Agenda item

Community Safety Priorities and Progress - Adam Lindridge

Report of the Director of Public Health


The Committee received a report to provide a brief overview of the key activities that have been co-ordinated and delivered by Gateshead Community Safety Board within the last six months to address the strategic priorities outlined in the Strategic Partnership Plan 2022/23.  The report also highlights the impact of, and some of the potential emerging themes, from Covid-19 in relation to Crime and Disorder within Gateshead.


The Strategic Themes were agreed by the Community Safety Board for 2020-23 are:


·         Violence, Exploitation and Abuse

·         Thriving Neighbourhoods and Communities

·         Community Cohesion and Resilience


In the first six months or 2020/21 recorded crime in Gateshead has reduced by 1% compared to a 3% increase across Northumbria.


Crime levels in Gateshead continue to remain on par with local authority areas across South of Tyne and the rate of crime per 1000 population remains comparable to our 15 Most Similar Family Group national average.


Crimes against the person have increased on last year – with violence rising by 4%, robbery increasing by 15% and sexual offences up 30%.  Demand-related call to Northumbria Police relating to public safety-type issues (such as mental health, suicides and substance misuse has increased in the last 12 months) with more complex and multiple needs being identified.  Police and Council have also seen increased reporting of anti-social behaviour.


Feelings of safety and perceptions of how the Council and partners work together to tackle community safety issues remain positive.


A review of the locations in which crime and ASB incidents are committed has shown more than half of all crime that takes place in those neighbourhoods that are classified ‘Extremely’ or ‘Very Vulnerable’ under Thrive agenda categories – and has increased proportionally compared to last year.


The report highlighted some of the activities which have been undertaken this year by partners to address the priorities of the Board include:


·         Serious Violence (including Criminal Exploitation and Knife Crime)

o   Supported Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit with the refresh of the regional Insight Report and Violence Reduction Strategy for Year 3

o   Knife Crime Serious Violence GRIP Funding will be used for high visibility targeted patrols and problem solving within specific harm hotspots within Inner West and Central Gateshead with an aim to implement to step change in activity to suppress and reduce serious violence

·         Domestic Abuse (including Violence against Women and Girls)

o   Gateshead Strategic Domestic Abuse Forum has been re-established and has started to progress some key areas of work required as part of the Domestic Abuse Act.  This includes the ongoing development of a draft Needs Assessment and Strategy to improve our support offer linked with Safe Accommodation

·         Anti-Social Behaviour (Youth, Adult and Place-based ASB)

o   We have started to plan and undertake a multi-agency review of anti-social behaviour to ensure victim receive the best possible service

·         Locality Based Tasking and Problem-Solving Arrangements

o   We have a robust operational planning and tasking group which continues to operate effectively with strong representation with a range of statutory partners and Council services.  In addition, Community Safety now regularly attend Northumbria Police’s Threat Harm and Risk Meetings to ensure we are aware of broader crime and disorder issues affecting Central Area Command

·         Hate Crime and Tension Monitoring

o   Continuing to deliver actions outlined in the Hate Crime Strategy and Action Plan for Gateshead 2019-22 there is a focus on increasing awareness of reporting, increasing referrals to victim support service and promoting hate crime education.

·         Preventing Violence Extremism, Radicalisation and Terrorism

o   Recently a comprehensive self-assessment has been undertaken relating to Prevent to help further reduce the risk of vulnerability to radicalization.  This included refreshing our risk assessments, offering targeted training and community engagement activities and re-establishing a local working group to oversee compliance with statutory duty.


It was queried whether the digital voice video around awareness in Domestic Abuse could be shared with the Designated Safeguarding Lead in schools, also perhaps a TV advert and other communication methods to be used so people are aware of where they can report any issues.  It was noted that TV adverts may be cost prohibitive however, definitely leaflets can be put out in GP Surgeries/Dentists and we are working with the Police on this area of work it is maybe something we could discuss with the Home Office.


It was queried whether Prevent training was given to all council employees.  It was noted that this is mandatory now for all new employees to receive training. 


It was queried whether officers monitored social media as this is what would be used for under-age drinking sessions are arranged on social media.  It was noted that we know where the hot spots are and we work with the police to try and disrupt before it gets out of hand.


RESOLVED        -        (i)       that the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted

                                      (ii)      that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee continue to receive six-monthly Community Safety updates

                                      (iii)      that any issues which may arise which the Overview and Scrutiny Committee may wish to scrutinise be noted for a future meeting





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