Agenda for Community Safety Forum on Monday, 12th March, 2012, 4.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall

Contact: Penny Jennings, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Procedural Business

    (a)   Declaration of Substitutes - Where Councillors are unable to attend a meeting, a substitute Member from the same Political Group may attend, speak and vote in their place for that meeting.


    (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.


    35a     Declaration of Substitutes


    35.1    Councillor Shanks declared that she was substituting for Councillor Deane.


    35b     Declarations of Interest


    35.2    Councillor Carden declared a personal but not prejudicial interest in Item 44, minutes of the East Sussex Fire Authority meeting held on 8 December 2011 by virtue of his Membership of the Fire Authority.


    35c     Exclusion of the Press and Public


    35.3    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 100I of the Act).


    35.4    RESOLVED - That the press and public be not excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Chair's Communications


                Domestic Violence: Use of Community Resolution


    37.1    The Chair confirmed that there were no recent instances in Brighton and Hove where Community Resolution had been used in cases involving domestic violence. He was also able to confirm that Community Resolution would not be used in relation to any incidents involving domestic violence pending a full review at national level.


                Arrangements for Collection of Needle Waste


    37.2    The Chair reported that new arrangements had been put into place for dealing with collection of needle waste out of hours whereby there would be a faster response rate. There was also a new contact telephone number (01273) – 292 – 229.


    37.3    RESOLVED – That the content of the Chair’s Communications be noted.


Public Questions


Members Questions


                Youth Justice Plan


    39.1    Councillor Morgan referred to the Youth Justice Plan which would be considered at the meeting of Cabinet to be held on Thursday of that week querying why it was not also being considered at that meeting of the Forum. It was explained that following discussion by Cabinet meeting this matter would be placed on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting of the Forum.


                Current Policing Plan


    39.2    Derek Peacock referred to the latest updated Policing Plan which had recently been agreed by the Police. He had received and read a copy of this 36 page document and he considered that it would be beneficial for the Forum to have the opportunity to discuss its contents in full. He was of the view that it would have been helpful if the Forum had been given the opportunity to discuss its contents at that afternoon’s meeting. Sergeant Peter Castleton responded that the document currently in “draft” would be brought to the Forum for discussion at a later stage. The Plan had been brought to the Forum in the past although that had not happened the previous year. The Strategic Director, Communities explained that the focus of the work carried out by the Youth Offending Service Inspection Team was likely shift and that there would be an opportunity for the Forum to engage with that process at the appropriate stage. It was noted that whilst the Police sought to ensure that discussions took place with partners and other stakeholders at an early stage, the Plan was a matter for determination by the Police Authority itself.


    39.3    The Commissioner for Community Safety confirmed however, that Local Policing Plans took account of local citywide priorities; procedures for ensuring that these were firmly embedded in the Plans were well established.


                Chair’s Communications: Forum Meeting Held on 10 October 2011


    39.4    Councillor Janio was in attendance with Councillor Barnett. Councillor Barnett stated that she had always enjoyed being a member of the Forum but had been unable to attend the scheduled meeting held on 10 October 2011 due to ill health. Councillor Janio then referred in detail to remarks made by the Chair at that meeting in relation to issues relating to the Traveller Community, citing them verbatim as they appeared in the minutes. He had taken exception to those remarks which he considered, were themselves, insulting and inappropriate, giving a political bent to the work of the Forum which it had not previously had and had left the meeting. He considered that the Chair had acted improperly in making these remarks as part of his communications. The Reverend Terry and other Forum Members reminded Councillor Janio that he needed to ask a question under this agenda item.


    39.5    Councillor Janio then asked the Chair if he would apologise to the Forum for the remarks he had made at its meeting held on 10 October 2011 stating that until or unless he did so neither Councillor Barnett nor himself would be returning as Members of the Forum. The Chair, Councillor Duncan responded that he had contacted both Members separately in respect of this matter. He would not however apologise to the Forum as he stood by the points that he originally made under Chair’s Communications.


    39.6    At that point Councillors Barnett and Janio left the meeting.


Community Safety Issues Raised by Members and Community Representatives


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.


                (a) Preparing for the Police and Crime Commissioner and Police and Crime Panel - presentation


    41.1    The Commissioner for Community Safety gave a presentation providing an update on the current position in respect of Police and Crime Commissioners and Police and Crime Panels. She explained that the Elected Police and Crime Commissioners would want to have their say across the crime and safety landscape but that the arrangements were intended as a partnership of equals, including Community Safety Partnerships.


    41.2    The Commissioner for Community Safety went on to explain that Local Protocols would be put into place which would set out how that relationship was to work and that Community Safety grant funding would gradually transfer to the Commissioner. Brighton and Hove’s Chief Executive, John Barradell would be the Returning Officer for Sussex. Guidance was still awaited from the Electoral Commission but the necessary arrangements were being put into place in advance of advice on final arrangements. Information packs would be prepared for candidates who declared their intention to stand. The last point at which candidates could declare was October 2012, the Election would take place on 15 November and the successful candidate would take office on 22 November 2012.


    41.3    It was further explained that following their appointment the Commissioner would be required to have agreed a Police and Crime Plan to cover a five year period by March 2013. The Commissioner would have responsibility to have regard to the priorities of the Community Safety Partnership (the Community Safety, Crime Reduction and Drugs Strategy was a 3 year plan). Likewise, the partnership was required to have regard to the priorities of the Police Commissioner,. Police and Crime Panels were required to function by 31 October 2012 and an integral part of that role would be an independent scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commissioner; they could require the Commissioner to attend meetings of the Panel to answer questions. It was currently proposed that there would be 15 local authority members; 7 from East Sussex, 8 from East Sussex plus 2 co-optees. There would be geographical representation but this did not reflect difference in size of population or issues which were specific to a particular locality. Regulations and guidance were awaited which would detail the powers of scrutiny and veto as well as how to achieve balance in terms of representation.


    41.4    West Sussex would be the host authority and the Shadow Panel was set to have its first meeting in March. The Council’s nominated Member was Councillor Duncan, the lead Cabinet Member for Community Safety. The role of the Shadow Panel would be to explore and agree the structure, membership and working practices for the formal Panel for Sussex and subsequently to notify the Home Office of the membership and panel arrangements by July and of the final model by September 2012, During September/October the final nominations for Brighton and Hove had to made and agreed by Cabinet and then full Council. 


    41.5    Councillor Morgan stated that he was very concerned at the large and diverse geographical area to be covered by the Commissioner. No account appeared to have been taken of the issues which were specific and unique to Brighton, for example those which arose as result of its night time economy and street drinkers and it did not appear likely that the successful candidate would come from East Sussex or would have grounding or understanding of these matters These arrangements seemed to fly in the face of localism and he was particularly concerned regarding the gradual transfer of funding to the Commissioner’s Office. He was also concerned that the timetable for the elections was very tight and that it was proposed that the Shadow Panel would be set up so early in the process. He also enquired regarding arrangements to ensure that opportunities for postal voting were put into place and for arrangements to be publicised.


    41.6    Councillor Marsh stated that there were a number of areas still appeared to very sketchy and there was a lot of information still to be advised. Derek Peacock and the Revered Terry were in agreement that the proposed arrangements were “woolly and that it was frustrating that they were so lacking in detail.


    41.7    The Chair concurred in that view stating that despite lobbying to seek recognition of the factors which were unique to Brighton, such overtures had been largely ignored. Concerns about the balance of Membership of the Panel had also been raised. And it was noted that means by which co-optees could be appointed to address this were also being looked into. A report would need to be considered by full Council in due course. The role of the Forum itself and how that fitted into this framework had also yet to be determined. The Forum would be kept updated as the arrangements moved forward.


    41.8    The Commissioner for Community Safety advised that arrangements for postal voting would be put into place and that the early appointment of the Shadow was positive and would enable further discussions to take place. The Strategic Director, Communities, concurred with all that had been said stating that the arrangements were not of the Police or the Council’s asking but that they were seeking to inform the process as far as they were able to do so. Regular update reports would be brought back to the Forum. There would be further exploration of the implications of all these changes for Brighton and Hove’s decision making structures, scrutiny and budget setting functions and the implications for the Community Safety Partnership.


    41.9 –RESOLVED - That the position be noted.


Local Issues:Standing Item pdf icon PDF 181 KB

                This standing item will provide the opportunity for relevant issues to be raised or updated on.


                (a) Introducing the Joint Community Safety Delivery Unit – presentation;


    (b) Crime Trends and Performance Figures: Quarter 3 – report of the Commissioner, Community Safety

    (copy attached)


    (c) Managing the misuse of drugs for the benefit of families and communities - presentation;


    (d) Results of the Big Alcohol Debate – presentation;


    (e) Successful initiatives by the Environmental Improvement Team - presentation


    42a     Joint Community Safety Delivery Unit


    42.1         The Commissioner for Community Safety gave a presentation detailing work carried out by the Safe in the City Partnership in relation to the setting up of the New Delivery Unit and relation to the Commissioning arrangements. The Delivery Unit was comprised of Neighbourhood Police Teams, the Neighbourhood Police Support Unit, the Anti Social Behaviour and Hate Crime Casework Team, the Family Intervention Project, Communities Against Drugs and the Environment Improvement Team. The Commissioner went on to explain that the new delivery unit would:


    ·        Respond to new systems of information and intelligence gathering and analysis, assess risks and be clear about operational priorities;

    ·        Take opportunities to build the resilience of communities and sustainable solutions;

    ·        Deliver the commissioning priorities of the Community Safety Partnership and priorities of the Police and Crime Plans; and

    ·        Work with Local Action Teams and community led Forums, such as the LGBT and Racial Harassment Forums and with Neighbourhood groups and Councils.


    42.2    The Commissioner for Community Safety went on to explain that the new partnership and commissioning arrangements would deliver the statutory duties of the Community Safety Partnership in line with agreed standards and guidelines and would support all multi- agency working groups: e.g., the Integrated Offender Management Board, Safe in the City Partnership and others; also to implement new arrangements for joint working with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Panels. The partnership would also be responsible for preparing and publish annual Strategic Assessments of crime and disorder, Community Safety, Crime Reduction and Drugs Strategy and integrate community safety priorities into all other city wide strategies, would monitor performance and make recommendations and develop commissioning plans, value for money opportunities and gain city wide investment into community safety priorities. Sergeant Castleton confirmed that the new delivery unit had carried out a lot of work to ensure that a set of best practice robust working principles were in place.


    42.3    RESOLVED – That the content of the presentation be noted.


    42b     Crime Trends and Performance Figures: Quarter 3


    42.4    The Forum considered a report of the Commissioner for Community Safety describing recent activities and progress relating to priority areas in the Brighton and Hove Community Safety, Crime Reduction and Drugs Strategy 2011-14. It also provides statistical updates relating to the first ten months of 2011/12 to January 2012 (or the most recent available). Graphs showing monthly crime data going back to April 2007 were also provided. These enabled recent data to be considered in the context of both longer term trends and also seasonal crime cycles where applicable.


    42.3    Councillor Morgan referred to the apparent increase in acquisitive crime and asked whether and to what degree this might be attributable to the current economic climate. Sergeant Castleton stated that this was difficult to determine but that the Police were seeking to analyse this at present.


    42.4    Councillor MacCafferty and Mr Peacock expressed notwithstanding improved reporting they still had concerns that LGBT hate crime could be under reported. Sergeant Castleton stated that on-going initiatives were in place to seek to monitor this information and to encourage reporting of any incidents.


    42.5    RESOLVED – That the contents of the report be noted.


    42c     Managing the Misuse of Drugs for the Benefit of Families and Communities


    42.6    Becky Poole gave a presentation the work carried out by the Safe in the city partnership  working with families and communities in response to drug and alcohol misuse. This work had been developed and had been on-going since 2005, it was aimed to identify and address drug and alcohol issues that affect local communities. Officers liaised with the community by attending resident meetings (LATS), talking to other services/organisations, carrying out door knocking and completing geographical audits. It was important to understand an issue, how it was affecting local people and understanding their perceptions and as a result to identify resident priorities. The following issues and responses to them had been identified:


    ·        Concerns around young people – Diversionary activities alongside drug and alcohol education;

    ·        Drug dealing and anti-social behaviour – reporting campaigns;

    ·        Lack of support for drug users in the area – Drug and alcohol assertive outreach and publicising local and city wide support services; Drugs litter – Public injecting consultation;

    ·        Information and support to families – Commission of PATCHED service and Post Warrant Packs.


    42.7    In concluding her presentation Ms Poole referred to the Partners who were involved in this work, referred to the CAFTA Working Group which had been set up and invited those present to give their input in order to shape its future activities.


    42.8    RESOLVED – That the content of the presentation be noted.


    42d     Results of the Big Alcohol Debate


    42.9    It was agreed that this item would be deferred for consideration at the next scheduled meeting of the Forum.


    42.10-RESOLVED – That the position be noted.


    42e.    Successful Initiatives by the Environmental Improvement Team


    42.11  It was agreed this item would be deferred for consideration at the next scheduled meeting of the Forum.


    42.12  RESOLVED – That the position be noted.


Sussex Police Authority: Minutes of the Meeting Held on 15 December 2012 pdf icon PDF 62 KB


East Sussex Fire Authority: Minutes of the Meeting Held on 8 December 2012 pdf icon PDF 80 KB


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