Community, Housing & Environment

March 15th 2016

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?



2016-17 Strategic Assessment &

2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan refresh


Final Decision-Maker


Lead Director or Head of Service

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services

Lead Officer and Report Author

Nicolas Rathbone, Community Safety Partnerships Officer



Wards affected

All wards



This report makes the following recommendations to the final decision-maker:

1.    That the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee recommend to Council that the 2016-17 Strategic Assessment is adopted and implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership.

2.    That the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee recommend to Council that the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership document refresh is adopted and implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership.



This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         The Strategic Assessment will continue to create safer communities and deter and reduce crime & anti-social behaviour.

·         It will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities; for Maidstone to be a decent place to live and Corporate and Customer Excellence.

·         The Community Safety Partnership Plan also supports tackling disadvantage and building stronger communities.






Safer Maidstone Partnership

February 24th 2016

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

March 15th 2016


April 13th 2016

2016-17 Strategic Assessment &

2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan refresh





1.1      The purpose of the report is to update the Committee on the work of the Safer Maidstone Partnership since last year and ask for the two aforementioned documents to be accepted for implementation.





2.1 The Maidstone Community Safety Strategic Assessment is a report published by the council each year as required under the Crime and Disorder act 1998. The act requires Local Authorities in conjunction with key partners to produce a detailed crime and disorder audit.  This identifies community safety issues, emerging trends and future priorities for the Community Safety Partnership (CSP).


2.2 The Maidstone Community Safety Plan 2013-18 is a five year rolling document, which highlights how the SMP plans to tackle local community safety issues that matter to the local community. The plan is revised annually through reviewing information set out in the Strategic Assessment which ensures that current issues can be taken into account and used to direct the SMP’s strategy.


2.3    Last year’s Strategic Assessment raised the following priorities:


·          Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

·          Reducing Re-offending

·          Road Safety (Killed or seriously injured)

·          Substance Misuse

·          Violent Crime – Domestic Abuse

·          Violent Crime – Night-Time Economy


Emerging themes that occurred through the year were:


·         Safeguarding, educating and engaging young people (Child Sexual Exploitation and Prevent)

·         New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Legal highs

·         Self-Neglect and Hoarding

·         Victim support and restorative justice



2.4 Our priorities for this year have been extracted from a wide variety of information shared with our partners and represent the most important issues to focus on this (2015/16) year.  Based on the information in the Strategic Assessment, it is recommended that the Committee confirm the following 2016/17 priorities:

·         Violent Crime (specifically Domestic Abuse and Night Time Economy)

·         Substance Misuse

·         Reduce Re-offending

·         Road Safety – Killed & Seriously Injured

·         Community Resilience (emerging issues around CSE, Prevent, SOC and Safeguarding)





3.1 Do nothing (not recommended).  This is not a recommended option as the data sourced from the Kent Safer Communities portal shows that some community safety trends have changed. Other emerging issues need to be tackled within the partnership and if not picked up by the SMP, this will potentially result in more victims of crime, especially amongst the most vulnerable of society.


3.2      Support the identified priorities for 2016/17 so they can be implemented and developed by the SMP.  These priorities have been clearly evidenced and some also raised by other Community Safety Partnerships around the county. This assists with cross borough interventions and valuable information sharing around similar issues.






4.1      Move forward with the acceptance and implementation of the listed priorities. These will be delivered under the umbrella of the Safer Maidstone Partnership.  The annual Strategic Assessment and refresh of the Partnership Plan demonstrate that issues do change and even emerge between assessments.  Often this is as a result of partnership working targeting specific issues or crime types. It also shows that keeping up to date with current issues allows partners to be at the forefront of innovation and try to keep within one step of the perpetrators of crime.


4.2      It is recommended that ASB is removed as a priority based on a continued reduction in ASB and the mandatory legislation and partnership working that is in place. It is advised that given the importance of ASB, support is continued and made available through the existing CSU meetings and referral pathways. ASB is more of a service lead response than a targeted project based intervention. The sub group shall remain but will meet when a Community Trigger is prompted and if there is an emergence of new ASB powers.   








5.1      Both reports have been sent out to members of the SMP for consultation.  These comments have been carefully considered and the reports updated accordingly in line with the desired direction of the majority of the partnership. The comments mainly related to specific wording within the documents and changes made to avoid confusion or misrepresentation of data. Other responses have queried where certain issues would sit best in the priorities. They will be discussed further after sign off as this do not affect the SMP’s response to them.





6.1      Following final approval from Council and implementation of the decision, the Strategic Assessment and Partnership Plan will be disseminated to all partners for their information and for action through the priority subgroups.  This year’s Police & Crime Commissioner’s community grant will then be able to be advertised externally. Part of the criteria for bids is their alignment with the SMP’s priorities and applications will need to submitted, sifted and a report sent to the PCC’s office for invoicing by May 27th.        









Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Community Safety Partnership Plan will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities; for Maidstone to be a decent place to live and Corporate and Customer Excellence. In addition, the

Community Safety Partnership Plan supports the delivery of Tackling Disadvantage and Building Stronger


Head of Housing and Community Services

Risk Management


Head of Housing and Community Services


All Community Safety Grant funding is

allocated directly to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) who uses this money to target her identified priorities and support the ongoing delivery of the Crime Plans. Having evidenced and demonstrated its ongoing successes, Maidstone Borough Council attracted PCC funding of £37,104 for 2016-17.

However, the plans and strategies detailed within the plan cover a wide range of services provided by the Council and partner agencies with the majority of activity being either mainstream funded or funded via other grants or allocations not directly allocated to community safety.

Head of Finance and Resources


The priorities within the Plan cross cut the agencies that make up the Safer Maidstone Partnership. Delivery against the priorities will be via mainstream activity and any grant funding that the

borough is able to secure, including this year’s Community Safety Grant allocation.

Head of HR Shared Service


Sections 5 to 7 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (the 1998 Act), headed “Crime and Disorder Strategies”, require “responsible authorities” to comply with section 6 of the 1998 Act which states that “responsible authorities” shall formulate and implement;

a) A strategy for the reduction of crime and disorder in the area; and

b) A strategy for combating the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in the area; and

c) A strategy for the reduction of re-offending in the area.

By virtue of section 5(1)(a) of the 1998 Act, the Council is the “responsible authority”. By completing an annual refresh of the Community Safety Plan based on the findings of a comprehensive Strategic Assessment, Maidstone is fulfilling its statutory requirement. There are reputational, environmental, economical and legal risks to the Council for not pro-actively pursuing an improvement in crime and disorder levels. The recommendations in this report recognise the importance of constructive dialogue with the partner organisations

comprising the Community Safety Partnership and also the importance

of coordinated and collaborative working.

Head of Legal Partnership

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

The benefits of delivery against the plan will apply across the Maidstone borough, although by adopting an evidence based approach more benefit should be felt in areas where identified problems are greatest.

Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development


Head of Housing and Community Services

Community Safety

The Community Safety team is under the reporting line of the Community Partnerships and Resilience Manager. The focus is strongly on preventative

work while continuing to be co-located and working closely in partnership with the police and other community safety related partners.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Human Rights Act


Head of Housing and Community Services



Head of Finance and Resources

Asset Management


Head of Housing and Community Services




The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix I: Strategic Assessment 2016-17

·         Appendix II: SMP Community Safety Partnership Plan 2013-18