Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Jean Riddler  Email: jean.riddler@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5857

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received for Councillor Tonia Ashikodi.

Apologies for lateness were received for Councillor Angela Cornforth.

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.

4.

In-depth Scrutiny of Support Provided to Residents and Communities Who Suffer From Anti-Social Behaviour (Final Report) pdf icon PDF 114 KB

The Scrutiny Panel is asked to accept the information and recommendations provided in the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Community Safety & Environmental Health presented the report advising that the report had been produced by the Scrutiny Officer at the completion of a review conducted by this Scrutiny Panel in 2017/18.  However, when this was initially presented to the Panel, as part of this years’ work programme, it became clear that the report required some minor amendments.  He advised that the report before Members had been amended and the revised recommendations better reflected the current position.

 

The Assistant Director assured Members that whilst the review had been conducted in 2017/18 the recommendations were relevant.  That the majority of the recommendations were already being undertaken by the Council and or had been implemented. That the recommendations allowed for ongoing review and work to be undertaken to address changes in service as required.

 

In respect of fly-tipping a Member raised a concern as to the level of clarity, for the public and amongst Council Officers, as to who dealt with this, exampling a situation which was reported 5 times and took two weeks to resolve due to confusion as to which department dealt with it. 

 

The Assistant Director advised that incidents on housing land fell under the Housing Team and all other areas were dealt with by the Environmental Enforcement Team.  

 

The Director of Housing added that that the Environmental Enforcement Team, Street Cleaning Teams and Housing worked closely together.  In the case of repeated incidents of fly-tipping a number of resources were available such as the use of mobile CCTV which could be deployed in both an overt and covert manner and had led to successful prosecutions.

 

In response to a Members Question the Director of Housing advised that as the use of the mobile CCTV was in the early stages and there were a number of open cases which meant it would not be possible to provide the numbers of captures, at this time.  He anticipated that a further report could be provided to Members in late 2019, if they required.

 

The Chair advised that the Panel could consider whether it wished to look at the use of CCTV in addressing fly-tipping, as part of their 2018/19 review of Street Cleaning.

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted and the recommendations, provided in this report, be endorsed.

5.

Knife Crime and Serious Youth Violence Update pdf icon PDF 321 KB

The Scrutiny Panel is asked to accept the information provided in this report.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Community Services & Environmental Health presented the report, advising that it was compiled from information and data covering the past 5 years.  That the term ’knife crime’ related to cases which had resulted in injury or death, though the carrying of any knife was a concern.  There was a national upturn in all types of knife crime but this was not as severe as public perception and whilst Greenwich Borough had peaks of cases these were not constantly maintained.

 

He continued that whilst much of the public focus was on knife crime amongst people below 25, which was an overrepresented group, they were still a small proportion of the overall knife crime incidents figures.  The majority of knife crime effected the over 25’s and was associated with Domestic Violence.

 

In response to Members questions as to what action was being taken to address concerns in respect of the under 25’s and the role of the Serious Violence Unit, the Interim Assistant Director Early Help responded that early intervention was the most effective action.  She continued that the Safer Communities Team met on a weekly basis to consider referrals and looked at a range of ways of supporting safeguarding and how to mitigate risk to others.  This would include referral to supports services provided by the St Giles Trust and the Charlton Athletic Community Trust who had been commissioned by the Council to work with gang members to divert them away from their criminal lifestyle.

 

The Assistant Director Early Help responded to Members that the Knife Crime and Serious Youth Violence Task Force was based on a successful scheme originated in the Borough of Hackney and adapted to meet the needs of Greenwich Borough.   Referrals to the Task Force were made through Social Services, Youth Services or Schools, not directly from parents or guardians.  That most often a friend of the family, rather than a family member would approach one of these services with concerns.

 

The Assistant Director Early Help accepted that early identification of young people in danger of being drawn into gang crime and violence was key and to this end a matrix had been developed, in co-ordination between the Council, Police and Social Services.  That once a young person as risk had been identified the services would work together to engage with them and their family.

 

The Assistant Director Early Help assured Members that the Councils matrix tool was not similar to that used by the Police in respect of gang crime.  The Council matrix was a tool used to assess the risk for individual’, not to record individuals histories, and used the traffic light assessment and more complex methodology. 

 

The Assistant Director Community Services & Environmental Health Informed the Panel that the Safer Greenwich Partnership, formed of the Council and Partner bodies, had met in the summer and produced an action plan, based on the guidance of the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC).  Further, this action plan was due to be re-examined and refreshed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Statutory Scrutiny of Safer Greenwich Partnership: Violence Against Women and Girls pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The Scrutiny Panel is requested to note the report on the Safer Greenwich Partnership’s work to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Safer Communities Manager introduced the report outlining the United Nations definition of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).  The Safer Greenwich Partnership, followed the definition of VAWG, concentrating on 8 serious crime types which were predominantly, but not exclusively, experienced by women and girls: Domestic Violence and Abuse; Sexual Offences; Stalking; Female Genital Mutilation; Honour Based Violence; Forced Marriage; Prostitution and Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation.

 

Panel Members noted the Councils Safer Communities Team, in partnership with the Her Centre, had launched a Women’s Safety Charter (WSC) in September 2018, which 15 local organisations had signing a commitment pledge of support.  However, there was no mention of the promotion of the WSC with schools, noting that there was an increasing awareness of issues of sexting among younger people and up-skirting affecting girls and young women.

 

The Safer Communities Manager accepted the Members comments and confirmed that this was an area that the Safer Communities Team would look at promoting in the second phase of the promotion of the WSC.

 

In respect of prostitution Panel Members noted that only 3 offences, involving people under the age of 18, had been reported to the police asking if this was due to a lack awareness which needed to be given a higher profile.

 

The Assistant Director Community Services & Environmental Health responded that evidence showed that there was a move away from street prostitution to on-line, which was out of public view and resulted in less complaints.  It was unclear if this was reducing pimping.

 

Superintendent Andy Carter from the Metropolitan Police added that as prostitution was not a criminal offence the women were not treated as criminals.  He continued that there was a specific team, within the Police, that addressed prostitution and where a brothel was identified and closed down Officers would try to establish if the women were coerced or trafficked and signpost to the appropriate support.  He continued that the Police used a range of methods to inform any action taken and no cases of sex slavery had been identified in the Borough.

 

Panel Members questioned, given that prostitution was moving on–line what was being done to identify the properties used and the, potential, exploited young women, as it was expected that this was more widespread than the report appeared to indicate.

 

The Safer Communities Manager responded that it was a matter of resources, which had to be focused on agreed priorities.  A new strategic approach had been agreed in December, which looked at joint partnership priorities and ambitions, and would form a key document in the production of the 2019/20 Community Safety Plan.

 

The Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement also commented that prostitution was a difficult issue to address and there were limited resources to do so but all Members could play a part by challenging newsagents, within their Wards, over the display of ‘disguised’ ads.  

 

In respect of Domestic Violence the Assistant Director Community Services & Environmental Health advised the Panel Members that the key focus was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Commissioning Future Reports pdf icon PDF 47 KB

The Panel is asked to note the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Community Safety and Environment Scrutiny Panel on 28 February 2019.

 

 

Minutes:

A Member proposed and it was agreed that as part of the Parks & Open Spaces Performance report, information was provided on Green and natural burials.

 

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted.