To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed).
The Committee received the report of the Director of Service Delivery reporting the progress of activities undertaken by the Maldon Community Safety Partnership (CSP) since the last meeting of the Committee on 22 October 2020. The report highlighted the proposed strategic priorities for 2020 / 21.
The most recent Essex Police performance summary (to 31 January 2021) was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.
Members noted the continued good work of the CSP and the liaison it had with Essex Police and other statutory partners. The current Maldon CSP action plan was attached as Appendix 2.
The Community Safety Partnership Manager gave a presentation to Members which highlighted the report and outlined the CSP’s:
· statutory duties;
· five priorities for 2020 / 21 and 2021 / 22;
· structure, including the impact of COVID-19;
· events and projects.
During his presentation the Community Safety Partnership Manager also highlighted:
· the impact of COVID-19 on a number of areas
· the new Domestic Abuse Bill 2020
· the Public Spaces Protection Order consultation being undertaken.
· how Year Six training had moved to virtual training and was proving very popular.
· that the CSP had agreed to fund a new TruCAM (speed enforcement camera).
Community Safety Partnership Manager informed Members that Les Davis had recently been appointed as Dengie Tri-Service Rural Community Officer. A short video was shown introducing the Officer and outlining the role of this collaborative post between Essex Fire Service, Essex Police and the East of England Ambulance Service. Due to some sound issues, Members were advised that a copy of the video would be placed on the Council’s website for viewing outside of the meeting.
At this point, the Community Safety Partnership Manager handed over to Chief Inspector (CI) Scott-Haynes who reported that he had just been appointed as District Commander and then gave a detailed presentation, setting out the structure of the local policing teams in the District and the Force plan for 2020 / 21. He took Members through the Maldon Performance Summary and in addition highlighted the following areas:
· The impact of Covid on policing – Members’ were advised of the huge demand seen to patrolling areas, the impact of the pandemic on crime and the work being undertaken to support vaccine sites and victims of domestic abuse. The CI highlighted how the need to react quickly to changing legislation and keep Officers up to date had been difficult.
· Recruitment and how the ‘We Value Difference’ campaign was part of the successful Fit the bill recruitment drive. Members were informed of the make-up of the Town Team and the other increases to Officer numbers.
· Policing Tactics including improved accessibility, working across rural areas and partners and the role of the Community Safety Engagement Officers. The use of Facebook live had seen an increase in public attendance, but there was further work required in respect of Neighbourhood Watch in the Maldon District.
· Maldon Police Operations – CI Scott-Haynes outlined a number of Police operations including how they were committed to joint tasking and problem solving. Having a Community Policing Team based at Maldon was something the CI was very keen to implement, and the Police were working with Officers at the Council to facilitate this.
The Chairman moved the recommendations set out the report which were duly seconded. Opportunity was then given to Members to ask questions of the Community Safety Partnership Manager and CI Scott-Haynes.
The Community Safety Partnership Manager and CI Scott-Haynes responded to a number of questions raised by Members and the following information was provided:
· Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) consultation – The Lead Specialist: Community explained that the PSPO would set conditions or rules for a given area. The consultation currently being undertaken allowed anyone to comment on the PSPO and he asked Members to encourage local residents to complete the consultation. Following the consultation period a review of all comments received would be undertaken and changes considered to the PSPO, as appropriate. One in place the PSPO would last for a period of up to three years. It was noted that most large towns had a PSPO and it was an additional tool to assist with the control of Anti-Social Behaviour. In response to a question regarding the use of private security companies for collections Members were advised that any Fixed Penalty Notices would be carried out by the Police or the Community Enforcement Officers.
· Scams – Members were advised that a training event for Neighbourhood Watch members was being planned. It was noted that due to the number of scams relating to the COVID vaccine Essex Police had a new unit which was dealing with this directly. The Community Safety Partnership Manager explained how if local coordinators could be upskilled in this area information could then be cascaded down.
· Counter extremism – The Community Safety Partnership Manager provided an explanation and examples of some of the groups that counter extremism covered. He highlighted the importance to review these both nationally and locally and counter narrative related to it.
· Court backlogs and impact - CI Scott Haynes advised that the Police had not seen any direct impact as cases were going forward and the Police were still completing files which then go forward to the Crime Prosecution Service. However it was taking longer for cases to get into court.
· CCTV pedestrian and traffic counts – Members were informed that the Government issued particular times and dates when such counts should be carried out. Community Safety Partnership Manager advised that data could be shared with Members and highlighted other areas where the CCTV had been used.
· COVID impact – CI Scott-Haynes outlined some of the issues that the Police had seen as a result of the COVID pandemic and reported on the work of his Officers during this time. It was noted that reduction to dwelling burglaries could be directly related to people being a home due to the pandemic.
At this point, the Chairman offered to CI Scott-Haynes his condolences following the recent loss of a Marine Police Officer due to COVID.
· Emergency phone at the Council Offices – It was noted that was now installed and CI Scott-Haynes reported that it had been used a number of times.
· Addressing Police visibility and public perception – The CI outlined a number of measures being implemented which included an increased social media presence, monthly newsletter from the CI, getting the Community policing teams out on the ground. In response to a question regarding the reporting of Crime, CI Scott-Haynes advised that where there was potential for a witness, CCTV, named suspect or description of suspect a Police officer would attend but drew attention to demand on services.
· Solved rates – Members were advised that these rates went up and down, however the Police were looking to use different outcomes as not all outcomes were recorded a solved crime (the CI gave some examples of this). CI Scott-Haynes reported that the Maldon District had the highest solved rates for the whole of Essex and he attributed this to the willingness of the community to report crime.
The Chairman thanked CI Scott-Haynes, Inspector Thurston, the Community Safety Partnership Manager and Lead Specialist: Community for their input. He moved the recommendations set out the report which were duly agreed by assent.
RESOLVED (by assent) that the current progress of the initiatives undertaken by the partnership to date and the strategic priorities for 2021 / 22 be noted.