Agenda and minutes

Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday 23rd January 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, Solihull

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

None received.

 

2.

Trading Standards & Scam Prevention pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To review all aspects of the Partnerships commitment to fight against scams and fraud.

 

The Panel will review current initiatives to tackle scams and raise awareness.

 

Minutes:

In attendance: Carrie Morris (Solihull MBC – Senior Trading Standards Officer) and Inspector Darren Wilson (West Midlands Police – Solihull NPU).

 

As part of their 2017/18 Work Plan, the Panel had requested to review an appraisal of the Partnerships commitment to the fight against scams and fraud across the Borough.

 

Carrie Morris from Solihull’s Managed Growth Directorate delivered a PowerPoint presentation and a short video to the Panel which outlined the work of Solihull’s trading standards team and their work towards scam prevention. The presentation also detailed the linkages to the Safer Solihull Partnership in supporting wider preventative work.

 

Presentation

 

In summary, the presentation covered the following main headings:

 

·  National trading standards scams team.

·  Banking protocols.

·  Community scan awareness.

·  Scams hubs.

·  Rogue trader patrols.

·  Friends against scams, SCAMchampions and SCAMbassadors.

·  Types of scams and impact on individuals and society.

·  Typical victim profiles.

·  Scams and organised, predatory crime.

·  Awareness and self-protection.

 

Discussion Points

 

Having considered the presentation, the Panel made the following comments and observations:

 

·  There was evidence of the Safer Solihull Partnership; specifically the Police and Solihull’ Trading Standards working together with targeted initiatives. An example given was joint work with the Royal Mail to help identify victims of scams or individuals at risk of becoming victims though mail delivery profiles.

·  An A5 scams awareness leaflet had been produced some time ago to highlight the most commonly used methods of scamming. Panel Members highlighted the value of such a publication and asked if additional copies could be provided for wider use and circulation. Solihull MBC indicted that a small unspent budget existed for reprinting and the Police highlighted, potentially, the Active Citizens Fund for the same purpose.

·  The Police highlighted that once a victim, residents became more likely to be scammed again. “Suckers lists” were said to exist and Solihull trading standards indicated that they had intercepted such a register of previously scammed/vulnerable residents and acted accordingly.

·  West Midlands Fire Service – some crews had now completed scams awareness training. Fire alarm fitting in residents homes gave WMFS an opportunity to raise awareness and potentially identify victims too.

·  Loneliness amongst residents, particularly the elderly, gave rise to them becoming likely victims of scams. Amongst this age profile, some elderly residents perceived the contact they received though postal scam correspondence as their only lifeline to the outside world in some cases. Officers outlined other Council/Partnership measures that were in place to combat loneliness amongst the Borough’s most at risk groups.

·  Unsolicited phone calls, throughout the day, were also highlighted by a Panel Member as a specific source of scams. The use of phone blockers was encouraged as a way as combating this type of nuisance.

·  Seasonal variances in scam types were also evident. Evidence existed to demonstrate that local events, such as traveller incursions, were likely to cause spikes in the number of scams arising from cold calling.

 

That, subject to the preamble above, the Panel made the following UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATIONS to the Safer Solihull Partnership and the Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Injury Surveillance Data Update Report pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To present to the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel an overview of the work undertaken by Public Health England and West Midlands Police to better understand health related data and its relationship with crime prevention. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In attendance: Gillian Crabbe (Community Safety & Partnerships Manager - Managed Growth and Communities).

 

The Panel considered an overview of the work undertaken by Public Heath England and West Midlands Police to better understand health related data and its relationship with crime prevention and community safety.

 

Community Safety Partnerships had previously been provided with limited health related data that gave an indication of hospital related attendances. However, local community safety practitioners were not always able to make use of that data in their crime prevention and community safety activities.

 

In response, Public Heath England and West Midlands Police had now been working together to provide a better data “product” to help inform the work of Community Safety Partnerships in addressing violent crime.

 

Presentation

 

On behalf of West Midlands Police, Gill Crabbe presented their PowerPoint presentation that set out an overview of the joint work and the current position around injury surveillance data for Solihull.

 

In summary, the presentation covered the following main headings:

 

·  Typical profiles of injury caused by violence.

·  Prevention and environmental measures to deter violence.

·  Strategic measures and headline injury data.

·  Victim analysis and trend profiles for Solihull in the context of the West Midlands.

·  Incident profiles and trends by time and day of the week.

·  Location profiles and violent crime trends for Solihull and the West Midlands.

 

Discussion Points

 

·  The Panel acknowledged that the comparisons and conclusions from the Police and health data, once evaluated, would help inform future partnership tactics and allocation of resources at key times in key locations.

·  Whilst the data profiles were considered useful, the Panel considered that strong local relationships between partners would continue to contribute to; and help inform the work of Community Safety Partnerships in addressing violent crime and be “Solihull specific”.

·  “Injury from violent crime” data, notified directly from hospitals to the Police, was perceived as a data source that had existed for many years and the Panel were of the view that this means of obtaining information should still be acknowledged.

·  Given all the information presented, the Panel was of the view that a further appraisal should be considered in 12 months time to evaluate how the partnership has responded to the conclusions from the data comparisons.

 

That, subject to the preamble above, the Panel made the following UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATIONS to the Safer Solihull Partnership and the Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities & Partnerships:

 

(i)  That the work undertaken by Public Heath England and West Midlands Police to better understand health related data and its relationship with crime prevention and community safety be noted; and

(ii)  That a further appraisal be considered in 12 months time to evaluate how effectively the Partnership has responded to the conclusions from the health and police data comparisons.

 

4.

Safer Solihull Performance Report - Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To present to the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel Quarter 3 performance report for the period October to December 2017 from the Safer Solihull Partnership.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In attendance: Gillian Crabbe (Community Safety & Partnerships Manager - Managed Growth and Communities) Inspector Darren Wilson (West Midlands Police – Solihull NPU) and Peter Barker (Community Safety Officer - Managed Growth and Communities).

 

The Panel considered an overview of the Safer Solihull Quarterly Performance Update for Quarter 3 which covered the period October to December 2017.

The report summary highlighted the following key points:

 

·  For year to date, total recorded crime, vehicle crime, burglary, robbery, theft from shops and stalls and public place violence had seen an increase. That mirrored trends seen nationally. More locally, reduced partner resources and higher demand from other high harm/vulnerability offences had challenged the control of crime figures.

·  The number of killed and seriously injured on Solihull roads had seen an increase, year to date, compared to the previous year. However, Solihull Road Safety and Strategy showed that the long term linear trend, between 2000-2015, was showing a steady downward progression.

·  Reported crimes of Domestic abuse had seen a small increase and incidents of domestic abuse (non-crimes) had seen a small decrease compared the same period for the previous year.

·  Minor cases of anti-social behaviour reported to Solihull Community Housing had increased significantly. One explanation provided by Solihull Community Housing was that fly-tipping was included in the “minor” category.

·  Drug offences for Class A, B and C showed a decrease compared the previous period last year. A reduction in stop and search procedures may have contributed to that fall.

·  ID-IOM data, looking at the cohort performance by offenders, found that for both adult and youth offenders, the period during adoption reduced the projected annual cost of crime compared to the period prior to adoption.

·  Child Sexual Exploitation offences, as indicated by West Midlands Police systems intelligence marker, showed an increase of 34.7%. That increase was welcome as it was perceived as a rise in reporting of offences, rather than increases in offences being committed.

 

Discussion Points

 

·  The Panel highlighted that the Qtr. 3 data presented to them was extremely concerning; particularly that the year to date total recorded crime, vehicle crime, burglary, robbery, theft from shops and stalls and public place violence which had all seen notable increases.

·  Nationally, total recorded crime had also increased.

·  Equally concerning was that “reduced partner resources and higher demand from other high harm/vulnerability offences had challenged the control of crime figures”.

·  Member’s perception was that low level/low value crime was not being recorded due to growing pressures and demand on Police resources. Crimes such as shoplifting and petrol station “drive-offs” were now being seen, reluctantly, as low priority.

·  Members observed from the report and discussion that there appeared to have been a shift in the pattern and frequency of offending across some areas of the borough. The Panel agreed with officer’s viewpoint that further evaluation was urgently needed to understand why.

·  Individual Panel Members drew attention to the fact that residents living in the communities which they represented were becoming increasingly concerned at the rises in certain crime types,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

West Midlands Community Safety Partnership Update pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To present to the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel a presentation from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner about the formation of a regional community safety partnership. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In attendance: Gillian Crabbe (Community Safety & Partnerships Manager - Managed Growth and Communities).

 

The Panel was appraised about the formation of a regional community safety partnership.

 

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner had informed the regions in November 2016 of his plans to create a regional community safety board. During 2017, the Commissioner had been liaising with stakeholders about its formation with a proposal now being presented and a timeline for implementation.

 

Gill Crabbe explained that early views were that a formal regional partnership would have positive benefits for Solihull. During the transition phase, the Council’s Community Safety & Partnerships Manager would be Solihull nominations on the regional board. The arrangements would support and strengthen cross-regional work and its composition was envisaged as:

 

·  West Midlands Police (ACC).

·  West Midlands Fire Service (Commander).

·  Health.

·  Probation Service.

·  Seven West Midlands Local Authorities.

·  Third Sector.

 

The Panel was advised that a further update was likely to be available for the Panels’ last meeting of 2017/18.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)  That the latest position about the formation of a regional community safety partnership be noted; and

(ii)  That a further update be considered at the Panel’s last meeting of 2017/18.

 

6.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 69 KB

For the Panel to consider its Work Plan items for the remainder of 2017/18.

Minutes:

The Panel was invited to receive its work plan for the remainder of 2017/18.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the Panel’s Work Plan be noted.