The Scrutiny & Elections Officer advised Members of a change to the planned issues to be addressed under this item. Due to a recent major incident, the Fire & Rescue Service could no longer be in attendance and the update from the Deliberate Fires Group would be rearranged to a future date.
Overview of Bolsover CSP, achievements, and future priorities
The annual review began with an update on the Partnership Plan, recent achievements, and future priorities. The Housing Enforcement Manager briefed Members on the current draft Partnership Plan and explained that there had been an unexpected delay in receiving data from DCC which was impacting completion of the new plan.
A Member queried how well the Partnership was currently working as they were aware of how hard it was to get key personnel to commit to attendance/action. The officer noted that it was an ever-increasing issue, particular with the Probation Service who had been subject to repeated change at a national and local level. The officer did feel however, that Bolsover was one of the better attended Partnerships. It was also noted that the regular staff changes within the Police and Fire Services made it increasingly hard to maintain working relationships. One option to ensure improved engagement from Probation could be online meetings. While the Council currently used Zoom, other partners used Microsoft Teams due to security restrictions and it was hoped the move to Microsoft 365 would mean that online meetings could be used moving forward to ensure attendance/engagement.
Proposed Priorities for 2023-2026 included:
The partnership was supported by a PCC Grant of £25,000 to help deliver small scale projects on youth diversion, crime prevention, safeguarding, and emerging risk and threat.
Public consultation had taken place on the draft plan and the top 5 issues identified were not a surprise to officers, but it did show that littering was no less of a priority as ASB:
· Anti-Social Behaviour 62%
· Drug Use 55%
· Burglary Dwelling 48%
· Littering 48%
· Vehicle Related Crime 45%
A Member asked if these priority areas were reflected in current crime figures. The officer noted that ASB rates had in fact reduced and this was shown in a report to be considered under exempt business. It was potentially more the fear of ASB rather than actual crimes that was fuelling the public response.
Members noted that shoplifting was a huge issue within their localities and was surprised that this didn’t show up in the public response. The officer noted that maybe this wasn’t something that residents feared and as such didn’t rank as a priority for action.
The Housing Enforcement Manager briefed Members on recent achievements including:
· Extreme Wheels – this includes the outreach provision which originally commenced during lockdown
· Football projects during evening/weekends, supported by Shirebrook Town Council
· Support to the development of the Community Rail Partnership Programme reducing crime and ASB along the Robin Hood Line.
· Safe & Secure Scheme – demand for the service was growing constantly
· Cycle security and safety devices
· Wildlife CCTV cameras to address rural crime and envrio-crime
· Bespoke CCTV for domestic abuse cases
Members were also briefed on Contest, the UK’s Strategy for Counter Terrorism. New legislation was expected shortly. There were four Strands to the Contest Strategy known as the 4P’s:
Martyn’s Law was a new duty under the Protect strand:
There were two separate levels of assessment depending on whether the event/space held between 100-700 people or 800+ and an inspectorate was planned to manage compliance with the policy and risk assessment requirements in relation to the duty.
Enforcement Rangers and ASB team
Members were then briefed by the Community Safety and Enforcement Manager on progress by the team. Members were reminded that the CAN Rangers were now called Community Enforcement Rangers and had a much closer working relationship with enforcement officers across other service areas of the Council. It was noted that an approximate breakdown of their workload was:
A Member queried what type of work fell within the ‘Other’ category. The officer confirmed it was mostly attendance at partnership meetings, parish councils, assisting the Out Of Hours warden service (37 instances across the year) and support to falls incidents.
The team had recently supported Operation Sceptre which had focussed on knife crime and completely local area sweeps based on intelligence provided. The team now had access to metal detectors to assist with this work and it had proved a useful engagement opportunity.
While out on patrol officers had apprehended a wanted person in the Creswell area and completed a number of ASB patrols in Whitwell using camera enforcement vehicles during a spate of vehicle and property damage. As mentioned previously the team had been able to purchase mobile CCTV units which could be deployed as required, which acted as a good deterrent and had resulted in capturing evidence
Members were updated on current statistics for tools and powers used under legislation, with Community protection Warnings widely used. The District currently had 4 PSPOs in place – 1 District-wide in relation to dog ownership and 3 linked to community safety issues which had just been extended for a further 3 years (Shirebrook, Langwith Junction and Langwith Whaley Thorns).
The officer briefed Members on the ‘triangle of protection’ and explained how in theory there should be limited number of warnings (CPW) that progress to requiring a Community Protection Notice (CPN). The offence of breaching a CPN carried higher weight and a CPN could only be contested in a magistrate’s court.
A number of Members mentioned the issue of dirt bikes on local trails. Officers advised that the Police were introducing an off-road bike team which they hoped the area would benefit from.
Officers noted that a large amount of ASB cases were linked to adults rather than young people. Often an Anti-social Behaviour Contract (ABC) was used with young people which were usually successful. The Council had been recognised by the Youth Offending Team for its use of ABCs to tackle issues and identifying those in need of support and intervention at an early stage, helping to reduce further offending.
Members raised specific queries in relation to Bolsover town centre and were informed that there had been a huge reduction in calls related to ASB. Officers noted that issues that had arisen before and during the pandemic had now ceased as that specific group of people were no longer an issue. A variety of powers had been used included serving notice on council tenants to remove the offenders from the area. The work by Extreme Wheels and the local youth club had been a massive help in providing diversionary activities for Bolsover children.