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Contact: Deborah Breedon 01902 551250 Email: Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies were submitted on behalf of Cllrs Dr Michael Hardacre and Linda Leach.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
That the minutes of the meeting 22 March 2016 be approved and signed as a correct record.
Cllr Paula Brookfield, Chair referred to the items highlighted in the minutes to take forward to the work programme for 2016-17. She indicated that there were several priorities for the Panel to consider in the work programme including Adult Mental Health, aids and adaptations, implementing change and compliance and an update on Universal Credit.
The Chair and Cllr Patricia Patten, Vice-Chair indicated that Monday evening meetings were causing some issues for Panel members due to other commitments and requested officers to investigate moving the remaining meetings for the municipal year to a Tuesday evening.
The Chair advised that she would raise the issues at Scrutiny Board meeting on 12 July 2016.
To provide an update to Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel on the progress of the recommendations made at Cabinet on November 2015.
Cllr Sandra Samuels, Cabinet Member Adults and Anthony Ivko, Service Director Older People provided an update on the progress of the Better Care Technology recommendations made at Cabinet in November 2015.
The Chair referred to the need to continue to monitor the equality implications that were included in the Cabinet report and to include the implication in full in future update reports. Cllr Ian Claymore agreed that every report should have a full equality explanation; he advised that this Authority was looking to excellence status for equality framework by 2018.
Cllr Elias Mattu welcomed the update and asked for further information about the current take up of technologies. Panel were referred to section 3.3 of the report highlighting that there had been 379 Telecare and Carelink referrals resulting in 279 installations since 17 March 2016. The Service Director advised that the Council was embarking on a huge change in service and the initial numbers during implementation are the start of an upward trajectory, there is confidence that the 3000 figure will be achieved.
Cllr Anwen Muston asked for assurance that people were not being pushed towards Telecare, she added that some older people would be cautious about change. The service Director accepted that this was a concern also raised at previous meetings, but gave assurance that Assistive technology and Telecare give confidence to the individual and the families and carers. Cllr Paula Brookfield requested that all Councillors are invited to visit the Technology Centre in Wolverhampton when it is open to view technologies in use.
Cllr Ian Claymore voiced concern that the most vulnerable members of society may slip through the net as any change to technology may be too challenging. Cllr Patricia Patten asked who was using the service. The Service Director advised that many were being referred from the hospital and that Gwyn Nuttal from Royal Wolverhampton Trust (RWT) had equipment on the hospital wards to show how technology works. He welcomed the support RWT were giving to implement new technologies, working demonstrations and talking to people explaining the benefits of staying in their homes safely opposed to staying in hospital. Cllr Stephen Simkins highlighted that technology was important to reduce social isolation.
Cllr Rupinderjit Kaur asked for further feedback relating to capacity, the role of the fire service, how often reassessments will take place and enhanced better care technology. In response to questions about Telecare the Service Director advised that the Council has sufficient capacity and was working closely with the Wolverhampton Homes call centre. He clarified that some referrals from the Fire Service have not been about falls; the Fire Service are keen to check fire alarms and do a full fire safety check. Work is on-going to draw out the personal calls for help, he advised that fire officers are also paramedics and can often assess the person when on site. He informed the Panel that services are being extended to support non-fall calls are social workers working with the older isolated ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Crime reduction and community safety and drugs strategy - Update
Presentation to update the panel on the progress made relating to the 2014-17 Crime Reduction, Community Safety and drugs Strategy.
Karen Samuels, Head of Community Safety provided a presentation of progress against current crime reduction and community safety strategy.
The Head of Community Safety outlined the four strategic priorities for 2014-17. She highlighted the following progress to date:
· Proven reoffending of youths and adults has reduced.
· Completion of sentences served in the community by adults has seen an increasing trend.
· The number of first time entrants to the youth injustice system has reduced.
The Head of Community Safety highlighted the progress against each strategic priority 2014-17:
· Substance misuse
· Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)
· Gangs and Violence/ Crime
The Drugs Intervention Programme (DIP) scheme is a successful component for delivering against a range of cross government targets and indicators concerned with re-offending and drug misuse. In Wolverhampton, we continue to engage DIP clients who are among the hardest-to-reach and most problematic drug misusers; significant work is underway locally to improve DIP outcomes with a performance improvement plan in place and support from all key agencies.
In Wolverhampton the Domestic Violence Forum (WDVF) has been instrumental in setting up a co-located multi-agency team that facilitates earlier intervention and risk reduction for adult and child victims. Wolverhampton Police, Housing and Independent Domestic Violence Advisers from WDVF and the Haven meet three times a week to assess and take action for the highest risk adult referrals, enhancing fortnightly full Multi-Agency Risk Assessment meetings (MARAC) into a business as usual model.
The Head of Safer Communities responded to questions from Panel relating to cultural domestic violence and advised that they are working with trusted individuals in communities to share what is acceptable and what is not. Cllr Anwen Muston asked how the MARAC aligns to hate crime. The Head of Community Safety advised that the policy recognises all equality issues domestic violence issues including honour killings, LBGT and disabilities. Cllr Rupinderjit Kaur voiced concern that the Police are not giving support to victims of DV or forced marriages for people with disabilities and advised that for a female in these situations often it is forbidden for her to report the crime. She advised that in both cases in her ward she had had dealings with the police could not prosecute because the victim would not make a statement.
The Head of Community Services advised that she was unable to speak on behalf of the police, but advised that there has been an investment in training and police have started to wear lapel communication systems to record events. She further explained that there were a range of options to make things happen such as specialist services and specialist court but that the Crown Prosecution Service deal with the incident by the crime not by the protective characteristics.
The Head of Community Safety outlined the Current crime levels and trends and the challenges to address the challenges as follows:
· To reduce levels of violent incidents, particularly against young people
· To reduce weapon enabled crime
· Address the threat and harm caused ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Neighbourhood Engagement Review
Review of neighbourhood engagement – joint presentation K Samuels and Lindsay Kelly.
Lynsey Kelly provided feedback relating to the review of neighbourhood level engagement and tasking arrangements.
She advised that the review was carried out to identify how communities would like to be consulted and engaged with about local crime and community safety priorities, how best to reach communities and residents and to work with partners to agree how we communicate and share actions with our partners.
In relation to data provided about City diversity the Panel highlighted that engagement with residents through the current PACT meetings was limited and mechanisms for engaging with residents did not appear representative. Lindsay Kelly advised that there was evidence to suggest this was the case with current methods of engagement. She highlighted that over 86% of residents have internet access and could be involved and she added that there was live screening of some PACT meetings widening the community engagement offer. She clarified that the review aims to consider alternative communication such as use of social media and engagement to expand the Councils reach. She advised that examples of best practice had been looked at on recent visits.
Cllr Paula Brookfield suggested that Councillors could play a useful role in the community consultation by manning information stalls at local events; she suggested that hearing about local concerns and talking to the community face to face would be re-assuring.
Cllr Anwen Muston highlighted that the equality characteristics focused on race and language and asked how officers would engage with the rest of the people represented in all equality groups. The Head of Community Safety clarified that officers had actively engaged a wide range community forums including faith sector and communities of interest as part of the consultation process. She confirmed that the update is demonstrating where officers are now with the consultation process and was a snap shot of the bigger report.
Cllr Elias Mattu indicated that people cannot be forced to come to PACT meetings and agreed that more can be done to go out to the public but that police resources had to be taken into consideration.
In response to questions from Cllr Patricia Patten the Head of Community Safety clarified that voluntary organisations had been mapped out and had participated in promoting the consultation.
Cllr Rupinderjit Kaur referred to her experience of PACT meetings and the need to reach out to and inform more people. She suggested engaging more people from different religions and races by holding the meeting in accessible places in the local community such as temples, churches and community centres.
That the presentation is received and comments of the Panel arising from debate inform the consultation process.
This report is in response to a request by the panel for an update into the work of Trading Standards Officers in dealing with contraband items and illicit alcohol enforcement in the City.
Paul Dosanjh Service Lead provided a report and presentation relating to the work of Trading Standards Officers in dealing with contraband items and illicit alcohol enforcement in the City.
The Service Lead informed Panel about the work of the Wolverhampton Substance Misuse Alliance, recently formed Multi-agency alliance to look at tobacco, drugs and alcohol issues in the City. He advised that that alliance works strategically and collaboratively to find a range of solutions to substance misuse problems.
The Panel received an overview of the issues:
· Illicit alcohol, tobacco and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS, previously known as ‘Legal Highs’) pose a danger to health
· Provide financial rewards to sellers, and a health risk to users
· Illicit cigarettes do not have Reduced Ignition Propensity (RIP)
· Very few people complain as people believe that they are getting a bargain
· Trading Standards have to wait for the intelligence to come to them
· Illicit alcohol, tobacco and NPS are known to be distributed through local shops
The Service Lead highlighted the need to gather intelligence, get communities involved and get people involved in the awareness campaigns to show counterfeit goods and the dangers to health from using illicit materials. He circulated examples of seized goods to the Panel.
In relation to enforcement action the Service Lead advised that intelligence was helping to target distributers of illicit goods in the City. He played a you-tube extract showing a police and trading standards raid of a shop in Wolverhampton. Illicit alcohol and tobacco products were found in concealed spaces in the premises, behind false walls and in wall cavities.
Panel was advised that the work trading standards carries out in relation to this problem has impact on other issues such as Modern Slavery, links to product counterfeiting, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and social media.
They were advised that the next steps would
· Empowering Local residents
· Tobacco licensing
· Proceeds of crime – taking the money out of the crime
· Civil injunctions
· Working with landlords
· Sharing intelligence with the police
The Chair thanked trading standards officers for the work they do and are developing in relation to this issue. She acknowledged that this was a big problem for the City with knock on effects for crime and health partners and requested an update back to this Panel in the scrutiny work programme.
That the report and presentation are received and an update report is included in the work programme for ASC Scrutiny Panel.
To highlight the current legislation and work taking place within Trading Standards to safeguard Wolverhampton residents from scams and rogue trading activity.
Susan White, Service Lead provided a report and presentation to consider the programme of action currently undertaken by Trading Standards to protect Wolverhampton residents by pursuing offenders and increasing awareness of scams and rogue trading.
She advised that Wolverhampton trading Standards is actively working with local groups and initiatives across the City to increase the awareness of scams and rogue trading and that an Intelligence Operating Model (IOM) has been adopted for effective and efficient sharing of intelligence in order to identify and tackle emerging threats.
Panel welcomed the informative presentation and were particularly interested in the new National Initiative ‘Friends against Scams’ which aims to:
· Highlight the scale of the problem by getting communities and the Nation talking about scams.
· Change the perceptions of why people become scam victims.
· Prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim by providing more adequate support.
· Recruit people to join the fight against scams to make this a scam-free nation.
Councillors welcomed the suggestion for all councillors to become ‘SCAMbassadors’ to use their influence to get the message of the initiative across, to raise the profile of scams within their local area and to encourage people to take action by reporting scams.
1. That the report and presentation were received.
2. That an invitation email be circulated to all Councillors to advise of the Friends Against Scams initiative and how to become a SCAMbassador.