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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence had been received from Councillor R Lees.

 

Councillor Ann Allen MBE, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Development, was in attendance by standing invitation from the Committee.

 

Councillor D A Hammock, former Lead Member for Licensing & Enforcement was in attendance by invitation and contributed to Member discussion at the discretion of the Chairman.

 

The Chairman welcomed his guests, Emily Matthews from KCC and INSP Gary Woodward from Kent Police and noted the presence of the Strategic Director (External Services), EARS Manager, Community Safety Manager, Town Centre & Business Support Manager and D-TAC Intelligence Manager from the CSU.

 

He also extended a special welcome to Jade Ransley, the Council’s recently appointed Community Safety Officer (CSO), who was attending her first meeting of the Committee and asked that the efforts of Jade’s predecessor as CSO, Kit Weller, be recorded in the Minutes.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members, including the terms of any Grant(s) of Dispensation.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Minutes of the Committee’s meeting held on 15 February 2017 be confirmed as an accurate record of those proceedings.

4.

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 items of urgency for the Committee 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 Committees.

6.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June 2017 to 31 October 2017.

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.      That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June 2017 to 31 October 2017 be noted.

7.

Kent Police and Crime Panel (PCP) - Update pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To note the contents of the attached Minutes of the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP) meetings held on 2 February and 28 March 2017 respectively and to receive an update from the Chairman in his new role as Dartford representative on the Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed his appointment as Dartford’s representative on the Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP) following the General Assembly of the Council held on 17 July 2017 [GAC Min. No. 36 refers]. He asked that the contribution of his predecessor as Dartford rep. on the Panel, Councillor Chris Shippam, be recorded in the Minutes.

 

The Chairman advised Members that he had attended the PCP meeting held on 20 July 2017 in his new role. He had welcomed the re-election of Mr P M Hill, OBE as Chairman of the cross-party Panel for 2017-18, also the re-election of Mr Gurvinder Sandher as Vice-Chairman. Mr Sandher would be familiar to some Members, through his work with the Kent Equality Cohesion Council.

 

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mr Matthew Scott had addressed the Panel on 20 July. He had advised Members that Kent Police Officer numbers had now increased by 260 since the cuts of 2010 including an increase in Firearms Officers. It was hoped that a further 100 Firearms Officers would be recruited by 2018 to meet ever-increasing demand for that cadre. The PCC had also expressed his disappointment over the findings of the recent HMIC Crime Data Integrity 2017 inspection report of Kent Police. However, the Commissioner had also noted that the Chief Constable had responded positively to the HMIC inspection findings and had advised that Kent Police’s audit processes for recording crime and lack of Officer training and supervision, were already being addressed. 

 

In the absence of a Dartford Member at the PCP meetings held on 2 February 2017 and 28 March 2017, Minutes of the Panel’s proceedings had been included in the Agenda papers for Members to note [pages 19-32]. 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel Minutes for 2 February and 28 March 2017 and the Chairman’s verbal update of the Panel proceedings held on 20 July 2017;

 

2.      That Members note with thanks, the efforts of Councillor Chris Shippam as Dartford representative on the Kent and Medway Police & Crime Panel during the 2016-17 municipal cycle and to the proceedings of the Committee.

 

 

8.

Review of Kent's Domestic Abuse (DA) Framework

Presentation by Kent County Council Officers.

Minutes:

Members received a PowerPoint presentation from Emily Matthews, Commissioning Officer, Kent County Council entitled - ‘Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Services.

 

The KCC Commissioning Officer advised Members that the change in social attitude towards Domestic Abuse (DA); in particular the reporting of incidents by victims and their expectation of action from authorities and positive outcomes for themselves; had necessitated a wholescale review of the DA Framework of services for victims in Kent by the County Council. She highlighted the fact that 3 cases of DA homicide had occurred in Kent during 2016-17. The essential review of each tragic case cost some £20K and it was essential that lessons were learnt and existing measures and procedures improved as appropriate. Her presentation covered the following principal areas:

 

Context

 

·         60,000 DA victims in Kent & Medway based on Home Office ‘ready reckoner’ tool;

·         Cost to Kent’s public services estimated at £170M per annum;

·         All DA services experiencing a large increase in demand;

·         Over 25,00 calls made to Police in 12 months to August 2014 regarding domestic abuse;

·         Over 3,000 children known to Social Services live in households where DA is a factor. 

 

Map of Previous Provision [up to April 2017]

 

·         Women’s refuge with resettlement support (KCC) situated nearby to Dartford, Sevenoaks, Swanley, Maidstone, Ashford, Shepway Canterbury, Thanet and Dover;

·         KCC ‘Floating Support’ throughout the County;

·         Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) (multi-agency funded) throughout the County;

·         Freedom Programme (Grants/Charitable funding) situated nearby to Gravesham, Tonbridge and Malling, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Swanley, Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet;

·         Advice and Recovery Services (Grants/Charitable funding) – situated near to Gravesham, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Shepway, Canterbury and Thanet.

 

Kent suffered from a geographical inconsistency in services with a support gap in rural areas. An added complication was funding sustainability issues for voluntary and short-term support services in support of DA victims.

 

A Choice to Make ….

 

·         Number of key DA contracts - Kent Refuges, Floating Support and IDVA (multi-agency funded) – were due to end on 31 March 2017;

·         No increase in funding was anticipated under the continuing climate of downward pressure on existing budgets;

·         Choice of ‘same again’ services with potentially decreasing resources and increasing demand or a ‘managed decline’;

·         OR, do something different? – Make existing resources go further through ‘new ways of working’ within existing budgetary constraints.

 

Evidence Base

 

·         Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) – Greater Integration; Improved Interventions; Integrated Pathways; Effective offer to ‘hard to reach groups’ e.g. substance abuse, mental health, perpetrators etc.; Commission services which increase numbers of victims who can stay in their own homes;

·         Chartered Institute of Housing Needs Analysis – Gaps for service users with complex needs; move on challenges; need for more collaborative commissioning;

·         Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) Needs Assessment – Commissioning of an integrated, holistic model of support;

·         NICE Guidance – Commission integrated care pathways;

·         Summary – All the evidence points in the same direction…’better if we do it together’.  

 

Integrated working was essential to address the varied and complex needs of victims.

 

The Proposal –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Dartford Town Against Crime (D-TAC) Progress Report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To note the attached report and Appendix recording the achievements of the D-TAC scheme during the previous twelve month period.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The update report asked Members to note the progress made by the Dartford Town Against Crime (D-TAC) scheme during the previous 12 months against the objectives/targets outlined in the 2016-18 D-TAC Business Plan (attached as Appendix A to the report).

 

In addition to the Agenda papers, Members received a PowerPoint presentation from the D-TAC Intelligence Manager which set out in bar chart format, statistical data for D-TAC performance in respect of:

 

·         D-TAC Radio Coverage of the Borough [highlighted map outlining current and projected radio coverage in Dartford];

·         Monthly number of incidents processed by D-TAC;

·         Offenders on D-TAC Disk;

·         Number of D-TAC members with access to Disc (70 Businesses);

·         Member log-ins to D-TAC Disk & What’sApp. access;

·         Top crime types reported to Disc in past 12 months;

·         Property lost or recovered in Dartford;

·         Crime in Town Centre Ward;

·         ASB, Damage & Public order offences in Dartford Town 2016-17;

·         Shoplifting in Dartford Town Centre;

·         Robbery, Theft Person & Violence (assaults);

·         Longfield – All Crime;

·         ASB, Violence & Public order 2016-2017 in Longfield;

·         Shoplifting in Longfield

 

The D-TAC Intelligence Manager made the following general comments in support of his presentation:

 

It was hoped to extend the current D-TAC radio coverage beyond the Town Centre in the next 2 weeks to encompass more of the Borough. The monthly number of incidents processed by D-TAC referred to an area within 1 mile of the Town Centre plus Station Road Longfield. D-TAC system data had recently been ‘cleansed’ to ensure that it was compliant with the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Some 60 people/business’ regularly logged onto the D-TAC facilities. Separate D-TAC logs were kept for Dartford’s Daytime and Nightime economies and users were subject to signed confidentiality agreements under which images of suspected offenders had to be deleted from telephones within 48 hours, to comply with the Data Protection Act. Whilst recorded losses of property continued to far outstrip recoveries, the stats also reflected more reporting from retailers through increased confidence in the D-TAC scheme, and the inclusion of a dedicated Town Centre PC since June 2016. The bar chart recording crime in the Town Centre in the period April 2016 to April 2017 was regarded as accurate; notwithstanding the HMIC report on Kent Police crime recording; given that it was based in the main on reporting from local businesses. The three bar charts separately recording; ‘ASB, Damage & Public Order offenses in the Dartford Town 2016-17’; ‘Shoplifting in the Town Centre [Kent Police stats.]’ and ‘Robbery, Theft Person and Violence (assaults) in the Town Centre’; all recorded marked peaks and troughs in activity. ASB and Damage appeared to be seasonal and impacted variously by good weather and the school holiday cycles. However, following the introduction of the dedicated Town Centre PC it was felt that matters were gradually being brought under control following the April 2017 peak in activity.

 

In response to subsequent questions from Members, the D-TAC Intelligence, Town Centre & Business Support, Community Safety and the EARS/CSU Managers,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Response to Unauthorised Encampments (Draw-Down) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Members to note and comment as appropriate, on the attached report and Appendix A from the EARS Manager.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Enforcement & Regulatory Services (EARS) Manager provided an overview of the Council’s and Kent Police’s response to Unauthorised (Traveller) Encampments in the Borough, including an explanation of the legislative context within which action was taken and how the Council and Kent Police operated in partnership, within the context of a bespoke Memorandum of Understanding (attached as Appendix A to the report).  The report was submitted in response to an expression of concern from the Lead Member for Enforcement & Community Safety, through the Committee’s Draw-Down process.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, the Lead Member outlined his particular concerns for the Committee. He acknowledged the positive outcomes Council Enforcement Officers had recently achieved with Kent Police to address Unauthorised Encampments (UEs) in the Borough e.g. at Dartford Heath. However, the resolution of the recent UE of Travellers at the Council’s recently re-furbished and prestigious Fairfield Pool and Community Centre had taken far too long to resolve and had caused the Council significant embarrassment and a loss of reputation and confidence with residents. In particular, he had perceived a lack of consistency in the interpretation and enforcement of the MoU and a lack of local knowledge on the part of Kent Police in resolving the Fairfield UE. He asked what had gone wrong.

 

The CSU Police Inspector gave an initial response to Members. He advised that he had not been in Dartford during the resolution of the Fairfield UE and could not therefore comment in detail. However, as the local Police Inspector and in line with national practice, his would have been the final decision to serve notice to clear the UE at Fairfield. He was aware of the need to disseminate his local knowledge concerning the resolution of UEs to his three Sergeants in the CSU and give them the confidence to act in his absence, especially over the issue of Section 61(S61) Notices [MoU - agenda pages 54/55]. He added that all/any UEs were now raised at the daily CSU briefing, by the District Chief Inspector. He also confirmed, in response to a further specific question on S61s, that whilst the legislation referred to ‘the most senior officer on scene’; this was recognised nationally as being a Police Officer of Inspector rank and that an Inspector would always be found to attend a UE in Dartford if required.

 

The Lead Member expressed his thanks for Inspector Woodward’s explanation and background to the UE process in Dartford, the Fairfield incident in particular, and the clear and concise report from the EARS Manager. He stressed that he did not wish to appear entirely negative in his comments and appreciated the emails he received from the Enforcement Manager on a variety of issues. However, residents continued to express their concerns over UEs and fly-tipping, particularly over the week-ends.

 

In further response, the CSU Inspector advised Members that he had some 8 years’ experience in dealing with Travellers and incursions and that the Council’s joint Memorandum with Kent Police to address  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Performance pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To consider the Quarterly Performance Report – June 2017 document [attached as Item A in the EXEMPT agenda papers] agreed by the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) at their meeting on 22 June 2017

Minutes:

This covering report was considered together with EXEMPT Item A in closed session [Min. No. 13 refers].

12.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), he was required to ask that all members of the press and public present to vacate the Council Chamber, prior to consideration of the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP’s) Quarterly Performance Report [EXEMP Item A] together with the covering report from the Community Safety Manager (CSM).

 

The Committee Co-ordinator confirmed that no members of the press or public were present.

 

13.

CSP Performance Report

Minutes:

The covering report from the Community Safety Manager (agenda Item 12) asked the Committee to note the contents of the Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership’s Quarterly Performance Report - June 2017 (attached as Item A in the EXEMPT papers) which detailed performance in relation to levels of crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour (ASB) recorded in the Boroughs of Dartford and Gravesham. The Performance report had been discussed by the CSP at their meeting on 22 June 2017.

 

The Community Safety Manager (CSM’s) covering report advised Members that the format of the CSP’s Quarterly Performance Report for June 2017 differed from that of previous documents. Performance was now being compared with that of the prior Quarter, rather than the corresponding Quarter in the prior year, as before. The June 2017 report covered the final Quarter of the 2016-17 financial year and compared performance to the prior Quarter [October–December 2016]. The June 2017 report also utilised the revised set of performance indicators (PIs) set-out in the CSP’s 2016-19 Community Strategy and subsequent 2017 Refresh documents [Min. No. 14 refers].

 

The new PIs were more reliant on data from partner agencies than in previous years and this had led to some difficulties over differing reporting periods for individual agencies, the frequency data was collected by individual agencies and the subsequent availability of the data to CSUs and CSPs. Some of the data was taken directly from front-line recording systems; rather than the audited figures released to the public; and were therefore subject to an ‘obligation of confidence’ by recipients. The new PIs were used by CSPs across Kent and marked a departure from the traditional Police-led statistics of previous years, by adopting a range of alternative measures to demonstrate progress in tackling risk, harm and improving quality of life for residents.

 

However, there was no standard dataset and CSU Officers had to make individual enquiries to partner agencies to obtain the information each CSU and CSP required. This data gathering process had been identified as an area in which efficiency could be improved, if a collaborative request was submitted by KCC or by CSUs jointly, and this proposal would be pursued by CSMs when they met at County level.

 

The Dartford and Gravesham CSP continued to work at County level to improve both access to data sets and more importantly, obtain insights into what risks the data identified. The importance of that policy had been underlined by the publication of a recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) entitled - Kent Police: Crime Data Integrity Inspection 2017. The HMIC report [subject to embargo when the CSM’s report had been written] had raised concerns over crime recording and data gathering by Kent Police. The findings of the report had obvious implications for data gathering by individual Community Safety Units and Community Safety Partnerships across Kent, as addressed elsewhere in these Minutes.

 

The CSM highlighted the following points for Members from the June 2017 Performance report [EXEMPT Item A] prior to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

2017 Refresh to CSP Community Safety Strategy (2016-19) pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To consider the 2017 Refresh document [attached as Appendix A to this report] which updates the CSP’s Community Safety Strategy (2016-19) as agreed by the CSP at its meeting on 22 June 2017, and comment accordingly.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The covering report from the Community Safety Manager asked Members to consider the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Strategy 2016-19 (2017 Refresh) document [attached as Appendix A to the report] and comment accordingly.

 

The 2017 Refresh document updated the CSP’s Community Safety Strategy 2016-19 document considered by Members in February 2017 [Min. No. 25 refers]. The 2017 Refresh gave details of new emerging patterns of crime in the interim period and linked those developments to the CSP’s Strategic Assessment document. However, the vast majority of the 2016-19 Strategy document remained relevant.

 

The Lead Member for Enforcement & Community Safety was given confirmation on two points in the 2017 Refresh document:

 

a)    Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) - 2017 Refresh report, page 5 [Agenda p.70] – the TR Programme was taken forward jointly with Gravesham Council;

 

b)    The dedicated Bluewater Police Team was trained to counter terrorist incidents.

 

The CSU Police Inspector confirmed the Chairman’s advice to Members, that Bluewater was 1 of only 4 facilities in Kent that had permanently armed Police on duty [12 PCs]. He added that the Bluewater Police team were due to be issued with Tasers in the coming weeks and that Officers within the Bluewater team were trained in behavioural detection techniques, which helped Officers deter/prevent criminal activity through the preliminary assessment of an observed individual’s body language.   

 

                                    RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership’s Community Safety Strategy 2016-19 (2017 Refresh) document as attached at Appendix A to the report.

15.

Crime and Disorder (O&S) Committee Rolling Work Programme for 2017-18 and Beyond pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To consider the Committee’s rolling Work Programme for the 2017-18 municipal cycle and beyond, as set out in the draft Work Plan [attached as Appendix A to this report].

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report asked Members to agree the contents and timeframe for a rolling Work Programme [attached as Appendix A to the report] for the 2017-18 municipal year and beyond as required by the Committee’s Protocol.

 

The Chairman proposed the following amendments to the draft Work Plan at Appendix A in light of the Committee’s various discussions that evening:

 

·         Presentation by KCC/Kent Police ‘expert’ on the crime dated dispersed to Kent CSUs and CSPs and how it relates to crime recorded and committed in individual CSP areas [February 2018];

·         Verbal Update from the CSU Kent Police Inspector on his review of Kent Police’s ‘Safer Streets’ policy for Dartford [February 2018];

·         Confirm appearance by the Kent PCC to explain his funding priorities and spending programme for Kent Police and how those priorities meet the needs/impact on individual Kent CSPs and their Strategic Assessments / Strategies and Annual Refresh documents [February 2018];

·         Presentation by Kent County Council Trading Standards Officers [Min. No. 26 refers] be postponed until July 2018. 

 

The Strategic Director (External Services) supported the Chairman’s proposals and timings for incorporation into a revised Work Plan for the Committee for the remainder of the 2017-18 municipal cycle and beyond.

 

                                    RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members approve the draft 2017-18 Work Programme for the Committee (attached as Appendix A to the report) subject to the changes proposed by the Chairman, as recorded above.

16.

Crime and Disorder (O&S) Annual Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To consider the Committee’s Annual Report for 2016-17 [attached as Appendix A to this report] for approval and submission to the General Assembly of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to consider a draft report [attached as Appendix A] recording the work of the             Committee during the preceding 2016-17 municipal year and agree its presentation to the General Assembly of the Council (GAC).

 

The Chairman expressed his thanks to the Committee Co-ordinator for compiling the Annual Report recording the Committee’s work during the 2016 -17 municipal cycle. He thanked the Strategic Director (External Services) for her continuing guidance and support to the Committee and Members themselves, for their active contribution to the Committee's proceedings throughout the period under review.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Committee’s Annual Report for the 2016-17 municipal cycle [as attached at Appendix A to the covering report] be submitted to the next meeting of the General Assembly of the Council for approval as presented.