Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Penny Jennings, Democratic Services Officer
(b) Declarations of Interest by all Members present of any personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Members regard the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.
(c) Exclusion of Press and Public - To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.
NOTE: Any item appearing in Part 2 of the Agenda states in its heading either that it is confidential or the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the public.
A list and description of the categories of exempt information is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls.
1a Declaration of Substitutes
1.1 Councillor Gilbey was in attendance in substitution for Councillor Carden.
1b Declarations of Interest
1.2 There were none.
1c Exclusion of the Press and Public
1.3 In accordance with Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (‘the Act’), the Community Safety Forum considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during an item of business on the grounds that it was likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press or public were present during that item, there would be disclosure to them of confidential information (as defined in section 100A(3) of the Act) or exempt information (as defined in section 100 of the Act).
1.4 RESOLVED - That the press and public be not excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda
Minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2011 (copy attached)
2.1 RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Community Safety Forum meeting held on 14 March 2011 be agreed and signed as a correct record.
Running of Future Meetings
3.1 The Chair, Councillor Duncan welcomed all who were present especially those attending for the first time. He stated that he was anxious to ensure that the meetings provided an opportunity to consult with and receive feedback from community groups and to make the meetings as non-political as possible, in the past, discussions had sometimes strayed into political debate and he did not consider this was appropriate to the Forum’s role. The Forum was not part of the executive or a decision making body, it did however, have a role in forwarding items for scrutiny.
3.2 The Chair went on to state that he intended to make the layout of meetings more informal and to seat Councillors and Community representatives together, and as/when appropriate to provide break out areas within the meeting room. Changes had also been made to the agenda itself. regular standing items had been added which reflected issues locally and nationally and it was envisaged that further changes would be made over the course of subsequent meetings.
LAT Chair’s Meeting: 3 August
3.3 The Chair explained that the next LAT Chair’s meeting would be held on 3 August. An agenda and supporting papers would be sent out in the near future. There would be the opportunity for attendees to raise issues and to examine the “Soundscape” proposals, which had arisen from the work carried out by The Noise Abatement Society in detail.
(The closing date for receipt of public questions is 12 noon on 27 June2011)
No public questions received by date of publication.
4.1 There were none.
Community Safety Issues Raised by Members and Community Representatives
5.1 Councillor Morgan referred to the anticipated shortfall in funding and to the significant changes proposed in relation to governance of the Police Authority to come into effect from May 2012. He considered it was very important for the Forum to receive information about this issue as soon as possible.
5.2 The Lead Commissioner, Community Safety explained that a detailed report was being prepared for consideration by the Forum at it’s next scheduled meeting in October (10 October 2011).
5.3 RESOLVED - That the position be noted.
National Community Safety Initiatives Which Impact Locally : Standing item
This standing item will provide an opportunity for relevant issues to be raised or updated on.
For this meeting:
6.1 The Chair explained that this item would be included as a standing item on subsequent agendas in order to provide the opportunity for issues at national level which would impact on community safety issues locally to be discussed and for updates to be provided as appropriate.
6a National Review of the Prevent Strategy
6.2 The Lead Commissioner Community Safety explained that the purpose of her report was to advise the Forum of the position with regard to the Government’s new Prevent Strategy which had been published in June 2011.
6.3 The new strategy which had been produced following an independent review had sought to build on key elements of previous prevent programmes. These were:
· To respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced from those who promote it;
· To prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they were given appropriate support; and
· To work with sectors and institutions where there were risks of radicalisation.
6.4 This Prevent strategy had widened its scope and sought to address all forms of terrorism including terrorism from the extreme right wing. However, resource allocation and prioritisation would be made according to the nature of the threat. The Government had identified that the most serious threat to the UK was from Al Qa’ida and its affiliates, this would therefore remain the principal focus nationally. The strategy would continue to remain an integral part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.
6.5 The Lead Commissioner went on to explain that over the past two years, involvement of local Muslim communities and key partners in the design, delivery and scrutiny structures through Brighton & Hove’s Prevent Partnership Group and Finance Subgroup, had fostered a shared ownership of the Prevent agenda locally. There had been extensive engagement with the faith communities and this had resulted in new partners being brought into the Community Safety Partnership. As a result of the engagement that had taken place grievances had been able to be identified by developing effective partnership responses.
6.6 It was further explained that the Community Safety Team intended to build on their existing best practice to ensure that Prevent work was mainstreamed.
6.7 Councillor Janio referred to the definition of “extremism” and referred to recent demonstrations which had taken place in the City. He sought confirmation that the current Green administration intended to uphold the rule of law. The Chair stated that the administration was firmly of the view that within the law it welcomed the right of individuals to protest peacefully. Such events had been and would continue to be managed in close partnership with the Police.
6.8 The Chair went on to explain that this work did not represent the full extent of the inclusion and Community Involvement initiatives. Mr Tonks, Older People’s Council enquired regarding initiatives being undertaken in education establishments. The Lead Commissioner explained that the Community Safety Team worked very closely with the Universities, colleges and educational establishments in the city.
6.9 In answer to questions by Councillor Janio in relation to definitions of extremist ideologies, the Lead Commissioner explained that the previous Prevent strategy had been considered to be too focused on some groups, the current strategy had sought to address that. Within the city there was a clear commitment amongst the statutory partners to take decisions in an informed, transparent and open manner, with clear accountability to local communities. This approach was considered to be successful and inclusive.
6.10 RESOLVED – That the position be noted.
6b Breaking the Cycle
6.11 The Lead Commissioner, Community Safety referred to “Breaking the Cycle”, the Government’s green paper which set out proposed forthcoming legislation in relation to dealing with offenders. It was explained that it was intended that proposals relating to crime reduction would be interpreted locally within the appropriate action plan. There had been on-going discussions and meetings with partners including the Probation Service and the Police.
6.12 The focus of these reforms was to work with those offenders (relatively small in number) who were responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. These individuals often had multiple problems and the focus was on work on the underlying causes to seek to prevent offending and re-offending.
6.13 Councillor Robins stated that whilst the information provided was interesting, it would have been useful to have been provided with information in advance of the meeting. These concerns were also echoed by the Reverend Terry. The Chair explained that a number of items had been placed on that afternoon’s agenda in order to update the Forum in relation to a number of issues which represented “work in progress” and would inform further reports to subsequent meetings.
6.14 In answer to questions by Councillor Janio Sergeant Castleton referred to the concept of Restorative Justice which was fully supported by the local force. All front line officers received training in relation to Restorative Justice and to date this approach had been used on 137 occasions. Although perpetrators stayed out of the criminal justice system when restorative justice was used, they were often required to confront issues which made them uncomfortable, this was part of the effectiveness of the programme. Sergeant Castleton stressed that this was at an early stage but had shown interesting results to date.
6.14 In answer to further questions Sergeant Castleton explained that other measures such as curfew orders were available as a tougher means of dealing with prolific offenders. Community Payback was more intensive and immediate and communities had a say in the type of work undertaken.
6.15 RESOLVED – That the position be noted.
Local Issues : Standing Item
This standing item will provide an opportunity for relevant issues to be raised or updated on.
For this meeting:
7.1 The Chair, Councillor Duncan explained that this item led on from the preceding item an would also be placed on future agendas as a standing item.
7a Community Resolution
7.2 Sergeant Castleton re-iterated his earlier comments that Community Payback was intensive and immediate and importantly communities had a say in the type of work undertaken. Locally, this option formed part of an integrated approach to managing offenders which included measures to assist drug dependent offenders off drugs and into recovery, into jobs with stable accommodation and paying tax and sought to tackle mental health problems. This approach was not appropriate in all cases but provided a range of options which could be used when it was.
7.3 In answer to questions by the Reverend Terry, Sergeant Castleton explained that a range of measures were being used to publicise this approach, including circulation of a Newsletter and presentations to Councillors and Community Groups.
7.4 RESOLVED – That the position be noted.
7b Dealing With Antisocial Behaviour and Street Drinking
7.5 Sergeant Castleton explained that a report would be submitted to a future meeting. He explained that a twin track approach was being adopted to targeting those who behaved in an anti-social manner. There were certain “hotspots” across the city and incidents were dealt with as they occurred. The city had a Public Places Order and this was invoked in particular cases. He explained this related to street drinking which was accompanied by anti-social behaviour. Drinking in the street was not necessarily an offence per-se. Overall, measures had been put into place to manage drinking across the city which included the night time economy and pre-loading, street drinking formed another parallel element to that.
7.6 In answer to questions by Councillors Barnett and Janio the Lead Commissioner, Community Safety explained that over the past couple of years one of the key challenges had been to develop services in concert with other partners, particularly in relation to referral services.
7.7 RESOLVED – That the position be noted.
Report of the Lead Commissioner, Community Safety (copy attached)
8.1 The Forum considered a report of the Lead Commissioner, Community Safety setting out crime trends and performance in Brighton and Hove to the end of March 2011.
8.2 The report set out developments relating to priority areas in the Brighton & Hove Community Safety, Crime Reduction and Drugs Strategy 2008-11. Although it was too early in the new performance year of 2011/12 to draw conclusions about progress, the graphs provided enabled the most recent data to be considered in terms of both longer term trends and also seasonal crime cycles were appropriate.
8.3 Councillor Summers queried the rationale for performance targets being set. Sergeant Castleton explained that although there was no longer a requirement to set targets in the same way as previously, these figures were still being extrapolated as they were a useful tool in indicating the direction of travel, reduction targets remained in place as the aim remained to continue to reduce all types of crime. Chief Inspector Bartlett stated that it was right that the Police were held to account and stressed that if an issue was not set as a target that did not mean that it was not considered to be important.
8.4 Rachelle Howard referred to the fact that the information provided at local level to her LAT was not as detailed as had previously been the case. It was useful for LAT Members to receive in depth local data. Chief Superintendent Bartlett explained that this information should be able to be made available, stating that he would take the matter up outside the meeting.
8.5 Sergeant Castleton explained that the Force was currently reviewing the manner in which data was collected and recorded in order to make it meaningful.
8.6 RESOLVED – That the contents of the report be noted.
Report of the Lead Commissioner Community Safety (to follow)(copies to be circulated separately)
9.1 The Lead Commissioner, Community Safety referred to the updated strategy which had been made available to Forum Members immediately prior to that afternoon’s meeting. It was explained that the document was a substantial one which built on the work carried out as part of previous strategies, it represented “work in progress” and a further report would be provided to the next scheduled meeting of the Forum. A brief presentation was given which highlighted key pointers for the future. An extract from the minutes of the meeting of Environment& Community Safety Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 6 June 2011 was also circulated to those present. The points made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were also noted.
9.2 In answer to questions it was explained that the document represented an overarching strategy which would inform the way forward. The Council had an equal duty with the Police to seek to reduce crime. The priorities set out in the strategy were based on detailed crime analysis, the annual strategic assessment carried out and the consultation which had taken place with communities of interest and neighbourhood communities. Some areas of the strategy linked with other plans for instance Children’s Services and an on-going aim was to re-invest more in prevention and early intervention services.
9.3 Councillor Gilbey enquired regarding the level of consultation which had taken place with LAT’s, as she was not aware that her local LAT had been consulted. The Lead Commissioner explained that notification had been sent to LAT’s explaining how they could feed into the consultation portal. Any feedback given at that evenings meeting would also form part of that consultation process.
9.4 Councillor Deane stated that she was pleased to note that work in relation to trafficking had been included, incidents occurred where children were used in concert with drug activity and were sometimes arrested subsequently as a result.
9.5 Mr Peacock referred to the fact “Spectrum” had now closed and sought clarification regarding how consultation would be carried out with the LGBT community. The Lead Commissioner explained that although this organisation had now ceased that networks with this community were very strong. Although consultation did not take place with a single umbrella organisation, consultation did take place. Details in relation to and seeking involvement in the consultation process were also included on the “Safe in the City” website.
9.6 RESOLVED - That the contents of the strategy be noted and approved.
Minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2011 (to follow)
10.1 It was noted that the existing Police Authority would cease in 2012 and was to be replaced by a single Crime and Police Commissioner who would have Sussex wide responsibilities. A discussion paper was to be circulated in October and the Forum would be updated further when more detailed information was available.
10.2 RESOLVED – That the contents of the minutes be noted.
Minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2011 (copy attached)
11.1 RESOLVED – That the contents of the minutes be noted.
Dates of Future Meetings
Future Meetings of the Forum are scheduled to be held on the following dates from 4.00pm in the Council Chamber at Hove Town Hall:
12.1 It was noted that future meetings of the Forum were scheduled to be held on the following dates from 4.00pm in the Council Chamber at Hove Town Hall:
· Monday, 10 October 2011;
· Monday, 12 December 2011; and
· Monday, 12 March 2012