aware of.


Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge, Kent Police introduced Case Study 2 and Steve and Lorna Nolan from Gravesend Sanctuary introduced Case Study 3.


Steve Nolan thanked the Council and the Committee for their support with the Gravesham Vulnerability Panel and the help with all the complex cases that had been referred, working alongside a number of other agencies. 


The Chair thanked Steve and Lorna Nolan, James Beautridge, Acting CSU Inspector, Kent Police and the CSU team for their contribution to these case studies. 


Following questions and comments from Members, the Community Safety Operations Manager, Lorna Nolan and Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge the following areas were raised:



  • The Committee also thanked all those involved for all the support and guidance they provided and all the good work they do.
  • The Committee discussed any prosecutions related to some of the individuals involved in the case studies and the importance of them being looked after and to stop them becoming victims and in some instances the best option is removal from the situation of the vulnerable person. Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge explained that all reports were investigated and were continued to be followed up included through CCTV and discussions with local residents.  These vulnerable people received the same level of service as everyone else and due reports made some prosecutions have been made. The Community Safety Operations Manager explained that all additional criminal behaviour is investigated and due to the investigations, a landlord had been served with an Emergency Prohibition Order.
  • Homelessness was discussed and the reasons why some homeless person would not report a criminal activity to the Police was they did not want the Police to be aware of the situation.  Lorna Nolan explained that there were two types of people in this situation – the vulnerable and those that commit crime.  More people have travelled through Gravesham and there were reports that some of those people had exploited homelessness people. As COVID funding finished Gravesend Sanctuary informed the Committee that numbers had increased and they dealt with more people coming straight out of prison.   The Community Safety Operations Manager added there were currently weekly meetings of the Rough Sleeper Initiative and a number of sessions run by the Housing Service specialising in rehousing.  This could be discussed at a further Committee meeting.
  • HMO’s (house in multiple occupation) were discussed and whether it was correct for a female to share if the majority of occupants were male.   A team specialised in HMO’s visit and check the properties on a regular basis.  Was there a ratio of female/male that could live in a HMO?   The Community Safety Operations Manager did not think that female/male ration could be applied, but will check and come back to the Committee on that point.   The Community Safety Operations Manager has since checked and confirmed there is no requirement or ratio requirements.
  • A question had been asked about Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.  If someone had been vulnerable to themselves and anyone else could you use that to make sure they go into an institution?  Acting CSU Inspector, James Beautridge informed the Committee that could only be used if they were out in public and they needed immediate help.  Under Section 136 they could only be held for a short amount of time to allow safeguarding and to receive immediate help that would be required from the Mental Health Team or the Crisis Team and if deemed they could section the person.  Under Section 136, an individual would not be removed from their own home.  


The Chair thanked the Community Safety Operations Manager for the comprehensive report and all the hard work especially during this Pandemic.


The Committee noted the report.


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