The Chairman welcomed the Community Safety Manager, the Head of Community Services and Chief Inspector Gerry Smith to the meeting. He also took the opportunity to remind Members that the Board had a statutory duty to scrutinise the Partnership on an annual basis and that it was the Partnership as a whole that the Board were scrutinising, and not individual partner organisations.
The Community Safety Manager presented the report and in so doing highlighted the following:
· Background information in respect of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership (NWCSP) and the role of scrutiny at all levels.
· The current Partnership structure and the Partnership plan for 2017-20, which was coming to its conclusion.
· The Structure Assessment and the information and intelligence it gathered and how this was used.
· The focus and priorities of the Partnership.
· The work of the CSP Analyst team – and how it’s work was funded.
· An update in respect of CCTV and the Monitoring Centre – it was noted that the Council had match funded an award from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to modernise the CCTV infrastructure which would also include the provision of a number of mobile cameras.
· The CCTV improvements would include enhanced digital capacity, improved image quality and greater capacity to expand the scheme and/or link to other digital systems across the region.
· Key projects including Nominated Neighbour Scheme, Bromsgrove and Redditch School Respect Programme.
· Hate Crime Awareness Week – the joint event held in 2018 and the more low key approach taken in 2019.
· New and emerging areas for the CSP including the prevention and tackling of serious violence. As part of the new duty the Government planned on amending the Crime and Disorder Act to ensure that serious violence was an explicit priority for Community Safety Partnerships. However, it was noted that there had been some delay in this being finalised, but Members would be updated in due course.
Following presentation of the report, Members discussed a number of areas with the officers present, in more detail, this included:
· Funding for the Street Pastors Project and the important work they carried out.
· Where the CCTV Monitoring Centre was based – it was noted that it was based at the Town Hall, Redditch but covered the Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forrest areas.
· Whether all schools were invited to take part in the Young Citizens’ Challenge – it was confirmed that whilst all were invited it was difficult to establish whether all participated, often this was down to timetabling at particular schools, and feedback was based on evaluation forms being completed. However, where possible schools were targeted on a biannual basis.
· The funding for the CCTV improvements – these had come from capital funding and the £40k was specifically for Bromsgrove.
· The Nominate a Neighbour Scheme and how this worked – it was noted that currently 90 people had signed up to it over both Bromsgrove and Redditch. Currently it had only been promoted through the PCSOs and Lifeline, as it was particularly aimed at the more vulnerable residents.
· The night time economy and violence which had occurred around the pubs and bars (Worcester Road was referenced in particular) – it was questioned whether any of these incidents were reported back to the Licensing Committee. The work being carried out by the Town Centre Management Group, in conjunction with local licensees was highlighted and Members were advised that the Police closely monitored this and if necessary could report back the Licensing Committee, but preferred where possible to work directly with landlords and owners and put in preventative measures. This had included trying to stagger closing times in a particular area and changing the shift pattern of officers, particularly on a Friday and Saturday night.
· The Pub Watch group which operated successfully within the town centre and its relationship with the Partnership.
· The introduction of Smart Water and what evidence there was to show that this was successful in preventing theft. Chief Inspector Smith advised that whilst there was some scepticism around the use of this, he understood that in those areas where it was used a reduction in theft was recorded. He believed it was a valuable tactic if used correctly, for example in a specific geographical area where problems had been highlighted. This had been particularly relevant in some areas which were close to the borders with Birmingham and the motorway networks. The Community Safety Manager commented that they looked upon the use of this as a preventative tool as its use linked property to a specific address.
· Vehicle theft – again Chief Inspector Smith made reference to particular areas and how specific targeted work took place to address this issue. There were many things to take into account, particularly when there was a spate of thefts in one area.
· A number of Members took the opportunity to ask for their thanks to be passed on to the Bromsgrove Community Safety Project Officer, who had been most helpful. It was confirmed that this position had now been made permanent.
· PACT meetings were discussed and it was confirmed that whilst the Police were happy to attend these meetings, they were not such a regular occurrence in some areas, but were provided on an as required basis and were often held either in the town centre or supermarkets in order to reach a larger audience.
· The role of the Safer Bromsgrove Group and its make up.
· The changes to the CCTV cameras and the benefits from those changes. It was confirmed that the re-deployable cameras would not be linked to the Monitoring Centre but would have a SIM card which was regularly checked.
In conclusion Members discussed how they could help support the Partnership and how best they could best deal with any concerns or queries and where to signpost residents if necessary.
RESOLVED that the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership 2018/19 update be noted.