The Community Safety Manager presented a briefing note outlining the work of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership in 2017/18. During the presentation of this paper the following matters were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· A number of projects, designed to facilitate crime prevention, had received grant funding from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
· There was also a Community Safety Project Officer who had been recruited relatively recently to deliver projects in the Borough. These projects were designed to address key areas of local concern based on available data.
· There had been an increase of 21 per cent in total recorded crime during the year.
· The increase appeared in large part to be due to changes in reporting practices. In previous years only reports supported by viable evidence identified by the police would be included in the data; by 2017 all reported incidents, regardless of the evidence basis, were recorded.
· There had been a significant increase in bicycle theft, with this peaking in the months of April, May and June.
· Bicycle theft had been particularly notable in Church Hill and Matchborough and had included thefts from rear gardens.
· The available data revealed that 14 per cent of crime had been committed in the town centre. A lot of this was linked to the night time economy.
· There had been 11 hate crimes reported, leading to an increase of 19 per cent in such offences. It was noted that 10 of these offences related to a single, ongoing complaint which had since been resolved.
· The Partnership had been reviewing action that could be taken to address crimes committed by repeat offenders.
Following the presentation a number of issues were raised by Members:
· The work of YSS. Members were advised that this was a charity that carried out work with offenders and those at risk of offending as well as on other projects involving young people in Worcestershire.
· The work of Swanswell to support people struggling with substance abuse problems. Officers explained that Worcestershire County Council commissioned Swanswell to deliver drug and alcohol services across the county and representatives of the organisation were involved in the work of the Redditch Tasking Group.
· The work of the Partnership to raise the profile of the partnership in terms of helping retailers to tackle theft from shops. Members were informed that the partnership worked closely with the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
· The approach adopted by partners to address cases of child and sexual exploitation (CSE).
· The role of schools in terms of referring young people at risk of CSE. Members were advised that training was being delivered to school staff to help assist with this.
· The extent to which the increase in reported bicycle thefts was linked to changes in the reporting of crime statistics. Members were advised that there had been an increase in bicycle thefts and the partnership was examining these to identify any patterns.
· The work of partners to ensure that stolen bicycles were not subsequently sold on. Members were advised that the Police had worked with second hand stores and scrap metal dealers to try and address this. Owners were also encouraged to use property marking merchandise like SmartWater which could help to demonstrate ownership and facilitate the return of stolen property.
· The data indicated there had been an increase in vehicle crimes, which covered offences such as theft of a vehicle and theft from a vehicle. Officers were asked to clarify how drink driving was categorised in the data.
the update report be noted.