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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/12/2005
Waverley Community Safety Strategy - Update on Progress



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the work of the Safer Waverley Partnership and to provide an opportunity for Members to make observations to the Safer Waverley Partnership. This report has already been presented to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and a summary of the comments made are included in the report.

APPENDIX P
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 6TH DECEMBER 2005

referred from community overview & scrutiny committee –
14th december 2005

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Title:
Waverley Community Safety Strategy – Update on Progress
[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the work of the Safer Waverley Partnership and to provide an opportunity for Members to make observations to the Safer Waverley Partnership. This report has already been presented to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and a summary of the comments made are included in the report.

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Environmental implications:

The Waverley Community Safety Strategy 2005-2008 is available to view and download on the Council’s website, thus reducing the amount of printed copies needed and having a positive affect on natural resource use.

Social / community implications:

The Community Safety Strategy has a positive impact on social inclusion through the partnership work it does with specific vulnerable groups and deprived communities. A key aim of the Strategy is to ensure people are safe and feel safe, to do this the Partnership is working with the community to improve community safety across the borough as well as keeping crime low.

E-Government implications:

The Waverley Community Safety Strategy 2005-2008 can be downloaded on the Council’s website. Regular news updates are also provided on community safety matters on the website to enable Waverley residents to keep up to date with the work of the partnership.

Resource and legal implications:

The Safer Waverley Partnership receives funding from its principal partner agencies that include Waverley Borough Council. In addition to contributing funds to the Partnership, the Council also funds a full time community safety officer and provides accommodation for three part-time partnership-funded officers, namely a second community safety officer, a partnership support officer and a finance officer.

Under current arrangements Waverley Borough Council manages the various funding streams and administers funds that are used to support schemes agreed by the Executive of the Safer Waverley Partnership.

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Introduction

1. This report reviews the implementation of the Community Safety Strategy 2005-2008 six months after its introduction. It focuses on the Partnership’s progress in meeting crime reduction targets and highlights some key achievements to date.

2. It is proposed that the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive should receive future updates on progress of the Community Safety Strategy on an annual basis. At its meeting on 14th November, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed to suggest to the Executive that the updates should be presented every six months, if possible, otherwise on an annual basis. The Executive is invited to consider this proposal.

Safer Waverley Partnership

3. The Safer Waverley Partnership (the statutory Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) for the borough) comprises of an Executive Group with representatives at senior officer level from Waverley Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Surrey Police, Guildford and Waverley Primary Care Trust, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and a member from Surrey Police Authority. Other elected members and their equivalents are currently updated through a Consultative Group, which meets twice yearly. Waverley Borough Council appoints two members to this group. This year the appointed members are Mr John Robini (Portfolio Holder for Community Safety) and Ms Margaret Taylor. Members are also involved in the tri-annual crime audit and community safety strategy building process through a consultation forum. The last forum took place in November 2004.

4. The Safer Waverley Partnership has a recognised structure of working groups with the Executive Group agreeing priorities, overseeing performance, providing direction and determining funding. The diagram below illustrates how the Partnership works to ensure implementation of its Community Safety Strategy.
5. The Safer Waverley Partnership is required to develop a community safety strategy every three years. The current community safety strategy is for the period from April 2005 to March 2008 and its priorities are:

Reducing crime

Feeling safe and being safe

Tackling anti-social behaviour

Addressing substance misuse
Reducing crime 6. Ward level crime data is attached at Annexe 2. Attached at Annexe 3 is how to find further information about latest crime figures for each ward, the Local Neighbourhood Specialist Police Officer and up to date information about problems in an area.

7. The Safer Waverley Partnership is required by the Home Office to work towards an overall reduction in crime. Individual crimes are categorised using the British Crime Survey’s comparator crimes. The target reduction for the Borough of Waverley for these British Crime Survey comparator crimes is 12.5% by March 2008. This contributes towards a required countywide reduction of 13.3%, and the overall national reduction of 15% by 2008.

8. The table below shows the Partnership’s progress against its crime reduction targets for the period from April 2005 to the end of August 2005. The first numerical column shows the baseline figures for each crime type, which represent the total number of crimes for that crime type for the year 2003-2004. The second column shows the percentage reduction required over the three year period. The third column shows the percentage reduction for the current year, and the fourth column shows the actual number by which the number of offences must be reduced to meet the target in year one. The fifth column shows the number of crimes up to the end of August 2005 and the sixth column uses a traffic light system to show whether the Partnership is likely to meet the required target.

GOSE Crime Figures - 2003/04Reduction Target
By 2008
%
Annual
Target

%
Maximum no. of offences in
Year One to fall
within target
Number of
crimes
April-Aug
(5 mths)
Colour Status for Target
Offence Type (categorised using British Crime Survey)
Theft or unauthorised taking of vehicle (incl. attempts and aggravated vehicle taking19221.47.017975GREEN
Thefts from a vehicle (incl. attempts)51912.74.0498185GREEN
Vehicle Interference10713.24.510235 GREEN
Domestic Burglary (incl. attempts)28919.66.527078GREEN
GOSE Crime Figures - 2003/04Reduction Target
By 2008
%
Annual
Target

%
Maximum no. of offences in
Year One to fall
within target
Number of
crimes
April-Aug
(5 mths)
Colour Status for Target
Theft or unauthorised taking of a cycle952.00.69442AMBER
proj. total 101
Theft from person375.92.03613GREEN
Criminal damage (excl. 59)
includes racially aggravated criminal damage and arson
137710.54.01322598AMBER
proj. total 1435
Common assault (incl. on a PC)2959.03.028692GREEN
Woundings (serious and other)
includes wounding, other wounding and racially aggravated wounding
38415.35.0365231RED
proj. total
554
Robbery of personal property1915.05.0184GREEN
Total of selected offences331412.531701353AMBER
proj. total
3247

9. The data is very encouraging and shows that Waverley is on target for achieving at least seven of the ten crime targets. For criminal damage and theft or unauthorised taking of a pedal cycle, progress is indicated as amber. 2004-2005 saw a fairly large increase of 8% in reports of criminal damage but so far this year there has been an 8% reduction on last year’s figures. This is particularly significant as the Partnership have been encouraging greater recording of criminal damage through the borough wide graffiti removal scheme and Neighbourhood Panels, where minor incidents of damage, which would not have been previously reported, are being brought to Police attention. The rise in theft of pedal cycles can be explained by a seasonal increase over the summer months, which should mean that, from now onwards, we will start to see a reduction in the numbers of crimes of this type. The Partnership is confident that this crime will return to ‘Green’ by the end of the year.

10. The only area where the crime reduction target is vulnerable at present is that of woundings. For the year to date, 55% of all woundings in a public place and, of these, 43% were alcohol related. Domestic incidents accounted for a third of all wounding offences and for 63% of all non- public place woundings.

11. One reason for the increase in woundings in Waverley could be the emphasis being placed on Police Officers taking positive action at the scene of assaults. This normally results in arrests. In addition, the Partnership continues to encourage victims to report domestic assaults, which will also contribute to the increased number of recorded woundings.

12. The Safer Waverley Partnership continues to support the Domestic Abuse Outreach Service in Waverley. There are currently two part-time outreach workers based in the Housing Department, of which one part time worker is funded using partner contributions specifically ring-fenced for domestic abuse. The Safer Waverley Partnership will shortly be considering proposals to support a Sanctuary Scheme in the Borough and provide funding for alarms for victims of domestic abuse.

13. Currently work is ongoing to consider the merits of merging Waverley and Guildford's domestic abuse outreach services. Irrespective as to whether the services are merged in the future or not, the domestic violence outreach service is receiving increased numbers of clients and will continue to need funding to maintain and develop this vital service.

14. Recent consultation with clients of the outreach service shows that it is much valued and that the other agencies attended by victims would benefit from better domestic violence awareness training. The domestic violence outreach workers are well placed to help contribute to such training and already do what they can to raise the awareness of DV issues. However, the fact that they are already over stretched with delivering outreach means their capacity to help further in training and awareness raising is limited, as is their ability to provide the level of support that many victims of domestic abuse need. The outreach service will be exploring the possibility of having safe house for victims of domestic abuse in Waverley and again this will have resource and workload implications.

15. The Partnership set up the Town Centre Disorder Group (TCDG) to deal specifically with incidents relating to town centre disorder and violence. This group monitors the level of disorder and violence, including woundings, on a monthly basis and responds to emerging trends using targeted police patrols and joint visits to licensed premises. This group is also considering issues relating to extended licensing hours which will follow the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 in November 2005 and the wider implications of the Act for the Police and Waverley Borough Council. It has contributed to very close partnership working between the Police and Waverley’s Licensing teams, including joint enforcement inspections.

Tackling anti-social behaviour

16. During the consultation period for formulating the latest community safety strategy it became clear that many residents were concerned about speeding traffic. The Partnership has invested in two additional speed detection signs, which means there are now 6 for the borough. These interactive signs are used to record the speed of traffic and also flash up to motorists the speed at which they are travelling. The signs are mobile and can be used at any location in the borough where speeding traffic has been identified as a problem. They are used as a deterrent rather than a means of enforcement, and are considered to be very effective in helping to reduce speeding.

17. The Environment Task Group (ETG) of the Safer Waverley Partnership, chaired by the Director of Environment and Leisure, piloted a multi-agency vehicle stop operation aimed at tackling illegal waste carriers. Using best practice from elsewhere in the country, the ETG agreed to trial a multi-agency operation aimed at both drivers who tip waste illegally and those committing other offences. The Environment Agency, Waverley Borough Council, Trading Standards, Surrey Police, the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA), and HM Revenue and Customs took part in the operation. The operation targeted commercial type vehicles and checked for valid tax and insurance, registration of the vehicle to carry waste, red diesel, condition and standard of the vehicle, vehicle emissions and the driver’s and passengers’ details against the national benefits database. In total 48 vehicles were stopped, 9 were carrying waste and were asked to provide documents of their licence to carry waste; fines were issued to drivers for driving whilst on a mobile phone, failure to wear a seat belt, overloading of a vehicle and not displaying valid tax. The operation was deemed a success and the ETG hopes to carry out similar operations on a regular basis.

18. There are currently three people in Waverley who are the subject of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), which have been placed on them by the courts. The Community Incident Action Group (CIAG), which is a sub-group of the Safer Waverley Partnership, reviews the progress of these orders and considers any reported anti-social behaviour committed by each individual at the monthly CIAG meeting. It also reviews the behaviour of other nominated individuals and proposes appropriate multi-agency solutions for dealing with such problems. These might include a joint visit from the Police and other agencies to ask the person to sign up to an acceptable behaviour contract (ABC); tenancy enforcement or offer of diversionary activities for young people to mention a few options.

19. In May 2005 a dispersal order under Section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 was put in place in Cranleigh Village Centre. The new order enables the Police to disperse a group of two or more people from an area if they believe that members of the public have been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed as a result of the presence or behaviour of the group. The order refers to adults as well as young people and was granted in Cranleigh Village Centre after a thorough consultation exercise with various agencies and organisations following increased reports of anti-social behaviour and other problems in this area.

20. The Section 30 order in Cranleigh is due to expire in November 2005. Latest figures clearly demonstrate the success of the order. Comparing the three months before the implementation of the order with the three months after its implementation, incidents reported to the Police relating to rowdy and nuisance behaviour in Cranleigh village centre are down by 42%; criminal damage is down by 74% and violent crime is down by 43%. The Police and the Partnership are now undertaking a full evaluation.

21. There has been an increased requirement from central government for local partnerships to identify and work with their Prolific Priority Offenders (PPOs). Although it is recommended that partnerships nominate 15 of their most prolific offenders for the scheme, Waverley currently has only two people who fit the criteria for this scheme, being offenders of a sufficiently prolific nature, or individuals whose behaviour has a disproportionately significant impact on their environment.

Addressing substance misuse

22. The number of drug offences remains low in Waverley with only four charges being brought for supply of class A drugs during the six months since April 2005. The Safer Waverley Partnership provides funding towards a Surrey Police drugs intelligence project. The officers within this project are responsible for reducing the supply of drugs in the boroughs of Waverley and Guildford.

23. Following a report into substance misuse conducted in 2003 by an external researcher, the Partnership has acknowledged that Waverley has more problems associated with alcohol than drugs. This is has been reiterated by the recent crime audit and consultation process which concluded that alcohol has more of an impact on the community than drugs. However drugs remain an important focus.

24. Crime statistics show that alcohol related incidents in Waverley have increased significantly since 2001. This trend is repeated across the county, and Waverley is by no means the only borough that has seen such an increase. The Executive of the Safer Waverley Partnership is currently considering its approach to addressing alcohol related crime. The Partnership at present addresses alcohol related crime and disorder through its Town Centre Disorder Group meeting. Waverley’s powers as Licensing Authority are being used in a co-ordinated way with police enforcement to obtain the most benefit for the communities in Waverley. The Licensing and Regulatory Committee has received an interim report on future enforcement and suggested to the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee that it might want to carry out an in-depth review into the effect of the new legislation next council year.

Funding

25. The Safer Waverley Partnership currently receives funding from its principal partners and through the Home Office department within the Government Office for the South East (GOSE). Waverley Borough Council will contribute 13,640 to the Partnership in 2005-2006, of which 8,640 is ring-fenced for the domestic abuse outreach service. Surrey County Council will contribute 12,000 to the general partnership fund and an additional 12,000, ring fenced for domestic abuse. Surrey Police will contribute 12,000 to the ring fenced domestic abuse fund and Guildford and Waverley Primary Care Trust are expected to contribute 1,750 to the general partnership fund and 3,000 to the fund ring fenced for domestic abuse.

26. During the financial year 2005-2006 the Safer Waverley Partnership will receive the following income from principle partner agencies as detailed above and from the various GOSE funding streams:
Safer Stronger Communities Fund (GOSE) 106,221
TOTAL 224,825

Observations from Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee

27. At its meeting on 14th November 2005, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee supported the Community Safety Strategy 2005-08 but was of the view that the Victim Support organisation should be given greater acknowledgement as a contributing factor to community safety. Also, as set out at paragraph 2 above, the Committee requested that updates on community safety be provided every six months, if possible, otherwise on an annual basis.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive note the observations of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and that they, together with any observations of the Executive, be passed to the Safer Waverley Partnership.

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Background Papers (CExec)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Eve Wilmott Telephone: 01483 523386

E-mail: ewilmott@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/executive/2005-06/183