Report number: OAS/WS/22/007
It was the duty of the Committee, as the Council’s Crime and Disorder Committee designated under the Police and Justice Act 2006, to scrutinise the work of the Partnership.
The Committee received Report No: OAS/WS/22/007, presented by the Vice-Chair of the Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership (WSCSP) Councillor Sarah Mansell, and the Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities, Councillor Robert Everitt.
Councillor Sarah Mansell firstly wished to thank Councillor Joanna Spicer for all her hard work over the years as the Chair of the WSCSP. She explained that the WSCSP covered a large geographical area, which included a number of important organisations, and updated Members on the community safety activity in West Suffolk. Over the past year the WSCSP had continued to meet and discharge its statutory duties by carrying out an annual assessment of crime and disorder in the area, continuing to deliver the three-year plan and action plan to reflect the priorities of the partnership, and carrying out Domestic Homicide Reviews.
A review of the WSCSP action plan was completed in June 2021 and following discussions with statutory partners the action plan was formally agreed by the WSCSP Responsible Authorities in June 2021. Based on the outcomes of partnership discussions, the following priorities remained the focus of the WSCSP:
- County Lines
- Violence against women and girls
- Hate Crime
- Domestic homicide reviews.
The Committee considered the report in detail and asked a number of questions to which comprehensive responses were provided by Councillor Mansell and officers. In particular discussions were held on county and local lines; anti-social behaviour; violence against women and girls; delays by Central Government in approving domestic homicide reviews; and the impact of the pandemic on the partnership.
In response to a question asked about domestic abuse and whether there were any specific triggers or patterns to domestic abuse, officers explained that domestic abuse increased during the year at key times or major events, such as Christmas. The partnership collected data if alcohol was a factor otherwise the were not trigger factors.
In response to a question raised regarding county lines and how to report drug issues, Councillor Everitt explained if you witnessed the process of cash being handed over for drugs then you should call 999. Drug issues could also be reported to the Safer Neighbourhood Team or Crime Stoppers.
In response to a question raised regarding anti-social behaviour (ASB) and what the partnership was doing to improve ASB, officers advised that ASB was a priority for the partnership. Monthly forums were held to discuss how to tackle individual issues. However, there was more work to be done around early interventions and publicising more activities for young people.
In response to a question raised on how local members could get involved in the work of the partnership, officers explained that the partnership was looking at how to engage local members more, with a focus for example on webinars.
There being no decision required, the Committee noted the contents of the report.