Venue: Committee Room 1 - Bromley Civic Centre
Contact: Steve Wood 020 8313 4316
WELCOME/HOUSE-KEEPING/INTRODUCTIONS, APOLOGIES AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Apologies were received from Bill Kelly, Philip Powell, Colin Brand, Ade Adetosoye, David Stringer, David Tait, David Dare, Sharon Kilbourne, Amanda Mumford, Chloe Todd, Janet Bailey, Elaine Beadle, Kevin McKenzie, Lewis Collins, Betty McDonald, Lucien Spencer, Paul Sibun, Chan Faroqui and Rachel Pankhurst.
The Assistant Director for Public Protection and Enforcement stated that as a point of action she would be contacting those members of the Board who had not attended to remind them of the importance of attending meetings to enable the Board to properly fulfill its statutory obligations.
It was explained that as Councillor Kate Lymer had taken on a different Portfolio, and had been appointed as Deputy Leader, a new Portfolio Holder had been appointed for Public Protection and Enforcement, and this was Councillor Angela Page. The Board welcomed Cllr Page and thanked Councillor Lymer for her great work as the previous Portfolio Holder and former Chairman of the Partnership.
It was explained that the Chairmanship of the Board going forward would be a joint chairmanship, shared by the Assistant Director for Public Protection and Enforcement, along with Chief Inspector Craig Knight.
There were no declarations of interest.
RESOLVED that the Assistant Director for Public Protection and Enforcement would contact members of the Board to remind them of the statutory responsibilities of the Board and of the importance of attending meetings.
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 25th MARCH 2021 PDF 389 KB
The Board noted the minutes of the meeting that had been held on the 25th of March 2021.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 25th of March 2021 be agreed as a correct record.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MEETING ON 25th MARCH 2021 PDF 123 KB
The Board noted the Matters Arising report that detailed matters that had arisen at the meeting on 25th March 2021. The Board was informed that they would be receiving updates with respect to the Crime Needs Assessment and the VRAP during the course of the meeting.
RESOLVED that the Matters Arising report be noted.
SUBSTANTIVE DISCUSSION ON PROGRESS AGAINST THE SAFER BROMLEY PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY
Quarter 1: Priority One Safer Neighbourhoods.
REVISED SAFER BROMLEY PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY DOCUMENT PDF 385 KB
The Board noted the revised Safer Bromley Partnership Strategy Document.
QUARTER 1: PRIORITY 1--SAFER NEIGHBOURHOODS. PDF 608 KB
Attention was drawn to the document that outlined the progress being made with respect to Priority 1 of the SBP Strategy, which was ‘Safer Neighbourhoods’. The Assistant Director noted that with respect to steps taken to resolve ASB issues, a significant contribution had been made from the LFB, and this would be noted in future updates.
The Assistant Director referred to the sterling work that was being undertaken by the Safer Neighbourhood Anti-Social Behaviour Team. The team had been collaboratively pushing back on ASB. The Assistant Director asked RSLs to exercise their duties and powers (with respect to ASB) initially. This was to avoid the situation whereby the public contacted the Council with issues in the first instance when they could be dealt with by the RSLs under their existing powers.
The Tenancy Specialist Manager (Clarion Housing) pointed out that sometimes it was difficult to differentiate between ASB issues and criminal ones and on where the responsibilities of registered social landlords began and ended. Because of this, it was important that partners worked together, adopting a multi-agency approach in dealing with ASB and other issues.
The Head of Trading Standards and Commercial Regulation gave an update on ‘community impact days’ stating that three of these had taken place in recent months. One of these would take place each month coordinated by the LBB Public Protection Department and the Community Safety Team. The Council was supported by various partner organisations in this. Residents appreciated the visibility of the partnership approach. Residents felt encouraged when they witnessed this visible multi agency approach and this in turn inspired confidence in the community.
An update with respect to crimes against the elderly and the vulnerable, scams and doorstep crime was given. It was anticipated that the work of Trading Standards in this regard would recommence fully once COVID restrictions were ended.
The Head of Trading Standards and Commercial Regulation referenced Covid enforcement under ‘Section 5’.
It was noted that the ‘delta variant’ of COVID had delayed the country’s movement on to the next level. Because of this it was still the case that the hospitality sector had to follow the relevant guidelines with respect to hospitality provision and this was an area that would be enforced by Public Protection. It was felt at the moment that many in the hospitality sector were not following the guidelines particularly well, but there was no real data at the moment available to confirm this. As it was, much work would still be needed to be done until the end of July.
Councillor Bance noted that it had been decided not to issue CPNs to homeless people who were begging, which in genuine cases appeared to be the right approach. However, there were incidences in Bromley High Street where people were not genuinely homeless and they were begging aggressively and generally causing a nuisance of themselves. She asked why this was not being picked up and dealt with; she asked that the matter be given higher priority in ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
Chief Inspector Craig Knight stated that he wanted to have a conversation with the Board concerning the issue of how crimes were dealt with and classified. This was something that the police had been working on with MOPAC. The Chief Inspector referred to the concept of ‘High Harm Crimes’. He briefed the Board on something known as the ‘ Cambridge Crime Harm Index’ which had been invented by a professor at Cambridge University. This was an index that was now being used globally to measure the harm caused by crime as opposed to the volume of crime. In other words, which crimes caused the most harm? Which crimes resulted in the most time spent in prison?
The Chief Inspector suggested that this would be a more appropriate way to prioritise crimes and meaningful conversations regarding this should be had with community groups. He wanted to initiate a different set of conversations-- on what really mattered in terms of crime and in terms of harm caused. This would help to determine the allocation of limited resources.
The Chief Inspector stated that using the Index would enable a cost benefit analysis with respect to crime, harm and cost to be carried out. A discussion took place about problem solving and what tactics were the most effective. The Chief Inspector stated that what he had learnt recently about how to police effectively and strategically was that there were three key elements to this:
Targeting—where should resources be allocated?
Testing—what are we going to do with the resources when they are allocated?
Tracking—what is it that we are asking them to do, and how do we know if they are successful?
Collectively, what was required was that the Board determined a strategy so that problem solving could be undertaken in an effective and efficient manner.
The Head of Trading Standards and Commercial Regulation agreed with the value of assessing the wider impact of crime on victims and it was true that money could be saved through early intervention by all relevant services. It was pointed out that when assessing the impact and cost of harm, it was also important to consider the impact of high harm crimes on victim’s children and the cost of them going into care/foster homes if this was required.
A discussion took place around strategic objectives, priorities, assets, resources and funding based on the Borough’s needs.
The Assistant Director commented that there may be a fear for some partners that the people they were accountable to may have a great want or need for responses in a certain way. To avoid confusion and to aid with clarity of purpose, she requested that Chief Inspector Knight draft a briefing document for the attention of the Board, outlining in a clear and concise fashion his thinking with regard to these matters going forward.
The Chief Inspector made it clear that 999 calls would not be affected. He explained that if his beat officers attended a local ward meeting, they could ask attendees ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
CRIME NEEDS ASSESSMENT UPDATE PDF 962 KB
The Assistant Director stated that the Crime Needs Assessment was self-explanatory. The document had been produced by graduate Matthew Hodges and she thanked Matthew for this.
It was noted that the Crime Needs Assessment was a statutory requirement to be produced by the Board. The Assistant Director stated that by looking at the CNA it was possible to get a good understanding of where LBB stood within the crime rankings. Individual ward data was included within the assessment and overall it seemed that compared to other London boroughs, LBB was doing reasonably well. The CNA indicated that Bromley’s crime levels were basically static. The Assistant Director commented that it should be borne in mind that the statistics within the CNA had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the course of the pandemic, if anyone made any complaints to the police about their neighbours or anyone seemingly in breach of Covid regulations, this was classified as ASB and so consequently the ASB figures rose quite considerably.
RESOLVED that the Crime Needs Assessment be noted.
VIOLENCE REDUCTION ACTION PLAN VERBAL UPDATE
The Assistant Director for Public Protection and Enforcement informed the Board that the VRAP (Violence Reduction Action Plan) was a standing item on the SBPB agenda.
The Assistant Director and Chief Inspector had met with Steve Bentley from the Violence Reduction Unit recently. This meeting took place as a virtual meeting on the 24th May. It followed on from the very positive review given by the VRU to LBB’s Violence Reduction Action Plan. The purpose of the visit from Mr Bentley was primarily to assess how the VRU could assist Bromley. It was suggested to Mr Bentley that a repository be developed which would contain details of the violence reduction action plans of all the other boroughs. Each Council would then be able to look at the action plans to see if there were any ideas or plans that would be suitable to be implemented in their own borough.
The VRU was also encouraged to develop a best practise document, incorporating the best ideas and plans from all boroughs. Again this would be a useful reference tool for all concerned.
The VRU was further encouraged to develop a ‘basket of offers’. Within the ‘basket’ there would be the opportunity to request assistance in specific areas of need, possibly limited to two requests.
The VRU was requested to apply weightings (regarding priority/importance) to the actions detailed in the plan.
It was pointed out to the VRU that sometimes actions are suggested for boroughs without due consideration taking place to the funding allocated to boroughs. It was the case that LBB did not receive as much funding as many other boroughs.
A discussion took place with the VRU to ask the question of what does success look like, and what needs to be achieved?
A discussion took place at the meeting with the VRU to discuss the danger of the requirement for instant responses to certain circumstances that may in reality be rare. Such responses could be very resource intensive and in the meantime other areas where resources were needed suffered as a result.
Partners were informed that the SBP was unique in that it was the only London borough were all of the relevant partners within a Community Safety Partnership had completed their April 2021 updates.
Mr Bentley was further impressed by the fact that LBB had detailed more optional actions (more than 50) in their VRAP. He stated that LBB’s VRAP was a great example for all other London Boroughs to follow.
The Assistant Director said that as an action for herself she would disseminate Bromley’s Violence Reduction Action Plan to the Board.
The VRU had asked LBB to present their VRAP on 7th July to the Partnership Reference Group which was Chaired by the Mayor for London. This would in effect be a presentation which would showcase Bromley’s VRAP.
The Assistant Director said that she would update the Board concerning this at the next meeting, and that the presentation and script would be disseminated to the Board ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
DHR AND PREVENT VERBAL UPDATE
The Board was briefed that there were three Domestic Homicide Reviews outstanding at present. The updates were as follows:
Following the review by the Home Office Quality Assurance Panel, the report was sent back to the author to consider the recommendations made for areas of improvement. This amended report was received by LBB on 2nd June 2021 and was being proof read. The report would be sent to the family and a proposal to publish the recommendations only, was with the Chair of the Safer Bromley Partnership.
The report was complete and had been shared with the DHR Panel for sign off by 16th June 2021. It would then be placed with the SPB Chair for approval, and then submitted to the Home Office for Quality Assurance.
The report was with the Home Office Quality Assurance Panel.
It was noted that the DHRs would ultimately lead to a final report detailing lessons learnt and recommendations for any actions that could be taken to try and prevent a similar domestic homicide in the future.
The Board was advised of some national changes in that Prevent was under a review being led by William Shawcross. The review would gather and analyse a range of information to underpin robust, evidence-based findings and recommendations on the Government’s strategy for supporting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
The Protect Duty Consultation was now out and this could impact local authorities with respect to resource implications. A further update would follow later this year. New statutory guidance had introduced a framework of standards for local authorities which included an annual return, submitted in April 2021.
The Board was briefed regarding the type of referrals received locally and the Assistant Director asked whether there had been an increase in far right referrals compared with previous years. The Head of Service provided details of the figures released by the Home Office of the number of individuals referred to and supported through the Prevent programme for the period April 2019 to March 2020. There had been 6,287 referrals to Prevent. This was an increase of 10% compared to the record low in the previous year (5,737 in the year ending March 2019). Of these, 697 (11%) were adopted as a Channel case, with 302 (43%) cases referred due to concerns regarding right-wing radicalisation, followed by Islamist radicalisation 210 (30%).
The Assistant Director asked what ideologies featured in the other cases. The Head of Service responded that most were mixed, unstable or unclear ideologies and explained that this related to instances where people exhibited a combination of elements from multiple ideologies, or shifted between different ideologies, or where the individual did not present a coherent ideology, yet may still pose a terrorism risk. Deep rooted grievances held by individuals sometimes resulted in moving from one group to another in order to find a place where the frustrations could be addressed.
The LBB Prevent lead continued to deliver Workshops to ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
CRIME PERFORMANCE DASHBOARD--UPDATE FROM THE POLICE PDF 2 MB
Standing Items are:
Theft of motor vehicles
Challenging performance is a key role which has been identified for the SBPB. This item updates partners in relation to the performance issues, highlights any new challenges, and gains consensus as to how the group can work together to address these.
Superintendent Craig Knight provided the update from the police with respect to the Crime Performance Dashboard.
It was noted that the data showed volatility, particularly through the Covid period. However the data on the graphs did not explain the reason for this. The Board noted that there had been 71 changes to Covid regulations in the last 12 months and the lockdowns had resulted in decreased incidences of burglary and robberies.
When undertaking comparisons in crime data, the comparison for 2021 would not be made with 2020 (because of the impact of Covid), but any comparisons would be made with the data for 2019 as this would be more realistic.
The number of racist offenses also increased because of Covid.
Stop and Search rose considerably during the first lockdown. This was because most of the law abiding public stayed indoors--following the Government guidelines. However, those that were not obeying the rules were out on the streets and thus provided opportunities for the police to have a conversation with them, and many of these turned out to be individuals that were involved in committing crimes.
At the time of the meeting, the number of stop and searches across London had fallen by 15% / 20%. This was because police training in this area had improved and stop and searches were being undertaken in a much more focused manner.
The Head of Service for Early Intervention and Family Support asked who she could contact within the police for support with domestic abuse issues. This was noted as being Detective Inspector Dave Adams and the Chief Inspector promised to provide the Head of Service with his email contact details.
Chief Inspector Knight promised to provide the Tenancy Specialist Manager from Clarion Housing with more detail concerning the breakdown of the hate crime data.
1) Chief Inspector Craig Knight would provide the email contact details for Detective Inspector Dave Adams to the Head of Service for Early Intervention and Family Support.
2) Chief Inspector Craig Knight would provide a breakdown of hate crime data to the Tenancy Specialist Manager (Clarion Housing).
EMERGING ISSUES/TASK AND FINISH PARTNER UPDATES
This item provides a roundtable update from all partners on developments in relation to performance and emerging issues.
The LBB Head of Early Intervention and Support gave an update with respect to violence against women and girls and stated that they were pushing forward with their new strategy. Only one partner signature was awaited with respect to agreeing to commit to the strategy; fifteen signatures had now been received.
Being developed alongside this was a programme entitled ‘Reducing Parental Conflict’. This would be supported by a website, toolkit and cards. Around 60 staff from the wider workforce and partner agencies had been provided with domestic abuse awareness training. The service had also been looking at how they commissioned services.
The LBB Head of Early Intervention and Support stated that the VAWG service was successfully delivering the ‘Drive’ programme collaboratively with the BCU. More referrals were coming in to this programme via MARAC. There had also been a drive with newsletters and the sharing of information. The Head of Service invited partners to share information which could be incorporated into the newsletter.
It was noted that meetings had taken place with the Children’s Safeguarding Board, the Adults’ Safeguarding Board as well as Learning and Development, to consider what training should be provided going forward. Training was being planned on ‘Coercive Control’ and also on the impact that domestic abuse had on children.
It was noted that at the next SBP meeting, the focus would be on Priority 2 which was VAWG.
The Neighbourhood Investment Manager (Clarion) stated that Clarion Housing was looking at how it addressed issues relating to violence affecting young people. A piece of work was being undertaken with Clarion Futures Communities and Housing Management concerning Clarion’s roles and responsibilities in this area and how a more coordinated and targeted response could be employed in known hotspot areas on a national level.
Clarion was also supporting the ‘Hard Calls Saves Lives’ campaign, which was a Crime Stoppers initiative which encouraged the anonymous reporting of concerns about knife crime to Crime Stoppers in order to help with police investigations. The campaign was featured on the Clarion website and campaign materials disseminated in boroughs across London.
The Assistant Director asked if some information concerning this work could be shared with the Board.
The Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children for SE London CCG said that the Health Services had been really busy over the last 18 months and that Safeguarding had remained a priority. She said that it was key that none of their designated nurses had been re-deployed as had occurred in other boroughs. There had been much collaboration with their multi agency partnership, especially with respect to domestic abuse work. NHSE had been providing good communication with regards to safeguarding across the Health system.
An update was also provided with respect to the IRIS (Identification and Referral for Improved Safety) project which was being rolled out in primary care to upskill GP and practice staff in how to recognise signs of domestic abuse.
The Tenancy Specialist Manager (Clarion) stated that Clarion would be rolling out training in July ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
The Assistant Director informed the Board that Mr Tony Baldock had now left the employment of the Council. It was anticipated that he would be replaced by Sarah Newman as the new Head of Service.
Chief Inspector Craig knight expressed his thanks to Bromley Council, and in particular to the Assistant Director for Public Protection and Enforcement (Joanna Stowell) for her hard work and commitment and for the excellent working relationship that had been formed between the police and the Council. He also expressed his thanks for the support provided by Mr Rob Vale (Head of Trading Standards and Commercial Regulation).
DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be held at Bromley Civic Centre on 9th September at 10.00am.
The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 9th September 2021. This would take place at Bromley Civic Centre at 10.00am.