Your Councillors

MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL

COUNCIL

12 APRIL 2017

REPORT OF THE COMMUNITIES, HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE, ACTING AS THE CRIME AND DISORDER COMMITTEE HELD ON 14 FEBRUARY 2017 AND 28 MARCH 2017

 

2013-18 COMMUNITY SAFETY PARTNERSHIP PLAN REFRESH AND
2017-18 STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT

Issue for Decision

To adopt the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan Refresh and 2017-18 Strategic Assessment to be implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its priority subgroups.

Recommendation Made

That the Council adopt the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan Refresh and the 2017-18 Strategic Assessment to be implemented by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its priority subgroups.

Reasons for Recommendation

The Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, at its meeting held on 14 February 2017 approved the 2017-18 Strategic Assessment for adoption by Council.  In addition, at its meeting on 28 March 2017 the Committee approved the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan Refresh for adoption by Council, subject to some redrafting to include the clarity of the document.  It was noted that:-

·                The priorities from the Strategic Assessment for 2017/18 were:-

Organised Crime Groups (including Modern Slavery)
Gangs and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Substance Misuse
Domestic Abuse and Violent Crime
Mental Health

·                The refreshed plan and its action plans 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).

·                Mental Health, although not a crime, is an issue at the heart of many cases discussed in the weekly Community Safety and 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.

·                Changes in legislation from 1st April 2017 mean that police custody suites will no longer be used as ‘safe places’ to take someone when they are detained under the Mental Health Act.  This will mean that intervention to prevent a person from reaching crisis point, and thus be detained under the Mental Health Act will be required.  This also reinforces the 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.

Alternatives Considered and Why Not Recommended

1.           Do nothing.  This is not a recommended option as the Strategic Assessment shows that community safety trends have changed.  Other emerging issues need to be addressed by the partnership and if not picked up would potentially result in more victims of crime and anti-social behaviour, especially amongst the most at risk and vulnerable of society.

2.           By approving the Partnership Plan (refresh) and the identified priorities for 2017/18 would 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 and Crime Commissioner and other Community Safety Partnerships, both in Kent and nationally.

3.           Appendices

Appendix 1 –Strategic Assessment 2017-18

Appendix 2 – SMP Community Safety Partnership Plan Refresh 2013-18