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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies For Absence

To receive any apologies of absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors D A Hammock and A R Martin (Committee invitees) and from Chief Inspector Roscoe Walford, Dartford District Commander Kent Police.

 

The Chairman welcomed Susan Moyse and Tina Hughes from Kent Probation and Inspector Paul Cooke, Neighbourhood Inspector, Dartford CSU. He also noted the presence of the Strategic Director and the Enforcement Manager and the Community Safety Officer from the CSU.

 

Lead Member Councillor Mrs Ann Allen (Community and Tax Payer Involvement) was also in attendance by standing invitation.

 

15.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members including the term(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

16.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2012 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2012 be confirmed as accurate.

17.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

Newtown shooting ­- 12 February 2013

 

The Chairman sought an update from Inspector Paul Cooke (Dartford Neighbourhood Inspector, CSU) on the fatal shooting that had occurred in the Newtown area of the Borough the previous evening, 12 February 2013.

 

Inspector Cooke confirmed the details circulated earlier in the day to Members by the Strategic Director. Two Dartford residents, a man and a woman, remained in police custody following the fatal shooting of a Dartford man in Overy Street, New Town at approximately 8 pm the previous evening. The name of the victim was being withheld at this stage by the senior investigating officer (SIO) for operational reasons. It was understood that the victim was known to the arrested couple. Given the on-going nature of the enquiry Inspector Cooke was unable to comment further. However he advised that measures had been taken to re-assure local communities. 

 

The Chairman thanked Inspector Cooke for his update and expressed his satisfaction with the Police response to these tragic events and the measures being taken (together with Council staff in the CSU) to re-assure local residents and businesses in the areas concerned.

 

The Vice-Chairman added his own thanks for the Police response to this tragic incident and for the continuing efforts by Police and Council Officers to re-assure residents and businesses in the area. In his role as Ward Councillor, the Vice-Chairman had issued a statement to the local press in response to the shooting and had expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the deceased man. He added that, in general terms, Dartford remained a safe and friendly environment in which to live and work: it was important to re-enforce this positive message with the public and the media.

 

18.

To consider references from other Committees (if any)

There are no references from other Committees to date.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees.

19.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed that the Committee consider parts I and II of the Strategic Assessment document consecutively [agenda Items 10 and A] rather than taking the EXEMPT papers separately, at the end of proceedings.

 

 

 

20.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider any issues arising from the published Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 January 2013 to 31 May 2013.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 January to 31 May 2013 be noted.

21.

Regulation 10 Notice [General Exception Provisions Relating To Key Decisions] : Certificate of Authority to Disperse Groups pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To note the details of the attached Regulation 10 Notice issued under the General Exception arrangements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was asked to note the details of a Regulation 10 Notice issued under the General Exception arrangements in accordance with Standing Order 54 (6) (e), in relation to a matter which was a Key Decision: a decision having a significant effect on communities living and working in two or more Wards of the Borough.

 

The Regulation 10 Notice (originally presented to Cabinet for approval on 24 January 2013) requested authority to issue a Certificate of Authority / Authorisation to Disperse Groups [a Dispersal Order]; in a designated area in and around Temple Hill, Dartford under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 [part 4, Sections 30-36].

 

Cabinet delegated authority to the Managing Director (DBC) and the Superintendent (Kent Police) to co-sign the Dispersal Order in response to a significant increase in anti-social behaviour and low level criminal activity on Temple Hill in the preceding weeks of January 2013, which had resulted in a negative impact on vulnerable residents and businesses in the area.

 

The Strategic Director apologised to the Committee for a procedural error. She advised that the Crime & Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee Chairman, rather than the Chairman of Scrutiny, should have been asked to co-sign the Regulation 10 Notice. This did not affect the validity of the Certificate of Authority.

 

The Committee received an update on the implementation of the Dispersal Order and the developments leading up to the decision to take the exceptional action from the Neighbourhood Inspector (CSU).

 

Inspector Cooke advised that the Dispersal Order had been formally signed on 31 January 2013 for a period of 3 months until 30 April. He explained that in the period immediately prior to signature twenty four (24) separate reports had been completed on victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Temple Hill, with most of the alleged offenders being youths living in the area. This was an exceptionally high number and a firm indicator that prompt intervention was required to prevent escalation. The Dispersal Order was a preventative measure, aimed at dispersing groups of two or more youths and to bolster public confidence and perception that ASB was being effectively tackled by the authorities. In related initiatives, Police resources were also being deployed to tackle alcohol and drug misuse on Temple Hill. Residents appeared to be gaining in confidence following the new measures and an increasing number of residents were coming forward with information to help the Police and Council Officers in the CSU in their efforts to combat the increase in crime in the area. Businesses in Temple Hill now received daily visits from CSU staff as part of the new measures.

 

The Vice-Chairman thanked Insp. Cooke for the update and for the joint Police / CSU presentation given the previous week to Ward Members and confirmed his support for the action taken.

 

He added that from personal observation and his discussions with residents; drug misuse and drug-related crime were also major problems in Newtown and noted that the current Dispersal Order only applied to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Kent Probation : Service Overview and contribution to CSP

To receive a presentation from Kent Probation.

Minutes:

 

The Chairman renewed his welcome to Susan Moyse and Tina Hughes from Kent Probation and invited them to address the Committee.

 

Tina Hughes informed Members that from 1 March 2013, she would be the Local Delivery Unit Director for North Kent. She was attending the meeting in an observer capacity and to gain further insight into Kent Probation’s current work in Dartford and Gravesham, prior to taking up her new role.

 

Susan Moyes advised Members that she was the Senior Probation Officer for Dartford and Gravesham, in addition to chairing the North Kent Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). She proposed to address Members directly (rather than make a formal presentation) on the work that Kent Probation was currently undertaking in the Dartford and Gravesham areas and how it linked into the aims of the CSP. Members were advised of the following principal areas of activity:

 

Reducing Reoffending: Appropriate Interventions

 

Kent Probation was responsible for assessing individual’s likelihood of reoffending and the risk they posed to others. Identifying the factors that led to reoffending behaviour in individuals and deploying appropriate interventions to reduce reoffending and harm was a key area of work. Ensuring that individual offenders received the most appropriate intervention(s), matched to their learning styles, began at the pre-sentencing stage. Interventions included; one to one supervision, the reducing reoffending stand-alone requirement and a range of Home Office accredited programmes to variously address; domestic violence, anger management, drink impaired drivers, sex offenders and thinking and behavioural deficits.

 

Desistence

 

Kent Probation also drew on emerging research on the process of ‘desistence’ (stopping offending) and the benefits of the multi-agency collaborative approach for effective one to one work and individually tailored interventions. In all these approaches emphasis was placed on active and engaging supervisory practice that allowed methods to be matched to offender’s individual learning styles.

 

Offenders released on Licence

 

In addition to continuing to support the work of the Courts, Kent Probation also monitored those offenders released into the community on Licence. Contrary to popular belief, offenders were only granted Licence to return to the community when 50% of their sentence had been served.  Allowing an offender to complete the second half of their sentence on Licence was aimed at supporting rehabilitation into the community. However, if reoffending occurred and /or risk increased, the offender was recalled to custody and the Licence rescinded to protect the public and reduce the likelihood of further victims.

 

Community Payback Scheme

 

Members were advised that the Community Payback Scheme administered by Kent Probation had celebrated 40 years of operation in November 2012, attracting coverage on both BBC Radio Kent and ITV Meridian News.

 

The Community Payback team continued to identify and implement community projects to be undertaken by offenders who had unpaid work hours imposed on them by the Courts. Unpaid work successfully punished offending behaviour and made reparations to the community in which the offender lived; in addition to providing a positive form of rehabilitation and reintegration for offenders back into society.

 

In particular,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment (SA): Part I - Executive Summary pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To consider the Strategic Assessment (SA) Part I: Executive Summary, agreed by the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership on 15 January 2012.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Chairman invited the Community Safety Officer (CSO) to summarise Part I of the Strategic Assessment (SA) document [Executive Summary], prior to the Committee going into closed session to consider the EXEMPT material contained in Part II of the document.

 

The CSO reminded Members of the history of the SA, first introduced in 2007. He advised that Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) were legally obliged to complete an SA (an audit of crime and disorder levels) on an annual basis under the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Production of the SA for the Dartford and Gravesham CSP was undertaken alternatively by the CSO and the Strategic Manager in the Gravesham CSU, who was the author of the 2012 document.

Members were advised that the primary purpose of the SA was to provide an analysis of changes in levels of recorded crime and disorder over the previous 12 month period [1 October to 30 September the following year] and to develop suggested strategic priorities, to form the basis of the Community Safety Action Plan for the following 12 month period [October to September].

The 2012 SA document had been agreed by the Dartford and Gravesham CSP at its meeting on 15 January 2013 and would be used to inform the Community Safety Action Plan for the two Boroughs in the 2013 -14 cycle.

The CSP had concluded that subject to consultation, the priorities for the new Community Safety Plan 2013 /14 covering the period 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 should be:

·         Violent Crime (including domestic abuse);

·         Anti-social behaviour (ASB);

·         Acquisitive crime;

·         Substance misuse;

·         Safety on the road;

·         Reducing re-offending (as a cross-cutting theme).

It was also proposed that a new Safety on the Road Sub-Group be formed within the CSP to more effectively tackle this growing area of increasing concern during the 2013/14 cycle of activity.

The Chairman thanked the CSO and his colleagues in both the Dartford and Gravesham CSUs for compiling the 2012 SA document and proposed that the Committee move into closed session to consider the EXEMPT material in the remainder of the SA. 

 

24.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That by virtue of paragraph(s) 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended); the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely closure of exempt information.

25.

Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment (SA) : Part II [EXEMPT]

Minutes:

The Committee considered Part II of the Strategic Assessment (SA) 2012 document in closed session, given the EXEMPT nature of the material.

 

Members noted the overall reduction of 8.1% for recorded crime for Dartford for the period ended 30 September 2012 compared to the previous 12 month period ending 30 September 2011. Members noted significant reductions in the categories of Criminal Damage, Fraud and Forgery, Sexual offences, Vehicle theft and Anti-social behaviour [for Dartford as a whole]. The reductions were in part offset by increases in Burglary, Robbery and Domestic Abuse.

 

Members requested that greater narrative detail be provided in future Strategic Assessment documents to give better context to the statistics. Members also renewed their request that offences committed in Bluewater [the ‘Bluewater effect’] be separated out from the overall statistics for Dartford, to give Members a clearer indication of the crime profile of the Borough.

 

The CSO advised that the data sets contained in the SA document came from a range of Agencies outside the control of the Dartford and Gravesham CSUs. However, wherever possible, he and the Gravesham CSU Strategic Manager endeavoured to provide as much anecdotal detail as possible to supplement the statistics. He confirmed that Bluewater data was detailed separately for meetings of the CSP and would ensure that this would be replicated for the 2013 SA document.

 

Further discussion concentrated on the 9.3% increase in Domestic Abuse in the Borough [Agenda p56 / SA document p14]. In particular, Members sought details of the measures being deployed to protect victims of domestic abuse. Members appreciated the difficulties Local Authorities, Kent Police and the NHS faced in trying to address domestic abuse issues: many victims of abuse were either too afraid to complain, felt they contributed to the abuse in some way or simply accepted abuse as part of their everyday life. Members advocated an integrated approach, involving the Council’s Housing Services, the Police / CSU and the NHS, as being essential to effectively tackling this growing social problem.

 

The CSO agreed that the issues surrounding instances of domestic abuse were complex. He informed Members that the CSU, North Kent Police and the Council’s Housing Department were all working to reduce instances of domestic abuse and it was hoped that a further drop in the number of cases involving repeat victims [currently down by 0.7 %] would be achieved through this coordinated multi-agency approach.

 

The CSO further advised that the North Kent Domestic Abuse Forum oversaw a ‘one-stop-shop’ for victims of domestic abuse, enabling them to report offences and seek help on a confidential basis. The service was advertised in the local media and currently based in the Citizens Advice Bureau in Dartford. Other venues were being considered, included local libraries and Darent Valley Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department. The Hospital’s Clinical Partnership Group was due to report back on the A&E venue proposal in April. The Forum also offered a ‘sanctuary scheme’ to domestic abuse victims to enable them to remain safely in their homes. He  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

THE MEETING RESUMED IN OPEN SESSION

27.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Members are invited to note the contents of the Committee’s rolling Work Programme for 2013/14 and to comment accordingly.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman sought approval of the statutory and discretionary elements of the Committee’s Rolling Work Plan as set out in the published agenda.

 

The Strategic Director suggested that the Committee might wish to discuss the outcomes of the current Dispersal Order for Temple Hill, in some 6 months’ time, at the Committee’s summer meeting now re-scheduled for July 2013.

 

The Enforcement Manager (CSU) added that an ‘Exit Strategy’ would form part of the wider Temple Hill Dispersal Order arrangements.

 

The Community Safety Officer (CSO) advised that new legislation governing measures to combat ant-social behaviour (ASB); updating the present ‘Tools, Powers and Processes’ guidelines; was due to be enacted in the next 18 months of the current Parliament. He suggested that the Committee might usefully review any new legislation that reached the statute book at their summer meeting in 2014.

 

The Neighbourhood Inspector (CSU) warned that the Dispersal Order and other related initiatives to combat rising drug and alcohol misuse in Temple Hill would inevitably result in an increase in crime statistics. He expressed the hope that any increase in statistics be viewed in the proper context; that of positive Police and CSU action to combat crime, rather than as a negative statistic.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Committee’s Rolling Work Programme as set out in agenda pages 41-42 be noted with the following additions:

 

Summer 2013: Work Plan item (ii) Review Outcome of Temple Hill Dispersal Order including Exit Strategy.

 

Summer 2014: Work Plan item (ii) Review any new legislation addressing anti-social behaviour (ASB).

 

28.

Dates for future meetings

To note the dates proposed for future meetings of the Committee, subject to approval by the General Assembly of the Council at its Annual Meeting on 8 May 2013.

 

(i)            Wednesday 11 September 2013

 

(ii)          Wednesday 12 February 2014

 

 

Minutes:

The Strategic Director advised that an amended date for the summer 2013 meeting of the Committee had been agreed with the Member Services Manager, subsequent to the printing of the agenda.

 

It was now proposed that the summer meeting of the Committee revert to July each year, when the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) considered the Annual Action Plan document. The Committee had met in September 2012 exceptionally, to allow feed-back on the London 2012 and Paralympic events held in August that year.

 

The Committee Co-ordinator was asked to circulate the revised date to Members in due course.

 

Subject to presentation to Cabinet in March and approval by the General Assembly of the Council at the Annual Meeting on 8 May, Members noted the following dates for future meetings of the Committee in the 2013/14 municipal cycle:

 

July 2013 [exact date t.b.c.]

 

Wednesday 12 February 2014