Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Safer Stockton Partnership Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 19th August, 2008
Time:
9.30 a.m.
Place:
Conference Room, Education Centre, Junction Road, Norton
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Geoff Lee (Chairman); Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Steve Nelson, Mike Batty (Stockton on Tees Borough Council); Nancy Robson (Victim Support); Elizabeth Benomran (Stockton on Tees Teaching PCT); Tina Beckett (Probation); Geoff Turner (Western Area Partnership Board); Ian Garrett (Eastern Area Partnership Board); Ian Harrington (Cleveland Fire); Ted Allen (Police); Anne Howard (Neighbourhood Watch); Emma Champley (Stockton DAT); Tina Williams (Central Area Partnership Board).
Officers:
Fiona Shayler (LD); Marilyn Davies (DNS).
In Attendance:
Judith Million, David Dunn (GONE).
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Lucia Saiger, Jane Humphries, Miriam Robertson.
Item Description Decision
Public
SSP
37/08
MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2008 were agreed as a correct record.
SSP
38/08
MATTERS ARISING
 
SSP
39/08
ACTION NOTES FROM SCANNING & CHALLENGE GROUP
The notes from the Scanning and Challenge Group of 14th July 2008 were noted.
SSP
40/08
MINUTES OF YOS MANAGEMENT BOARD 1 JULY 2008
The minutes of the YOS Management Board of 1st July 2008 were noted.
SSP
41/08
MINUTES OF ADULT PROTECTION COMMITTEE 17 JULY 2008
The minutes of the Multi-Agency Adult Protection Committee Meeting held on 17th July 2008 were noted.
SSP
42/08
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
(A) 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PARTNERSHIP

 
SSP
43/08
COMMUNITY SAFETY PLAN 2008-2011 QUARTER 1
AGREED that the report and comments be noted.
SSP
44/08
YOUTH JUSTICE PLAN 2008/09 QUARTER 1
AGREED that the information received be noted.
SSP
45/08
POLICING GREEN PAPER
AGREED that:-

1. Members comments be submitted to Mike Batty by 15th September, a response be drafted , recirculated for comment and agreed by the Chair and Vice-Chair prior to submission, and presented for information to the Partnership meeting on 4 November

2. The Partnership agrees to amend its Constitution by adding the following, under the heading ‘Aims':-
"(e) reducing reoffending in the Borough".
SSP
46/08
NATIONAL COMMUNITY SAFETY PLAN UPDATE
AGREED that the update be noted.
SSP
47/08
REDUCING RE-OFFENDING PLAN
AGREED that the information be noted and that the proposal to expand the PPO scheme be approved in principle, subject to further discussions on the secondment of a drugs worker and an additional police officer.
SSP
48/08
REVIEW OF INFORMATION SHARING
AGREED that the comments be noted and that a joint response be drawn up.
SSP
49/08
FEEDBACK ON PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT
AGREED that:-

1. A letter should be sent to the Chamber of Commerce requesting representation from the business sector on the partnership.

2. The possibility of including a member of the 'Shop watch' programme be investigated.

3. It was suggested that the Strategic Assessment be kept concise and aimed at the public as the reader audience.

4. ‘Reducing Adult Reoffending' and ‘Reassuring the Public' be included as ‘menu items' within the next consultation programme, in 2010.
SSP
50/08
YOUTH JUSTICE PLAN
AGREED that the Youth Justice Planning Tool for 2008/09 be noted.
SSP
51/08
SBC INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT
AGREED that a declarations of interest register be established.
SSP
52/08
COUNTER TERRORISM
AGREED that the update be noted.
SSP
53/08
COMMUNICATIONS
 
SSP
54/08
RECORDED CRIME & DISORDER
 
SSP
55/08
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND IMMIGRATION ACT 2008
 
SSP
56/08
COMMUNITY JUSTICE INITIATIVE UPDATE
AGREED that the update be noted.
SSP
57/08
REPORTS BACK
There were no updates available at this meeting.
9.30am - 12.30pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
SSP
38/08
Minute No SSP 20/08 Bail Hostels

A verbal response had been received from the Ministry of Defence regarding improved consultation processes for any future bail hostels.

Minute No SSP 30/08 Doorstep Crime Initiative

Further talks with Tristar Homes had taken place and agreement to place 'No Cold Calling' signs in estates where the vulnerable were at risk had been produced and would be displayed on lamposts. Tristar Homes had also provided 500 towards the cost of the signs.
SSP
42/08
The Safer Stockton Partnership had been meeting for 10 years. There had been major changes over the last 10 years in respect of Community Safety in Stockton-on-Tees. Some of the most obvious were:-

(a) a reduction of 65.9% in the number of dwelling burglaries between 1997 and 2007/08, and a reduction of 71.5% in the rate of dwelling burglary (per thousand households) - the second figure was higher because we have significantly more households.

(b) a reduction of 63.5% in the number of vehicle crimes between 1997 and 2007/08 (despite the introduction of the new offence of vehicle interference), and a reduction of 65.8% in the rate of vehicle crime (per thousand population),- the second figure was higher because we now had a significantly larger population.

(c) Stockton had moved from third best of the five Tees Valley authorities to best of five, in terms of overall crime rate, overtaking Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland.

In order to celebrate these achievements, a birthday cake had been prepared and some former members of the Partnership had been invited to join us following today's meeting.
SSP
43/08
There were a total of 44 targets in the Community Safety Plan for 2008/11. 28 of the targets were being achieved, 12 were slightly below expected performance and one was not likely to be achieved. The remaining three targets were not due an update in this quarter.

Members held discussion on the need to improve data received from the Accident and Emergency Unit. Discussions were being held with the PCT. GONE had also been investigating a systematic way of unlocking data sharing. Anne Howard stated that she was a representative of the NHS Trust and would lobby on behalf of the SSP for improved data sharing.

Discussion was held on the decrease in criminal damage, changes had been made in the way criminal damage was recorded as well as new definitions and receiving more intelligence etc. Other theft was also highlighted, lots of work was being done to address this area.

Discussion was held on the targets relating to drugs and it was requested that a copy of the 'Harm' leaflet should be sent out to anyone testing positive for drugs.

Members were informed that the incident reporting forms were to be relaunched.
SSP
44/08
Members were informed that the figures for June/July had seen a substantial reduction. Discussion was held on targeting school leavers who were unable to get jobs due to poor attainment and being able to provide them with training to get them into areas where jobs were actually available.

A programme of work had been held with young women who were first time entrants into the youth justice system to improve relationships between themselves and their mothers.
SSP
45/08
This Green Paper was published on 17 July and had a deadline for responses by 10 October, 2008.

There was much to welcome in the Green Paper, especially the proposal that in future the Government would only set one quantified target for police forces, i.e. to increase local satisfaction (as measured by responses to the question ‘do you think that the police and their partners are dealing with the crime and ASB issues that matter locally?'). Other points worthy of particular note included:

(a) the proposal to give Community Safety Partnerships a statutory duty to seek to reduce re-offending

(b) confirmation of ringfenced funding for neighbourhood policing for at least three years

(c) addition of Probation to the list of ‘responsible authorities' in relation to community safety partnerships working

(d) the commitment to "reducing the bureaucracy faced by the police not simply so that officers spend less time filling in forms but so that they are returned the discretion and judgement to focus on issues that matter to local people, freed from targets that have been perceived in the past to push them towards ‘perverse incentives' and able instead to deliver results that people value" - this goes to the heart of the tension between sanction detentions and First Time Entrants to the Youth Justice System.

However, the proposals for direct election to police authorities were likely to be more controversial. Much of the detail was not yet available, but the Green Paper suggested partially replacing nomination of Councillors onto Police Authorities by direct election of ‘Crime & Policing Representatives' (CPRs). The current composition of Cleveland Police Authority, in line with the national formula, was 9 Councillors (nominated by a joint committee), three magistrates and five ‘Independent' members (appointed by the Home Secretary). The Green Paper proposed the election of CPRs (method, timing and duration etc unknown as yet), in indeterminate numbers, but to form a majority on the Police Authority and that where locally elected mayors existed (as in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough) they would automatically become CPRs.

The Green Paper also stated that:-

"A number of Councillors from some or all of the upper tier Councils in an area should be invited to sit on the police authority" and envisages that "some Councillors will stand as CPRs and that many of them will be successful", but also refers to "allowing the public to elect a majority of their [i.e. police authorities] members directly from their communities".

The Green Paper also suggested that the CPR, or one of them where there are more than one representing the locality, would automatically chair the CDRP / Community Safety Partnership. This was objectionable, on several grounds:

(a) it cuts across our long established Partnership constitution;

(b) it fails to guarantee the competence of the Chair (and nothing is said about how, if at all, a CPR would be removed from office as Chair); and

(c) it fails to guarantee that the Chair is someone who commands the respect of the members of the Partnership.

The Green Paper also suggested that the CPR(s) would manage the BCU Fund, in consultation with the Community Safety Partnership. The good news was that this implied that there would still be a BCU Fund, and the not so good news was that the proposal does not seem, as drafted, to require agreement with the Community Safety Partnership.

Members raised the following points:-

- Annual Election of Chair included within constitution and voting off of members, these issues have not been included within Green Paper.
- Closer relationship between alcohol and drugs.
- The paper appears to be directed towards having an Elected Mayor which not all authorities have opted to have.
- Standardising of powers for PCSO's would be supported.
- Roles of PCSO's etc. to be clearer.
- Prevention of first time entrants.

Comments were required by 15th September in order for the final response to be submitted by 10th October, 2008.
SSP
46/08
Members were provided with an update following on from the discussion at the meeting of the Partnership on 18 March, showing the position against five of the total 52 action points identified for local Partnerships in this Plan, which were highlighted as being in need of further consideration.
SSP
47/08
This item covers two independent but related reports on Reducing Re-offending Action Plan for Stockton-on-Tees. The first report set out a proposal for developing an Action Plan for reducing re-offending by adult offenders in Stockton-on-Tees. The second sets out a proposal for a more integrated approach to managing the next tier of offenders within the current ‘PPO' cases, which would involve some re-direction of resources by Probation, Police, the DAT and the Council's Community Safety team.

A half day seminar was being arranged for 10th October and a draft list of attendees had been put together. It was anticipated that it would be a time planned process with a small task force of enthusiastic members to deal with eight pathways. It was requested that an ex-offender/community representative be invited.
SSP
48/08
In December 2001 the then District Commander Kevin Pitt and the Council's Chief Executive George Garlick signed an Information Sharing Protocol in line with recommendations in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Section 14 of this protocol stated:

- ‘Any partner may make suggestions for amendments to the protocol at any time'
- To enable partners to exchange views prior to changes being made it is suggested that such changes should be discussed at the appropriate forum'

This protocol remained in place without review until June 2006 when we were advised that Cleveland Police were reviewing all Information Protocols to ensure that they were operating in line with MOPI guidance.

As a result of this a draft protocol covering information sharing between RSLs and Cleveland Police was sent to the Community Safety section in July 2006 to be signed by the Council's Chief Executive. There were a number of errors in the protocol that were fed back to the protocol author in Information Security but no further draft was received.

In August 2006 the Cleveland Police Information Security Officer advised us that a general review of third party access across the force area would commence in Stockton. It was not clear how long the review would take but we were assured that we would receive a copy of the outcome. To date no further information has been received.

During this time the level of access to police information had reduced and was not consistent across the force with Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar community safety analysts all having access to more police IT systems than that enjoyed by our analyst.

The issue of information sharing has been raised by all CDRP leads in the Cleveland Force area with Government Office for the North East and in response to this they will be commissioning a consultant to look at the sharing of personal data across the whole region. The remit of the consultant would be to identify best practice in the region, currently demonstrated in the Northumbria force area, and also barriers to the sharing of personal data.

Members would be aware that under the Police and Justice Act 2006 we were required to produce a yearly Partnership Strategic Assessment that would influence our operational activity.

A memo was sent from the Neighbourhood Policing Programme Manager to the information security section of Cleveland Police on the 14th May 2008. The memo raises concerns expressed by CDRP leads about information sharing and highlighted that the HMIC inspection of Neighbourhood Policing (April 2007) identified this as an area for improvement. This memo and a draft protocol were passed on to Stockton on the 15th July. The draft protocol was provided for Members information.

The Community Safety Manager and the Community Safety Analyst had reviewed the protocol and made the following suggestions:

a) Under 1.1 add ‘the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances in its area'. (Amendment to the Crime and Disorder Act Section 17 from the Police and Justice Act 2006)

b) We need to incorporate the requirement to produce a Partnership Strategic Assessment into point 2.1.

c) At 4.1 add the Police and Justice Act 2006.

d) Page 6 the term Data would be better than Evidence.

e) Under 5.2 we would suggest adding:

Personal data for use by CDRP analysts to enable them to compile Partnership Strategic Assessments and other intelligence products as requested by partnership tasking groups.

e) The Landlord Liaison Scheme provided information to landlords to enable them to house prospective tenants appropriately. Due to restrictions introduced by Cleveland Police Information Security, since July 2006 we have been unable to provide this service to private landlords in Stockton however the service continues to be provided in Middlesbrough. A further restriction was put into place in Stockton only allowing a ‘crime check' to be carried out on behalf of Registered Social Landlords when we have produced a business case for each request. A Choice Based Letting scheme is being proposed across the Tees Valley initially for social housing. As part of this process such requests will be made for all prospective tenants accessing housing via this scheme. An aim of the scheme is to roll it out to the private rented sector. Under 5.3.1 a further restriction is proposed that information cannot be passed to a third party without the written consent of the agency providing the data. We believe that this clause will further restrict our ability to provide the Landlord Liaison Scheme in a timely fashion and inhibit the development of the Choice Based Letting scheme and we suggest that this point should be removed or amended to facilitate rather than restrict this process.

f) At 5.4 it was suggested that the Single Point of Contact for the partnership should be the Community Safety Manager.

g) At 5.5 it was stipulated that ‘all requests for information must be made in writing on the appropriate form…' Requests cannot be made by fax and should not be via e mail. This would make the process very time consuming and would adversely affect operational activity therefore we would suggest that this was reconsidered and that an option to carry out this function within the district was considered.

g) We welcome the retention of the information previously used in clause 14 of our original agreement, now shown at point 9.

Members held discussion on the report and felt that the Community Safety Manager should be the Single Point of Contact for reviews to the Information Sharing Protocol.

It was recommended that a joint meeting be held with Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool to provide a joint response to the Neighbourhood Policing Programme Manager.

Judith Million requested a synopsis of the challenges facing CDRPs with regard to information sharing. Work was already being done to develop a common approach for all CDRPs when sharing data, a framework for this would hopefully be developed by March 2009.
SSP
49/08
Members were provided with the feedback commissioned by GONE from the Jill Dando Institute (JDI).

This provides a useful independent assessment, although from a different perspective from that of most Partnership members (e.g. the reference to consulting the public on priorities as ‘a novel approach'). Our approach was different to that set out in the guidance, written by the author of the evaluation, which came out after the deadline for producing the PSA and this was commented on. We have focussed on crime types rather than using the Offender, Victim and Location approach which was advocated. It was worth noting that data quality impacted on our ability to do this fully, offender address data was not available and data on ethnicity was hit and miss with only age and gender being consistently available on police data sets.

Points of particular note included:-

(a) Section 2, third bullet point: the DAT lead on misuse of drugs. Misuse of alcohol was not one of the top priorities identified in consultation.

(b) Section 4, third bullet point: the Strategic Assessment was never intended to be a plan - our Community Safety Plan fulfilled that function;

(c) Section 5, first bullet point: suggested that we needed an ‘intelligence improvement plan': the final para of the Strategic Assessment listed 16 action points - this is the plan, attached as Appendix B.

(d) Section 6, second, third and fifth bullet points - reference to inclusion of maps, brevity, possible inclusion of a performance history and evaluation of past intervention - this seemed to be broadening the concept of the Strategic Assessment considerably. The brief we set was to produce an Assessment of 15 - 20 pages.

(e) First recommendation - wrongly implied that ASB and young people could be lumped together: in fact a significant proportion of ASB Team activity addressed ASB by adults.

(f) Second recommendation on forming ‘an alliance with the business community.' Business has not been directly represented on the Partnership for several years since the North East Chamber of Commerce elected no longer to send a representative but merely to receive agenda papers. Business crime was heavily discounted as a potential priority in the consultation programme. It is acknowledged that businesses are victims of some of the crime types prioritised by the Partnership, and thus benefit from our activities.

Members felt that a letter should be sent to the Chamber of Commerce requesting representation from the business sector on the partnership. It was also suggested that a member of the 'Shop watch' programme be invited onto the partnership.

It was suggested that the Strategic Assessment be kept concise and aimed at the public as the reader audience.

Discussion was held on the winter fuel crisis and it was requested that if any partners were aware of vulnerable groups that would be affected by this to provide details to Ian Harrington. Neighbourhood Watch were happy to disseminate information.

Members discussed the possibility of including ‘Reducing Adult Reoffending' and ‘Reassuring the Public' as ‘menu items' in our next consultation programme, in 2010.
SSP
50/08
Members were provided with the Youth Justice Planning Tool for 2008/09.
SSP
51/08
An internal audit of Adhoc - Partnerships Management had recently been carried out on SSP. The report looked at our Partnership along with the Western Area Partnership and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Partnership. A full copy of the report was provided for Members background.

The findings and recommendations noted that the background covered obtained full assurance, which meant that a sound system of controls was being applied consistently. Six recommendations were identified, with one recommendation directly relating to SSP. This was to put in place a declaration of interests register.
SSP
52/08
The threat was still severe.
SSP
53/08
Members were provided with a list of press releases for the period from 1st June to 31st July 2008. Copies of the full articles were available from the Community Safety Team.
SSP
54/08
This report sets out the recorded crime figures and Anti Social Behaviour disorder codes for April to June 2008 compared with April to June 2007.
SSP
55/08
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act received Royal Assent on 8th May 2008. A summary of the content was provided.
SSP
56/08
At its meeting on 28 July 2008, Cleveland Criminal Justice Board changed its position on rolling out the CJI, from its previous intention of rolling out an approach drawing on the East Middlesbrough pilot to selected areas in other Cleveland Boroughs to one of ‘rolling out the principles of CJI' to the whole of the CCJB area. This change was prompted in part by the introduction of eligibility criteria for roll-out by the Ministry of Justice, and in part by concern about the ability of CCJB partner agencies to resource further selective roll-out.

A written statement had been requested from the CJB detailing the approach, so as to reduce the risk of different understandings.

It was proposed to invite the CPS and the Courts Service to attend this Partnership's next Face the People session, to be held in Billingham on Monday 1 September.

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