Agenda item

Draft Wokingham Community Safety Strategy 2021-2024

To consider the Draft Wokingham Community Safety Strategy 2021-2024



The Board received the Draft Wokingham Community Safety Strategy 2021-24.


During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:


·       The current Community Safety Strategy was due to finish at the end of June.  The Community Safety Partnership had a statutory duty to produce a Strategy for the Borough which looked at all of the crime and disorder issues and how the key issues would be tackled, including anti social behaviour, drug and alcohol issues and domestic abuse.

·       The Partnership had reviewed the available data considered by the different partners across the last 5 years and established the key priorities.

·       The Board noted the three strategic themes; Listening to the needs and concerns of local residents and taking action; Intervening early and preventing issues escalating and; Working together to protect vulnerable residents.

·       It was noted that different neighbourhoods had different needs and would potentially require different responses.

·       Narinder Brar went on to outline the specific aims of the Strategy.

·       Covid 19 had produced an exceptional set of circumstances and challenges. It had also resulted in dramatically changing and unusual trends.  Notable trends had included a fall in burglary and vehicle crime offences and a rise in domestic violence and anti-social behaviour in residential estates and parks and green spaces.  This would continue to be monitored.

·       A good response had been received to the consultation on the Strategy.

·       Councillor Margetts asked whether the amount of domestic abuses services and funding open to women would the same or greater under the new contract.  Narinder Brar indicated that due to an increased investment as a local authority the proportion available in terms of service amounts would have increased across the Borough.  There would be a greater opportunity to respond to need.

·       Katie Summers asked there had been a surge in the reporting of incidents following Covid.  Narinder Brar stated that whilst it had been anticipated, there had not been a big increase in reporting.  There had been a slight drop in the number of incidents reported to the Police.  However, the level of service use remained consistent.

·       Katie Summers asked if primary care was seeing an increase in those presenting with community safety and domestic abuse issues.  Dr Milligan responded that early in the pandemic an increase in child abuse had been seen.  She commented that sometimes adults found if difficult to view themselves as victims.  There needed to be education and information available about accessing the relevant services, in the different communities.  Narinder Brar indicated that the Domestic Abuse Act had come into force, bringing about a new definition of domestic abuse.  Funding would allow an increase in communication, in different languages and different places.  Covid had enabled the reassessment of social media platforms and accessing people via these means.  Across Thames Valley training had been undertaken in supermarkets and pharmacies about recognising signs of abuse and safe spaces.  Training and information would also be rolled out to hairdressers.

·       Dr Milligan asked whether information from CAB was being used to better hear people’s views.  She was informed that during the first lockdown more information was being received from people who had phoned CAB on a different matter and had also revealed on the call that they were not in a safe position.

·       Phil Cunnington requested whether a simple feedback summary could be provided to Neighbourhood Association Groups who had provided information regarding residents’ concerns.  This would help to reenforce the feeling of engagement.

·       Councillor Halsall thanked the Officers for their hard work and outlined some of the improvements that had taken place in the community safety area.


RESOLVED:  That the Draft Wokingham Community Safety Strategy 2021-24 be noted.

Supporting documents: