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Agenda item

Crime Statistics - Quarters 3 & 4 2018/19

Minutes:

Councillor Andy Hull, Executive Member Finance, Performance and Community Safety was present, and was accompanied by Keith Stanger, Service Manager Crime Reduction

 

During the presentation the following main points were made –

 

·         Community Safety Crime overview – Safer Islington Partnership have led on 5 key areas – Crimes involving young people, Hate Crime and ASB, Drugs and Adult Offending, VAWG and Domestic Abuse, and Exploitation and Extremism

·         Overall crime reduction of 5%, over 1600 fewer victims, while crime across London rose 4%

·         Small increase in violent crime (0.4%)

·         Significant reduction of over 60% in theft snatch offences, through a co-ordinated partnership response

·         Continued reductions in Serious Youth Crime (-3.5%), youth violence (-6%), gun crime (-17%), knife crime offences (-14%), and knife crime victims under 25 (-10%)

·         27% reduction in robbery offences in the past year, following a peak in offences in 2017/18. The Police now have robbery cars available, allowing for quicker identification of perpetrators

·         Domestic violence offences continue to rise (7%), in line with London increase, but positive outcomes for victims remain a challenging area. There has been a small increase in racial crime, but reductions in all other forms of hate crime

·         Crimes involving young people – supporting families against Youth Crime funding for Transitions project Cally and Andover and free Trauma informed practice training to local youth and family service

·         Youth Council led events – Youth fest in April and SummerFest at Platform in July

·         Knife Crime information leaflet for parents to be launched in Summer, professionals guide to follow. DIsproportionality project funded by Youth Justice Board

·         Action Plan on school exclusions overseen by a task and finish group under the Children’s Safeguarding Board, to address the connection between exclusions, offending and exploitation

·         Task and Finish Group for review of Working Together for a Safer Islington Plan

·         Challenges – despite a reduction in violent crime types, the challenges remain with recent serious incidents in Islington and continued high number of fatalities across London. There is also the complexity of the issues that young people are presenting with, including Adverse Childhood Experience, trauma, inability to self-regulate. Further reductions in first time entrants is being achieved, however custody and reoffending rates are higher than liked, and the Council and partners are committed to a trauma informed approach to address these areas

·         Violence against women and girls – The Keel DVA team has supported 50 families with support from DVA counselling service. A new Health IDVA post has started work at Whittington Hospital ED and adult mental health services

·         A free comprehensive VAWG Training Programme commissioned for 2019/20 for multi-agencies, and LBI are working with 4 other North London Boroughs on addressing harmful practices

·         The work around FGM will increase this year with an additional £10k received from Government. Chance UK has secured Home Office Funding for Safer Space project,supporting 10 families affected by DVA

·         There is a need to hold more perpetrators to account – DA crime detections are down 4% in June, compared to the same period in 2018. Sustaining specialist VAWG posts/services e.g. IDVA posts when short term funding ends in April 2020

·         Anti-social behaviour and crime – Islington Community MARAC 2018/19 review now complete, achieving excellent results on supporting 46 high risk vulnerable victims of crime. Now considered one of the best CRM’s in England with Islington Learning Disability Partnership now referring victims of Hate Crime. Creation of a wide ranging action plan following a multi-agency workshop on dealing with the complex street population issues in Stroud Green Road 9 (to be rolled out borough wide)

·         Plan in place to continue to increase the number of young people undertaking Hate Crime training and delivery of a successful Hate Crime awareness week

·         Over 80 confirmed Safe Haven locations with many more interested venues

·         There has been ongoing multiagency work around hot spots across the borough, that are recording higher rates of crime and ASB, compared to the borough average. This includes the Finsbury Park area, Archway/New Orleans Estate, and Cally among others

·         Adult Offending and drugs – Camden and Islington Drugs Strategy 2018-21 to deliver response to rising drug issues, focusing on 4 areas – reducing supply, reducing demand, reducing harm, and reducing crime. Co-ordinating a range of partner activity to tackle crime and ASB in the Finsbury Park tri-borough hotspot, mainly linked to drug dealing and drug use

·         Islington’s Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme supported 119 service users with 49 prolific offenders successfully exiting the scheme, due to reducing risk of offending and taking up education, training and employment opportunities. MOPAC have recognised Islington’s IOM approach as one of the best in London. The IOM now supports habitual knife crime perpetrators, and is exploring ways to work with DV perpetrators. The Community Rehabilitation Company contract ends in March 2020 with migration into the National Probation service

·         Exploitation and Extremism – Modern Day slavery – established a multi-agency board action plan, working closely with the Human Trafficking foundation to produce materials for communities in Islington. Identifying good practice from across London through the London MDS Board. A Council web page is under development and training roll out is being extended to front line staff. There is a MDS awareness day on 18 October

·         Prevent – Funding now confirmed for 2019/20 but has been cut considerably with only the Brave gangs and Small Steps, far right, projects remaining. Prevent Training delivered to Islington Grand Mentors, where grandparents mentor young people leaving care, the Light Project, and Arsenal, with 180 caretakers upskilled in Far Right awareness. Far Right stickers/leaflets appearing across the borough, and planning is underway post March 2020 to source new funding streams or products. Increasing the knowledge of and how to report far right activities, for both front line staff, and members of the public

·         In response to a question concerning hate crimes against the LGTB community, it was stated that it was difficult to make comparisons with previous figures as people were being encouraged to report hate crimes

·         The Committee referred to the need for the Annual Report to be considered at the next meeting to have more detailed information on Hate Crime and Domestic Violence

·         Members expressed the view that it would be useful if the hate crime figures for each London Borough over the last 12 months could be circulated, and the breakdown of hate crimes outlined

·         Reference was made to the large reduction in Government funding for the Police leading to a reduction in the number of officers. It was stated that since 2010 Police numbers had fallen in Islington from 900 to 600 officers and this has coincided with an upward trend in drug use and distribution, a reduction in the level of response to 999 calls, and a severe reduction to neighbourhood policing

·         A Member enquired as to the reasons for the reduction in snatch offences, and it was stated that the integration of Camden/Islington forces had taken place earlier than in other boroughs, and it was felt that this had had an effect if reducing snatch offences earlier than in other boroughs

·         It was stated that cross border work was taking place with neighbouring boroughs, such as in the Finsbury Park area, and on the Hackney borders, and meetings were taking place at political level between boroughs to address concerns

·         Reference was made to domestic violence and coercion, and that a more robust approach needed to be considered

·         A Member referred to the children placed in care outside the borough, and whether these children were being tracked. It was stated that the issue of County Lines was one that is constantly being reviewed, and there is a Pan London County Lines group, that are identifying persons of interest

·         It was stated that a great deal of work is taking place to reduce the numbers of young people going into custody

·         Reference was made to violence against young women and girls, and that excellent work is taking place with Abianda, and all levels of exploitation were being looked at. A young women’s project is going into schools to raise awareness, and there has been an increase in referrals. Members also noted that child criminal exploitation has increased. Members were informed of the training undertaken by Abianda, and requested details of this to be circulated

·         In relation to convictions relating to DV, it was stated that Police gathering evidence in the first 24 hours was crucial, as perpetrators often coerced victims not to give evidence through fear of further violence. There were real challenges, as often Police officers dealing with such cases were relatively junior, and not experienced in dealing with these cases. It was stated that the Police needed more training in how to handle such cases, and that body worn cameras may assist in the Police gathering evidence

·         Reference was made to DV and hate crime, and that it would be useful at a future date to look in more detail at these issues

 

RESOLVED:

(a)  That details of the Abianda training be circulated to Members

(b)  That the levels of hate crime incidents and offences for each borough in the past 12 months be circulated to Members

(c)   That the Committee investigate the issues of DV and hate crime in more detail at a future date

(d)  That the end of year report on the work of the VAWG be circulated to Members when it is available

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Hull, Keith Stanger and Catherine Briody for attending

Supporting documents: