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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies For Absence

To receive any apologies of absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillor C J Shippam, Deputy Leader and PCP Rep; Councillor Mrs M B Kelly; Chief Inspector Tracey Quiller, Kent Police and the EARS/CSU Manager.

 

The Chairman welcomed Insp. Gary Woodward, Dartford’s Community Safety Unit Inspector from Kent Police, the Strategic Director (External) and the Community Safety Manager. Councillor Ann Allen MBE, Cabinet Member for Community Development subsequently joined the meeting.

14.

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 from Members.

15.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2015 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Minutes of the Committee’s meeting held on 22 July 2015 be confirmed as an accurate account of those proceedings.

16.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items for consideration from other Committees.

17.

To consider references from other Committees (IF ANY)

There are no references from other Committees to consider at present.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees to consider.

18.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 January 2016 to 31 May 2016.

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 January 2016 to 31 May 2016 as presently published be noted.

19.

Kent Police and Crime Panel (PCP) Update pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To note the attached Minutes of the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel meetings held on 22 September and 26 October 2015 and to receive a verbal update from the Deputy Leader as Dartford’s representative on the Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update from the Chairman, who had substituted for the Deputy Leader as Dartford’s representative at the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP) meeting held on 2 February 2016. The Minutes of previous PCP meetings held on 22 September and 26 October 2015 were enclosed in the agenda papers for Members information.

 

The Chairman advised Members that the principal item of PCP business on 2 February had been consideration of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Draft Police and Crime Plan for 2016/17. The Commissioner had proposed an increase of 3.4% to the police precept (within the Council Tax) equivalent to £5 per annum per Band D property.

 

The Commissioner’s proposal to increase the police precept by 3.4% was primarily predicated on the need to meet the Home Secretary’s request that all police forces increase their firearms capability by 50%; in light of recent terrorist atrocities across mainland Europe. The proposed increase in the precept would enable Kent Police to recruit and train 37 extra firearms officers to meet the Home Secretary’s request.

 

The financial authority for the Kent PCC to make the 3.4% increase was set out in the Chancellor’s 2015 Autumn Statement and Spending Review [dated 25 November 2015]. The Autumn Statement gave Kent (as 1 of the 10 lowest PCC precepts in England) the flexibility to raise their precept by up to 3.4% or £5 per Band D property per year; subject to public consultation. Overwhelming public support for the 3.4% precept increase had been secured in a specific consultation exercise conducted from 21 December 2015 to 15 January 2016.

 

The Autumn Statement had also given protected funding in real terms (including precepts) to each PCC ensuring that no PCC would face a reduction in cash funding in real terms in 2016/17 compared to 2015/16. In addition, the Kent PCC proposed to spend some £44M from capital reserves in the four year period to 2019/20 to fund investment in; IT, vehicles, PR systems and their Estate (buildings). Improving the protection afforded to vulnerable people was also identified as a priority area in the Police Plan for 2016/17. The Commissioner’s Draft Police and Crime Plan for 2016/17 had been approved by the PCP on a unanimous basis.

 

The PCC had not revealed whether she would be standing for re-election in May. If Mrs Barnes did stand for re-election the PCP meeting in April would fall within the election purdah period and be cancelled. If Mrs Barnes did not stand for re-election the April PCP would take the opportunity to review her term in office since November 2012.

 

Finally, the Chairman proposed that the Committee renew their longstanding invitation to Mrs Barnes or her successor as PCC, to address the Committee following the in May 2016 elections.

 

20.

CSP Strategic Assessment 2015 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To consider the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Strategic Assessment 2015 document as presented to the Partnership on 21 January 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report asked the Committee to consider the attached Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Annual Strategic Assessment 2015 document, as previously presented to the Partnership on 21 January 2016.

 

The Community Safety Manager (CSM) presented the report on behalf of the author and commended the Community Safety Officer (CSO) on compiling an excellent 2015 Strategic Assessment (SA) document. The CSM reminded Members that the CSP was required to produce an SA document on an annual basis under the terms of the Crime and Disorder Act 1988 and that the Committee were required to consider the SA each year as an Overview function.

 

The CSM summarised the principal themes in the 2015 SA and confirmed the following key points to address crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the Borough:

 

·         The Key Priorities to be addressed during the 2016-17 Financial Year remained the same as those for 2015-16 and were confirmed as Violent Crime and Domestic Abuse, Anti-Social Behaviour (including Criminal Damage related to ASB), Acquisitive and Property Crime, Substance Misuse, Reducing Re-offending and Road Safety;

 

·         The CSP’s key priorities would be written into the Community Safety Plan for 2016/17 and aligned with Kent Police’s Control Strategy which had identified 6 cross-cutting themes with the potential to affect the quality of life for Kent residents: Child Abuse & Exploitation; Human Trafficking / Modern Slavery; Domestic Abuse, serious violence and sexual offences; Gangs; Organised Acquisitive Crime; Counter Terrorism and Domestic Extremism. Also identified in the Control Strategy are Digital Crime, Criminal use of Firearms and Emerging Communities.

 

He added the following detail with reference to current and emerging issues within the key priorities listed above and contained in the 2015 SA:

 

·         Domestic Abuse [agenda p.48] – One Stop Shops in both Dartford and Gravesham continued to attract a high number of visitors, including an increase in those not resident in the Borough(s). The increased use by non-residents could be ascribed variously to the proximity of the London Boroughs, similar services not being available in the location where they live, or that victims were travelling further afield to avoid their perpetrators discovering that they are accessing such services. Dartford attracted the second highest proportion of non-resident visitors (19%) to their One Stop Shops;

 

·         Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) [agenda p.44] – these continued to operate effectively in support of high-risk victims of domestic abuse (those at risk of serious harm). Commissioning now needed to focus on services to engage perpetrators and work on identifying victims earlier in the cycle, to prevent violence before it occurred;

 

·         Substance Misuse [agenda p.51] – Raising awareness of the dangers of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS or ‘Legal Highs’) and establishing a link to anti-social behaviour in public places caused by their use. It was hoped that measures contained in the Psychoactive Substance Bill, which had recently received Royal ascent, would help to tackle the sale of NPS substances. The 2015 Strategic Assessment had benefited from data provided by the commissioned West Kent Recovery Service (CRI) which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: New Powers pdf icon PDF 93 KB

This report provides background on the new tools and powers introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Minutes:

The report provided Members with background on the new tools and powers introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and the use of those powers in the Borough to date.

 

The Community Safety Manager (CSM) advised Members that the Home Office had described the new legislation which had reduced existing powers from 19 to 6; as being designed to put victims at the heart of agencies responses to anti-social behaviour (ASB). CSP agency professionals now had effective powers that were quick, practical and easy to use, providing better protection for victims and communities and posed a real deterrent to perpetrators. The majority of the new powers had come into effect on 20 October 2014. 

 

The lack of case law [to set precedents] under the new Powers allied to the fact that the new Powers straddled existing legislation and by-laws; had caused agencies some initial difficulties. The use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) by Gravesham Council as a measure to combat Rough Sleeping had been challenged by the charity Liberty. Further challenges could be expected to the new Powers until case law was firmly established.

 

Members were referred to page 5 of the report (agenda p.91) which gave details regarding the flexible use of the new powers by Dartford CSU and other Council enforcement professionals:

 

·         Community Protection Warnings (CPWs), the first stage in issuing a formal Community Protection Notice (CPN), had been used by the CSU and Environmental Health to tackle a range of nuisance and anti-social behaviour issues e.g. untidy gardens and people engaging in anti-social behaviour on Dartford Heath. CPWs could be used prior to invoking statutory nuisance powers or clauses under the Town & County Planning Act (more commonly used to tackle Planning Enforcement matters). Breaches of the formal CPN could be tackled via a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or by taking the matter to Court to obtain an Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (Civil Injunction) or by the use Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs);

·         CPWs and CPNs could be effective in addressing nuisance street drinking at persistent locations e.g. as an alternative to Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) given the need to address ASB quickly. However, the likelihood of inveterate street drinkers paying a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) arising from an CPN were low and matters were more likely to end in Court;

·         Four (4) Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) were currently in place in the Borough; in the Town Centre, Central Park and two in Swanscombe and Greenhithe. Also known as Alcohol Control Zones (ACZs), they would need to be replaced under the new Powers with Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) or allowed to lapse. Under the new Powers a PSPO was being considered for an area of Dartford Heath. PSPOs could also include prohibitions to address dog fouling, nuisance or anti-social street drinking, spitting and those engaged in sexual activities in public.

The CSU Inspector advised Members that the new Dispersal Powers that had come into effect [report page 3 para 2.4  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Work Plan Update pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To note the suggested additions to the Committee’s rolling Work Programme for the remainder of the 2015-16 Municipal Cycle and beyond.

Minutes:

Members considered the draft Rolling Work Programme 2015-16 update document and discussed appropriate dates for the inclusion of the additional topics agreed by Members on 22 July 2015 [Min. No. 11 (agenda p.93)].

 

Following advice from the Strategic Director, the Community Safety Manager and the CSU Inspector the Committee agreed the following timings for the additional topics listed below:

 

·         Dartford Town Against Crime (DTAC) Update [6 monthly];

·         Domestic Abuse (DA) Framework Update:[July 2016];

·         Implementation of new ASB powers Update [February 2017];

·         Invitation to Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) [February 2017];

·         Bluewater Safety Shop / Community Safety at Home Facility presentation by Kent Police [July 2017];

·         Neighbourhood Watch – Sharing Best Practice: presentation by North Kent Crime Prevention Partnership / Kent Police [July 2017];

·         Presentation from Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC) [February 2018]

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Rolling Work Programme 2015-16 document be amended to reflect the additional topics and timings agreed by Members as recorded in these Minutes;

 

2.    That a revised Rolling Work Programme document be presented to the next meeting of the Committee [July 2016].

 

23.

Next Meetings

Subject to confirmation at Annual Council [11 May] the next meeting of the Committee will take place on Wednesday 27 July 2016.

Minutes:

Subject to confirmation at Annual Council [11 May 2016] dates for future meetings of the Committee in the forthcoming 2016-17 municipal cycle were:

 

Wednesday 27 July 2016

 

Wednesday 15 February 2017