The Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder presented the new South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan 2019/20 which recognised and sought to continue the effective collaboration in place between South Lakeland District Council, Barrow Borough Council, Cumbria Police and partner agencies, including Safer Cumbria. The Plan had been approved at a meeting of South Cumbria CSP on 9 April 2019 and formed part of South Lakeland District Council’s Budget and Policy Framework. It aimed to reduce crime and enable local communities to remain safe and reassured, without fear, or threat, of crime. The CSP had agreed five priorities – protecting vulnerable people; domestic abuse; substance abuse and drug supply; violent crime and anti-social behaviour, key deliverables for which had been agreed for completion throughout the year.
In presenting the report, the Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder referred to the Applied Theatre in Cumbria partnership project whereby a small group of actors had put on performances in schools in South Lakeland tackling the challenging issue of drugs. She stressed the fact that the key message was the need for education and prevention as a vital role in tackling crime. She embraced cross-party dialogue on the subject.
Concern was expressed regarding the absence of some statistics and the rising number of incidences relating to violent crime and sex offences, including child sexual exploitation, and attention drawn to the new issue of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) generating an increase in visits to general practitioners by individuals. Members were informed of two further recent drug-related deaths in South Lakeland and an incident of radicalisation. The need to be alert, how to report incidents and to look after victims was stressed.
The Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder explained that there had been a tightening up in the manner of recording incidences, however, acknowledged that fact that there were problems which needed addressing. She responded to the issue of the additional burden on general practitioners in relation to adverse childhood experiences, suggesting the need for other agencies to become involved and informed Members of her intention to explore the area of health in her new role.
Members expressed support for the work of the Community Safety Partnership and welcomed continued dialogue.
The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder commended the vital work being carried out by the Community Safety Partnership and drew Members’ attention to “The Well”, an organisation in Barrow providing support to people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and to the potential for its expansion into South Lakeland.
RESOLVED – That the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership Plan (2019/20) be recommended to Council for approval as part of the Budget and Policy Framework.
Reasons for Decision
The decision assists in the Council Plan priority of reducing disadvantage by “working with partners to reduce domestic violence, alcohol related crime, substance misuse, child sexual exploitation and antisocial behaviour” and the wider objective of “working together to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore.”
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Community Safety Partnerships have a statutory responsibility to produce a Partnership Plan.