Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Safer Communities Performance Update and Key Activities

To consider report by Safer Communities & Community Justice Manager. (Copy attached).


There had been circulated copies of the Safer Communities performance report for 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020    The Safer Communities and Community Justice Manager, Mr Jones, was in attendance.  Mr Jones began by advising that staff restructuring within the service had taken place.  With domestic abuse staff now permanently funded by the Council and changes to anti-social behaviour officers to achieve more resilience.   Some staff were also still relocated to community assistance hubs for the Covid-19 response.   As a result mediation figures were down as the officer had also been heavily involved with the travelling community.   Mr Jones then discussed the report.  With regard to anti-social behaviour, the five year trend had been going down.  However, during Covid-19 incidents had risen with new cases referred to the core group.  Mr Jones explained that one of the issues was that officers were unable to physically meet people and often a more direct approach was helpful.   Early intervention works would be monitored to analysis the effectiveness of different approaches.  Youth warning letters from the Police Community Action Team had been issued to parents to highlight situations where young people had come to the attention of police officers when evidence of ASB was present.  Face to face mediation had also been restricted but would hopefully normalise as restrictions reduced.   Mr Jones then advised that although domestic abuse incidents had risen, referrals have gone down as there appeared a slight reticence in being referred to the domestic abuse service.  However, victims were able to self-refer at any time and information was available on the Council’s website.  Repeat referrals were being analysed to consider additional support required.   Mr Jones advised that although figures showed a reduction in contact targets, new clients to the domestic abuse service were being contacted within 24 and 48 hours, 100% of the time.  Referring to the increase in MARAC numbers, Mr Jones explained that that this was important as these cases related to the most serious and a multi-agency approach was required to minimise risk.  CEDAR referrals was also being sustained over the period using MS Teams and by telephone.  To conclude, Mr Jones advised that accident levels had decreased.  Drive Wise and motor cyclists training would be reintroduced when Covid-19 restrictions allowed and the Community Safety Officer returned to his substantive post.  In response to questions, Mr Jones advised that incidents of domestic abuse have risen.  Advocates undertook a risk assessment of all contacts to maximise an individual’s safety and minimise the likelihood of perpetrator actions having a negative consequence.  Superintendent MacInnes added that there had been an increase in calls, some related to Covid-19 restrictions.  He would find out from police analysis if there had been an increase in reporting time.  It was indicated in discussion that RSLs had maintained their phone service and increased digital contact with tenants, they had also undertaken proactive welfare calls for tenants to raise any issues.   The Chairman thanked Mr Jones for his report and the work his ream were doing in response to Covid-19.  



NOTED the report.


Supporting documents:



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