Agenda item

Maldon District Community Partnership Update

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).


The Chairman introduced Mr Spencer Clarke, Community Safety Partnership Manager and Inspector Steve Scott-Haynes of Essex Police.  It was noted that Inspector Scott-Haynes was in charge of the Community Policing Team.


The Committee received the report of the Director of Service Delivery detailing progress of activities undertaken by the Maldon Community Safety Partnership (CSP) since the last meeting held on 29 November 2018.  The report also highlighted the strategic priorities which were being proposed by the partnership for 2019 / 20.


Mr Clarke reported that the Essex Community Rehabilitation Company would be attending the October meeting of this Committee.


The report provided a detailed update on the following matters:

·                 Statutory Duties – New strategic priorities were detailed following completion of the strategic assessment along with how the strategies had been determined.  The priorities would be confirmed to Essex Police and the office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) and reflected priorities already identified in the current Police and Crime Plan and Essex Police Crime Prevention strategy.  It was noted that reducing reoffending remained a statutory function for all community safety partnerships and was embedded in the priorities.

The most recent Essex Police performance summary (to 31 January 2019) for Maldon and the Essex comparison were attached as Appendices 1 and 2 to the report. 


·                 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Update – The report set out the core funding for 2108 / 19 which had been confirmed by the Officer of the PFCC.  It was noted that the policing precept for Council Tax had been increased for 2019 / 20 and this would see a further increase in key policing staff across several areas.  A copy of a recent presentation by the PFCC was attached at Appendix 3 to the report and highlighted where these additional staff would be deployed. 

Following a successful bid to the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund £664,00 had been allocated to Essex over the next 18 months to address youth violence.  This would see a central Violence and Vulnerability unit being set up in the new community safety partnership at Chelmsford City Council in March 2019.


·                 Community Safety Partnership Hub – The report provided background information regarding the Hub, its meetings and the Council’s representatives.  It was noted that the Community Policing Team were moving to offices at Chelmsford City Council in March 2019.  Within the Hub there would be hot desking opportunities and partners such as the Fire Service, Probation and Youth Service were signing up to this, which would ensue better partnership working and improved performance with Maldon officers ‘hot desking’ within the new hub, when appropriate.

Further details regarding the work of the Hub were set out in the report, including Operation Enlightenment, continued work with the Gypsy, Traveller and Rural Engagement Team and supporting anti-bullying in schools.


·                 Progress on Action Plans – The report set out the education and interventions delivered by the Partnership for the current year, including Crucial Crew, Get Ready for Summer and the Gangs and County Lines professional drama sessions.  Several future initiatives were outlined including the commissioning of St Giles Trust to undertake training in schools to highlight the risk of young people becoming criminally or sexually exploited by gangs or organised crime groups.


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:

·                 It was noted that the strategic priorities had been now approved by the Responsible Authorities Group.


·                 Members were informed that since the report was written it had been confirmed that the Community Safety Partnership would be receiving the same fund as for 2018 / 19.


·                 In addition to the £664.00 from the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund, Essex County Council had recently agreed to add £500,000 to this. 


·                 Fire Break – This was a five-day programme delivered by operational firefighters, tailored around the needs of participants and addressed a number of areas including confidence building, self-esteem and team building skills.  A recent programme (funded by Essex County and Fire and Rescue) had been run in the Dengie involving ten young persons who having successfully completed the course would receive the equivalent of a D grade GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education).

In response to questions, the Community Safety Partnership Manager agreed to circulate to Members the evaluation on Fire Break.


·                 TRUCAM – This project was initially funded by the office of the PFCC and delivered by Maldon District Council Community Protection Officers who had been accredited by the Police to use the equipment.  The project sought to enhance public safety by increasing the number of speed camera sites across the District.  The Community Safety Partnership Manager reported that between 1 April 2018 and the present date the project had seen over 1,800 vehicle captures (persons speeding) in the Maldon District.

In response to questions, Members were advised that Officers would seek a further breakdown of these figures and how many resulted in enforcement action / warnings.


During the Community Safety Partnership Manager’s presentation Inspector Scott-Haynes highlighted some of the crime statistics provided in the Appendices to the report and in particular the following:

·                 The Police had seen a 24 / 25% increase in crime across the county.  A lot of this increase was due to better crime recording standards across the county.


·                 Drug offences had increased by 45% this was due to the proactive policing of persons using drugs in the area and the Police tackling offences.  Inspector Scott-Haynes advised that it was likely that this would continue to grow in the area.


·                 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras – Members were advised that between 1 January and 12 March 2019 there had been 1.2million reads on ANPR cameras in the District of which 47,501 (3.95%) had shown an interest to Police.  An interest to Police could be due to the vehicle having no tax, no MOT, no current keeper or being involved in crime.  Inspector Scott-Haynes informed Members that he had requested a further breakdown of these figures.

Members were informed that if a vehicle was highlighted as an interest to the Police and had a crime matter attached to it this was always followed up by the Police.  A vehicle would keep a marker until the Police had spoken to them or the vehicle changed hands.


·                 Staffing – Chief Inspector Parker had been working to increase police staffing since his appointment to the District and this had led to the addition of six Local Police Team officers to Maldon, four special constables and four officers to a high harm team specifically tasked with looking at criminal and child sexual exploitation across the Chelmsford and Maldon areas.  Inspector Scott-Haynes reported that the Police were working with the PFCC to increase officers in a number of areas including town centre policing, local policing, roads policing, working with children, crime and public protection and the gypsy and traveller and rural engagement team and the Inspector provided Members with an outline of the suggested figures in relation to these areas.


·                 Stop Checks – 185 stop checks had been conducted and of these 85 had resulted in stop searches.  There had also been eight arrests for drug offences and three cars seized.

Stop and Search had significantly improved in the District through the work of Chief Inspector Parker and all officers were aware of the powers they had in relation to this.


·                 Solved Rates - In response to a question regarding the crime recording, Inspector Scott-Haynes advised that crime had changed significantly over the past few years.  For example, crimes such as online crime were now being taking into account and due to changes in reporting an incident which may have been recorded as one incident previously may now need to be recorded as two.  It was noted that the solved outcome and solved percentage rates were areas where successes could be shown, and a crime was not reported as a solved crime until the Police could prove it with unreasonable doubt in a courtroom.

Proactive Policing was the key and the Police were working on specific areas such as gangs to make progress and bring people to justice.


·                 Drugs – The problems regarding identifying drugs were discussed and Inspector Scott-Haynes made reference to Operation Raptor a countywide drugs operation and how the increase in the Community Policing Team had allowed increased targeting of drug dealers.


·                 Police accessibility – There was a brief discussion regarding the loss of village police offices and Members were advised that the Government had changed the policing model and it was now necessary to identify innovative ways engage with residents.


·                 Knife crime – Members were made aware of Operation Sceptre which specifically looked at knife crime.  Inspector Scott-Haynes also referred to the recently installed knife bin outside the Council offices where knives could safely be disposed of.

In response to a question regarding the statistics shown in Appendix 2 to the report regarding the possession of weapons offences and Maldon being shown as the highest, Inspector Scott-Haynes advised that he would check but thought it may relate to proactive policing.


·                 Parish Councils – In response to a question regarding engagement with Parish Councils, Inspector Scott-Haynes reported that this was something he was looking to develop and move forward with.


In response to a Member advising of an initiative to set up a volunteers in policing group in Burnham-on-Crouch, Inspector Scott-Haynes confirmed that the Police would support this. 


Members noted the continued work carried out by the CSP and the liaison it had between Essex Police and other partners.


The Chairman thanked Mr Clarke and Inspector Scott-Haynes for attending the meeting and the informative information they had provided.


RESOLVED that current progress and the success of initiatives undertaken by the Community Safety Partnership to date, be noted.



Prior to closing the meeting, the Chairman referred to this being the last meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee (meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee) before the elections in May.  He then thanked all Members, Officers and the Committee Clerks for their contributions during the year. 

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