COMMUNITY SAFETY PARTNERSHIP
To consider a report from the Community Safety Manager (copy attached) which seeks the Committee’s observations on the Joint Community Safety Partnership’s achievement in delivering its 2020/21 action plan and its progress to date in delivering its action plan for 2021/22.
11:15 – 11:45
The Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, Councillor Mark Young introduced the report (previously circulated). He advised that despite having to change the way the Partnership operated due to the pandemic they had managed to serve the Denbighshire community by working collectively – daily with police colleagues - to anticipate problems, deal with crimes and monitor trends. Additional funding had been sourced for Third Sector organisations working under increased demands.
Thirteen key crime areas were monitored during the pandemic. Ten areas saw a reduction in numbers, but three saw an increase. They were:
1. Stalking and Harassment;
2. Domestic Abuse and
3. Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).
The Community Safety Manager, Sian Taylor referred to the highlight report included at appendix 1 and the three priority areas:
Priority 1- Reduce Crime and Disorder in Denbighshire by working in partnership.
The performance status had been set only as ‘acceptable’ as it covered activities of stalking and harassment and domestic abuse which had increased over lockdown.
The Partnership had continued to work collectively with the Fire and Rescue Service, Police, Health and Third Sector networks to get information out over the course of the pandemic. Numerous press releases had also been circulated.
All of the project/activity work associated with priority one had continued, albeit via online and telephone technology rather than face to face and its progress had been assessed as ‘good’.
Regional Boards had met and the membership of some had changed during the pandemic. The Safer North Wales Strategic Partnership Board was chaired by Denbighshire’s Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and attended by Denbighshire’s senior officers. Meetings of the various Boards were held on a regular basis with quarterly information sharing meetings being held with CSP staff on Denbighshire’s position in relation to performance and other matters. Information from these meetings could then be shared with Denbighshire staff if and when required.
Priority 2 – Reducing reoffending.
The performance has been set as ‘good’ as there had been a reduction in both adult and youth offending, although it was recognised that it was not a normal year.
The integrated offender management programmes had continued, working in partnership to identify repeating youth offenders causing antisocial behaviour.
Therefore, the project activity update had also been set as ‘good’.
Priority 3 – Local Priorities
There had been a slight increase in reports of antisocial behaviour in the form of neighbour disputes over the course of the pandemic but overall the performance had been set as ‘good’.
The project activities associated with priority 3 were also ‘good’. There had been meetings to monitor antisocial behaviour and work continued to raise awareness of the Regional Vulnerability and Exploitation Board with regard to:
· Domestic Abuse
· Modern Slavery and
· County Lines.
Referring to the statistical data (pages 26 and 27) the Community Safety Manager expanded on the three areas that had seen an increase over the year and the crimes that made up each of those categories.
Stalking online had seen the biggest increase, particularly in the realm of social media. Victims were advised to make their public profiles private in order to deter perpetrators.
Referrals to the Domestic Abuse Service Unit (DASU) had more than doubled over the previous 12 months. Funding was secured from Welsh Government to support the more complex needs caused by increased isolation and lack of social interaction. The Partnership promoted the Live Fear Free helpline, the majority of calls came from victims being supported by third sector services.
Cyber-crimes – both Cyber-dependent and Cyber-enabled - rose by almost a third over the year. Raising awareness of scams by the Trading Standards Team and working with organisation such as Age Concern to advise caution and what to do if unsure of the authenticity of emails, texts or websites was a priority.
Following the presentation of the report members were advised:
· The report focussed on the work of the Community Safety Partnership rather than that of policing. The Committee could invite North Wales Police to come to Scrutiny to discuss aspects relating to their role specifically if they wished.
· The Public Space Protection Order relating to drinking in public places in Rhyl town centre had been enforced over 50 times since its renewal, several people had been summoned to Court.
· Inspections were undertaken upon businesses such as nail bars and car washes to rule out potential modern slavery and inspect Health and Safety and minimum wages/payroll records etc. Any irregularities identified in relation to accounts/payroll records were forwarded to Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) for further investigation.
· There was potential scope to expand on the restorative justice.
· Information relating to rural crime figures and wildlife crime would be requested from North Wales Police.
· The Community Safety Partnership did not monitor road traffic accidents. This was undertaken by the Road Safety Partnership. A contact number would be sought and circulated.
· Suspicious emails, websites etc. could be reported to the police online (via 101). Online fraud should always be reported to North Wales Police, benefit fraud should be reported to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
· Baseline data of 2019 would be used as the comparator information for the 2021/22 report, as it was deemed that 2020/21 data would not be a suitable comparator due to the pandemic.
· CCTV monitoring was the responsibility of the CCTV Partnership Board and
· DCC would be promoting the new Community Alert and Rural Crime email facility currently under construction by North Wales Police.
· Mental health awareness training for Police Officers may be something that individual members wished to raise with the Police, it was not a matter within the remit of the CSP.
Prior to the conclusion of the discussion the Chair reminded members that representatives from North Wales Police were due to attend a Council Briefing session on 8 November to give a presentation on County Lines work and answer members’ questions.
Resolved: - subject to the above comments and the answers given in response to members’ questions, to receive and endorse the performance and statistical information provided in the Community Safety Partnership Annual Report for 2020-21.
- Community Safety Report Report 2020-21 160921, item 5. PDF 143 KB
- Community Safety Report Report 2020-21 - App 1 160921, item 5. PDF 532 KB