(Report OS215 refers)
Councillor Griffiths introduced the report and its appendices, highlighted particular outcomes of the partnership from the previous 12 months and drew attention to key priorities and challenges going forward.
The Committee were reminded of their role in the review and scrutiny of the decisions and work carried out by the Community Safety Partnership which for 2018/19 focussed on three priority categories: Domestic Violence and Abuse, Protecting Vulnerable People and Tackling Anti Social Behaviour, in urban and rural areas.
The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Chief Inspector Mark Lynch, Hampshire Constabulary, who outlined the Crime Summary, as set out in Appendix 2 of the Report. Where requested, he provided updates to the Committee and together with the Portfolio Holder and officers they responded to detailed questions.
In summary, the following matters were raised by the Committee:
(i) Flytipping – A significant 64% reduction in reported cases was reported;
(ii) Approval received for the Housing Team to appoint a Health Support Worker;
(iii) Working in collaboration with other local authorities and the Police Crime Commissioner the CSP is working to tackle the issues related to the growth in the street community;
(iv) Serious violence incidents remained low with a slight rise reported in burglary and car crime which were currently a priority;
(v) Measures were being taken with partners, businesses and the BID to reduce levels of Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) in the Town Centre and support vulnerable people (i.e. rough sleepers etc) in securing suitable housing accommodation to meet their needs. It was noted that all information received regarding the safeguarding of vulnerable people should be reported directly to the Police for an effective response;
(vi) Winchester Community Courts – It was reported that Winchester was one of two other authorities pioneering this system which had been launched during early December 2018. The Winchester Community Courts sought to provide intervention at an early stage for low level offences (mainly ASB). The Court comprised of a panel of trained young people who would assess the offence and interview the perpetrator in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion to the case (i.e. community work etc). Feedback provided since its commencement suggested this process was successful and worthwhile;
(vii) Boomtown – The number of offences from last year’s event had reduced from that in previous years and it was reported that there had been no adverse impact from the 2018 event on the local community; and
(viii) Reporting of community issues – It was noted that reporting incidents via the 101 phone service was proving difficult due to long wait times, therefore it was suggested that the online reporting tool be used.
A community engagement plan had been created and effective ways of keeping the public informed were being established (i.e. facebook, twitter and other forms of social media). The Police continued to speak to communities and Parish Council’s and supports one formal PACT (Police and Communities Together) meeting on an annual basis, with the flexibility that where any significant concerns be raised by local residents direct to the Police which would be addressed as a separate matter. The Police held management meetings on a daily basis to regularly review issues as and when they arise.
At the conclusion of debate, the Committee noted the changes to the operation of the 101 system, reporting of crime and community engagement going forward.
In summing up, the Chairman stated that the Committee had raised questions in relation to street lighting at night, changes to patterns of drug crime, the increase of burglary and weapon offences and welcomed the appointment of a mental health support worker, the innovative approach taken on spearheading the Winchester Community Courts and the improvements in engagement with Parish Council’s.
That the Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing have regard to the matters raised by the Committee, as set out above.