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Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Reports from 2012

Report from 19 December Meeting

Alice Singleton from D.I.A.L attended as the VCS this meeting

Board Representation

Councillor Diana Holl-Allen was proposed and unanimously elected as the new Chair. Chief Superintendent Sally Bourner was proposed and unanimously elected as vice-Chair.

Overview of Police and Crime Commissioner Transition

The new PCC for the West Midlands is Mr Bob Jones. He has outlined his plans for communities to influence strategic planning. A bottom up approach is what he envisages.

Overview of Priority Areas

West Midlands Police undertook a significant piece of analytical work across the region using Police and Partners data and identified thirty areas where crime, anti-social behaviour and levels of social deprivation were significantly disproportionate to the rest of the West Midlands region. The 30 areas are spread across different Local Policing Units and specifically in Solihull the wards of Smith’s Wood and Chelmsley Wood were highlighted. It was recognised that these areas impacted on all service areas not just policing and all the socio- economic measures in those wards are significantly lower than the Solihull average.

As part of the way forward, focus will initially be on the Smith’s Wood area. This will be an opportunity to become involved in a Community Led Approach (Connecting Communities). Contact SUSTAiN on 0121 711 3148.

Co-located Offender Management Team

It was proposed that a move towards a fully integrated co-located team be pursued to provide a single point of access for offenders at an IOM ‘hub’ delivering professional excellence in managing offenders. This would enable a joined up dynamic, multi-agency problem solving approach and facilitate improved sharing of information and ideas. It would further assist agencies coordinate resources, plan and review how best offenders are managed to further reduce reoffending across Solihull. A decision was agreed in principle to pursue this idea.

Families First (previously known as Troubled Families)

350 families in Solihull have been identified as meeting the criteria for Families First. The Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel met on 5th November 2012. After discussions, the Panel made the following recommendations:

To fully support the project, the “pilot” outcomes and the reported progress so far;

  1. To support the role of a “Super Facilitator”, and emphasise that it is considered vital that if such a role was to be successful, then a Super Facilitator should be adequately empowered to make and challenge decisions;
  2. To ensure that initiatives to support employment and employability are always firmly embedded in the strategies that underpin the Families First project. Future reviews of the project should be able to demonstrate where that had happened and be able identify measureable positive outcomes;
  3. To highlight that school careers advice has a key role to play in giving future direction to young people and that support and advice was seen as being vital to young people originating through Families First;
  4. To consider commissioning an external performance audit of the project to evaluate performance and demonstrate quality assurance;
  5. To request the Education, Children and Young People Scrutiny Board to consider the project progress to identify any barriers and weaknesses in “scaling-up” the project, particularly its connectivity with schools and education; and
  6. That an overview of the projects performance and direction of travel be considered by the Council’s Crime and Disorder Scrutiny function in 2013/14, to demonstrate that the project continues to underpin the principles of crime reduction and community safety.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Following the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel meeting on 5th November 2012, the Panel made the following recommendations:

To note the implications of the forthcoming review and rationalisation of legal options for tackling anti-social behaviour;

To welcome the reduction of 29% (Police incident logs) for calls for Police service for ASB classified incidents for the period 1st April to 24th October 2012 compared with the same period in 2011;

To acknowledge the successful Partnership commitment between the Police and SCH, together with the added value and measurable outcomes of Operation Tandem;

To support the proposed intentions of Operation Tandem 2;

  1. That past initiatives, that had worked well, should always include some form of review to evaluate whether or not those initiatives (either in full or in part) could be redeployed as an alternate to developing new initiatives;
  2. To request officers to review the provisions of the current housing tenancy agreement to ensure that it provides adequate safeguards to mitigate against occurrences of ASB in local communities;
  3. To request officers to investigate operating models elsewhere to see if there is any scope for alternative ways of service delivery and/or partnership reaction to noise complaints and monitoring, accepting that there are limitations given the statutory role of SMBC Public Protection;
  4. To request West Midlands Police, whenever operationally feasible, to give all police officers the opportunity to be exposed to neighbourhood policing to gain valuable community experience in matters such as ASB;
  5. That the importance of elected Members taking the initiative to develop strong working relationships and effective lines of communication with Neighbourhood Police Teams in their Wards be acknowledged; and
  6. That the Police input into the consultation process on planning applications be clarified with a request that a process be followed to ensure that Neighbourhood Police Teams are always consulted on planning applications and that it is their view that is reported for consideration.

Safer Solihull Executive Board – 17 October

Nasheima Sheikh from Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid attended (0121 685 8687)

Key Notes from this were:

Police & Crime commissioner appointments discussed and everyone encouraged to vote on 15th November.

Operation Tandem – an operation led by the Police and Sol community housing, with SIAS to address drug problems in Fordbridge & Kingshurst.  All drug related intelligence was shared amongst the agencies; there were more active and targeted visits by the Police and increased publicity regarding drugs information.

Results have been the more drug related arrests and 25% increase of referrals to SIAS.  Trust and confidence of residents has increased.

Phase 2 will be targeting the Rivers Estate in Smiths Wood.

Domestic Abuse update report – the meeting praised Gill Rigg & Ben Lewin & Sol MBC for their progress with the domestic abuse agenda over the past year.  Specialist providers are now back on the Domestic Abuse Priority Group and partnership work has greatly improved.  The IDVA service has been won by B’ham & Solihull Women’s Aid and Women’s Aid have been successful in getting £300,000 from Big Lottery for children’s work in the area.

A DA Co-ordinator has been appointed and a DA action plan & commissioning plan is in place.

Domestic Abuse – feedback required

Following a report to the Safer Solihull Scrutiny Board in March, the Board is looking to the VCS to:

  • Examine the safeguards in place to manage the effects of domestic abuse on the wider family: e.g. the detrimental effects on children who have no choice other than to move away from their peer groups and into the catchment areas for schools, either in other areas of the Borough, or out of the Borough completely.
  • Examine the current known statistics for domestic abuse, taken in context of historical statistical data for Solihull.

Your feedback is needed for the Scrutiny Board meeting on 25 September 2012.  Please send this via your representative, Alice Singleton by Friday 21 to

After the Riots and Putting Victims First

Solihull did not suffer nearly as much as some of our neighbours during the riots last Summer. This was mainly down to the enormous amount of partnership initiatives and the preparation and use of technology so that the police could respond instantly to potential incidents. The use of social media was crucial to this. The board considered the final report of the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, After the Riots and acknowledged the six themes that were identified in it; children & parents, building personal resilience, hopes and dreams, riots and the brands, the usual suspects and the public and the police.

Download the Full Report and Executive Summary

The Board acknowledged the recommendation that “local authorities work with local services to maximise the availability of buildings, facilities and equipment, to local youth groups and services, and challenge instances where this is not happening. This need is urgent and so work should commence on this at the earliest opportunity”. This is excellent news for the Voluntary & Community Sector.

The report also acknowledged that “Police services that use Social Media well are more likely to have better engagement with communities”. The panel recommended that that every neighbourhood policing team should have its own social media capability by the end of 2013. Solihull is well ahead here with its Twitter feed and Commander Bourner’s Monthly Message gaining popularity to help dismiss fear of crime

Solihull police are encouraging people to follow them on Twitter where there is lots of current and relevant information on what is happening regionally and nationally. The Twitter feeds are:

  • @SolihullPolice for the latest and updated news on policing across the borough; @SolPolCommander for news and musings from me as the Local Policing Unit Commander; @SolihullNHT for news from Inspector Darren Wilson (Neighbourhood Team, Solihull Constituency);
  • @MeridenNHT for news from Inspector Keith Portman (Neighbourhood Team, Meriden Constituency);
  • @Paulfarleywmp for news from Inspector Paul Farley (Contact Centre);
  • @StAlfsPolice for news from the St Alphege neighbourhood policing team;
  • @KingsFordNHT for news from the Kingshurst and Fordbridge neighbourhood policing team.

The board considered more effective responses to ASB with particular attention being paid to pilots of “The Community Trigger” which is being delivered through Community Safety Partnerships in Manchester, West Lindsey and Brighton & Hove. The Board welcomed and awaited new legislation to empower and support people and communities in establishing what is and what is not acceptable locally.

Performance Report Qtr 4

The Board acknowledged that these are good results despite media reporting. Solihull is the safest it has ever been however fear of crime is still an issue. It was acknowledged by all that this

message needs to be conveyed to the community at large. View the report here

Next Steps – Safer Solihull Partnership

The Board considered the redesign of the Safer Solihull Partnership structure since the ratification of the new Community Safety Partnership priorities (11 April 2012). The Board is to be concerned with how the work will be organised & be clear on priorities, focus, and performance management of the set Community Safety Agenda. The board needs to ensure that all existing networks and communications are used to drive the business of the Partnership Forward, monitoring the aims, objectives and outcomes. The business fundamentals will be managed via the Partnership. Contact your representative, Alice Singleton on with feedback, thoughts and suggestions on the redesign of the Safer Solihull Partnership structure.

Domestic Abuse Priority Group

Domestic Abuse is one of the Safer Solihull Partnership’s priorities. However, recently it has emerged that there is confusion about the key priorities of the Domestic Abuse Priorities Forum. The views of the VCS are sought urgently. In particular, there is an urgent need to identify the gaps in the DA services. Who needs to be on the Domestic Abuse Priorities Group? It was acknowledged that it needs to link into the core work at the Children and Young People’s Trust Board and the new Troubled Families Project Board. Please contact your representative, Alice Singleton on so that she can feedback your thoughts at the next meeting.

Police and Crime Commissioner – Transition Arrangements

Much thought was given to ensuring that Solihull’s priorities and agenda were not swallowed up into the wider agenda of the West Midlands. Candidates are shortly to be announced. More information can be found at

West Midlands Police – Future of Contacts Consultation

Commander Bourner described at length the current devolved approach to contact between members of the public and West Midlands Police. She described in detail the proposed model of contact. Download the full proposal

Feedback is required from the VCS and in particular from vulnerable members of society. Contact your representative, Alice Singleton on

Commander Bourner also brought to the attention of the Board the imminent closure of the front desk at Chelmsley Wood Police Station. Members of the public are now invited to visit the West Midlands Police Desk within the Connect Office in the Bluebell Centre. There is to be much publicity to inform members of the public of the new arrangements. Members of the public and representatives within the sector are invited to visit the new desk and feedback should be made to your representative, Alice Singleton on