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Appointment of Substitute Members
To be notified of the appointment of any Substitute Members.
There were no substitute members reported.
Declarations of Interest
You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.
You are also invited to disclose any dispensation in relation to any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.
Please complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.
There were no declarations or dispensations reported.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2021.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2021 be agreed as a correct record.
Update from the Police and Crime Commissioner
To receive a verbal update on the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan and current priorities.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Northumbria, Kim McGuiness, was in attendance to provide the sub-committee with an update on the work of the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The remit of Housing sub-committee included the consideration of matters relating to crime and disorder. Prior to the meeting, members of the sub-committee had highlighted specific areas of interest for discussion. The identified areas were low level crime, anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.
The PCC highlighted that women’s safety at night and on public transport was a current area where lots of awareness had been raised and change was demanded in relation to women’s safety standards. An App had been developed, working with transport providers, councils and other organisations, to report issues of concern relating to safety on public transport. The Safer Transport Northumbria app allowed passengers to anonymously report any activity that made them feel uncomfortable. This could be a poorly lit bus stop or relate to a situation or individual that was making them feel uncomfortable during their journey. The app had been developed in conjunction with various public transport providers.
Members asked if the app was easy to use as some passengers on public transport may not be familiar with using digital services. It was explained that the app was relatively easy to navigate and that some changes had already been made to improve functionality following feedback from users. It was also highlighted that the availability of the app would never replace 999 or 101 calls. It was hoped that the use of the app by those comfortable in using it may alleviate pressure on the traditional reporting systems, keeping them more available for those not as confident using alternative methods.
The PCC highlighted that parks were another area where safety concerns had been raised. The Safer Parks Northumbria Fund was available to spend on lighting, CCTV and to cut back overgrown bushes in park areas. One of the parks identified for this funding was Richardson Dees in Wallsend. A consultation had started on how to spend this funding.
Anti-social behaviour in the borough was raised and it was noted that it was important to deliver a coordinated response and ensure that residents do not feel they are passed from organisation to organisation on the issue. Local authorities were working with the police and fire service to look at the prevention of and reporting of anti-social behaviour.
The PCC informed members of the sub-committee that a refresh of the police and crime plan would shortly be underway, with a focus on preventing serious violence, cyber crimes and victims. It was acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic had demonstrated that 4-year plans were no longer feasible and that continued dialogue was needed to keep up-to-date with key priorities.
Following the presentation from the PCC, members of the sub-committee were invited to raise any questions or further topics for discussion. An area highlighted was that there was maybe a reluctance to report anti-social behaviour as there was uncertainty ... view the full minutes text for item HO23/22