The Community Safety Manager presented the item in respect of the Community Safety Partnership and in doing so highlighted the following to Members:
· The review of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership was an annual presentation to the Board.
· That, as of 26th June 2021, West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Service would no longer be a member of the Partnership and would once again become a part of the National Probation Service.
· The Partnership provided a three-year plan, that was updated on an annual basis and was based around the priorities of the Partnership. The priorities for 2021-2024 included violence and abuse, theft and acquisitive crime, ASB, damage and nuisance and protecting vulnerable communities. A detailed description was provided regarding the protecting vulnerable communities priority and the links between County Line drug activity and modern slavery. It was confirmed to Members that these priorities were operated at a District and County level.
· The Covid-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on the number of recorded offences in North Worcestershire. Members were informed that partners were preparing for the changes in lockdown restrictions which might result in an increase of offences.
· The delivery of Community Safety Partnership projects throughout the District had inevitably been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic however many had been adapted to ensure that delivery could take place online and some were able to take place face-to-face in a Covid safe environment. Members were informed that a wide range of projects had been carried out with young people both in group settings and in one-to-one sessions. The projects included a Listening Service, Youth Outreach Programmes and a Young Citizen’s Challenge Programme.
· The Nominated Neighbour Scheme, an initiative which aimed to prevent cold-callers and rogue trader offences in the District, had been successful. Members were informed that during an evaluation process it was reported that all residents that had enrolled in the scheme had not received any cold callers since they had joined the initiative.
· The Community Safety Partnership also took part in National initiatives including the Hate Crime Awareness Week and a webinar for the 2020 Hate Crime Conference. It was confirmed that high profile guest speakers had attended the conference which included Kriss Akabusi MBE and the Rt. Hon. Stuart Lawrence, brother of Stephen Lawrence. In addition to this the Partnership had taken part in a White Ribbon Domestic Abuse Campaign, a social media campaign supported by local partners.
Following the presentation, the Chairman invited the Councillor P. Thomas, the Portfolio for Leisure and Culture to comment on the presentation and he thanked the Officers and the team for all of the work over the past year.
Some Members expressed that they were disappointed that the Community Safety Partnership presentation had not been circulated prior to the meeting. The Democratic Services Officer present explained that the scrutiny of the Community Safety Partnership was a statutory function of the Board and needed to be presented before the end of the municipal year. It was reported that Officers had been given short notice to provide the presentation for this meeting and it was agreed that for future years more notice would be given in order that Members were provided with written information prior to the meeting.
During a detailed discussion the following was clarified for Members:
· Whether the progress of the Empowering Young People project was tracked as part of the evaluation process? – Members were informed that an evaluation took place at each step of the project. This included a pre and post evaluation with tutors and young people. It was clarified that this not was not only part of the funding criteria, but it was a powerful tool to understand the impact on the young people who took part.
· That the majority of the work that took place involving young people were through local schools and that Officers worked within the school environment to deliver the programmes. This meant that the projects were driven by need rather than geography within the District. It was confirmed that the Outreach team did travel to other areas within the District as needed. The Community Safety Manager stated that if any Members felt that there was a need in any particular area within the District then the team would be more than happy to look at it and provide support where necessary.
· How were young people included in the outreach programmes? – It was confirmed that Members could contact the Community Safety Team who would be able to pick up any referrals. Officers undertook to share the contact details for the team outside of the meeting. It was further clarified that for certain programmes e.g. the Respect Programme, a referral from a school was required due to the requirement of parental consent to take part in the programme.
· How were referrals made to the Nominated Neighbour Scheme? – Officers explained that materials were available to Members regarding the scheme and undertook to circulate them outside of the meeting.
· Could Ward Members be made aware of when Officers visited a specific ward? – The Community Safety Manager explained that this would not be possible to do beforehand due to the reactive nature of each request however it would be possible to provide Members with a report to inform what activity had been taken in specific wards.
The Chairman thanked the Community Safety Manager and the team for a detailed and informative presentation.
RESOLVED that the Community Safety Partnership Presentation be noted.