Report of the Democratic Services Officer.
The committee welcomed Councillor David Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection to discuss a range of issues relating to his area of responsibility. David Wakelin, Director of Health and Community Wellbeing and David Jayne, Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager also attended the meeting.
Councillor Ellis gave a presentation which updated on the areas reviewed in January 2017. This included:
· Hate crime analysis. Strands recorded by the police now include misogyny. The Safer Nottingham Board Action Plan monitors this
· Closer working with Notts. County Council Family Service. Links have improved, the Anti-social behaviour coordinator is based half a day with the Family Service and the Family Service coordinator attends monthly meetings.
· Co – location with the Police. Police now working in the Carlton Ambulance Station where there is a customer service point one day a week. The Police are now co located at Jubilee House. Currently there is no Police presence in the Civic Centre, but as there has been no Police Station in Arnold for some time this is not seen as a priority. There are ongoing discussions with the Gedling response team which should bring about improvements in response times in Gedling. Yellow phones inside and outside the Civic Centre to the control room will be provided.
· A single point of contact for both fly tipping and abandoned vehicles has been introduced.
· There has been an expansion of food hygiene training with new tests developed locally.
Councillor Ellis explained there is no one single reliable measurement of crime, data is developed from a range of indicators including the National Crime Survey and local police statistics. There has been a steady decrease in crime levels from 2004 onwards to 2014 when it has gradually started to rise. Real increases have been seen in digital, acquisitive (burglary, shop theft, vehicle crime) and violent crime. There have been some changes to the recording of violent crime but this does not account for all the increase. Terrorism and domestic extremism has also increased, levels of anti-social behaviour have remained constant.
Young people, students, single parent households, unemployed and people living in urban areas are more likely to be a victim of crime. Different types of crime, honour based, FGM and modern slavery result in hidden victims.
Emerging organised crime groups involved in drugs, cybercrime and child sexual exploitation pose a significant threat across the country. Knife crime is of particular concern.
Locally in Gedling there has been a 26% increase in crime for quarter 2 a 21% increase this calendar year.
The Nottingham Police and Crime Plan, Strategic Framework has four main objectives for protecting people from harm, helping and supporting victims, tackling crime and ASB and transforming services. Gedling Borough is reviewing its own objectives to align with the framework.
The South Nottingham Community Safety Partnership last year reviewed its structure. It has a strategic group and operational delivery group which looks at what need addressing, local operational groups include a whole range of partners and consider individual cases and local complex needs panels meet monthly and undertake detailed work with individual cases.
Councillor Ellis than informed Members about the introduction of Selective Licensing where all private rented homes must be licensed within a designated area. Currently consultations on designating Netherfield ward are being undertaken. This would result in inspection of all properties and an improvement in property conditions. Ashfield already has this scheme and Nottingham City is considering implementing it. There will be a Cabinet report on the results of the consultation with possible implementation in the autumn.
Taxi Licensing has been of some concern and all drivers registered in Gedling have been reminded that plying for hire outside the borough is an offence.
Councillor S Barnes left the meeting at 7.00pm.
During discussion Councillor Ellis addressed questions sent in advance of the meeting and the following issues were highlighted.
· Vehicle crime is predominantly theft from vehicles rather than theft of vehicles. Proactive work is undertaken to warn motorist not to display items in vehicles, this is particularly relevant for van drivers who carry tools. A small number of offenders have a great effect on the numbers of thefts.
· Illegal traveller encampments are dealt with quickly and should it be necessary parish councils are contacted. The City/County wide encampment group has developed an action plan to successfully manage any occurrences.
· It is not possible to say what the 298 less antisocial behaviour offences comprised of, currently there is no data at ward level but it is hoped this will be available in the future.
· There are no statistics available for the use of the Carlton Police desk.
· Food hygiene ratings are displayed on the Food Standards Website, ratings do not have to be displayed in the premises, and Members considered that this should be made mandatory.
· Work is undertaken with shops to try and reduce the number of shoplifting incidents. However some shops are not very proactive in preventing this crime.
· The Youth Council is developing an anti-bullying strategy. Cyber bullying is a growing problem and a pilot of police officers working in four schools in Gedling to tackle a range of issues including bullying and child sexual exploitation is underway...
· Neighbourhood wardens do not wear stab vests as they don’t want to get into situations where it is necessary, they do not want to look like police officers. In future they will however be getting access to police radio messages.
· Police officer numbers have reduced by 24%. At its peak there were 2,500 officers this has now reduced to 18,000. There have been £350 million in savings and a further £16 million have to be made even though demand is high and the population is increasing.
· If there is a serious incident the Police ring David Wakelin who will then contact the Leader. There currently no procedure to contact Ward members.
· Thank Councillor Ellis for an interesting and informative report
· Note the report