Agenda item

Safer Guildford Partnership Annual Report

Including a short presentation.


The Lead Councillor for Community and Housing introduced the item, advising the meeting that the achievements of the Safer Guildford Partnership (SGP) for the past year were set out within the report submitted to the Committee.  She indicated that the report included the draft Safer Guildford Partnership Plan setting out the priorities for the period 2021-24.  The Lead Councillor for Community and Housing praised the Partnership’s operational delivery groups, highlighted the contribution of councillors at the Joint Action Group (JAG), and suggested councillors share the information and updates provided by the Partnership with residents.


The Senior Policy Officer gave a presentation summarising the content of the report submitted to the Committee.  She indicated that the purpose of the report was to provide the Committee with the opportunity to examine the activities of the SGP in the last year and to advise and comment on the appropriateness of the draft priorities for the coming three years.  The Senior Policy Officer highlighted outcomes achieved in the previous year and key challenges faced by SGP partners in the last year. 


The Senior Policy Officer advised the meeting that when setting the future priorities and resources of the SGP key considerations included being realistic about the additional resources each partner could provide and ensuring the work of the SGP added value to single agency day to day work. 


As part of the presentation from the Senior Policy Officer, the Committee was reminded of the five draft key priorities for the next three years: continued response to the impact of Covid-19 on people’s safety; responding to Domestic abuse; protecting our communities from ASB/ Community Harm; protecting our communities from serious harm; and encouraging our communities to help themselves.  In outlining the key risks for the SGP over the next twelve months, the Senior Policy Officer acknowledged that all partners were likely to have less resources and increased financial pressures.


During the ensuing discussion a number of points and clarifications were made:


·        A member of the Committee asked whether increased ASB interventions reflected an increased focus by the SGP or increasing issues.  In reply, the Senior Policy Officer referred to the difficulties of answering such a question and suggested that the work and effectiveness of the SGP was increasing.  Inspector Sam Turner, Surrey Police, advised the Committee that there were increasing reports to police and partner agencies in Surrey year-on-year.  He indicated that he did not focus on the number of issues reported and instead was encouraged by the positive outcomes from action by the SGP and the resulting number of closures or convictions.


·        The Senior Policy Officer confirmed that learnings from the ongoing Domestic Homicide Review established in 2020-21 would be shared with all agencies involved.


·        The Committee was informed that Community Triggers were generally submitted by residents experiencing anti-social behaviour.  The Senior Policy Officer advised that full information, including the application form, was provided online.  She informed the meeting that numbers of Community Triggers within the Borough were higher than in some neighbouring partnerships due to better promotion.


·        In response to questions, Inspector Turner outlined the steps taken to tackle county lines, including helping children and vulnerable residents who may become involved as victims, and advised the Committee of the outcomes of two recent convictions.  He indicated that county lines was not a matter that could be solved and was a national issue.  In addition, he indicated that illegal drugs was were not an issue that arrests would solve and that it was in part a social and public health issue. 


·        The Senior Policy Officer informed the meeting that in Surrey the allocation of funding to help local authorities meet the requirements of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 was currently being determined.  She indicated that domestic abuse was the responsibility of all SGP partners to tackle.  Inspector Turner advised the meeting of the recent introduction of a dedicated domestic abuse team within Surrey Police following a restructure.


·        A member of the Committee suggested the value of the Junior Citizens scheme and questioned whether stopgap measures could be undertaken while the scheme was under review.  The Senior Policy Officer indicated that the content and delivery of the scheme was included within the review and the review would continue over the next year.  She advised the meeting that the scheme was in addition to outreach work by SGP partners.  Inspector Turner advised the meeting of the police’s youth engagement officers in the Borough and their role and he suggested they were intended to target youth-related issues rather than deliver a scheme such as Junior Citizens.


·        A member of the Committee suggested using analytics to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns for referrals to the SGP and thereby improve key performance indicators.  In response, the Senior Policy Officer indicated she would take away the suggestions put forward and noted that the SGP’s role was to enhance and support the communications of its partners.


·        Committee members praised the annual report and the outcomes and achievements detailed within it.


The Lead Councillor for Community and Housing praised the officers and partners involved in the SGP and thanked the Committee members for their questions. 


The Chair thanked the Lead Councillor for Community and Housing, Inspector Turner, and the Senior Policy Officer for attending.


RESOLVED:  That the draft Safer Guildford Partnership Plan 2021-24 as set out in section five of the annual report submitted to the Committee be supported.


Supporting documents: