To receive a verbal update from the Chief Officer (Safer Leeds) regarding the impact of the city’s response to coronavirus, and the subsequent recovery plan, on the work of Safer Leeds.
The Chief Officer (Safer Leeds) was in attendance, and provided an update to the Board on the impact of the city’s response to coronavirus and the recovery plan, on the work of Safer Leeds.
The following key points had been highlighted:
· 220 rough sleepers had been accommodated in safe temporary accommodation across 8 sites and a contract has been secured until end of July 2020;
· Exit strategies are being discussed;
· Pre Covid-19 emergency accommodation including The Crypt has been closed throughout the Covid-19 period due to social distancing issues;
· Of the 220 rough sleepers that have been accommodated, 40 of those would normally have no recourse to public funding (NRPF);
· The current on-street activity is approximately 20 individuals with fewer rough sleepers on streets than previously;
· A draft ‘move in/move on’ transition framework has been developed with partners and seeks to support and safeguard individuals.
In response to questions, a number of matters were raised and discussed, including:
· The dispersal of rough sleepers and support provided to those people identified in prime locations. Members were informed that street support is in place city wide and across various wards and an increase in rough sleeping hot spot locations had been acknowledged and seeking to be responsive with Outreach Services and Local Housing Management Team;
· Outreach support capacity hasn’t decreased nor increased. Additional support has been utilised from Safer Leeds, across the Council and West Yorkshire Police;
· The level of interaction with the rough sleeper cohort regarding their future placement. Members were informed that work alongside the Ministry of Housing and Local Government is currently being developed to secure voices of clients. Questionnaires and exercises are being reviewed to engage 200+ people.
Domestic violence and abuse
· An increase in reporting of incidents since March 2020 - 55-75 incidents every 24 hours being reported to the police;
· Set up a partner group to ensure we can respond to victims of violence and domestic abuse;
· 712 cases have gone through the body of officers mitigating risks within 24 hours - over 700 safety plans have been implemented to ensure families and victims are safe;
· Members were informed of a new legislation that would call for new governance across all Local Authorities to drive more coherent partnerships and engage a broader range of partners.
Responding to Member’s questions, the following was discussed:
· Spikes in speeding during lockdown including off-road biking and lack of collaboration of 20mph zones. Members were informed that a Road Safety Partnership Group was being re-established and would include partners from West Yorkshire Police, Highways and Safer Leeds, and Members of the Board would be provided an update in due course of significant progress over the coming weeks;
· The collaboration of closer working Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Ward Members. Whilst identifying the good work undertaken by Neighbourhood Policing, a concern was raised regarding an overlap in number of crimes committed in the city centre compared to individual wards. It was confirmed that an update would be provided on those figures in due course;
· Noise nuisance and neighbour disputes. Particularly with house parties and large gatherings. Members were informed that as social distancing measures ease, colleagues in the noise nuisance (ASB) team will be able to enter premises to install equipment to measure noise, issue legal notices and enforce more tactical interventions.
The Chair thanked the Chief Officer (Safer Leeds) for his attendance, work undertaken and agreed to work collaboratively on the issues raised at a future meeting.
RESOLVED – The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities):
a) Noted the contents of the update, and comments raised during the meeting;
b) Agreed to identify areas of work for the Board at the upcoming Scrutiny Board meeting for the 2020/21 municipal year.