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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 11/07/2006
Crime & Disorder Act Review - Stakeholder Consultation



APPENDIX Z.3
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 11TH jULY 2006
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Title:
CRIME AND DISORDER ACT REVIEW- STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION
[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

The Home Office published the Crime and Disorder Act Review and the Police and Justice Bill in January 2006. On 21 June 2006 the Home Office held a regional stakeholder consultation event to obtain opinions on the best way to implement the reviews recommendations. The consultation period is very tight and the Home Office is asking for comments by no later than the end of July 2006.

The purpose of this report is to bring to members' attention the main recommendations of the Crime and Disorder Act Review and the timescales related to the implementation of its recommendations.

The report invites members to consider the issues raised by the Crime and Disorder Review and the Police and Justice Bill, and to make comments and suggestion to the Home Office and/or senior officers.

Future reports will follow after the Home Office has published its plans and issued further guidance.
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Environmental implications:

There are none directly arising from this report.

Social / community implications:

This recommendations of the Crime and Disorder Act Review have a positive impact on the Council’s obligations under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to mainstream community safety.

E-Government implications:

There are none directly arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

Implementing the recommendations of the review is likely to have a number of resource implications for the Council’s overview and scrutiny committees and officer capacity. As well as implications on staff time, the proposals to switch funding to be channeled through the LAA could leave Waverley with additional external costs. When more details are known, officers will examine any impact on the revenue budget and report back to Members if necessary.

The review’s recommendations will also affect the Council’s partners, such as Surrey Police, Surrey Police Authority and Surrey County Council. The recommendations of the review raise sensitive issues around the governance of community safety and how this is shared between partners in a two-tier local authority area.
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Background

1. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (the 1998 Act) made it a statutory duty for local authorities to work with the Police and other partners to reduce, and do everything that it reasonably can, to address crime and disorder in their area. 2. The Council formed a statutory community safety partnership in 1999, between Surrey County Council and Surrey Police. At this time the partnership was referred to as the Waverley Community Safety Executive.

3. Following the Police Reform Act 2002, which extended the statutory partnership to include Surrey Police Authority, Guildford and Waverley Primary Care Trust and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, the Partnership in 2004 re-named to become the Safer Waverley Partnership (SWP).

4. As part of its statutory obligations the SWP is required to conduct a crime and disorder audit every three years and produce a subsequent community safety strategy, covering a three-year period. The SWP has produced three crime audits and its current Community Safety Strategy is for the period 2005-2008.

5. Under Section 17 of the 1998 Act the Council is required to consider the implications of crime and disorder in everything that it does. Since 1998 the Council has developed its work substantially with the Police and other agencies to ensure that Section 17 and other aspects of this Act are implemented.

Introduction

6. Between November 2004 and January 2005 the Home Office carried out a review of the 1998 Act. In January 2006 the findings of the review were published along with the Police and Justice Bill, which introduced measures to implement the recommendations. 7. Throughout June and July 2006 the Home Office are seeking to obtain stakeholder opinions on the best way of implementing the review recommendations. On 21 June 2006, a limited number of representatives from the SWP and the Council attended a regional stakeholder event as part of this process. 8. The purpose of this report is to provide members with an overview of the key aspects of the Crime and Disorder Act Review (the Review), and to highlight areas, which directly relate to the work of elected members.

Crime and Disorder Act Review 9. The Review’s recommendations fall into eight broad areas: - Split of Strategic and Operational Functions
- Monitoring and Inspection
- National Intelligence Model
- Annual 3 year rolling plans
- Information Sharing
- Community Engagement
- Strategic Assessment
- Overview and Scrutiny

Split of Strategic and Operational Functions

10. The Review proposes a separation of ‘strategic’ and ‘operational’ crime and disorder functions, with these being assigned at different levels within the new landscape of local partnerships. It is not yet clear how this will be implemented at the borough level, between the Safer Waverley Partnership (SWP) and the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), and at the county level between the Surrey County LSP and the Local Area Agreement (LAA) partnership. It appears that this ‘strategic’ and ‘operational’ split would be clear for those partnerships operating within a unitary authority, but the relationship remains very unclear for two-tier areas in respect of LSPs at county and district level and to LAA arrangements.

Monitoring and Inspection

11. Since the establishment of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs/ Safer Waverley Partnership) in 1998, there has not been any national standard applying to how these partnerships should be conducted. The Crime and Disorder Act Review and Police and Justice Bill contains provisions to introduce standards although the nature and extent of them remains unclear. National Intelligence Model

12. The SWPs requirement to produce a three year crime audit and community safety strategy will be replaced under the review by the requirement to conduct regular reviews using the National Intelligence Model (NIM). The NIM model is currently used by Surrey Police, and helps organisations make decisions about priorities and to organise the allocation of resources, according to the service delivery requirements. The SWP also uses the NIM in much of its partnership work, including the Town Centre Disorder Group. However the full implementation of NIM will have to be considered by the SWP in order to meet the standards set out by the forthcoming Police and Justice Act.

Annual 3 year rolling plans/ Strategic Assessment/ Section 17

13. As a replacement for the three year crime audit and community safety strategy, CDRP/SWP will be required to produce an annual rolling three year community safety plan, and a strategic assessment undertaken on at least a six monthly basis. New resource arrangement will have to be made to support this.

14. It would be expected that this aspect of the review would be implemented from April 2007, however it is hoped that the Home Office will consider extending its date for those partnerships which have got a community safety strategy currently in place until March 2008.

15. Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is being amended by the Police and Justice Bill to broaden the definition to require councils to take account of anti-social behaviour, behaviour adversely affecting the environment and substance misuse. This Council will have to ensure that this amendment is taken into consideration throughout the Council in all its work and planning processes.

Information Sharing

16. The Review contains recommendations to have strategic and operational data sharing protocols in place and the Police and Justice Bills introduces the duty on partners to share de-personalised information. The Council currently already shares personal and de-personalised information for the purpose of crime and disorder using the Surrey Information Sharing Protocol (ISP).

Community Engagement

17. The Review recommends that CDRPs/ SWP achieves the maximum level of community engagement in order to improve policy decisions, community action taken, offer visible leadership and boost local accountability. The framework for community engagement is proposed to be delivered within the national standards, which will be taken forward by the Police and Justice Bill. This Council and the SWP already uses a variety of methods to engage with individuals and communities. It would be hoped that these standards would built upon those structures already in place.

Overview and Scrutiny

18. One key aspect of the Review, and one which will have a significant affect on elected members, is new powers contained within the Police and Justice Bill for Councils’ overview and scrutiny committees. It is proposed to extend the powers of local authority overview and scrutiny committees to encompass the work of CDRPs, and for Waverley this will be the work of the Safer Waverley Partnership. Full guidance is still awaited, however there is some indication of this new role contained in page 45 of the Home Office Regional Stakeholder Event Briefing Paper at Annexe 1. Conclusion

19. The Review and forthcoming Police and Justice Bill will have an impact on the work of Waverley’s statutory CDRP (SWP) and the role of those officers based at the Council who support and manage the work of the SWP. 20. The new governance arrangements relating to overview and scrutiny will also have a significant impact on the work of the Council for both officers and members, especially in the area of overview and scrutiny as discussed above. This will generate capacity and funding issues, as well as sensitivity issues, as the Borough Council will, in effect, be scrutinising the work of the Police.

21. The recommendations of the Review and its proposed implementation do not appear to be fully developed for application in two-tier areas. This is evident for both the operational and governance arrangements. 22. The consultation period for the implementation of this review is very tight. The Police and Justice Bill is expected to reach Royal Assent in the Autumn of 2006, with implementation from April 2007. Nevertheless it is considered appropriate to respond broadly in support of the recommendation of the Crime and Disorder Act Review.

23. It will be necessary to consider this matter further when the Council receives further guidance from the Home Office.

Recommendation

It is recommended that Members
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Background Papers

The Home Office Crime and Disorder Act Review and the Police and Justice Bill published in January 2006.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Eve Wilmott Telephone: 01483 523386
E-mail: ewilmott@waverley.gov.uk


executive\2006-07\097.doc