To consider the Annual Community Safety report which also includes:-
· The Reducing Re-offending Strategy; and
· The Community Safety Plan and
· Alcohol & Drugs Strategy
for recommendation to Full Council via the Cabinet.
As the Place Scrutiny Committee was the Council’s formal Crime and Disorder Committee (as required under the Police and Justice Act 2006), Members considered a report which set out the work undertaken by the Dorset Comm unity Safety Partnership (CSP), and statutory plans and strategies for adoption by the Council.
The Cabinet Member for Housing introduced to members the Chairman of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), Andrew Kerby. Cllr Kerby had been Chairman of the Partnership for the past four years and welcomed the opportunity to bring this report to members. He advised members that the work of CSP was very complex and contained a lot of acronyms. He took this opportunity to remind members of the statutory responsibility for Dorset Council adding that crime was no longer the sole responsibility of the Police. There was now a multi-agency approach to tackling difficult issues at a strategic level.
In respect of Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs), the Chairman noted that he and the Vice-Chairman had recently attended a meeting in order to gain better insight into DHRs. He had learned that there was a high degree of scrutiny taking place during the whole process but felt that this Committee should review actions specific to Dorset Council and a process for this had now been put in place.
Members noted that the reports were created by multi-agencies and attention was drawn to Appendix 2 of the report which showed graphs giving trend information. The trends looked as if they were rising but the notes below gave the reasons why.
Following a question from a member relating to cyber-crime, Chief Inspector Jim Bushell noted that they were undoubtedly seeing an increase in this area of crime. In respect of scams he advised that the Police had done a lot of work with banks locally and nationally to help in this regard. Officers sent out a high number of alerts and messages to the public and were working hard to find other ways to get messages out to the older members of the population. He added that one of the main problems was that a lot of the offenders appeared to be based overseas and highlighted the work of the Action Fraud work that was being undertaken.
The Vice-Chairman made reference to the drug and alcohol section and felt that some of the words/statements were not quantified and therefore was unable to get an idea of the scale of the problem. Dr Will Haydock advised Public Health could provide data and analysis on specific issues if requested but noted that certain figures were only estimates. The figures were reported to the Joint Public Health Board which oversaw the work this area.
That Members of the Committee considered and commented on partners’ community safety work.
That Cabinet be asked to recommend the Community Safety Plan 2017-2020 (2019 refresh), Reducing Reoffending Strategy 2018-2021 (2019 refresh), including the amendment, and Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset 2016-2020 Alcohol and Drugs Strategy to Dorset Council for adoption as amended by the Supplement for Item 6, Appendix 4 – Amendment of Wording in the Reducing Reoffending Strategy (Page 4 – Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company).
Reason for recommendation
To ensure Dorset Council met its duties as set out in relevant legislation.