Cambridge Community Safety Partnership April 2013
The papers for this meeting are available from the City Council website here.
This meeting was very much a review of the previous year, including how the money was spent plus a look at the budget for next year and some of the work looking to be funded. There were also a number of questions from Richard Taylor who attends many of these meetings including one about the use of TASERS by the Police. Follow Richard’s views here, whilst you may not agree with him, he devotes a great deal of his own time scrutinising a lot of the work carried out in the Police and Crime fields and helps to ensure that what happens is kept open and accountable. This can only be a good thing for democracy. You can also see the Cambridge News articles here and here about TASERs.
The good news for all of us in Cambridge is that crime has gone down over the past year. Overall the reduction is 7.1% with only 2 of the CSP priority areas showing an increase, Personal Robbery (up 2.6%) and Theft of a pedal cycle (up 2.1%). The three priority areas that showed the biggest falls were Dwelling Burglary (-23.9%), Anti-social behaviour incidents (-22.8%) and Violence against the person (-19.9%).
Whilst the CSP can not claim the credit for these drops it is hoped that there work went some way towards helping making Cambridge a safer place to live, study and work in.
As far as money is concerned the CSP had £88,343 available in 2012/13, it approved grants of £78,532 and there was underspend on one of these of £755. This resulted in an amount of £10,566 being carried forward into the spending plan for 2013/14. On top of this they received £45,820 from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner giving a total of £56,386. (This is different to the papers that are not correct).
Unlike many of the other CSPs the Cambridge City one does not employ any staff with the City Council picking up the bill for the administration of the partnership. This allows the CSP to make a number of grants to organisations to help meet the agreed priorities. The projects that were considered are in the papers and the money awarded will be in the minutes. Not many wins for the sector although the Cambridge Street Pastors will get funding towards their care tent and the Women’s Resource Centre bid was recommended to the City’s Safer City Grant programme with the caveat that it would be considered again by the CSP if it were unsuccessful.
Although the CSP only has a small amount of money to give out I cannot help but feel that there needs to be a more transparent bidding/tendering process in the future. At present there does not seem to be any process at all except that projects should relate to one of the priorities.
One final area of note for the meeting was agreement for the CSP to contribute towards the new county case monitoring database ECINS. This will supposedly help information sharing between partner agencies working in the crime and policing field. The system looks good and seems to have all the safe guards in place regarding data protection etc. I think it would be immensely useful for those sector organisations working in specific areas to be able to have access to this tool. It would allow them to see how individuals were interacting with other agencies and would alert other agencies to the work the sector does. If you work with offenders, or those at risk of offenders please do let me know if you would like to find out more.
Finally a plea to let us here at CCVS know what your organisation is doing around crime and safety. We know about some of the work that is going on but please leave a comment about what you are doing under this article. This will help us to develop our knowledge about how important the sector is and the impact that your work has. Also feel free to let us know what issues are giving you sleepless nights in this area and let us know what you would like us to put forward as future priorities.