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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

To receive any apologies of absence.

Minutes:

 

The Vice-Chairman advised that the Chairman was delayed, but that Councillor R J Wells hoped to join the meeting as soon as possible. 

 

There were no apologies of absence from Committee members.

 

The Vice-Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed the Committee’s guests from Kent County Council (KCC); Jim Parris (Community Safety Manager) and Mat Honeysett, Area Manager (West Kent) for the Kent Community Warden Service. Councillor Sandhu also welcomed Kent Police representatives C.I. Roscoe Walford, Dartford District Commander and Paul Cook, Neighbourhood Inspector, Dartford /CSU.

 

The presence of the Strategic Director and the Community Safety Officer, together with the Community Safety and Troubled Families Support Officer from Dartford CSU was also noted. 

 

Lead Member Councillor Mrs Ann Allen (Community and Tax Payer Involvement) was in attendance by standing invitation of the Committee, with apologies being received from Councillor Dave Hammock (Lead Member for Licensing, Obligations and Enforcement).

 

Councillor R J Wells subsequently joined the meeting during the presentations. At Councillor Wells’ invitation, Councillor Sandhu continued as Chairman for the duration of the meeting.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2013 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2013 as accurate.

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held 13 February 2013 be confirmed as accurate.

4.

Urgent Items [IF ANY]

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items to consider.

5.

To consider references from other Committees (IF ANY)

There are no references from other Committees at present.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committies.

6.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 16 KB

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

 

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

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

7.

Presentations on Community Safety and the Kent Community Warden Service

To receive a presentation from Mr Jim Parris, Community Safety Manager, Community Safety, KCC.

Minutes:

The Vice-Chairman renewed his welcome to Jim Parris and Mat Honeysett from KCC and invited them to make their presentations.

 

 

Community Safety

 

The Community Safety Manager gave Members a brief overview of the KCC community safety operation before expanding on the detail of his presentation.

 

He advised Members that KCC’s community safety effort concentrated on ‘front-end’ delivery, based on a county-wide assessment and commissioning process. This covered all areas of community safety operation and need, with the increasing support and involvement of Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner. KCC’s current priorities were based around the ‘Trouble Families’ initiative, with increasing emphasis being placed on addressing the underlying issues ‘Troubled Families’ faced both in the short and long-term.

 

Members were advised that KCC’s key community safety roles were to: provide partner data packs to district Community Safety Partnerships for their Strategic Assessments; produce the county level Strategic Assessment and draw-up Kent Community Safety Partnership Priorities; formulate the KCC Community Safety Framework Document 2012-15; initiate Domestic Homicide Reviews; host and support the Police and Crime Panel (PCP) plus a variety of Monitoring and Reporting duties. Specific details of these roles included:

 

 

Strategic Assessments (SAs) 

 

SAs are a statutory requirement under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Each of the 11 Kent Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) produced a district level Assessment document. The District Assessments were then used to inform the county-wide KCC Assessment for Kent. The data used to inform the individual SA documents was collected and collated by the KCC Community Safety Unit, based on data supplied by the 9 separate organisations plus 8 services within KCC.

 

 

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR)

 

DHRs were commissioned following particularly serious or complex domestic homicides and aimed at providing important learning points for future operations. DHRs were conducted by an appointed Chairman and involved all relevant Agencies involved in the original case conducting Individual Management Reviews (IMRs) as part of the DHR process. The final DHR report was sent to the Home Office for qualification, with ‘lessons learnt’ posted on Agency websites and used in media feedback exercises as appropriate. It was confirmed that no DHR had been conducted in Dartford.

 

 

Kent Community Safety Partnership: CSA Priorities

 

The 6 CSA priorities had been developed by Kent Police for use across the County and were incorporated into Strategic Assessments at District level. The 6 identified priorities were:

 

  • Anti-Social Behaviour inc. Environmental
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Substance Abuse
  • Acquisitive Crime (i.e. thefts/shoplifting)
  • Violent Crime
  • Road Safety

 

Cross-cutting themes for the 6 priorities were:

  • Early Intervention, Prevention & Education
  • Priority Neighbourhoods / Geographic Focus
  • Vulnerable Households & Individuals
  • Safeguarding Children & Young People
  • Reducing Re-offending

 

 

Police and Crime Panel (PCP)

 

KCC hosted the PCP and provided both policy support via the KCC Community Support team and secretarial and administrative support via KCC Member Services. The PCP comprised 20 Members from Kent and Medway District Authorities plus 2 independent Members. The principle role of the PCP was to:

8.

Performance pdf icon PDF 10 KB

To note the attached Performance report detailing reductions in various crime types and perceptions of anti-social behaviour, as discussed by the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership on 13 June 2013.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Performance Progress Report detailing reductions in various crime types and perceptions of anti-social behaviour for the rolling financial year period 1 April 2011 to 31March 2012, against the corresponding period in 2012-13. The report had previously been discussed and approved by the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) on 13 June 2013.

 

The Community Safety Officer (CSO) summarised the headline figures for Members.

 

He advised that total recorded crime in Dartford in the period April 2012-March 2013 compared to the previous period in 2011-12, had fallen by 3.0%. This compared toan increase in Gravesham of 6.2% for the same period. Dartford had recorded decreases in virtually all crime categories however, along with most other Kent Districts, both Dartford and Gravesham had seen an increase in the number of recorded incidents of domestic abuse reported to the Police. Support of domestic abuse victims and reducing the number of repeat victims were priorities with a range of options being considered including an increase in ‘1 stop shop’ facilities to address all aspects of victim’s needs.

 

The Dartford District Commander, Kent Police echoed the concerns of the CSO over the increase in reported incidents of domestic violence. Of particular concern was the fact that in over 50% of cases, the victims subsequently withdrew their complaint and disengaged with the prosecution process. In part this was explained by the fact that victims generally continued to co-habit with the offender and were reluctant to pursue complaints against them. The District Commander advised that on average, a victim suffered 24 separate incidents of domestic abuse before reporting the crime.  An 8 month back-log in Court proceedings considering domestic violence cases added to victims concerns and encouraged their disengagement from the judicial process. The Kent Justice Board had been asked to review the delay in Court proceedings. Supporting victims through a multi-agency approach was deemed essential.

 

The Strategic Director advised that whilst reported incidents of domestic violence were up, repeat offences were down. She agreed that subsequent disengagement from the judicial process by 50% of victims of domestic violence was a major cause for concern and advised that the CSP had commissioned a study by the North Kent Domestic Abuse Forum, to enable the CSP to better understand the factors that might contribute to that statistic.

 

The following points were confirmed for Members in subsequent discussion of individual crime statistics:

·         The rise in ‘Violence against the person’ incorporated figures for domestic violence and witness intimidation;

·         Bluewater statistics had been separated out and accounted for a third of all acquisitive crime in the Dartford area, but overall crime at the complex had fallen by 19% and acquisitive crime by 16%;

·         Fraud and Forgery and Vehicle crime had also decreased significantly.

The CSO advised that from 1 April 2013, following changes in Police Force policy, crime statistics would be calculated on an ‘anticipatory’ basis rather than the present method of reported crime. It was not yet clear whether the new statistical method would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Community Safety Plan 2013-14 pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To note the contents of the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Community Safety Strategy and Action Plan Action Plan 2013 – 14 and to comment accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to consider the Community Safety Strategy and Action Plan 2013-14 attached as Appendix A to the report and comment accordingly.

 

Previously, at its meeting on 13 February 2013, the Committee had considered the annual Strategic Assessment (SA) document prepared by and for the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership. The priorities identified and views expressed in the SA by the Partnership’s individual agencies, together with those of residents and elected Members in both Boroughs, had been taken forward into the Community Safety Plan 2013-14. The Plan would guide the work of all partner agencies and ensure that the Partnership’s focus on its agreed priorities was maintained.

 

Members were advised that the CSU were responsible at District level for implementing the CSP’s identified priorities for 2013-14, which were set out on page 3 of the Plan [agenda page 31] as:

 

·         Anti-social behaviour;

·         Violent crime including domestic abuse;

·         Substance misuse (alcohol and drug-related crime and ASB);

·         Property crime (domestic burglary and theft offences);

·         Safety on the road;

·         Reducing re-offending.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership’s, Community Safety Plan for 2013-14.

10.

Outcomes Regarding Certificate of Authority to Disperse Groups (Dispersal Order) pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To note the report originally submitted to Cabinet on 4 July 2013, summarising the outcomes and actions taken, following the decision to impose a Dispersal Order (Certificate of Authority to disperse groups) on the Temple Hill area of the Borough between 31 January and 30 April 2013.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report detailing the outcomes achieved from the Dispersal Order imposed on the Temple Hill area of Dartford during the period 31 January to 30 April 2013. The report had been considered by Cabinet on 4 July, following initial presentation to the CAP B Committee on 24 June 2013.

 

The Committee had previously considered the background to the imposition of the Dispersal Order and received an update on its initial implementation, at its meeting on 13 February 2013 [Min. No. 21].

 

Members were reminded that the Order to disperse groups of two or more persons under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 had been approved by Cabinet on 24 January 2013 and subsequently co-signed under delegated authority by the Managing Director and the Kent Police District Superintendent. The aim was to actively engage with young people in response to a significant increase in anti-social behaviour and low-level criminal activity in the Temple Hill area in the weeks preceding 31 January 2013.

 

Members were advised that the Dispersal Order combined with the effects of Operation Beethoven; a high visibility Police patrol and enforcement operation instigated immediately prior to the Dispersal Order and continuing throughout the Order period; had produced significant results in terms of crime reduction, providing respite to the wider Temple Hill community and addressing the needs of individually assessed victims. Operational successes detailed in the report included: the dispersal of 26 groups; 350 stop checks of individuals and cars; 7 Acceptable Behaviour Agreements (ABAs); 1 Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO); 5 arrests for possession or cultivation of cannabis; 5 cannabis cautions; 5 arrests for criminal damage and 5 arrests for shoplifting.

 

In concluding their update, Officers and Police partners emphasised to Members that Dispersal Orders were a one-off tool employed as a last resort to meet a short-term crisis: they were not a long-term solution. The reduction in crime and ASB achieved under the Dispersal Order was noticeable, but the Neighbourhood Police team and the Council’s Community Safety team would have to continue to work to ensure that the reduction was maintained.

 

The following points were confirmed in subsequent discussion with Members;

 

·         No displacement of ASB or low-level crime to adjacent areas of Dartford or the town centre had been noted following imposition of the Dispersal Order. Crime figures for the adjacent Newtown Ward (not included in the Order) indicated a positive impact resulting from the measures;

·         The Youth Engagement day held at the Living Well Centre during the Order period had been well supported by providers with some 15 youth service providers attending and expressing a wish to become involved in providing activities for young people in the area, but less well attended by young people;

·         The Neighbourhood Team and the Community Safety Team in conjunction with KCC Youth Services, were working hard to build on the initial success of the Youth Engagement day;

·         The Council, Kent Police and other partner Agencies were using the positive outcomes of the Order to ‘learn lessons’ for the future, target  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 13 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to agree the contents of a rolling Work Programme for the 2013-14 municipal year and beyond, as set out in Appendix A.

 

Members noted that the Work Programme included a review of the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Police and Crime Panels (PCPs), proposed for the Summer 2014 meeting of the Committee. The Shadow Chairman suggested that the Committee would find it helpful to have input from Dartford’s representative on the PCP, particularly in the lead-in to this review and asked if a standing invitation could be extended to the Member.  

 

The Strategic Director confirmed that Dartford’s representative on the PCP was Councillor Martin and advised the Committee that Councillor Martin had already expressed an interest in attending the Committee proceedings, but was otherwise committed on this occasion.

 

Members sought clarification on the inter-action between the PCC and the Dartford and Gravesham CSP and the PCP and the Committee.

 

The Strategic Director advised that the PCC was not a responsible authority on the Dartford and Gravesham CSP but that there was a statutory requirement for the PCC to take note of the CSP’s priorities and for the CSP to take note of those of the PCC. She further advised that the Committee had no locus in the affairs of the PCP but agreed that a greater understanding of its business might assist the Committee in its review of the impact of the new regime.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the rolling Work Programme for 2013-14 and beyond as set out in Appendix A to the report be noted;

2.    That a standing invitation be extended to the Deputy Leader, Councillor A R Martin, to attend Committee meetings as Dartford’s representative on the Kent PCP and update Members on that bodies activities.

12.

Annual Report for the 2012-13 Municipal Year pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To approve the attached draft Annual Report and Appendices for 2012-13 and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a draft report detailing its work during the 2012/13 municipal year, together with Appendices setting out the Committee’s current Protocol, Terms of Reference (ToRs) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP).

 

 

            RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the contents of the Crime and Disorder (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee Draft Annual Report 2012/13 be noted and submitted to the next meeting of the GAC without amendment.