Skip to content

H1 - do not remove

Agenda item

Dartford Town Against Crime (D-TAC) Progress Report

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

 

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, supported by the CSU Police Inspector, confirmed the following specific points: 

 

·         Spikes in criminal activity in the Town Centre appeared to be affected by good weather, school terms and holiday periods, the continuing economic climate and the release of known offenders from custodial sentences;

·         There was no data available to determine whether there was a discernible difference in the rate of violent incidents against the person recorded between the Day and Night time economies in Dartford;

·         Getting a visible Police presence out on the streets in the Town Centre, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, was recognised as an effective deterrent in reducing incidents of crime later in the evening. The CSU Inspector was undertaking a review of the current ‘Safer Streets’ policy for Dartford Town Centre, together with his Sergeants and would report the outcome verbally to the Committee in February 2018;

·         D-TAC Notices were served on persistent offenders which barred them from all shops in the DTAC network. Hard-core offenders were more difficult to dissuade and the Town Centre PC was enlisted in such cases as a priority;

·         Since the July 2016 report to the Committee, CSU Officers and Kent Police had detected a marked upswing in confidence amongst retail businesses and an increase in their reporting of incidents. The appointment of the Town Centre PC had helped to significantly increase confidence. Orchard security staff and when required, CSU staff, had helped in the immediate recovery of goods stolen from the Town Centre;

·         The D-TAC awards ceremony for businesses and the expansion of D-TAC’s radio coverage and introduction of the What’sApp facility were also seen as evidence of significant progress for the Scheme in the period under review;

·         Management of the CCTV system in the Town Centre had been retained in-house by the Council, rather than privately out-sourced, significantly aiding the collection and access of footage;

·         The D-TAC Intelligence Manager had also built effective working relationships with Gravesend and Bluewater management in the period under review and had recently been asked to become Chairman of the Kent Business Crime Network;

·         The EARS and D-TAC Managers had recently attended a ‘Crime-Stoppers/D-TAC’ initiative at Leeds Castle, where Dartford’s D-TAC operation had been highlighted as a successful ‘exemplar’ for the Scheme, aimed at ‘prevent and deter’ rather than ‘catch and convict’.    

                                   

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the progress made by the D-TAC Scheme in the period under review as set out in the report;

 

2.    That Members note the proposals detailed in the Scheme’s Business Plan 2016-18 document attached as Appendix A to the report;

 

3.    That Members note the statistical data presented by the Intelligence Manager recording D-TAC performance in the period under review [tabled].

Supporting documents: