Safer Maidstone Partnership

Community Safety Partnership Plan 2013–2018

‘Delivering Safer Communities’

DRAFT - Refreshed April 2015


1.        Foreword


1.1     Welcome to the annual refresh of the Safer Maidstone Partnership (SMP) Community Safety Partnership Plan for 2015-16, which outlines how we are going to collectively tackle community safety issues in the Maidstone borough.  This Plan sets out our performance over the last 12 months, identifies priority areas for the next year and outlines what we are going to do to improve them.


1.2     The SMP brings together a number of agencies and organisations concerned with tackling and reducing crime and antisocial behaviour in the Maidstone borough. Some organisations, like the Borough Council and the police, are statutory members, but voluntary groups and businesses are also represented and play an important role.


1.3     Our key role is to understand the kind of community safety issues Maidstone is experiencing; decide which of these are the most important to deal with; and then decide what actions we can take collectively, adding value to the day-to-day work undertaken by our individual agencies and organisations.


1.4     We detail these actions in our Community Safety Plan. It is now time to look at everything afresh to make sure we are on track and working on the priorities that are relevant to the different communities within Maidstone. To help us do this we commissioned a Strategic Assessment in October 2014. This Strategic Assessment looked at the range of detailed information that exists about crime, disorder, substance abuse and other community safety matters affecting Maidstone. In the light of this information the assessment makes recommendations about how best to keep the Community Safety Plan priorities on track for the next year.  In producing our plan we have been mindful of the pledges and priorities of the Police and Crime Commissioner in her crime plan.


1.5     The Plan considers not only the Strategic Assessment, but also consults with partners who share a local knowledge of the borough’s wealth of  urban and rural places, a relatively robust economy, including the largest  night-time economy offer in Kent, alongside growing and diverse communities.


1.6     Given the success of the partnership over several years, with year on year reductions in overall crime, now was a good time to concentrate on some longer term strategic issues. Given the evidence presented in the Strategic Assessment and the response from partners, we decided on a set of 5 strategic  priorities, 4 subsidiary priorities and tactical issues such as alcohol-related violent crime with the town centre, embedding new ways of work around the new antisocial behaviour legislation and continuing to track and track and support County led work on domestic abuse (with local work around awareness raising and training).


1.7     Crime data collated for this year’s Plan has been affected by changes to how crime is recorded. The Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime were revised last year to address a lack of consistency in recording practices across police services.  From 1 April 2013, the Home Office split ‘All Crime’ into 2 main groups: Victim-Based Crime and Crimes Against Society.


1.8     In 2013, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to conduct an inspection “to determine whether the people of Kent can have confidence in Kent Police’s crime figures”.  As a result, recorded crime totals have been ‘added back’, resulting in increased crime levels in Kent since recording practices were revised.  Published data is no longer compared to the same time period as the previous year, but instead compared against anticipated volumes which have been calculated using the seasonality of crimes during the past 5 year period.


1.9     The Kent Crime and Victimisation Survey, a telephone survey of randomly selected households across Kent, has also been subject to change. The survey no longer reviews perceptions of crime and ASB, but instead asks how well Kent Police has responded and measures public confidence in the Police and Criminal Justice System. 


1.10 In Maidstone, the overall pattern of increased volume of reported crime follows the trend identified for the six months April to September 2013 in last year’s Plan.  Total crime over the last year (October 2013 to September 2014) has seen a rise of 5.8% (equating to 513 more offences being equated across the borough), whilst recorded victim-based crime has increased by 5.3% (424) ranking Maidstone in 4th place out of 12 districts in crimes per 1,000 population. 


1.11 During 2013-14, the biggest increases were in reported incidents of; assaults resulting in hospital admissions +35.4% (an increase from 48 in 65 admissions); violence against the person +24.4% (an increase from 1889 in 2012/13 to 2349 in 2013/14; domestic abuse incidents +14.5% (an increase from 1784 in 2012/13 to 2043 in 2013/14), number of repeat domestic abuse victims +23.1% (an increase from 416 in 2012/13  to 512 in 2013/14) and sexual offences +20.9% (an increase from 168 in 2012/13  to 203 in 2013/14).


1.12 Against this background of an overall increase in reported crime, certain crime categories experienced a fall in reported incidents, notably Anti-Social Behaviour which experienced a fall of 8.6% (347 incidents), this in addition to a fall the previous year of 18.2% (897 incidents).  Other crime categories which experienced reductions during 2013-14 include Burglary Dwelling (-5.6%, equating to 28 fewer incidents), Burglary Other (-6.4%), Drug Offences (-8.7%, equating to 41 fewer incidents), Theft from a Motor Vehicle (-20.1% or 121 fewer incidents) and Metal Theft (-53.5% or 91 fewer incidents). 


1.13 Over the past three years 2011-12 to 2013-14 crime in Maidstone has risen from a low of 7,372 to 8,457 per year, although the caveats set out in paragraph must be noted.  The Partnership has achieved this by delivering actions contained within last year’s plan.


1.14 Data analysis however identifies that we continue to face challenges across our district.  The Plan is informed by a Strategic Assessment that looks at current data and trends to identify the priorities for the Borough in reducing and tackling crime and disorder. This year the SMP has agreed to focus on five key issues and these are:


·                Antisocial Behaviour

·                Reducing Re-offending

·                Road Safety (killed or seriously injured)

·                Substance Misuse

·                Violent Crime - domestic abuse

Violent Crime - night-time economy


1.15 Additionally the strategic assessment process has identified four subsidiary priorities:


·                Safeguarding, educating and engaging young people

·                Hoarding and Self Neglect

·                Legal Highs

·                Victim Support and Restorative Justice


1.16 Each priority is led by an agency which is responsible for championing positive outcomes based on an agreed action plan. The plans are included in this document (see Action Plan). We are working to ensure that the SMP adds value to the crime and disorder agenda, improving engagement of partners and how they contribute to the priority outcomes agreed for the partnership.

2.    Background and Context


2.1   The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, changed the way crime and antisocial behaviour was to be tackled, as it recognised that in order to be effective, agencies needed to work together to address the issues collectively.  Each local area formed a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) which are now called Community Safety Partnerships.


2.2   The Safer Maidstone Partnership is made up of Responsible Authorities (those bodies for whom membership of the CSP is a statutory obligation) and voluntary members.  Our statutory partners are: Maidstone Borough  Council, Kent County Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Probation services and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (which have the responsibility for health services locally).  We also work with a large number of public and private sector partners as well as voluntary and community groups to collectively implement and deliver initiatives that will help all areas of the Maidstone borough become a safe place to live, work and visit.


2.3   The Maidstone Community Safety Plan 2013-18 is a rolling five year document, which highlights how the CSP plans to tackle community safety issues that matter to the local community.  This plan is revised annually through reviewing information provided from a wide range of organisations in a strategic assessment, to ensure that current issues can be taken into account into the activities undertaken by the CSP.  The Plan seeks to promote a more holistic approach, with a greater emphasis on prevention and harm reduction.  For example, the harm done by alcohol has far reaching consequences that go beyond potential disorder and violence in the night-time economy; the implications for health and wellbeing have also to be taken into account; with their longer term implications. 


3.    Organisational changes – a local overview


3.1  Safer Maidstone Partnership (SMP)

        The SMP brings together people from local government, the NHS, the police, the fire service, probation, local businesses, housing providers and voluntary and community organisations to work as a team to tackle issues such as crime, education, health, housing, unemployment and the environment in Maidstone Borough. SMP membership is made up of the public sector agencies including Kent County Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Kent Police, Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, NHS Health Trusts, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Probation services and also incorporates members from other key partners including Maidstone Mediation, CRI, Golding Homes and Town Centre Management. The SMP is currently chaired by Alison Broom, Chief Executive of Maidstone Borough Council. 


3.2  Community Safety Unit

        The Maidstone Community Safety Unit (CSU) continues to grow.  In recent years, existing Borough Council and Kent Police staff have been joined by partners from Kent Community Wardens, Trading Standards and local housing Registered Providers, such as Golding Homes.  In 2014, the Borough Council’s licensing team relocated to the CSU.  Increasing the range of partners working as part of the CSU is a key priority to ensure community safety related issues are tackled holistically.


3.3  Kent Police

        Three policing divisions, East, West and North ensure local policing is at the heart of the new Policing model and there has been a significant increase in neighbourhood constables and sergeants to provide strong local leadership across the county.  In line with Central Government’s cycle of budget reviews, Kent Police’s next Comprehensive Spending Review is due to take place in 2015 and will see budgets reduced further, supported by a focus to commit to maximising the number of officers in frontline roles and continuous improvement through innovation and technology.


3.4  Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)

        PCC’s are responsible for the appointment of Chief Constables, holding them to account for the running of the force, setting out a Police and Crime Plan based on local priorities, setting the local precept and force budget and making grants to external organisations.  The current PCC for Kent, Ann Barnes, was appointed in November 2012 and will remain in office for a period of 3˝ years.


        The PCC has pledged to continue to support a number of agencies through the main policing grant and has announced her commitment to her wider duties around crime and community safety. Funding for Community Safety Partnerships has been confirmed for 2015/16 and will be used to address our local priorities. The PCC has announced that there will be no in year targets and that there will be a focus on encouraging sustainable improvements in performance.


        The Kent Police & Crime Plan is a four year plan from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2017 and is refreshed annually.  The plan sets out the Commissioner’s vision and priorities for policing in the county which includes placing victims first, focusing on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and protecting the public from harm.  To achieve the aims set out in the plan the following strategic priorities are set out:


·                Cutting crime & catching criminals

·                Ensuring visible community policing is at the heart of Kent’s Policing model

·                Putting victims and witnesses first

·                Protecting the public from serious harm

·                Meeting national commitments for policing

·                Delivering value for money


The plan also references a commitment to working closely with community safety and criminal justice agencies across the county to ensure that a seamless service is provided to victims of crime and anti-social behaviour, with a particular focus on:


·                Tackling the root causes of crime and anti-social behaviour

·                Reducing re-offending and repeat victimisation

·                Improving joined up working between agencies


3.5  New powers to deal with Antisocial Behaviour (ASB)

        The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into force in September 2014.  The Act brings a number of changes to the tools and powers available to organisations, agencies and practitioners who tackle Anti-Social Behaviour.  The overarching aim of the Act is to provide more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB), protect victims and communities and treat the underlying behaviour of perpetrators.  The intended practical effect of the Act is to:


·                Give victims and communities more power to define and respond to ASB, and impose positive requirements on perpetrators to address the causes of their behaviour.

·                The Act also focuses on giving better witness satisfaction and making agencies more accountable to witnesses and communities when they fail to act.


        The Act replaces 19 existing powers dealing with anti-social behaviour with 6 broader powers, streamlining procedures to allow a quicker response to ASB.  The table below summarises the changes:


Tools with People


To be replaced by


Criminal Behaviour Order

ASBO on conviction

Drink Banning Order

Drink Banning Order on Conviction


ASB Injunction

Individual Support Order

Intervention Order

Tools for Places


To be replaced by

Litter Clearing Notice

Community Protection Notice

Street Litter Clearing Notice

Graffiti/Defacement Removal Notice

Designated Public Places Order

Public Spaces Protection Order

Gating Order

Dog Control Order

Premises Closure Order

Closure of Premises

Crack House Closure Order

Noisy Premises Closure Order

s161 Closure Order

Police Powers


To be replaced by

s30 Dispersal Order

Dispersal Powers

s27 Direction to Leave


        The Act has also made available two new measures to make agencies more accountable to witnesses and communities when agencies fail to act, and to give victims better outcomes:


·                The ‘Community Trigger’ which will impose a duty on the statutory partners in a Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to take action in cases where victims or communities have complained about ASB on a number of occasions or when a number of people report the same ASB and it is perceived that local agencies have failed to respond.

·                A ‘Community Remedy’ which uses a restorative justice approach to deal with low level crime and antisocial behaviour.


3.6  Maidstone Families Matter

        The Government has placed a significant focus on tackling the ‘Troubled Families’ agenda.  The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) defines a troubled family as one that has multiple and complex needs, including parents not working and children not in school, and causes serious problems, such as youth crime and anti-social behaviour.  Any family that meets the first three criteria (crime/anti-social behaviour, education and work) will automatically be part of the programme (there is also a fourth filter, ‘local discretion’ – in Maidstone the additional criteria is domestic abuse and substance misuse).  The programme involves:


·               Getting children back into school

·               Reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour

·               Putting adults on a path back to work

·               Reducing the estimated Ł9 billion these families cost the public sector each year


        The Maidstone Troubled Families programme has been named ‘Maidstone Families Matter’ and is being led through a Locality Programme Manager, with dedicated Family Intervention Project Managers being provided through KCA.


3.7  West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group

Since 1 April 2013, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) have become ‘responsible authorities’ on CSP’s.  Schedule 5, Paragraph 84 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 replaces primary care trusts with clinical commissioning groups as responsible authorities on CSP’s from April 2013. This means that the CCG’s now have a statutory responsibility to work in partnership with other responsible authorities to tackle crime and disorder. The act places a duty on CCG’s to:


·               Participate in a strategic assessment of crime and disorder, anti social behaviour, and drug and alcohol misuse for the CSP area or areas in which they fall.

·               Contribute to the development of local strategies that effectively deal with the issues identified.


Joining their local CSP’s gives CCG’s more influence in shaping local action to tackle crime and the causes of crime, for example the delivery of action on drugs, alcohol, crime and disorder.


3.8  Health and Wellbeing Board

The West Kent Health and Wellbeing Board brings together key organisations and representatives of the public to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of West Kent.  It has been set up in West Kent as part of the recent national health and social care reforms. Kent Public Health alongside the four West Kent authorities (Maidstone Borough Council, Sevenoaks District Council, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council), West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, (who are responsible under the reforms for commissioning health services locally) and patient and public representatives are all part of this Board.  The key themes for health and wellbeing are drawn from the West Kent Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.


3.9  Care Act 2014 - Safeguarding

The Act will reform the law relating to care and support for adults and support for carers. It will make provision about safeguarding adults from abuse or neglect; care standards and; establish and make provision about Health Education England and the Health Research Authority. The new legislation will affect safeguarding investigations, governance and information sharing.


In relation to safeguarding, the Care Act will do the following:


·                Make safeguarding adults boards statutory;

·                Make safeguarding enquiries a corporate duty for councils;

·                Make serious case reviews mandatory when certain triggering situations have occurred and the parties believe that safeguarding failures have had a part to play;

·                Place duties to co-operate over the supply of information on relevant agencies;

·                Place a duty on councils to fund advocacy for assessment and safeguarding for people who do not have anyone else to speak up for them;

·                Abolish, on human rights grounds, councils’ power to remove people from insanitary conditions under section 47 of the National Assistance Act, albeit with recourse to the Public Health Act still possible for nearly the same outcome;

·                Re-enact existing duties to protect people’s property when in residential care or hospital;

·                Place a duty of candour on providers about failings in hospital and care settings, and create a new offence for providers of supplying false or misleading information, in the case of information they are legally obliged to provide.


Detailed guidance is promised as to all the steps that can be taken in law, by government, in time for the coming into force of the Care Act 2014 (April 2015 for the safeguarding measures), but not necessarily for the training period that will precede it.


3.10  Probation Services

Throughout 2014, the Ministry of Justice has been working with Probation Trusts to prepare for the implementation of new structures under the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme.  The programme sees the creation of a new National Probation Service (NPS) working with high risk offenders and 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) managing medium and low risk offenders.  The preferred bidder for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex CRC has been announced as Seetec Business Technology Centre.  The Transforming Rehabilitation reforms include a number of sentencing changes, which may impact on CSP re-offending data in the future.  The changes that have been enacted in the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 include most importantly, the extension of supervision of Licence after release to all offenders who receive a custodial sentence of less than 12 months; extending probation supervision to the 50,000 offenders sentenced each year to less than 12 months.  This is a cohort of offenders with whom Probation Trusts have never worked with, as this cohort of offenders has never before been subject to statutory supervision.


4.    The Kent County Perspective


4.1   The Community Safety Agreement (CSA) for 2014-17 outlines the key community safety priorities for Kent and replaces the previous agreement which expired on 31st March 2014.  Data analysis, partnership consultation and examination of the most recent local strategic assessments indicated that the priorities and most of the cross-cutting themes identified in the 2011-14 Agreement should remain, and would continue to benefit from support at a county level.


The common issues and priorities from the District-level strategic assessments have been identified and key stakeholders consulted to identify any potential gaps and cross-cutting themes for inclusion in the agreement.  Thus, the diagram below not only includes the priorities and cross-cutting themes for the CSA but also shows the strategic priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan, illustrating the importance of integrating the work of all partners:



5.    2015 Strategic Assessment summary


5.1   Each year the Safer Maidstone Partnership has to produce a Strategic Assessment of the district to identify any crime and disorder trends, which can then be used to inform the priority planning for the coming year.  It basically ensures we are focusing our efforts collectively on the areas that are most in need.  This is done by analysing data and intelligence reports from the previous year, which is usually 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 to produce recommended priority areas the data is telling us are a concern or that residents have highlighted.


5.2   The priorities are then compared with other areas and ranked against a number of factors, including volume, trend over time, resident’s perception and how much it is felt the partnership can influence.  This is then reviewed by our stakeholders and finally the top ranked priorities are analysed in depth, to help guide practitioners in formulating actions that they feel will have an impact on each priority.  The following areas were identified by this process and recommended as emerging priorities for the 2015-16 Partnership Plan:


5.3   Anti-Social Behaviour

        ASB has continued to decrease. Over the last three years there has been a decrease in the number of reports of ASB by just over 25%.  However, Maidstone still has the 5th highest number of reported incidents in the County (after Thanet, Canterbury, Swale and Dover).  Analysis of ASB including environmental nuisances across Maidstone, highlights that High Street, Fant, Park Wood, North and Shepway North wards experienced the highest volumes.


        Due to the high volumes of anti-social behaviour in parts of the borough, and the impact ASB has on residents, recommendation is made that ASB continues as a priority for the Partnership.


        Current projects:

·           Identified repeat and vulnerable victims through the Weekly Partnership ASB Briefing.

·           Sought ASB/Injunction orders where appropriate.

·           14 action days have been held with multiple agencies visiting targeted areas as part of Operation Civic.

·           Provided community based outreach in conjunction with Switch.

·           Engaged young people in projects, such as Zeroth Gym and Challenger Troop.

·           Identified NEET’s (Not in Education, Employment of Training) and referred them to Maidstone Engage programme.

·           Engaged young people via the Power Project (YISP).

·           Identified troubled families and referred to the Maidstone Families Matter programme.

·           Worked with partners to maximise environmental protection.

·           Carried out targeted substance misuse work with offenders.


5.4  Substance Misuse – including alcohol and Lethal (‘legal’) Highs

        Overall drug offences have reduced 8.7% or 41 incidents, but are still 20% higher than the level of three years ago.  There are no identified seasonal trends.  For alcohol related conditions, Maidstone is ranked 10th out of the 12 districts for hospital admissions due to alcohol in the county, and has the 9th worst rate of alcohol related deaths.  Alcohol drives much crime. In Maidstone nearly 800 crimes were recorded as directly alcohol related in 2012/13, out of a total of 8,457 victim based crimes (9.5%).


        New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), or legal highs, are substances designed to produce similar effects to controlled drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine or ecstasy, but are structured differently in an attempt to avoid being controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.  Legal highs are not safe. In England in 2012 some 68 deaths were linked to legal highs.  NPS use in Maidstone is on the increase, driven by the number of highly visible retail legal high outlets.  In fact, Kent has more ‘head shops’ than anywhere outside of London, and Maidstone more than anywhere else in Kent.  In addition, NPS users tend to be those who are more vulnerable.


        Due to the high level of drug offences in certain wards, and the increasing prevalence of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), recommendation is made that substance misuse including alcohol and NPS remains as a priority.


        Current projects

·           Targeted multi-agency evening operations have been delivered with Trading Standards, Kent Police and Borough Council teams to tackle underage sales and licensed premises as a result a premises license has subsequently been reviewed and information gathered on a number of other premises.

·           Partners launched a Legal Highs awareness campaign aligned with national campaigns.

·           Over 1,800 young people attended ‘SNAP’ disco, where targeted messages were delivered regarding the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

·           All Maidstone-based secondary schools and one PRU engaged in the Don’t Abuse the Booze programme.

·           Increased number of street population referred and engaged in CRI support services as a result the Maidstone Assertive Outreach programme.

·           Service provision provided by CRI has been integrated into the partnership. Outreach workers have delivered additional sessions to engage with hard to reach individuals (e.g. street population) misusing substances.


5.5  Reducing Reoffending

          Reducing re-offending across the age range is a Government target for all CSP’s. This is particularly important when those who have already been through the criminal justice system commit over half of all crime. It will enable a more strategic engagement between CSP’s and other local partners, such as the third sector and Local Criminal Justice Boards, in planning and commissioning services for offenders.  Maidstone data shows that in the period 1 January to 31 December 2013 the actual re-offending rate was 1.40% higher than the predicted re-offending rate, which is the 4th best among Kent districts.  As at 31 May Maidstone has the 4th highest caseload (348), or some 10.2% of the total Kent caseload.


        The actual re-offending rate has fallen from the 2nd lowest to the 3rd lowest in Kent, so recommendation is made that Reducing Re-offending remains as a priority, being a cross cutting theme across all priorities.


        Current projects

·           A steering group was established involving all key agencies to provide strategic direction to the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) and Deter Young Offenders (DYO) groups.

·           Restorative Justice has become an embedded process within IOM. All offender managers have been briefed in relation to the process and benefits of these approaches.

·           Community Payback scheme used by Maidstone Borough Council and some parish councils.

·           Electronic ‘Buddy’ tracking is being piloted in partnership between Kent Police and Probation. At present this can only be undertaken with the agreement of the offender.

·           Yes Plus and Challenger Troop commissioned to provide diversionary and personal development programmes at Kings Reach Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).


5.6  Road Safety (killed or seriously injured - KSI)

        Based on the current data, Maidstone has seen an increase in 3.1% increase (or 21 incidents) for all casualties, recording a total 693 casualties in 2013/14, compared to 672 in 2012/13. Kent-wide saw an increase of 9% (512 incidents), recording a total of 6,180 casualties in 2013/14, compared to 5668 in 2012/13.


        Maidstone saw an increase of 40.7% in KSI casualties, recording a total 76 casualties in 2013/14, compared to 54 in 2012/13. Kent-wide saw an increase of 26.3% (139 incidents), recording a total of 667 casualties in 2013/14, compared to 528 in 2012/13. However, although KSI casualties for under-16 yrs have decreased, Maidstone continues to experience the most road casualties in Kent.


        The focus on the year has been on three user groups, young drivers aged 17–24, powered two-wheelers (p2w) riders, and teenage pedestrians (secondary school age).


        Due to killed and seriously injured figures increasing faster against the county wide increase, recommendation is made that Road Safety remains as a priority.


          Current projects:

·           Identified hotspots of concern.

·           Identified repeat offenders for speeding and promoted Speedwatch.

·           Held multi-agency events around speed enforcement and safety.

·           Delivered Safety in Action programme to all primary school children transitioning to secondary school, providing road safety education and pedestrian awareness.

·           Promoted walking buses and 20 MPH zones around schools.

·           Promoted bus safety driver and pedestrian awareness.

·           Signposted to bicycle and marking events.


5.7  Violent Crime (domestic abuse)

        Incidents of domestic abuse have increased in Maidstone borough by 14.5% or 258 incidents, compared to a county-wide increase of 11.6%.  Per 1,000 population, Maidstone has the 5th lowest rate of domestic abuse incidents and 5th lowest percentage of repeat victims in the county.  Of the total reports, 25.1% are repeat incidents.


        It is widely recognized that increased recorded incidents of domestic abuse are not necessary indicators of a worsening situation.  Domestic abuse is an under-reported crime so that increased reports indicate that DA victims are coming forward to report the abuse they are suffering.  Further analysis of local postcode data, the highest volumes or hotspots can be seen primarily in the Park Wood, Shepway North, High Street, East and Fant wards.


        Due to the high levels of domestic abuse and repeat incidents, recommendation is made that Violent Crime (domestic abuse) remains as a priority for the partnership, focusing on those areas with frequent reports of domestic abuse.


Current projects:

·           Partners have continued to run regular seasonal awareness campaigns aligned with national campaigns.

·           Work Place Health employee awareness campaign launched.

·           Supported the Freedom programme and Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service.

Facilitated support for Specialist Domestic Violence Court workers.

·           Promoted and supported the Community Domestic Abuse Programme (CDAP).

·           Referred all High Risk cases to Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC).

·           Provided support to male and female victims of DA through Choices

·           Promoted the DA Schools Project (SAFE).

·           Provided support for male offenders wishing to rehabilitate.

·           Helped facilitate the Sanctuary Scheme.

·           Increased referrals for domestic abuse victims who are street homeless.

·           Assisted in providing a domestic abuse One Stop Shop in the borough.


5.8  Violent Crime (night-time economy)

        Violent crime covers a wide range of crimes, from assault by beating through to grievous bodily harm, and murder, but please note, the crime types which have been most affected by changes to recording practices are violence related offences, including Assault and Violence Against the Person (VAP).  This has resulted in significant number of crimes added back during the year, which means that it is not safe to directly compare the current year with previous years.


        Given the changes in crime recording, the real increase in violent crime is estimated to be between 4 to 8%, rather than the actual year on year increase of 23% the data now indicates.  A county-wide comparison shows Maidstone is middle ranked (6th) for violent crime per 1,000 population, and 4th amongst our West-Kent neighbours.  In terms of the absolute number of violent crimes recorded, Maidstone’s total of 2,612 is surpassed only by Swale (2,657) and Thanet (3,750).


        Looking at hospital admission for related to violent crimes, Maidstone Hospital recorded 65 admissions of Maidstone residents, for assault in 2013/14, compared to 48 the year before.  Approximately 85% of all admissions to Maidstone Hospital were male and 15% female.  Of those recorded, the majority of males reported to have been assaulted in the street, bar/pub or at school / college, where as the majority of females reported to have been assaulted in the street or at home.


        Looking specifically at violence against the person offences, in the period October 2013 to September 2014, crimes in this category have seen a county-wide increase of 30.9% (5,468 additional offences), but note the crime recording caveat above.  In Maidstone, violence against the person increased from 1,889 offences in 2012/13 to 2,349 offences in 2013/14 (+24.4%).  This rate of increase is below the county increase and shows a peak during the summer months.  Maidstone is ranked 6th in the county, the same ranking as 2012/13.


        At ward level, in the 12 month period January to December 2014, the Town Centre (located in High Street ward) experienced the highest number of violent crimes in the County (574), an increase of 10.6% from the previous year, and 28% of all violent crime in Maidstone.  However, consideration must be given to Maidstone town centre having the largest spread of late night retail and leisure in Kent. Other wards with high levels of violent crime include Park Wood, Fant and Shepway North.


        Partners have continued to crack down firmly on violence especially in Maidstone town centre with successful initiatives such as the purple flag scheme.  However, we are conscious that the violent crime category has shown increases, notably violence against the person from alcohol and drug related violence as part of the night time economy.


        Due to the continuing rise in violent crime in the night-time economy, recommendation is made for drug and alcohol related violence in the night time economy to remain a priority for the partnership.


        Current projects

·           In conjunction with Pubwatch, excluded violent individuals from the Town Centre premises.

·           Shared information proactively from CCTV control room and Kent Police via MaidSafe network radios provided to door staff of key premises.

·           Supported the town centre Street Pastors initiative.

·           Used CCTV to protect and prevent crime.

·           Enforced Alcohol Control Zones.

·           Supported the county-wide Hate Crime Reporting Line.

·           Provided school based work (Don’t Abuse the Booze project) with high risk individuals around violence and drugs.


5.9    Cross Cutting Themes

        Data analysis also acknowledged that the priorities are often inter-related and has identified three distinct cross cutting themes that run through all of the priority focus areas.  

Actions contained within this plan are therefore built around the five identified priorities and three cross cutting themes, as shown in the chart below:


Cross cutting themes

Antisocial Behaviour

Domestic Abuse

Violent Crime

Road safety (KSI)

Substance Misuse (including alcohol)

Targeting prolific offenders / repeat locations

Safeguarding vulnerable and young people

Prevention and early intervention


5.10  How we are going to tackle these issues

       The CSP has created an action plan detailing how each priority will be addressed, which is shown in the action plan (see section 7).  These activities range from revising current processes to ensuring that services are delivered as effectively as possible, creating value for money and also commissioning new services and projects in areas of need.  The CSP is committed to achieving these priorities and has set targets against what we are planning to achieve, shown in item 8.


5.11  Priority leads

       Lead officers for each of the priorities have been identified as set out below and have the responsibility for developing and delivering, with partners, the action plans to deliver the Maidstone borough priorities. 


The leads will also act as a champion for the designated priority and provide regular progress updates for the Safer Maidstone Partnership  and the borough council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (moving to a Committee system from 1 April 2015) as required.


Priority sub-groups

Lead Officer/Agency

Antisocial behaviour

Inspector Jody Gagan-Cook, Kent Police

Substance misuse

Mark Gilbert, Kent Commissioning Team

Reducing re-offending

John Littlemore, Maidstone Borough Council

Road safety (killed or seriously injured)

Stephen Horton, Kent Road Safety Team

Violent Crime (domestic abuse)

Ian Park, Maidstone Domestic Violence Forum

Violent Crime (night- time economy)

Inspector Jody Gagan-Cook, Kent Police


6.    Maidstone Community Safety Partnership Action Plan and Targets


The Action Plan sets out a series of actions and performance targets through which the priorities supporting the CSP Plan will be delivered for the period 2013–2018.  The Action Plan makes clear arguments for building stronger and safer communities in Maidstone, with the actions identified against each priority supporting the overarching aim to reduce crime and disorder and its impacts.  The plan will be reviewed annually to allow for new projects and priorities to be added.


Priority 1: Antisocial behavior




Anticipated Outcomes

Lead Agency

To work in partnership to reduce incidents of ASB towards repeat or vulnerable victims / locations, targeting rowdy nuisance behaviour, fly-tipping and noise.


To reduce the perception of the local community that believe ASB is a large problem in their local area, with emphasis on noisy neighbours and increase the satisfaction of those that we deal with.

Identification of ASB hotspots and multi-agency tasking through the weekly CSP Partnership Tasking and Action Group meeting and monthly ASB meeting.




Promote the Community Trigger, ensuring an effective customer response to incidents of ASB (contact, treatment, actions and follow up)

Reduction in reported ASB across the borough.

Quicker targeted response to priorities for CSP.




Reduced percentage of community who consider there is a high level of ASB.

Increased awareness of work undertaken to tackle ASB.

Increase in customer satisfaction



Maidstone Community Safety Unit (CSU)





Maidstone CSU









1 Oct 2013 to

30 Sept 2014

Kent-wide comparison

Target (by 2018)

ASB incidents per 1,000 population




Reduce to average of best 4 Kent Districts (19/1,000 population) in the Kent-wide comparison by 2018


Priority 2: Reducing reoffending




Anticipated Outcomes

Lead Agency

To work to embed the responsibility of reducing re-offending across all agencies for all age groups, including awareness raising of existing services and activities. Work will be targeted around known reasons for people to offend, included education, training and employment as well as addressing housing needs.

Undertake awareness raising activities to highlight statutory agencies responsibilities to tackle reducing re-offending and to raise awareness of existing work to tackle offending.


Support the development of a transition pathway for short term prisoners.




Support the transition pathway for prisoners on release into suitable accommodation.


Support young people from re-offending within 6 months of their intervention and divert young people into suitable diversionary programmes.

Reduced re-offending across all groups.


Increased number of project suggestions for unpaid work schemes through Probation, YOS and HMPS.


Reduced number of offenders registered as homeless, unemployed, with mental and physical health problems or financial problems.


Increase the proportion of offenders in suitable accommodation at termination.

Reduce number of offenders


Reduce percentage of YOT cohort that re-offend


SMP Reducing Re-offending sub-group




SMP Reducing Re-offending sub-group







Maidstone IOM group



1 Oct 2013 to

30 Sept 2014

Kent-wide comparison

Target (by 2018)

Offending population as a % of the total population aged 10-17 yrs


Proportion of adult and juvenile offenders who re-offend



Overall reoffending rate – % difference between the predicted and actual rates











Predicted = 7.86%

Actual =     9.97%

Diff=          1.4%






Predicted = 8.43%

Actual =     8.94%

Diff=          6.1%

Maintain under KCC value

Maintain under KCC value


Maintain % difference between actual and predicted to near zero





Priority 3: Road safety - killed or seriously injured (KSI)




Anticipated Outcomes

Lead Agency

To continue multi-agency work promoting road safety awareness to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.


Deliver road safety education programmes (e.g. RUSH, Car’n’age, Licensed to Kill) delivered in schools, colleges and community groups in the borough.


Engage with Kent Public Health to promote driving under the influence (alcohol and drug awareness).


Develop a Pedestrian Awards Scheme (PAWS) for 4-14 year olds.

Reduced road fatalities and serious injury caused by young drivers and drivers of two-wheeled vehicles.




Reduced road fatalities and serious injury caused as a result of alcohol



Demonstrable practical road safety knowledge and abilities

Kent Fire and Rescue Service





Kent Road Safety team and Kent Public Health



SMP Road Safety (KSI) sub-group



1 Oct 2013 to

30 Sept 2014

Kent-wide comparison

Target (by 2018)


Total casualties per 1,000 population – all ages


Total casualties per 10,000 population – (under 16 yrs)


Road users Killed or Seriously Injured per 10,000 pop – (all ages)


Road users Killed or Seriously Injured per 10,000 pop – (under 16 yrs)



Delivery of RUSH education programme to Year 11 students






















Not applicable


Reduce to KCC av.


Reduce to KCC av.


Reduce to KCC av.


Maintain under KCC av.


RUSH delivered to 3,000 Year 11 students annually



Priority 4: Substance misuse




Anticipated Outcomes

Lead Agency

To continue multi-agency work to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on individuals and the local community, including drunken behaviour, binge and underage drinking.

Support Kent Alcohol Strategy, developing local, targeted projects with young people.


Assess needle finds and needle drop locations in Maidstone and develop a targeted partnership action plan to increase outreach support and services.


Implementation of multi-agency street outreach to support street population through CRI, GPs and other providers.


Take direct action against Maidstone’s ‘head shops’

Reduction in underage drinking across Maidstone.

Raised young people’s awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.


Reduce needle finds and increase use and provision of needle drop locations.



Increased referrals to targeted inventions against these individuals and reduce the impact on the community


Fewer reports of ASB, fewer admissions to hospital

SMP Substance Misuse sub-group




SMP Substance Misuse sub-group



SMP Substance Misuse sub-group



CSP and Trading Standards



1 Oct 2013 to

30 Sept 2014

Kent-wide comparison

Target (by 2018)


Number of drug offences per 1,000 population



Alcohol related hospital admissions per 10,000 population



Number of discarded needles picked up





















2.38 (half the difference)


Maintain under KCC av


Reduce to 1,200pa


Priority 4: Violent Crime (domestic abuse)




Anticipated Outcomes

Lead Agency

To work to reduce repeat victimisation of domestic abuse victims and to ensure effective services are in place to support and meet the needs of victims.


Support the delivery of the Maidstone Domestic Abuse Action Plan to support the CSP Plan.






Support the Specialist Domestic Violence Court and the work of the Independent Domestic Violence Advisors.


Continuation of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) in Maidstone.

Increased access to information for agencies, victims, families and friends; improvement of agency links to DV Forum; improved referral routes; improved awareness and access to services for adults, children and teenage victims.


Increased number of domestic abuse cases seen at Court.



Increased referrals from wider range of agencies.

Support to high risk victims of domestic abuse.

Maidstone Domestic Violence Forum






HM Court Services




Maidstone Domestic Violence Forum



1 Oct 2013 to

30 Sept 2014

Kent-wide comparison

Target (by 2018)


Number of DA incidents per 1,000 population





% who are repeat victims



Number of visitors to DA One Stop Shop

(a)           Actual

(b)           Per 10,000 population



% of repeat MARAC cases
































Encourage reporting to match the Kent-wide comparison


Maintain under the Kent-wide comparison


Increase to 140

Increase to 9/10,000 pop


Maintain current levels



Priority 5: Violent Crime (Night-Time Economy)




Anticipated Outcomes

Lead Agency

To ensure Maidstone continues to be a safe place to socialise

Review police enforcement of

the NTE




Engage with the media to inform and educate visitors and business owners



Provide effective treatment for offenders whose offending is alcohol related


Directed operations and supervision to be undertaken to ensure that licensed premises are well run.




Provide a reassuring presence in the night-time economy



Review the implementation of an Alcohol/Drug Test on Arrest scheme

Targeted police resources to reduce impact on the local community and individuals as a result of alcohol misuse.


Improved promotion of responsible drinking messages to members of the public and within licensed premises.


Increased referrals into CRI treatment services.


Reduced impact on the local community and individuals as a result of alcohol misuse.

Reduced underage sales through licensed premises.


Improved perceptions around safety in the night-time economy.



Increased number of people accessing and completing treatment for substance misuse.

Kent Police





MBC/Kent Police/TCM



MBC Licensing/Trading Standards


MBC Licensing



MBC Licensing/Trading Standards

Urban Blue/Street Pastors


Kent Police/CRI




1 Oct 2013 to

30 Sept 2014

Kent-wide comparison

Target (by 2018)


Maidstone Hospital admissions (assault) per 10,000 population


Violence against the Person per 1,000 population













3.86 (half the difference


Maintain under KCC av



8.    Prevent


8.1   The national Prevent Strategy has recently been updated to reflect the ‘broader scope, tighter focus’ approach that the Government wants to adopt within Prevent. In practice this means that whilst al-Qaeda remains the biggest threat to national security, and most effort will likely be directed towards the risk they pose, any groups or individuals that present a risk (of violent extremism or terrorism) should be dealt with proportionately, regardless of their motivation. The Strategy has three overriding objectives which are to:


·                Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;

·                Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and

·                Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.


Maidstone CSP is a member of the Kent Prevent Steering Board which meets on a quarterly basis and sets the direction for Prevent activity across the county.


9.    Consultation on Priorities and Partnership Plan


Maidstone has some clearly defined urban as well as rural areas, often with competing demands on resources and emphasis on what local priorities should be.  Through the annual Strategic Assessment and future consultation events, stakeholders will be informed of progress against the Partnership Plan to ensure there are no other compelling issues that should be included in the Plan.


10. Further information


Maidstone Community Safety Unit

Tel: 01634 602000


Maidstone Police Station

Non-emergency Tel: 101

Emergency Tel: 999


Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Tel: 01622 692121


One-Stop Shop

Maidstone Gateway reception, Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6GY

Tel: 01622 761146


Domestic Abuse Hotline Domestic Abuse Support and Services in Kent

Tel: 0808 2000247


Kent Hate Incident Reporting Line

Tel: 0800 1381624


Anti-Terrorist Hotline

Tel: In confidence on 0800 789321


Mental Health

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
Tel: 01622 724100


Maidstone Mind

Tel: 01622 692383


Restorative Justice

Maidstone Mediation

Tel: 01622 692843


Project Salus

Tel: 01303 817470


Text service for the deaf or speech-impaired

If you're deaf or speech-impaired, you can text Kent Police. Start the message with the word ‘police’ then leave a space and write your message including what and where the problem is. Send your text to 60066 (the Kent Police communications centre) and they will reply with a message.