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Contact: Jo Gresham
Apologies and named substitutes
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Wanda King and Pattie Hill. Councillors John Fisher and Mark Shurmer attended as their named substitutes.
Declarations of interest and of Party Whip
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and / 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.
the minutes of the meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel held on Wednesday 25th September 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
The Community Safety Manager presented an update in respect of the work of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership (NWCSP) in Redditch from September 2019 to August 2020.
During the presentation of the report the following points werehighlighted for Members’ consideration:
· The NWCSP covered the North Worcestershire wide partnership area and had been in existence since 2013. The responsibility for the Partnership was held by the relevant Portfolio Holder for community safety at each District.
· There were a number of sub-groups of the partnership which addressed specific community safety themes, including the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Complex Cases group, the Hate Incident Partnership and the district Safer Groups.
· A Strategic Assessment was produced annually which led to a Community Safety Partnership Plan which set the priorities for the Partnership.
· There had been difficulties in developing the Partnership plan due to Covid-19 particularly with key partner agencies who had to prioritise local corporate delivery.
· A 2021-24 Partnership Plan was being developed which aligned with the new timescales of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC’s) Plan. The plan had been delayed due to the cancellation of the PCC election and delivery timescales had been extended by a year in light of the extraordinary circumstances.
· The role of the Deputy PCC was outlined, and it was confirmed that the NWCSP worked closely around the commissioning model which led to a substantial investment for NWCSP activity. This investment included data analysis support and improvements to CCTV. A large proportion of CCTV infrastructure and modernisation work was carried out under difficult circumstances during the Covid-19 restrictions.
· £65k of PCC capital funding was allocated to 2020-21 to NWCSP to support additional or further works that might be needed to improve CCTV. This might include the improvement of existing cameras and further upgrades to the current digital infrastructure.
· There was no final plan for the funding yet, but scoping work was being undertaken which might include ‘bolt-ons’ that would enhance the current scheme and the logistical and physical location of cameras.
· The CCTV Monitoring Centre operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was noted that staff that worked in the Monitoring Centre did a fantastic job. Some Members were keen to visit the centre once the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. It was explained to Members that currently all Monitoring Centre Staff were working as part of ‘bubbles’ to ensure their protection against Covid-19. The Community Safety Manager confirmed to Members that contact would be made with the Monitoring Centre Manager and a visit arranged once restrictions were lifted and it was safe to do so.
· A number of projects that were funded by the PCC related to and focussed on diverting and supporting young people from crime and ASB and was to be delivered in schools. The funding for these projects was finalised in August 2020 with a planned in-school delivery date of October 2020.Other projects that were to receive funding included supporting Redditch Town Centre in terms of community safety ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Community Safety Manager summarised the ASB Update on the work of the Partnership and in doing so highlighted the following to Members:
· The update report was provided as a result of a request at Overview and Scrutiny Committee that an update on ASB was provided at the annual Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel meeting.
· The report looked at activity undertaken by the Community Safety Partnership to address ASB.
· ASB was a key theme in the data provided by the Community Safety Partnership and was regularly monitored and was a key priority for partners.
· Early intervention was key when dealing with ASB and there were a number of tools that were used to prevent the escalation of problems.
· Introductory Tenancies/Starter Tenancies were a very useful tool for Redditch Borough Council to use in the authority’s role as a social housing provider as they clarified landlord and tenant expectations from the outset of the tenancy.
· Community Protection Warnings had been issued in 2019/2020 around various ASB incidents.
Members expressed an interest in whether there had been an increase in the amount of fly-tipping over the lockdown period. It was confirmed by the Community Safety Manager that, unfortunately this had been the case as during lockdown there had been less natural surveillance and footfall in certain areas. In addition to this, enforcement had been made more difficult due to lockdown restrictions. It was hoped that once restrictions were lifted this would have a positive impact on both enforcement and investigations of fly-tipping.
The Chair queried the effectiveness of the Community Protection Warnings that had been issued. It was confirmed that they were effective and that only one warning that had been issued had proceeded to a Community Protection Notice. These were more formal notices and a breach of a Community Protection Notice resulted in a criminal offence.
There was a question in regard to the two Community Trigger applications for issues relating to disruptive neighbour nuisance that had been noted in the ASB report. Members expressed an interest in whether these cases were still ongoing or had been resolved and if they been issued in the current municipal year. The Community Safety Manager clarified that the cases were ongoing and had been issued in the current financial year, which started in April 2020. The process and criteria of the application for a Community Trigger was clarified to Members and it was explained that the process was predominantly concerned with finding action and outcomes for the applicant. The process was then monitored, reviewed and assessed by officers. Anything further that could be done to help the applicant was then identified.
One Member questioned whether a Closure Order could be applied if there was disorder and breaches in respect of Covid-19. The Community Safety Manager explained that there was specific legislation dealing with Covid-19 and that this legislation was enforced by the Police and Worcestershire Regulatory Services and was a swifter method of dealing with these kinds of breaches.
The Chair queried with officers ... view the full minutes text for item 5.