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Agenda item

Front-line Policing in Arnold and Carlton

Report of the Elections and Members’ Services Officer.

Minutes:

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner attended the meeting to discuss front line policing in Arnold and Carlton.

He informed Members that:

 

Partnership work with Gedling Borough Council was very constructive

The new Chief Constable Craig Guildford would be taking up his post in March and they would be meeting soon.

The budget for the force was just about to be finalised.

70% of funding comes from government grant, only 30% is raised locally through Council tax revenue. There has been a 20% reduction in grant in the last 5 years.  Some counties are less affected by this cut as they are able to raise more from council tax revenue. 70% of the budget is used for staffing.  Nationally there has been a reduction of 20,000 police officers, 3,250 in the past year and in the current financial year there will be a similar number.  In Nottinghamshire there has been a £54 million reduction in the past 5 years, there will be a 12% reduction this current year and a further 5.5% next year.  The situation is easing and this has enabled recruitment of police officers and PCSOs.  Even with the recruitment of officers retirements mean there will be a net loss of approximately 40 officers this year, with a total of 100 officers lost in the past 5 years.

Other areas where savings can be made have been considered including rationalisation of the estate. This has included the closure of Carlton Police Station and relocation to the ambulance station. The site in Arnold has been sold and the Neighbourhood Team will be relocating in Jubilee House, no date has been confirmed for this.  There will also be access to the police through the front desk at the Civic Centre.

Policing in Gedling is divided into two teams. Gedling North which is made up of a Sergeant, three Police Constables andsix.six PCSOs, and Gedling South, which consists of a Sergeant, two Police Constables and five PCSOs. In addition there are response cars.  Cars based at St Ann’s cover the Carlton area; those based at Hucknall cover Ravenshead, and those based at Oxclose Lane Arnold.   The cars are on the road all the time and the car nearest an incident will respond. There are a range of other services which are mainly organised on a regional level.  Currently there are ongoing discussions with Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Police for closer cooperation which should yield savings in the future.

Crime statistics are ambiguous as it is virtually impossible to compare statistics year on year as the way, and the type, of incidents recorded has altered.    Reported crime has increased by 11% but at the same time the number of incidents has fallen. For the first time fraud has been included in the statistics.

The nature and types of crime have changed, the heightened threat posed by the increase and nature of terrorism is now much greater and requires an additional increase in resources.  Additional armed police are being deployed to combat this; the Metropolitan Police Force is getting 600 extra officers, Nottinghamshire is getting some but not enough.  There has been a big increase in cybercrime and abuse on line; this can be investigated by civilian officers. The resources required to address sexual offences has increased; this includes both historic sexual abuse cases and the increase in reported sexual crimes. With diminishing budgets tough choices have to be made. The public want a visible police presence, in reality Gedling has very low levels of crime when compared to other areas in Nottinghamshire.  The deployment of resources is entirely a matter for the Chief Constable. There has to be discussion around prioritising the resources available to meet the changing demands on the force.

 

Following questions and comments from Members the following points were addressed:

 

Mr Tipping recognised the frustration felt by Members with the length of time the community hubs in Arnold and Carlton had taken to be identified but explained it is now clear where front counter services and the Neighbourhood Teams would be located.  Carlton Police station will close in May and the Neighbourhood Team for Arnold will move into Jubilee House in September.  It is not clear yet what will happen to the Carlton Police Station  and that it will probably be will be looked at in the context of the regeneration of Carlton Square.  It is currently not on the market.

Community Speedwatch teams are funded by the Camera Partnership , Mr Tipping said he would contact the Community Road Safety partnership to find out if support were still available.

Parking issues are not a police responsibility but are enforced by the Nottinghamshire Parking Partnership; there will shortly be greater powers for enforcement officers and volunteers to tackle parking problems.

The budget used for payment of police informers provides value for money; they are only paid if information is received.

The Prevent scheme to combat terrorism is something that could be undertaken by civilian officers.

Prosecutions for drug offences have gone down, the attitudes of young people to the excessive use of alcohol and drugs has changed.

The Threat, Risk Harm Strategy is used to help make decisions about priorities for resources.  Currently addressing issues around burglary and drugs, this could, however, be refocused by the new Chief Constable when he takes up his post.

Members were pleased to note that sexual harassment is now classified as a hate crime. The police view is that tackling this at lower level results in behaviour changes and reduces issues escalating to a more serious level.

It was recognised that police officers do not have to be deployed to tackle cybercrime; civilian officers are able to do this.

Members applauded the work of the DARE programme and thought that it should be more widely available.  They were informed that work in schools was declining but early interventions were very effective, however, tough budget choices have to be made.

Several Police Forces are in discussions with the fire services to co-work Notts.  may in the future look to do this in the meantime jointworking to save costs for example in communications and estates was being considered.

Members requested additional infromation regarding operational policing in the borough and requested that Inspector Steve O’Neil be invited to a future meeting, it was also agreed that this be open to all members.  

 

RESOLVED TO:

 

·         Thank Mr Tipping for his very interesting and informative discussion

·         Request information regarding the Community Safety partnership and the Speed watch scheme

·         Invite Inspector O’Neil to a future meeting.

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 


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