Your Councillors

Community, Housing & Environment Committee

March 28th 2017

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?

No

 

2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan refresh

 

Final Decision-Maker

Council

Lead Director or Head of Service

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services

Lead Officer and Report Author

Nicolas Rathbone, Community Safety Partnerships Officer

Classification

Non-exempt

Wards affected

All wards

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to the final decision-maker:

1.            That the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership’s Plan refresh is recommended to Council for adoption and implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its priority subgroups.

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·                     The Partnership Plan will continue to create safer communities and deter and reduce crime & anti-social behaviour.

·                     It will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities; for Maidstone to be an attractive place for all.

·                     The Community Safety Partnership Plan also supports good health and wellbeing, enhancing the appeal of the town centre for everyone and providing a clean and safe environment.

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Safer Maidstone Partnership Away Day

February 16th 2017

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee acting as the Crime & Disorder Committee

March 28th 2017



2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan refresh

 

 

1.         PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1      The purpose of the report is to update the Committee on the work of the Safer Maidstone Partnership (SMP) since last year and ask for the aforementioned Community Safety Plan to be recommended to Council for adoption and implementation.

 

 

2.         INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1      The Maidstone Community Safety Partnership Plan 2013-18 is a five year rolling   document, which highlights how the SMP plans to tackle local community safety issues that matter to the local community. The plan is revised annually through reviewing information set out in the Strategic Assessment which ensures that current issues can be taken into account and used to direct the SMP’s strategy.

 

2.2      The Strategic Assessment was presented to this Committee on the 14 February 2017. As covered in the previous report, our priorities for this year have been extracted from a wide variety of information shared with our partners and represent the most important issues to focus on this (2017/18) year. Based on the information in the Strategic Assessment, the priorities for 2017/18 are:

 

·      Organised Crime Groups (including Modern Slavery)

·      Gangs & Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

·      Substance Misuse

·      Domestic Abuse & violent crime

·      Mental Health

 

2.3  Mental Health, although not a crime, is an issue at the heart of many cases discussed in the weekly Community Safety & Vulnerabilities Group meeting. Poor mental health is often a causational factor in a person’s anti-social behaviour and a victim of crime whose mental health is affected by their experiences are often placed at increased risk, as with the case of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter.

 

2.4    Changes in legislation from April 1st mean that police custody suites will no longer being used as ‘safe places’ to take someone when they are detained under the Mental Health Act. This will mean intervention to prevent a person from reaching crisis point and thus be detained under the Mental Health Act will be needed this also reinforces our decision to have Mental Health as a priority in its own right.  A full scoping exercise looking at the impact of these issues, the services that currently exist, how they interlink and whether there are gaps, will be one of the actions for the new subgroup.  

 

 

3.         AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1      Do nothing (not recommended). The Strategic Assessment shows that community safety trends have changed, emerging issues need to be addressed by the partnership and if not picked up will potentially result in more victims of crime and anti-social behaviour, especially amongst the most at risk and vulnerable of society.

 

3.2      Approve the Partnership Plan refresh and the identified priorities for 2017/18 (recommended). This will allow for it to be implemented by the SMP and enable the action plans to be delivered by its subgroups. The priorities have been clearly evidenced within the Strategic Assessment and have been highlighted as priorities by the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and other Community Safety Partnerships both in Kent and nationally.

 

 

4.         PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1      Approve the Partnership Plan refresh for 2017/18. Move forward with implementation of the refreshed plan and its action plans. These will be delivered under the umbrella of the Safer Maidstone Partnership via the subgroups set up for each priority. A new subgroup will be formed for the Mental Health priority and the current Community Resilience subgroup will be reformed into separate groups for Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) and Gangs & Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

 

4.2      The Strategic Assessment and refresh of the Partnership Plan demonstrate that issues do change and new priorities can emerge between the assessments.  Often this is as a result of partnership working targeting specific issues or crime types. It also shows that keeping up to date with current issues allows partners to be at the forefront of events, helping to prevent people from becoming victims and supporting those who are at risk and vulnerable. 

 

 

5.        PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1     The Strategic Assessment for 2017/18 was approved by the Communities, Housing & Environment committee on 14 February 2017. The priorities drawn out of the assessment were then used to assist partners develop action plans during an SMP away day that took place on 16 February 2017. These action plans have been included within the Partnership Plan refresh (Appendix 1). 

 

5.2     The away day enabled a broad section of SMP partners to come together and discussed the proposed priorities, ensuring that there was representation from agencies directly involved in the future delivery the action plans.  This was particularly important in the light of emerging new priorities such as Mental Health.

 

 

6.         NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION

 

6.1      Following approval, the Partnership Plan will be disseminated to all partners for their information and implementation through the subgroups.  This year’s Police & Crime Commissioner’s community grant has been advertised externally. Part of the criteria for bids is their alignment with the SMP & PCC’s priorities and applications will need to submitted, sifted and a report sent to the PCC’s office for invoicing by May 30th.        

 

 

7.     CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Community Safety Partnership Plan will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities; continue to create safer communities and deter and reduce crime & anti-social behaviour.

It will contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities; for Maidstone to be an attractive place for all.

The Community Safety Partnership Plan also supports good health and wellbeing, enhancing the appeal of the town centre for everyone and providing a clean and safe environment.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Risk Management

None.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Financial

The Community Safety Grant funding is allocated directly by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). Maidstone Borough Council is due to receive a grant of £37,104 for 2017-18.

However the plans and strategies detailed within the plan cover a wide range of services provided by the Council and partner agencies with the majority of activity being either mainstream funded or funded via other grants or allocations not directly allocated to community safety.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Staffing

The priorities within the Plan cross cut the agencies that make up the Safer Maidstone Partnership. Delivery against the priorities will be via mainstream activity and any grant funding that the borough is able to secure, including this year’s Community Safety Grant allocation.

Head of HR Shared Service

Legal

Sections 5 to 7 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (the 1998 Act), headed “Crime and Disorder Strategies”, require “responsible authorities” to comply with section 6 of the 1998 Act which states that “responsible authorities” shall formulate and implement;

a) A strategy for the reduction of crime and disorder in the area; and

b) A strategy for combating the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in the area; and

c) A strategy for the reduction of re-offending in the area.

By virtue of section 5(1)(a) of the 1998 Act, the Council is the “responsible authority”.

By completing an annual refresh of the Community Safety Plan based on the findings of a comprehensive Strategic Assessment, Maidstone Borough Council is fulfilling its statutory requirement. There are reputational, environmental, economical and legal risks to the Council for not pro-actively pursuing any reductions in crime and disorder levels. The recommendations in this report recognise the importance of constructive dialogue with the partner organisations comprising the Community Safety Partnership and also the importance of coordinated and collaborative working.

Head of Legal Partnership

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

The benefits of delivery against the plan will apply across the Maidstone borough; by adopting an evidence based approach greater benefit should be felt in areas where the identified problems are greatest.

Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development

None.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Community Safety

The Community Safety team is under the reporting line of the Community Partnerships and Resilience Manager. The focus is strongly on preventative

Work, being co-located allows for fluid information sharing and working closely in partnership with the police and other community safety related partners.

 

Head of Housing and Community Services

 

Human Rights Act

None.

Head of Housing and Community Services

Procurement

None.

Head of Finance and Resources

Asset Management

None.

Head of Housing and Community Services

 

8.       REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·               Appendix 1: SMP Community Safety Partnership Plan 2013-18