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Agenda item

Public Service Board - Partnership Delivery Board 3 - 'Wrexham is a place that's safe and where everyone feels included'.

To consider the report of the Head of Finance.


(Members declaration of interest in relation to this Agenda Item are set out in Minute 54 above).


The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/28/18s) which informed the Committee of progress made against the partnership targets and objectives set out within Partnership Delivery Board 3 (PDB3) of the Public Service Board (PSB), which focused on making Wrexham a place that’s safe and where everyone feels included.  The report had been submitted to meet the statutory requirement to perform the functions of a crime and disorder scrutiny committee in order to review and / or scrutinise decisions in connection with the discharge of crime and disorder by the Responsible Authorities. 


The Vice-Chair welcomed the Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety (Councillor Hugh Jones), Lee Robinson (in his capacity as Chair of PDB3), Inspector Paul Wycherley (Wrexham Town) and Inspector Steve Owens (Wrexham Rural), North Wales Police to the meeting.


The Scrutiny Facilitator introduced the report and reminded Members that from April 2018, PDB3 will become the Community Safety Partnership and this will report directly to the North Wales Safer Communities Board (NWSCB).  This will not change the legislative basis for crime and disorder scrutiny nor the powers granted to scrutiny committees, however, the Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Protocol will need to be revised to reflect these new arrangements.   A copy of the 2017/18 PDB3 Delivery Plan together with the end of year status of the associated performance indicators was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


During consideration of the report the Lead Member together with Lee Robinson, Inspector Paul Wycherley and Inspector Steve Owens provided further information on the work being undertaken with regard to each priority area within the Delivery Plan and the following matters were raised in particular:


·         With reference to the 24% increase in recorded crime compared to the previous year, the Lead Member commented that there has been a national focus for more effective recording of crime and on crime recording integrity.  An analysis of the evidence has indicated that there had only been a small increase in the overall number of calls from the public and the number of incidents (crime and non-crime) dealt with by the police.   


·         Members noted that the rise in reported domestic violence offences (Priority 1) reflected an increase in the confidence of people reporting such crime following improvements in the services provided to victims by North Wales Police and other agencies.


·         With reference to Priority 2 – Modern Slavery, the Lead Member commented that the type of crime linked to this priority areas included human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.  In addition to a significant amount of police resources being allocated at a national and local level, the Partnership Board allowed for a multi-agency approach and enabled cross organisational working to be undertaken to tackle such crime.


·         It was suggested that, to increase Member awareness and to better understand the work being undertaken by PDB3, a series of All-Member workshops be arranged on the Community Safety Partnership’s Priority areas, particularly Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Modern Slavery. 


·         Further information was provided on the partnership work being undertaken between North Wales Police and neighbouring Police Constabularies to combat Organised Crime (Priority 3) and Counter-terrorism (Priority 5).


·         With reference to Priority 4 – Drugs and Alcohol, the Lead Member reminded the Committee of the multi-agency work being undertaken through the Pathway programme to address concerns of anti-social behaviour, including drinking and to reduce the number of people taking New Pschoactive Substances (NPS).   In addition a Wrexham Town Centre Community Safety Plan has been produced and Public Space Protection Orders introduced at several town centre locations.


·         With reference to Priority 6 – Sexual Abuse (including Child Sexual Exploitation) clarification was sought on how the statutory partners on the North Wales Safer Communities Board (NWSCB) could challenge each other’s performance levels as the report submitted to the NWSCB did not include any evidence or statistical information on the number of cases of sexual abuse. In response, Lee Robinson commented that the NWSCB played a strategic role to ensure that procedures and management systems were in place to enable partnership working between the relevant safeguarding agencies to achieve the set priorities.


·         Concern was expressed that the mandatory Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) training for licences for private hire, hackney drivers and private hire operators as set out in the Delivery Plan was not being provided. The Committee sought further information on the ongoing availability and frequency of this training.  Lee Robinson commented that he did not have that information to hand but agreed to provide a response to Members following the meeting.   


·         Councillor Brian Cameron, being a Member of the Council’s Licensing Committee, said that he would also raise this matter with the Chair of the Committee and ask for an update at a future meeting to ensure that the changes to its conditions of hire were being implemented and enabled so as to be effective in achieving the aim of the change.


·         With reference to Delivering Safer Neighbourhoods (Priority 7) several Members were of the opinion that many instances of low-level anti-social behaviour went unrecorded within their communities due to a  lack of confidence in any effective action being taken.


·         A Member commented upon the difficulty in reading and understanding the Statistical Process Control (SPC) Charts used in the PCSO Performance Reports to Community Councils and whether the previous method of recording crime statistics could be re-introduced.   The Lead Member said that SPC Charts were used to present performance information for crime related measures on a ward basis throughout North Wales.  The use of these charts ensured that the PCSO’s time was focussed on working within the community and not compiling data.  In many instances the negative comments have been allayed once further training on interpreting the charts had been provided.  




(i)         To recommend that All Member workshops be arranged on the Community Safety Partnership’s Priority areas, particularly Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Modern Slavery

(ii)        The Scrutiny Committee is concerned that the mandatory Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) training for licences for private hire, hackney drivers and private hire operators is not being provided.  PDB3 is requested to provide a response by email to members of the committee with details as to how many current drivers have had the mandatory CSE training (from the total) and how frequently the training is made available.

(iii)       The Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Protocol be revised to reflect the Community Safety Partnership Arrangements and this be considered at the next crime and disorder scrutiny meeting.

(iv)      That the next Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Committee meeting be held in 6 months.

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