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Agenda item

Dartford & Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Community Safety Strategy 2019-2022

To note the attached Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Community Safety Strategy 2019-2022 document and Appendices, and to comment accordingly.

Minutes:

The Committee agreed to considered the Community Safety Partnership’s (CSP) new Community Safety Strategy 2019-2022 document, prior to the July 2019 Performance report, to give new Members in particular a greater insight into the structure and workings of the CSP.

 

The covering report from the Dartford Community Safety Manager (CSM) enclosed two documents for Members’ consideration and comment:

 

·         Dartford and Gravesham CSP’s Community Safety Strategy 2019-2022 [Appendix A - written jointly with Gravesham CSU];

·         CSP’s ‘Plan on a Page’ document [Appendix B also jointly agreed]

 

The CSM advised Members that under the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 the Council had a legal duty to carry out all its various functions with regard to the need to prevent crime and disorder and re-offending in its area.

 

The subsequent Police and Justice Act 2006 and the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 granted the Council the power to scrutinise both crime and disorder matters through the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership (the CSP). Those legislative powers also enabled the Council to exercise an overview and scrutiny function through the Committee to hold the CSP and other partner organisations to account for their performance, including their work with the Council, to meet specific local targets.

 

The Dartford and Gravesham CSP formed a unique local authority partnership in England, which had enabled it to secure increased funding and benefit from shared common working practices for both Boroughs. The D&G CSP was comprised of seven statutory bodies (partners) plus the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC):

 

Dartford Borough Council

Gravesham Borough Council

Kent County Council

Kent Police

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Service [formerly Kent Probation Service]

Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group

Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner [not a statutory body]  

 

CSP partners had a legal duty to work with other local agencies and organisations to develop and implement strategies to tackle crime and disorder, including anti-social and other behaviour adversely affecting the local environment, as well as the misuse of drugs in the area. Those strategy streams were combined by the D&G CSP into a single 3 year Strategy document, currently the 2019-2022 Strategy before Members. Each 3 year Strategy document was refreshed on an annual basis, via the ‘Annual Refresh’ document, which was based on the analysis of crime and disorder in both Boroughs for the previous year, as set out in the CSP’s annual Strategic Assessment (SA) document issued each December, and considered by the CSP the following January, prior to presentation to the Committee each February. The CSP’s 2019-2022 Strategy document before Members that evening, set out new Objectives for the coming 3 year period [agenda page 43] and 4 Priorities [agenda pages 46-53 refers].

 

The CSM highlighted the following points for Members in the 2019-2022 Strategy document:

 

·         Priority 1:Violent Crime including Domestic Abuse [agenda p.46] change in the CSP’s approach from target based to concentrating on better reporting, raising awareness of issues and supporting hard to reach groups e.g. DA victims and VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) and by employing cross-cutting themes to particular effect in tackling Gang Culture;

·         Performance Indicators [agenda p. 44] enabled the CSP to analyse  the effectiveness of its strategies in 12 month building blocks, and were put to the public for comments;

·         Priority 2: Persistent Anti-Social Behaviour and Environmental Crime and Priority 3: Preventing Offending and Reducing Re-offending [agenda pages 48-51] the vulnerability of young people to organised crime was a continuing concern requiring multi-agency co-operation over a number of cross-cutting themes and initiatives;

·         Governance [agenda p. 45] the organogram set out the structure of the joint CSP in terms of the Forums, Panels and Teams operating under the umbrella of each borough’s Community Safety Unit (CSU). The Chairmanship of the CSP alternated on an annual basis, with the Leader of Dartford Council, Councillor Jeremy Kite MBE occupying the CSP Chairmanship for the 2019/20 municipal cycle;

·         Plan on a Page [agenda p.55] was a new feature to the Strategy and enabled readers to view the CSP’s Priorities and Aims ‘at a glance’. 

 

In response to subsequent questions from Members the CSM confirmed the following points;

 

·         DA and Violent Crime were combined under Priority 1, but treated differently;

·         Safeguarding training was available to the public via the St. Giles Trust but there was a case for more training to be made available to the public on e.g. ‘Gangs’;

·         PREVENT and safeguarding training was given to licensed cab and mini-cab drivers in Dartford by CSU Licensing Officers in co-operation with Kent Police and Kent Fire & Rescue Service, to make drivers more aware of child and human trafficking issues, county-lines drug offences, and indications of terror-related offences by its passengers, and to report their observations to the CSU/Kent Police;

·         The CSO attended the meetings of London authorities who were considering housing gang members and other youth offenders in Dartford, to ensure maximum co-operation between authorities both prior to, and after transfer of such offenders to Dartford;

·         The offence of Flytipping in Dartford needed to be tackled on a multi-faceted level and the public re-educated over the offence and the penalties it attracted. A new enforcement Officer had been added to the CSU team and the Waste & Parks Manager was working with the Council’s new waste contractor to address the issue on Dartford’s streets. Prosecution of unlicensed waste carriers was difficult, and educating the public against using them was key. Publicising the results of successful prosecutions against such unlicensed carriers to deter repeat offenders was also seen as a key deterrent measure.

 

The Chairman and Members thanked the CSM for his report and presenting the 2019-2022 CSP Strategy and all Officers for their positive responses and suggestions to Members’ questions and concerns.

 

                                    RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership’s Community Safety Strategy 2019-2022 (enclosed as Appendix A to the report) and the ‘Plan on a Page’ enclosed as Appendix B.

 

 

Supporting documents: