Cambridge Community Safety Partnership (CSP) July 2018

ccsp-logoSome thoughts on the meeting held on 17th July 2018. Firstly, you can find out more about the work of the CSP on the City Councils website, and you can download the papers here. These meetings are generally open to the public, but there are never crowds so you can always find a place!

This meeting was a little different as we had a report on a Domestic Homicide Review. You can find out more about what a DHR is here, but in essence it is

“A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a locally conducted multi-agency review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by:

  • a person to whom he or she was related, or with whom he or she was or had been in an intimate personal relationship; or,
  • a member of the same household as himself or herself.

DHRs were introduced by section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (DVCA 2004) and came into force on 13 April 2011.”

The report from this will be made public once the process has been completed, but safe to say if we never have to do another of these that would be fantastic. There is lots of help for those who are victims of domestic abuse, and for those who have concerns. A good place to start when looking for help is the Domestic Violence Helpline.

The rest of the meeting followed its usual pattern of extremely thorough reports and opportunities to look at how partners could be involved. Some of the highlights.

  • The CSP will be bidding with others in the county into a pot of money that has been recovered from criminals. It would be good to look at how voluntary groups may be able to access this in the future and we will be meeting to investigate this.
  • There is a growing aim of joined up working to look at issues within the City Centre. To begin with the area needs to be defined as do the priorities. The key learning was that communication with other groups needs to be improved and that communication with the public would also help to reduce crime and fear of crime.
  • The annual report and the updated terms of reference for the CSP were accepted. The annual report will be published on the City website, but the draft can be seen as part of these papers.
  • The work to align the CSP in the City with the one in South Cambs and with the two Living Well area Partnerships is ongoing. The next CSP meeting will be joint with the South Cambs one. Whilst CCVS attends all of these so reducing meetings will be of benefit to our sanity, I do wonder if this is feasible. There are undoubtedly some areas of overlap that could be addressed jointly but there are significant local issues that it would be wrong to lose sight of.

We are happy to answer any further questions that may arise. We are also always eager to hear from organisations who have an interest in issues around community safety so that we can take concerns etc. to this meeting.

The £10 million poisoned chalice – and the rush to drink anyway….

alms to the poor Once upon a time the overlords of the people decided to reward hard working communities with a small pot of funding, a friendly fairy godmother saw this and happily agreed to double this money and help communities to spend it wisely. Despite the overloads only setting aside the minimum amount of funding, this still amounted to a small fortune as far as the people were concerned. They wondered at what amazing work they could do to make people’s lives better, to improve learning and to reduce poverty. For to them £10 million was a truly wondrous bounty. Then reality kicked in and everyone realised it was European funding. They came to realise that it was not going to be that easy for the people to get their hands on the cash….. By now many of you will have heard that the latest round European funding has been announced, and you may even have found the calls for proposals on the government website. You may well have heard that the Big Lottery is matching funds. You may well have attended meetings to find out more, and you may well be thinking about how you can use some of the money. I believe that we need to stop and think about some of the issues before we all enter the bun fight / beauty parade. (My thanks to Big Society Funding who are our regions recipients of lottery funding to promote the ESF funding to the sector for some of this information). What are my issues?

  1. This is not a done deal yet. According to the government website “We expect the ESF and ERDF Programmes to be agreed by June this year.” That said it will more than likely be signed off by the new government unless something very strange happens at the election.
  2. This funding is for the Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGPLEP) area. This covers a very wide area. Whilst projects will not have to cover the whole LEP area they will have to work across a significant part of it, possibly with a greater focus on Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Rutland as they are not in other LEP areas.
  3. The Big Lottery is indicating they want to see minimum grant sizes from £1/2 million (although this may well have been doubled according to the last meeting I attended). This means that most voluntary organisations will not be able to lead a bid or bid on their own.
  4. There is an expectation that voluntary groups will form partnerships to bid for the money with lead partners who have the financial muscle to take on significant funding. Given the need to cover large areas, and the complexity of managing this type of partnership I can not see partnerships with more than five or six members being feasible.
  5. Lead partners will be expected to be able to show they have the financial history to manage this type of funding. This may well preclude newly formed consortia bidding without the need for a lead partner.
  6. This is still EU funding so the reporting and risk issues will not disappear. According to Big Society Funding Big Lottery will take on some of the risk and will ensure that this money is a grant. There will still need to be usual record keeping and monitoring as the lottery will have to report back.
  7. There is only £9,928,620 available across the whole region for 6 years. When you think about this it is not a lot. If you remove 15% for management costs which will go to lead partners this leaves £8,439,327. If this is split evenly across all LEP districts (which it won’t be) this would be £703,277 a district. If this runs over the five remaining years of the ESIF programme it means £140,655 per district per year. Suddenly the funding does not look as exciting. Larger organisations would be better off putting in a Reaching Communities application that would be more focused and easier to manage and report on etc.

So if the work you do fits the proposed criteria of Barriers to Work, Financial Inclusion and Social Isolation and Poverty; and you are up for partnership working; and you feel you can manage European funding (even with the help of the Big Lottery and a lead partner) then you need to find out more. I suggest that you look at the following websites.

I suggest that you read the GCGP LEP strategic economic plan as it sets down the priorities for work in this area. (or maybe the summary) I suggest that you complete this pro forma to register your interest that Big Society Funding are collecting and sharing. I suggest that you attend one of these events

CCVS will keep attending meetings and are there to help with any questions you might have, or to try and link you up with partners. We would dearly have loved to see the lottery involvement translate this funding into a small grants programme but that was never on the cards. We would have loved to see the funding going to groups that were working at the grassroots making a real impact, and while some of you will benefit from this funding it is not for everyone. Remember we are there to help you identify suitable funding opportunities so do drop us a line.

South Cambs still a safe place to live

The South Cambridgeshire Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (papers available here) met recently for its bi-annual stakeholder event, and it is official South Cambs is still a safe place. Not as safe as previously reported where South Cambs was reported to be the least crime ridden (?) of all its comparable districts, but still generally safe. It appears that things were never quite as safe as had been indicated as there were anomalies in how crimes were reported, but things are back to being recorded correctly, and whilst this does show crime rates will have climbed, it is not crime that is going up, just the crime reports.

I hope that is clear, because to be honest I am not sure what real difference it makes, the real test of how safe a place is to live is how safe people feel it is and this can often have no bearing on the reality of the number of offenses that are committed, reported and solved. For those of you who have a morbid curiosity about the number of offences committed where you live check out county information on the Crime and Community Safety Atlas, or national information on

What I can not say is if either of these are based on the old recording method or the new one, but my understanding is that for more serious offences there will be little or no difference. As soon as the figures that were used in the meeting are verified and published I will post a link.

The meeting also heard an update on the community trigger which is a new power relating to reporting Anti-Social Behavior (See a previous blog What’s wrong with a good old fashioned clip round the ear?) The South Cambs trigger will replicate that of other districts across the county and will need three reports in a six month period to be eligible for activation (Find out more about the national pilots here). I am a bit disappointed that districts have not followed Brighton and Hove’s example of having a much lower trigger point (check out the website), but as things move forward then there is no reason that changes can not be made. Whatever happens then we need to make sure that reporting is easy and not time consuming; again there are lessons to be learnt from the pilots.

What’s wrong with a good old fashioned clip round the ear?

Well everything really – but back in the good old days when there was a Dixon of Dock Green on every street corner (check out Wikipedia if you are too young to get the reference), and everyone knew their local bobby this is how minor nuisance and what would now be called anti social behaviour (ASB) was dealt with – apparently.

This remedy is getting a 21st century update as part of changes to the law brought about by the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 which introduces two new ideas (amongst other things) the Community Trigger and Community Remedies.

This was one of the items discussed at the Cambridge Community Safety Partnership (CSP) the papers of which can be found here. More information can be found about these new powers in this presentation.

So there are three things here, first there is a simplification of the numerous notices, orders and ASBOs that currently exist. This will undoubtedly make things easier for the Police and other agencies but will have little effect on the public. The next issue is the Community Trigger, this will have an effect on everyone and will possibly be the best thing to come out of this government for some residents groups and community associations who spend their time dealing with ASB issues and finally there is the idea of community remedies, this will allow the Police (and in some instances others) to meet out punishments without going through a court procedure.  This could be seen as a triumph of common sense over bureaucracy or as the long slippery slope to the Judge Dredd ‘I am the Law’ scenario (again check out Wikipedia if this reference means nothing to you).

Whatever you views it is probably worth making them known to the Police and Crime Commissioner as he will be making the final decisions on how this will work. There is a survey on the PCC website here.

The meeting also heard a report on the County wide Domestic Violence needs assessment and the executive summary is included in the papers and is available here, with the full report available here. This area of work always strikes me as being well co-ordinated and being a partnership that brings out the best of both statutory and voluntary sectors. Whilst there are undoubtedly areas that could be improved my feeling is that we are getting many things right, and that this issue remains a focus of not just justice partnerships but also health and wellbeing partnerships. If this is an issue that affects you there is more information on how to get help on the County Council website.

Mental health is more than just a health issue


As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close it seems fitting to highlight how this topic is rising up the agenda of a number of the community safety and crime partnerships CCVS attend.

Having recently attended the Community Safety Partnerships for both Cambridge and Fenland, and the Police and Crime Partnership meeting I am struck by the increasing issues raised around mental health and how it affects victims and perpetrators of crime. More and more the Police and other partners have recognised that the mental health of those that they are coming into contact with is a contributory factor to the committing of crimes and something that affects many victims.

There is a real desire to examine this issue and work out what can be done to prevent crime and to support victims and perpetrators to address any mental health issues. The new Cambridge City Community Safety Plan has a strategic objective to

“To understand the impact of mental health, alcohol and drug misuse on violent crime and antisocial behaviour”

The growing recognition that mental health is an issue and that reducing offending means looking at, and addressing, the underlying issues that people have has been recognised and the partnership recognises that it needs to find out more about this to develop effective strategies can only be welcomed.

In Fenland whilst there is no mention of mental health directly there is a strong focus on Anti-Social Behaviour and problems caused by alcohol. It is recognised that mental health problems have an impact on both these areas and that they need to be addressed.

Significantly the Police and Crime Commissioner has identified Mental Health as a priority area and will be bringing his influence to bear to look at how the system of dealing with mental health across the county can be improved with a view to reducing offending. The county has effective partnership structures in place around domestic violence that involve many agencies working together, this is overseen by a Domestic Violence Board who can ensure parity of service across the county and ensure that organisations are working together. The need for a similar board for mental health, along with the funding and partnerships to make a real difference seems to be paramount. So over to Sir Graham to make it happen!

As far as the voluntary sector goes there are numerous organisations working with and supporting those with mental health issues, reductions in funding to the NHS and increasing thresholds to get people into the clinical mental health system are putting pressure on many services. It is vitally important that everyone gets the support, treatment and information they need in an appropriate way. It is only a truly person centred and joined up system that will bring about real change for the individuals affected directly and indirectly by mental health issues; by doing this we will be able to reduce offending and create safer communities.

If you work in the mental health field please let us know your thoughts, we are looking at what we as a sector need to do in order to start influencing the agenda and providing services that work towards a common goal.