Community Safety Partnership Priorities 2016 - 2019
- Meeting of SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE, Thursday, 14 January 2016 10.00 a.m. (Item 58.)
- View the background to item 58.
To consider and comment upon the Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment Priorities identified for Central Bedfordshire for 2016 - 2019.
The Director for Community Services delivered the Community Safety Partnership Plan and provided the Committee with details regarding the three emerging priorities. He explained that in order for the Partnership to tackle the issues effectively, it was vital they selected priorities with which they could have the greatest impact. The Director highlighted the need to understand the rise in reported cases of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), some of which could be attributed to historic cases, but it was important that the Partnership understood the rationale behind recently reported figures.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Bedfordshire confirmed that the priorities identified within the plan closely matched those of the police and national priorities. The PCC highlighted the challenges Bedfordshire police faced, particularly with regards to funding and resources and acknowledged the importance of collaborative working with other agencies, particularly with health colleagues to tackle priorities effectively. To influence crime levels it was important to focus on the prevention of substance and alcohol abuse and ensure that mental health issues were given the appropriate level of attention.
In light of the report Members discussed the following:-
· The deployment of resource and the force’s ability to prioritise day to day policing matters, which the Chief Inspector confirmed would still be addressed alongside the priorities identified in the Plan.
· The need for a balance of focus on urban and rural areas.
· That robust measures were needed to tackle street drinking, its causes and other areas of Anti Social Behaviour (ASB).
· The need for a zero tolerance policy regards premises in breach of their license for which the Chief Inspector advised the police did seek to close premises in breach of their licence and advocated robust sanctions. It was agreed that a statutory witness structure would be useful in this regard.
· The vital role of community safety groups and the Partnership.
· The need to improve communication between the police and the Partnership.
· Concerns regarding drug dealing and nuisance motorcycling in the Dunstable area.
· The prevalence of cyber crime in Bedfordshire, which the Chief Inspector confirmed was part of the Force’s strategy and was addressed by a cyber crime unit.
· The importance of appropriate training for police staff to deal with sensitive issues such as Domestic Violence (DV) and CSE.
In response the Director confirmed that close liaison was undertaken with community groups to promote the delivery of resilient communities as detailed in the 5-Year Plan. Preventative measures with regards to street drinking were in place and overall communication with the police was good. Close liaison with other Council departments was vital to ensure resource were used effectively.
The PCC explained that whilst he was committed to community policing and increasing the police footfall in the area the force was in the process of devising a new operating model and there were difficult challenges to overcome with regards to resource. Although base locations might change there would still be an appropriate number of dedicated roads police due to collaboration with neighbouring Forces and despite efficiencies the level of service provided would not diminish.
RECOMMENDED that the Executive adopt the three Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment Priorities identified for Central Bedfordshire for 2016-19.