To receive and note the report of the Director of Customers and Community, (copy enclosed).
Councillor Mrs P A Channer declared that she was the Chairman of the Maldon Youth Strategy Group and that she was Chairman of the Essex County Council Safeguarding Member Reference Group and some matters contained in this report came under the auspices of these bodies.
The Committee noted 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 adopted in March 2017.
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 strategic management performance data 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 and in response to questions from Members the following information was provided:
· Speed Cameras – Safer Essex Roads Partnership carry out speed enforcement on a variety of sites across Essex. Any new sites identified would not be duplicated, i.e. enforcement using TruCam would not be the same site as for the Safer Essex Roads Partnership and not carried out in the same area as Community SpeedWatch. It was noted that TruCam sites identified had to be assessed prior to being used. In response to a question it was confirmed that the TruCam launch had been delayed but a date was due to be announced shortly.
· It was clarified that NHW stood for Neighbourhood Watch.
· Increases in Crime – Chief Inspector Egan explained that some increases in violence were gang related with the more populated districts seeing more problems with gangs. Whilst there was some spread of crime into smaller towns and villages (quieter areas) these were dealt with more quickly. The Chief Inspector outlined the work being done by the Police to drive out gangs and noted that domestic abuse had seen an increase across all districts.
· Safeguarding – In response to comments about Member training on safeguarding and corporate parenting including gangs etc., the Director of Customers and Community gave assurance that this was on the work programme for the coming year and Member seminars would be arranged around this topic and also in terms of how it relates to local issues.
· Resources – A Member questioned whether more resources would lead to an increased solve rate and in response Chief Inspector Egan advised that there was always a need for more resources and explained how additional resources could be used. She informed Members that the Police and Fire Crime Commissioner had recognised this and was working to secure additional funding for extra resource. She outlined some other initiatives being used i.e. use of mobile devices, which were seeing positive effects.
· Police presence in Burnham-on-Crouch – A local Ward Member commented on the recent loss of the Police station in this area and in response Members were advised of the work being done by the Police to engage with the Town Council and local groups such as Neighbourhood Watch. It was noted that Community Engagement was very important and was continuing to assist Officers to solve crimes.
· Funding to tackle gangs and associated organised crime – Members were advised of how this funding had been split across six areas. Maldon was benefitting in terms of it being a split District with Chelmsford and particular criteria of the funding was detailed including how these benefitted the Maldon District. Work was also ongoing locally to support vulnerability in Maldon and better engagement with parents had been discussed.
The Chairman thanked the Officer for his excellent report and again thanked Chief Inspector (CI) Ronnie Egan, District Commander and Detective Inspector Rob Kirby for attending the meeting.