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Crime and Disorder Committee to examine the work of the Safer Colchester Partnership

Date issued: 1 September 2017

The Crime and Disorder Committee is to review the performance of the Safer Colchester Partnership (SCP), at its annual meeting on 12 September 2017.

The SCP, which was established under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, includes statutory members Colchester Borough Council, Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue Service, NE Essex CCG, Probation services and Essex County Council, along with non-statutory members Community 360 (formally CCVS), Colchester Borough Homes and the Garrison.

The aim of the Partnership is to work together to reduce crime and disorder in Colchester.

Representatives of the SCP will attend the Crime and Disorder Committee meeting to present an overview of the five Key Priority areas identified in the 2016-17 Annual Partnership Plan: to protect vulnerable people; to reduce reoffending; to address alcohol & drug misuse; to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and to address evening and night time economy crime.

After conducting a Strategic Assessment of Crime with partner agencies in Colchester and a Fear of Crime Survey with residents of Colchester, these five Key Priority areas are set to reduce to three main priorities in the 2017-18 Annual Partnership Plan. These will focus on reducing the occurrence of violent crime and fear of being a victim of violent crime, improving community resilience to reduce the threat of vulnerability and exploitation, and tackling the incidents of high harm and repeat anti-social behaviour.

There will also be a focus on how the SCP has tackled the gangs issue in the Borough. Gangs were identified as an emerging theme at the Crime and Disorder Committee in 2016.

The Committee will be provided with an update of the SCP's involvement on the Police and Crime Panel, the body set up to scrutinise the work of the PCC, and also learn about the Partnership's Key Priorities and plans for the coming year. Members of the Crime and Disorder Committee will then have an opportunity to question members on the Partnership's work and performance.

Some of the SCP's activities highlighted in this year's report include:

  • Launching the multi-agency Community Safety Hub based at Colchester Police Station
  • Extending the Keep Safe scheme across the borough to reduce the risk of vulnerable people becoming victims of crime.
  • Hosting a Hidden Harms conference successfully attended by 111 professionals from 34 Organisations. Subjects covered included: gangs, modern slavery, child sexual exploitation and domestic homicide reviews.
  • Launched the DRIVE Domestic Abuse Perpetrator pilot, working with priority perpetrators who are not yet part of the Criminal Justice System. 
  • A town centre Week of Action and Community Support Day, involving multi-agency patrols to engage with the public, rough sleepers and beggars.
  • Crucial Crew for Year 6 pupils
  • Gangs awareness-raising in primary schools

Pam Donnelly, Chair of the Safer Colchester Partnership, said: "This has been yet another exceptionally busy year for the SCP, with partners continuing to work successfully to tackle a wide range of issues affecting community safety in the Borough.

"The SCP performs an incredibly important and often difficult role extremely well. I look forward to it continuing to make a significant difference to reducing crime and people's fear of crime, as well as adapting to new challenges and emerging public safety issues whenever and wherever they arise in the Borough."

Cllr Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Licensing, said: "I am enormously impressed with what the Community Safety Partners have achieved in the past twelve months.

"By combining an impressive amount of knowledge, skills and expertise, they are able to tackle crime and disorder far more effectively and help make Colchester a safer and more attractive place for residents and visitors alike.