Agenda item

Safer Hillingdon Partnership Development


Ian Billham, Interim Director – Community Safety and Enforcement, introduced the report which outlined the changes to the Safer Hillingdon Partnership (SHP) structure, governance and delivery to ensure compliance with its statutory functions under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. It was confirmed that the SHP was the statutory Community Safety Partnership (CSP) in Hillingdon. Members heard that a number of new responsibilities were being allocated to CSPs including the upcoming Serious Violence Duty, Combatting Drugs Strategy (Harm to Hope Guidance) and domestic abuse. The report outlined the responsible authority core membership. Priorities and performance measures to come before the Select Committee would be agreed with a focus on that which could be influenced and changed, particularly across the new areas of responsibility.


A new governance and tiered structure had been proposed as set out in the report. This entailed three overarching priorities underpinning themes. Member heard that the reason for this approach was that it was likely strategic headlines would not change over a three-year period whilst the underpinning priorities would. This was a practice seen nationally. The importance of having the right membership across the structure was highlighted.


Members requested clarification as to which departments would be involved in the Community Safety Partnership Membership. It was confirmed that the report set out the core function of the Board only. Education would be included throughout the rest of the structure; possibly on the Business Support Group, Domestic abuse forum, Prevent forums and Combatting drugs forum – this was yet to be confirmed. At strategic level, the inclusion of the local education authority was also under consideration.


With regard to the Strategic Intelligence Assessment referenced in the report, Members enquired who would be doing the actual assessment. It was confirmed that this had been completed by Edge Consultancy on this occasion; their results would be compared with in house data. The Assessment was an annual undertaking - how this annual assessment would be carried out in the future had yet to be confirmed.


Members noted the importance of consistent annual reviews of the CSP going forward - strategic priorities would change year on year therefore needed to be monitored. It was confirmed that a core function of the CSP was to review itself on an annual basis.


In response to further questions from the Committee, it was confirmed that ways in which links with the Hillingdon Safer Neighbourhood Board could be improved were still under consideration.


Councillors requested further details regarding the benefit to residents. It was confirmed that locality-based hubs were under consideration to facilitate better engagement with residents at a local level. Residents’ associations would be involved and local residents would be consulted to ensure the structure met their needs. The aim was to build resilience in the community with a preventative rather than a reactive approach. Members welcomed this preventative approach.


Councillors enquired whether Edge Consultancy had taken into consideration how things operated in the Borough on the ground noting that levels of abuse and crime were intrinsically linked to housing and how / where people lived. A shift of consciousness around planning was required to address this. It was acknowledged that developers needed to consider the local demographics of an area to understand its communities and local needs. In the longer term, area profiles would be carried out to identify socioeconomic factors and demographics – this would be the preventative approach. It was acknowledged that a reactive approach was also required – officers would be going back to the basics of estate and neighbourhood management and would look at how antisocial behaviour, environmental issues and housing enforcement were managed. Local hubs would engage with landlords and the aim would be to improve that engagement on an ongoing basis. Members heard that this approach had been effective in other areas, though it was recognised that London was more challenging due to crossover between boroughs and differences in area.


In response to further questions from the Committee, it was acknowledged that Safe Spaces were a great piece of work and would be taken into consideration. It was recognised that domestic abuse was intrinsically linked to exploitation, radicalisation, drug use etc and it was important to understand these links. A co-ordinated approach was essential and early intervention was key.


Members expressed their concern that many registered social landlords either did not have a domestic violence policy in place or failed to implement it to protect victims. It was confirmed that officers would work towards incorporating domestic abuse into tenancy agreements to ensure victims were prioritised over perpetrators. There was a need to improve engagement with registered social landlords. An in-depth piece of work was also underway regarding the allocation of accommodation and how this could be tracked. It was anticipated that this would be captured in the new Strategy.


The Select Committee noted that further SHP updates were scheduled on the Work Programme for November 2022 and March 2023. It was not yet possible to endorse the new arrangements for SHP as a consultation was still underway.


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the content of the report and the proposals for SHP.

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