Councillor Taylor (Portfolio Holder for Community Development) will be in attendance to provide an update report on community safety and how it is being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels (including the East Lincolnshire Community safety Partnership and newly formed Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership). (A copy of the minute of the Panel meeting of 3 March 2015, where the last update was received, is enclosed).
The Portfolio Holder for Community Development was in attendance to provide an update report on community safety and how it was being delivered through the various tiers of Groups and Panels (including the East Lincolnshire CSP and Lincolnshire CSP). He advised on the following issues:
· The Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership’s 14/15 Annual Report was still not yet complete however, when it was, it would be circulated to members.
· He confirmed that the Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership’s priorities for 2015-18 were – 1) Anti-Social Behaviour and Hate Crime; 2) Domestic Abuse; 3) Reduction in re-offending; 4) Serious organised crime; 5) Sexual violence; and 6) Substance abuse.
· Anti-social behaviour training had been undertaken by the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer and the Safer Communities Officer
· Mental health issues – a number of people in the area had been processed.
· Community Safety Survey – this survey was still underway and was available online on the Council’s website
· An initiative to combat illegal sale of alcohol in Spalding was working well.
· One of the CSP’s targeted areas in the past had been around road safety. Statistics around this were improving, which was a success for the CSP.
· Pressure was being put on the Home Office with regard to funding for policing in the area. Changes in the population of the area were having an impact on real communities, and this information was being used to make the case for increased funding.
Consideration was given to this information, and the following issues were raised:
· With regard to domestic abuse, was additional publicity having an impact on reporting levels?
o People had to be encouraged to report domestic abuse and convinced that it could make a difference. Increased reporting would attract more funding.
· Now that the new CCTV system was in operation in certain parts of the South Holland area, were there any figures available regarding arrests/convictions?
o The Portfolio Holder advised that he would look into whether there was any data available. All cameras were now working and recording in Spalding, there were some issues with other cameras that were being refined.
· In the absence of a plentiful police presence, more reliance was being placed on CCTV. An assurance was needed that it was being used effectively.
o The Portfolio Holder advised that there was a wish to use CCTV cameras to address issues that fell under the Council’s jurisdiction. The Portfolio Holder was currently in discussions with the Portfolio Holder for Place with regard to using CCTV to address environmental crime.
· Councillors reiterated the point that had been made above, and at previous meetings, with regard to the lack of data showing the numbers of arrests, convictions etc linked to information gathered from CCTV. This information had to be provided to demonstrate that the cameras were producing results.
· When the CSPs met, was there any analysis of why certain actions were or were not taken when a crime was committed?
o The Portfolio Holder advised that the reporting of crime, such as attempted break-ins, was an issue as this could become a greater problem further along the line. Enforcement was undertaken, but not in all instances and this was a question to ask of the Police.
· With regard to mental health issues, was this an issue of greater relevance nationally, or was it a significant issue in this area?
o Matters relating to mental health and vulnerable people were an issue everywhere. Multi-agency working between bodies such as the Council, health authorities and the Police was required to address these areas.
· Councillor Brewis commented on issues around access to justice provided by Magistrate’s Courts. There had been consultation regarding a reduction in service provided by the Court in Lincoln. Sufficient consideration should be given to all those involved in hearings and proceedings at the court. Should the area of jurisdiction necessarily be Lincoln for some parts of the South Holland area as other locations were more convenient for certain sections of the district? In the drive to save money, had issues such as expenses, (including travel expenses if travelling further was necessary), for all those involved been considered?
o The Portfolio Holder requested that Councillor Brewis send him details of the issues raised and consultation undertaken.
A number of issues were raised which were policing matters, and the Portfolio Holder suggested that Inspector Jo Reeves be invited to the meeting in six months time, where he would be providing his next update, to answer these questions and any others that Panel members wished to ask:
· There was a perception that bodies such as the East Lincolnshire CSP and Lincolnshire CSP were ‘talking shops’, achieving little of any real substance, and that money would be better spent on a greater Police presence in the South Holland area. What evidence was there that bodies such as the CSPs provided any benefit or made a real difference?
· Councillors were concerned about the lack of data showing the numbers of arrests, convictions etc linked to information gathered from CCTV. This information had to be provided to demonstrate that the cameras were producing results.
· Data regarding moving traffic offences was requested – how many prosecutions had there been in this area?
· At what point were the Police alerted when an incident was viewed on CCTV? Was their a trigger level?
· Councillors raised concerns over the level of people committing offences and ignoring the law because it was felt that they could ‘get away with it’.
· Enforcement following attempted criminal incidents was undertaken in some instances, but not always. Why was this? Minor incidents should still be dealt with.
a) That the update provided by the Portfolio Holder for Community Development be noted;
b) That the Portfolio Holder for Community Development be requested to provide a further update to the Panel in six months time; and
c) That Inspector Jo Reeves of Lincolnshire Police be requested to attend the same meeting to answer members’ questions regarding policing matters.
(The Portfolio Holder for Community Development left the meeting following discussion of this item).