Agenda item

Community Safety and Policing - Update

To receive an update from Inspector Troman and Police Sergeant Phil Mayne, Hampshire Police, and James Knight, Community Safety Team Leader, Safer North Hampshire, on the current position and to highlight the following issues raised by the Committee:


·         Fear of crime (Switching off of street lights at night)

·         Crime clear up rates

·         Rough sleepers and street drinkers

·         Antisocial behaviour in parks

·         COVID-19 crime issues

·         Racial issues

·         Speeding/Speed Watch

·         Drug use/drug related crime

A briefing note on some of these issues is attached. The Portfolio Holder for Operations has been invited to the meeting for this item.


The Committee welcomed Police Inspector Kirsten Troman and Police Sergeant Phil Mayne (Hampshire Police) and James Knight, Community Safety Team Leader, Safer North Hampshire, who were in attendance to give a general update on community safety in the Borough and to provide information on a number of issues raised by Members. These were:


(1)  Crime clear up rates  Members were advised that the integrity of the crime data was subject to high levels of scrutiny to ensure that the force correctly reported crime data and to instill the trust and confidence of the public. It was reported that the data for Rushmoor had been compared with data from the Hampshire and Isle Of Wight (HIOW) force area average. Some specific categories were as follows:





Outcomes attached to crimes where formal action was taken


-1.6% on previous year

-4% on previous year

Most serious violence  where formal action was taken

+18% on formal action  taken outcomes

stayed the same – key focus to achieve more

Violence with injury where formal action was taken

-8.7% compare to last year

dropped further – recruitment of Inspector Troman would free up PS Mayne to focus on this area and improve outcomes going forward

Burglary residential


up three times on previous year


(2)  Racial Issues – Police use of stop and search was considered an essential tactic for the force and would help considerably with the work PS Mayne would be carrying out relating to high harm crime. An independent scrutiny structure was in place. It was also noted that each quarter Chief Inspector John Halfacre posted a stop and search scrutiny overview report on the Hampshire Police website, alongside the other forces across the region. 


In the first 6 months of 2020 it was noted that 245 stop and searches took place, of which 24% resulted in positive action being taken. Of the 245 stop and searches that took place, 185 were white, 20 were Asian and 29 were black.


The Black Lives Matter movement was raised. In Rushmoor only one event had taken place and no real issues had occurred. Hampshire Constabulary had a very structured and staged approach to managing protests to enable the right to protest and community life to continue around it. It was noted that some scrutiny would take place over the coming months around engagement with different ethnic groups and cultures within the community. There was already a strong relationship with the Nepali Community Leaders but it was felt this needed to be built on with other groups within the community.


(3)  Speeding/Speedwatch – it was noted that there was a three tier approach to speeding:


·         Community Speed Watch – Volunteer led approach, halted due to COVID-19. It was hoped to reinstated this in late September, 2020. There was reliance on volunteers to highlight the dangers of excess speed and the implications should offenders continue

·         Neighbourhood Policing enforcement teams

·         Safer roads  - road policing division


A request was made that the Road Safety Week that had taken place in the past could be reinstated. This would be looked at.


(4)  General - PS Mayne reported on the serious violence and drug related violent crimes across the Borough. The county lines drug operation was highlighted and it was noted that recently some disruption had occurred to three of the known networks, with some key members receiving custodial sentences. Despite the successes, the police continued to target networks and in the past three months, 23 arrests for possession with intent to supply had taken place.


Knife crime, which was linked with drug crime, was also an issue across the Borough. Rushmoor was the only district in the County to have permanent knife bins, one on the Totland estate and the other located at the Aldershot Police Station. In the previous six months, over 100 knives had been surrendered. It was hoped that the number of knife bins could be increased across the force area.


The Committee was advised that disruption had been caused by the spread of Covid-19. A district plan had been established, with emphasis to look at open spaces where Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) was considered an issue. Visits were being made and dispersal orders were enforced in some places. Across the force, 243 penalty notices had been issued, 11 of which were in Rushmoor. Work was continuing with shops and the community to support the safety guidelines and the use of the three E’s – educate, engagement, explain.


James Knight, Community Safety Team Leader, then reported on street lighting. Contact had been made with Hampshire County Council (HCC) who had monitored the impacts and had concluded that there had been no measurable impact, either negative or positive, on crime as a result of the lights being out. It was noted that a small spike had occurred in June when COVID-19 restrictions had been relaxed.


It was advised that incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) had increased since the easing of lockdown. A significant number of complaints relating to late night noise, littering, vandalism and more recently vehicle meets/cruising had been reported by residents. Residents were encouraged, with support from the police, to report incidents via the 101 reporting system at the time of the incident to help build a picture. If individuals could be identified, the Community Safety Team could intervene to try and prevent further incidents.


The activities of the street attached in Aldershot Town Centre had been raised as a concern and Mr. Knight reported that ASB was considered a priority area for the Community Safety Team and gathering evidence to allow the issuing of community protection warning was also key. The situation had improved during COVID-19. However, with the relaxing of restrictions the group was larger than ever. A uniformed presence from the Community Patrol Officers had been used to gather statements from store owners to build an evidence base; Civil Enforcement Officers had also been utilised in the town centre as an additional uniformed presence. It was noted that CCTV logs had been reviewed, and a number of the individuals had been identified and Community Protection Warnings issued. This action could be followed up with a Community Protection Notice if ignored and no changes in behaviour were seen. Court proceeding could then be initiated should the notice be ignored.


Following discussions a number of queries were raised, including:


·         In response to a query regarding an increase/decrease in hate crime reports since the BLM campaign, it was noted that there had been a 9.9 % increase in the last twelve months in Rushmoor and a 13.7% increase for the whole force. This type of crime was significantly under reported and an rise could show both an increase in confidence to report such crimes or/an increase of incidents. It was noted that reported hate crimes were reviewed daily and all directions and outcomes were fed through Inspector Troman.


·         It was noted that residents trying to report crime via 101 had complained of a poor or no response from the telephone system. Inspector Troman advised that online reporting had been available for about eight months and encouraged residents, with internet access, to report non-emergency crimes through this platform. All website reported crimes were triaged and handled accordingly. Data was requested on how many calls were dropped through the 101 phone system.


·         In response to a query regarding the Independent Advisory Volunteers’  Groups, who carried out independent scrutiny of police activities, it was advised that Hampshire Constabulary currently advertised for help to increase participation from seldom heard groups both strategically and locally across Hampshire.


·         Reports of residents complaining of individuals/residents smoking suspected class B drugs was raised as a concern. In response it was advised that it was difficult for the police to enter a property without hard evidence. However, through working with the Community Safety Team a plan had been devised to utilise the Community Protection Warning notice system to collate information to give police more power to move forward. The police encouraged Members to continue asking residents to report incidents.


Following further discussion, it was AGREED that contact details for Inspector Troman and PS Mayne would be shared with Members to allow further question to be raised.


The Chairman thanked Inspector Troman, Police Sergeant Mayne and James Knight for their presentations.

Supporting documents: