To receive a report from Andrea Clemons, Head of Community Safety and Dawn Evans, Community Safety Intelligence Officer.
Andrea Clemons Head of Community Safety presented this report and highlighted the following:
i) Andrea thanked the Committee for the opportunity to provide the Community Safety Performance Report. She said that she would be focussing tonight on Violent Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour but would be happy to answer questions on any aspect of the report.
ii) Total notifiable Offences in Enfield have increased by 10.3% in the year ending February 2019. In London, there has been a smaller increase of 2.1% in the same period.
iii) Residential Burglaries have increased by 13.5% in the year ending February 2019.
iv) Serious Youth Violence has decreased in the last year in Enfield by 5.8% and London has also experienced a similar decrease of 5.1% in the same period. Enfield is currently the 3rd highest borough in London for Serious Youth Violence victims.
v) Domestic Abuse with Injury has increased in Enfield by 4.9% in the year to February 2019. ASB calls have reduced in Enfield by 2.2% in the year ending February 2019, compared to the same period in the previous year.
vi) The borough of Enfield recorded the fourth highest number of Serious Youth Violence victims out of all the 32 boroughs, consequently dropping from worst (1st) borough at the end of February 2019 and is almost level with our bordering borough Haringey, recording 378 victims in the same period, equating to an increase of 11.2% in the last year.
vii) Graphs were included in the report detailing Enfield’s position out of the 32 London boroughs for gang related offences.
viii) In the year ending February 2019 Knife Crime in Enfield has increased by 9.7% compared to the previous year. London has experienced a smaller decrease of 0.3% in the same period.
ix) Non-Domestic Knife Crime injury victims under the age of 24 make up nearly 50% (n=87) of all knife crime injury victims in Enfield and overall there has been a reduction of 8.4%, recording 87 victims in the last year, compared to 95 the previous year.
x) Enfield recorded a total of 50 Gun Crime Personal Robbery offences, compared to 17 recorded the previous year.
xi) There were 2496 Residential Burglaries in Enfield in the year ending February 2019, compared to 2200 in the previous year, an increase of 13.5%. Enfield is significantly above London which recorded an increase of 3.4% in the same period.
xii) Residential Burglaries in Enfield experienced a reduction in February 2019 after a peak in January 2019 and remain slightly higher than this time last year.
xiii) A new rollout of MetTrace has been confirmed for 2019, areas and timescales have yet to be confirmed.
xiv) Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) calls have reduced in Enfield by 2.2% in the year ending February 2019. In London, there has also been a decrease of 1.6% for the same period.
xv) The report included further information on each of the priorities in detail and provided figures, analysis and data. Tables showing the types of orders issued were discussed and explanations provided.
xvi) With regards to Issues and Challenges it was noted that the levels of crime are compared on a rolling 12-month basis and as a result of changed time periods, certain crimes are showing reduced numbers. If levels of Hate Crime, Rape, Sexual Offences, Knife Crime with Injury and Possession of Knives along with Serious Youth Violence continue to reduce, significant reductions after May 2019 should be able to be demonstrated.
The following questions and comments were raised:
· Overall Serious Youth Violence has fallen but remains high.
· The fall in the reduction of violent crime in Enfield could be attributed to more Police Officers on the streets carrying out stop and searches. There had been almost double the amount of stop and searches in February, with about half having taken place in higher crime wards along the border with Haringey.
· The recent merger between Enfield and Haringey’s police forces to a shared command unit could also be having an impact, as it means resources can be deployed either side of council borders.
· Enfield had benefited from an increased police presence in February after a spate of incidents left the borough with the highest rate of Serious Youth Violence in the capital in the year to November 2018.
· Although the borough’s knife crime rate rose by nearly 10% in the 12 months to February 2019 this may also be as a result of having additional Police Officers on the borough as they have uncovered these extra offences.
· Residents and Councillors raised concerns about the number of recent incidents in which school children had been attacked during their lunchbreaks and after school, resulting in their possessions and even their clothes being stolen.
· A/Superintendent Neil Billany from the Met Police’s North Area Command Unit confirmed that as a result of these incidents more Police Officers had been deployed to problem areas such as Enfield Town to combat this trend. He also added that Police Officers had been into schools to give pupils advice on how to stay safe and protect themselves
· He also advised that there were 40 Police Constables linked to schools in Enfield and Haringey and pupils could go to them for advice or to report incidents. It was recognised however that one of the problems faced is making sure pupils are confident enough to approach and talk to these Police Officers. In response to claims that many pupils are not aware of the existence of the school Police Officers T/Superintendent Billany agreed to look at ways of raising awareness so that their presence is known resulting in more positive engagement between pupils and Officers.
· Andrea Clemons, Head of Community Safety said that in addition to the ongoing police work Enfield Council are also looking at additional measures to address the increase of recent attacks on school children in Enfield, including looking at increasing CCTV around the town centre, particularly in Enfield Market Square and Holy Walk. However, there are some conservation issues around this with regards to trees, lamppost designs etc but it was hope that that this would be resolved moving forward.
· Discussions took place on the Enfield Community Patrol Project, an initiative supported by Love Your Doorstep, Enfield Town Business Retailers, Metro Bank, Local Policing Teams and the Headteacher of Enfield Grammar School. This community lead scheme had been set up to provide extra eyes and ears for the police and to empower community spirit by working together. The scheme involves a parent patrolling rota which consists of volunteers in high-vis jackets who assist by way of an adult presence in and around Enfield Town during school morning, lunch and home times with a view to helping to keep the local school children safe from harm.
· Feedback as a result of this initiative had already been very positive with local school children reporting that they felt less anxious walking to and from school and during their lunch hours due to the presence of the Community Patrol.
· T/Superintendent Billany said that the safety of the Community Patrol volunteers is paramount, so police advice if witnessing an incident would always be to step back and contact the police. However, having this Community Patrol in place means that the police now have very reliable witnesses to any crimes that do take place, which is very positive as this is not often the case.
· With regards to supporting the young victims of the above crimes it was suggested that more work needed to be done and Andrea agreed to talk to Enfield Council’s Children’s Services to ask what support is currently in place and what more can be done.
Action; Andrea Clemons, Head of Community Safety
· Information was provided on activities and events planned across the borough during the Easter holiday. This included free boxing lessons at Edmonton Eagles and various basketball events had also been commissioned, these were in addition to the usual youth club activity programme. It was hoped to extend these activities beyond the two-week Easter holiday if resources allowed.
· The advertising and promotion of community events and public meetings was also discussed, and it was agreed that there needed to be better engagement and effective communication with residents. Methods of communication also needed to be reviewed as not everyone had use of the internet and emails.
· Members discussed a recent review undertaken by Croydon’s Safeguarding Children’s Board - ‘Vulnerable Adolescent Thematic Review’. The review considered a cohort of 60 vulnerable young people with either poor outcomes or considerable concerns, with a view to determining whether there were any patterns in the children’s experiences which could inform and improve future planning. The review also addressed early intervention and where this may have proved beneficial. Members commented on the reduction in Serious Youth Crime rates in Croydon and questioned whether this was a result of working practices following the outcome of the review? The Chair said that it was a very open and transparent review and felt that it would be a very good read for Members of the committee, especially given the similarities between the London Boroughs of Enfield and Croydon in terms of population and demographics. It was agreed that a copy of the review would be circulated to Members.
Action: Susan O’Connell, Governance & Scrutiny Officer
The Chair thanked Andrea for her update as well as Dawn for providing all the statistics and information over the past year which has provided the committee with a clear picture with regards to crime rates in the borough and where we are at.