A report on the work of the Test Valley Community Safety Group over the past twelve months and the priorities for the year ahead (20 minutes)
Consideration was given to a report of the Community Engagement Manager (on behalf of the Test Valley Partnership) which gave an overview of the work of the Test Valley Community Safety Group over the past twelve months and the priorities for the year ahead.
The report followed previous reports the last of which was in November 2020, in regard to specific elements of work undertaken by the Community Safety
Management Group (CSMG).
The impact of Covid-19 has made the past year one with unique challenges and issues. It has put new and increased pressures on many partner agencies and has made it impossible to assess longer-term trends across this period. However, close partnership working has continued to ensure co-operation and co-ordination between services to cover issues and prevent duplication or confusion during this time.
Overall Test Valley reported crime fell in each quarter of the year, with the largest fall coinciding with the first lockdown period. However, notable Increases were recorded in some crimes, such as domestic abuse, locally and nationally during lockdown periods in particular, and have been prioritised. The same restrictions also saw decreases in levels of violence, thefts, residential burglaries and vehicle offences as people were locked down at home. Other crime types such as drug related crimes may have become more visible due to the restrictions but it is not clear that these have been more prevalent than before, and work continues.
Covid restrictions have also resulted in new offences, such as the breaking of lockdown measures which saw increased reports of public order offences and levels of anti-social behaviour during the lockdown periods, although overall levels of ASB continued to reduce in the district annually.
Similarly these restrictions have prohibited much of the preventive and early intervention work from being undertaken with projects such as ICE and Big Band Buffet being suspended, and partners being unable to undertake home visits. However, where possible new ways of working have been introduced to help offset these and continue partnership working. The time has also been utilised to review these partnership projects and plan for their resumption in 2022, alongside new scheme to address newly identify concerns, including innovative domestic abuse plans.
Members discussed the following:
· Anti social behaviour and the lack of confidence in 101 as they don’t understand that the police use reported incidents to target their resources.
· PCSOs being trained.
· Drug figures are up due to police targeting around county lines and it is more visible as there are less people around.
· There have been some incidents of anti social behaviour around the old Marks and Spencers building in Andover which is known by the Council and they and the Community Safety Partnership are working together to address this.
· Domestic abuse cuts across different issues so the crime data breakdown doesn’t distinguish the figures for domestic abuse.
· Figures on how many prosecutions there has been for sexual offences and how many convictions. This can be asked of the police when they attend to give an update to the Committee.
· ‘Ask Angela and Ask Annie (code for ‘please help me’/’I need help’) is now widely recognised throughout pubs, clubs and pharmacies. Working with Hampshire domestic abuse Partnership which are coordinating a county wide promotion.
1. That the report be acknowledged and partnership approach be endorsed.
2. That Officers bring a report back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in autumn 2022 to give an annual update on the work of the Community Safety Management Group.