Agenda item

Community Safety presentation

Officer: Shifa Mustafa

Key decision: no


The Leader of the Council delegated to the Cabinet the power to make the decisions set out below.


RESOLVED to note the presentation.


The Leader thanked Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, for attending and speaking at the meeting.


The Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities noted that there had been genuine collaboration with the GLA on improving community safety and thanked the CSCB Board Manager for her work in this area.


Following the report to Cabinet in November 2018, the Cabinet Member gave Members an update on the establishment of a violence reduction unit. A conference had been held the previous week which had been hugely successful with a large turnout which was highly engaged in the ongoing work.


Discussions had been held on four key areas – what we are doing, what we can do differently, how we can achieve it, and what success looks like. It was recognised that it was important that the best use of data and analytics was imperative, including information from community groups. It was further noted that knowledge of the impact of adverse childhood experiences should also inform responses to reducing violence.


The importance of communities was recognised as being an important factor in violence reduction, and the Cabinet Member stated that voluntary sector funding would facilitate this. It was important to work towards zero homicide, reductions in domestic violence and reductions in youth violence.


Members were informed that the key messages which came from the conference were that it was important to work with statutory and community partners, ensuring that data drove the work to ensure maximum impact, a network of community interventions was necessary. It was recognised that they were not working from scratch, but would work upon the positive work already undertaken and would ensure transparency and openness with their work with partners.


The Cabinet Member noted that a key part of the public health approach to violence reduction was to use all data and respond to what it was showing. It was further stated that building a strong coordinated network of statutory and community partners would be important to ensure the success of the work.


In the coming months it was planned that a series of panels would take place with partners which would test and agree the new approach. In testing and agreeing the approach, they would hear statutory partners, community partners, and also those affected to ensure the approach would be the most affective. The Cabinet Member further informed Members that conversations would continue with regional and national colleagues to ensure best practice was followed, and it was intended that external funding would be sought over the coming months.


The Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime informed Cabinet that the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime (MOPAC) was looking at how different organisations could work together to tackle violence, and welcomed the work that was being undertaken in Croydon.


Whilst it was noted that the public health approach was important to tackling violence, the Deputy Mayor stated that enforcement was an important factor to consider also and the Mayor continued to invest in enforcement.


The Deputy Mayor stated that violence and the cause of people being involved in violent activities was multifaceted and as such the work to combat violence also needed to be multifaceted. It was important that not only statutory partners were involved in the work, but also community partners to ensure it was as wide reaching as possible.


It was stated that the vision for the central unit would be that it was a small, central body that would look at the strategic approach. It would be important to ensure that all London boroughs were learning lessons from across the capital as it was recognised that really good work was taking place, as the Violence Reduction Unit was to be a long term strategy for tackling violence.


The Deputy Mayor reiterated that it was violence in all its forms, not just street violence but also domestic and sexual violence, which was to be the purview of the Unit. It was recognised that there were links across all forms of violence and it was important to have a long term approach to tackle violence to ensure the root of the issue was addressed.


Members were informed that the Mayor was investing in services which would make a real difference to young people through the Mayor’s Youth Fund of £45 million. The Deputy Mayor also highlighted the work of Charlton Football Club which had launched a mentoring programme for young people which was being led by people who had previously been involved in gangs and wanted to help others to not get involved. It was suggested by the Deputy Mayor that the next round of the Youth Fund could be looked at by Croydon for additional funding. Additionally, the Deputy Mayor noted that there was Community Seed Funding which sought to support community groups in their work to tackle violence.


The Deputy Mayor concluded that working together with a network of partners and the Police would ensure that a reduction in violence is realised. Perpetrators must be arrested to ensure communities were safe and violence is tackled in the long term.


Members were supportive of any model which sought to reduce violence and noted that not only Glasgow had seen a reduction but also the West Midlands. It was recognised that it was too early to ask many questions as the unit was still being formed, but it was stated that it was expected that the unit would be different from previous projects. It was further noted that it would be important to look and tackle youth crime, but it was important that other forms of crime were looked at including homicide and domestic violence.


Members congratulated the Cabinet Member for a successful conference to launch the Croydon Unit as all sectors of the community were engaged with the process and the speakers were interesting and passionate.


In response, the Cabinet Member confirmed that all forms of violence were the purview of the unit and it was the expectation that the unit would be different as partners, both statutory and community, would be working together on a coordinated response. Furthermore, the Cabinet Member confirmed that the Unit would hear from those first hand who had been involved in violence which would also inform the work being undertaken.


The council’s record on domestic violence was recognised and the Cabinet Member confirmed that the unit would continue to work with the Family Justice Centre on this matter. The Cabinet Member further informed Members that the council was piloting the MOPAC programme – Drive – which sought to identify high risk perpetrators.


The Deputy Mayor further stated that it was important to not segregate out different types of violence and that it was imperative to tackle all forms of violence to see a long term reduction.


It was felt that there was hope for the future, as the Deputy Mayor confirmed that a number of people were having similar discussions across London. It was stated that a public health approach with enforcement would ensure progress was made as all involved were passionate to see a long term benefit.


The Leader of the Council delegated to the Cabinet the power to make the decisions set out below.


RESOLVED to note the presentation.