Agenda and minutes

Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel
Wednesday 16th March 2016 6.00 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, Solihull

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

36.

Apologies and Substitutions

To receive notification of apologies and substitutions from Members.

Minutes:

Councillor I Chamberlain and T Hodgson (A Hodgson – substitute)

 

37.

Declarations of Interest

To receive notification of any declarations of pecuniary and/or conflict of interest from Members.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

38.

Questions and Deputations

To answer questions and hear deputations, if any, asked by any resident of the Borough pursuant to Standing Orders.

Minutes:

There were no questions or deputations.

39.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To receive the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting of the Board held on 27 January 2016 were submitted.

 

  RESOLVED

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2016 be agreed as a correct record.

 

40.

West Midlands Police - Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Chief Superintendent Alex Murray to attend. Report to follow.

Minutes:

Chief Superintendent updated the Panel on performance for Quarter 4 2015/16 and the year end 2015/16 and the key points identified included the following:

 

Total Recorded Crime

The Chief Superintendent explained that total record crime had increased slightly across the Borough, based on a year by year comparison. He emphasised this should be taken in context, detailing how 2014/15 saw the lowest ever recorded levels of crime. It was highlighted that 2015/16 had actually seen the second lowest levels of recorded crime.

 

Domestic Violence

The Chief Superintendent detailed how there had been an increase in domestic violence reported to the police during 2015/16. He explained how this increase may be attributable to the following factors:

  • The Police now adhered to very strict recording principles when dealing with such cases
  • Social attitudes – there was now greater intolerance towards this issue.
  • Victims of domestic abuse had greater confidence in reporting to the Police.

 

The Chief Superintendent emphasised the Police and the Partnership also recognised the need to consider whether the increase may actually reflect a rise in domestic violence overall. He explained how there was a considerable amount of Partnership working to provide support to victims of domestic abuse. The Chief Superintendent also detailed the volume of work now undertaken to manage perpetrators, which included cognitive behavioural therapy.

 

Violent Crime

The Chief Superintendent explained how there had been a slight increase in violent crime, especially involving young people. He detailed how the Police and Partners were looking at a large scale restorative justice programme, for young people involved in peripheral incidences. The Chief Superintendent explained they were looking to develop a multi-agency action plan, via the Safer Solihull Board, to consider different aspects of violent crime, such as mental health and the potential for earlier interventions.

 

Burglary

The Chief Superintendent detailed that burglary of houses had increased over the last twelve months, particularly in areas of the Borough neighbouring East Birmingham. He detailed how they were working with Partners, in order to improve detection rates.

 

Shop thefts

It was explained that shop thefts had increased over the previous year – the Chief Superintendent detailed how they were working with shop owners, in order to ensure greater preventative measures.

 

Anti-Social Behaviour

The Chief Superintendent detailed how off-road motorbiking presented a real a challenge, especially as it created a considerable sense of insecurity amongst the public. He explained how they were working with the Local Authority to address the problem, especially in regards to collating evidence regarding the perpetrators.

 

In considering the report, Members raised a number of points, including the following:

  • Members agreed that the increase in domestic violence reporting was likely to reflect greater victim confidence in reporting cases to the Police. They queried how often alcohol could act as a trigger. The Chief Superintendent confirmed there were often cases of the ‘toxic trio’ – cases involving alcohol, mental health and violence. He noted the Partnership work being undertaken to look at these underlying factors.
  • Members highlighted the Street Association works  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Traffic Speed Management, Education and Enforcement - Progress Evaluation pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Following the outcomes of the Highway Services Working Group in 2014/15, to consider and evaluate progress made by the Partnership in this priority area.

 

Report of the Highways Services Working Group and appendices attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Highway Services provided a verbal update on the outcomes of the Highway Services Scrutiny Working Group, after they were originally presented to the Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways on 9th July 2015. He initially provided an update regarding the Highway Services section overall and the points raised included the following:

  • The reshaping of Highway Services had been implemented, to deliver savings and embed new ways of working.
  • A New Strategic Highways Contract had been introduced.
  • The Borough’s Walking and Cycling Strategy had been integrated as part of the Solihull Connected Programme.
  • Additional funding had been secured from the Department of Transport, to support further highways maintenance.
  • There had also been significant progress on major projects, including the A45 South Bridge and the Solihull Gateway project.

 

The Head of Highway Services also highlighted the issues about speed management considered by the Working Group, which included the following:

  • Perceptions of speeding (which included perceptions that roads were more dangerous now and that speeding had increased).
  • Road safety statistics within Solihull
  • Perception that traffic speed cameras were there to generate money.

 

The Head of Highway Services explained how recent statistics indicated Solihull was a top performer in regards to road safety. He explained how he believed this wasn’t necessary due to traffic calming measures, such as ‘flashing signs’, instead it was attributable to the following:

  • Design of road infrastructure and junctions, such as the Solihull Gateway Project.
  • Design of new housing developments.
  • Creating a sense of place – i.e. so that drivers were conscious they’re entering a residential area and behave accordingly.

 

The Head of Highway Services also detailed recent measures to promote road safety within the Borough, which included the following:

  • No parking zones – Officers were currently looking to identify three appropriate sites within the Borough.
  • Digital Speed Cameras – proposals for introducing these were going to a future Cabinet Decision Session.

 

Following the verbal update, Members raised a number of questions, in particular concerning the two trial 20mph speed limits operating in the Borough. The Head of Highways confirmed Officers were monitoring the effectives of these trials. However, he emphasised he believed highways design was the best way forward to support road safety, especially as the Police did not enforce 20mph speed limits.

 

Members thanked the Officer for the report and commended the Highway Services section and Safer Solihull Partnership for its work to support traffic speed management and road safety.

 

  RESOLVED

The Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel noted the update on the outcomes of the Highway Services Working Group.