Councillor Khan introduced the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel update in his role as Chair of the Panel. Members were informed that at the Panel meeting that took place on 2nd November 2022, when the work of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership (NWCSP) was scrutinised, and the Panel received a highly informative presentation by Bev Houghton, the Community Safety Partnership Manager, at that meeting.
The Chair of the Panel summarised the main points discussed at the 2nd November 2022 meeting, which were as follow:
· In September 2021 a new Fly Tipping Fund grant was released by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to work with local private landowners to address the problem of fly-tipping on private land. The NWCSP had been allocated £22k which was firmly aimed at NWCSP’s work with private landowners only. Local authorities would not be able to access this funding.
· As part of the PCC’s CCTV Capital Fund, over £48k of funding had been used for work on CCTV cameras in Redditch Borough, including 1 additional camera on Town Hall roof and upgrades to 24 cameras in the Borough. The upgrade included 3 moveable cameras, enhanced digital capability, improved image quality and a greater capacity to expand the scheme and/or link up to other digital systems across the region.
· In terms of powers used in respect of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), 9 Community Protection Warnings (CPWs) had been issued by the Police, Council services and Social Landlords in 2020-21 and none had been issued in 2021-22.
· 1 Community Trigger/ASB Case Review had been carried out in June 2021. It was explained that a Community Trigger/ASB Case Review was introduced as part of the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014 and was a facility available to victims of ASB to request a review of their reported case, if they felt that no action had been taken.
· The NWCSP’s Partnership Plan for 2021-24 had been informed by the following priorities which had been agreed by partners: Reducing Violence and Abuse, Reducing Theft and Acquisitive Crime, Reducing ASB, Damage and Nuisance, Protecting Vulnerable Communities, Reducing Offending and Reducing the Harm Caused by Drugs and Alcohol.
· The Safer Streets Project in Woodrow was highlighted, which aimed to improve the security and safety of all homes in Woodrow Centre, Ombersley Close and Rushock Close.
· Many other community safety projects and initiatives across the Borough that were concluded and/or started in 2021/22, including:
· Community Safety Enhanced Youth Support Workers – in 2021-22 a Public Health Grant of £83k per annum for three years had been received by Redditch Borough Council from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund. This allowed the team to appoint two full time youth worker posts in partnership with Young Solutions Worcestershire.
· Volunteer it Yourself (VIY) and Launch of the W.I.S.E Youth Centre – The VIY initiative combined DIY and volunteering and as a result young people were able to learn DIY and trade sector skills whilst helping to repair and refurbish community facilities. There were 17 beneficiaries of this programme, including 12 Entry Level 3 City & Guilds Accreditations being awarded in carpentry, health and safety, and decorating. The VIY project concluded with the opening of a new youth centre.
· The Empowering Young People Programme - This was an 11-week programme of arts and crafts, issue-based activities addressing life skills, confidence building and self-esteem work. Some areas that had been covered over the previous year had been ASB, County Lines Drug Dealing and Hate Crime Awareness. It was reported that 8 programmes had been delivered in 2021-22.
· Youth Outreach –The Community Safety Team were working in conjunction with a local youth provider UP Foundation, to deliver outreach and detached youth work across the Borough. Through these outreach patrols, youth workers would engage with between 20 and 400 young people per month.
· The Virtual Decisions Knife Crime Project was a one of a kind, innovative project using virtual reality technology in order for young people to face real world scenarios and make choices when faced with multiple dilemmas, including the carrying of a knife and gang activities. It was considered a ground-breaking project with the Office of the PCC looking to potentially commission further delivery of the project across West Mercia.
· ASB Awareness Week - this event took place from 18th July to 24th July 2022 in Redditch Town Centre and Arrow Valley. A drop in session held on 21st July 2022 in the Town Centre had provided advice on measures to address ASB.
· Safe Places Scheme – designed to offer people with a disability, illness or learning difficulty, or anyone else who felt in danger a safe place. It was somewhere they could go to for help if they were being bullied or harassed while out and about. Places such as some coffee shops in the town centre had signed up for this in Redditch.
· White Ribbon Domestic Abuse Campaign –took place in late November-December 2022 and included community events and social media promotion as part of the campaign. The “Ask for Angela” campaign was also being promoted by the NWCSP team in licensed venues by supplying posters and beer mats with helpline numbers. The Ask for Angela campaign enabled people who feel unsafe, to discreetly ask venue staff for help by asking for 'Angela'.
The Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel Update be noted.