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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 A Sandhu MBE (Substitute Cllr. E J Lampkin), Councillor Mrs S P Butterfill, Councillor S J Doran (Substitute Cllr. G T Prout) Councillor D J Mote and Councillor Mrs J A Rickwood.


The Chairman noted that C.I. Ian Humphreys, Dartford District Commander, Kent Police was unable to attend the meeting due to pressing operational duties and welcomed Inspector Gary Woodward, Kent Police, Dartford’s Neighbourhood Inspector based in the CSU.


The Chairman welcomed Debbie Stock, Chief Operating Officer from the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Andrew Scott–Clark, Acting Director for Public Health from KCC and looked forward to their presentations.


The presence of the Deputy Leader, Lead Members Councillor Ann Allen and Councillor Dave Hammock were noted, also that of the Strategic Director (ES) and the Community Safety Officer.


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.


There were no declarations of interest.



Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2014 pdf icon PDF 113 KB




That the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2014 be confirmed.


Urgent Items

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.



Chairman's Update


The Chairman advised Members that the PCC and Kent’s Deputy Chief Constable had provisionally accepted an invitation to speak at the next Committee meeting on 11 February 2015 about the ‘Policing Vision for Kent’ to be followed by a Q and A session. The meeting would be held in the Council Chamber to allow all Council Members to attend.


Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Forward Plan for the period 16 June 2014 to 31 October 2014.




That the contents of the published Regulation 9 Notice for the period 16 June 2014 to 31 October 2014 be noted.


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

Presentation by Dr Liz Hunt, DGS CCG Deputy Clinical Accountable Officer and Debbie Stock, DGS CCG Chief Operations Officer [originally mooted for February 2014].


The Chairman renewed his welcome to Debbie Stock, Chief Operating Officer, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and thanked her for agreeing to make a presentation to the Committee on the contribution of the CCG to the aims of the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP).


The Chief Operating Officer advised the Committee that the CCG was a small lean group, comprising a Board of 6 GPs plus officers who worked in partnership with the Public Health Directorate of Kent County Council to commission services on behalf of GPs in the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley areas.


The principal aim of the CCG was to identify and meet GP need in terms of patient care with as little bureaucracy as possible. The CCG was a GP membership organisation, it did not commission GPs - this was the role of NHS England. Rather the CCG worked closely with GPs in its area to identify issues and where services were not working, to commission them on behalf of GPs.  This was particularly important in terms of securing financial savings in the continuing climate of fiscal constraint in which NHS funding had been frozen in real terms and would be subject to a significant cut in 2015/16, when a portion of the current NHS funding stream would be transferred to the Social Care budget.


Members received a PowerPoint presentation covering the following principal areas of CCG operation:


CCG Vision


To be a clinically led and innovative commissioning organisation that puts patients first, improves their healthcare outcomes and operates with minimal bureaucracy, underpinned by the following corporate objectives:


      Reducing health inequalities and preventing ill health

      Delivering high quality and safe care including primary care

      Commissioning Comprehensive Healthcare focused around patient care and experience: ‘right care, right place, right time, right outcome’

      Driving efficiency and value for money, without reducing quality of care

      Ensuring effective engagement with patients, carers and the wider population

      Leading continued innovation, research and education & training to stay ahead of the field and successfully plan for the future

      Maintaining organisational health, robust governance and continued good reputation


CCG contribution to the CSP Priority Areas 2014/15 of:


      Anti-social behaviour

      Violent crime including domestic abuse

      Substance misuse (alcohol and drug?related crime and ASB)

      Property crime (domestic burglary and theft offences)

      Reducing re-offending

      Road Safety

The CCG commissioned a wide range of services to support improvements in health and wellbeing including acute, community and mental health services and worked closely with Public Health to identify key priorities based on the health needs of the population. Almost 2/3rds of the NHS budget is devoted to hospitals. As a GP membership organisation CCGs worked with GP’s to provide support outside hospitals to identify issues and where services are not working for patients following discharge.

The main area of commissioning that contributed to CSP priorities revolved around mental health and related to both Children and Adults. Almost 1/3rd of GP  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Kent Police and Crime Panel (PCP)

At the Committee’s invitation, to receive a verbal update from the Deputy Leader, Councillor A R Martin, Dartford’s representative on the PCP.


The Chairman welcomed the Deputy Leader and renewed the Committee’s thanks for his agreement to provide a regular Police and Crime Panel (PCP) update to the Committee as Dartford’s current PCP representative.


The Deputy Leader advised that since his initial update to the Committee on the background and the workings of the PCP in February 2014, the Panel   had met twice in the intervening period on 28 May and 5 June.


Members were informed that on 28 May the Panel had considered a report concerning the recording of crime in Kent. The Panel had requested the report following the Commissioner’s decision in early 2013 to ask Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to undertake an audit of crime recording by Kent Police. The HMIC audit had revealed a 90% accuracy rate for recording crime in Kent which the HMIC had considered to be unsatisfactory. Reporting by Kent Police had subsequently improved and the accuracy rate for Kent crime recording was now between 96-97% [as at June 2014].


The Deputy Leader added that HMIC were now in the process of inspecting every force in the country and findings from 13 Forces audited to date revealed an average of only 80% accuracy for reporting crime with some Forces recording significantly lower figures of accuracy. He said by comparison, Kent’s reporting (even at early 2013 levels) was good.


The Panel had also considered the PCC’s pledge to engage with the Kent public in her role as the primary link between the public and the police through a communications strategy involving twitter, road shows and public meetings. The Commissioner’s communications strategy had subsequently been brought into sharp focus following the airing of the controversial Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary aired on 29 May entitled ‘Meet the Police Commissioner’.


The Panel had formally requested that the Commissioner attend the PCP meeting on 5 June to explain her participation in the documentary which had been carefully edited by the producers [without the PCC’s approval] for maximum impact and had attracted much critical media comment. The Panel had felt that the documentary reflected poorly on the PCC and her judgement and may have damaged the reputation of Kent Police. The Panel had sought an explanation from Ann Barnes


The Deputy Leader had cautioned against nugatory action which the PCP in any case could not enforce. There were also the financial implications of a further PCC election process that resignation would trigger, estimated at some £3M. He believed that the PCC was in the job for the right reasons and that she had been shocked by the documentary and the reaction to it from the PCP, Kent Police and the public.


The PCC had formally apologised to the Panel, to Kent Police and the public. The Commissioner also regretted not clearing her proposals to participate in the documentary in advance with the Panel, whilst noting that the Panel was aware of the project from cameras in the Kent Chamber and Panel Members [including the Deputy Leader] participating in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Performance pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To note the attached Performance report detailing reductions in various crime types and perceptions of anti-social behaviour (ASB), as discussed by the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) on 26 June 2014.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the Performance Report presented to the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) on 26 June 2014, detailing performance relating to levels of crime and anti-social behaviour recorded in Dartford and Gravesham during the financial year 2013-14. The report also compared the position of both Boroughs to other Kent Districts and areas within the ‘Most Similar Group’ - areas that have a similar demographic to the joint Dartford & Gravesham CSP area.


The CSO advised the Committee that the rise in crime statistics recorded in the report should be viewed in the context of both the changes to crime categories, as advised to Members at the last meeting on 12 February 2014, when the Committee considered the CSP’s Strategic Assessment document and the highly accurate way that Kent Police were now recording crimes following Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary (HMIC) inspection of Kent Police carried out the previous year (2013).


Members were reminded that crime statistics now fell into two distinct categories:


(i)            Victim based crime e.g. assault; and


(ii)          Crimes against society e.g. arrest for possession of drugs


Both categories were compared against an anticipated rate created using crime reported over a 5 year period to establish a performance trend. Previously, performance was based against crimes committed in a 12 month period against crime committed in the previous corresponding 12 month period. This had led to a ‘target driven’ culture to combat crime by Kent Police, which had now been replaced by focusing on lowering ‘risk and harm’ rather than chasing numerical targets.


The change in policy for recording crime followed the inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary (HMIC) into Kent Police crime recording methods in 2013. The HMIC inspection had found that recording of crime by Kent Police was 90% accurate. Accuracy levels had now risen further to around 96% and compared favourably with other Police Forces presently being inspected by HMIC across England. Crime recording by some Forces showed accuracy levels around 70-75% with some areas as low as 60%. The increase in accuracy by Kent Police had led to more crimes being recorded and had had the effect of 'artificially' inflating the area’s crime rate. This meant that it would be difficult to compare performance against previous years until a baseline year could be created, once the recording changes had ‘settled in’. Other Forces currently being inspected by HMIC will have to adjust their own crime reporting in the same way that Kent had, now known as the ‘Kent Test’.


The CSO advised of a further important factor to be taken into account by Members when noting the increase in recorded crime in the Performance report. Following the HMIC inspection in 2013 some 2,000 (two thousand) new offences (mostly historic and relating to domestic abuse) had been added to the 2012-13 crime figures.  This had inevitably led to an increase in recorded crime in the report, skewing the in-year figures. There were positive outcomes to note however in the 2013-14 period under review.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Community Safety Plan 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To note the contents of the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Community Safety Plan 2014-15 and to comment accordingly.

Additional documents:


The Committee were asked to note the contents of the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Community Safety Plan 2014-15.


The Community Safety Officer (CSO) advised that the priorities identified in the 2014-15 Community Safety Plan were the same as those identified in the previous Plan for 2013-14 and considered by the Committee on 12 February 2014 in the CSP’s annual Strategic Assessment document. In this sense the 2014-15 Plan was a refresh document, not an entirely new plan.


The CSO reminded the Committee of the main priorities for the CSP as laid out in page 4 of the Plan [agenda page 30]. He advised that there had been some changes to the number and format of several CSP Sub Groups, namely the Violent Crime Groups which had been disbanded and the work shared between the Domestic Abuse Forum (looking at domestic violence) and the Drugs and Alcohol Action Group (looking at alcohol related violence in the night time economy).


The Domestic Abuse Forum had been looking at new measures such as ‘Claire’s Law’ which enables people to see if their new partners have a history of domestic abuse as well as other prevention injunction mechanisms; enhancing multi-agency co-operation at 1-Stop-Shops to address Domestic Abuse and a programme to support children who have witnessed DA.


The work of the Substance Misuse Group included looking at ways to combat the increasing use of ‘legal highs’ such as nitrous oxide inhalation, as well as looking at ways to address alcohol related violence.


Combating property crime was being pursued by supporting the efforts of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership, Dartford Town Against Crime (DTAC).


Kent Probation had now split to form a National Probation Service that will be responsible for the ‘high risk’ offenders and a number of area based Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) that will be responsible for the rest. This meant that the Reducing Reoffending group would start to work with the local CRC to find better ways to address issues caused by those repeat offenders who serve sentences of 12 months or less; a group that often commits high numbers of offences over their criminal lifetimes. Such interventions might include voluntary tagging under the ‘Operation Buddy’ scheme; a project that had been very successful and now had offenders asking to be part of the scheme. It worked by providing boundaries for offenders who, by being tagged, had a good excuse not to get involved with peers who might otherwise involve them in crime. The voluntary tagging also enabled the Police to save valuable time and resources by first checking via GPS where a tagged offender was at any given time and ruling them out of enquiries at an early stage, rather than seeking them out and arresting them when a crime was committed that fitted a given offender’s profile.


The Road Safety Group had been working to improve road safety measures. Dartford had seen a drop in the number of those killed or seriously injured (KSI). However, Dartford’s proximity to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Members are invited to note the contents of the Committee’s draft rolling Work Programme for the 2014-15 municipal year and beyond and comment accordingly.

Additional documents:


The Chairman asked Members to approve the current Work Plan as set out in Appendix A to the report.


Members noted in the context of the regular PCP update item that the name of Dartford’s representative on the Panel could change following the May 2015 local elections and that the Appendix should be amended to reflect this possibility.


The Chairman noted this requirement.





1.    That the Committee’s current Work Plan for 2014-15 and beyond as set out in Appendix A to the report be approved with the following addition / amendment;


(i)            References in the current Work Plan concerning Dartford’s representative on the PCP be amended to be non-specific beyond the February 2015 meeting.


Committee Annual Report for the 2013-14 Municipal Year pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To consider the attached draft Annual Report and Appendices for 2013-14 prior to submission to the General Assembly of the Council

Additional documents:


The Chairman thanked the Committee Co-ordinator for preparing the draft Crime and Disorder (Overview & Scrutiny) Annual Report 2013-14 and commended it to Members for approval and presentation to the next meeting of the General Assembly of the Council without amendment.




1.    That the Committee’s Annual Report for 2013-14 be submitted to the next meeting of the General Assembly of the Council as presented in the agenda document.