Agenda and minutes

Leicestershire Safer Communities Strategy Board - Friday, 19 March 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Microsoft Teams video link.

Contact: Euan Walters (Tel. 0116 305 2583)  Email.  euan.walters@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

29.

Introductions

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.

 

 

30.

Minutes of previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2020 were taken as read and confirmed as a correct record.

 

 

 

31.

Matters arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes.

 

32.

LSCSB Action Log pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered the LSCSB Action Log, a copy of which, marked ‘Agenda Item 4’, is filed with these minutes.

 

It was noted that most of the outstanding actions on the Log would be completed as part of the agenda of this meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the status of the LSCSB Action Log be noted.

 

33.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interests in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations were made. 

 

 

 

34.

Community Safety Communications.

Lucy Booth, Communications Officer, Leicestershire County Council will give a verbal update.

Minutes:

The Board received a verbal presentation from Lucy Booth, Communications Officer, Leicestershire County Council, regarding the County Council processes for disseminating messages to the public. It was acknowledged that the Communications Plan needed to have more of an emphasis on Community Safety going forward and reassurance was given that Community Safety would be incorporated into the 2021/22 Plan. It was explained that there was a strong focus on using social media to disseminate messages to the public however consideration was being given to other methods of communication. The Leicestershire Matters magazine was a useful tool for getting messages to those people that did not have access to social media and regular meetings were held with the departmental Directors at Leicestershire County Council to look at priorities and pick out key themes for the next 12 months. The communications plan for 2021/22 would have a greater emphasis on using Leicestershire Matters.

 

It was suggested that Board members should forward to Democratic Services at Leicestershire County Council ideas for Community Safety topics to be publicised in Leicestershire Matters and they would be forwarded onto the Communications Teams for consideration. One current topic suggested was dog theft which had become increasingly prevalent since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Paul Hindson offered to forward to Board members a report containing dog theft data to illustrate how widespread the problem was.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)        That the contents of the presentation be noted;

 

(b)        That Board members be advised that they can submit suggestions for Community Safety topics to be promoted by the Communications Team.

35.

Change to Order of Business.

Minutes:

The Chairman sought and obtained the consent of the Board to vary the order of business from that set out on the agenda for the meeting.

 

 

36.

Probation Update. pdf icon PDF 654 KB

A presentation will be given by Bob Bearne, Head of National Probation Service Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

 

Minutes:

The Board received a presentation from Bob Bearne, National Probation Service regarding the forthcoming probation reforms and unification. A copy of the presentation slides, marked ‘Agenda Item 9’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from the presentation the following points were noted:

 

(i)          On 26 June 2021 the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies would unify.

 

(ii)         There would be 12 probation regions across the country and Leicestershire would be part of the East Midlands region. This was smaller than the Midlands region which Leicestershire was currently part of therefore the service would operate on a more local basis. Each Probation region would be split into local Delivery Units and there would be one Unit for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland with Bob Bearne as Head. The main probation office for the Unit would be on Compton Street in Leicester and the current Community Rehabilitation Company staff would be transferred into the employ of the National Probation Service and be based at that office.

 

(iii)       As a result of the changes Community Safety partnerships would find it easier to liaise with probation as they would only have one organisation to deal with and the National Probation Service would have greater capacity to attend meetings.

 

(iv)       Information sharing agreements with partners would require updating to reflect the move to one organisation. The National Probation Service would lead on this.

 

(v)        Approximately 10% of the National Probation Service budget would be spent on commissioning which would take place at a national, regional and local level.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the presentation be noted.

 

 

37.

Prevent Update. pdf icon PDF 285 KB

This report will be presented by Sean Arbuthnot, Prevent Coordinator, St. Philips Centre.

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of Sean Arbuthnot, Prevent Co-ordinator, which provided an update on the Prevent work taking place in Leicestershire which sought to stop vulnerable people being drawn into terrorism. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 7’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Board also received a verbal update from Chief Inspector Steve Riley, Head of Protect & Prepare Counter Terrorism Policing regarding his work.

 

Arising from discussions the following points were noted:

 

(i)          Leicestershire Police held the data for Prevent referrals and it could be broken down into Districts, however permission would need to be sought from the Police to publish this data. The majority of referrals were for the Leicester City area and related to Islamic terrorism whereas the referrals for Leicestershire were right wing related. The County referrals mainly related to individuals rather than terrorist groups. Recently right-wing groups had been attempting to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic to promote their views.

 

(ii)         Whilst Leicester City was a priority area for preventing terrorism and therefore many of the Prevent projects were based in the City the projects could be sent out into the County as well. The Prevent service was originally conducted face to face for example in schools however due to the Covid-19 pandemic more activities were being carried out online which made it easier to exhibit the projects to a wider audience. The offer was made to Board members to contact Sean Arbuthnot if there were any Prevent projects they wanted in their Districts. 

 

(iii)       The StreetVibe service based in Braunstone had developed a workshop known as Realtalk which aimed to raise awareness of far-right extremism. Business cards had been created which when scanned into a mobile phone would enable access to the workshop online. Elected members offered to distribute the business cards to homes as they carried out election campaigning and Sean Arbuthnot agreed to liaise with James Clacey who ran the project and ensure the cards were forwarded to members. Cllr. Les Phillimore explained that he was the Regional Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the FSB could help distribute the business cards and spread messages to the public regarding preventing terrorism. It was agreed that his contact details would be shared with Sean Arbuthnot.

 

(iv)       A new mobile phone app called iREPORTit had been launched to enable the public to report any extremist content. Alternatively the public could use the GOV.UK website.

 

(v)        There was concern that some terrorism related reading material was available to be purchased by the public from major book sellers such as Waterstones and Amazon and the public might not be aware that possession of some of this material could be a criminal offence.

 

(vi)       Terrorist methods were now focused on attacking public places therefore prevention strategies needed to give consideration to this. A Government consultation was taking place regarding Prevent and improving the safety and security of public venues. It was agreed that the consultation document would be circulated to members after the meeting. 

 

(vii)      The Home Office had instigated a move for Prevent projects to become more regional rather than national. To assist with this transition Regional Coordinators were being put in place to act as a conduit between the Home Office and the regions, attend local partnership boards and share good practice. These job vacancies were being advertised on 22 March 2021.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)        That the work of Prevent in Leicestershire and the improved Governance procedures be supported;

 

(b)        That Board members be advised to inform the Prevent Coordinator of any opportunities/issues arising that may benefit/affect local projects.

 

 

38.

County Lines. pdf icon PDF 366 KB

This report will be presented by Detective Chief Superintendent Shane O’Neill Leicestershire Police.

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) Shane O’Neill which provided an update on the police and partnership response to illegal drugs transportation and supply known as ‘County Lines’. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 8’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Board welcomed Detective Chief Inspector Gav Drummond, Leicestershire Police, to present the report on behalf of DCS O’Neill.

 

Arising from discussions the following points were noted:

 

(i)          Leicestershire Police collected data regarding County Lines and the data  was provided to Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) and if CSPs had specific queries about the data those queries could be answered. RAG rating and scoring was carried out to assess the level and risk of harm from County Lines in Leicestershire and help prioritisation of resources. Where issues needed greater publicity Commanders of Neighbourhood Policing Teams would attend CSP meetings and Joint Action Groups.

 

(ii)         When suppliers of illegal drugs were prosecuted and sent to prison the demand for the drugs continued and other criminals took over supplying that demand. Those criminals that had been apprehended as part of Operation Lionheart and given prison sentences would be shortly coming to the end of their sentences and therefore preparations needed to be made for when they returned to communities. Making arrests was only part of the approach to tackling County Lines and further work needed to be undertaken with regards to prevention. It was agreed that further conversations towards devising a prevention strategy would take place after the meeting.

 

(iii)       In response to concerns raised about missing children that were subsequently found to be involved in County Lines it was explained that the Child Sexual Exploitation Safeguarding Hub based at Wigston Police Station worked with children that had been involved in Child Criminal Exploitation to prevent them being exploited again. 

 

(iv)       In response to a proposal from Leicestershire Police that CSPs consider carrying out a review of their work regarding County Lines to share learning and develop a best practice guide it was suggested that Charnwood or North West Leicestershire CSPs could lead on this. It was agreed that further conversations between the CSPs and Leicestershire Police would take place after the meeting to establish the best way forward.

 

(v)        It was suggested that District councils and social housing providers could play a greater role in observing when illegal drug activity was taking place at those properties and reporting their observations to the police.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)        That the continued Partnership activity and development in relation to tackling County Lines across Leicestershire be noted;

 

(b)        That officers be requested to consider how best to undertake a review of Leicestershire Community Safety Partnership activity to share learning and develop a best practice guide to disrupting County Lines. 

 

39.

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Strategic Partnership Board Update. pdf icon PDF 634 KB

This report will be presented by Paul Hindson, Chief Executive, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided an update on the work of the Office and the Strategic Partnership Board (SPB). A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 10’, is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussions the following points were noted:

 

(i)          The Government had increased the amount of Safer Streets funding that was available by £25 million in order to address concerns around the safety of women and girls on the streets. Clarity from the Government was awaited regarding exactly what the money could be spent on and a bid for the funding was being put together on behalf of Leicestershire.

 

(ii)         One of the main themes of SPB meetings was the childhood trauma approach to crime prevention and mitigation. It was suggested that an update on this work could be provided to a future meeting of the Board.

 

(iii)       In Lancashire a single fully integrated model was being used for public sector volunteering. It was proposed to use elements of this model in Leicestershire for example running joint training sessions.  

 

(iv)       It was suggested that the Highways department at the County Council could play a greater role to promote Community Safety by making footpaths and cyclepaths safer from crime.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

 

 

 

40.

Community Safety Survey - Key Findings. pdf icon PDF 158 KB

A presentation will be given by Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, Evidence and Evaluation Lead, Violence Reduction Network.

Minutes:

The Board received a presentation from Stevie-Jade Hardy, Evidence and Evaluation Lead, Violence Reduction Network, regarding the Community Safety Survey which had been commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC). A copy of the presentation slides, marked ‘Agenda Item 11’, is filed with these minutes.

 

In introducing the survey findings the Police and Crime Commissioner stated that he was satisfied with the numbers of people that took part in the survey but some geographical areas of LLR had much more respondents to the survey than other areas. There was also many more older people than younger people that took part in the survey.

 

On behalf of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) concerns were raised that the findings of the survey in relation to LFRS were not consistent with the survey that LFRS carried out themselves which indicated that 99% of people were satisfied with LFRS. It was questioned how the OPCC survey differed from the LFRS survey in the way it was conducted.

 

Members asked for more information regarding the demographics of the survey participants and the time period the survey was conducted over and it was agreed that this would be provided after the meeting.

 

A member suggested that a narrative approach to conducting surveys was more effective and in response it was agreed that it was important to use a variety of survey methods and the style used in the Community Survey was just one of many useful methods.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)        That the contents of the presentation be noted;

 

(b)        That officers be requested to provide members with further detail regarding the survey’s methodology.

41.

LSCSB Performance 2020/21 - Quarter 3. pdf icon PDF 233 KB

This report will be presented by Rik Basra, Community Safety Coordinator, Leicestershire County Council.

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of Rik Basra, Community Safety Coordinator, Leicestershire County Council which provided an update regarding Safer Communities Performance 2020/21 - Quarter 3. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 12’, is filed with these minutes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the 2020/21 Quarter 3 performance information be noted.

 

42.

Glen Parva Prison Update. pdf icon PDF 1 MB

A verbal update will be provided by Nick Dann and Raj Singh of the Ministry of Justice.

Minutes:

The Board received a verbal update from Nick Dann and Raj Singh of the

Ministry of Justice regarding the Glen Parva Prison project. The Board was in receipt of the February 2021 Glen Parva Project newsletter a copy of which, marked ‘Agenda Item 13’, is filed with these minutes.

 

As part of the presentation the following points were made:

 

(i)          The Project had not been delayed by Covid-19 and none of the contractors had been required to isolate so far. Voluntary lateral flow testing was taking place and many project workers had come forward to take the test.

 

(ii)         The pre-cast concrete panels had just been erected which was an important step in the construction of the building.

 

(iii)       The Government had confirmed that the prison would be run by a private company and the competition had been opened. Four companies would be bidding and they were G4S, Serco, Sodexo, and MTC. The bids would be evaluated at the end of July 2021.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the update be noted.

43.

Date of the next meeting

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled to take place on Friday 18 June 2021 at 10:00am.

Minutes:

That the next meeting of the Board take place on Friday 18 June 2021 at 10:00am.