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Agenda item

Scrutiny of the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership.


Councillor David Ellis, Portfolio Holder, David Wakelin, Corporate Director and David Jayne, Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager attended the meeting to inform members about the work undertaken by the Crime and Disorder Partnership to support victims of domestic violence.  Members had previously identified work undertaken to raise awareness, increase reporting, detection and support available for victims as the focus for the meeting.


They were informed that year to date, April – October 2015 that:


·       Gedling is showing a 36.8% reduction in domestic abuse reports (this compares to a 32.9% reduction in South Nottinghamshire as a whole)

·       Domestic incidents are showing a reduction of 52.4% ( this compares 48% reduction in South Nottinghamshire as a whole)

·       Domestic abuse related crimes are showing a reduction of 12.8% ( this compares  to a 5.5% in South Nottinghamshire as a whole)

Figures from Nottinghamshire Police.


The phrase domestic violence covers a wide range of behaviors and the terms domestic violence and domestic abuse are interchangeable.  Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior which can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional by one person against another within the home.   This definition has now been enhanced to include teenage abuse in relationships.


Domestic incidents are when the police are called but no crime has been committed, domestic abuse is when a crime has been committed. Incidents are categorised as low, medium or high risk, all incidents are recorded. Domestic abuse requires a multi-agency approach. Medium and high risk cases are referred to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. (MARAC) which are held fortnightly, these provide a coordinated community response incorporating representatives from statutory, community and voluntary agencies.


Information indicates that in the first two quarters of this year there has been an increase in calls to the Women’s Aid Integrated Services Helpline, which provides advice and practical support for women, children and young people, where no crime has been committed, This increase could be seen to be a positive result as families are getting advice before issues escalate to a higher level. Early intervention is preferable to criminal prosecution. The South Notts. office for the WAIS is soon to be located at Jubilee House and this will assist in joint working. WAIS has a pivotal role in the coordination to the MARACs.  Nottinghamshire Police attend all reports of domestic abuse and assess the incident to assess whether a crime has been committed and further investigation is required.  Domestic abuse is itself not a crime category but incidents of physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse can be.  Crimes that constitute domestic violence are categorised as other criminal acts. The police have improved systems to recognise domestic incidents and provide support to victims.  The DASH (Domestic, Abuse, Stalking and Honor Based Violence) risk assessment form is used to assess risk. Police and partner organisations use this checklist to identify and assess risk. Evidence-based (victimless) prosecution which convict abusers without the cooperation of an alleged victim can be used. Conviction rates which used to be provided by the Criminal Justice Board but are still available through other channels.


Domestic violence is one of the seven priority areas of the Safer Nottinghamshire Board; Gedling Borough Chief Executive chairs this board. 

‘We are here’ a counselling service which supports families in crisis, including those affected by domestic violence, has relocated to a building in Arnot Hill Park.


Gedling Borough Policy Adviser on Equalities has taken an active role interest in this issue and attended a refuge information sharing event.

Areas of weakness in providing support include a shortage of refuge places; none are available in Gedling and Police staffing issues making it difficult for them to continue to chair the MARACS.


Members were concerned about the calls on police time and thought that low risk high frequency cases requiring early intervention could be neglected they also  considered that the growing trend of young people accepting abuse within relationships needs to be addressed.  They felt the need to promote positive relationships in schools and by other partners was important.


Members were interested in what support was available for perpetrators, were concerned that high frequency low risk cases got appropriate support and agreed that the new legislation relating to stalking will prove useful in protecting victims.




1)          To receive written information at the next Overview and Scrutiny committee in relation to a number of the areas identified including:


1.     number of cases leading to prosecution

2.     number of evidence based prosecutions

3.     dates for increase of calls to WAIS

4.     use of telephone information slips; and


2)    To thank Councillor Ellis for attending the meeting.


Supporting documents:


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