|Nominations were received for the appointment of Chair and Vice Chair.|
|Members were advised that Clear Springs provided bail and early release accommodation. There was one in Thornaby and one in Parkfield. |
A serious incident had taken place associated with the Parkfield accommodation which was being investigated by Police. It was felt that the Parkfield accommodation should not continue and that the 14 similar properties around the North East should be more evenly distributed.
Members received clarification on the liaison between Clear Springs and the Police.
|Members were provided with a report which set out the recorded crime figures; most serious violence figures and anti social behaviour disorder codes from April 2008 to March 2009 compared with April 2007 to March 2008. The report also showed the change in recorded crime over the past five and ten years.|
Members felt that the figures were very good overall, however there were some areas of concern i.e. serious violent crime, which was very difficult and sensitive to address. It was noted that Government Office North East (GONE) had insisted on a single year baseline for this indicator, i.e. 2007/08, which was the best year on record, rather than the twice year rolling average preferred by the Council.
Although the 2008/09 figure was slightly up in 2007/08 (by 8 crimes) it was still well down on the average of the three previous years.
Members were advised that more Police Officers had been equipped with 'head cams' which assisted in domestic violence crimes, in particular when the victim chose not to pursue the charge. The footage taken on arrival by the Police could be used as evidence.
Police Officer advised that there would be 16 Detectives taken from other departments to fill the new Vulnerable Persons Unit but Members were assured that it would not result in a reduction of service as it would reduce a significant amount of travel time.
Members were advised that when Police officers saw someone purchasing drugs, they were referred to a prescriber who would provide counselling to the user.
|Members were provided with a report which showed that there were a total of 44 targets in the Community Safety Plan for 2008/11. 35 of the targets were on course to being achieved, five were slightly below expected performance and two were not achieved. Two were not due an update.|
The categories were:
- Anti Social Behaviour
- Violent Crime
- Criminal Damage
- Diverting Young People From Offending
- Other Theft
Members were advised that in relation to the programme for domestic violence offenders, some people dropped out because they were having their behaviour challenged. Officers were considering how to encourage offenders completing the programme without watering down the content.
A domestic violence coordinator had been appointed.
|Members were provided with the Youth Justice Plan, Quarter 4. |
Some figures would not be available until November 2009.
|Members were provided with the DAT Performance, Quarter 4.|
|Members were provided with a schedule showing the outturn position for 2008/09, where known, for each of the National Indicators with direct relevance to the Safer Communities agenda. |
|A schedule of planned reports was presented to Members.|
Members were advised that a programme of planned discussions usually took place and were then reported on but as a result of the merger the discussion had not yet taken place.
It was suggested that once the visit to the North West had taken place the main treatment agency and a prescriber could be invited to attend Safer Stockton Partnership in August or September 2009.
Members discussed the continuation of receiving Police crime statistics, how often financial reports should appear on the agenda and the addition of Neighbourhood Watch on the agenda.
It was agreed that the Police crime Statistics would continue to appear on the agenda. The financial reports would be received on a quarterly basis and Neighbourhood Watch would appear on the December agenda.
|Further to discussions at the last meeting of the DAT Steering Group on 24 February 2009, and the last meeting of the old Safer Stockton Partnership on 17 March 2009, it was proposed to support the merger process by updating the Induction Pack for members of the Partnership, and it was proposed to hand out hard copies of this latest version in conjunction with this agenda item (and to email copies to those not present). The Induction Pack would also be made available to download from the Partnership website www.saferstockton.com.|
It was recognised that there would be a few members of the Partnership who would not be familiar with other representatives and their agencies. It was therefore proposed to include an item on the agenda for the next meeting, on 16 June, at which each member of the Partnership could provide a 2 minute input on their role in relation to the Partnership (e.g. who they represented, their interests, links they could provide to other bodies etc).
Views of members of the Partnership were sought on this proposal or any alternative means of facilitating the merger process.
|Members were advised that the Stockton Drug Action Team commissioned an independent consultant to undertake research relating to drug misuse in Stockton. During November/December 2008 the consultant and his team interviewed 130 drug misusers in the community and 20 clients received drug treatment within HMP Holme House. The final report 'A Million Little Pieces - Problem Drug Use Across Stockton' was produced and made public in March 2009.|
The report contained recommendations in the following areas:
- Aims of Treatment Services
- Care Provision
- Mental Health
- Awareness Raising
- Peer Support
- Moving On
The recommendations had been incorporated into an action plan to be monitored by the Drug and Alcohol Team's Adult Commissioning Group.
Members were advised that officers were planning sessions with all treatment providers regarding the reduction programmes for users as they were unaware of the level of alcohol consumption by methadone users.
It was observed that many users were on several drugs and drank alcohol which resulted in mental health issues.
Drug related deaths were often due to a combination of drugs and alcohol.
Alcohol abuse was high in Stockton-on-Tees.
All the information would be presented to the Commissioning Group.
|Members were advised that as part of the Partnership Healthcheck process the old Safer Stockton Partnership undertook a self-assessment, which was subsequently reviewed by the Councils Internal Audit Service, and the sole outstanding issue had been to establish a register of interests of members of the Partnership. Since the merger with the DAT Steering Group became likely, this issue had been held over until a comprehensive approach could be adopted.|
This was consistent with the Nolan principles on standards of public governance which were incorporated within the Constitution of the Partnership, at Section 9.
Members were provided with a draft letter which was proposed to be sent to all members of the Partnership, on an annual basis. It was important to note that a representative of one of the funded organisations, such as Council, Police, Fire or Probation, did not need to declare his/her involvement with that organisation - this system was about making explicit, any interests which were not already obvious.
There were also some funding relationships between partner agencies which were not part of the Partnerships own funding flows. e.g. the Council funds Tristar Homes and Victim Support, the Police fund or support in kind Neighbourhood Watch, etc, and those did not need to be declared.
|Members were reminded that at the last meeting members discussed the Partnership Investment Plan for the current financial year. The plan was agreed with the only significant change from the 2008/09 plan being the allocation within Diverting Young People from Offending. It was agreed that this would be used to fund two sessions of the LIFE project.|
Since the last meeting discussion had taken place with the PCT and they had agreed to add a further £5,000 to the pot. The Fire Service had changed the format of the programme and graduates were now trained to TROCN level and left the course with an accreditation. The course itself ran over 8 days. The cost had increased to £7,500 per course so with the PCT contribution two sessions could be purchased.
It had been agreed that the young people could be identified from a range of sources and that their names would be put before the YISP panel who would make a decision on who should attend. This would ensure that those that did attend were able to get the best out of the programme. Using this process would also identify a named worker who would support the young person throughout and after the LIFE sessions with the aim of either getting them back into mainstream education, accessing alternative education or training or work.
The Police had also accessed additional funding to run a further course in the year. They would like to take applicants from Westland School, it was suggested that these young people should also be put before the YISP to assess suitability. Following this process would allow us to evaluate success at the end of the year.
A lot of work was done in the run up to mischief night and bonfire night, therefore it was suggested that a course be booked in October as it would complement this work.
The current Mayor of Stockton was Councillor Paul Kirton who had also represented the Council and the Fire Authority on this partnership. It was suggested that he be asked to attend the graduations in his role as Mayor.
|The final outturn of 2008/09 crime figures showed an excellent reduction of 18% from 17,653 in 2007/08 to14,470, and 30% reduction from 20,534 in 2003/04. In terms of rates per 1,000 population the reduction from 2003/04 was 34% from a rate of 114.3 to 75.6 in 2008/09.|
Officers were keen to celebrate this excellent achievement but also to use the information to assist in the drive to provide reassurance for residents and reduce fear of crime.
There were a number of vehicles that could be considered for this purpose:
a) Issuing press releases,
b) Providing the information on all partnership websites.
c) Adding text to payslips had been schedule for June 09 for the council; other partners were urged to check if this could be done within their organisation.
d) Sending the message out via Message of the Day, this had been requested in April to all council staff. Again members were urged to follow this principle within their organisation.
e) A stamp advertising the reduction had been ordered for both the Police and Community Safety administration and it was intended to be used on every envelope that would be sent out in their mail.
f) A page had been put on the police page of the LIFE Channel which was shown in many doctors surgeries across the Borough at no cost to the partnership and the same would be used on the partnership page on the screen in the library.
The following suggestions would incur a cost to the partnership:
g) A three month bus promotion on the outside rear costs £6,108. (there could also be design costs to be added to this) To use the inside as well incurred an additional cost of £1,627.
h) Using the screen situated on the Castlegate Shopping Centre for one full year campaign would cost as follows:-
10 seconds £1,300
20 seconds £1,560
30 seconds £1,820
i) A full page advertisement in Stockton News at £750 as well as editorial that would be submitted throughout the year.
j) A page in Stockton Sparkles (distributed to all homes in the Town Centre area). Members would recall that our recent analysis of the MORI results showed that this area had a higher level of fear of crime as fewer residents in Central Stockton felt safe walking outside alone in both the daytime and after dark, than across the Borough as a whole.
k) Lamp post banners remained in place for the full year. For town wide coverage we would need four in Stockton High Street; two in Billingham, Yarm and Thornaby at a total cost of £2,500.
l) A radio campaign from TFM at a cost of £7,500 for three months for a basic 30 second commercial.
Members were made aware that the Partnership had a limited budget of £5,000 per year, which was made up of:
- £2,000 Cleveland Police Authority
- £1,000 Stockton Fire Service
- £1,000 Cleveland Police - Stockton District
- £1,000 Stockton Council Community Safety
The budget for 2008/09 was used for the production of our strategic plans the Community Safety Plan, ASB Strategy, Domestic Violence Strategy and the Violence Reduction Strategy. £750 was used for the summary of the Community Safety Plan in the May edition of the Stockton News. There was a small carry over of £321 from 2008/09.
For 2009/10 a half page had been booked for the May edition of the Stockton News to provide a summary of the Partnership Strategic Assessment at a cost of £375, this leaves a remaining balance of £4,946.
Member acknowledged that fear of crime was hard to dissipate.
Members did not feel that advertisements on the back of buses were effective.
Members suggested that the Partnership contact Parish Councils as they sent out newsletters and the Partnership could target each area and show the crime figures and prove that the fear of crime was unreasonably high in many areas.
Catalyst also sent out newsletters to many community groups which the Partnership could submit information to at no cost.
If a consistent message went out to all the organisations represented in the Partnership and to Parish Councils residents may start to believe what the Police are telling people.
Members felt that if the press could be encouraged to report positive news rather than crimes, it would also have a big impact on public ideas. It was suggested that a member of the press could be invited to a meeting to discuss the issue.
|Members were provided with an update regarding the probation merger option.|
Members were advised that the Chairman of County Durham Probation Board and the Chief Officer of Teesside Probation Area had met with the Chief Operating Officer of the National Offender Management Service in January 2009 at which time they were given strong encouragement to progress their plans to become a single trust.
|Members were provided with a report which outlined the progress made by the Council and its partners in delivering the Prevent agenda.|
The risk of terrorism from a variety of sources was a continuing threat facing the UK. To counteract the threat a national Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST) was put in place in 2003 and which was subject to its first revision in March 2009.
CONTEST and the Prevent agenda were particularly delicate areas of work with potential to impact detrimentally on Community Cohesion if not taken forward sensitively and appropriately. As such, it was necessary to start dialogue amongst our communities and partnerships about the agenda and what it meant for the Borough.
To this end, Silver Group was coordinating an awareness raising event to be held at Wynyard Rooms on the evening of Wednesday 20th May. Invitations to the event had been delivered to key partnerships and individuals including Renaissance, Safer Stockton Partnership, and the Childrens Trust Board with attendees receiving presentations from key national, regional and local speakers about what Prevent meant in practice. In addition, there would be opportunity for delegates to question the speakers as well as contribute to the draft action plan. The emerging Stockton Faith Network had been invited to and consulted in, developing the event.
Following the event, a full report would go to Renaissance in June 2009, including a strengthened action plan for approval which would include where appropriate, issues raised at the event.
|Members were provided with a copy of the final report of the Council's Housing & Community Safety Select Committee to the Council's Cabinet regarding Neighbourhood Policing, Neighbourhood Watch and CCTV.|
Following the approval of the report by the Cabinet, the Scrutiny Officer had written to the Chief Constable for any comments relating to the recommendations before an action plan was drawn up to address the recommendation.
|Members considered a report which provided information regarding the introduction of a mechanism for scrutinising activities involving CDRP members. The Councillors Call for Action was also introduced with both having come into force on 1st April 2009.|
Under Councillors Call For Action (CCFA), Councillors would have the ability to call for debate and discussion at Committee a topic of neighbourhood concern. The powers were limited to issues affecting single council wards. A record of any decisions made were to be kept but it was up to the council to specify how CCFA would work in Stockton. CCFA was intended to be a long stop measure to be used when other attempts at resolution had failed. An example of when this could be used for a community safety issue was poor maintenance of a park, which was in turn leading to increased levels of anti social behaviour.
In Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee would be the Committee that would scrutinise any issues under the Councillor Call For Action.
|Members were advised that Premises Closure Orders (PCOs) were introduced in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which amended the ASB Act 2003 and they commenced on 1st December 2008. The order was designed to tackle serious and persistent forms of anti social behaviour when other remedies had failed to resolve the problem.|
The powers in the Act were tenure neutral and could be utilised in relation to any type of premises. The PCO process could be instigated by either the Police or the Council, following consultation a closure notice could be served on the owner and those using the premises by an officer of the council or a police constable, a power or entry was attached to the notice. Once a notice was served an order must be sought within 48 hours whether the behaviour improved or not. This allowed the residents time to remove their belongings from property.
Members raised concerns as to who would be financially responsible for the properties but were advised that Tristar would cover the costs of their properties otherwise it would be down to the Police.
Members were advised that the part of the report that mentioned involvement of Children, Education and Social Care (CESC) where children were involved should state that a referral would be made to CESC. Members requested that Premises Closure Orders involving older and vulnerable people be included within the CESC referrals.
|Members were provided with copies of a presentation which was to be presented to the Renaissance Main Board.|
The presentation showed crime categories and figures. Officers were pleased to report that there had been a 29.5% reduction in recorded crime over the last 5 years with 25 of the 26 wards experiencing reduction in crime.
Members were advised that the anomalous figure on Roseworth Ward appeared to be due to a specific issue with shoplifting which had since been resolved.
Stockton-on-Tees reporting rates for most crimes continued to run well above the national average.
|Members were provided with an update on progress related to the forced Marriage Report presented back in Jan 2008, in particular, the appointment of a Forced Marriage Support Worker. |
|Members were provided with information which highlighted the progress of the recommissioning of the drug service and showed Members who was providing the work.|
|Members were provided with a report which gave some background and information relating to the new national performance framework, CAA, which had replaced Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) and a number of other regulatory assessment frameworks. It also provided some early baseline information in relation to performance of the key partners who would be assessed under the new regime.|
Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) was introduced in 2002 to provide an inspection focus on the performance of Councils. The CPA framework was made up of a number of elements in order to give a rounded judgement on how Councils performed in relation to delivery of services as well as leadership, management, governance and use of resources, alongside an assessment of the direction of travel. With greater emphasis on partnership working and new grant regimes demanding more partnership working between public sector agencies the need to introduce a new national performance framework was recognised.
From April 2009 CPA and associated inspection frameworks such as Joint Area Reviews of Childrens Services would no longer exist. The new performance framework, Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) would be introduced with the first reports being published in November 2009. Members were presented with a table which identified how the framework differed from CPA.
The focus was on outcomes and what differences the local authority and its key partners were collectively making to their local communities in relation to; health and well-being, community safety, sustainable communities, economic development, housing and children and young people.
Scoring and judgement ratings had also changed. For the area assessment judgements would be made through the use of narrative and red and green flags. The inspectorates did not expect to allocate a lot of flags to any given area.
The use of red flags would be based on a rounded judgement of performance, improvement progress, how inequalities were being addressed, how well the needs of the more vulnerable in local communities were being met balanced against how aware the local partners were of the issue and the robustness of the plans in place to tackle it.
Green flags would be used to indicate where practices were exceptional and sustainable or innovative with promising prospects of improving outcomes. These will be used to identify where others could learn from particular examples.
Progress in relation to CAA would be determined through an ongoing dialogue, rather than a single point in time inspection, with the Tees Valley CAA Lead from the Audit Commission, who would draw on the information and data from other inspectorates such as Ofsted, the newly formed Care Quality Commission, HMI Probation and HMI Constabulary. This would provide an opportunity through discussion and presentation of supporting evidence to challenge and change emerging views of the combined inspectorates.
Whilst CAA was intended to replace major all service inspections such as Corporate Assessment and Joint Area Reviews, a number of service-specific regulatory inspections would remain and these would feed into the overall assessment. These included; schools, housing, children in care, health and social care establishments and an annual inspection of childrens social care, contact and assessment.
In September/October inspectorates would jointly draft their assessments and share them with local partners. The first formal reports for all areas and organisations would be published on the CAA website in November 2009.
|Members were informed that the Government's Youth Task Force had agreed the plan and that operation 'Stay Safe' consisted of police patrols picking up children who were at risk of significant harm.|
|Members were provided with a breakdown of the Safer Stockton Partnership member's attendance between the period 18th March 2008 to 17th March 2009. |
|Consideration was given to the report on counter terrorism.|
|Members were provided with a list of press releases for the period from 6th March to 30th April 2009. Copies of the full articles were available from the Community Safety Team.|