Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) are under a duty to undertake an annual strategic assessment of crime and disorder in their area and formulate and implement a strategy to reduce crime and disorder, combat substance misuse, and reduce re-offending.
This report presents the current strategic assessment and the Community Safety Plan to cover the period from 2016 to 2020.
Community Safety Partnerships had been established since 1998. The Council was one of five responsible authorities for the Medway Community Safety Partnership, the others being Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue, Kent, Sussex and Surrey Community Rehabilitation Company and Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. The Crime and Disorder Act required the preparation of a Community Safety Plan and the undertaking of an Annual Strategic Assessment with the aim being to reduce crime and disorder, tackle substance misuse and reduce reoffending. The Plan covered the period 2016 to 2020. The Annual Strategic Assessment considered a wide variety of data in addition to Police data. The Community Safety Plan contained an action plan which could be updated on an annual basis in order to cover emerging themes. Following presentation of the Annual Strategic Assessment to Overview and Scrutiny in December 2017, it was recommended that the Community Safety Plan and priorities should remain unchanged for 2018/19. The Action Plan would be updated for publication on April 1 2018.
A Safety Awareness Week had been held for primary school leavers which had covered issues such as road and water safety, drugs and alcohol. Following the tragic deaths of some young people who had fallen into the River Medway, the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) had worked with Kent search and rescue to patrol river banks over the Christmas period, with two people having been prevented from entering the water. The CSP had agreed to pay for search lights. A Water Safety Working Group had been established to work to make the river safer and reduce number of people going into water. Evaluation of the work being undertaken in relation to water safety education and the provision of lifesaving equipment was being undertaken.
A successful bid for £12,000 had been made to fund youth diversionary work with a range of activities being planned for the next year. This was particularly important with gang activity in Medway being on the increase. There was also a particular risk of Child Sexual Exploitation associated with gang culture.
The CSP annual engagement event held in the previous week had been used to highlight the issue of rough sleeping at look at how it could be reduced. A leaflet had been produced for rough sleepers to list the sources of help availabl and a focus group in Rochester was looking at the issue.
A Board Members felt that partnership working had improved, including work with voluntary groups. Residents and traders were becoming involved in dealing with the issue of rough sleeping and there was now a better understanding.
Another Board Member stated that there needed to be a greater focus on the issue of mental health and emphasised the need for engagement with neighbouring community safety partnerships.
Officers advised that mental health would be included in more detail within the action plan for the next year and that this cut across all five of the Community Safety Plan priorities. Regular meetings took place between Medway representatives and those representing other community safety partnerships.
A Board Member considered that alcohol was responsible for more crime and violence than illicit drugs and noted an example where a licence for a further off licence in a part of Medway had been refused due to the number of similar premises already operating in the area
Board Members thanked the community safety team for the work undertaken, with one Member highlighting work undertaken with the Housing team, which he felt had made a tangible difference.
i) The Board noted the strategic assessment and made comments or recommendations to the Partnership in that regard.
ii) The Board noted that as a Policy Framework document the Community Safety Plan was adopted by Full Council on 21 July 2016 and made comments.