Agenda item

Safer Rotherham Partnership Annual Report


Councillor Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety introduced the Safer Rotherham Partnership annual report.  The Partnership had a statutory responsibility and involved a number of partners e.g. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Council.  It had been heavily criticised in the Casey report in terms of how it operated, the lack of challenge and not tackling issues.  The previous Cabinet Member, former Councillor Sims, who had responsibility for the Partnership, had spent a lot of time restructuring and reinvigorating the Partnership and had started the work on the plan that was included in the report submitted.


Councillor Hoddinott introduced Superintended Scott Green, Operational Superintendent for Rotherham, Chair of the Performance and Delivery Group of the Safer Rotherham Partnership.  It was noted that the Partnership had agreed to employ an analyst who would bring the data together and give a better picture of what was happening in Rotherham.


Superintendent Green gave the following powerpoint presentation:-


SRP Priorities

-          Reduce the threat and harm to victims of CSE

-          Reducing the threat and harm to victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, honour based abuse and forced marriage

-          Reducing and managing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage

-          Reducing the risk of becoming a victim of serious acquisitive crime

-          Improve confidence and trust

-          Improve the feeling of safety


Priority 1 – Reduce the threat and harm to victims of CSE

-          Rotherham had a significant higher number of referrals than the rest of the county.  It showed correct recording and the confidence of victims and survivors to come forward

-          Over 300 CSE referrals between August, 2015-July, 2016


Priority 2 – reducing the threat and harm to victims of domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, honour based violence and forced marriage

-          No forced marriage offences reported

-          2 Honour based violence offences report

-          Increase in the number of reported harassment offences

-          12 offences of stalking

-          Almost 75% of domestic related offences involved violence either with or without in injury

-          83% of victims of domestic abuse were wholly satisfied with the service that they received from the Police and partners

-          59% felt safer because of the interventions of the Police and partners


Priority 3 – Reducing and managing anti-social behaviour and criminal damage

-          The number of PCSOs in Rotherham had been maintained

-          An increase of anti-social behaviour incidents which was a result of the Summer and longer days – it increased across the country at this time of the year

-          Areas of anti-social behaviour covered a number of areas - rowdy and nuisance behaviour was down by 6%

-          The largest increase (18%) was vehicle nuisance e.g. off-road motorcycles and abandoned vehicles

-          30% of people in Rotherham believed that anti-social behaviour was a very big problem – high perception when compared to the data

-          Criminal damage – fairly stable position – levels relatively low compared with similar areas


Priority 4 – Reducing the risk of becoming a victim of serious acquisitive crime

-          Theft from vehicle – area of criminality that continued to fall

-          Burglary from dwellings – continued to fall.  On average every day in Rotherham there was less than 1.6 burglaries

-          Robbery – the chance of being a victim of a robbery i.e. mugging – number of offences very low


Priority 5 – Improving confidence and trust

-          Rotherham had a low result than elsewhere in the country

-          Trust – from local communities the amount of trust people had for South Yorkshire Police had not changed over the last 12 months


Priority 6 – Improving feeling of safety

-          Perception of feeling safe remained unchanged


101 Non-Emergency Service

-          Poor performance recognised over the past 6 months

-          Improvement plan in place owned by the Chief Constable

-          Immediate increase in resources

-          Broader recruitment plan to fill all posts effective from September, 2016

-          New technology platform July, 2017


Discussion ensued on the presentation with the following issues raised/highlighted:-


-          It would be helpful for Councillors if the data was broken down into Wards – The Partnership had funded an analyst post who would work as part of the Community Safety Team.  The new postholder would be able to break the Partnership data down into a format that was user friendly for the Partnership and Members


-          The retention of PCSO numbers in Rotherham was welcomed


-          Had the impact of the Magistrates Court closure been factored in? – Rotherham Main Street Police Station no longer had a Custody Suite.  Individuals who were arrested were taken to the  new Police Investigation Centre on Shepcote Lane, Sheffield, which was the centralisation of all custody suites in Sheffield and Rotherham.  Those that were arrested and remanded in custody went to Court from that building by the private sector providers.  Police Officers only transported from Rotherham to the Custody Suite.  The impact of the Magistrates Court closure would not impact on Police time


-          There was a massive lack of confidence in the 101 Non-Emergency Service.  How will the confidence be re-installed? - The Force recognised the poor performance which was why it was owned at Chief Officer level and there was a whole strategic plan.  It was too early as yet to start publicising the service because it was better as that was not the case.  Once it was, it would be marketed and try to restore that confidence.  Members of the public should be encouraged to use the alternative methods of reporting non-emergency issues such as online reporting and using the Crimestoppers number


-          Concerns had been raised about the 101 Non-Emergency Service in January.  What had changed since then? – There had been an immediate uplift of resources with Police Officers currently working in Atlas Court, the new recruitment plan was in place and operatives being trained.  It was hoped that it would be fully staffed within the next 2 months and able to meet the demand


-          It was not clear from the presentation whether there was a separating out of the current and historic cases of CSE? – This issue had been raised at the Partnership as it needed to be able to see from performance data what was current and what was historic in order to understand the picture in Rotherham.  The new analyst would be asked to provide data on the outcomes/convictions


-          Was the Partnership happy with the level of convictions being achieved since the Jay report? – This would be fed back to the Partnership.  Partnership meetings were themed and the next one was around CSE looking at the current position, what partners could do, where the gaps were, how it was doing and if there was anything more that needed to do


-          Concern that there had been no referrals regarding honour based and forced marriage.  Was it a similar picture in other authorities? -  It was Police data which showed that there had been no reported issues.  A lot of work/partnership initiatives were taking place to try and gain the confidence of communities around honour based violence and forced marriage issues.  The numbers were not high elsewhere


-          The increase in incidents of domestic violence could not solely be as a result of increased confidence in reporting.  There had to be an acknowledgement that the incidence of domestic violence was increasing together with sexual violence.  It was important also that there was data regarding repeat offences – The whole of the Partnership i.e. Police, Local Authority and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates to give the person who was the subject of domestic violence choices to make them feel safer. That data was now recorded and could be published.  It was a priority for the current year and the Partnership recognised that it was an area that it needed to do more work on.  The Partnership had a Domestic Violence Co-ordinator, who would be in post shortly, and funding allocated to get a better understanding of domestic violence and what was happening in Rotherham and to test what partners were doing about it.  It was an area that the Board was to do more work on and put more resources into


-          The confidence of the community needed to be gained regarding honour based violence and forced marriage particularly engaging with the women’s groups – There were a lot of work undertaken to ensure the Police reached out, particularly to those groups that worked with those at risk of domestic violence.  Some of the work was not discussed publicly because of the sensitivity.  It was an area that the whole Partnership would be subjecting to much more scrutiny over the next 12 months as it remained a priority.  The Police were not always the right people to do the work; independent groups and advocates commissioned that worked with victims and survivors were required to do the work


-          There had been a Domestic Violence Co-ordinator before so what would be different this time? - In the past the Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator had sat within Adult Services; this time the post had been moved into the Central Community Safety Team to work with the Safer Rotherham Partnership across all Directorates and partnerships.  The person would be much more focussed on strategic movement of some of the actions and outcomes of the Partnership and feed into the activity on the ground.  They would report back to the Partnership Board and be held to account for those actions


-          There were no statistics relating to drug abuse within the presentation? – Drug related crimes was not a  current priority for the Partnership and nor had it been the previous year


Resolved:-  (1)  That the Safer Rotherham Partnership provide Ward-based statistics in future reports.


(2)  That an update be submitted in 6 months to look at CSE, 101 Non-Emergency Services and domestic violence and honour based marriages.