Committee considered presentations provided by officers from the Bolsover Community Safety Partnership, Derbyshire County Council Community Safety, the Police and the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (Derbyshire). The presentations highlighted some of the work carried out in relation to community safety,current service demands and impact on resources.
Community Safety Partnerships were made up of local representatives from the Police, local authorities, Fire and Rescue Service, Health and Probation Services, and were known as the ‘responsible authorities’. The responsible authorities worked together to protect their local communities from crime and to help people feel safer.
The Bolsover CSP looked at trends from statistics in relation to recorded crime. Other factors taken into account were information held on the Derbyshire Observatory and Police.uk websites. These provided interactive maps on reported crime and antisocial behaviour in the Derbyshire area which could be broken down further into individual areas such as Bolsover and Clowne.
The Bolsover CSP strategic priorities for 2017-2020 were;
o Acquisitive Crime
o Anti-Social Behaviour
o Child Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation
o Cyber Crime
o Domestic Abuse
o Domestic Extremism
o Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime, Human Trafficking and Exploitation
o Organised Crime
o Sexual Violence
o Substance Misuse
The Community Safety Officer was currently preparing a statement for the Council’s website in relation to modern slavery which would detail the Council’s action in making sure there was no slavery or human trafficking in its business or supply chains.
The Salt Mine Trust had been commissioned to visit schools in the District to teach pupils how to use the internet safely. The Trust had also visited Shirebrook Academy where they had given a talk to pupils on anti-knife crime.
Domestic abuse in the District was high and an ever increasing work load for the Council’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisor & Outreach Worker. Two awareness campaigns had been promoted by Peak FM Radio on behalf of the CSP and the Police - one to encourage the reporting of domestic abuse including cohesive and controlling behaviour andthe second regarding taxi and private hire safety. The campaigns had been targeted at the times when people would be driving to work or school and also because it was usual for a radio to be playing during the day in hairdressing salons. The CSP was awaiting information from the Safer Derbyshire Research & Information Team (SDRI) regarding how successful the campaigns had been. The Independent Domestic Violence Advisor & Outreach Worker also worked with the Freedom Project which empowered people to make better decisions for their children. GP surgeries were also a key partner in relation to domestic violence work and an appointment with a GP was an opportunity for someone to be able to talk about being in this type of situation without their partner being there.
Partnership working was also a big part of how the Anti-Social Behaviour team worked in the District. The CSP carried out a huge amount of work in relation to anti-social behaviour.
Under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, anti-social behaviour was defined as conduct that has caused, or was likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person; conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person's occupation of residential premises; or conduct capable of causing housing related nuisance or annoyance to any person.
Community Protection Warnings (CPWs) could be served on adults in relation to any behaviour seen as a detriment. If the behaviour was not modified then a Community Protection Notice (CPN) could be served. A breach of a CPN was a criminal offence.
In response to a Member’s query, the Housing Enforcement Manager noted that fines for breaches were £100.
For prolific offenders, a Criminal Injunction could be applied for through the courts. However, if someone’s behaviour was so significant then the Council would go to court. A Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) was a substantive criminal offence and carried up to 5 years in prison.
Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) helped make local areas safer places to live and the Council currently had 3 active PSPO’s in the District.
A Closure Power was an order obtained from the court to close down a property and Absolute Ground Possession was applying to the court for possession of a property.
The ASB Case Worker provided some recent case examples to the meeting in relation to 2 civil injunctions and a closure order made in the District.
For young people, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs), were negotiated contracts in place for 6 months and monitored every 2 months.
A Member queried what evidence the CSP had to show that ABCs worked. The Housing Enforcement Manager advised that to a degree this was based on anecdotal evidence. The ASB Case Worker added that ABCs were not a lasting record and were usually successful.
In response to a Member’s question, the ASB Case Worker advised that there were other incentives to address young peoples’ behaviour including boxing, gym and Extreme Wheels. However, these came with conditions and attendance would be expected as part of a contract. Street Games was a charity which brought sport to disadvantaged young people and the Community Safety Officer was looking to see if there was any provision in the District and also if they would take on a disruptive child as a positive lead rather than a sanction. The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner added that this was also about finding out the cause of the bad behaviour.
A Member commented that there was a group which met up at a social club in her ward for single parent families who had children with ADHD.
Members were aware that the MAT (Multi Agency Teams) were disappearing and the CSP was looking at other voluntary organisations and services to use, for example, with regard to substance misuse. The Portfolio Holder forHousing & Community Safety noted that some schools were employing their own MAT worker and these were undertaking work previously carried out by the MAT teams. The Housing Enforcement Manager added that there was significant increase in complex cases which was impacting on the Senior Parenting Practitioner.
A Member felt that the profile of the CAN Ranger Service needed raising as she and other Councillors received calls in relation to antisocial behaviour. She had also found through her parish council meetings that some local residents were unaware that the Rangers dealt with reports of anti-social behaviour.
Other projects in partnership with the Police were with their Rural Crime Unit, such as vehicles ‘off roading’ and damaging crops and a ‘counter terrorism in the community’ project (with DCC) in relation to reporting items such as suspicious packages etc. The CSP also worked with the Fire and Rescue Service via the Deliberate Fires Action Group.
The CSP was currently working with the responsible authorities to identify local priorities for the Partnership Plan 2020 – 2023. Behind each priority would be an action plan. A copy of the draft plan was attached to the agenda for Members information.
Michelle Collins, Community Safety Manager, Derbyshire County Council provided a presentation on the statutory duties of CSPs.
The definition of Community Safety wasprotecting people’s right to live in confidence and without fear for their own or other people’s safety.
CSPs had a number of statutory requirements including the undertaking of an Annual Strategic Assessment, the development and implementation of a 3 year Partnership Plan (refreshed annually) to tackle crime and disorder, anti-social behaviour and reducing reoffending and substance misuse; to cooperate with the Police and Crime Commissioner (reciprocal duty) and to undertake a domestic homicide review - however, in Derbyshire this had been delegated to the Safer Communities Board with the process overseen by the Head of Community Safety at DCC.
At County level, in addition to the above, statutory requirements included having a Countywide Strategy Group (in Derbyshire this was the Safer Communities Board), the production of a 3 year rolling Countywide Community Safety Agreement and to have provision of an Information Sharing Agreement and share specified data sets.
A countywide review of community safety had previously been undertaken and included a review of safer community board structures, local working arrangements and a Police internal review of partnership working. The review had shown that significant amounts of activity were being delivered by multiple partners at a local level and against a number of work streams. Board structures needed updating and streamlining but were fundamentally fit for purpose. There was a strong commitment to partnership working but no appetite to merge CSPs. Some action in addressing the findings of the review had already been undertaken.
In January 2020, a Strategic Risk and Threat event was held with the following priorities being agreed;
o Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
o Anti-Social Behaviour
o Modern Slavery
o Prevent (Counter Terrorism)
o Hate Crime
Two development priorities had been identified which included organised crime including County Lines. It was recognised during the process that community safety harm caused by substance misuse and cyber-crime,whilst not strategic priorities in their own right, were intrinsically linked to the delivery of the priorities identified and would therefore need to continue to be resourced. In delivery of the priorities outlined above, specific focus on prevention and early intervention and data and information sharing would be required.
Glenn Hoggard, Chief Inspector - Communities, Derbyshire Police provided a presentation outlining a typical working day for the police and the impact it had on resources.
· Around 5,300 collisions each year – 367 people killed or seriously injured. The cost of 1 collision to all was £2m and the police also had to report to the coroner.
· Organised crime groups.
· Terror threats - any attack affected Police resources.
· Sometimes covert police officers were put on the streets.
· The night time economy - alcohol and related violence.
· Substance abuse.
· County Lines – the supply of drugs from gangs from the cities into smaller towns.
· Partnership working.
· Violent crime.
· Sexual offences.
· Child exploitation and abuse.
· Missing people – this was a massive demand on the Police. Around 1700 people went missing each year. Also the use of the Police Helicopter, drone and media. If a missing person was found deceased this had an emotional impact on officers too.
· High risk response - costs around £606 each officer
· Modern slavery
· Fraud and cyber crime
· Cybercrime - it’s a global crime
· Antisocial behaviour
· Technology and the internet have transformed how people live.
· Tactical commitments.
· EMSOU (East Midlands Special Operations Unit) one of the largest collaborative units in the country, delivering specialist capabilities on behalf of the five East Midlands police forces - Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
· Burglary – for example, a shed or a garage – the reality was could the Police fully investigate all of these types of burglaries with everything else that was happening.
· Traffic Management – Highways Agency – the Police picked up some slack regarding this.
· Social Care and Mental Health – because the Police were a 24 hour service and social care were 9 to 5, the Police were often contacted outside of hours.
· Dynamic demand.
The Government had made Domestic Abuse a priority for the Police and a significant amount of resource had been put into this. MARAC was a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference which was a victim focused information sharing and risk management meeting attended by all key agencies where high risk cases were discussed.
The role of the MARAC was to facilitate, monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable appropriate actions to be taken to increase public safety. In a single meeting, MARAC combined up to date risk information with a timely assessment of a victim's needs and linked those directly to the provision of appropriate services for all those involved in a domestic abuse case: victim, children and perpetrator.
In response to a Member’s query, Glenn advised the meeting that the percentage of men reporting domestic abuse was increasing, however, it was still an issue as men were not comfortable with reporting it. Michelle noted that she could provide Committee with this percentage data and added that a new publicity campaign was being looked at to encourage men to report domestic abuse which would be promoted by Peak FM Radio. The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety agreed that this was an area which needed more publicity.
Members noted that Police ‘Specials’ were a vital part of Police work. Kevin noted that police officers were being recruited in Derbyshire, however, the number of ‘Specials’ had gone down. Glenn added that more PCSOs were wanting to become ‘Regulars’. This frequency of progression within the force was then leaving gaps in the supporting PCSO posts, which was another challenge for the force to deal with.
A Member noted that Police Call Handlers were adept at knowing when someone was ringing 999 in relation to domestic violence but was pretending to be ordering a pizza. Glenn and Kevin agreed that call handlers were good at looking behind what was really happening with a call.
Kevin Gillott, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, provided a short slide presentation on the Police Budget and Police numbers for Derbyshire between 2010 and 2021.
· Council Tax cap raised to £10pa for a band D property.
· Home Officer Minister, Kit Malthouse, told MPs that PCCs must raise the precept.
· Open letter from the Chief Constable to the PCC outlining the consequences to Derbyshire of not putting the precept up.
· 50 extra police officers by end March 2020 and a further 35 by March 2021 plus 20 PCSOs.
· Savings still need to be made to balance the budget.
· Out of the extra 20,000 police officers, Derbyshire’s allocation was 283 – 85 between now and March 2021 and the balance over the following 2 years.
· No additional funding to replace the lost PCSOs and police staff.
· Risk of police officers having to undertake work currently carried out by police staff.
· Funding for the additional police officers only guaranteed for 1 year.
The Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) although a key agency, did not attend CSP meetings. The PCC gave £25k each year to each CSP in Derbyshire to spend on priorities. The PCC also gave funding to the specialist services.
A Member queried if drugs such as ‘spice’ and ‘mamba’ were prevalent in the District. Glenn advised that this was mainly a problem in cities but not confined to them. These drugs were also presented to the homeless because they were cheap drugs.
Glenn noted that the Police were committed to putting resources into youth provision but Kevin added that the Police were not youth workers.
The Chair asked if there was anything the Committee could do to support the CSP more.
The Community Safety Officer noted that the Acquisitive Crime Group meetings had lapsed. New partners had now been invited, including Trading Standards, and it was hoped this would reinvigorate this area of work.
Due to the previous changes to the delivery of probation services, engagement with local provision had been difficult. The current reconfiguration of the Probation service at a national level was also no impacting engagement. It was noted that a letter lobbying the Head of Probation for Derbyshire would be beneficial.
CCG attendance was also not consistent, potentially due to the recent structural changes. Again a letter lobbying for better engagement may be helpful.
The Community Safety Officer also noted concerns for the workload of domestic abuse and the volume of referrals being received at a local level by BDC staff. Additional resources may need to be considered.
Moved by Councillor Natalie Hoy and seconded by Councillor David Downes
RESOLVED that the presentations be received.
The Housing Enforcement Manager, Community Safety Officer, Anti-Social Behaviour Case Officer, Michelle Collins, Kevin Gillott and Glenn Hoggard left the meeting.