Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Housing & Community Safety Select Committee (ceased to operate 03/06/2015) Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 5th February, 2015
Time:
2.30PM
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Derrick Brown(Chairman), Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr David Wilburn
Officers:
Steven Hume(Community Safety Manager), Peter Mennear, Jenna McDonald(LDS)
In Attendance:
Marc Anderson(Cleveland Police)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Robert Gibson
Item Description Decision
Public
HCS
48/14
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
HCS
49/14
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
HCS
50/14
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 27TH NOVEMBER 2014
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
HCS
51/14
DRAFT MINUTES - 15TH JANUARY 2015
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
HCS
52/14
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING
AGREED that a draft report be prepared and considered at the next meeting.
HCS
53/14
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the information be noted.
HCS
54/14
CHAIR'S UPDATE
The Chair provided no update.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
HCS
50/14
The minutes of the meeting held on 27th November 2014 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
HCS
51/14
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 15th January 2015.
HCS
52/14
Members were provided with the summary of evidence collected during the review.

The following points were highlighted:

Between 2011 and 2015, central government funding for the police service in England and Wales had reduced by 20% which equated to a 26million saving in real terms over the same period for Cleveland Police

Police Authorities had been replaced with Police and Crime Commissioners(PCCs) who are responsible for setting the police budget and setting strategic direction of their areas of responsibility

Cleveland had 1333 police officers available to meet demand, down from 1727 officers in 2010. Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) numbers will stabilise at 132.

Neighbourhood and Partnership Command retained a geographic focus which was led by a Chief Superintendent with a Chief Inspector in each Borough/Local Policing Area. The lead integrated Neighbourhood Teams were made up of the following:
- neighbourhood Officers
- Volume Crime Officers
- PCSOs
- Youth Offending Team
- Integrated Offender Management
- Community Drug Enforcement

Members heard that other duties which PCSOs attended to included:
- visiting repeat ASB victims
- Public resident meetings
- Shadow Visits of identified prolific offenders
- Super Cocooning for Burglary and Criminal Damage

The Committee was informed that at the end of January 2015 Stockton on Tees was showing a crime increase of 0.7% over the year to date which was the lowest increase in crime across the four areas of the Tees Valley. Stockton on Tees was also projected a -3.3% decrease of ASB at the end of 2015.

It was noted that crime and disorder figures had fluctuated throughout the review

Members of the Committee and Officers raised the following points/questions:

- With regard to the 1333 police officers available to meet demand, how had this reduction been achieved? In response, Members heard that there was more of a focus on re-designing back office functions, centralising some teams such as Intelligence and reductions had occurred in response policing, but there was no reduction in neighbourhood police teams. The issue for neighbourhood teams was that they now needed to respond to a greater variety of calls for service.


- The Police worked to respond to demand across the force area; it was heard that a meeting took place each morning at the Cleveland Police Headquarters which focussed on prioritisation. The Committee heard that Cleveland Police could place bids to bring in officers from out of the area to control demand

- Members asked how the reduction of officer's across the force had affected the rest of the police force as a whole. In response, it was heard that the reduction in officers was challenging, however this created a focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of officers and identified room for improvement.

- Members raised concerns around metal thefts, it was highlighted that metal thefts had large impacts on the community however were difficult to identify. The Committee were informed that Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers carried out work on scrap yards in order to target metal theft, and there was strong partnership working to resolve the current cable theft issues.


- It was highlighted that there had never been a greater need for communication from a partnership perspective

- The Committee asked whether the reduction on officer's across the police forced had led to an increase in sickness levels of PCSOs. In response, it was heard that sickness levels for PCSOs were low

The Committee noted that recommendations should include consideration of how contact occurred between Cleveland Police and Members of Stockton Borough Council in the future, and the role of Members when explaining the new focus of neighbourhood policing to the public should be highlighted.

Members agreed it would be useful to share more widely the key messages that were on the police website My Neighbourhood page, as this was a good way for Members and public to stay up to date with the police activity in their area.
HCS
53/14
Members gave consideration to the work programme.

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