The Panel considered a report which explained that the Council was required by statute to work in partnership with other listed organisations to tackle community safety problems in Staffordshire Moorlands. The Council’s corporate plan committed the Council to ‘Review the Council’s community safety arrangements in order to maintain strong partnerships with community groups’. This report supported the delivery of that commitment.
The District Council had three main duties in relation to community safety and must:
· work with partners to formulate and implement a community safety strategy;
· ensure that it had a committee to scrutinise crime and disorder matters at least once a year; and
· consider the crime and disorder implications when exercising its functions.
The District Council discharged its duty to work with partners to formulate and implement a community safety strategy through its involvement in the Moorlands Together Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership. Appendix C provided a summary of the Council’s contributions to the Partnership.
The Community Overview & Scrutiny Panel scrutinised crime and disorder matters at least once a year. The Panel received an annual report on the activity of the Community Safety Partnership as well as an annual update from Staffordshire Police.
Each report included a section on community safety implications, which ensured that such considerations formed part of the Council’s decision making process. This included an evaluation of the impact of regeneration, asset management or planning policies.
The Council provided a range of services that contributed to improving the safety of Staffordshire Moorlands. This included CCTV in town centres across the District, the work of the Democratic and Communities Service, licensing taxis and places that sold alcohol, responding to statutory nuisances, supporting the homeless, and providing support to vulnerable people and those at risk of becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.
Given the recent issues at Brough Park, a member enquired if it was possible for a mobile CCTV unit to be temporarily installed to discourage poor behaviour and numbers of young people gathering. In response, David Smith advised there were no plans to increase CCTV coverage in the area. However, should members wish for this to be considered the Council could bid for partnership funding from the Staffordshire Commissioner. The District Council’s representative on the Police, Fire and Crime Panel offered to contact the Commissioner in relation to this and members were asked to identify problem areas which would be passed on to Chief Inspector Thorley.
The Portfolio Holder for Communities, informed the Panel that he had been in contact with Chief Inspector Thorley in relation to mobile CCTV and explained there was also a requirement for CCTV signage.
The Panel debated the increased level of fly-tipping which was originally attributed to the start of the pandemic when recycling centres were closed. Despite recycling centres being fully open, the levels of fly-tipped refuse remained high. The majority of these incidents occurred during the night and in rural locations. Staff would investigate, take into account any information left in the refuse and a communications and publicity scheme was planned to take place.
DECIDED: The Panel noted:
· the Community Safety Partnership’s strategy and plan; and
· the contributions that the Council made towards community safety.