Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

Contact: Judith Turnbull Tel. No. 01835 826556  Email:

No. Item


Chairman's Remarks


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.  He introduced Kenneth Hogg, Interim Chief Officer, and Eleanor Gaw,, Community Accountability Manager from the Scottish Policy Authority (SPA) and thanked them for their attendance. 






Minute pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Consider Minute of Meeting held on 10 November 2017. (Copy attached).


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the meeting held on 10 November 2017. 


With reference to paragraph 8 of the Minute, Mr Scott advised that the themed based discussed for this meeting was Under Age Drinking.



APPROVED the Minute.



Progress Reports/Updates on Service Matters - Police Scotland pdf icon PDF 494 KB


Chief Superintendent Clark began by advising that the shift pattern for the response unit   was changing on 2 March 2018, to a 2:2:2 shift, which would ensure more        resilience. Each of the 13 Divisions were establishing policing toolkits to enhance      communication. This would be focused internally and externally and would be tailored      to reflect local     variances.


3.2       Chief Inspector McLean then presented the Draft Police Scrutiny Report for the period 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2017, copies of which had been circulated with the Agenda.   He explained that there had been significant changes to the format of the report, which was now based on community feedback and tailored to reflect the area’s priorities.  The report did not provide statistics; instead focused on detailing the work Police Scotland were undertaking to address local issues.  He welcomed feedback on the new format and explained once this was received a final report would be prepared.  


3.3       Domestic Abuse (incorporating all aspects of sexual offences).  During the period incidents of domestic abuse had increased.  This reflected an increased confidence in reporting of incidents and the support given.  Chief Inspector McLean explained that every domestic incident that occurred, over a 24 hour period, was scrutinised and reviewed daily by the Local Area Commander and the threat, risk of harm to the victim assessed to ensure everything possible was being done to protect the victim and bring offenders to justice.  In response to a question he explained the officers proactively pursued offenders who were the subject of bail conditions.  This involved maintaining contact with victims to ensure safety, along with robust enforcement checks on suspects. If bail conditions were breached then the offender was taken back to Court.    


3.4       Road Safety (incorporating prevention, driver behaviour, road casualties).  There had been a significant reduction in casualties during the period.   Initiatives continued on the prevention and education side of casualty reduction, for example Drivewise, which targeting young people under 17 years of age.  Over 20, over 65s refresher sessions with an Approved Driving Instructor had also been delivered.   During the quarter, enforcement action had focused on the drink driving and no insurance campaign.   Pop Up Bob had also been viewed in various locations to aid speed reduction.  


3.5       Violent Crime (incorporating assaults, Serious Organised Crime Groups (SOCG) and Counter Terrorism). There had been a reduction in violent crime in the Borders.  Police Scotland had initiated plans to manage the weekend, night time economy within the Borders.  The purpose of which was to offer reassurance to the public and be vigilant to any developing incidents to ensure a prompt response to any criminality.  In response to a question, Chief Inspector McLean reported that a number of arrests had been made to a group supplying drugs across the Scottish Borders resulting in significant custodial sentences.   


3.6       Anti-Social Behaviour (incorporating online crime and hate crime).  There had been some increase, albeit at a low level. Chief Inspector Mclean referred to an incident at the Transport Interchange in Galashiels where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Scottish Police Authority

Update by Kenneth Hogg, Interim Chief Officer, Scottish Police Authority.


Mr K Hogg, Interim Chief Officer and Ms E Gaw, Community Accountability Manager, Scottish Police Authority (SPA), were in attendance and Mr Hogg presented on the work of the SPA.  He began by referring to the guiding set of principles informing the SPA, which was to provide simplification, transparency and clarity through a collaborative approach.  He explained that some of the immediate changes which had been implemented included: ending closed SPA Board meetings - all meetings were now open and live streamed or on their website; re-establishment of the Complaints and Conduct Committee; strengthening and developing the Board; and, the development of  structures, processes and practices which underpinned good governance.  Mr Hogg advised that the SPA had a statutory responsibility to deal with complaints and misconduct allegations against senior Police Scotland officers, and the importance of conducting these matters in a confidential way.    Mr Hogg further advised that going forward the SPA would maximise collaboration and partnership working and ensure that the voice of the public and communities was reflected in decision making.  He highlighted that in practice, the SPA expected local policing to reflect local priorities.   This would mean building a shared commitment with local government on the future of policing, delivering local flexibility, with the benefits of a national resource, and an accessible role for scrutiny to strengthen trust and confidence.  It was emphasised that the new policing principles in the 2012 Act had significantly redrawn the main purpose of policing – to promote not only the safety but the wellbeing of communities across Scotland.  To conclude, Mr Hogg advised that the one of the challenges ahead for the SPA was to build the right engagement and liaison arrangements with local authorities and ensure appropriate guidance and protocols were in place for consultation on matters of significant public interest.  There was also a requirement to build a shared evidence base on the strengths of local policing and to identify where there was need for improvement.


4.2       The Board discussed the presentation, it was noted that nationally, confidence in policing was low and that a Chief Constable should be appointed as soon as possible.  Greater transparency was also required and it was suggested that Police Scotland should provide more clarity on what they could and could not achieve.  The Board was also keen to have a regular SPA presence at meetings, which they considered would strengthen their relationship. They also asked that consideration be given to an Elected Member representing local authorities on  the Scottish Police Authority Board    The Chairman thanked Mr Hogg and Ms Gaw for their attendance and Mr Hogg for his informative presentation. 




            To invite a representative from the Scottish Police Authority to attend future meetings of the Board.            



Progress Reports/Updates on Service Matters - Scottish Fire & Rescue Service pdf icon PDF 156 KB


Performance report (Copy attached)

Protection & Protection Q3 report (Copy attached)

Community Fire and Rescue Plan 2018 (Copy attached)

Service Transformation, Stakeholder Briefing Document (Copy attached)

UFAS Cause Report (Copy attached).


LSO Stephen Gourlay




Additional documents:


Local Senior Officer (LSO) Gourlay referred to the Community Fire and Rescue Plan for Scottish Borders 2018, which had been circulated with the Agenda.  He explained that the Plan had been through a consultation process and amendments had been made to reflect changes in the Local Community Plan.  The Chairman congratulated the Fire Service on the Plan which he fully endorsed and advised that it would be presented to Council on 1 March 2018.


5.2       In response to questions regarding the out-of-hours cardiac arrest scheme, LSO Gourlay advised that it was the intention to roll out the pilot scheme across the whole of Scotland.  However, owing to union negotiations this was not possible at the moment.  With reference to the tragic fatal fire in Hawick on 4 January, he stated that there would be a multi-agency discussion to consider the circumstances around the fire.


5.3       The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service  (SFRS) Transformation Proposal had also been circulated with the Agenda.  LSO Gourlay explained that since the last meeting they had received a mandate from Scottish Government with extra funding, in addition to their existing budget, to support the transformation proposals.  He further advised that the Fire Service was investing £10m on a dedicated training and health & wellbeing facility in the east of Scotland which was welcomed.   In response to questions, LSO Gourlay advised that there were no high rise flats with cladding in the Borders. He further advised that since the Cameron House fire a safety review had been undertaken on all large and medium sized hotels across Scotland.


5.4       Group Manager Girrity then presented the SFRS Local Plan Performance Report for 1 April 2017 to 31 December 2017, copies of which had been circulated with the Agenda. In summary: 


5.5       Reduction of ‘Dwelling Fires’. The SFRS had attended 69 dwelling fires during the period, the same total as the previous year’s reporting period.  Cooking and cooking appliances continued to be the cause of over 50% of those fires. 


5.6       Reduction of ‘All Fire Casualties (fatal and non-fatal)’.  There were 13 fire related casualties during the reporting period, seven less than the same period last year. 


5.7       Reduction of ‘All deliberate fires, excluding dwellings’.  There were 136 deliberate fires in the year to date, an increase of 56 in comparison to the same period last year.  The increase was associated with a spate of fires which had occurred in the wooded area adjacent to Galashiels Academy. 


5.8       Reduction of ‘Special Service – RTCs’.  The SFRS attended 63 road traffic collisions, 13 less than the same period last year.  There were 42 related casualties including four fatalities.  The hydraulic rescue equipment was used on 24 occasions to extricate persons from trapped vehicles. 


5.9       Unwanted Fire Alarms Signals – There were 216 unwanted fire alarms signals during the period, which was a slight decrease from the previous year.  With reference to paragraph 5.10(b) of the minute of 10 November 2017, a report on ‘Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals’ had been circulated with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Safer Communities Update and Key Activities pdf icon PDF 673 KB

To consider report by Safer Communities and Justice Manager, Graham Jones. (Copy attached).


There had been circulated copies of the Safer Communities Performance Report covering the period 1 April 2017 to 31 December 2017.  Mr Graham Jones, Safer Communities and Community Service Manager highlighted the key points in his report:


6.2       Priority 1 – Reduce the level and impact of Gender Based Violence through effective partnership working.  Referrals to the Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service (DAAS) were on an upward trend and had increased 65% when compared to the same period last year.  This increase could be attributed to the new referral mechanism from Police Scotland and an increased awareness among client groups who self-referred and among referring partners.  The DAAS continued to maintain their target of responding to referrals by the Police within 24 hours on 90% of occasions, and within 48 hours 100% of the time for referrals from other agencies.   A Modern Apprentice position for the DAAS service was being developed which would lead to the completion of a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Level 3 in Health and Social Care.  It was noted that the Board would receive a presentation at the next meeting on gender based violence. 


6.3       Priority 2 – Reduce the level and impact of Substance Misuse through effective partnership working.  Under the Best Bar None scheme, 23 premises were being considered for awards and accreditation was underway.   The Safer Communities Team had supplied information to the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership for inclusion in the submission to inform development of the new Licensing Board policy document.  The Partnership had also delivered the initial phase of the underage drinking campaign promoting attitudinal change to those people who supplied alcohol to under 18s and highlighting the new legislation.


6.4       Priority 3 – Reduce the level and impact of Crime and Antisocial Behaviour through effective partnership working.    There had been a reduction of 8.9% in people being monitored for antisocial behaviour which correlated to the 6% increase in early interventions undertaken by  anti-social behaviour partners.  There was now a greater awareness of the mediation service which was returning an increase of 26.5% in referrals to the service.  Plans were in place to resurrect the Safe T programme designed for school pupils before they completed secondary school education and was a continuation from Crucial Crew in the safety messages and practical life skills it aimed to provide.


6.5       Priority 4 – Reduce the level and impact of poor driver behaviour through effective partnership working.   Antisocial Driving would be brought under Drivewise and the content of Crucial Crew and the re-establishment of Safe T would have road safety components.   The Institute of Advanced Motorists intended running a road safety event at Galashiels Fire Station during April 2018. 


6.6       Priority 5 – Reduce the level and impact of accidents in the home through effective partnership working.   Through Scottish Borders Alert, safety messages have been circulated highlighting the dangers that toddlers and young children could be exposed to in the home resulting in accidental falls, poisoning, chocking, strangulation, burns and scalds.  This was an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Under Age Drinking Campaign

Presentation by Safer Communities and Community Justice Manager – Graham Jones.


Mr Jones, followed his report by giving a brief presentation on the Underage Drinking Don’t Buy It, Don’t Supply It Campaign.   The Campaign had ran successfully over the festive period and would be extended over the next 12 months.   He explained that the background to the Campaign had been a concern about the supply of alcohol to young people and the increase in ASB (anti-social behaviour) instances involving young people.  The Campaign’s objective was to reduce instances of proxy purchase in particular by parents, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour,  and to reduce hospital admissions relating to young people and alcohol and to raise awareness of legislation relating to the supply of alcohol to young people.   The Campaign had involved an integrated community safety approach with the Alcohol & Drugs Partnership, TD1 Youth Hub, Galashiels Academy, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Scottish Borders Council.   Mr Jones then showed the imagery associated with the Campaign, and explained that the background colour would change depending on the event.  The Campaign had been launched at TD1 Youth Hub in Galashiels on 8 December 2017 and had been well attended.  The Campaign had also received good media coverage to raise awareness including ITV Borders, Radio Borders, BBC Scotland website and local newspapers.  Every licenced premises in the Borders had received a letter and posters to display.  Banners had also been displayed in supermarkets.  Over the next 12 months, the Campaign would be targeted at the rugby 7s, Common Ridings, end of summer term parties and Halloween.   In response to questions, Mr Jones advised that the maximum fine for the supply of alcohol to a young person was £5,000.  However, the difficulty was in providing evidence that an adult had supplied alcohol for consumption outside the home.  The Chairman thanked Mr Jones for the presentation and congratulated the team on the success of the Campaign which had raised the profile of the issue and would hopefully change attitudes. 



            NOTED the presentation.



Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled to be held on Friday, 18 May 2018 at 9.30 am in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells.


The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and extended a welcome to a representative from the SPA to attend future meetings.    The next meeting was scheduled to be held on Friday, 18 May 2018.








Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details