Agenda and draft minutes

Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee - Wednesday 27 July 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre. View directions

No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive any apologies of absence.


Apologies for absence were received from the Vice-Chairman Councillor Oliver (Substitute Cllr. Stealey) and from Cllr. Ben Moussa.


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 Chief Officer and Director of Corporate Services.


There were no declarations of interest made.


Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 147 KB




1.    That the Minutes of the Committee’s proceedings held on 9 February 2022 be confirmed as an accurate record.





Urgent Items

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


The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items for Members to consider.


To consider references from other Committees (if any)


There were no references from other Committees for Members to consider.


Chairman's Update


The Chairman welcomed all Members, particularly those new to the Committee, to the proceedings, and renewed the Committee’s standing invitation to Councillor Wells attend their proceedings as both Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Safety & Youth, and Dartford’s representative to the Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP). The presence of the Leader of the Council was also noted and welcomed.


He welcomed Chief Inspector William Lay, District Commander KPS to his first Overview & Scrutiny Committee proceedings, together with the Dartford Community Inspector Trevor Jenner, and noted the presence of the Director of Housing and Public Protection, the respective EARS/CSU, Community Safety and DTAC Intelligence Managers, and the recently appointed Community Safety Officer.


The Chairman asked that his particular thanks and that of the Committee be recorded in the minutes for the outstanding service provided by the KF&RS and Kent Police in the past week tackling fires in the community.  He also wished to thank residents in the affected areas, particularly around Dartford Heath which had suffered significant fire damage, for providing the fire crews with refreshments.


Since his last update to the Committee in February [Min. No. 22 refers], the Chairman had again been out on patrol with members of the Dartford Town Centre police team during the hours of the Night Time Economy, to observe at first hand, the significant and effective police operations being undertaken to keep Dartford residents safe.


In a change to the published agenda order, he advised that Item 11 the DTAC annual update report, would be taken immediately after Item 8 to enable the DTAC Intelligence Manager to depart the proceedings thereafter to undertake operational duties outside Dartford.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Forward Plan for the period 17 June 2022 to 31 October 2022.


The Forward Plan [Regulation 9 Notice] for the period 15 July to 30 November 2022 was tabled for Members consideration in addition to the published agenda papers.




1.    That Members note the contents of the Forward Plan [Regulation 9 Notice] for the period 15 July to 30 November 2022.




Kent & Medway Police and Crime Panel (PCP) Update pdf icon PDF 289 KB

To receive an update from Councillor R J Wells, Dartford Representative on the Kent & Medway PCP and to note published PCP Minutes since June 2021.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a verbal update from Councillor Richard Wells, Dartford representative to the PCP, regarding the Panel’s last meeting held on 16 June which, unfortunately he had been unable to attend in person.


He advised Members that Mike Hill had been re-elected as Panel Chairman for the 2022-23 cycle, and Gurvinder Sandher re-elected as Vice-Chairman. Both understood and were sympathetic to Dartford’s needs and concerns.


The principal agenda item had been an update report on the outcomes of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) 2021/22 PEEL Inspection of Kent Police which had produced mixed but generally positive outcomes for the 9 (nine) principal areas of inspection applied by HMIC to all police forces under the new PEEL assessment framework.


He reminded Members that Kent Police had twice previously been awarded an overall rating of ‘Exceptional’ by HMIC in the past decade, when Forces were inspected under the 3 pillars and 12 core areas of operation format. Under the new PEEL inspection framework of assessment Kent Police had been graded:


·          ‘Outstanding’ for Crime data integrity;

·         ‘Good’ for Engaging with and treating the public with fairness and respect;

·         ’Good’ for preventing Crime and anti-social behaviour;

·         ‘Good’ for Building, Supporting and Protecting the Workforce;

·         ‘Good’ for Strategic Planning, Organisational Management and Value for Money;

·         ‘Adequate’ for Protecting vulnerable people’; and

·         ‘Required Improvement’ for both Responding to the Public and Investigating Crime.


The ninth principal area of operation Victim Service Assessment had not been graded.


The Kent Chief Constable had accepted the inspection findings and under the PEEL Governance arrangements, commissioned a PEEL Improvement Plan for Kent Police, through the auspices of the Force Improvement Board (FIB), chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable. Following each FIB meeting, a Chief Constable’s PEEL Oversight Board would be held, with the outcomes reported to the CC. It was proposed that an initial PEEL Improvement Plan for Kent Police would be presented to the Police and Crime Panel at an extraordinary Panel meeting in November 2022.


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) had also presented a draft of his VAWG report to the Panel on 16 June. The report had recently been published with some encouraging measures, which had also been adopted by the Dartford CSP in its new 2022-25 Strategy. In the context of ‘Safer Streets’ funding, he noted that Gravesham Council was to be awarded £1.4M in funding and asked how much Dartford would be receiving.


The District Commander advised that Gravesham had been awarded ‘Safer Streets’ funding because of their poor infrastructure, particularly street lighting. Dartford had good infrastructure in terms of street lighting and a comprehensive and high quality CCTV operation in place in the Town Centre. However, he advised that Dartford would benefit from GRIP funding, aimed at improving resources to tackle crime and ASB during the hours of the Night Time Economy, particularly in the Town Centre, through an increased police officer provision, undertaking high visibility patrols at key times.


The Chairman thanked Councillor Wells for his detailed verbal update on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Dartford Town against Crime (DTAC) Annual Progress Report 1 July 2021 - 30 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Additional documents:


In a change to the published order of proceedings, Members considered the Dartford Town against Crime (DTAC) annual progress report for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.


The covering report from the DTAC Intelligence Manager reminded Members of the business crime partnership’s key objectives to:


·         Promote the concept of a safe and secure Town Centre;

·         Allow partners to adopt a positive approach to identify, target and focus on the most serious, prolific and priority criminals; and

·         Target offenders who are engaging in petty crime and anti-social behaviour that affects the local environment


DTAC operated as a sub-group of both the Dartford Town Centre Partnership and the Dartford Community Safety Partnership (DCSP), and with its own robust and independent governance procedures, formal constitution and Board of Management. The role of the DTAC IM was to co-ordinate and disseminate information to partners to promote activity resulting in action being taken against persistent offenders. The IM was the sole Council employee in the Partnership and sat within the Council’s CSU team.


In addition to the key objectives listed above, the network of partners also:


  • prevented and detected crime and public disorder;
  • targeted persistent offenders responsible for the majority of crime in the town;
  • reduced  opportunities to commit crime;
  • assisted in the apprehension and prosecution of offenders;
  • reduced retail crime losses for members;
  • created a “safe and secure” environment for customers and staff;
  • reduced the fear of crime amongst the general public;
  • encouraged growth and investment in the town centre


Appendix A to the covering report set out the partnerships achievements in the period under review and the challenges to be faced in the ensuing year.


The DTAC Intelligence Manager highlighted the following key points for Members:


·         In her 3 years in the job, the role of the IM had gradually changed, and her key priorities were now offender management together with Kent Police, and a revision and re-launch of the Shop Safe Scheme for vulnerable residents shopping in the Town Centre;

·         Shop Safe Scheme (SSS): On taking up her appointment, Government data protection regulations (GDPR), had required the IM to undertake a major overhaul of the Scheme’s membership records. That exercise had been interrupted by the Pandemic, but was now back on course with a current confirmed SSS membership of 57;

·         DTAC Membership: the COVID pandemic and subsequent periods of enforced Government lock-down, had severely impacted DTAC membership from early 2020 to December 2021. Numbers had increased by 4 in 2022 and now stood at 70. Moving forward, a DATC recruitment drive was proposed, with a new membership pack being designed and a marketing and media strategy prepared. It was hoped to launch that initiative to co-incide with the ‘Best Bar None’ programme. The DTAC Board was undergoing a change in membership with long-established figures retiring, and new appointments to be made at the forthcoming AGM. DTAC monthly meetings were held in the Atik Nightclub courtesy of management, in both the a.m. and the p.m. to enable members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Dartford Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2022 - 2025 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


The report from the Community Safety Manager (CSM) asked Members to consider the new three year strategy produced by the Dartford Community Safety Partnership (DCSP) for the period 2022-2025 [Appendix A to the report].


The new DCSP Strategy 2022-2025 superseded the previous 2019-2022 Strategy for the disbanded Dartford & Gravesham CSP, and focused solely on crime and prevention priorities for Dartford.


The priorities agreed within the Strategy had been identified by data analysis provided by the 2021 Annual Strategic Assessment considered elsewhere in the agenda [Min No.  15 refers], government priorities and input from the local community by way of public consultation, and guided the work of all DCSP partner agencies to ensure the Partnership’s agreed priorities were maintained.




1.    That Members note the contents of the Dartford Community Safety Partnership’s Strategy 2022-2025 document [Appendix A to the report].


Committee Annual Report 2021-22 Municipal Cycle pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:


Members received a draft report and appendices covering the work undertaken by the Committee in the previous 2021-22 municipal cycle, prior to submission to the General Assembly of the Council.


The Chairman thanked the Committee Coordinator for his annual report and support of the Committee in the period under review.




1.    That the 2021-22 Annual Report and Appendices on the work of the Committee in the preceding municipal cycle be presented to the General Assembly of the Council without amendment.


Committee Rolling Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


The report from the Committee Coordinator enclosed a copy of the Committee’s current 2022-23 Work Plan [attached at Appendix A], together with an explanation of what the Committee was required to consider on both a statutory and discretionary basis each year.


He advised Members that in previous years [up to July 2021], the Committee’s rolling WP document had comprised details for two calendar years of both statutory and discretionary reports which the Committee considered at its Summer (July) and Winter (February) meetings each municipal cycle. That rolling 2 year format had been particularly useful, given the inter-action between the CSP’s Strategic Assessment report which fed into the subsequent CSP 2022-25 Strategy/Annual Strategy Refresh document, and the mid-term Performance report, which in turn informed the next SA.


Returning to a 2 year rolling WP model he suggested, would help highlight the synergy between the main components of the CSP’s work which the Committee was required to scrutinise, and would be of particular assistance to the new Members of the Committee.


Member’s views differed on the proposal. The EARS/CSU Manager advised that gathering specific external data for the new single Dartford CSP had proved problematical the previous year, and had delayed presentation of the new Dartford 2021 SA document to the Committee until that evening. He could not rule out further delays in data receipt which, in turn, impacted on him and the CSM’s ability to draw appropriate conclusions on crime and disorder activity in the Borough, and submit reports to previously agreed traditional timescales. To avoid potential future disappointment, he proposed that the Committee’s present single municipal year Work Programme format be retained.


The Chairman thanked Members and the EARS/CSU Manager for their views and said he would consider the matter further with the Director of Housing and Public Protection before the Committee’s next meeting in February 2023.




1.    That Members note the current Work Plan [Appendix A to the report], which, inter-alia, detailed the agenda items scheduled for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting on 8 February 2023;


2.    That the Chairman and the Director of Housing & Public Protection, in consultation with relevant Officers, decide the format and time-frame for the Committee’s Work Plan for the ensuing 2023-24 municipal cycle and beyond, and advise Members accordingly.




TO RESOLVE: That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information supplied to the Council on an ‘In Confidence’ basis.



Dartford Strategic Assessment 2021 pdf icon PDF 92 KB


The report and EXEMPT Appendix was considered by the Committee in closed session without members of the public or press present.


The covering report from the Community Safety Manager (CSM), enclosed the Dartford Community Safety Partnership’s (DCSP’s) Annual Strategic Assessment 2021 document [Item A in the EXEMPT agenda papers refers].


Under the Committee’s Terms of Reference, it was required to consider the Dartford Community Safety Partnership’s (DCSP’s) Strategic Assessment (SA) on an annual basis, in the discharge of its crime and disorder functions.


The data and priorities identified in the Strategic Assessment 2021, had been used to inform the DCSP’s priorities, as outlined in the Dartford Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2022-25 document, considered elsewhere in the agenda.


The CSM presented her report and Appendix as read and offered to respond to any questions Members might have.


The following principal points were confirmed variously by the District Commander, the Community Inspector, the EARS/CSU Manager and the CSM, in response to Members’ questions and areas of concern:


·         Hate Crime Strands–Transgender/Sexual Orientation: there had been a short-term increase in both categories [SA p.33 refers], which was a reflection of the broadening of definitions for this and other crime reporting requirements, with hate crime a KPS priority area. However the District Commander believed the long-term outlook was good and crime would fall in this category;

·         Temporal Analysis [SA p.139]: The tables reflected the standard 3-shift pattern of police patrolling with ‘temporal’ equating to off-peak patrolling. New GRIP funding would help to resource additional patrolling on Sundays;

·         Stalking & Harassment [SA p.40 refers]:Street lighting in Dartford was generally good and the Council had possibly the best CCTV operation in England operating in the Town Centre. More remote areas around e.g. Dartford Heath e.g. Oakfield Lane would benefit from additional lighting but this was purview of KCC under the two-tier system but Officers were willing to support applications to KCC on request. The Safer Streets App. was a widely used tool available on-line to help residents plot safer routes. The Community Inspector advised that only 22 offences of stalking had been reported in Dartford in the period under review, of which only 2 had been repeat offences.  The Dartford CSU actively monitored trends for this crime on a weekly basis, and PCs held ‘Walk & Talk’ events and meetings on the topic which he encouraged residents to attend and to use the Safer Streets App.[Action – distribute details of Safer Streets App. to Members];

·         Litter Tickets Oct. 2020-Sept. 2021[SA p.29 refers]: The EARS/CSU Manager advised that the total lack of litter tickets issued by the Council’s contractor LA/Kingdom from October 2020 to March 2021 was due to the Government lockdown operation. He also undertook to separate data for enforcement action taken by LA/Kingdom and the Council’s EH team in future reports [Action – EARS/CSU Manager];

·         Litter Hot-Spots: the EARS/CSU Manager advised that LA/Kingdom resources were deployed proportionally, but if Members identified litter ‘hot-spots’ in their Wards and sent an email request to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Dartford Community Safety Partnership (DCSP) Performance Report - July 2022


The covering report from the Community Safety Manager (CSM), enclosed as Appendix A [Agenda Item B in the EXEMPT papers], the Dartford Community Safety Partnership’s (DCSP’s) Quarterly Performance Report (July 2022) for Members’ to note, following presentation to the DCSP on 20 July 2022.


The July 2022 Performance report detailed performance in relation to levels of crime & disorder and anti-social behaviour recorded in Dartford, and was the first performance report since the introduction of the new Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2022-2025 [considered elsewhere in the agenda]. The Performance report detailed Kent Police crime figures for Dartford for the period under review and compared it to the corresponding period in previous years. It also provided information around key areas of work and projects that the CSP had undertaken to support and deliver on its priorities, as defined within the Dartford Community Safety Partnership Strategy 2022-2025 [Min. No. 10 refers].



1.    That Members note the contents of the DCSP Performance report for July 2022 [Appendix A to the report, Item B in the EXEMPT papers].


DCSP Strategic Assessment 2021 (Appendix A)


DCSP Performance Report July 2022 (Appendix A)


TO RESOLVE: That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information supplied to the Council on an ‘In Confidence’ basis.