To receive an update from the Chief Officer (Safer Leeds) about performance against priorities included in the Safer Leeds Community Safety Strategy 2018 -21, and to present the draft Safer, Stronger Communities: City Plan 2021-24.
The report of the Chief Officer Safer Stronger Communities sets out the annual update against priorities included in the Safer Leeds Community Safety Strategy 2018-19, and presents the draft Safer, Stronger Communities City Plan 2021-24.
Appended to the submitted report included the Annual Community Safety Activity and Performance 2020/21 (Appendix 1), Safer Leeds Performance Information (Appendix 2) and the Safer Stronger Communities City Plan 2021-24 (Appendix 3).
In attendance for this item were:
o Councillor Coupar, Executive Member for Resources
o James Rogers, Director Communities, Housing & Environment
o Paul Money, Chief Officer Safer Stronger Communities
o Simon Hodgson, Head of Community Safety Services
o Sharon Coates, Service Improvement Manager
o Claire Smith, ASB Service Delivery Manager
Officers in attendance, provided the Board with a PowerPoint presentation, which highlighted:
· An annual update 2021 on the Safer Leeds Community Safety Strategy 2018-21, specifically in terms of activity and outcomes the service has focused on in relation to:
o Anti-Social Behaviour
o Drugs and Alcohol
o Domestic Violence
o Street Support
o Hate Crime
· An overview of the draft Safer Stronger Communities City Plan 2021-24, including its ambition and strategic priorities;
· An overview of key issues and shared priorities that directly affect people’s safety, all of which negatively impact on people and places. It was noted that there was a clear need to strengthen the commitment to address inequalities related to the key issues;
· The Safer, Stronger Communities Model and its key aims to improve better outcomes for people;
· The Implementation Framework in place as well as the Connected Boards / Significant Partnerships;
· The focus on Strategic Priorities moving forward, those being:
o Keeping people safe from harm,
o Preventing & reducing offending
o Creating safer, stronger communities
Members discussions focussed on the following matters:
· The quality of female accommodation facilities;
· The support in place for individuals with tenancy agreements exhibiting behaviours of street homelessness, and clarity on whether the Assisted Support Rough Sleeper Scheme extends beyond the city centre;
· The process of managing individuals refusing support;
· Increased drug related ASB, particularly when a large number of rough sleepers were placed in hotels;
· The demographics of the 10 one bed properties purchased by the council.
Tackle Crime and ASB
· The extension and use of social media platforms to reach a wider audience;
· Tackling issues around leaving bins and bags of waste in the streets, and clarity on the use of the new PSPO for Headingley/Hyde Park & Little London/Woodhouse;
· Increased quad bike related ASB and clarity on the powers in place to take action against individuals.
· Whether there are specialist officers to deal with enquiries relating to Disability Hate crime
· The position on hardware updates, and the use of data;
· The source of LeedsWatch funding;
· Further clarity on the service redesign and restructure.
Responding to questions from Members, the Board were provided with the following information:
· Leeds is 1 of 2 cities that has a dedicated facility for women, and it was confirmed that the Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub will provide women with independent living spaces, and 24/7 support. The Hub provides emergency accommodation but will be there for women seeking longer term accommodation – additional funding will be required to support the Hub long-term;
· The Assisted Support Rough Sleeper Scheme focuses on all wards, although the concentration is mainly in the city centre and links closely with Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs). It was reported that in June 2020, 21 people were on the streets and during the pandemic 200 individuals were moved on as a result of the increased blended accommodation offer across the city;
· 12 navigators are employed through the Third Sector to work with people in their homes to mitigate people returning to the streets;
· Enforcement action can be taken against individuals presenting continued challenges, although this would be a last resort should support be refused/ignored;
· A large number of individuals were placed across hotels, resulting in anti-social behaviour. It was confirmed a high concentration of people at any one time will be avoided in the future, to mitigate issues;
· Clarity on the location of properties purchased by the council can be provided to members outside of the meeting. It was confirmed the council put a bid in for 20 properties and were successful in purchasing 10 of those properties. Consultation with ward members on the location of the additional properties will be carried out;
· Universities are unable to share student information due to GDPR and they do not have access to this until September/October. The council are able to share data with the universities when action is taken against an individual but there are challenges surrounding this prior to September when that individual is not classed as a student. It was confirmed that there are regular meetings with partners, and weekly meetings with West Yorkshire Police to combat issues and prevent and deter at an early stage;
· Clarity was provided on the process for referring cases to the ASB MARAC, and it was confirmed that further details in relation to this will be provided to Community Committee Safety Champions via a briefing note;
· An update will be provided at the next meeting in relation to expanding social media platforms and the work in liaison with housing offices and community hubs to display information;
· The Cleaner Neighbourhoods Team (CNT) take care of enforcement around littler being left in communities and specific data regarding this can be provided to members;
· Quad bike related ASB remains a high priority for the council and there are issues across the city in identifying the bikes. Liaison with CC Safety Champions will help explore options; reference was made to the way Operation Steerside is operated, which is a police, Bradford council and wider partnership operation focussing mainly on enforcement of anti-social and illegal use of motor vehicles;
· Options are being explored with colleagues in DIS in terms of how CCTV cameras are to be implemented and upgraded – a city wide programme will include details on future arrangements for hardware. GDPR issues have been identified with being able to share data with key stakeholders. It was confirmed that a development plan for LeedsWatch has been set up and explains how data is shared. Additionally, there isn’t a solution at the moment on where wider funding will come from.
The Chair thanked officers for their presentation, attendance and information presented in the submitted report.
Due to time constraints, the Board agreed there may be a need to provide additional comments on the City Plan, and so it was
a) To note the contents of the report and its appendices, together with comments raised during discussion of this item;
b) To endorse in principle the draft Safer Stronger Communities City Plan 2021-24, subject to additional comments put forward by Board Members over the next 4 weeks.