Agenda item

Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership Monitoring Report (April 2022 to March 2023)

Report number: OAS/WS/23/012


Council Davis from Babergh District Council will be attending to present the report as the Chair at the time of the reporting period.


Richard Baldwin from Suffolk County Council will also be attending to provide support in terms of the County overview of community safety.


[Councillor Birgitte Mager arrived at 5.05pm, during the consideration of this item.

Councillor Andrew Speed arrived at 5.07pm, during the consideration of this item]


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 number OAS/WS/23/012, presented by the Councillor Davis from Babergh District Council as the Chair of the Western Suffolk Community Safety Partnership (WSCSP) at the time of the reporting period, and the Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities, Councillor Donna Higgins. 


Councillor Davis explained that the report looked back over the previous year’s work of the WSCSP for the period April 2022 to March 2023.  During that time, the WSCSP had continued to meet and discharge its statutory duties by:


-      Carrying out an assessment of crime and disorder in the area;

-      Delivering a three-year plan and action plan to reflect the priorities of the partnership; and

-      Undertaking Domestic Homicide Reviews.


The WSCSP action plan was reviewed throughout the year and where appropriate was updated to reflect emerging issues and trends.  Based on the outcomes of the partnership discussions the following priorities remained as a focus for the WSCSP:


-      Criminal exploitation;

-      Violence against women and girls;

-      Modern slavery;

-      Hate Crime;

-      Prevent; and

-      Anti-social behaviour.


He then wished to thank all officers for their work on producing the report and during the year. 


The Committee considered the report in detail and asked questions to which comprehensive responses were provided by Councillor Davis and officers.  In particular discussions were held on the meaning of “Channel”; PREVENT; modern slavery and where the main criminal exploitation hubs were across Suffolk.   


In response to a question asked about what the WSCSP was doing in addressing right-wing radicalisation and gang culture, the Committee was advised that the WSCSP continued to organise lectures in schools and to other various groups.  The 18 September to 22 September 2023 was PREVENT action week to raise awareness and online information was being provided for teachers and parents to raise protective factors in further education.  The Police were more involved in gang culture, which was not an issue in West Suffolk.   


In response to a question raised regarding how local councillors could help, the Committee was advised it was about awareness raising and the more awareness raised on the issue of radicalisation and gang culture, the better.  Also at a local level, West Suffolk Council sat on the PREVENT Group.  A broad range of training was available, which Councillor Davis advised he was happy to share the training packages with Councillors.


In response to a question raised on the allocation of funding and whether the WSCSP was getting better or worse, the Committee was advised it was improving year on year and carried out a needs assessment each year, and a breakdown on budget could be provided.  However, it was explained that funding received by the WSCSP was limited and there were no ongoing funding streams.  Over the last four years approx. £120,000 had been allocated to WSCSP to tackle the priorities in the self-assessment, including funding for criminal exploitation.  Of that approximately £40,000 was used in West Suffolk.


In response to a question on modern slavery in the context of how prevalent it was in West Suffolk, and in what areas to enable further local scrutiny.  The Committee was informed it was mainly aligned to criminal exploitation around drugs and young people.  The Police held the specific data and the WSCSP could seek to provide data on West Suffolk.  The breakdown for Suffolk was 156 incidents, covering the following areas:


-      99 criminality.

-      27 labour forced.

-      17 sexual.

-      11 unknown.

-      2 domestic servitude.


The Chair thanked Councillor Davis for attending the meeting to present the report, and there being no decision required, the Committee noted the contents of the report subject to comments made during the meeting and requests for further information. 



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