Your Councillors


Communities, Housing & Environment Committee Acting as the Crime and
Disorder Committee

30 June 2020

 

2019/2020 Strategic Assessment and revised Community Safety Plan

 

Final Decision-Maker

Council

Lead Head of Service

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services

Lead Officer and Report Author

Martyn Jeynes, Community Protection Team Manager

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

 

The Safer Maidstone Partnership’s Community Safety Plan for 2019-22 has been refreshed following the annual undertaking of a strategic assessment.  The Strategic Assessment provides members with an update on the progress made during year one of the plan and the latest figures relating to the priority areas and other areas of concern.  The revised CSP Plan replaces the previous version with minor changes that provide greater focus on growing trends or changes in service delivery. It sets out the strategic direction for the Partnership for the remaining two years of this Plan. 

 

Purpose of Report

 

Decision

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That the Strategic Assessment, including areas of concern highlighted by committee and the growing and effective use of powers under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. 

2.   That the Committee approves the revised “April 20 Revision” of the Community Safety Plan 2019-22 and recommends to Council that it be adopted. This will allow for the plan to be implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its subgroups

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Communities, Housing & Environment

30 June 2020

Council

15 July 2020



2019/2020 Strategic Assessment and revised Community Safety Plan

 

CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Community Safety Partnership Plan will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priority of; Clean Safe and Green, where People feel safe and are safe. The Community Safety Partnership Plan also supports good health and wellbeing, enhancing the appeal of the borough for everyone.

Community Protection Manager

Cross Cutting Objectives

The report recommendations supports the achievements of the Health Inequalities cross cutting objectives by ensuring there is a strong focus on preventative work that is intelligence driven so as to maximise the opportunities to reduces health inequalities in partnership with the police and other community safety related partners.

Community Protection Manager

Risk Management

It is a statutory requirement for Maidstone Borough Council to provide a CSP Plan. 

Community Protection Manager

Financial

The Community Safety Grant funding is allocated directly by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).  Maidstone Borough Council is due to receive a grant of £40k for 2020-21. This will include a ‘tactical pot’ to be used throughout the year as and when other initiatives or issues are raised outside of this current funding round. Further funding has and will be utilised from the Kent Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) as it becomes available. 

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.

[Section 151 Officer & Finance Team]

Staffing

The priorities within the Plan crosscut 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.

 

 

Community Protection Manager

Legal

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 reoffending in the area.

By virtue of section 5(1)(a) of the 1998 Act, the Council is the “responsible authority”.

Regulation 4 and Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 require Full Council to adopt the partnership plan.

The Community Safety Plan is based on the findings of a comprehensive Strategic Assessment, therefore Maidstone Borough Council is fulfilling its statutory requirement. There are reputational, environmental,

economic and legal risks to the Council for not pro-actively pursuing any reductions 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.

Legal

Privacy and Data Protection

No implications.

[Policy & Information Manager]

Equalities

The key priority themes are evidence based and developed via the partnership’s strategic assessment. The ongoing monitoring of these priority areas provides an established evidence base to support wider decision making across the Council. An understanding of equalities impacts is essential and would be identified via an EqIA as part of any decision making process.

 

 

[Policy & Information Manager]

Public Health

 

 

The Community Protection team is under the reporting line of the Head Housing and Community Services. The focus is strongly on preventative work that is intelligence driven so as to maximise the opportunities to reduces health inequalities in partnership with the police and other community safety related partners.

Community Protection Manager

Crime and Disorder

The Community Protection team is under the reporting line of the Head Housing and Community Services. The focus is strongly on preventative work that is intelligence driven so as to maximise the opportunities to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in partnership with the police and other community safety related partners.

Community Protection Manager

Procurement

None

Community Protection Manager

 

 

 


 

1.      INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

1.1     On 19 March 2019 this Committee recommended the adoption of our then new Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan to Council in April 19.  The plan was duly adopted and the Safer Maidstone Partnership (SMP) set about delivering year one of the plan.  

 

1.2     We have now undertaken a new Strategic Assessment and we are pleased to share this with members in Appendix 1. The assessment demonstrates the positive steps taken by the Partnership in the last 12 months against the priorities set by the CSP plan.  It also provides updated statistics from across the partnership to help us identify trends and any growing concerns. 

 

1.3     As was outline in the March 19 report, the Strategic Assessment has identified that the Community Safety Plan 2019-22 requires some minor amendments to:

 

a.    provide a greater focus on an area of concern

b.    to reflect changes of delivery, particularly in relation to the subgroup responsible for the Keeping Children and Young People Safe priority. 

 

Strategic Assessment 2020/21

 

1.4     Our new look Strategic Assessment has been developed over the last 3 months to allow members and the wider public to understand clearly why our SMP is quickly being recognised as one of the most innovative and progressive CSPs in the South East. As detailed in the Strategic Assessment, the partnership has galvanised to deliver an exceptional amount in the last 12 months. 

 

1.5     The Strategic Assessment provides an update on the outcome-based action plans developed by each of the identified sub-groups.  Amongst the highlights are the following: 

 

Protecting our communities against serious and organised crime (including modern-day slavery)

·         Improved safety in the Night-Time Economy (NTE) through the introduction of a new Red, Amber Green (RAG) rating system, encouraging premises to risk assess their activities and make adequate provision to support safety

·         8 Emergency Trauma Packs (ETPs) provided by Maidstone BID, a scheme subsequently supported by the VRU across the other boroughs in the county. A further 2 large ETPs and over 30 small packs will be rolled out by the end of March

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping children and young people safe

·         The Voice of Young Maidstone Safety Survey has been developed and will be launched in April 2020 through to June 2020, asking children and young people in the borough to share with us their thoughts on safety in and around their school, in their neighbourhoods, online and the risk taking behaviour in their peer group 

·         A multi-agency, SMP team won the inaugural VRU Hackathon, beating 25 other teams to the coveted £5000 prize to help launch a pilot of their innovative initiative called “My Place”.  The scheme will look to proactively engage with young people who are moved to Maidstone where they have links to Gangs or serious ASB.  The scheme will look to provide diversion and support to help them integrate into our Borough and reduce the risk of ASB and Crime caused by their introduction to the borough and falling into the wrong cohorts

Reducing the harm caused by domestic abuse (including stalking)

·         Two awareness raising sessions have been delivered by the SMP to over 60 GPs and other CCG staff, raising awareness of the signs of domestic abuse, the services available for victims and the impact of abuse on the development of children

·         A practitioners’ conference is planned for 27 March.  The “Domestic Abuse- Cradle to the Grave” conference will invite practitioners, from across services and sectors, to one of two sessions at County Hall.  An awareness session is also scheduled for members on the 23 March

Reduce the impact of substance misuse on our community

·         The new Police Licensing Officer has undertaken over 1000 proactive inspections since April 19, issuing warnings and penalty notices and taking 2 reviews for breaches of licensing conditions. He has been recognised as the most proactive licensing officer in Kent

·         The Homeless Outreach team where able to secure a Change, Grow, Live officer within their team to support those with habitual substance misuse issues amongst a hard to reach cohort.  The results have been fantastic, as members are already aware

Safeguard people whose mental health makes them vulnerable to becoming a victim or where it leads to an impact on the wider community

·         Data for the last year has been collated which shows that 63% of the cases brought to the CSVG relate to issues were mental health, diagnosed or undiagnosed, is believed to be a factor.  New terms of reference and a new referral scheme have been developed for introduction in April 2020

 

 

1.6     The Strategic Assessment also provides data from across the Partnership.  Crime data shows an overall reduction in crime, particularly with public order offences reducing. Drug and Weapon offences have seen an increase, but this is as a result of increased proactive policing, using stop and search powers more frequently than any other force in Kent.  A visual representation of the data in the Strategic Assessment is provided in Appendix 2. 

 

1.7     The data provided in the Strategic Assessment shows that whilst many areas, such as the number of young offenders and Organised Crime Groups, are improving, there remains concerns in some of the areas. Domestic Abuse and Mental Health where continued effort is needed to protect vulnerable people.

 

1.8     The introduction nationally of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) signifies a new approach to tackling violent crime based on the learning from Glasgow, London and Cardiff. Kent has been identified as one of 18 counties that could benefit from this approach. Maidstone, with its vibrant night-time economy, is exploring how we can improve prevention. Elsewhere this has been achieved through actions with Public Health and tackling deprivation. 

 

1.9     Unfortunately, unforeseen service issues meant that we were unable to provide the Strategic Assessment in advance of the adapted CSP Plan, but the changes identified are relatively minor and do not materially change the focus of the plan itself.  The changes required are outlined in section 4.

 

 

 

2.     AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

2.1     Option one; Do not approve the revision of the Community Safety Plan. This is not recommended as the Community Safety Plan sits behind the work of the SMP and should reflect current trends and working practices

 

2.2     Option two; That the Committee approves the revised “April 2020 Revision” of the Community Safety Plan 2019-22 and recommends to Council that it be adopted. This will allow for the plan to be implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its subgroups

 

 

 

3.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

3.1     The “April 2020 Revision” of the plan is provided in Appendix 3.  The Strategic Assessment recommends changes as follows:

 

Rewording of priority

 

3.2     It is recommended that this priority be amended to read “Protecting our communities against serious, violent and organised crime (including modern-day slavery).”

 

 

 

3.3     This amendment reflects an increase in reported incidents and fear around knives and violent crime on a local and national level.  The introduction of the VRU will lead to a number of further opportunities to source funding to undertake more initiatives to raise awareness and tackle offenders, which will also impact on children and young people priority.  

 

Changes in working practices

 

3.4     The Community Youth Safety Group (CYSG) will shortly be rebranded to reflect an opportunity to pioneer a new approach in West Kent.  The meeting, which will be rebranded as the District Contextual Safeguarding Meeting, will build on the success of the CYS.  A revised structure will link Adolescent Risk Management, with the priorities of the new VRU and the refreshed Local Children’s Partnership Group (LCPG), tackling those children at risk and the deeper areas of concern set out as priorities for the LCPG, resilience, communities and families.

 

3.5     The April 2020 revision of the CSP Plan, provided in Appendix 2, has a number of minor amendments in the relevant sections, so as to better reflect the focus and work of the SMP and to draw out the key actions for year 2 of the action plans.

 

 

4.       RISK

4.1     The risks associated with this proposal, including the risks if the Council does not act as recommended, have been considered in line with the Council’s Risk Management Framework. That consideration is shown in this report. We are satisfied that the risks associated are within the Council’s risk appetite and will be managed as per the Policy.

 

 

5.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

5.1     Once approved the Partnership Plan will be disseminated to all partners for their information and implementation through the subgroups. 

 

5.2     The Plan will also be shared with the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC).

 

5.3     The PCC provides the SMP with a grant to enable community safety projects to be undertaken which deliver on both the PCC’s priorities and those of the SMP.  Projects will be put forward the PCC’s office by the end of March 2020.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

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

·         Appendix 1: Strategic Assessment 2020-21

·         Appendix 2: Strategic Assessment data on a page

·         Appendix 3: Maidstone Community Safety Partnership Plan 2020 refresh 

                  (draft)