The Chairman welcomed
representatives of the Community Safety Partnership and Thames
Valley Police (TVP) to the meeting of the Commission, in its
capacity as the Crime and Disorder Committee.
Timothy Wheadon, Chairman of
the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) said that the partnership
had sustained success over a number of years, but that there was no
room for complacency. Close partnership working with TVP and
engagement with other parties in the Borough were key. Over the
past year there had been some increase in crimes reported, but this
was a small increase compared to other areas. There were also some
internal staff changes, with the Chief Officer: Housing taking over
the role previously held by the Assistant
Chief Executive and Alison O’Meara
filling the Community Safety Manager role.
Ian Boswell, Community Safety
Consultant, gave a presentation to the Commission on the Bracknell
Forest Community Safety Partnership’s performance during
2016/17, and plans for 2017/18.
Nikki Ross, Assistant Chief
Constable and Superintendent Shaun Virtue, the newly appointed
Local Police Area Commander of Thames Valley Police were present at
the meeting for this item.
The CSP was a statutory
partnership which met four times a year, which was required to
conduct an annual assessment of crime, anti social behaviour and
substance misuse within the borough. Its work supported the
Council’s Strategic Theme of ‘Strong, safe, supportive
and self-reliant communities’.
The Partnership were required
to publish a three year plan, which was updated annually, of how it
intended to make the community safer. The plan had been refreshed
for 2017 – 2019 to fit with the current council plan. There
were four main priorities that the plan would focus on over this
The CSP received £152,740
grant funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016/17.
The Community Safety Team was comprised of 4 Full Time Equivalent
posts which included the Community Safety Manager. The Community
Safety Team currently sat within the Chief Executive’s
Office, but would be moving to Adult Social Care, Health and
There were two themes and eight
CSP priorities for 2016/17.
The key headlines arising from
the presentation were:
- Crime had
fallen every year since 2008/09 but increased this
- There were
4302 fewer victims of crime in 2016/17 than in 2006/07.
- The Crime
Survey of England and Wales 2016 showed that there was a constant
fall in crime, however this data was not always
- Within the
similar family group, Bracknell had recorded the least number of
crimes in the last 12 months. It was hard to compare against the
other Thames Valley Boroughs as the areas were so
- There had
been a 5% reduction in sexual offences in 2016/17.
- There had
been a 5.4% reduction in possession of drugs offences. There had
been a national drug operation in July 2016 which had issued 60
Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary had produced a report
about how the police recorded crime, which had brought about
changes in the way crimes were recorded.
increase in crime in Bracknell Forest could be due to the increase
in people in the Town Centre. This would be a challenge going
forward as visitors to the Town Centre were likely to increase from
2.3 million a year to 12-15 million a year. Plans were in place
with the local police.
- The 2017
residents’ survey recorded that 11% of the public surveyed
had said that the low level of crime was one of the best things
about living in the Borough.
- There was a
number of sub groups of the CSP, these included the Partnership
Problem Solving Group which was new and would see through the
transition period of the opening of the Lexicon over the next 7/8
- There were
many joint operations planned for the school holidays to prepare
for the Town Centre opening. Previous work had been undertaken in
the Easter holidays and May half term.
businesses in the Town Centre from the 7 September 2017, would have
to sign up to Bracknell Businesses Against Crime initiative and be
required to have a radio system, which would allow for better
information sharing across the businesses.
- Westgrove Security would be providing security in the Town Centre, they
would be uniformed and were currently undergoing accreditation by
- The Counter
Terrorism and Security Act 2015 listed that the local authority was
a statutory partner.
assessments had stated that Bracknell Forest was a low risk area
for acts of terrorism.
- There was a
Prevent Steering Group which met three times a year.
Panels were set up to mitigate the risk of racialisation. There had
been two referrals in the past year, one had been a young,
vulnerable person in the care system who had caused radicalisation
concerns. The Panel had worked closely with the individual to
mitigate the risks which had been successful.
Arsing from the Members’
comments and questions, the following points were made:
- The people
working on site in Bracknell Town Centre had been included in the
Town Centre footfall as there had been a number of tools and
equipment stolen from site as well as thefts from vans. This did
not explain all the increase in crime as there did not seem to be
- The exact
number of Westgrove Security staff was
currently unknown, there would be an assessment of needs to
determine what scheme was required.
opening at night would require their own security not just police
response, subject to strict licensing regulations.
- The night
time economy would bring a different footfall. The Neighbourhood
Inspector and Ian Boswell were working through a programme to set
the tone, reliance and police visibility.
- The Town
Centre management had been mindful in their choice of night time
- The Chief
Constable would decide the powers delegated to Westgrove Security.
- There was a
balance between being visible at night time as often an increased
number of visible Police Officers caused more issues. The Police
were very experienced and hoped that Members would trust their
Security firm would be accredited, vetted and trained. Their powers
would include being able to issue fixed penalty tickets, but they
would not be able to arrest offenders. There was a similar
arrangement at the Oracle, Reading where the Security team were
very good at building a rapport with the public, recognising flash
points and doing prevention work.
- The Police
were aware of the anti social behaviour which had increased in
local car parks. This was one of the Neighbourhood Team’s
priorities and they would be introducing education programmes and
focusing on public areas in the summer holidays. This would be a
long term engagement and would depend upon the resources and
capacity within the team.
were raised that there was also an issue of anti social behaviour
in the car park at South Hill Park.
Nikki Ross, Assistant Chief
Constable at TVP updated the Commission on the changes within the
new operating model.
Changes had been introduced for
front line policing. This had been implemented on the 1 June 2017,
and was now in week five of the new system. TVP were ensuring that
the change was seamless to the public even though it may not be
behind the scenes.
The changes had allowed for the
Police to model demand against resources for the first time. As
well as working on a triage basis within contact centres to
determine over a number of questions what had happened and whether
the police needed to attend or another agency. This allowed for the
police to only attend if necessary and ensure that the right team
or agency was sent out at the first time of contact.
There was a new TVP structure
which had three different teams, this would be circulated to the
The colocation of the teams
would be different throughout towns and Boroughs, and the size of
the Neighbourhood Team would be smaller but dedicated solely to
neighbourhood issues rather than used for response, which was what
often happened previously.
There were also changes for
back office staff with process changes and different systems which
would all take time to bed in. Demand had increased over the last
month due to the terror attacks in London and a murder
investigation in Oxford. This increase was the same across the
The Assistant Chief Constable
commented that partnership working in Bracknell Forest was
incredibly strong and made a significant difference. This was not
replicated across all of the other sixteen locations within Thames
As a result of the
Members’ questions, the following points were
- When demand
was back to normal focus would be on bedding in the new system. On
the hot weekend in June the police had received more telephone
calls than they did on New Years Eves. This spike needed to be
investigated to understand the reason why.
- The new
system would be reviewed at three and six months and phase two
being implemented after these reviews which would introduce more
- The new
operational model had been developed by process evolution
technology and demand matrix to ensure the correct staffing levels
locally. The number of Officers had not decreased and was the same
as the previous year. The new model allowed for officers to be on
duty at the time of need not when nothing was happening. This would
be reviewed in September and also annually to ensure staffing
levels were correct, but it was no longer guesswork.
- The Police
Point in Crowthorne would be placed in the Fire Station to ensure
there was still an accessible point, which was a priority. It would
be operated by the Neighbourhood Team as the Police Station had
- The way the
police manged and dealt with lost property had changed as the
service was not value for money and often storage was an
- All areas
had retained their Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) but
would need to be smarter about visibility making sure that they
target certain areas at key times.
were made that a PCSO had attended an event at The Pines School and
was very engaging and had done a really good job.
allowed for a better service to be provided in the Police Points.
There were often more volunteers in the Sandhurst Police Point then
people using it as the public used other means to contact the
- There was
no desecration over recording court diversion outcomes within Youth
Offences. Even if division was the outcome this would still be
recorded. There had been no increase in youth offences.
The Chairman thanked all those
who had contributed to the item. He commented that the most
important message was that Town Centre policing and safety
commenced on the right footing from the start as it would be easier
than having to correct the approach later down the line. He wished
TVP good luck in embedding the new model and looked forward to