Venue: Committee Room 2 Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Jess Bayley
Apologies and named substitutes
To receive apologies for absence and details of any Councillor (or co-optee substitute) nominated to attend this meeting in place of a member of this Committee.
There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of interest and of Party Whip
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests, and any Party Whip.
There were no declarations of interest nor of any party whip.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel as a correct record.
the minutes of the meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel held on 22nd October 2013 be approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chair.
To consider further information about projects undertaken by or on behalf of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership to tackle domestic abuse.
(Briefing note attached)
The Chair explained that she had requested a presentation on the subject of domestic abuse due to the significance of this matter to community safety. Members were advised that in an edition of The Times newspaper in September 2014 it had been noted that domestic abuse accounted for 10 per cent of the caseload of the Crown Prosecution Service. This article had also reported that more than seven women a month were murdered by men with whom they had had had a relationship and that according to the Crime Survey for England 30 per cent of women had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16.
Officers presented a briefing note containing further information about the many community safety initiatives that had been launched to address issues of domestic abuse in Redditch. During the presentation of this briefing note the following issues were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· The Community Safety team delivered a number of projects, often in partnership with the police.
· Elected Members had traditionally been supportive of action taken by the team to tackle domestic abuse. This had included vocal support for the White Ribbon Campaign and participating in a recent pledge against domestic abuse.
· There had been a positive response from the public and other organisations to the White Ribbon Campaign.
· There were different stages at which agencies could work with victims of domestic abuse. This included early intervention with individuals considered to be at risk of being abused and working with victims who had left abusive partners who were in the criminal justice system.
· There had been 744 recorded crimes and incidents in Redditch in 2013/14 linked to domestic abuse. This figure potentially included multiple reports for particular victims.
· A member of the Community Safety team had received training on the CRUSH programme, which offered support and aimed to empower young people aged 13 to 19 years.
· The CRUSH programme provided an opportunity to educate young people about healthy relationships. Participants could also be advised about local agencies that could provide support if they experienced domestic abuse.
· The Community Safety team was working with the Early Help team and local schools to identify suitable participants for the programme.
· In the long-term the team was hoping to deliver the CRUSH programme in all of the High Schools in the Borough, though the delivery of the programme would need to be managed in a sensitive manner.
· Briefer sessions focusing on domestic abuse were also being delivered in local schools during “Drop Down Days”, which were days in the academic year when students did not attend normal lessons.
Following delivery of the presentation the Panel discussed a number of issues in further detail:
· Progress in the past few decades in terms of agencies working in partnership to tackle domestic abuse.
· Changing attitudes towards domestic abuse within society and the increasing visibility of domestic abuse cases within local, regional and national media.
· The impact of domestic abuse on both female and male victims.
· The remaining challenges to tackling domestic abuse. ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider further information about projects delivered by or on behalf of the North Worcestershire community Safety Partnership to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the Borough.
(Briefing note attached)
Officers presented a briefing note concerning the community safety initiatives that were being delivered in Redditch dealing with issues affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. During the delivery of this presentation a number of points were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· There was under reporting of hate crime incidents in the LGBT community.
· The Community Safety team had been working with RSA Arrow Vale Academy to establish an LGBT Youth Support Group. Officers were seeking to identify a suitable location in the town centre where the group could meet so that young people from other schools could also attend.
· In previous years representatives of the LGBT community had reported that there were limited opportunities available in the Borough to attend social activities for the community.
· Attempts had been made to address this in the past and a social event for the LGBT community had taken place at Fever nightclub in the town centre in two consecutive years. Unfortunately these events had not been profitable and were therefore no longer taking place.
Following delivery of the briefing note the following points were raised during a discussion of the subject amongst members of the Panel:
· Whilst progress had been made in recent years in tackling homophobic language and behaviour there were still people in the community who had prejudices against the LGBT community.
· Members were advised that in many cases homophobic comments and behaviour occurred as a result of ignorance within the wider community.
· Members expressed support for the positive action that was being taken by local public agencies to support the LGBT community.
Members agreed that the content of the scoping document and the update that had been provided during the meeting should be referred for the consideration of the Provision of support Networks for the LGBT Community Task Group once the review had started. There was the possibility that based on this update Members might want to consider amending the terms of reference for the review.
the report be noted.
Adult Safeguarding - Presentation
To consider further information about work undertaken by the Adult Safeguarding Group.
(Presentation to follow).
The Chair announced that due to unforeseen circumstances the lead Officer for this item was not available to deliver the presentation. For this reason it had been suggested that the item should be referred for the consideration of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at a later date.
Members requested that a briefing note be circulated on this subject for the consideration of members of the Panel by email to enable the Chair to determine whether this item needed to be referred for the consideration of the Committee.