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Agenda and minutes

No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive any apologies of absence.



Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Avtar Sandhu, MBE and Councillor Mrs Ann Allen.


Councillor Matthew Bryant had initially advised that he would be late, but in the event was unable to attend the proceedings.


The Chairman gave a particular welcome to Councillor Steve Doran who was attending her first Crime and Disorder (O&S) meeting, following her recent election as Councillor to the Swanscombe Ward.


The Chairman also welcomed the recently appointed Kent Police District Commander for Dartford, Chief Inspector Ian Humphereys to his first meeting of the Committee.


Finally, the Chairman welcomed the Deputy Leader, who was attending his first meeting of the Committee by formal invitation, as the Dartford representative on the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel.




Declarations of Interest

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


There were no declarations of interest.


Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2013 pdf icon PDF 61 KB




That the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2013 be confirmed.


Urgent Items [IF ANY]

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


The Chairman advised that there were no urgent items for consideration by the Committee.


To consider references from other Committees (IF ANY)

There are no references from other Committees at present.


There were no references from other Committees.


Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 19 KB

To consider any issues arising from the published Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 January to 31 May 2014.




That the contents of the published Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 January to 31 May 2014 be noted.


Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) : Contribution to Aims of the CSP



Presentation by Dr Liz Hunt, DGS CCG Deputy Clinical Accountable Officer and Debbie Stock, DGS CCG Chief Operating Officer.



The Chairman confirmed the earlier email notification from the Committee Clerk that the proposed presentation had been cancelled due to the late and unexpected withdrawal of one of the principle speakers. He proposed and it was agreed, that the item be formally deferred and added to the Work Programme under Item 10 of the published agenda.


The Chairman advised that both the Deputy Clinical Accountable Officer and the Chief Operating Officer of the DGS CCG had indicated that they would be available to attend the Committee’s meeting on 23 July.




Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP)

To receive an overview of the workings of the Kent PCP from the Council’s representative on the Panel, Councillor A R Martin (Deputy Leader).


The Chairman renewed his welcome to the Deputy Leader and thanked him for agreeing to attend and update the Committee on the progress of the Kent Police and Crime Panel (PCP).


He confirmed that the Deputy Leader had accepted a standing invitation to attend future meetings of the Committee; on a similar basis to the attendance of Lead Members Councillor Ann Allen and Dave Hammock; to update the Committee on PCP activity as Dartford’s representative on the Panel. The Chairman proposed that a PCP Update become a standing agenda item for future meetings of the Committee and invited the Deputy Leader to address Members


The Deputy Leader gave the following background to the formation of the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP) from its inception on 29 November 2012 [replacing the Shadow Panel] and its work during 2012/13.


Members were advised that the PCP was a joint Committee of Kent County Council and Medway Council. It included representatives from each of the 12  District Councils in Kent; plus a further 4 Councillors chosen on the grounds of political balance and 2 Independent Co-opted members, Mr. Dan McDonald [CE of Medway CAB] and Mr. Gurvinder Sandher [CEO Kent Equality Cohesion Council].


The Panel has been established to scrutinise and maintain a check and balance on the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The Panel has no direct control over the PCC, but could require her to attend public meetings, provide information and review and make comments on the draft Police and Crime Plan and expenditure proposals, including recommendations on the level of the Police precept and the funding of CSPs. In cases where the PCC disagreed with the PCP’s recommendations the Panel had power to review and veto the precept proposed by the PCC.


The Panel could also review and veto a decision to appoint a Chief Constable and review (but not veto) the appointment of various other staff in the office of the PCC, including that of a Youth Commissioner (YC), a manifesto pledge made by Ann Barnes. The PCP had not reviewed the first [failed] appointment of a YC, but with hindsight should have done. The Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP, had been critical on this point and the PCP would be meeting to consider the new appointee whose nomination was expected shortly. The Deputy Leader advised that, to her credit, the PCC had commissioned an independent report into the process of the first appointment in an effort to learn lessons for the selection of her successor.


Other staff changes in the office of the PCC during 2013 included the departure of the Chief Executive. His replacement as Chief of Staff came from a HM Forces background (RAF). Ann Barnes had elected not to appoint a Deputy PCC. The new Chief Constable Alan Pughsley had formerly been Kent’s Deputy CC. He was one of only 47 possible candidates for the post; given the Deputy CC qualifying criteria and the need to recruit from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Strategic Assessment 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 11 KB

To consider the Strategic Assessment 2013/14 document, agreed by the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) at their meeting on 14 January 2014.

Additional documents:


The Chairman asked the Community Safety Officer (CSO) to present the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment 2013 document, as agreed by the CSP at its meeting on 14 January 2014.


The CSO reminded Members that under the Committee’s Terms of Reference, and as an Overview function, the Committee was required to consider the annual Strategic Assessment (SA) in connection with the discharge by the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) of its Crime and Disorder functions.


He advised that the Strategic Assessment 2013 was a slimmer summary document (in comparison to previous annual publications). Changes to crime categories and data sources, as detailed in para 6 of the covering report, had imposed an obligation of confidence on the Council, further reducing the size of the SA.


The CSO highlighted the following key points in the SA 2013 document for Members:


(i)            Suggested Priorities for 2014-15 [agenda page 21]


·         These remained the same as those identified for 2013/14 and were: Anti-social behaviour (ABS), Violent Crime including Domestic Abuse, Substance Misuse (alcohol and drug crime and ASB), Property crime (domestic burglary and theft); Reducing Re-offending and Road Safety.


(ii)          Ethnic Profile and Deprivation [agenda page 22]


·         A significant change in demographics seemed to support findings on the ground that European including Eastern European migrants were settling in the Borough, with differing cultural norms leading to an increase in some types of ASB;


(iii)         Total Recorded Crime [ page 23]


·         In recent years the CSP has managed to successfully and significantly reduce crime in Dartford year on year. This downward trend was always going to be difficult to maintain in future years as evidenced in the figures for 2012/13 in table 1;

·         Recorded crime was now split into two categories - Victim based crime and Crimes against society;


(iv)         Crime Resolutions [ pages 24 /25]


·         Presentation of crime outcomes / resolutions has also changed making previous comparison exercises difficult;

·         Kent Police now present ‘Anticipated’ crime rates rather than previous year/month comparisons;

·         The data presented in the SA can be used as a ‘snap-shot’ taken at a particular point in time which can then be used as a base-line for the next assessment completed around the same time this year (2014);

·         The use of more detailed crime resolution data is to increase public understanding of how crimes are dealt with or ‘solved’ by the police;


(v)          Violent Crime [ page 26]


·         Violent crime had increased across Kent in the period ending 31 March 2013 including in Dartford and Gravesham;

·         Dartford’s Town Ward was shown as having the second highest violent crime level in Kent with the Night - Time economy in the Town Centre being a major contributor to the statistics (consistent with previous years);


(vi)         Domestic Abuse [ page 27/28 ]


·         Incidents of domestic abuse had increased in both Boroughs, with Dartford showing a smaller increase of 7.9% or 101 offences;

·         This increase is seen as a positive aspect, demonstrating that victims had greater confidence in the police, by coming forward to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 9 KB

Members are invited to note the contents of the Committee’s rolling Work Programme for the current municipal year and beyond as updated, and to propose further topics for inclusion.



The Chairman proposed and the Committee agreed that the presentation from Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group [Agenda Item 7 - Min. No. 19] be re-scheduled for the next meeting of the Committee on 23 July 2014 and the Work Plan amended accordingly. He advised that both speakers had indicated their ability to attend on that date.


He also proposed that the planned review on the introduction of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the formation of the Police and Crime Panel (PCP) and their impact on community safety in Dartford; due to be considered by the Committee on 23 July; be dropped from the Work Plan given the new regular PCP Update item from the Deputy Leader [Min. No. 20].


In response to a question, the Strategic Director suggested that the PCC might be reluctant to appear before the Committee in person, given that it was the role of the PCP to scrutinize her performance not individual Councils. She was aware in this context that the PCC had already declined an invitation to attend the Council’s Borough and Parish Forum to address Member’s questions and concerns.


The Deputy Leader advised that the PCC held her own Crime Prevention Forums together with the Chief Constable. Such an event held in Dartford would provide an opportunity for Members to meet the PCC and put their concerns. Members agreed that any Forum held by the PCC and the Chief Constable should be open to all Members including Parish Councillors.


The Strategic Director undertook to confirm for Members what the PCC proposed in relation to Dartford and report back.





1.      That the Committee receive a presentation from senior officers from the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (DGS CCG) at  its next meeting on 23 July 2014;


2.      That the proposed review item on the introduction of Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner and the formation of the Police and Crime Panel  be dropped from the Work Plan in favour of regular updates from the Deputy Leader as the Council’s representative on the PCP [Min. No. 20].


3.      That the Strategic Director establishes what proposals the PCC has for meeting all Dartford Members, including Parish Members, to discuss Crime Prevention and Community Safety issues.



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 7 May 2014:


(i)            Wednesday 23 July 2014;


(ii)          Wednesday 11 February 2015




To note the following dates for future meetings of the Committee subject to approval by the General Assembly of the Council at the Annual Meeting on 7 May 2014:


(i)            Wednesday 23 July 2014;


(ii)          Wednesday 11 February 2015