Agenda item

Community Safety - Update

Presentation by Head of Community Safety


The Head of Community Safety gave a presentation (previously circulated) updating Members on the development of Community Safety which had been identified as a core resource; and outlined the DBC Service Plan, including objectives and priority actions set for 2019.


Details were provided of key achievements which included the introduction of PSPO’s to tackle alcohol misuse, begging and antisocial behaviour in Darlington Town Centre; introduction of mobile CCTV; and the award of Purple Flag status.


In relation to crime and incident figures for the year to date for Darlington and the Town Centre it was reported that, when compared to the previous year, all crime had increased by 6 per cent in Darlington, whilst antisocial behaviour had decreased by 1 per cent; and for the town centre all crime had increased by 24 per cent whilst antisocial behaviour had decreased by 4 per cent. Further information was provided in respect of violence against the person, sexual offences, retail crime, public disorder and antisocial behaviour. 


Members were informed of the measures in place to address the increase in crime rates in the town, including five additional mobile CCTV units; violence had been identified as a key priority for Durham Constabulary, with additional resources put in place; work was being undertaken with licensing and pub watch to address alcohol related incidents; a multi-agency problem solving group was in place to address antisocial behaviour; and Whatsapp groups had been trialled as a mechanism to share intel.


The presentation outlined the service priorities for 2020-21 which would support the development of the town centre economy by putting appropriate measure in place and demonstrating it was a safe place to visit.


Concerns were raised in respect of the neighbourhood boundaries used by Durham Constabulary to report crime and antisocial performance data; as these did not correlate with the ward boundaries in Darlington, Members were not able to easily identify the data relevant to their wards. Members requested that discussions be held with Durham Constabulary to review and update their crime reporting system.


Discussion ensued on the antisocial behaviour relating to motorcycles and quads which had seen a significant increase over the winter period; crime detection rates; details were provided of funding from the Police, Crime and Victim’s Commissioner to implement a road safety initiative with schools in Darlington; and reference was made to benefits of mini courts and mini police to address road safety around schools.


RESOLVED – (a) That the thanks of this Scrutiny Committee be extended to the Head of Community Safety for his informative and interesting presentation.


(b) That discussions be held with Durham Constabulary to review and update their crime reporting system to align neighbourhood boundaries with wards in Darlington.


(c)  That Members undertake a visit to CCTV control room.


(d) That Members receive regular updates from CCTV via newsletter.


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