Agenda and minutes

Crime and Disorder Scrutiny - Tuesday, 19th July, 2011 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2 Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jess Bayley and Michael Craggs 

No. Item


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 the Committee.




Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Blake, Hill and W King.


Apologies were also received from Mr Ken Hazledene, (Redditch Anti-Harassment Partnership) and Mr Philip Griffiths, (Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service).


Declarations of interest and Party Whip

To invite Councillors to declare any interest they may have in items on the Agenda and any Party Whip.



There were no declarations of interest nor of any party whip.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel that took place on the 14th April 2011 as a correct record.


(Minutes attached)



Members discussed the minutes of the previous meeting of the Panel. 


As requested, the Chair of the West Mercia Police Authority, Councillor Sheila Blagg, had been informed of the Panel’s view that a needs based approach to allocating community safety funding should be adopted in future years by the elected Police Commissioner for the area.  Members were advised that these considerations were likely to inform the Police Commissioner’s decisions with regards to funding allocations.  However, whilst funds had previously been distributed by the Safer Communities Board across Worcestershire, the Police Commissioner would make decisions about the allocation of funding across the wider West Mercia Police Force area, which also encompassed Herefordshire and Shropshire.


Performance in relation to NI 15, serious violent crime, had also been discussed at the previous meeting.  Members were advised that whilst the performance statistics might appear concerning the increase followed changes to rules at the national level with regards to the assessment of serious violent crime.  A wide range of reported crimes were classified as constituting serious violent crime including offences which resulted in less serious outcomes.  Similarly, the rules for assessing the threat of violence related to a range of offences, from bullying at school to more significant threats of serious crimes.


Finally, in relation to minute 37, an update on progress with the introduction of a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) was provided.  The panel was informed that appropriate staff would be employed over the following six months and partner organisations were aiming to open the SARC by April 2012, when the facility would be more widely promoted. 




subject to noting the updates as detailed above, the minutes of the meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel held on 14th April 2011 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Community Safety in Redditch - Presentation

To receive a presentation on performance statistics in relation to community safety in Redditch.


(Verbal presentation to follow)



The Chair welcomed Inspector Ian Joseph, West Mercia Police, to the meeting and thanked him for agreeing to deliver a presentation on the subject of crime and community safety.


The Panel was informed that following the general election in 2010 requirements for performance monitoring had changed.  However, there remained a need to understand the main offences impacting on local communities amongst partner organisations, and one of the most effective ways of realising this goal was to compare performance in relation to crime this year to performance in the same period of the previous year. 


There were seven key crime types for Redditch recorded during the year.  The first of these crime types was violence against the person, covering a range of crimes from common assault to murder.  The levels of violent crime had been rising slowly over the previous 18 months, though the rate of reported offences in this category in Redditch had fallen from 506 the previous year to 486 offences.  Serious violent crime remained an area of concern and would be reviewed in due course.


Sexual offences were also recorded.  The number of reported offences in this category had increased from 32 the previous year to 50.  Similarly, robbery rates had increased from 13 to 20 when compared to the previous year though detection rates had improved in this time.  In both cases these crime types were divisional priorities and were considered serious offences, though offenders were not always aware of the significant criminal justice penalties for robbery offences.


Burglary of dwellings was another crime type where there had been an increase in the rate of recorded offences, from 55 to 79, when compared to the previous year.  This rise corresponded with national trends, though was concerning when compared to a consistent decline in rates in previous years.  Much of the increase at the local level had occurred in April, at a time when a number of prolific offenders had been active in the town.  The number of these offences reported had decreased significantly following the arrest and imprisonment of four of these offenders.  Other forms of burglary, such as burglary from commercial properties, were similarly classified as a specific crime type.  The rate of these crimes had remained static as 86 such crimes had been recorded for both years.


Theft and the handling of stolen goods was a further crime type where there had been an increase in recorded offences.   Thefts within local shops, particularly in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, were among the main locations where these offences occurred.  Local partners were working with retailers to encourage security guards to intercept thieves before they left shops.  Members noted that by combining resources retailers could collectively employ a security guard at a relatively limited financial cost to each business.


Criminal damage was the final crime type monitored on an ongoing basis.  The rates of this type of crime had also increased, from 320 to 379 when compared to the previous year.  Rates of criminal damage were often connected  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Notes from the Redditch Community Safety Partnership

To consider the contents of the minutes from the Redditch Community Safety Partnership Board’s meetings on 16th February and 31st March 2011.


(Minutes attached)





the minutes of the meetings of the Community Safety Partnership Board held on 16th February and 31st March 2011 be noted.


(During consideration of this item Members discussed matters that necessitated the disclosure of exempt information. It was therefore agreed to exclude the press and public prior to any debate on the grounds that information would be revealed relating to any action taken, or to be taken, in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.)



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider the contents of the Panel’s Work Programme.

(Report attached)




Members discussed the latest version of the Panel’s Work Programme. 


The Chair noted that, as requested, training would be delivered on the subject of the Community Safety Partnership’s new Performance Management Framework at the following meeting of the Panel.  This would be followed by scrutiny of the first quarterly performance management report for the partnership.


Members were also advised about progress with regards to consideration of alcohol related admission rates amongst young people to the Alexandra Hospital.  The Chair of the Panel had advised the Overview and Scrutiny Committee about the Panel’s consideration of this issue.  A number of letters, to the Worcestershire Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) and to Anne Milton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, had been dispatched at the request of the Committee to elicit further information on this subject.  Responses had been received from both sources and a decision had been made to refer the material gathered by both the Panel and the Committee to Worcestershire County Council, which was due to scrutinise the issue as part of the Council’s crime and disorder scrutiny arrangements.  Consequently, Members determined that no further action on this issue was required by the Panel.




the Panel’s Work Programme be noted.


Exclusion of the Public and Press

Should it be necessary, in the opinion of the Chief Executive, during the course of the meeting to consider excluding the public from the meeting on the grounds that exempt information is likely to be divulged, it may be necessary to move the following resolution:


“That, under S.100 (A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following matter(s) on the grounds that it/they involve(s) the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs (to be specified) of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) of the said Act”.





under S.100 I of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following matter on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) of the said Act, as amended:


·              Notes from the Redditch Community Safety Partnership (as detailed at minute 5 above).