2018-19 Safer Maidstone Partnership Strategic Assessment



Final Decision-Maker


Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services

Lead Officer and Report Author

Nicolas Rathbone, Community Protection Officer



Wards affected



Executive Summary
The purpose of the report is to update the Committee on the crime data over the past year, update on the performance of the Community Safety Partnership and recommends that the priorities be adopted by the Safer Maidstone Partnership for the forthcoming year.
,This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:
1. That the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, recommends to Council that the priorities  as recommended in the 2018-19 Strategic Assessment, to be adopted by the Safer Maidstone Partnership for inclusion within the Community Safety Plan for 2018/19, be approved.






Safer Maidstone Partnership

January 23rd 2018

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee

February 13th 2018

 2018-19 Safer Maidstone Partnership Strategic Assessment 





1.1    The Safer Maidstone Partnership’s (SMP) Strategic Assessment is a report published each year as a statutory process under Section 17 Crime and Disorder Act (Formulation and Implementation of Strategy) Regulations (2007). This 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 Partnership to focus on.


1.2    Under the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Regulations 2009, every local authority is required to have in place a Crime and Disorder Committee with power to review and scrutinise, and make reports and recommendations, regarding the discharge by the responsible authorities of their crime and disorder functions; the Committee must also ensure:


·   That the Crime and Disorder Committees meets at least once a year;


·   Responsible authorities or co-operating bodies (non-statutory CSP members) must provide such information requested by the Crime and Disorder Committee within the timescales identified in the request;


·   Crime and Disorder Committees can request the attendance of a representative of a responsible authority or co-operating body in order to answer questions;


·   Responsible authorities or co-operating bodies must respond to any recommendations made by the Crime and Disorder Committee within 28 days.


1.3    The strategic assessment takes information from a range of data sources from a range of partners, including: Kent Police; Maidstone Council; Kent County Council; Kent Fire & Rescue Service; National Probation Service; Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company; Maidstone Residents Survey; Crime Survey of England and Wales; Youth Offending Team; Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner; and other non- statutory partner agencies.


1.4    The current Community Safety Plan 2013-18 is a five year rolling document, which highlights how the SMP plans to tackle local community safety issues that are of the highest threat, risk and harm to the local community. We now need to develop a new plan which can be revised annually through reviewing information set out in the Strategic Assessment to ensure that current issues can be taken into account and used to direct the SMP’s strategy. An away day to discuss and complete the action plans for the Community Safety Plan for 2018/19 is taking place later in February 2018.

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


·           Organised Crime Groups (including modern slavery)

·           Gangs & Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

·           Substance Misuse

·           Domestic Abuse and Other Violent Crime

·           Mental Health


No new emerging themes or trends occurred through the year that were not already named priorities. However, it was suggested and agreed at the Safer Maidstone Partnership meeting that ‘Other Violent Crime’ be removed as a priority in name. This was due to the fact that a substantial proportion of violent crime incidents were Domestic Abuse related. Any non-related serious violent crime is already dealt with robustly by the police and a degree of cases have a cross-over into other areas such as Gangs, OCG’s and Substance Misuse. It is not therefore necessary to be included as a specific priority.


1.4        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 (2018-19) year. Based on the information in the Strategic Assessment, it is recommended that the Committee confirm the following:


·         Domestic Abuse

·         Organised Crime Groups (including modern slavery)

·         Gangs & Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

·         Substance Misuse

·         Mental Health




2.1                             Do nothing (not recommended). The Council is under a statutory duty to update its strategic assessment and Community Safety Plan. In addition data sourced from the Kent Safer Communities portal shows that community safety trends continue to pose a threat of risk and harm to our communities. This will result in more victims of crime, especially amongst the most vulnerable in society.


2.2                             Support the identified priorities for 2018-19 so they can be implemented and developed by the SMP (recommended). These priorities have been clearly evidenced and highlighted by other Community Safety Partnerships around the County. This assists with cross borough interventions and valuable information sharing around similar issues.






3.1                  Move forward with the adoption and implementation of the listed priorities. These will be delivered under the umbrella of the Safer Maidstone

Partnership and its subgroups. The annual Strategic Assessment and subsequent refresh of the Partnership Plan demonstrate that these issues continue but can change and evolve 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        RISK


4.1                 The Strategic Assessment and Community Safety Partnership Plan set out our priorities and how they will be delivered, informing the Council’s risk registers and risk appetite. The Council has a corporate risk register which will highlight any actions from the documents.





5.1                             The Strategic Assessment has been sent out to members of the SMP for consultation. These comments have been carefully considered and the documents 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.





6.1                    Following final approval from Council and implementation of the decision, the Strategic Assessment will be disseminated to all partners for their information. The Partnership Plan which will be completed following an SMP away day later in February and its actions will be fed through the priority subgroups. This year’s Police & Crime Commissioner’s community grant will be advertised externally. Part of the criteria for bids is their alignment with the SMP and PCC’s priorities (see 6.2) and applications will need to submitted, sifted and a report sent to the PCC’s office for invoicing around March.


6.2                    The Kent Police & Crime Commissioners current priorities are to;


            Hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of Kent Police’s priorities

            Support all victims of crime

            Commission services that reduce pressure on policing due to mental health

            Invest in schemes that make people safer and reduce re-offending

            Make offenders pay for the harm that they have caused

            Actively engage with residents in Kent and Medway











Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Community Safety Partnership Plan will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities: Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all – Providing a clean and safe environment and Encouraging

good health and wellbeing.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk Section.

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 his identified priorities and support the ongoing delivery of the Crime Plans. Details for the 2018-19 funding state that this year’s allocation is Ł40,814 (a 10% increase in the last two year’s allocations).


However, the plans and strategies detailed within the plan will 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.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team


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, economic 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.

Keith Trowell, Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance)

Privacy and Data Protection

None arising from the recommendation.

Keith Trowell, Interim Team Leader (Corporate Governance)


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

Crime and Disorder

The Community Protection 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



Head of Finance and Resources






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

·        Appendix 1: V2. 2018-19 Strategic Assessment