Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 28th February, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Claire Wilson - Scrutiny Officer  Tel: 01423 500600 ext. 58323 Email:  claire.wilson@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

97.

Apologies for absence and notification of substitutes:

Minutes:

Notification had been received that Councillor Paul Haslam was to act as a substitute for Councillor John Mann, and Councillor Victoria Oldham was to act as a substitute for Councillor Sue Lumby. Apologies were received from Councillor Bernard Bateman and Councillor Michael Harrison.

(5.31 pm)

98.

Declarations of interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

(5.32 pm)

99.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Of the meeting of 31 January 2022.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 31 January 2022 were approved as a correct record.

 

(Six Members voted for the motion and there was three abstentions)

 

(5.32 pm)

100.

Exempt information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt items.

Minutes:

There was no exempt information.

 (5.32 pm)

101.

Public arrangements- questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

(5.33 pm)

102.

North Yorkshire Police Harrogate District Overview and Scrutiny Commission Report - September 2021 to February 2022: pdf icon PDF 2 MB

North Yorkshire Police to provide a written report. Chief Inspector Andy Colbourne and Detective Chief Inspector Nichola Holden to be in attendance.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the item, welcoming Chief Inspector (CI) Andy Colbourne, Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Nichola Holden and Inspector Nicola Colbourne from North Yorkshire Police (NYP) to the meeting. NYP had submitted a written report providing detailed local crime information for the period September 2021 to February 2022. The Chair thanked NYP for the informative report which had been prepared by members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team Harrogate Inner (Nicola Colbourne) and Harrogate Outer (Alex Langley). The report focused on Harrogate and Ripon.

 

CI Colbourne addressed the Commission and outlined the significant improvements, challenges and priorities facing the police, including the impact of Covid-19. The pandemic had changed how the police operated and public expectations were high. Keeping staff motivated to meet demand/calls for service and provide a level of service that met expectations was important. Some demand had reduced over the last 12-18 months which was attributed to Covid-19 restrictions changing peoples’ activities and because pubs/clubs were open less, although it was noted that some crime types had deferred including some issues with anti-social behaviour. Monitoring emerging crime trends at a time where restrictions were no longer in place was important, prescriptive and area-specific plans had been implemented

 

NYP had increased their social media presence as a means to engage with the public during the pandemic.

 

CI Colbourne explained that a new control strategy was in place that covered some key themes, including safeguarding vulnerable people, community harm, road safety and serious and organised crime. Sub-areas of these themes were:

 

·         Violence against women and girls

·         Child neglect

·         Child/parent violence

·         Child abuse

·         Domestic abuse

·         Rape and sexual assault

·         Stalking and harassment

·         Controlling and coercive behaviour

·         Drink spiking

·         Child sexual exploitation

·         Anti-social behaviour (and the reasons behind this)

·         Anti-social behaviour linked to vehicles

·         County lines

·         Criminal exploitation

·         Drugs production and supply

·         Modern slavery

·         Human trafficking

 

It was noted that in some cases, the police received calls regarding groups of young people however, public concern was sometimes due to peoples’ perceptions of the situation and there was no criminal activity. Where anti-social behaviour was an issue some of the key elements in tackling this included working with partnership hubs to provide support to parents and young people and considering diversion activities. CI Colbourne also highlighted that the police engage with young people, in town centres for example, it might not be because they were doing anything wrong, the police looked to engage with young people and extra patrols were deployed for this purpose.

 

CI Colbourne emphasised that work was being done with local pubs, restaurants and hotels to combat exploitation of young people. He encouraged anyone with concerns about anything unusual to contact the police, as community intelligence was valuable.

 

The Chair thanked CI Colbourne for the informative presentation and the detailed report that was submitted by NYP which had statistical and narrative information. He referred to further data analysis work undertaken by the Scrutiny Officer and Scrutiny, Governance and Risk Manager and the document that had been circulated to Members with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

Harrogate District Community Safety Group and Community Safety Hub Update: pdf icon PDF 406 KB

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities and the Community Safety and CCTV Manager to submit a written report. The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities and the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities to be in attendance.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities, Councillor Mike Chambers, who was the Chair of the Harrogate District Safety Group. He explained that it had been over a year since last the Harrogate District Safety Group had met, and that there would be meeting soon. Despite not meeting formally significant work had been undertaken with operations continuing to run smoothly during the Covid-19 pandemic. He referred to the report from the Community Safety and CCTV Manager explaining that it demonstrated the Community Safety Group and Hub was an effective forum bringing together issues and working towards resolutions.

 

Members noted the information about funding from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner at paragraph 3.5 of the report. Funding in 2021/22 was £7,309 and had supported a lot of different projects. Funding for 2022/23 would be reduced to £6,676 because allocation of funding was based on a formula that involved:

 

·                Reported incidents of crime (volume)

·                Reported incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB volume)

·                Reported incidents of public safety and welfare (PSW volume)

·                Victims of crime

·                Aggrieved/people reporting ASB or PSW

 

Members considered that the reductions in crime reports that were used to calculate the funding had been reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions. However restrictions would not be in place in the 2022/23 year and so the level of funding allocated may not meet the actual needs. It was confirmed that there was no mechanism to appeal the funding reduction. It was agreed that the Chair, Councillor Chris Aldred would write a letter on behalf of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission to confirm that the reduction in funding was correct for the 2022/23 year.

 

Members considered the work of the hub was hugely valuable and the structure and processes in place could be used as a template or exemplar for the wider North Yorkshire area. The Community Safety Officer who was in attendance explained that the addition of a police officer to the team allowed for quicker decisions and more flexibility.

 

Following a question about how referrals were made for mediation and anger management it was confirmed that this could be done by different teams at the Council (e.g., Housing and Property) or other agencies and individuals by contacting the Community Safety team directly. It was confirmed that cases were managed using the Orcuma case management system, cases may involve multiple agencies (external) and Harrogate Borough Council Housing Options who can all access and update cases. It was noted that the number of enquires had doubled (the total number of cases had reduced). The increase in enquiries was due to improved reporting, in the past where an enquiry had been resolved through signposting it had not been recorded, but now all contacts were recorded, which was helpful in terms of better case management and providing data.

 

Members referred to the balance of funds generated through the Streetaid scheme and how this would be used following Local Government Reorganisation. The Community Safety Officer explained they were ambitious about  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.

104.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions:

To consider current Forward Plan items.

Minutes:

A document listing the Key Decisions currently on the Forward Plan had been submitted, there were no other updates.

(7.04 pm)

105.

Feedback from other Committees and External Bodies:

The Chair to provide an update from:

 

·       Cabinet 2 February 2022 (Overview and Scrutiny Comments on the 2022/23 Draft Budget and 2023/24 Indicative Budget)

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that the Commission’s comments from the scrutiny of the budget had been referred to a meeting of Cabinet to be held on 2 February 2022 and he had presented them at full Council on 9 February 2022.

 

(7.04 pm)

106.

Overview and Scrutiny Draft Work Programme 2021/2022: pdf icon PDF 516 KB

The Scrutiny, Governance and Risk Manager to submit a written report.

Minutes:

The Scrutiny, Governance and Risk Manager (SGRM) referred to the written report, which included details of the Commission’s Draft Work Programme for 2021/22. A special meeting held on behalf of the Council scheduled for 13 December 2021, where the Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire was due to present her annual report, had been postponed and had been re-arranged as an informal online meeting at 4 pm on the 11 April 2022.

 

The UCI task and finish group were meeting on 2 March 2022 to discuss the final report that had been drafted.

 

The Chair referred to marketing activities associated with Destination Christmas organised by the Destination Management Organisation and indicated that the Commission could look at the arrangements for Christmas events in 2022. The SGRM confirmed that a scope would need to developed before the Commission considered this as an item of work and this was something that could be progressed and brought to a future meeting.

 

 (7.04 pm - 7.08 pm)