Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Open Area, Lampton Park Conference Centre (Civic Centre), Lampton Road, Hounslow

Contact: Mike Smith by phone on 020 8583 2069 or by email at  mike.smith@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 July 2013 and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2013 were approved subject to noting that Councillor Liz Mammat had given her apologies.  

13.

Member Organisation Presentation: Victim support (Liz Gaffney)

Minutes:

Liz Gaffney from Victim Support delivered a presentation on the services provided by Victim Support; a national charity which provides free advice and confidential help to victims of crime including witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected by the crime. Liz Gaffney emphasised the fact that the charity embraces diversity and the services delivered are tailored to meet the needs of the victim. The services provided include an emergency support line, diverse team of staff and volunteers, referral pathways to specialist services, home and community based services and needs based assessments of victims.

Victim Support had a couple of community based services one of which was the NSPCC in Hanworth. Plans were also underway to train staff within the Patients Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at West Middlesex University Hospital so that victims can also access Victim Support service from this site. Victim Support was also holding negotiations with Hounslow Police to set up an office at the station for victims to access. If victims preferred to visit a community based service instead of being visited at home, transport could be arranged for them. Victim Support held some funds which allowed them to offer services to victims which involved a cost.   

Liz Gaffney stated that Victim Support was a volunteer led organisation and Hounslow had 15 volunteers. There were plans to recruit up to 40 volunteers in order to provide the best possible service. For quality assurance, volunteers were assessed before and after their training and a quality review was conducted after a service had been delivered by a volunteer.

Currently Hounslow Victim Support service received 800 referrals per month however these referrals did not include victims affected by all crimes. Liz Gaffney assured the Group that Victim Support worked closely with the police to identify more cases which may have required support from the organisation.

The following responses were provided to members questions:

·        800 referrals per month for Hounslow seemed like a large amount for a small team of volunteers however Liz Gaffney stated that not all cases required one-to-one volunteer support. The actual workload amounted to 300 face to face interviews and around 1500 phone calls.

·        Satvinder Buttar raised an issue about victims feeling reluctant to visit a police station for Victim Support services. Liz Gaffney reassured the Group that the service would remain fully independent and would benefit in many ways by having an office at Hounslow Police Station including identifying vulnerable victims immediately and ensuring police were making appropriate referrals instead of entirely relying on the automatic referral system. They would have a separate and secure office with separate IT systems and the Internet. CI Sally Benatar added that it was definitely a positive move and would hopefully improve victim satisfaction in Hounslow.

·        Liz Gaffney stated that she would be happy present the service and establish links with other organisations who may be interested in working with Victim Support. Meenu Dhiri suggested that Victim Support should reconsider previous community bases which included Hounslow Race and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

MPS Presentation: Total Victim Care (CI Benatar)

Minutes:

CI Sally Benatar delivered a presentation on behalf of Hounslow Police service on the latest data from their Victim Support Satisfaction survey. The survey was undertaken on a quarterly basis on three crime types; burglary, violent crime and vehicle crime. The survey aimed to identify how well police officers are dealing with victims based on four key drivers of satisfaction which included how easy it was for the victim to contact the police, how satisfied were victims with the actions that the police took, how victims felt they were treated by the police and follow up made by the police. CI Sally Benatar stated that the last category was the most challenging because once the police dealt with a case they were responsible for keeping the victim updated on the progress and this was often one of things that the police struggled with.

 

Victim satisfaction was measured in a variety of ways including quality callback which was a five minute survey aimed at recent victims of crime. Overall the victim satisfaction rate was 76% which was a slight improvement on 73% in 2011/2012 but still lower than the MPS target of 80%. CI Sally Benatar reassured the group that initiatives were being planned to improve this rate.

 

Community involvement was being increased for example recently an open day at Chiswick was held inviting community members to attend. More communication with residents was being encouraged to keep residents better informed. Monthly confidence and satisfaction meetings were also held and representatives from every police unit were present. These forums were used to make staff understand that victim care was as important as preventing and detecting crime.

 

The following responses were provided to members questions:

 

·        Naseem Yousef stated that she has not been satisfied with the advice and support offered by the police when she had been a victim in the past.

Action:

i.            Det. Ch. Sup Carl Bussey invited Rob Weir to speak with Naseem Yousef.

·        A group member felt that the data on from the victim satisfaction survey should be broken down into categories and different types of crime

Action:

ii.            CI Sally Benatar agreed to provide a breakdown of the data by categories and crime types at future meetings. 

 

The Chair thanked CI Sally Benator for the information provided.

 

 

 

15.

CSP Update: Community Safety Strategy (Sarah Webb)

Minutes:

The Community Safety Partnership was working towards MOPAC’s 7 crime reduction target. The 7 crime types include: robbery, burglary, theft of motor vehicle, theft from motor vehicle, criminal damage, violence with injury and theft from person. The target was set at a 4.2% reduction by April 2014, and at the end of quarter 1 the Partnership had achieved a 25% reduction on quarter 1 last year.

 

 

16.

Police Progress Update pdf icon PDF 139 KB

  • Safer Neighbourhood Team Reports
  • Performance data and crime maps
  • Complaints
  • Stop & Search Data

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey reported on performance improvements outlined on page 39 of the agenda. Tremendous results had been achieved including 24% reduction in residential burglary, 35.7% reduction in robbery and 24% reduction in theft of motor vehicle. However there has been an increase in faith related crime; 128.6% compared to the same quarter last year but there has been a decline after the Woolwich attack in May 2013 which was expected to decrease further by the end of year.

 

In comparison to other boroughs, Hounslow was in fourth place in terms of reduction in residential burglary, robbery, theft from motor vehicle and violence with injury. This had been achieved by new initiatives that Hounslow Police Service had taken. To name a few, more police officers have been placed in the Hounslow town centre and the use of sting vehicles for particular operations had been increased. The use of head cameras and body cameras for police officers to wear during cases of, for example, domestic violence had also been implemented to gather vital evidence.  

 

Det. Ch. Supt. Busseyenvisaged Hounslow to be in the highest rank as predictive policing and other innovative initiatives are implemented. Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey reiterated that the key to successful policing in Hounslow is by adopting an innovative approach where possible and getting the basics right. Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey stated that it was also important to learn lessons from innovative policing in other parts of London and across the country.

 

 

 

 

17.

Police Community Consultation - Open Questions and Discussion (Group)

Minutes:

Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey stated that top issues had been highlighted in the Crime Prevention report however data on other crime types can be made available upon request.

 

A member showed concern around drug related crimes in Hounslow. Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey confirmed that Hounslow police service was working hard towards reducing drug related crimes especially street level drug dealing cases by embarking on overt and covert operations. Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey stated that 12,000 search warrants had been carried out in London.

 

A member also commented on making parents more responsible for anti social behaviour of young people. Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey responded that dealing with youth crime can be a complex matter and it was often a challenge to balance the involvement of parents and the justice system especially when seeking compensation from parents for damage caused by their child.

 

In response to reducing theft of/from motor vehicles, Det. Ch. Supt. Bussey stated that more mobile cameras were being deployed as well as the automatic number plate recognition system and a number of sting vehicles. Residents are also visited if police officers find that their vehicles have not been locked securely.

 

 

18.

Police Community Consultation - Open Questions and Discussion (Public)

Members of the Group or members of the public may raise matters regarding local policing. A more effective response can be provided if advance notice is given to the Secretary before 1pm on the day of the meeting. A question paper is enclosed with the agenda.

Minutes:

A member of the public questioned the lack of action of the police in their response to a report of a hate crime. Local solicitor Taranjit Chana had reported to the police that she was the victim of a hate crime as a result of witnessing the Home Office van with the slogan ‘In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest’. She claimed the ‘Go home’ message incited racial hatred and was threatening. The police had stated it was not a crime and to complain to the Home Office. The member of the public felt that the police had in this instance failed in their duty to acknowledge the perception of the victim that it was a hate crime and to properly consider the allegation. DCS Carl Bussey confirmed that Hounslow Police had received the report but stated that no further discussion should take place as it was regarded inappropriate to discuss a matter which was not being raised by the victim.

19.

Progress on transition to Safer Neighbourhood Board

Update by Chris Barnett from MOPAC

Minutes:

Chris Benson, MOPAC Programme Officer, delivered a presentation and briefed the group on the new initiative to transform the current Community Police Engagement Groups (CPEGs) into Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNBs). Chris Benson stated that since the last CPCG meeting, he had met with the Chair, police and local authority to discuss plans for the transition and further discussions would take place to develop a local model.

 

The biggest challenge facing the CPEGs was the reduction in funding for administration. Currently Hounslow CPCG received £39000 per annum to cover the cost of administration of the group however this would be reduced to £5500. Chris Benson however mentioned that approximately £1m would be provided for community engagement initiatives which would be available through a bidding process but there was no clarity yet around how that money would be divided. 

 

Chris Benson stressed the fact that MOPAC was being non-prescriptive in their approach to the transition to enable boroughs to design a local model to suit their needs and culture. Clarity had been received on some but not all matters; SNBs are no longer expected to deal with police complaints due to the legislation involved and the functions of CPCGs will no longer be amalgamated with the functions of the Independent Custody Visiting as it has been confirmed that this was a MOPAC statutory duty.

 

Many of the proposed functions of the SNBs still remain, such as providing victims with a greater voice, community payback and reporting and monitoring data.

 

The following responses were provided to members questions:

·        The proposed funding of £5500 was felt to be insufficient to provide effective support to the new SNB.

·        There was concern that the members of the new board would be sitting on them for a maximum of three years. Chris Benson responded that refreshing membership of the SNB would be a positive change. Recommended membership was between 15 and 20 members with quarterly meetings including one public meeting.

·        The Police and Crime Committee of the Greater London Authority had published a report which highlighted fundamental questions and concerns over the proposed SNBs; mirroring similar concerns as the group such as the need for clearer guidance for Boroughs on how to set up SNBs. Chris Benson reassured the group that MOPAC was producing guidance for CPEGs which would be available at the end of September 2013 and would be circulated to the group.

·        Members expressed their concern about reinventing the wheel to which Chris Benson responded that currently some CPEGs are functioning very well whilst others are not. The Mayor of London wanted to address these issues and implement a uniform approach.

 

Meenu Dhiri added that meetings would continue to be held with representatives from MOPAC, police and local authority who would work together to develop the new model. Meenu Dhiri told the group to expect a proposal for the new model by January 2014. The group will then have an opportunity to review it.   

20.

London Wide Update

Met recruitment campaign.

Minutes:

CI Sally Benatar stated that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is recruiting 5000 new constables for the first time in five years over the next three years. The recruitment of the additional police constables also comes with a positive action initiative to increase the recruitment of Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) officers. Hounslow Police Service would be working with various local partners to promote this opportunity to attract potential candidates. Further information can be found at www.metpolicecareers.co.uk. 

21.

MOPaC Newsletters

Minutes:

There was no update on this agenda item.

22.

Date and Venue of Next Meeting

18 November 2013 in the Lampton Park Conference Centre

Minutes:

The next meeting would be held on 18 November 2013 at 6pm.

23.

Any Other Business pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

Hate Crime Awareness Week was taking place from 12 – 19 October 2013. Various events would be taking place in Hounslow.

 

Action

  1. Details on these events would be circulated to the group.

 

The meeting finished at 9:10pm.

The minute taker at this meeting was Farah Irfan-Khan