Buckinghamshire Council is a statutory member of the Safer Buckinghamshire Board which is the statutory Community Safety Partnership for Buckinghamshire. A key responsibility of the Safer Buckinghamshire Board is to maintain the Community Safety Plan for Buckinghamshire, based upon the strategic assessment of crime and community safety in the county, public engagement and other insight into crime and the causes of crime in Buckinghamshire.
The Safer Buckinghamshire Plan 2020-2023 was approved by the Safer Buckinghamshire Board on 21st July 2020. The Plan is in Appendix 1.
RESOLVED: Cabinet ENDORSED the Safer Buckinghamshire Plan (Community Safety Plan) 2020-2023
Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, introduced the report for the Safer Buckinghamshire Plan 2020-23 and highlighted the following points:
- Buckinghamshire Council was one of the five statutory members of the Safer Buckinghamshire Board (SBB) along with Thames Valley Police (TVP), Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service, Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, National Probation Service and the Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company.
- The annual community safety Strategic Assessment and public survey provided the evidence base for the five priorities in the Plan:
- Helping communities to become more resilient.
- Protecting vulnerable adults and children.
- Addressing the impact of drugs, alcohol and poor mental health.
- Tackling domestic violence and abuse.
- Dealing with offending.
- The plan had been developed pre-covid and the impact of covid on community safety was being closely monitored by the SBB so remedial action could be taken.
- The SBB would work with local communities, particularly the Community Boards, to help assess and deliver local priorities.
Members of the Cabinet raised and discussed the following points:
- In response to a comment that the priorities appeared detached from the residents’ priorities which mainly concerned parking, speeding and burglary; G Williams advised that these were largely police issues and TVP had their own priorities. However, it was a balancing act and the 16 Community Boards would provide feedback and enable the public voice to be heard.
- There had been an increase in mental health issues, particularly among young people, due to Covid-19 and approximately one third of people in receipt of mental health treatment offended/re-offended. Would an action plan, based on the impact of Covid-19, be produced? G Williams stated that responsibility for mental health required involvement from a number of organisations who had met regularly throughout lockdown to ensure continuity of provision and support. The Health Impact Assessment had received thousands of responses and would provide local background data to produce an action plan. Approximately £1 million combined funding from a number of sources had been received and priorities were being worked through. The structure was in place to ensure help was provided to those in need.
- Sarah Ashmead, Deputy Chief Executive and Chair of the SBB, added that there was a very detailed delivery plan underpinning the overall strategy which would be refreshed due to Covid-19. Recovery arrangements were being put in place and would tie in with the SBB Plan. Regular meetings were held between the Community Safety Partnership and the Children’s and Adults Safeguarding Boards to ensure links were maintained. A dashboard would be used by the SBB to track the impact of the activities being carried out.
- A Member highlighted the unified approach with stakeholders and the police in dealing with young offenders, keeping more out of the criminal justice system and benefitting the individual and the community at large. The member encouraged further ongoing collaboration with the Council, all stakeholders and TVP to keep young people out of the criminal justice system. G Williams agreed and added that work was being carried out with the Youth Offending Service on a number of prevention projects.
In summary, the Cabinet Members expressed their thanks to Rebecca Carley, Communities Engagement and Safety Manager, and the Community Safety Service for their hard work and endorsed the document. R Carley thanked the members for their acknowledgement of the amount of work carried out and flagged the emphasis woven through the plan of early intervention and prevention to avoid issues which would ruin a person’s opportunities in the long term. The Community Boards were being established and would provide the opportunity to work collaboratively with the service on local problems.
The Leader thanked G Williams, R Carley and I Darby for their work and involvement in a good result.
RESOLVED:Cabinet ENDORSED the Safer Buckinghamshire Plan (Community Safety Plan) 2020-2023.
- Report for Safer Buckinghamshire Plan 2020-23, item 6. PDF 743 KB
- Appendix 1 for Safer Buckinghamshire Plan 2020-23, item 6. PDF 979 KB