Venue: Council Chamber. Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon
Contact: Committee Services
The Chairman drew attention to the list of notices published on the back of the agenda.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 November 2017, (copy enclosed).
(i) that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 November 2017 be received.
Minute No. 571 – Chief Inspectors Performance Report
It was clarified that third bullet relating to ‘Solved Rates’ contained a typographical error and should state “…it was well above the national average”.
(ii) that subject to the above amendment the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 November 2017 be confirmed.
Apologies for Absence and Substitution Notice
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs P A Channer, CC and R P F Dewick. In accordance with notice duly given, it was noted that Councillor R G Boyce was attending as a substitute for Councillor Mrs Channer.
Disclosure of Interest
To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6-8 inclusive of the Code of Conduct for Members.
(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).
There were none.
To receive the views of members of the public on items of business to be considered by the Committee (please see below):
1. A period of ten minutes will be set aside.
2. An individual may speak for no more than two minutes on a specific agenda item, the time slots to be allocated on a “first come first served” basis.
3. Participation may take the form of a statement, or alternatively a question to be addressed to the Chairman. There will be no discussion on questions put unless it is formally moved. In line with the current scheme applied to other Committees, the questions must:
· Not be defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive;
· Not be the same or substantially the same as another question to the same meeting or anything so put in the last six months;
· Not involve the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.
4. Anyone wishing to speak must notify the Committee Clerk between 7:00pm and 7:20pm prior to the start of the meeting.
There was none.
Chief Inspector's Performance Report
To receive a verbal update from Chief Inspector Ronnie Egan.
Chief Inspector (CI) Ronnie Egan, District Commander addressed the Committee and provided Members with a detailed update and highlighted the following areas reporting on the close work between the Police and its partners:
• Current crime – It was noted although there had been an increase in recordable crime for the District it was still one of the lowest levels in Essex.
• Sexual Offences – The change in figures reflected the national rise in this area and CI Egan outlined the main areas which had seen increases and commented on the number of historical incidents reported and their link to an increase in media report.
• Racially aggravated incidents had again seen an increase and CI Egan commented on the perceived increase in confidence to report incidents.
• Solved rates had decreased by 2% and Members were informed of the ongoing work to identify the reasons for this change, although it was noted that some related to an increase in the number of crimes being recorded. CI Egan informed the Committee that for the Maldon District over 25% of crimes were desk related and she explained how the investigation of these impacted on solve rates. This was an area for improvement for the Police.
• Anti-Social Behaviour – The Police were working with Community Protection Officers on number of schemes across the District to address anti-social behaviour issues. CI Egan provided a brief outline of these.
• Urban Street Gangs / Organised Crime Groups – Members were informed of the work undertaken as part of Operations Raptor (focusing on tackling key gangs and areas of concern), Scorpion (focussing on organised crime groups) and Swift (tackling the supply of drugs in and around Promenade Park). It was noted that information from residents was key to identify and map activity. Members were also informed about 4pPlans which worked with partners to tackle organised crime.
• Vulnerability – It was noted that a Hidden Harms Team had been established for the north of the county to support a number of issues and how work to engage with victims was ongoing. CI Egan reported that the Police had a dedicated officer dealing with child sexual exploitation cases. In a recent change Standard and medium risk hate crime were now being investigated by Community Policing Teams.
Community Policing – CI Egan reported on the ongoing tasking
of work to ensure focussed action against existing and emerging
To consider the report of the Director of Customers and Community (copy enclosed).
The Committee received the report of the Director of Customers and Community detailing progress of activities undertaken by the Maldon Community Safety Partnership since the last meeting of this Committee and highlighting the strategic priorities being proposed for 2018 / 19.
It was noted that five key priorities had been identified and were set out in the report. Members’ particular attention was drawn to the priority ‘tackling rural crime and strengthening communities’ which was applicable to the Maldon District in light of the crime trends seen in the past few years.
The most recent Essex Police performance summary (to January 2018) was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.
The Community Safety Partnership Manager presented the report and provided Members with update on a number of areas relating to the Partnership set out in the report. In addition to the report the following information was provided:
· Council Tax - The Policing precept for Council Tax in 2018 / 19 had increased. Members were informed that this was explained in a leaflet included with the annual bill sent out by the Council. It was advised that an element of this will go towards community policing and a report on this matter would be brought to a future meeting of the Community Services Committee.
· Working with youths - It was noted that Essex Police were continuing to work closely with schools, and continue to measure the impact of early interaction with young people. Members were informed of ongoing work with St Giles Trust to highlight the risk of involvement with gangs or organised crime groups. Educational work to raise awareness had been well received and had also been carried out with teachers, professionals, and parents.
· CCTV - CCTV systems at Maldon High Street, Maldon Promenade, Burnham-on-Crouch and community centres at Brickhouse Farm and West Maldon were being renewed this summer and a pilot for these cameras to be remotely monitored in Chelmsford had been funded by the Community Safety Partnership.
· Street Pastors - Members were informed that Essex Police had started working with Maldon Churches. At present there were six churches interested in providing street pastors, focusing on working with young people around the High Street and the Prom. It was noted that the possibility of School Pastors was also being considered.
In response to a number of questions raised by Members they were provided with the following additional information:
· Officers outlined ongoing Police work and its links with Churches within the Maldon District and advised that if any churches were interested in working with them they would welcome this. This also applied in respect of schools.
· CCTV - The Director of Customers and Community advised that CCTV systems initially put in were for Maldon District Council sites and to monitor antisocial behaviour within the town. In response to a question regarding CCTV in Burnham-on-Crouch replicating a similar system to that in Maldon, Officers advised that would continue to work with local Partners to identify future needs and action these accordingly.
Essex Police Rural Crime Strategy
To receive a presentation from Chief Inspector Ian Gennery of the Gypsy, Traveller and Rural Engagement Team (GTRET).
The Chairman introduced Chief Inspector (CI) Ian Gennery of the Gypsy, Traveller and Rural Engagement Team (GTRET). CI Gennery gave an overview of the Essex Police Rural Crime Strategy and drew a number of key areas to Members’ attention, including.
· Definition of Rural Crime - Members were advised that there was no national definition of rural crime, however in Essex this was defined as any crime which occurs within a rural location.
· Rural Affairs National Strategy 2018 - 2021 - It was noted that the National Police Chief had finalised the development of a national strategy for providing a safer rural community. This is expected to be launched in July 2018.
· Essex Police Rural Crime Strategy – As part of the 2017 refresh of this document work had been undertaken with key partners to inform the way in which the Police tackled crime and Anti-social behaviour in the rural environment. A copy of the Strategy was circulated to all present at the meeting. It included an updated vision and aims for improved policing within rural areas.
· Working strategies – Mention was made at this point to ongoing operations including hare coursing and caravan thefts. In respect of caravan thefts the Committee noted the success of a text alert system by the public to identify crime. By way of an example of ongoing operations, Members were advised of Operation Buzzard which brought together traditional police work and the use of technology such as drones to combat crime.
· Key Areas – Particular attention was drawn to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme to which Maldon District Council was a key partner and had been accredited for 10 years.
A copy of the information provided is attached at APPENDIX 1 to these Minutes. CI Gennery welcomed Members’ comments on the Strategy and how the Police and the Council could work together to continue improving the rural crime within the District.
In response to a question, CI Gennery commented on the recent Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) installations in the District and provided Members with examples of successful operations involving these cameras. Members were reminded to report any suspicious activity to the Police.
It was noted that the Police actively campaigned in respect of rural crime and CI Gennery made specific reference to the strong farmer’s network in the District.
The Director of Customers and Community advised that Council had been asked to comment Police expenditure and additional resources. The Council had responded in support of the Rural Crime Team and commented that there should be an increase in the availability of ANPR cameras in Police vehicles.
The Chairman informed the Committee that CI Egan would shortly be moving into a new position within the Police and CI Gerry Parker would be taking over. On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman thanked CI Egan for all her work and assistance and wished her every success for the future.