Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny & Overview Committee
Tuesday, 5th March, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Simon Trevaskis
0208 7266000  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2019 as an accurate record.



The minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2019 were agreed as an accurate record.



Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.



There were none.



Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.



There were no items of urgent business.



Safer Croydon Partnership pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To receive a presentation on the Safer Croydon Partnership.


The Committee is asked to consider whether it wishes to make any recommendations following the discussion of this item.



The Committee received a presentation from the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali, on the performance of the Safer Croydon Partnership over the past twelve months.

In addition to the Cabinet Member, the Chair also welcomed the following attendees who were present at the meeting for this item:-

-     Andy Brown: Chief Executive of the Croydon BME Forum

-     Colin Carswell: Partnership Superintendent, Metropolitan Police

-     Elaine Clancy: Director of Quality & Governance, Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

-     Rachel Flowers: Director of Public Health, London Borough of Croydon

-     Gavin Handford: Head of Policy & Communities, London Borough of Croydon

-     Anthony Lewis: Head of Community Safety, London Borough of Croydon

-     Lucien Spencer: Area Manager, London Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)

-     Dave Stringer: South Area Commander, Metropolitan Police

-     Jonathan Toy: Programme Director – Community Safety, London Borough of Croydon

-     Councillor David Wood: Deputy Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities

During the introductory presentation delivered by the Cabinet Member, the following information was noted:-

·      Crime and safety were two of the key priorities set out in the Labour Manifesto which was produced in the run up to the local elections in May 2018.

·      The Safer Croydon Partnership (SCP) was a statutory partnership that originally came into force in 1998 with the Crime and Disorder Act, but had evolve since then towards its present format.

·      Statutory partners in the SCP included the Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group, the Community Rehabilitation Centre, the Fire Service and the Police.

·      Voluntary partners included Croydon Voluntary Action, the Croydon BME Forum and CAYSH

·      A recent Assessment of Statutory Compliance, had indicated that SCP was achieving compliance in all areas except Information Sharing, which was an issue effecting many Community Safety Partnerships and not just in Croydon.

·      There was a requirement for the Partnership to have a Community Safety Strategy, which was reviewed in 2017 and 2018 to ensure it continued to be aligned with priorities.

·      The current priorities were:

o  To reduce the overall crime rate in the borough; with a focus on violent crime and domestic abuse

o  To improve the safety of children and young people

o  To tackle anti-social behaviour and environmental crime

o  To improve public confidence and community engagement

o  To improve support and reduce vulnerability for all victims of crime; with a focus on hate crime.

·      Working below the main Partnership were five programme boards whose work streams were each aligned with one of these five priorities.

·      The strengths of the SCP included partners having a clear line of sight over the area, the involvement of the voluntary organisations was important particularly in regard to tackling knife crime and the DRIVE pilot for London which focussed on domestic abuse.

·      Potential areas of weakness for the Partnership included the challenge arising from the different working practices of partners, not all partners contributing equally, the challenge of coordinating the voluntary sector organisations and evaluating performance of the Partnership.

·      Forthcoming opportunities for the Partnership included the move  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18/19


Question Time: Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Question time with the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali.


The Committee is asked to consider whether it wishes to make any recommendations following the discussion of this item.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report set out on pages 17 to 38 of the agenda along with an accompanying presentation on the Portfolio of the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali. During the introductory presentation to this item the following was noted

i.      Although the Portfolio did not have as large a budget as some of the others, a wide range of areas were covered including community safety work streams and working with the voluntary & community sector.

ii.     The strengths within the Portfolio included the breath of activity arising from partnership work, Croydon Trading Standards playing a role nationally in test purchasing the online acquisition of knives, the Drive project aimed at disrupting domestic and sexual violence, funding had been received from National FGM Centre for a social worker for two years, the Voluntary & Community Sector Strategy and the Council had received recognition for its equalities and diversity work from both Stonewall & the Employers Network for Equalities & Inclusion.

iii.    Weaknesses included the lack of available funding undermining the ambitions of the Council and the lack of available, affordable community space (although provision was being created in the former SLaM premises on Tamworth Road).

iv.   Future opportunities included the expansion of the Credit Union, CCTV investment for smart city applications, the Best Bar None competition planned for 2019/20 and the second phase of Community Empowerment and Devolution also planned for 2019/20.

v.    Potential threats included the impact from the restructure of the Police Basic Command Unit, the large volume of activity across multiple funding streams outside of the Safer Croydon Partnership structure and data protection issues that restricted the sharing of data.

Following the presentation from the Cabinet Member, the Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions about her Portfolio. The first question concerned the potential impact of the Police restructure to a tri-borough arrangement with Sutton and Bromley. The South Area Commander for the Metropolitan Police advised that the purpose of the restructure was to ensure that there was more officers available on the ground and in moving to a tri-borough arrangement it delivered savings from having less senior management to deliver this. It had also presented the opportunity to equalise the work of senior commanders, so there should not be a noticeable difference on a local level.

It was questioned whether all the various partnerships and boards could lead to a risk of duplication, affecting the outcomes. It was advised that the Boards under the Safer Croydon Partnership were arranged to reflect the priorities of the Partnership. The arrangement had recently been reviewed and it was concluded that the partnership was working well, but it would be reviewed again in 2020. Within the Cabinet Member’s own Portfolio, there were regular meetings with the three Executive Directors to ensure that there was cohesion across the Portfolio.

The provision of funding for a social worker to work specifically on cases of FGM was welcomed by the Committee, with it questioned when this role would be in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19/19


Developing a Public Health Approach to Violence Reduction pdf icon PDF 772 KB

To receive a presentation on developing a Public Health Approach to violence reduction.


The Committee is asked to consider whether it wishes to make any recommendations following the discussion of this item.


The Committee received a presentation from the Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon and Communities, Councillor Hamida Ali, on the Safer Croydon Partnership’s move towards implementing a public health model for violence reduction in the borough.

During the presentation from Councillor Ali the following points were noted:-

-       Serious youth violence in the borough had fallen by 22.9% over the past twelve months, with 368 crimes reported against 477 in the previous twelve months. This reduction compared favourably with the rest of London which had a 5.8% reduction.

-       Knife crime in the borough had also reduced in the past year with 531 crimes compared to 637 in the previous twelve month. This represented a reduction of 16.6% against a London wide reduction of 0.4%.

-       The reduction in knife crime involving injury had decreased by 27.3% over the past twelve months, with 80 reported crimes compared to 110 in the previous year. The London wide reduction was 13.6%. 

-       The data demonstrated that Croydon was seeing a greater reduction in knife crime, youth crime and violence with injury than the London average. Croydon actually had a lower level of knife crime offences compared to the London average for the first time since 2015.

-       The Safer Croydon Partnership was now developing a public health approach to violence reduction which aimed to deliver long term, sustained reductions in violent crime.

-       The public health approach was data driven and focussed on preventing violence before it occurred using community based support, targeted interventions and enforcement.

-       The Public Health Approach would be used to look at all forms of violence including domestic abuse and sexual violence against women.

-       The priorities for the new approach would be to ensure that all partners understood their roles in helping to reduce violence in the borough, taking opportunities to intervene at an early stage were appropriate, reducing school exclusions and developing community support networks.

-       The next steps for the project would be a number of listening event in March and April before the framework and delivery model was finalised by the Safer Croydon Partnership Board in April. The Cabinet would give the project its final sign off in June 2019.

Following the presentation the Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions about the new Public Health Approach for violence reduction. The move towards a data driven approach was welcomed, but reassurance was sought that the approach would be led by data and not overruled by political priorities. Reassurance was given that future work would be driven by evidence as this was a vitally important part of employing a public health approach.

It was questioned what the Council could do to ensure the better use of digital data. It was advised that it was essential to ensure that the data was constantly being refined and developed. Evidence demonstrated that early trauma in the life of a young person was a common factor in many instances of those committing knife crime and as such it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/19


Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:


“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”




This motion was not required.