To consider an update on the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership.
The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder introduced an update on the work of the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership (CSP) during 2018/19.
Councillor Brendan Sweeney, Chair of South Cumbria CSP and Chair of Barrow Borough Council, Superintendent Matt Pearman and Police Constable Kevin Jackson of Cumbria Constabulary and Mike Conefrey, Public Health Locality Manager, Cumbria County Council were introduced to Members.
The substantive report outlined that South Cumbria CSP, one of three CSPs in Cumbria, covered the areas of South Lakeland and Barrow. The CSP aimed to reduce crime and enable local communities to remain safe and reassured, without fear or threat of crime. It did this through identifying priorities (related to crime figures and trends, consultation and the Police and Crime Plan) for its annual Partnership Plan. Sub-groups were convened, where necessary, to develop projects and actions. In April 2018, the CSP had agreed to focus on four local priorities: Alcohol and Violent Crime, Domestic Abuse, Mental Health (and its impacts on the criminal justice system) and child sexual exploitation. There were four CSP meetings per annum and the Chair was currently Councillor Brendan Sweeney (Barrow Borough Council), the Vice-Chair being Police Superintendent Matt Pearman.
There had been a recent focus on serious and organised crime and Prevent (anti-terrorism) at recent meetings, with the Police providing verbal updates of the situation in South Cumbria, giving the opportunity for partners to be aware and work collaboratively where applicable.
The Crime and Community Safety Strategic Assessment for Cumbria 2017-18 stated that Cumbria was a relatively safe place in which to live, work and visit. In many areas, levels of crime and community safety issues were better than those experienced nationally and/or in the North West region. South Lakeland residents’ top three concerns were with regard to speeding vehicles, dangerous driving and rural crime.
The latest crime statistics for South Lakeland (from Cumbria Constabulary) were provided within the report. The Police had stated that there were two significant contributory factors to rising crime. Firstly, the continued increase in confidence from members of the public to report what had happened and secondly, statistics had been impacted by greater compliance by officers with crime recording practices. This was something which had been recognised nationally by the Office of National Statistics.
County Lines was an emerging area of organised criminality that saw criminal gangs from other parts of the country seeking to supply controlled drugs, frequently heroin and crack cocaine in towns and counties geographically separate from where the gang was based. South Cumbria had experienced this phenomena in all the main towns, a threat which had been tackled robustly by Cumbria Constabulary who had seen national media coverage of their approach to tackling these drugs gangs. Offenders from cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool had all been prosecuted in operations to tackle drug supply over recent months. Operation Horizon, for example was a major operation which had lasted many months and, to date, had seen 26 offenders charged with drugs offences. This enforcement ... view the full minutes text for item 77