To receive the annual performance update of the Safer Crawley Partnership along with the future priorities.
The Commission is asked to note the update, and requests that the views expressed during the presentation and any actions are acknowledged and documented by the officers.
The Commission received an update from Inspector Turner, the Head of Community Services, Community Services Manager and the Community Safety Officer, together with Councillor Jones on the annual performance report of the Safer Crawley Partnership along with the future priorities. During the discussion, the following points were expressed:
The purpose of the Safer Crawley Partnership was to reduce re-offending, tackle crime and disorder, anti-social behaviour, alcohol and substance misuse and any other behaviour which had a negative effect on the local community so that people in Crawley were safer and felt safer.
Statutory partners included: WSCC, Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Probation Service and Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group together with other partners including OSPCC, Crawley Community Action, Crawley Open House, Crawley & Gatwick Business Watch and CGL.
The Four priorities:
· Serious and Organised Crime (Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking)
· Street Community
· Protecting Vulnerable Individuals
· Business Crime
2020-2021 funding included:
· Funding allocation from Sussex PCC - £51,362,87
· Project funded in 2020-21
Ø £7,200 Greater Change
Ø £12,000 West Sussex Analyst post. Responsible for producing the Strategic Intelligence Assessment which uses local data to focus priorities areas and identify core issues in Crawley and assists in using resources effectively.
Ø £600 training on Community Protection Notices & Criminal Behaviour Orders
Ø £10,000 town centre security presence
Ø £7,000 Audio Active SHIFT project. The project targets groups of young people involved in or at risk of being in, anti-social behaviour.
Ø £2,106 Maidenbower Park car park CCTV
In terms of crime data, stalking and harassment figures had increased, however this could be attributed to better reporting of offences and dedicated campaigns. Crimes with a weapon marker had decreased due to a change in legislation. A recent knife amnesty in schools and publicity together with reporting methods had improved so actual possession with a weapon was in decline.
The make-up of the Neighbourhood Policing Team was discussed as the PCSOs were allocated for each area with in-depth training, increased knowledge and being able to network with key stakeholders.
2020-2021 Key Achievements included:
· Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) – joined up group able to identify vulnerable individuals and groups.
· Street Community – joint working to liaise and work with partners on a regular basis to tackle street homelessness, begging and street drinking, but also enforcement powers were used for those that unfortunately were not willing to engage due to the complexity of their needs. The move to virtual meetings due to the pandemic and lockdown had seen better representation from key partners at the monthly multi-agency meeting. Recruitment and retention of staff for the Rough Sleeping Initiative funded multi-disciplinary team had been an issue, however this team has been a valuable addition.
· Protecting Vulnerable Individuals – There was continued awareness raising of domestic abuse and hate crime support services. Meetings with partners ensures the scope of cases, supporting of individuals and preventative work.
· Business Crime – The relationship with the Crawley and Gatwick Business Watch had been re-established and there were 3 Town Centre PCSOs, which fed into the fortnightly intelligence meetings which resulted in good and effective use of ASB legislation.
· Action had been taken to deter the use of Sussex House car park (Morrisons) by car cruisers. It was recognised there was a challenge around car nuisance.
· CCTV deployed at Maidenbower Park car park in response to car cruising activities.
· Supported the continued delivery of Audio Active SHIFT project.
· The pandemic has impacted on poverty and it was recognised there had been an impact on shoplifting as lockdown had lifted.
· It was noted that last year saw significant issues within the town centre, serious organised crime, county lines, modern day slavery and trafficking and these were multifaceted issues and recognition of the good partnership working being of paramount importance in addressing those issues. This continued to provide considerable achievements in order to deliver the priorities and the challenges.
· Increase in demonstrations/protests following the pandemic. It was recognised there was a balance to be met.
During the discussion Councillors made the following comments:
· It was pleasing that PCSOs had been reinstated for each area.
· Confirmation that whilst the representatives from MRBD and TCBD did not attend the sub group meetings, there was regular liaison as part of the business sector and the 3 town centre PCSOs. There were also partnerships and liaison with the local parades allowing for network opportunities and this linked into the PCSO’s patrol plans. It was noted that some issues occurred at the parades and there was perhaps a reliance on CCTV, which was not monitored 24/7. There was funding for a mobile CCTV unit.
· Confirmation that liaison and engagement with partners continued to assist in raising awareness and supportive vulnerable individuals.
· Recognition that joint working to tackle street homelessness, begging and street drinking had resulted in a reduction in the numbers of rough sleepers.
· Acknowledgement that cybercrime and scams were now playing a part in deceiving the elderly population. Various deterrents could be considered along with marketing to assist in scam prevention.
· Recognition that whilst supportive of self-defence for women and girls there was a movement around focusing on the behaviour of the perpetrator.
· It was important to continue to report crime or possible crime as this would aid intelligence gathering.
· A copy of the full presentation would be made available (potentially through Councillors’ Information Bulletin).
That the update be noted with the views expressed being acknowledged by officers. The Commission’s gratitude was relayed to Inspector Turner and officers for their attendance at the Commission.