To receive a presentation from the Community Safety Manager and consider the report of the Director of Customers and Community (copy enclosed).
The Community Safety Partnership Manager introduced the report and advised Members that it was the same report that had gone to the Community Services Committee on 11 October 2016. He highlighted the priorities of the partnership and new priorities within the plan.
The new Police and Crime Commissioner had started a six week consultation which had been launched on 24 August 2016. The comments and valuable feedback made at the initial launch had been taken on board and would be presented to a panel in late October/early November 2016 with a view to publication in late November 2016. The Community Safety Partnership Manager drew Members’ attention to the plan attached as Appendix 1 to the report.
The Community Safety Partnership Manager concluded that there would be a much clearer focus for the District, particularly around road safety, which was a big concern in the rural areas. Members would be given the opportunity to scrutinise the work at the Overview and Scrutiny (Crime and Disorder) Meetings which took place bi-annually.
The Chairman reminded Members that this had come before the Community Services Committee on 11 October 2016 and that the suggested consultation response had been amended slightly.
The Director of Customers and Community read out the amended consultation response:
“The Council believes that the proposed plan complements some of the existing priorities of Maldon Community Safety Partnership and it addresses both emerging threats and the concerns of the public particularly in relation to police visibility. The Council would like to see a separate priority dedicated to reversing the trend in sexual abuse across our communities. The plan is very ambitious around the recruitment of special constables and whilst this is greatly welcomed to provide more local focus in rural areas progress must be fed back on a regular basis because expectations will be high. Failure to deliver on the police visibility agenda will create a wider void between the public and police on satisfaction and the ability to perform and detect crime in rural areas’.
The Chairman invited the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner to give a response regarding the figures.
The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner advised that the landscape of crime had changed considerably over a short period and the draft plan represented the concerns of local people, particularly in relation to visible local policing and anti-social behaviour.
Various questions were raised and responded to:
· Rural crime had increased and partners in the Safer Essex Rural Crime Strategy had identified risks around crime that are being responded to. There was a significant problem with the theft of Land Rover Defenders. The Police shared concerns about thefts and burglaries in the rural Dengie area.
· Whilst it was difficult to be visible all the time in rural areas, the recent development in community safety hubs would take priorities from local crime and disorder strategies and prioritise that area. Hard work would be put in to ensure increased police visibility.
· The solved rates for crime in the Maldon district are the lowest in the region and the low solved rate for burglary is contributing to this. Due to various changes, Chelmsford and Maldon would soon have its own Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Inspector who would prioritise burglary investigations.
· The loss of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) was disappointing and there was concern that voluntary special constables would not be as effective. Members were advised that Special Constables were warranted officers who supported the work of regular officers. The increase in Special Constables would increase our warranted officer capability and the aim was to double the amount of special constables.
· Inspector Sawyer advised Members that the police had recently been issued with notepad devices that would allow them to update jobs and submit intelligence immediately without having to return to the Police Station. The devices had been very well received by officers and were a very effective time-saving tool. Furthermore, CCTV can be viewed directly from the devices which could save time when dealing with public order offences. The new equipment would assist in the efficiency of the police.
· It was suggested that the Police put something in the press regarding these devices, so that their use is not misinterpreted by members of the public.
· In response to a question, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner advised that Essex was the lowest precepted police force in the country and a debate needed to be had with the Chief Constable as to the use of resources. If there was an expectation for the public to increase their contribution to the police, then it must be made clear what it would be used towards.
· The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner confirmed that the aim was to have one special constable for each parish and that she would be very interested to come back and discuss how Members could assist in getting the message across to parishes.
· In response to a question regarding known perpetrators of crime and pursuing them, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner responded that no criminal activity was acceptable, least of all when vulnerable or young people were targeted. There was a priority to protect young and vulnerable people from harm. It was necessary for all concerned agencies to work together and to break down the siloed way of working that can contribute to exposing vulnerable people to harm.
· With regard to improving detection rates, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) advised that underneath the strategy set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2016 – 2020 would be delivery plans and it was necessary to make the best of the resources available. The Deputy PCC commented that for the plan to work - it should have lead officers with clear actions, proper resources and clear outcomes to determine the success to enable Police to determine if it is working and if not – why not.
· Members were advised that the best method of reporting information on drugs was to email Maldon Community Policing Team or by telephoning Crimestoppers.
RESOLVED that the report on and implications of the proposed new Police and Crime Plan for 2016 – 2020 be noted and the draft consultation response be approved.