Agenda item

Safe Durham Partnership ASB Strategic Group Update

(i)             Report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

(ii)           Presentation by the Head of Community Protection Services, Neighbourhoods and Climate Change


The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change that provided an update on the ongoing work of the ASB Strategic Group (for copy see file of minutes).


The Head of Community Protection Services gave a presentation as part of a regular update to the committee.  This included an update on the ASB Trailblazer pilots, the ASB delivery plan, ASB Case Review and the Safer Streets Fund Round 5.  She apologised that some of the information supplied was not up to date but she would provide revised data at the next meeting.

Councillor Potts thought the ASB delivery plan needed a more consolidated realistic explanation as to what it was about for residents, to get a clearer picture to what was going on.  He deemed that it was difficult for residents to report ASB incidents to the Police either due to fear of reprisal or that they could not get in touch on the ‘101’ telephone number.  Residents wanted to see action and information relating to the number of arrests and detentions following reports made to the police.


The Head of Community Protection Services proposed that this could be considered as part of the development of the performance dashboard to include more outcome focussed data and provide greater feedback and confidence to victims of ASB.


Councillor Potts had no trust in the incident report figures as statistics made the service look good but did not give a true reflection as many incidents went unreported.  Residents needed to be encouraged to report incidents and information available on the outcome of an incident may help. He referred to how complaints were dealt with about Police Officers and how the process was scrutinised. 


The Head of Community Protection Services explained that each organisation had their own separate internal process that would be followed. The project focused on ASB incidents and not the performance of individual officers.


Councillor Sutton-Lloyd was frustrated with the new approach as his area suffered with ASB and had seen no impact so far.  He felt that it was not joined up and when requesting updates on cases that had been identified that included evidence the Police responded that there had been no issues reported.


The Head of Community Protection Services could not comment on any specific ASB cases in Councillor Sutton-Lloyd’s area but agreed to speak to him separately.  She reiterated that there was more joined up working with regular communication between organisations.


Councillor Charlton echoed Councillor Sutton-Lloyds comments that there was no feeling of a joint approach.  She also had ASB in her area that was not being addressed.  She mentioned that incidents had been reported to the local PCSO who had replied that it was not their job.  She felt that the Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee was multi agency led but there was not always a representative from the Police. 


Councillor Boyes seconded the suggestion that there should be more representatives from the Police to attend the meeting.  He confirmed that the Council did try to tackle ASB but found it difficult to allocate resources and manpower to issues raised.


The Head of Community Protection Services responded that if an incident came in that was thought to be the responsibility of the Council then the incident would be passed over to the relevant team.  Requests for service were being responded to but these requests did not always reflect those areas where ASB incidents were at their highest.


Councillor Quinn noted that there was a Fire Representative at every meeting but no Police.  He requested that the Police and Crime Commissioner should be invited to the committee.


The Overview and Scrutiny Officer responded that it was not appropriate for the PCC to attend the Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee as her role was to hold the police to account, followed by Councillor Boyes suggesting the ASB champion from the PCC’s officer could be invited instead.  The Overview and Scrutiny Officer agreed to look into it.


Councillor Mavin had found that residents in his area found reporting incidents to the ‘101’ number difficult and resorted to reporting incidents to him as the local councillor.  Young people in his area had resorted to burning bus shelters during the day. 


Councillor Heaviside informed Members that he had recently conducted a joint door to door knock in his area with the Police, Neighbourhood Wardens and the Fire Service.  He had collected data and had spoken to several people who had told him about incidents that needed to be addressed.  He had received good feedback from this exercise which had been a positive experience.


Councillor Gunn agreed that there was a break down in the ‘101’ system that made it difficult to make contact which she had experience of.  It meant that incidents went unreported.  She had also found residents reporting incidents to her instead of to the Police.   She felt that this was not how it should work.  She thought that the causes of ASB by young people should be addressed as these acts may start small but could lead on to higher levels of crime if not dealt with.  She thought that mental health issues may be linked to ASB and data could be collected, analysed and solutions found. 


Councillor Boyes left the meeting at 11.45am


The Head of Community Protection Services advised that the place based team in Horden were trying to address local ASB issues that included organised crime in that area which was not reflected in the data owing to under reporting.  The multi- agency team looked at the wider determinants of health including family issues, unemployment, poverty and other drivers that may encourage young people to carry out ASB.  The team knocked on doors, spoke to people in the community to gain their intelligence as different ways were required to gain the data to develop a better way of working to address these issues.  She agreed to give an update at a future committee meeting.




i)               That the contents of the report be noted.


ii)             That an updated version of the report be brought to the next meeting.



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