The Community Safety Manager presented an update on the work of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership since the previous meeting of the Panel to address ASB in the Borough. This report had been provided at the request of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
In presenting the report the Community Safety Manager highlighted a number of points for Members’ consideration:
· The data provided in the report compared ASB incidents reported to the police in 2017/18 to those incidents that had been reported in 2018/19.
· ASB was not a crime and therefore was recorded on the police database as an incident rather than a crime.
· The data only reflected incidents that were reported by the public or organisations to the police. There would potentially be cases of ASB that were not reported.
· An analysis of the data revealed that there had been a reduction in most types of ASB incident reported to the police.
· The exceptions to this reduction were neighbour disputes and fights and arguments where there had been a slight increase.
· An analysis by season revealed that reported ASB incidents were higher in the summer months than in the winter months. However, there was a downward trend in the rates of reporting over recent years.
· The ASB data per ward for 2017/18 compared to 2018/19 had been provided for comparative purposes. This revealed that ASB incidents were higher in Abbey and Greenlands wards, which contained the town centre and the hospital respectively.
· There had been a significant decrease in the number of ASB incidents reported in some wards, including Batchley and Brockhill, Matchborough and Winyates.
· ASB levels in the Borough compared well to Wyre Forest District but were higher than in Bromsgrove District. However, the reductions in ASB over the last 12 months were slightly higher in Redditch than in the other two districts.
· The Community Safety team had provided two days of training recently in respect of ASB and environmental crime. This training had been well received and a housing association had requested further training on the subject.
· The Council had drafted one community protection order since new powers were introduced in 2014. This had not been used as the Council’s Legal Department had advised that Officers should serve notice in that instance. However, the draft order could be used as a future template if needed.
· More data in respect of ASB at a ward and neighbourhood level could be accessed by Members on the police website.
Following the presentation of the report Members discussed the reasons for the decrease in reports of ASB incidents over the years, including when comparing the summer season in 2018/19 to the previous year. Officers explained that there would be no single reason though specific incidents, such as a football World Cup, in one year could lead to a spike in incidents being reported.
At the end of the discussions in respect of this matter the Chair noted that there tended to be one meeting of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel to review the work of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership in Redditch each year and questions were raised about whether this was sufficient. Officers advised that it was standard practice nationally for one meeting to take place a year of the scrutiny Committee designated with responsibility for reviewing the work of the local Community Safety Partnership. When one meeting took place a year the Community Safety Partnership could provide clear information for a 12 month period as well as any additional information requested by Members when reporting to the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel. There had been two scheduled meetings of the Panel for the previous two years but the second meeting had always been cancelled due to lack of business. One meeting a year would therefore appear a sensible option to adopt in future.
the report be noted.