The Commission considered a report of the Director of Children and Family Services, the purpose of which was to set out the duties placed on the County Council and other statutory responsible agencies in relation to crime and disorder and to outline the current approach adopted in Leicestershire. The report also sought the Commissions views on the revised Leicestershire County Council Community Safety Strategy for 2022 – 2026 as part of the ongoing consultation. The Commission were asked to consider this report in its capacity as the County Council’s designated crime and disorder committee. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.
Arising from discussion, the following points were made:
Partnership working had inevitably been affected
by lock downs imposed during the Covid 19 pandemic. However, partners
were now coming back together, and a Community Safety Partnership (CSP)
Conference would be held later this year. This would help target
discussions around how partners would deliver their reviewed priorities which
had been reflected in the Council’s refreshed Strategy.
A Member questioned the affect delivery of some
outcomes had in practice. For example, the installation of additional
lighting to help address violence against women and girls. The Director
confirmed that this work had been led by the Office of the Police and Crime
Commissioner, supported by partners including the County Council, and undertook
to provide more information on the impact of this work outside the meeting.
Anti Social Behaviour
(ASB) continued to be an issue but was heavily affected by the weather.
Figures had increased over recent summer months but were expected to now
plateau and drop slightly. The Strategic ASB Group and Officer Subgroup
continued to review data and specific cases as appropriate and the Council had
a dedicated officer appointed to drive this work forward.
The Lead Member for Children and Family Services
emphasised that it was very difficult for the Council and its partners to build
up evidence of where ASB was happening and therefore how best to address this,
as many people no longer reported it, instead choosing to post issues
on-line. Members acknowledged that it was vitally important for incidents
to be reported either to the Police or the Authority to help it build that
intelligence. It was suggested that this could be a point raised with
CSPs through the planned CSP Conference.
A member commented that many residents no longer
reported cases of ASB due to the lack of response received. The Director
confirmed that the publics expectations had to be managed and it had to be
recognised that reporting an incident would not necessarily result in immediate
action. Cases were often complex and subject to other contributing
factors that also needed to be addressed.
Members noted that a tiered response to ASB had
been adopted and only when all other avenues had been exhausted were the police
involved. Up to that point, a range of partnership activities and
responses were adopted to try and resolve issues.
The Lead Member commented that cuts to funding
had been a contributing factor in the work undertaken to address ASB. For
example, cuts to youth work had had a knock-on effect. Members recognised
that the County Council with its partners was seeking to deliver the best
outcomes with the limited resources now available.
(viii) A Member commented that the cost of obtaining an injunction through the courts had increased and had now become prohibitive. Access to youth services was key to prevent ASB, but access to the legal process when problems arose was also critical. The Director acknowledged that this was an issue and commented that this further emphasised the need for a partnership approach.
That the comments now made be reported to the Cabinet at its meeting on 16th September 2022.