Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Safer Communities Update and Key Activities

To consider report by Safer Communities Team, Andrea Beavon, Violence Against Women Coordinator.  (Copy attached).


There had been circulated copies of the Safer Communities Performance Report covering the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.    Ms Andrea Beavon, Violence Against Women Coordinator, presented the report and highlighted key points:-  


9.2       Priority 1 – Reduce the level and Impact of Gender Based Violence through effective partnership working.  During the period there had been a 70% increase in referrals to the Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service (DAAS).  This was attributable to the new referral mechanism from Police Scotland and an increased awareness of the Service among client groups.    Key areas of pressure included the introduction of new domestic abuse legislation and an increase in self-referrals locally


9.3       Priority 2 – Reduce the level and impact of Substance Misuse through effective partnership working.    Ms Beavon highlighted the success of Best Bar None, the underage drinking initiative, the ‘Don’t Buy It, Don’t Supply It’ campaign and advised that work was underway to refresh the Arrest Referral Scheme.


9.4       Priority 3 – Reduce the level and impact of crime and antisocial behaviour through effective partnership working - There had been a slight increase in referrals to the mediation service but a decline in the outcome of results.  This was linked to a change in working practice around identification of suitable disputes for mediation.    Key activities were the Safer Internet Day, aimed at keeping school children safe online, and the Young Farmers led crime and fire safety event.    In response to a question regarding mediation in respect of neighbouring disputes, Ms Mulloy advised that ultimately the focus of solutions was on residents remaining in their own homes. 


9.5       Priority 4 – Reduce the level and impact of poor driving behaviour through effective partnership working – Motorcycle accidents continued to increase, the circumstances of each accident was considered with a view to making the road networks safer.  Key activities during the period included an advanced motorists’ event held in conjunction the SFRS.


9.6       Priority 5 – Reduce the level and impact of accidents in the home through effective partnership working –   The Living Safely in The Home project in the Cheviot locality had been a success and would be rolled out to the Teviot and Liddesdale area.  A single point of contact had been agreed with the NHS which would sustain the resilience of referrals.


9.7       In response to questions, Ms Beavon explained that tackling domestic abuse included focused prevention work with children and young people in schools to ensure that they are able to identify healthy and unhealthy behaviours in relationships.  Ms Beavon also referred to the Caledonian System, which had been running for a number of years in the Borders and delivered by Criminal Justice.  This was a Court ordered programme for men, aimed at changing their behaviour and reducing the risk of harm to women and children.  With regard to funding, Ms Beavon advised that currently the Safer Communities Team had 12 members of staff delivering specialist domestic abuse support services, all of which had significant investment from external funders (Big Lottery and Scottish Government).  Funding for these services would end in 2020.   With regard to the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme, the DASS encouraged use of the Scheme and there had been 10 applications processed by Police Scotland in the last 12 months.  Ms Beavon further advised that there was no evidence that alcohol caused violent or abusive behaviour to partners.  The Chairman thanked Ms Beavon for the informative report.



NOTED the report.


Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details