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Agenda item

Crime Detection Rates

To receive an update from Gloucestershire Constabulary on crime detection rates in Tewkesbury Borough. 

Minutes:

58.1          The Chair welcomed the Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough to the meeting.  She indicated that she had been invited to attend the meeting to discuss crime detection rates but she felt it would firstly be useful to give Members an overview of what neighbourhood policing in Tewkesbury Borough was about.

58.2           The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough gave a brief presentation during which the following key points were raised:

·                  Neighbourhood Policing Offer (1) – Launched in January 2018 by Chief Constable who stated that there would be: a dedicated neighbourhood policing team for the Tewkesbury Borough area; a named Police Community Support Officer (PCSO); up-to-date information about policing in each neighbourhood on the Constabulary’s website, social media and in key public spaces in the community; a Police reception in every district that could be accessed at least five days per week; the ability to listen to people’s concerns through meetings in communities and the Police engagement vehicles; invitations to join the new community messaging scheme “Your Community Alerts”; use of mobile technology so local officers and staff could stay out in the community as much as possible; open and approachable officers wearing named epaulettes; new additions to the team including a Rural Crime Officer, Safeguarding Officer and, shortly, a School Beat Officer.

·                  How do we Police Tewkesbury? – Tewkesbury Borough was divided into three areas – North, South and East – each with their own dedicated team.

·                  Police Family – Roads Policing Unit; Mounted Unit; Firearms Officers; Criminal Investigation Department (CID); Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit (RASSO); Divisional Intelligence Unit (DIU); Domestic Abuse Safeguarding Team (DAST); Special Constabulary; Cadets; Custody Investigation Unit; Operations and Planning; Dogs Unit; Professional Standards Department; Force Control Room; Mobile Crisis Intervention Team (MCIT); Intelligence Unit; Crime Operations, and many more.

·                  What have we achieved? – From January to March 2018 dealt with 14 offenders for drug dealing removing cannabis, crack cocaine and heroin from the Tewkesbury Borough area; recovered a stolen quad bike and significant amount of cash linked to criminal activity; convicted an offender for a large number of dwelling burglaries - they had received a four year custodial sentence, which was rare, and so gave an indication of the level of criminality; interviewed prisoners in custody and established their involvement in burglaries in the area; dismantled a number of Dangerous Drug Networks - where drug dealers took over addresses of vulnerable people - at an early stage to ensure they did not become embedded in the community; provided police response to community events such as the Mop Fair, Remembrance Parades etc.; and, engaged with Parish Councils, returning to meetings including Community Safety Partnerships.

58.3          During the debate which ensued, a Member raised concern about the number of break-ins in the Churchdown area.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough explained that, whilst it was not an epidemic, the Police were aware of several break-ins and were very active in the area in relation to that.  There had recently been an article in the local press regarding one case and she confirmed that was an isolated incident.  She suggested that signing up to “Your Community Alerts” might be helpful in terms of keeping up-to-date with incidents in particular areas.  A Member indicated that he checked for incidents in his area on the Police website but he did not find it particularly helpful in terms of outcomes.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough advised that, whilst this might sound simple to achieve, the reality was that there was no immediate outcome if someone had to go through the court system following arrest as the end result was not reported back at a local level. 

58.4           A Member understood that each community had its own dedicated PCSO and he raised concern that nobody had been attending Parish Council meetings in Shurdington.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough clarified that PCSOs were shared as, unfortunately, there was not enough for one per community; however, that did not mean they were not focused on all of the areas they were responsible for.  The Police website listed the PCSOs, and the areas they covered, and she indicated that she was also happy to be a point of contact should Members have any concerns. 

58.5           In response to a query regarding mobile technology, the Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough explained that Police Officers used a mobile telephone with a number of apps which enabled them to take statements etc.  In terms of “Your Community Alerts”, this had been launched fairly recently and was currently only being used by 3% of the community– it was a very useful tool and she undertook to circulate the link to Members following the meeting.  A Member raised concern that the Police engagement vehicle had been in Brockworth the previous week but he had only received notification 12 hours before it had been due to arrive and the vehicle was only there for a few hours.  He questioned whether it would be possible to have at least 48 hours’ notice so it could be advertised to local residents.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough confirmed that the dates were publicised on the Police website so that people could find out where the vehicle was in advance.  She indicated that this could be included in “Your Community Alerts” as well if it was helpful.

58.6           A Member raised concern that there had been a delay in reconstituting the Community Safety Partnerships and this meant there was a gap in the information which communities were receiving.  The Head of Community Services confirmed that the Tewkesbury Borough Community Safety Partnership (CSP) had been reconstituted and the first meeting had been attended by the nominated Member representatives from the Council; the CSP was now looking to set local priorities.  It had not been easy to get a meeting with all partners, all of which had competing priorities that they wished to see represented, but a programme had now been set for the year so meetings would take place on a quarterly basis.  The Member felt that this should have been communicated more widely and, in response, the Chief Executive explained that the nature of the CSP in Tewkesbury Borough had changed and the Committee had been involved in considering what those changes would be.  A strategic group was now working to address community safety issues in the borough and there were different links into the wider community in terms of how the group would operate.  He advised that a Member Update would be circulated to ensure Members were aware that the first CSP meeting had taken place.

58.7          A Member went on to advise that he had attended a Parish Council meeting the previous night and there had been a lot of criticism that the Police were not present at meetings; the PCSO had indicated they would be attending the meeting but had not turned up which added to frustrations.  He felt there was a need to ensure that Parish Councils were notified if PCSOs were not able to attend meetings and to make them aware of opportunities to meet PCSOs elsewhere.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough advised that a PCSO would generally be on the engagement vehicle when it visited various parts of the borough; however, it would not necessarily be the local PCSO for the area.  In terms of attendance at Parish Council meetings, it was not always an effective use of Police time if the meeting was just covering general business; however, if Parish Councils had a particular concern and wanted a PCSO to attend for a specific reason, she urged Members to let them know as arrangements could be made for someone from the area team to attend.

58.8          The Chair thanked the Gloucestershire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Tewkesbury Borough for her presentation and indicated that it would be circulated to Members following the meeting.  It was

RESOLVED          That the presentation and update on neighbouring policing and crime detection rates in Tewkesbury Borough be NOTED.