AppBStrategicAssessment2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SMP1 (Small)

 

 

Att 2: Draft Strategic Assessment

2015-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CONTENTS

    

1.

Executive Summary

 

 

 

1.1  Overview

 

 

 

1.2  Key Facts

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Introduction

 

 

 

2.1  The purpose of this Strategic Assessment

 

 

 

2.2  The background to Strategic Assessments

 

 

 

2.3  Maidstone Community Safety Partnership

 

 

 

2.4  Partnership working in two tier areas

 

 

 

2.5  Maidstone Community Safety Unit

 

 

 

2.6  Maidstone Borough Council Policy Framework

 

 

 

2.7  Safer Maidstone Partnership and Public Health

 

 

 

2.8  Contributors to this Assessment

 

 

3.

Maidstone Crime and Resolution Overview

 

 

 

3.1  Three year time series

 

 

 

3.2  Crime resolution outcome analysis

 

 

4.

Performance 2013-14: Progress on Current Priorities

 

 

 

4.1  Anti-Social Behaviour

 

 

 

4.2  Violent crime - Domestic Abuse

 

 

 

4.3  Violent crime – Night time economy

 

 

 

4.4  Substance Misuse

 

 

 

4.5  Road Safety – Killed & Seriously Injured 17-24 year olds

 

 

 

4.6  Reducing Re-offending

 

 

5.

Community Safety Priorities 2015-16 and Recommendations

 

 

 

5.1  Establishing local crime priorities

 

 

 

5.2  National and local emerging issues

 

 

 

5.3  Local Community Safety Priorities

 

 

 

 

5.3.1  Violent crime

 

 

 

5.3.2  Anti-Social behaviour

 

 

 

5.3.3  Substance Misuse

 

 

 

5.3.4  Reducing Re-offending

 

 

 

5.3.5  Road Safety – Killed & Seriously Injured

 

 

5.4  Cross-cutting Themes

 

 

 

5.5  Recommendations to Safer Maidstone Partnership

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

Implementation and Monitoring

 

 

7.

Strategic Assessment Review Date

 

 

8.

How to get further information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDICES

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1 – Methodology and Information Sources

 

 

 

Appendix 2 – Case studies

 

 

 

Appendix 3 – Maidstone demographic and economic summary

 

 

 

Appendix 4 - Terrorism

 

 

 

Appendix 5 - Glossary of Terms

 

 

 

Appendix 6 – Statistical Process Charts explained

 

 


1.        Executive Summary

1.1      Overview

1.1.1   Victim-Based Crime in Kent October 2013 to September 2014

Please note:  Due to changes in crime recording practices in Kent as a result of the HMIC inspection of Kent Police crime recording practice, current data is not directly comparable to previous years and should only be used as a guide.

 

The crime types which have been most affected by changes to recording practices are violence related offences, including both Violence Against the Person (VAP) and Violent Crime.  These violence offences form part of Victim Based Crime.  The changes to recording practices are evident in some of the Kent Police SPC charts such as VAP which shows a significant step change in the number of recorded incidents.  The Statistical Process Control (SPC) chart[1] below reflects these changes.  Due to these changes it is not possible to compare the current year with previous years.

 

Thanet recorded the highest number of victim based crimes between October 2013 and September 2014 as well as the highest rate per 1,000 population of 85.5 crimes.  This was followed by Dartford and Swale with the next highest rates of victim based crime during that 12-month period, with Swale also have the second highest number of recorded crimes.  The lowest levels of victim-based crime per 1,000 pop were recorded in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and Malling, whilst Maidstone enjoys the fourth lowest

 

Between April to September 2014, Margate Central ward in Thanet saw the highest rate of Victim Based Crime, followed by Town ward in Dartford.  In the same period, Maidstone High Street ward saw the highest volume of victim-based incidents (1,140).

 

SPC Chart for Victim-Based Crime in Kent (excl. Medway) January 2010 to September 2014

Rectangular Callout: 755 crimes back record converted

 


Given the limitations on the comparability of data between years noted above, 9 out of 12 Kent district experienced year on year increases in victim-based crime.  Overall, Kent districts (excluding Medway) experienced a 7.76% increase in victim-based crime in 2013/14 compared to the same period in 2012/13, with 6,230 more reports.

 

1.1.2         Crime in Maidstone October 2013 to September 2014

All crime in Maidstone rose by 5.8% in the period October 2013 to September 2014.  This compares with a rise 8.9% in the previous year, and fall of 12.9% the year before that.  There were relatively small increases in reported incidences of shoplifting (+2.0%), motor vehicle thefts (+3.2%) and road traffic collisions (+3.1%), but much larger increases in assaults resulting in hospital admissions (+35.4%), sexual offences (+20.9%), violent crime (+23.1%) and the number or persons experiencing repeat instances of domestic abuse (+23.1%).  Set against these rises were reductions in reported anti-social behaviour (-8.6%), drug offences (-8.7%), robbery (-7.7%), dwelling burglary (-5.6%), and metal theft (-53.5%).

 

Despite the increase in recorded crime, Maidstone improved its position relative to other Kent districts from 5th place in 2012/13 (53.3 crimes per 1,000 population) to 4th place county-wide (59.8) crimes per 1,000 population).  (See Section 3 for further details).

 

1.1.3         Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011 introduced elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).  The newly elected PCC took over from Kent Police Authority on 22 November 2012 and now determines:

·                The policing strategy for Kent & Medway

·                The force budget

·                The police element (or precept) of the Council Tax

·                The appointment (and if necessary dismissal) of the Chief Constable.

 

The legislation requires the PCC to issue a Police & Crime Plan.  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 identified:

 

·                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

 

Annual Refresh of the Police and Crime Plan 2014/15

The PCC reviewed the current plan in Autumn 2014, and asked for feedback from partners and the public in response to a consultation document entitled ‘Have your say on Policing in Kent’:

Following the consultation, three new policing priorities have been included in the revised plan:

·                £200,000 each year for the next three years to work with partner agencies to help reduce child sexual exploitation;

·                a renewed emphasis on supporting victims and witnesses, including the establishment of a new Victims and Witness Unit in Ashford. 

·                The PCC has pledged to work closer with district community safety units to work together to drive and deliver crime reduction.

 

1.1.4        Kent Community Safety Agreement 2014-17

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.  There have been many changes since the last agreement was developed, including a mutual duty on the PCC and CSPs to cooperate to reduce crime, disorder and re-offending.  As a result, the development of the new agreement has been aligned with the annual review of the Police and Crime Plan, as well as future developments in relation to commissioning by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and all budget setting processes.  These changes will help to ensure a dovetailing of priorities and a greater likelihood of crossover between partners providing opportunities for joint working and more opportunity for investment in community safety generally.

 

Data analysis, partnership consultation and 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 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:

 

Whilst the above diagram sets out the existing priorities, this will be subject to annual review and may be amended during the three year period of the agreement if appropriate.  The review will take into consideration the outcome of the local assessments as well as any emerging issues or changes to legislation that may need to be implemented.

 


Kent County Community Safety Agreement Suggested Priorities:

Datasets from partner agencies have been sourced and analysed to look at volume and trends as well as comparing them to national datasets where possible.  The outcome of this initial analysis are the following emerging county-wide priorities:

 

·                Substance Misuse

·                Domestic Abuse

·                Acquisitive Crime

·                Violent Crime

·                Road Safety

 

Other Local Community Safety Priorities:

Although these issues are not identified as one of the current priorities (with the exception of legal highs which is covered within Substance Misuse), they can be incorporated into the broader cross-cutting themes, for example ‘supporting victims and vulnerable households/individuals’ and ‘safeguarding children and young people’.  Some of the issues that have become a focus either to partners or the public over the last year include:

 

·                Mental health

·                Preventing violent extremism

·                Child sexual exploitation

·                E-safety

·                Legal highs (also known as New Psychoactive Substances or ‘Lethal Highs’)

 

1.2          Key Facts April 2013 to March 2014

Key crime statistics are summarised in this section; they should not be read out of context and are a guide to key crime highlights in 2013-14.  In addition, the ‘health warning’ on Page 3 must be kept in mind.

 

In Maidstone 2013-14 all crime increased by 513 from 8,897 crimes in 2012-13 to 9,410 in 2013-14.  Over the five years 2009-10 to 20013-14 crime in Maidstone fell some 14%, only to rise over the last two years so that overall the crime level is the same as it was in 2009/10.

 

Despite the overall increase in recorded crime noted above, out of 28 crime categories analysed in detail in Section 3, Maidstone improved or maintained its position relative to the other 11 district councils in Kent in 14 categories, including all three measures of domestic abuse, assaults, theft and handling and violent crime.

 

Anti-Social Behaviour:  The success in tackling ASB across the county is shown through a continuous reduction over the last few years.  Compared to 2012/13 ASB incidents in Kent (excluding Medway) have fallen by 3,670 (8.3%), from 44,210 to 40,540.  Most of the 12 districts saw a decrease in the incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour, with Ashford seeing the largest decrease of 1,341 incidents (-42%), followed by Shepway with a reduction of 632 incidents (-16.7%).  Thanet had the highest volume and rate (per 1,000 population) of ASB whilst Ashford had the lowest volume with 1,850 incidents and a rate of 15.40 incidents per 1,000 people.  ASB reduced in Maidstone for the third consecutive year by nearly 6% or over 500 fewer instances.  The number of ASB incidents per 1,000 population has reduced from 27.7 to 23.4, although Maidstone’s county ranking has slipped from 4th to 5th.

 

At ward level High Street, Fant and East wards recorded the highest volumes of ASB with 666, 246 and 222 recorded incidents respectively for the 9 month period April to December 2014.  These three wards account for 38% of all ASB incidents in Maidstone.  Reducing ASB is the top priority of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and will remain a priority for the SMP.

 

The recorded number of incidents of Domestic Abuse increased in the period October 2013 to September 2014 by 258 incidents (14.5%) from 1,784 to 2,042.  There was a proportionally larger increase in the number of repeat victims (from 416 to 512), leading to a slight increase in the percentage of repeat victims from 23.3% to 25.1%.  Across Kent there was an 11.6% rise in the number of incidents of DA.  Given the well researched evidence that domestic abuse is one of the most underreported crimes, with an estimated 35 occurrences before a victim feels able to report, increases in reports are to be welcomed and this is an area that should remain a focus for the Partnership.

 

Drug offences in Maidstone decreased from 472 in 2012-13 to 431 in 2013-14, a fall of 41 offences (8.7%).  Maidstone is now ranked 11th in the County, (compared with 10th place county-wide in 2012-13).  Our rate per 1,000 population of 2.74 is above the County level of 2.02.

 

Road Safety:  Maidstone continues to record the highest number of RTC casualties in the county. 

Casualties from road traffic accidents increased by 21 (3.1%) from 672 in 2012-13 to 693 in 2013-14, although this is still a reduction from 726 in 2008.  The rate of increase is a third of the county-wide increase of 9.0%.  However, the number of KSI casualties has risen 54 to 76, a 40.7% rise, but remains below the 2008 total of 89.  In Kent, only Dover district saw a decrease in casualties. 

 

The A26 remains as the road with the highest number of collisions per km (just under 12) in the Borough.  At ward level, High Street had the highest count of RTC casualties (8 KSI; 56 slight) in Maidstone, followed by Boxley (1 KSI, 44 slight) and North Downs (6 KSI, 32 slight).  The 17-24 age group continues to be over-represented in RTC’s and thus will remain an SMP priority.

 

Reducing Re-Offending: In 2009 a National Audit Office report estimated that re-offending by young ex-prisoners costs between £8.5 to £11 billion per year.  https://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-youth-justice-system-in-england-and-wales-reducing-offending-by-young-people/.  Reducing re-offending has been a statutory duty of community safety partnerships since 1st April 2010, and is one of the cross-cutting themes of the Kent Community Safety Agreement 2014-17.  Preventing further offences reduces the number of victims, and the damage done to local families and communities.  Reducing re-offending cuts across other SMP priorities, especially Substance Misuse and Domestic Abuse.

 

Each quarter the Ministry of Justice publish local re-offending rates.  In 2010 it was identified that Kent’s overall performance and Maidstone’s local performance was not as good as it should be.  Across the period January to December 2013 the actual re-offending rate for Maidstone was just 1.4% higher than the predicted rate, which places Maidstone 4th when compared to the other 11 districts in Kent.  The Reducing Re-offending Sub-Group will continue to drive forward multi-agency work across the 7 Resettlement Pathways and to add value to each others work in terms of effectiveness and impact on offenders and victims.

 

Theft and handling stolen goods increased slightly by 4.3% (113 more offences) although, Maidstone’s County-wide ranking improved two places 9th to 7th.

 

Shoplifting offences have seen a small rise from 1,086 to 1,108 offences (+2.0%), which maintains Maidstone in 10th place in the county.

Vehicle crime: Whilst theft of a motor vehicle increased by 160 incidents (+3.2%), theft from motor vehicles decreased by 121 to 482 incidents in 2013/14.  Despite these mixed results, Maidstone improved its county-wide ranking from 7th to 4th (theft of) and maintained its ranking (4th) for theft from.

 

Violent Crime: The crime types which have been most affected by changes to recording practices are violence related offences, including both Violence Against the Person (VAP) and Violent Crime.  This is evident in the Kent Police SPC chart for VAP (page 4) which shows a significant step change in the number of recorded incidents.  The graph below which shows the total of violent crime across Kent (excl. Medway), reflects these changes.  Due to these changes it is not possible to compare the current year with previous years.

 

 

Given the above caveat, in Maidstone Violence against the person increased by 24.4%, from 1,889 incidents to 2,349.  Within this overall figure burglary of dwellings offences has increased by 1.6% and robbery by 1 offence to 47 offences.  Despite this increase, Maidstone continues to be ranked 6th in the county for violent offences.

 

The number of Deliberate and Accidental Fires rose by 8% and 3% respectively.


2.  Introduction

2.1          The purpose of this Strategic Assessment

This is the Strategic Assessment is for the period April 2015 to March 2016, and is prepared on behalf of the Safer Maidstone Partnership (SMP) to inform strategic planning and commissioning priorities for the community safety partnership.  It is used to update the priorities and planned activities for the 2015-18 Community Safety Partnership Action Plan.

 

The purpose of this Strategic Assessment is to provide knowledge and understanding of community safety issues to the members of the Safer Maidstone Partnership, and to provide a sound evidence base upon which the Partnership can base future prioritisation.  The assessment is based upon intelligence and analysis and identifies the emerging priorities by considering the patterns, trends and shifts relating to aspects of community safety.  It provides a knowledge and understanding of local community safety concerns and considers what needs to be achieved to help improve community safety, including how the community can feel assured and confident that their concerns and fears are being addressed.  Emerging priorities are identified through intelligence analysis of patterns, trends and shifts relating to crime and disorder in the Maidstone borough.  It is produced annually and complemented by regular assessments that monitor CSP activities.

 

2.2          The background to Strategic Assessments

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 gave statutory responsibility to local authorities, the police, and key partners to reduce crime and disorder in their communities.  In 2006, a review of the partnership provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Police Reform Act 2002 led to a series of recommendations to strengthen and extend existing requirements further through the experience gained from partnership working.  This resulted in a new set of national minimum standards which came into force in August 2007.  The 1998 Act included the requirement to produce a detailed crime and disorder audit through consultation with key agencies and the wider community and had to use the findings to identify strategic priorities and set targets and performance measures.  The new national standards placed a legal obligation on responsible authorities to comply with the specified requirements, one of which was the creation of a strategic assessment in place of the previous 3 yearly audit.

 

The introduction of strategic assessments hoped to move partnerships toward a more intelligence-led business planning approach.  It was also hoped that by removing the need to produce a three year audit and replacing it with the requirement to produce a strategic assessment at least yearly, partnerships will improve their understanding of problems and their potential causes and thus respond more effectively to the communities they serve.

 

2.3          Maidstone Community Safety Partnership

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 required local councils, police and other agencies to set up Crime and Disorder Reductions Partnerships (CDRPs) and to work together to tackle local crime problems.  In Maidstone the CDRP is called the ‘Safer Maidstone Partnership’ and is referred to as the 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 (Kent County Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Kent Police, Kent Police Authority, NHS, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Probation Service and Maidstone Prison) and also incorporates members from other key partners including Maidstone Mediation, Kenward Trust and Golding Homes.  The SMP’s objectives are to:

 

·                Promote Maidstone as a safe place to live, work and visit;

·                Take a preventative approach to tackle and reduce anti-social behaviour;

·                Reduce violent crime and reduce serious crime in the wards where the trend is higher than the borough average;

·                Reduce alcohol related crime in the town centre and identified rural locations;

·                Reduce re-offending to at least our predicted rate;

·                Reduce drug offences;

·                Tackle domestic abuse through supporting victims and challenging perpetrators to change their behaviour;

·                Reduce those killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 

2.4        Partnership working in two-tier areas

The strategic assessment must outline the priorities to escalate to the county level.  Kent County Council prepares a community safety agreement based on the individual strategic assessments of partnerships within the county.  The county community safety agreement identifies:

 

·                Ways of co-ordinating across the county to address priorities;

·                How the responsible authorities might contribute to reducing crime, disorder and substance misuse through closer joint working across the county.

·                 

For two tier authorities such as Kent, a statutory Community Safety Agreement was introduced to develop a more joined-up approach to public service delivery, enable more effective and co-ordinated strategic planning across partner agencies and to ensure sustainable and lasting improvements in delivering outcomes.

 

2.5          Maidstone Borough Council Policy Framework - The Strategic Assessment in context

        The Strategic Assessment does not exist in isolation, but is linked to a number of partnership strategies and plans.  The Strategic Assessment is a key document which feeds into partners’ service and operational plans and informs the work of the Safer Maidstone Partnership.

 

The Maidstone Community Strategy is the topmost level of policy making for the locality.  It was first published in 2009 and its purpose is to set the overall strategic direction and long-term vision for the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Maidstone.  The Sustainable Community Strategy was refreshed in July 2013

 

      Maidstone Borough Council Strategic Plan

Maidstone sits at the heart of Kent and within the sphere of influence of London - one of the world’s most vibrant cities.  Taking its cue from the Maidstone Community Strategy, the Strategic Plan illustrates how Maidstone Borough Council will create the conditions to ensure Maidstone Borough is an attractive place to live, work and visit. 

 

2.6          Safer Maidstone Partnership and Public Health

Public health is defined as:

“Public Health protects and improves the populations’ health and wellbeing, and reduces health inequalities.” (Definition from Public Health England)

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 received Royal Assent on 27 March 2012 and was a critical step in the transition towards the establishment of a new public health system.  From April 2013 upper tier and unitary local authorities provide local leadership for public health, underpinned by new statutory functions, dedicated resources and expert public health teams.  This new role complements but also extends existing local authority functions in terms of maximising the wellbeing of citizens, including for example, environmental health and tackling local crime priorities.  

Public health’s links to SMPs priorities:

1. Violent crime:

·                PH provide approximately £300,000 per year into the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service

·                PH are currently developing a domestic abuse needs assessment to help design and commission future services

·                PH will work with the Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Steering Group to examine how to improve support for children and young people affected by DA, as well as examining the programmes available for perpetrators

·                In 2015, PH plans to re-start agreement where A&E departments collect and provide information about violent assaults to the Police. This can then be used to target violence hotspots

 

2. Substance Misuse:

PH published the 2014 Alcohol Strategy and is facilitating its implementation by;

·                helping local areas produce action plans related to the strategy

·                offering in depth analysis of local statistics

·                highlighting and sharing best practice from around Kent and nationally

·                Piloting awareness raising and IBA (Identification and Brief Advice) campaigns

·                KDAAT have recently joined PH

 

3. Reducing Re-offending:

·                PH have recently completed a Community Offenders Health Needs Assessment

·                PH is undertaking a health review of young offenders.

·                PH are now working with Kent Police, CRC, NPS and IOM leads to improve the health of offenders which will hopefully reduce their re-offending.

·                A key focus of this is improving the data sharing between health and criminal justice organisations

 

4. Anti-Social Behaviour:

·                Much of the ASB in Kent is alcohol related; we are hoping to reduce this through the Alcohol Strategy

·                We work closely with other relevant KCC teams (Community Safety, Troubled Families) where appropriate

 

5.  Road Safety:

·                KCC Transport and Safety Policy is led by the Highways team (David Joyner leads)

·                Public Health England have recently produced “Reducing unintentional injuries on the roads among children and young people under 25 years”

·                https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322212/Reducing_unintentional_injuries_on_the_roads_among_children_and_young_people_under_25_years.pdf

 

2.8          Contributors to this Assessment

The Strategic Assessment has been produced on behalf of the Safer Maidstone Partnership by Duncan Bruce in consultation with partnership agencies represented in the SMP.  In addition, thanks are gratefully expressed to partners represented through the Kent Connects portal, and to the other local partners with whom we continue to work.

 

Chart 1 overleaf shows how the Strategic Assessment informs the Partnership Plan and sits alongside national and county level policy documents.  The current organisation chart for the Safer Maidstone Partnership is shown as Chart 2.

 


Chart 1: Strategic Assessment - Policy and Strategy linkages

 

 


 

Rounded Rectangle: Antisocial Behaviour Sub-GroupRounded Rectangle: Safer Maidstone Partnership
(SMP)
Chart 2 – Safer Maidstone Partnership organisation


3.  Maidstone Crime and Resolution Overview

3.1          Three year time series[2]

Category

2011/ 2012[3]

2012/ 2013

2013/ 2014

Volume change[4]

% change

Per 1k pop[5]

District Rank[6]

Total victim based crimes

7,372

8,033

8,457

+424

+5.3%

53.8

4

Total crimes against society[7]

670

864

953

+89

+10.3%

6.1

N/A

All crime total

8,042

8,897

9,410

+513

+5.8%

59.8

N/A

Anti-Social Behaviour incidents

4.923

4,026

3,679

-347

-8.6%

23.4

5

Assaults resulting in hospital admissions (Sept-Aug 12/13 & 13/14)

 

48

65

+17

+35.4%

0.4

8

Burglary – Dwelling

391

496

468

-28

-5.6%

7.4

6

Burglary – Other

661

607

568

-39

-6.4%

3.6

6

Criminal Damage

1,244

1,379

1,379

NIL

NIL

8.8

5

Domestic Abuse (DA) – number of incidents (incl 16 & 17yr olds)

1,739

1,784

2,042

+258

+14.5%

16.1

5

DA - number of repeat victims

426

416

512

+96

+23.1%

4.0

5

DA -  % repeat victims

24.5%

23.3%

25.1%

+1.8%

+7.7%

 

5

Drug Offences

359

472

431

-41

-8.7%

2.7

11

Metal Theft

158

170

79

-91

-53.5%

0.5

4

Re-offending rate: % difference between actual v predicted rate

Predicted

Actual

7.86%

7.97%

+0.11%

+1.4%

 

4

Robbery

37

65

60

-5

-7.7%

0.4

5

Sexual Offences

102

168

203

+35

+20.9%

1.3

5

Shoplifting

955

1,086

1,108

+22

+2.0%

7.04

10

Theft & Handling Stolen Goods

2,698

2,615

2,728

+113

+4.3%

17.3

7

Theft from a Motor Vehicle

504

603

482

-121

-20.1%

3.1

4

Theft of a Motor Vehicle

181

155

160

+5

+3.2%

1.0

4

Theft of Pedal Cycle

112

104

138

+34

+32.7%

0.9

6

Other Theft Offences

1,631

1,425

1,482

+57

+4.0%

9.4

6

Violent Crime

1,652

2,122

2,612

+490

+23.1%

16.6

6

Violence Against the Person

1,513

1,889

2,349

+460

+24.4%

14.9

6

Accidental Fires

187

199

205

+6

+3.0%

N/A

12

Deliberate Fires

99

88

95

+7

+8.0%

N/A

7

Road Traffic Collisions – all casualties (July-June 11/12 to 13/14)

622

672

693

+21

+3.1%

N/A

12

KSI[8] casualties All ages

58

54

76

+22

+40.7%

N/A

11

KSI casualties <16 yrs

55

50

51

+1

+2.0%

N/A

9

KSI car drivers 17-24 yrs[9]

1

1

4

+3

+300%

N/A

12

KSI road users aged 65 and over

9

3

9

+6

+200%

N/A

12


1.2    Maidstone crime resolution outcome analysis: April – December 2014

 

1) Charged/Summonsed

2) Caution – youths

3) Caution – adults

4) Taken into consideration

5) Offender Died

6) Police Notice for Disorder

7) Cannabis Warning

8) Community Resolution

9) Not in public interest (CPS)

10) Not in public interest (Police)

11) Prosecution prevented – suspect under age

12) Prosecution prevented – suspect ill

13) Prosecution prevented – victim/key witness dead/ill

14) Evidential difficulties victim based – suspect not identified

15) Evidential difficulties prevent further action; victim supports police action

16) Evidential difficulties prevent further action; victim does not support police action

17) Prosecution time limit expired

18) Investigation complete - no suspect identified

Total outcomes

Apr 14

110

9

19

0

1

6

0

24

0

0

0

3

0

14

68

80

4

367

705

May 14

120

3

28

0

0

9

0

19

1

0

2

7

1

6

80

101

1

339

717

Jun 14

128

5

37

2

0

7

0

16

0

0

1

7

1

8

116

82

0

326

736

Jul 14

140

3

19

1

0

11

0

22

0

0

1

5

0

5

67

93

0

439

806

Aug 14

120

3

27

0

0

7

0

25

0

1

1

8

0

12

98

80

0

368

750

Sep 14

116

4

15

0

0

5

0

21

0

0

1

9

1

7

92

78

0

428

777

Oct 14

106

3

18

1

0

2

0

8

0

0

1

12

0

8

88

96

1

376

720

Nov 14

130

10

15

0

0

1

0

25

0

0

0

5

0

4

91

84

1

358

724

Dec 14

98

9

19

0

0

3

0

12

0

0

1

5

1

7

75

116

1

364

711

Total

1,068

49

197

4

1

51

0

172

1

1

8

61

4

71

775

810

8

3,365

6,646

%

16.1%

0.7%

2.9%

0.1%

0%

0.8%

0%

2.6%

0%

0%

0.2%

0.9%

0.1%

1.1%

11.7%

12.2%

0.2%

50.6%

100%

 

 


4.  Performance 2013-2014: Progress on current priorities

4.1          Anti-Social Behaviour

Although the evidence shows that ASB in Maidstone has fallen a further 8.6%, slightly more than the County-wide average fall 8.3%.  Despite this, Maidstone’s county ranking has fallen from 4th to 5th for ASB incidents per 1,000 population.  At ward level High Street, Fant and East wards recorded the highest volumes of ASB with 666, 246 and 222 recorded incidents respectively for the 9 month period April to December 2014.  These three wards account for 38% of all ASB incidents in Maidstone.  In terms of public perception, the relatively highly concentrated nature of ASB in Maidstone means that overall the borough performs well compared with the rest of Kent.  Despite the large night time economy (NTE), public perceptions of drunk or rowdy behaviour or teenagers hanging about are well below expected levels.

 

Despite the decrease in ASB incidents, and given that much ASB occurs away from the town centre, there remains a need to support both town centre safe socialising and more focused work in specific locations, including rural ‘hotspots’.  During 2013/14 the ASB Sub-Group has:

 

·      Hosted the weekly SMP Partnership Tasking and Action Group meeting to identify repeat and vulnerable victims and promote joint working.

·      Sought ASB/Injunction orders where appropriate.

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

·      Worked with licence premises holders through the Night-time Economy Forum and other direct liaison

·      SMP continued to fund the Urban Blue Bus which acts as a place of safety in the NTE, and enables multi-agency outreach working to a variety of client groups

·      Worked with local schools and hospitals to develop initiatives – such as ‘Wasted’ - aimed at raising young people’s awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol through the SMP Substance Misuse Sub-Group.

·      Provided community based outreach in conjunction with Switch Youth Café.

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

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

·      Carried out targeted substance misuse work with offenders.

·      Developed and promoted youth diversionary activity: such as Zeroth Gym and Challenger Troop, SNAP discos, community football & boxing, Power Project (YISP).

 

Case Study:  Two vulnerable residents, one housebound, one with learning difficulties and partially sighted had been the on-going victims of hate crime and antisocial behaviour in Coxheath.  Youths were known to be entering the property overnight and there was evidence of drug use and melted plastic containers in and outside the property.  The two vulnerable residents believed that the property was haunted and had been sleeping in the downstairs sitting room for years.

 

The Kent Community Warden for the area co-ordinated the efforts of the Police, Social Services, Waste Services and the local housing provider to reassure the residents, clear the house and move them to a new property in another area.  In addition, Kent Fire and Rescue visited the vulnerable people to ensure they were educated in fire safety.

Further case studies are to be found at Appendix 6

 

 

4.2          Violent Crime - Domestic Abuse

Evidence shows that in Maidstone Domestic Abuse has increased by 258 incidents, (from 1,784 to 2,042), an increase of 14.5%.  However, given the underreported nature of domestic abuse, this is an area that should remain a focus for the Partnership, particularly given the continuing economic austerity which can place households under stress.  During 2013/14 the role of DA Sub-Group continued to be delivered by the Maidstone Domestic Violence Forum, a registered charity.  During 2013/14 the Forum has:

 

·                Ensured the smooth changeover from K-DASH to Choices DA Services when the former organization resolved to cease operation;

·                Supported – through direct payment - the establishment of a DA One-Stop Shop to ensure all services are available under one roof;

·                Organised and promoted a one day DA workshop to develop a revised Action Plan, aligned with the MBC Community Safety Plan and County-wide DA strategy.

·                Refreshed and reprinted the Domestic Violence Handbook;

·                Purchased and distributed a variety of practical and promotional items, including biro pens with essential phone numbers on, to personal alarms

·                Launched a Work Place Health employee awareness campaign.

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

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

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

·                Promoted the DA Schools Project (SAFE).

·                Helped facilitate the Sanctuary and Flight Fund Schemes.

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

·                Worked with the main social housing providers to increase awareness of DA issues;

·                Supported the Specialist Domestic Violence Court and the work of the Independent Domestic Violence Advisors;

·                Provided support for male offenders wishing to rehabilitate.

 

4.3          Violent Crime – Night Time Economy (NTE)

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) (see page 3.  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.  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

 

Given the caveat above, a county-wide comparison shows Maidstone is middle ranked (6th) for violent crime per 1,000 population, and 4th amongst our West-Kent neighbours.  At ward level, in the 12 month period January to December 2014, 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.  Other wards with high levels of violent crime include Park Wood, Fant and Shepway North.  During 2013/14, the Safer Maidstone Partnership:

 

·                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.

·                Supported successful initiatives such as the Town Centre purple flag scheme

·                Used CCTV to protect and prevent crime.

·                Enforced Alcohol Control Zones.

·                Supported the county-wide Hate Crime Reporting Line.

 

4.4          Substance Misuse

Although drug offences have reduced by 8.7% (41 fewer offences), offences per 1,000 population are well above the County average, and Maidstone is ranked in 11th place overall County-wide.  To tackle this, during 2013/14 the Substance Misuse Sub-Group has facilitated:

 

·                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.

·                Supported a Legal Highs awareness campaign aligned with national campaigns.

·                Supported ‘SNAP’ discos which were attended by over 1,800 young people in 2013/14, where targeted messages were delivered regarding the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

·                Service provision provided by CRI has been integrated into the partnership. Outreach workers have delivered the Maidstone Assertive Outreach programme which engages with hard to reach individuals (e.g. street population) misusing substances.

·                Worked with licence holders through the Night-time Economy Forum and other direct liaison;

·                Promoted Maidstone as a safe place to visit for leisure and entertainment;

·                Worked with local schools and hospitals to develop initiatives – such as Theatre ADAD’s ‘Wasted’ - aimed at raising young people’s awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol through the SMP Substance Misuse Sub-Group;

·                Overseen the delivery of the Don’t Abuse The Booze project to all Maidstone secondary school including one PRU.  DATB is a two year project with a ‘whole borough’ integrated approach to firmly tackle problem drinking head-on by:

Ø   Developing a comprehensive programme of alcohol education in our schools, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and colleges;

Ø   Proactively reducing ‘pre-fuelling’ and binge-drinking;

Ø   Challenging alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour in identified ‘hot-spots’ in town centre and rural locations;

Ø   Reduce excess emergency ambulance call-outs and A&E admissions.

 

The integrated approach will have a direct impact on reducing the four key harms arising from alcohol abuse: harms to health, harms to public order, harms to productivity and harms to families and society.

 

4.5          Road Safety – Killed and Injured 17-24 Year Olds

Evidence shows that road safety has improved on Maidstone’s road over the last 10 years.  However, young drivers in the 17-24 age group experience a disproportionate number of crash’s, and the collisions they have are more serious. The Road Safety Sub-Group has:

 

·                Proactively targeted young drivers and drivers of two-wheeled vehicles.

·                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 20MPH zones around schools.

·                Promoted bus safety driver and pedestrian awareness.

·                Signposted to bicycle and marking events.

·                Promoted focused campaigns on discouraging drink driving and using mobile phones.

·                Supported KFRS to promote their demonstration/learning events:

Ø   Car’n’Age

Ø   Carmageddon

Ø   Rush

Ø   Jack & Jill

Ø   Licence to Kill

 

4.6          Reducing Re-offending

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.  Reducing re-offending was adopted as the SMP’s 5th priority in 2012/13 following an analysis of Maidstone’s actual re-offending rate against what its expected rate should be.  A re-offending sub-group was established involving all key agencies to gain an overview of which agencies are doing what in terms of the 7[10] resettlement pathways and provide strategic direction to the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) and Deter Young Offenders (DYO) groups.

 

·                All offender managers have been briefed in relation to the process and benefits of these approaches.

·                Restorative Justice has become an embedded process within Integrated Offender Management (IOM).

·                Community Payback scheme is 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.      Community Safety Priorities 2015-16 and Recommendations

5.1    Establishing SMP Priorities – Local Crime Priorities Assessment Score Sheet

 

Maidstone Performance & Comparisons

Sub-total

Community & Victim Impact

 

 

Crime category

Volume change yr on yr[11]

3 year Trend[12]

Comparison #1 West Kent[13]

Comparison #2 County[14]

Community concern[15]

Level of harm[16]

Can SMP add value?[17]

Total score

Priority Rank

Anti-Social Behaviour

0

0

5

3

8

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic abuse: number

5

5

5

3

18

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic abuse: % repeat

5

5

3

3

16

 

 

 

 

 

Drug offences

0

5

3

5

13

 

 

 

 

 

Re-offending rate

5

N/A

3

3

11

 

 

 

 

 

Burglary – Dwelling

0

5

3

0

  8

 

 

 

 

 

Burglary - Other

0

0

3

0

  3

 

 

 

 

 

Criminal damage

3

3

5

3

14

 

 

 

 

 

Theft from motor vehicle

5

5

3

3

16

 

 

 

 

 

Theft of motor vehicle

0

5

3

3

11

 

 

 

 

 

Violent crime

5

5

3

3

16

 

 

 

 

 

Sexual offences

5

5

5

3

18

 

 

 

 

 

Violence Against the Person

5

5

5

3

18

 

 

 

 

 

Theft & Handling stolen goods

5

3

5

3

16

 

 

 

 

 

Robbery

0

5

5

3

13

 

 

 

 

 

Shoplifting

5

5

5

5

20

 

 

 

 

 

Accidental fires

5

5

5

5

20

 

 

 

 

 

Deliberate fires

5

3

5

3

16

 

 

 

 

 

Metal Theft

0

0

5

3

   8

 

 

 

 

 

KSI casualties all ages

5

5

5

5

20

 

 

 

 

 

All casualties under16 yrs

5

5

5

3

18

 

 

 

 

 

 


5.2          National and Local Emerging Issues 2015-2016

5.2.1Introduction

The UK economy is no longer contracting at the rate seen in 2008/09, and most economic indicators show that growth has returned.  This is reflected in the local economy which has recovered well.  Maidstone’s unemployment rate (as at September 2014) of 1.3% (1.8% in 2913 and 2.5%) is lower than the county average (1.8%) and much lower than the national rate (2.2%).  In September 2014 there were 1,257 unemployed people in Maidstone which is 5.6% lower (75 fewer people) than August 2014 and 37.3% Lower (748 fewer unemployed people) than September 2013. 

 

Unemployment rates vary across the district.  The lowest unemployment is in Detling and Thurnham ward where 0.4% of the working age population are unemployed.  The highest rate is in High Street ward where 3.0% of the working age population are unemployed.

 

The majority of those unemployed are aged 18-24 years old.  In Maidstone, 18-24 year olds account for 24.3% of all of those unemployed and in Kent the proportion is 26.5%.  More information is provided in Chart 3.

 

Table 3: Unemployment rates

 

5.2.2         Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 gained Royal Assent on 13 March 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, protect victims and communities and treat the underlying behaviour of perpetrators.  The Act streamlines and simplifies 19 existing powers, replacing them with six new ones which will enable the police, local authorities and others to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour.

 

Two further changes are the Community Trigger and Community Remedy which it is hoped will empower victims and communities by giving them a greater say in the outcome of their reports and how agencies respond to complaints of anti-social behaviour.

 

The Community Trigger

What form the Community Trigger takes depends on partnership consultation, but it is based around lack of action by agencies.  When agencies fail to work together, the Community Trigger can be invoked by individuals, agencies and community groups.  Kent CSU is consulting with District CSU partnerships to ensure the most effective Community Trigger process is developed for adoption by Districts.

 

 

 

The Community Remedy

This is a list of actions providing suitable remedies/sanctions, other than prosecution.  The list is decided upon jointly by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable after consultation with district CSUs, and the community remedy adopted must have victim agreement.

 

5.3  Local Community Safety Priorities

This Strategic Assessment’s first objective is to identify any crime and disorder trends, which can then be used to inform the priority planning for year 205/16.  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 are telling us are a concern.  The priorities are then compared with other areas and ranked against a number of factors, including volume, trend over time, resident’s concerns and how much it is felt the partnership can influence – see chart section 5.1.  This is then reviewed by our stakeholders, to help guide practitioners in formulating actions that they feel will have an impact on each priority.

 

Intertwined through each of the emerging themes are the three common threads of: Targeting prolific offenders/repeat locations; Safeguarding vulnerable and young people; Prevention and early intervention.  The following areas were identified by this process and are recommended as emerging priorities for the Safer Maidstone Partnership.

 

5.3.1         Violent Crime

The Home Office defines violent crime as robbery, sexual offences, and a group of Violence Against the Person (VAP) offences ranging from assault without injury, through wounding, to homicide.  Violent crime costs society around £13 billion annually in England and Wales, of which £4 billion is incurred by the NHS and within the Criminal Justice System.  In addition, more than 45% of violent offenders are thought to be under the influence of alcohol and young men are at almost four times greater risk of being a victim of violence than the rest of the adult population.

 

Looking specifically at violence against the person offences, in the period October 2013 to September 2014, crimes in this category saw a county-wide increase of over 30% (5,468 additional offences), although the caveat on page 3 applies.  In Maidstone, violence against the person increased from 1,889 offences in 2012/13 to 2,349 offences in 2013/14 (+24.4%), which placed Maidstone is 6th in the county.  For the year April to December 2014, at ward level, High Street Park Wood and Fant wards recorded the highest volumes of violence against the person with 574 and 163 and 152 recorded crimes respectively.  These 3 wards account for 43% of all violent crime in the borough.

 

(i)      Domestic Abuse

The cross-government definition of domestic abuse is:

‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.  The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.

 

It is known that domestic abuse is one of the most under reported crimes: the Crown Prosecution Service reports that women on average experience an average of 35 incidents of domestic abuse before reporting an incident to the police.  Nationally, domestic abuse represents approximately 25% of all violent crime.  National figures for England and Wales from 2010/11 estimate that 7% of women aged 16-59 were victims of domestic abuse in the past year, as were 5% of men.  Extrapolating this to Maidstone’s female population aged 16-59 yrs would suggest that over 3,000 women are victims of domestic abuse each year.  Using this locally derived figure compared to actual recorded domestic abuse incidents in Maidstone (2,042) suggests that only around two thirds of domestic violence incidents were reported in 2013/14.

 

In Maidstone, there are on average 39 domestic abuse incidents reported to the police each week.  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, a quarter (25.1%) are repeat incidents.

 

It is widely recognized that increased recorded incidents of domestic abuse are not necessary indicators of a worsening situation.  Since domestic abuse is such an under-reported crime increased reports indicate that DA victims feel more confident to come 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.

 

(ii)    Maidstone’s Night-Time Economy (NTE)

        Maidstone has the largest night time economy in Kent and prides itself on ensuring that visitors to the town’s entertainment venues are as safe as possible.  Given the changes in crime recording (see page 3), the real increase in total 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 admissions 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, whereas the majority of females reported to have been assaulted in the street or at home.

 

Despite a well managed evening economy, there is therefore a continuing need to tackle alcohol related incidents, including those arriving in the town centre already drunk - known as ‘pre-fuelling’.  During recent years there has been significant focus on tackling Night Time Economy crime, including violent crime and there are many examples of successful partnership projects which are in effect, including the Urban Blue Bus, Maidsafe radio, taxi marshals, purple flag scheme and Street Pastors.  However, SMP 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.

 

5.3.2              Anti-Social Behaviour

Anti social behavior is defined as:  ‘acting in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the perpetrator’

 

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 across Maidstone highlights that 3 wards (High Street, Fant, and Park Wood) account for nearly 40% of ASB incidents in the borough.  In surveys, Maidstone residents regularly feature ASB as one of the most frequently identified issues and this, together with geographic hot spots in the wards identified above, continue to be relevant as areas of concern.

 

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.

 

5.3.3       Substance Misuse

The UK has amongst the highest rates of young people’s cannabis use and binge drinking in Europe.  In the UK there are some 13,000 hospital admissions linked to young people’s drinking each year.  Early drug and alcohol use is related to a host of educational, health and social problems.  Offenders who use heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine are estimated to commit between a third and a half of all acquisitive crime.

 

In Maidstone total drug offences have reduced 8.7% or 41 incidents, but are still 20% higher than the level of three years ago and High Street ward has the highest volume of drug offences in Kent, 204 incidents or 20.9 per 1,000 population.  There have been 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%).In contrast.

 

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), or so called ‘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 and should be termed ‘lethal highs’.  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 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.

 

5.3.4       Reducing Reoffending

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.

 

Significant demands are placed on CSP resources by individuals who are repeat ASB offenders - particularly those who perpetrate low-level offences as a result of alcohol consumption.  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.  Therefore, SMP should continue to support the work of IOM to continue to have a positive impact on the number of offences caused by repeat offenders.

 

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

 

5.3.5       Road Safety - Killed or seriously injured (KSI)

In 1994 across Kent (excluding Medway) some 73 people were killed and a further 1,170 seriously injured on Kent roads: by 2011 this had reduced to 43 persons killed, with 476 seriously injured.  In 2013, there were a total of 4,252 road traffic collisions (RTCs) on Kent roads (including trunk and motorways).  In these collisions there were injuries to 5,830 people of whom:

·       48 people died

·       546 road users were seriously injured

·       5,236 road users received slight injuries.

 

KSI casualties on Maidstone Roads and 2020 Target

 

On average, the number of people of all ages Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) in Maidstone in the period 1994-98 was 115 per year.  By 2009 this had reduced to 64, and by 2012 had reduced further to 57, a halving from the 1994-98 average. 

 

However, in 2013 the number KSI in Maidstone rose slightly to 63 an increase of 10.5%.  For the six month period January to June 2014 the number KSI totals 41 which forecast a year-end total KSI between 75-80.

 

Whilst acknowledging that Maidstone has the highest number of RTCs and casualties, when KSI casualties per 1,000 population are compared with our near neighbours, road safety is a priority across West Kent – see table below.

 


Table 1.  Road Safety in West Kent – KSI per 1,000 population

 

Period

All ages KSI

Maidstone BC

Sevenoaks DC

Tonbridge & Malling BC

Tunbridge Wells BC

January to June 2014

Total KSI

41

37

25

27

KSI Per 1,000 pop

0.263

0.321

0.206

0.234

January to June 2013

Total KSI

28

29

19

27

KSI Per 1,000 pop

0.179

0.251

0.157

0.234

 

Sevenoaks DC has a higher rate of KSI casualties per 1,000 population than Maidstone in the first 6 months of 2014 and 2013, with both Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells boroughs having a higher rate per 1,000 population in the first half of 2013.

 

Table 2 - Road safety in Maidstone: 2010 – 2014

 

Category

2011

2012

2013

Jan-June 2014

Total casualties, All ages

651

675

643

345

KSI casualties, All ages

62

57

63

41

Slight casualties, All ages

589

618

580

304

KSI casualties <16 yrs old

7

3

3

2

KSI car drivers 17-24 yrs

6

4

5

4

KSI road users aged 65+

7

15

8

9

 

In 2013, total all ages casualties reduced from 2012 levels, although they are forecast to increase from 643 in 2013 to around 690 in 2014.

 

Road traffic is still the biggest cause of unnatural death, injury and harm to the people of Kent, especially young people aged between five and 25.  Kent County Council is the Highway Authority for Kent and has a Statutory Duty under the Road Traffic Act for road safety with the aim to reduce casualties through a combination of safer road engineering and education, in conjunction with Police enforcement activity. However, road safety is not just the remit of one organisation and certain aspects such as education benefit from a partnership approach.  Maidstone car user casualties over the last 5 years have consistently been above the Kent and Medway districts’ average, within this the car drivers involved in the highest number of collisions were 18 year olds (124 in total).  Over the period 2008 - 2012-20% of car drivers involved in crashes were aged 17-24: in 2013 young car users and their passengers accounted for 25.6% of all recorded KSI injuries.  Young drivers in the 17-24 age group experience a disproportionate number of RTC’s, and the collisions they have are more serious – see table below.  

Summary:

Based on the current data for 2013/14, Maidstone has seen a 3.1% increase in all casualties compared with Kent-wide increase of 9%, and a 40.7% increase in KSI casualties against the same period last year, compared to a Kent–wide KSI increase of 26.3However, young drivers in the 17-24 age group experience a disproportionate number of RTC’s, and the collisions they have are more serious.  The focus for 2015-16 will be on three user groups: young drivers aged 17–24, powered two-wheelers (p2w) riders, and teenage pedestrians (secondary school age), since these groups are over represented in the data.

 

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

 

 

5.4  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

Anti-social Behaviour

Reduce Re-offending

Violent crime (Domestic abuse & NTE)

Road safety (KSI)

Substance Misuse (including alcohol)

Targeting prolific offenders / repeat locations

Safeguarding vulnerable and young people

Prevention and early intervention

 

 

5.5  Recommendation to Safer Maidstone Partnership

Our priorities for this year have been distilled from a wide variety of information shared with our partners and represent the most important issues to focus on this (2014/15) year.  Based on the information in this Strategic Assessment, it is recommended that the Safer Maidstone Partnership confirm the following 2014/15 priorities based on the areas where maximum impact could be achieved given a continuing reduction in resources and capacity:

 

1.   Violent Crime (specifically Domestic Abuse and Night Time Economy)

2.   Anti-social Behaviour

3.   Substance Misuse

4.   Reduce Re-offending

5.   Road Safety – Killed & Seriously Injured 17-24 year olds & pedestrians

 

All the priorities will require a robust multi-agency response, but because they are important for residents and communities, achieving them will have a positive impact on people’s quality of life.


6.    Implementation and Monitoring

       

To ensure that the identified priorities and are delivered, the Partnership will review and monitor progress as follows:

 

·                At SMP level through quarterly Sub-Group Chair reports

·                At Sub–Group level through Action Plan monitoring by Sub-Group Chairs

 

7.    Strategic Assessment review date

 

The purpose of this document is to inform the annual SMP Partnership Plan and to assist the SMP and its partner agencies to draw up specific actions.  Therefore this document is reviewed annually and agreed by the Safer Maidstone Partnership in March each year.  It is also independently assessed by Kent CSU.

 

8.    How to get further information

 

If you would like further information about the Safer Maidstone Partnership, please contact: Community Partnerships Team, 6th Floor, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ. Tel: 01622 602000. www.maidstone.org.uk

 

We can provide this Assessment in large print, on tape and in Braille. For people whose first language is not English, we can arrange to have the Assessment translated into your preferred language.  Please telephone (01622) 602000 for further assistance.

 

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.

 


Appendix 1

Methodology and Information Sources

Unless otherwise stated, data collected for this Strategic Assessment relates to the time period April 2013 to March 2014, with data for the period April to September 2014 utilised where necessary.  The main body of this assessment is broken down into three sections.  The first, the crime and perceptions of crime overview, gives a three year time series analysis of crime activity, anti-social behaviour, fire and road safety data, together with our position relative to the other 11 Kent district councils.

 

The second section looks at the current partnership priorities with emphasis on the assessment of performance against these.  This is done through time series analysis since the previous assessment was undertaken and reasons for any changes in a particular issue.

 

The third section of this assessment, ‘Emerging Issues 2014-2015 and Recommendations’, further analyse the emerging potential issues identified from the performance section, with greater detail on the scope of the problem, including the scale of the problem, any reasons for changes in levels and the suggested cause of the problem including the relevance of location, time, the offender or the victim.  Following this further analysis, after going through a priority selection process with key partners, a final list of recommended partnership priorities for the upcoming year is produced.

 

A community prioritisation process allowed for the views of the local community of what issues should be deemed an emerging priority for the local area and was gathered through the Maidstone Resident Satisfaction Survey.  In addition, PCSO’s and Community Safety Unit Police staff engaged with local communities at public events such as the Maidstone Mela, 36 Engineers Day, Switch on the Music and Uprockin’ young people’s festival.  Also public opinion and those categories that are of most concern are highlighted through the quarterly Kent Crime and Victimisation Survey.

 

Information sources

The list below includes the details of those data sources used to inform this strategic assessment, including the agency supplying the data, the time period the data refers to and any issues surrounding the validity and reliability of the data.  All information was correct at time of document production.

 

Kent Community Safety Unit crime data – Safer Communities Web Portal

All data provided by the County CSU is using recorded crime data provided by the Business Information Unit at Kent Police.  This data places the incidents at the time at which they were recorded by the Police.

 

Kent Police Intelligence Analysis data

Data provided by Kent Police is ‘committed’ data.  The ‘date’ used is the mid point between the earliest and latest dates that the offence could have been committed.

 

Ambulance data

All ambulance pickup submissions have been compiled by the County Community Safety Unit utilising data supplied by the South-East Coast Ambulance service.  This data has been cleansed and sanitised for use on CrimeView and, due to NHS data protection requirements, some data loss does occur within the cleansing process.  (E.g. ward-level occurrences of 4 or less are suppressed and shown as zero.)

 


Other data sources

Data and information used in producing this Assessment has been provided, directly or otherwise, from the following organisations:

 

Association of Chief Police Officers

Association of Police Authorities

Association of Public Health Observatories (PHO’s)

Children, Family and Education, KCC

Choices DA Services (formerly North Kent Women’s Aid)

Clean Kent Partnership

Community Health Profiles

East Coast Kent PCT

Every Child Matters

Health & Social Care Information Centre

Home Office

Institute of Alcohol Studies

Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership

Kent Adult Social Services

Kent Community Support Unit

Kent Community Wardens

Kent County Council

Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team

Kent Fire & Rescue Service

Kent Highways

Kent Police

Kent Probation

Kent Public Health Information Library

Kent Youth Offending Service

Kenward Trust

Local Alcohol Profiles for England

London Health Observatory

NHS West Kent

Nomis

North West Public Health Observatory

Office for National Statistics

ONS Labour Market Statistics

Project Fusion

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb)

South East England Public Health Observatory

Supporting People

The NHS Information Centre

Trading Standards

Youth Offending Services


Appendix 2

 

Case Study 1 – Vulnerable Mother and Son – Kent Police

The Community Safety Unit received a call from an elderly mother and her son.  When the property was visited, their living conditions were appalling with no hot water, no heating, no cooking facilities.

 

The couple had their curtains closed all day and night as they feared people looking into their windows as they had experienced ASB problems previously.  Their clothes were dirty and they both looked unkempt. The furniture was old, dirty and broken.

 

Action taken:

The CSU Police worked closely with Golding Homes to support a move and worked with the housing provider, removal company, social services and a local church.  The church provided furniture, cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils, duvets, sheets, covers, curtains, carpet tiles and food.  Once the family had moved, CSU staff put together beds, made the beds up, hung curtains and arranged KCC Social Care to support the family with their finances and correspondence by supporting the son to sort out his finances, pay all arrears.  Welfare visits have been made by police and the mother and son are doing well.

 

Case Study 2 – Cold Calling – Kent Community Warden Service

A Warden was delivering leaflets to the elderly in Lenham for an up coming event when he noticed a white van on a driveway of a bungalow. T here was a young lady sitting in the driving seat.  As Martin approached the van the driver got into the drivers seat, started the engine and asked Martin if he was issuing parking tickets. As the van drove off the Warden made a note of the registration number and noticed that he had left some equipment on the drive.  This included a compressor, a plastic dustbin, a jet wash type lance some hose and a bucket of dry morter mix.  Some of the drive had already been cleaned.

 

Action taken:

The Warden was concerned and decided to speak to the resident who was retired, disabled and lived on his own.  When asked if he knew the men who were cleaning his drive, he said he had been cold called and asked if he wanted his drive cleaned for £75.  Written notice was not given by the trader .The householder also said that when he told the trader he would have to write a cheque the trader said he only wanted cash.  The Warden decided to call the local PCSO who was working in the village.  The PCSO and Warden gathered further evidence as the incident unfolded, and notified KCC trading Standards who confirmed that the tradesmen involved were all known.  In an excellent example of partnership working the resident was saved from paying for work he did not want, and from future losses.

 

Case Study 3 – Tackling deliberate arson in Marden - KFRS case studies

After a number of call outs to small deliberate fires, thought to be started by youths in the area, the fire station contacted the Youth Engagement Team (YET) who worked with crews to address the problems.

 

Action taken:

·           Areas where youths congregated were identified and this information was combined with other intelligence.

·           This information was compared to the location of fires and discussed with the local community warden and PCSOs.

·           An initial intervention was conducted by two officers from the YET team who went to these areas with the local crews and spoke with around 20 young people about the dangers of what they had been doing, and the consequences of their actions.  This group included the youths thought to be responsible for the fires.

·           A follow up intervention was conducted a few weeks later, also involving members of the Community Engagement Team and of two PCSOs. A fire engine was taken along and this time officers engaged with around 40 youths. The conversation was kept light-hearted and involved breaking down any barriers with them, sitting in the engine, trying on fire gear and allowing ‘hands on’ activity with the hose.  All the time this was happening, safety messages were being shared with the young people.

 

"Prior to the intervention we were attending small rubbish fires in the village on a regular basis, at least weekly. Since their intervention as yet we haven’t had any incidents of this type" - Jonathan Nightingale, Crew Manager, Marden

 

Case Study 4 – Financial Scam – KCC Warden Service

A call was received by the Warden service from Barclays Bank who had concerns about a customer wanting to withdraw £9,000.  Barclays were asked if they could keep the customer there and a Warden attended the bank.  The Warden spoke to the customer and it was soon obvious that he had been drawn into many scams and had already lost a considerable amount of money. Barclays were able to put a stop on £4,000 that he had tried to transfer earlier.  The Warden asked if she could visit him and made an appointment for the next day.

 

During the visit the Warden discovered that the customer had many issues: he was suffering from a brain tumour and his 93 year old mother was in hospital but dependent on him when she was at home.  It became evident that he had been spending on average between £800-£1,000 a month on various scams for 5 years and in total had lost between £40,000-£60,000 pounds.

 

Action taken:

The Warden worked with Barclays got his bank account changed stopping all direct debit charges, and worked with B.T. got his telephone number changed to stop the scam callers.  She also contacted relatives to make them aware of what had been happening and contacted Social Services to arrange for care for his mother on her return to the home to take pressure of him.  The Warden then contacted the Fraud Squad who investigated and so far he has had £13,000 pounds back.  This is a good example of joined up partnership working not only with public services but the private sector too.


Appendix 2

 

Maidstone demographic and economic summary

1. Population profile

The latest population figures from the 2013 Mid-year population estimates show that there are 159,300 people living in Maidstone Borough[18].  This population size makes Maidstone Borough the largest Kent local authority district area.

 

75% of the borough’s population live in the Maidstone urban area with the remaining 25% living in the surrounding rural area and settlements[19].

 

The age profile of Maidstone’s population is shown in Chart 1.  Overall Maidstone has a very similar age profile to the county average. Maidstone has a slightly higher proportion of people in the 25-54 age groups, and a smaller proportion of teenagers and retired people compared to the KCC average.

 

Chart 1

 

Over the last 10-years Maidstone’s population has grown by 12.8% (an additional 18,100 people)[20].  This is the third highest rate of growth of any Kent district. The population of the borough is forecast to grow at slower rate over the coming years with current forecasts suggesting a 15% growth over the next 15-years[21].  This rate of growth is higher than the county average (13%).

 

This forecast is based on KCC’s assessment of the district authority’s future housing targets as at September 2014.  Such targets will be subject to changes as district authorities develop their Local development framework.

Further population information:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/Facts-and-figures-about-Kent/population-and-census

 

2.  Ethnic profile

94.1% of Maidstone’s population is of white ethnic origin with the remaining 5.9% being classified as of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) origin[22].  The proportion of Maidstone’s population classified as BME is lower than the county average of 6.3%. 

 

The largest ethnic group in Maidstone is White British, with 89.1% of residents from this ethnic origin.  Within the BME population, the largest ethnic group is Other Asian (accounting for 1.6% of all residents) with the second largest group being residents of Indian accounting for 0.8% of all residents).

 

Further ethnicity information:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/Facts-and-figures-about-Kent/equality-and-diversity-data

 

3.  Deprivation

The Indices of Deprivation 2010 provide a measure of deprivation at both district and sub-district (Lower Super Output Area) level, relative to other areas in England[23].  Table 1 overleaf presents the national and county rank of Maidstone based on the 2010 Index and also shows how the rankings have changed since the 2007 Index[24].

 

In 2010 Maidstone Borough was ranked as the 9th most deprived district in Kent (out of 12 districts, with the most deprived being ranked 1).  Nationally, Maidstone ranks 198th out of 326 local authority districts in England.  This rank places it within England’s least deprived half of authorities.

 

The county rank of Maidstone has remained at number 9 between 2007 and 2010.  On the national ranking, Maidstone has moved up 8 positions from 225th in 2007 to 217th in 2010.  This indicates that Maidstone’s level of deprivation has increased, relative to other areas in England.

 

Table 1 - National and county rank of Kent districts based on the 2007 and 2010 Indices of Deprivation (table displayed based on 2010 rank)

 

The levels of deprivation vary across the borough.  Parts of Maidstone are within England’s top 20% deprived of areas and yet other parts are within England’s least 20% deprived of areas.  More detail is shown on Map 1.

 

The greatest levels of deprivation are found within the areas of Park Wood and High Street.  Neighbouring some of the most deprived areas of Maidstone are areas with relatively low levels of deprivation.  The least deprived areas of Maidstone are found in the areas of Bearsted.

 

Map 1

Further deprivation information: http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/Facts-and-figures-about-Kent/deprivation-and-poverty

 

4.  Economy, Employment and Skills

Out of a total population of 157,300, some 99,400 (62.4%) people are aged 16-74 and considered of working age.  82.6% of people are economically active, of which 78.9% of people are in employment.  Whilst the wage gap between work based and resident based earning is currently £59.60, there has been a reduction in the difference between workplace and resident earnings over the last year – with the gap shrinking by £5.80 compared to the previous year.  Male resident based earnings per week are £122 higher than female resident based earnings.

 

The main industries in Maidstone are: Construction, followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Industries and Retail.  The Borough also has a growing medical sector.  Maidstone town centre is home to both Kent Country Council and Maidstone Borough Council offices with 19,700 residents employed by the public sector.  The graph shows employment by occupation for all people aged 16-74 in Maidstone.  The largest single group in the borough is professional occupations. 

 

Six of the Lower Super Output Areas in Maidstone, are areas that are amongst the top 20% of most deprived areas in England. 15.1% of children under 16 in Maidstone are living in poverty; this is lower than the figure for Kent which is 20.6%.  In the Borough, 2% of households do not have central heating and 16% of households do not have a car or a van, these are lower than the averages for England overall. In addition 10.9% of the borough children receive free school meals compared to 13.8% in Kent overall.

 

For the academic year 2011/12, 69% of Maidstone pupils achieved five or more GCSEs grades A* to C including Maths and English, this is the third highest figure in out of the Kent districts. Maidstone has fairly a higher proportion of people educated to NVQ level 4 or higher, even though this declined between 2011 and 2013 by 4.6%. 

 

 

Mosaic profile of residents

Mosaic Public Sector is a classification system designed by Experian to profile the characteristics of the UK population.  Each household in the UK is classified as belonging to one of 15 groups and 66 types.  The 15 groups have been named A to O.

 

These groups identify clusters of individuals and households that are as similar as possible to each other, and as different as possible to any other group. They describe the residents of a postcode in terms of their typical demographics, their behaviours, their lifestyle characteristics and their attitudes.  The characteristics of the Mosaic groups are presented in Table 2 overleaf.

 

 


Table 2

 

The Mosaic profile of residents in Maidstone district is shown in Chart 2 alongside the county profile.

Chart 2


Unemployment

Maidstone’s unemployment rate is currently 1.3%.  This is slightly lower than the county average of 1.8% and considerably lower than the national average of 2.2%[25].

 

In September 2014 there were 1,257 unemployed people in Maidstone which is 5.6% lower (75 fewer people) than August 2014 and 37.3% Lower (748 fewer unemployed people) than September 2013. 

 

Table 3: Unemployment rates

 

Unemployment rates vary across the district.  The lowest unemployment is in Detling and Thurnham ward where 0.4% of the working age population are unemployed.  The highest rate is in High Street ward where 3.0% of the working age population are unemployed.

 

The majority of those unemployed are aged 18-24 years old.  In Maidstone, 18-24 year olds account for 24.3% of all of those unemployed and in Kent the proportion is 26.5%.  More information is provided in Chart 3.

 

Chart 3: Age profile of the unemployed

 

Further unemployment information:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/Facts-and-figures-about-Kent/economy-and-employment

 

 

Out of Work Benefits

Out of work benefits claimants includes those people aged 16-64 who are claiming a key Department of Work and Pension (DWP) benefit because they are not working. This definition is used as an indicator of worklessness.

 

As at February 2014, there were 7,300 people in Maidstone who were claiming out of work benefits.  This is 7.4% of all 16 to 64 year olds and is lower than the county average of 9.2%.

 

The largest proportion of those who are out of work are claiming Employment Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit i.e. they have a health condition which is restricting the sort of work that they usually do.

A lower proportion is classified as jobseekers (claimants of Jobseekers Allowance) than the average for the KCC area.  13.8% of those who are workless in Maidstone are lone parents who are claiming Income Support.  This is slightly higher than the KCC rate of 13.0%[26].

 

Chart 4 shows out of work benefits claimants by main reason for which they are claiming.

 

Chart 4: Out of work benefit claimants

 

As with Unemployment rates, out of work benefit claimant rates also vary across the borough.  The lowest proportion of out of work benefit claimants is in Detling and Thurnham ward where 3.0% of the working age population are claiming.  The highest rate is in Park Wood ward where 18.6% of the working age population are out of work.

 

Further benefits information:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/information-and-data/Facts-and-figures-about-Kent/economy-and-employment

 

 

 

 

Health

Life expectancy at birth in Maidstone for both men and women match the overall figures for Kent at 79.9 years for men and 83.4 years for women.  However at the age of 65, life expectancy for a Maidstone resident is slightly lower for both genders when compared to the overall figures for Kent.

The graph below shows the self-reported health from the 2011 census, which shows that 4.4% of people feel they are in bad or very bad health, the figure for England overall is 5.5%.  15.8% (24,505) of people in Maidstone consider themselves to have a limiting life long illness and 9,700 (6.1%) people in Maidstone claim a disability benefit.

 

Of those aged over 65, 4,930 claim either disability living allowance or attendance allowance compared to 1,610 of those age 24 and under. 10% (15,561) of Maidstone residents provide some form of unpaid care each week and 1.3% (1,370) of those aged 16 and over currently claims a carer’s allowance.

 

Housing

With 66,982 homes Maidstone has the greatest number of dwellings in the County and in the four years from 2009 to 2013 Maidstone district increased its dwelling stock by 4.65%.  Maidstone has the greatest number of both detached and semi-detached properties out of the districts in Kent: taken together they amount to 46% of the districts’ housing stock, which is significantly higher than the proportion for England overall of 40%.  Maidstone has a lower proportion of flats/maisonettes compared to all England with this type of property accounting for 16% in the borough compared to 22% nationally.

Maidstone has a higher proportion of people that either own their home outright or with a mortgage at 70% compared to England where the proportion is 63%.  In turn, the proportion of people living in social rented accommodation is lower than for England at 13% compared to 18%.  In October 2013 there were 414 long term vacant dwelling in Maidstone accounting for 8% of all long term vacant dwellings in Kent. Long term vacant dwellings account for 0.62% of the boroughs housing stock, lower than the proportion for England overall which is 0.93%.  The majority of properties (54%) in the borough are in Council Tax bands C and D.  Maidstone has a significantly lower proportion of properties in bands A and B when compared to both Kent and England, with just 19% of dwelling in the borough in these bands compared with 29% in Kent and 44% in England. This is likely due to the proximity of the borough to London coupled with higher than average house prices in the South East when compared to other regions; Sevenoaks which is closer to London has just 9% of its dwelling stock within these bands.

 

Average house prices in the borough are lower than that for the South East region for all property types but higher than the average for Kent, as the table shows, for semidetached properties.  In terms of Council tax Maidstone has the third highest average rate per dwelling for council tax (band D) in Kent for 2014/15 (£1536 including parish precepts).

 

 

Local context - Maidstone the place

Maidstone Borough, which covers 40,000 hectares, sits at the heart of Kent, positioned between London and the Channel ports and is home to 159,300 people.  Maidstone, as the County Town of Kent, is the administrative and retail capital.  The Borough combines the services provided by a large urban area, with excellent schools, shopping and a general hospital, with a very attractive rural hinterland, which includes the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) and thriving villages.  Housing in Maidstone Town has traditionally been considered relatively affordable compared to the south east average, but this is not the case in rural Maidstone and for those on average or low incomes.

 

Maidstone has the largest town centre shopping offer within Kent with approximately 700 shops, 75 cafes and restaurants, employing some 4,400 people.  The Borough also boasts the largest night time economy in Kent, creating £75 million a year and employing around 1,500 people.  The Safer Maidstone Partnership has fostered close working with the Police, Street Pastors, Urban Blue Bus, and Town Centre Management to ensure that Maidstone has a safe night time economy.  The SMP’s approach to ensuring Maidstone is a safe place to socialise has resulted in much positive press and TV coverage.

 

Map 2: The Maidstone borough area

 

 

Maidstone is an exceptionally green Borough with a number of parks, the largest of which is Mote Park, which is Grade II on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks, and has been voted the nations second most favourite park.  Maidstone Borough is considered a good place to live and work with high rates of employment, relatively low levels of adults claiming incapacity benefits and a higher proportion of residents who have a degree than the South East average.

 

Larger numbers of people commute into than out of the Borough.  The Borough has a very mixed business sector with large numbers of small and medium size businesses with particular strengths in professional services (law and accountancy) and construction. There is a growing media industry led by Maidstone Studios and the Kent Messenger Group.  Maidstone has an extensive further education campus (Mid Kent College) and a higher education offer with Mid Kent College seeking to increase their range of courses and facilities.

 

Residents living in the Borough have relatively high wages (although many higher earners commute out of the Borough to achieve these).  Maidstone came out as the top destination for business in the 2010 study of locations for business in Kent.

 

Transport links are generally good although rail travel could still be improved. 2011 saw the introduction of High Speed services from the Maidstone West to St. Pancras.  Rail journey times to London from some of the smaller rural towns (Staplehurst and Marden) are as low as 40 minutes.  The Borough is well served by the motorway network with the M20 and M2 both providing links to the M25 and the Channel Ports.  The international high speed railway stations at Ebbsfleet (15 mins) and Ashford (25 mins) are also extremely accessible.

 

What matters to Maidstone residents

The Council carried out extensive consultation when developing the Sustainable Community Strategy for Maidstone 2009-2020.  Residents were asked to identify what was good and bad about living in the Borough as well as their dream for Maidstone.  The top three positive comments related to Maidstone included shopping, parks and the river.  Other positive comments related to cleanliness, the countryside and nightlife.  The top three negative comments related to traffic congestion, public transport and the quality of roads.  The top three dreams for Maidstone residents related to resolving transport issues, improving the river and an improved theatre/concert facility.

 

A residents’ survey was undertaken in 2011.  This was the first survey the Council had undertaken since the Place Survey in 2008 and showed improved satisfaction in a number of areas including providing value for money, keeping residents informed and the way the Council runs its services.  It also showed some areas that need improvement, such as people from different backgrounds getting on well together and satisfaction with the local area.  The next residents’ survey is programmed to take place in September 2015, when the opportunity to ask Maidstone’s residents about their perceptions of crime and fear of crime and ASSB will be taken.


Appendix 4

 

Terrorism

Prevent is a part of the UK's counter terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Its aim is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.  Prevent seeks to address all forms of terrorism but will continue to prioritise according to the threat they pose to our national security. Whilst Kent has not been identified as a national priority site, it is recognised that there is a need to address this issue here.

 

The current threat level to the UK from international terrorism is severe.  The most significant international terrorism threat to the UK remains violent extremism associated with and influenced by Al Qa'ida, and more lately by ISIS/ISIL.  ‘Prevent’ is about stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremists.  There five elements:

 

1.     Challenging violent extremist ideology and supporting mainstream voices;

2.     Disrupting those who promote violent extremism and supporting the institutions where they are active;

3.     Supporting individuals who are being targeted and recruited to the cause of violent extremism;

4.     Increasing the resilience of communities to violent extremism;

5.     Addressing the grievances that ideologues are exploiting.

 

The current international terrorist threat is quite different from previous threats, with contemporary terrorists groups claiming a religious justification for their actions. They seek mass casualties and are both sophisticated and unconventional in their techniques: they do not provide warnings and seek out soft targets, in particular crowded places.

 

The threat is very real and will be around for a number of years, but despite the threat, the Police must be proportionate and measured in their response.  The responsibility for preventing violent extremism and supporting those individuals and communities who may be vulnerable rests with us all, including partners and communities.  Delivering an effective Prevent programme requires action by a range of agencies, front line workers and, in particular, neighbourhood policing teams who come into contact with communities and vulnerable individuals.

 

The Prevent Strategy 2011 review

In 2011, the government launched a review of the Prevent strategy.  This review was independently overseen by Lord Carlile of Berriew.  The review found that the previous Prevent programme tended to confuse the delivery of government policy to promote integration with government policy to prevent terrorism.  Thus, in trying to reach those at risk of radicalisation, funding sometimes reached those extremist organisations that Prevent should have been confronting. The Prevent strategy has been re-focused, and now contains three objectives:

 

1.     respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it;

2.     prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support;

3.     work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be addressed.


Appendix 5

       

Glossary of terms

 

Although some terms may not be specifically discussed in this Assessment, the following table of abbreviations are in common usage in policing and community safety.

 

A&E

Accident & Emergency

MARAC

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference

ASB

Anti-Social Behaviour

MSG

Most Similar Group (of local authorities)

BCU

Basic Command Unit

NDTMS

National Drug Treatment Monitoring System

BDw

Burglary Dwelling

NHS

National Health Service

BOTD

Burglary Other Than Dwelling

NHW

Neighbourhood Watch

CCCZ

Cold Calling Control Zone

NEET

(Children) Not in Education, Employment or Training

CCTV

Closed Circuit Television

NTE

Night Time Economy

CDam

Criminal Damage

PACT

Partners and Communities Together

CDAP

Community Domestic Abuse Programme

PCC

Police and Crime Commissioner

CJS

Criminal Justice System

PCSO

Police Community Safety Officer

CP

Community Payback

PDU

Problematic Drug User

CRI

Crime Reduction Initiative

PPO

Prolific Priority Offender

CSP

Community Safety Partnership

RJ

Restorative Justice

CSU

Community Safety Unit

RSL

Registered Social Landlord

DA

Domestic Abuse

RTC

Road Traffic Collision

DAVSS

Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services

SDVC

Specialist Domestic Violence Court

ETE

Education, Training and Employment

SMP

Safer Maidstone Partnership

FTE

First Time Entrant (to criminal justice system)

SVC

Serious Violent Crime

HIRL

Hate Crime Incident Reporting Line

TFMV

Theft from Motor Vehicle

IDVA

Independent Domestic Violence Adviser

THSG

Theft and Handling Stolen Goods

ISVA

Independent Sexual Abuse Advisor

TOMV

Theft of Motor Vehicle

JFMO

Joint Family Management Officer

TOPC

Theft of Pedal Cycle

KCC

Kent County Council

VAP

Violence against the Person

KCVS

Kent Crime and Victimisation Survey

YISP

Youth Inclusion and Support Panel

KDAAT

Kent Drug & Alcohol Action Team

YJB

Youth Justice Board

KFRS

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

YJS

Youth Justice System

KCA

Kent Council for Addiction

YOS

Youth Offending Service

KSI

Killed or Seriously Injured

YRO

Youth Rehabilitation Order

 


Appendix 6

 

SPC Charts Explained

 

Statistical Process Control (SPC) Charts are a tool used by Kent Police to help identify whether there has been any significant improvements or deteriorations in a particular crime type. 

 

When a category is stable and in control, the data will appear within a set of predicted limits based on past knowledge and experience.  Although there will be some natural variation around the average (also known as common cause variation) as long as the figures remain within the control limits there has been no significant changes to what was anticipated.

 

If the category was unstable and displayed uncontrolled variation (also known as special cause variation), the data would not follow a predicted pattern and would indicate that something had changed and action might be required.

 

Natural variation indicates that any change from month-to-month is expected, e.g. the time you come to work every day varies by a few minutes around an average, however if there was an accident on the road then the time taken to come to work would be significantly longer, this would be unnatural variation indicating that something has gone awry.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


SPC charts are generated based on historical data to produce the following:

·         The Centre Line (CL) which is the average no. of recorded crimes / incidents

·         The Upper (UCL) and Lower Control Limits (LCL) which are the limits of natural variation

 

Any result above the UCL suggests that there may be a problem.  In addition, other indications that a category is out of statistical control includes when several results in a row are above the CL or when several results in a row showing an increase trend.

If the figures are consistently below the CL this indicates an improvement and will result in the centre line and the control limits being lowered, often referred to as a ‘step change’.  Similarly if the figures for a specific category rise due possibly to an increase in activity; a revision to the data (i.e. back-record conversion); or possibly a change in what is recorded within each category then the CL and control limits may need to be raised. NB. if the control limits are closer together this indicates a low level of variation around the average and shows that the category is in control, a wider gap between the limits indicates greater variation and less control.

 

Example of a Kent Police SPC Chart:

 



[1] See Appendix 5 for guidance in understanding SPC Charts

[2] Data sources: Kent CSU data pack, Kent Public Health, Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, West Kent CCG, Kent Wardens.

[3] Time period used for data is October to Sept each year, except Assaults September to August and RTC casualties July to June.

[4] The number difference and % difference columns are coloured red or green as appropriate against the previous 12 month period.

[5] Population figure used to calculate the per 1,000 population is mid-2012 figure of 157,300, except Burglary Dwelling which uses households figure (63,400), and domestic violence uses population 16+ figure (127,000).

[6] District ranking is based on per 1,000 population value.  Rank 1 indicates best of 12 Kent districts.

[7] Crimes in this category include: drug offences, possession of weapons, fraud, public order offences.

[8] KSI = Killed and Seriously Injured where the number of persons killed and the number of persons seriously injured are combined.

[9] KSI car drivers 17-24 yrs and road users over 65 data is for January to June (6 months) each year.

[11] If volume increased 2013/14 on 2012/13 = 5, if decreased = 0, if stayed same = 3;

[12] If 3 year trend increasing = 5, if decreasing = 0, if broadly same/level over 3 yrs = 3

[13] Based on per 1,000 population figure compared to other 3 West Kent districts: Score 5 if worst, 0 if best, 3 if either 2nd or 3rd

[14] Based on per 1,000 population figure compared to other 11 Kent districts: 5 if in bottom 3, 0 if in top 3, 3 if between 9th to 4th

[15] Scored 0 – 5 using information gathered from a variety of community, parish and interest group meetings

[16] Scored 0-5 according to assessment of impact of crime on community

[17] Scored 0-5 according to assessment of partnership working adding value above and above agencies working individually

[18] 2013 Mid-year population estimates, Office for National Statistics

[19] 2012 Ward level population estimates (experimental), Office for National Statistics

2 Time series of Mid-year population estimates 1995 - 2013, Office for National Statistics

[21] KCC Strategy forecasts (Oct’2014). Research & Evaluation, Kent County Council

[22] 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

[23] Indices of Deprivation 2010, Department for Communities and Local Government

[24] Based on the indicator ‘national rank of average score’

[25] Unemployment rates as at September 2014, Office for National Statistics

[26] DWP Longitudinal Study: February 2014