West Cumbria Community Safety Partnership
Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) were formed in the late 1990s as a result of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which placed a duty on local authorities and the Police to form a local partnership and cooperate in the development and implementation of a strategy for tackling crime and disorder in the area and improving community safety.
West Cumbria Community Safety Partnership members include:
- Cumbria Constabulary
- Allerdale Borough Council
- Copeland Borough Council
- Cumbria Fire and rescue
- Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC)
- as well as representation from health services, housing associations, probation services and the voluntary sector.
The West Cumbria CSP have supported a number of initiatives such as the Pub Watch and Taxi Marshal schemes to address problems in the night-time economy as well as projects which provide constructive activities for young people.
There is also a statutory requirement for the CSP to undertake a multi-agency Domestic Homicide Review following a domestic homicide to identify what needs to change to reduce the risk of further incidents.
Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) were originally set up as a result of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which required Responsible Authorities to work together to address local crime and disorder issues.
The Responsible Authorities were the local government authority, police, fire and rescue service, probation service and local NHS. In addition, these authorities formed strategic partnerships with non statutory bodies which may include social housing associations and third sector organisations.
The CSP are responsible for identifying local priorities via strategic assessment to reduce crime, disorder, including antisocial behaviour, substance misuse and reoffending. The CSP are able to share information and must engage and consult local communities on local priorities and must monitor progress towards meeting these priorities. West Cumbria CSP undertakes public engagement and consultation via a number of local events under the management of the Local Focus Hubs
Role in Domestic Homicide Reviews
In 2004, with the passing of the Domestic Violence, Crimes and Victims Act, CSPs became responsible for undertaking Domestic Homicide Reviews to establish what lessons need to be learnt with regard to the way local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims. (See DHR page)
CSPs in Cumbria and the role of Local Focus Hubs
Since November 2012, the local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has taken on overall responsibility reducing crime in their area. However, both CSPs and PCCs must take into account their respective priorities with the CSPs continuing to report to their local authorities via their Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
In Cumbria three CSPs operate under a county wide Community Safety Strategy Group (CSSG) called ‘Safer Cumbria’. The West Cumbria CSP is responsible for Allerdale and Copeland local authority areas, while South Cumbria CSP is responsible for South Lakeland and Barrow and North Cumbria CSP is responsible for Carlisle and Eden.
The West Cumbria CSP is responsible for setting the strategic priorities with the Local Focus Hubs (LFHs) responsible for the day-to-day operational delivery. They do this by having community issues reported via any of the partner organisations and raising appropriate actions to deal with them.
LFHs, one for Allerdale and one for Copeland, bring together all the responsible authorities and other partners in order to develop joint solutions to what can be complex issues. The LFHs also act as the ‘eyes and ears’, on the ground, for the CSP by advising on community issues and having a very real input in the setting of community priorities.
The future for CSPs in Cumbria
With the announcement of a reorganisation of local government in Cumbria, the structure of Cumbria CSPs is likely to change from 2023.
Safer Streets Funding Community Safety Partnership (SSF2) - updated September 2021
The OPCC submitted two Cumbrian bids to SSF2 in relation to schemes based in Workington and Whitehaven.
The CSP and both LFHs worked with the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to contribute as much supporting information as possible.
On 3rd June 2021, the Cumbria OPCC was notified that the primary bid was successful and that £311,358 had been awarded focusing on residential burglary in the St Michael’s Central and St Michael’s South in Workington.
This area has a population of 3465 residents and 2000 dwellings made up predominantly of terraced homes with 50% being owner occupied. We planned to lower the burglary rate and to achieve the secondary benefit of reducing instances of anti-social behaviour, thus improving the perception of safety within the community.
The OPCC was also informed that the secondary bid in respect of Whitehaven met the pass grade but that the funding had been exhausted.
SSF2 Proposals for Workington
1. Provide Safer Homes Packs to protect 1,300 homes and their possessions. The packs will contain property marking kits with property registration and supporting signage, light timers, simulated TVs, crime prevention leaflets and information about support services available i.e. financial, housing, dedicated women’s services, victim support, drug and alcohol misuse services, mental health and wellbeing. To enhance the value of the property marking kits, the project will issue 100 Ultraviolet Torches to polices officers deployed from Workington Station.
2. Provide target hardening intervention to 150 homes across the area focusing on households already recorded as victims of burglary and those identified with vulnerabilities that will benefit from additional targeting hardening measures.
3. Upgrade Street Lighting in the areas defined between:
- Lonsdale Street
- Clay Street
- Milburn Street
- Harcourt Street
- Fletcher Street
- York Street
- Gladstone Street
Upgrading of the present street lighting scheme in hot spot locations for burglary offences will improve natural surveillance opportunities and enhance casual supervision which will act as a deterrent to offenders as they are more likely to be noticed.
4.Introduce a public realm lighting scheme in Vulcan Park along the route between Park Lane and Fleet Street. This will promote legitimate activity and enhance patrolling options to the police. The park is highlighted as a repeat location for ASB and a place where activity can take place unseen as there is no lighting. It has six designated access points. This project will complement work being carried out by Workington Town Council. The Town Council has purchased a derelict day care centre building in the park and are set to refurbish it for use as a community centre and offices for their staff. A further building (the Old Man’s Shelter) next to the day care centre is also to be repaired to become office space. The two buildings will be installed with external CCTV. Both the street lighting and CCTV will work in conjunction to improve public assurance, safeguard those using the renovated buildings, encourage legitimate use of the park, and enhance surveillance and patrol opportunities.
5. Install CCTV at St Michael’s Nursery & Infants School. The school is in a socially disadvantaged area adjacent to the burglary crime hotspots. The school has experienced several intrusions to the grounds by persons suffering from substance misuse which have triggered the school ‘lockdown’ procedures requiring police calls for service. The church grounds behind the school have also been identified as a persistent location for drug related activity which undermines the overall safety and security of not only the school but the surrounding streets. The school is situated on the main route from the town centre to the train station which is not currently covered by CCTV. Providing a comprehensive, professionally installed CCTV scheme will enable observation of the exterior spaces and will help to deter intrusion, preventing distressing disruptions to school activities. It will also increase surveillance opportunities for the local policing team and provide valuable evidence and intelligence.
To deliver this project, there will be:
- A Safer Streets Co-ordinator
- Two Safer Streets Assistants - located within Allerdale Local Focus Hub, Workington, and responsible for delivering the safer homes packs directly to residents as well as helping them to register their property marking kits. They will educate residents on keeping their properties safe and identify those with vulnerabilities who will benefit from additional targeting hardening measures by conducting crime prevention surveys. The local PCSOs will work alongside the Safer Street Assistants to deliver the packs and address issues raised by residents. The Allerdale Local Focus Hub Enforcement Officers will also support and co-ordinate remedial work in the area, improving the environmental appearance (graffiti/dog fouling), helping to strengthen the impact of the project.
Progress so far
The project co-ordinator is in place based at the OPCC. The Safer Streets Assistants have been recruited and have a start date of 6th September. They will receive training/input from the Safer Streets Coordinator, Crime Prevention Officers, PCSOs and the Allerdale Local Focus Hub manager to enable them to feel confident carrying out their role.
All grant agreements and memorandums of understanding are in place with Safer Streets Fund, Cumbria Constabulary, Cumbria County Council, Allerdale Borough Council and St Michael’s Nursery and Infants School.
The contents of the Safer Homes packs have been discussed with the Crime Prevention Officers and finalised. Quotations have been received from several suppliers to ensure value for money and compliance with Commercial regulations. Sample goods have been tested and the final decisions about purchasing have been made. The packs will contain:-
- SelectaDNA home property marking kits and associated signage
- Dusk to dawn timer sockets
- 24-hour timer sockets
- Credit card defenders
- Plug in simulated TVs
- Key ring (to encourage the use of window locks)
- Security advice leaflets
- Tote bags
One hundred UV torches have been ordered to be used by officers deployed from Workington police station. The Crime Prevention Officer is developing a training video for officers about the benefits and most effective use of the UV torches to promote their value as a crime detection resource.
Local fitters have been identified to provide target hardening intervention to 100 homes across the area. Meetings have been held with the fitters and Crime Prevention Officers to ensure that the specification of the work is as expected and that the time constraints of the project are understood. The fitters have all been Constabulary vetted and DBS checked, and are on the Constabulary procurement system allowing orders to be placed when ready.
The Grant Agreement is in place with Cumbria County Council with work to improve street lighting and public realm lighting scheduled to commence in October/November.
The Grant Agreement with St Michael’s Nursery and Infant School was put in place in June, with the funding transferring to the school shortly afterwards. The school have already purchased and installed the CCTV system and are delighted with this opportunity to make the school and the immediate vicinity feel safer for staff, parents and children.
The crime prevention leaflet has been designed and printed ready for inclusion in the safer homes packs. The Safer Streets Assistants will develop a promotional leaflet for residents to explain the project and benefits. A brief survey has been developed to understand the concerns of residents which can be completed as the Safer Streets Assistants engage with the community. The project will be promoted via social media (PCC, Constabulary and council accounts) encouraging residents/landlords to contact the Safer Streets to receive a free survey and advice and potentially free security products. Community engagement opportunities will be developed and facilitated by the Safer Streets Assistants. Potential further engagement opportunities with the school will be explored.
The project will generate greater responsibility for security amongst residents in the area, which provides sustainability to our proposals. The project provides an opportunity for partner organisations and residents to form a positive network of trust and assurance, which will also contribute to greater guardianship and pride across the area. To ensure this network is preserved beyond the funding period, the local PCSOs will maintain a tangible
link direct to the community as part of their normal daily duties. This commitment has been agreed by the Constabulary provided as matched funding. This strengthened relationship will also provide a mechanism for residents to report any concerns or issues raised that are impacting on the quality of their lives.
The property marking kits will last for many years as will the supporting window stickers and lamp post signs.
The local PCSOs will continue to regularly revisit the area as part of their routine duties and engage with residents to reinforce the crime prevention messages. It is difficult to quantify exactly for how long the target hardening investments will be effective. The home security measures provided to residents will be to Secured by Design standards. The expectation is that these products will remain effective for many years and should result in no or minimal on-going maintenance costs to residents, depending on the extent of wear and tear.
Research shows that LED streetlights are expected to operate between 20 and 25 years. It has been agreed that the preservation of the new and upgraded street lighting will remain the responsibility of Cumbria County Council as part of their statutory duties.
Good security cameras can last between 6 to 10 years. The CCTV will remain the responsibility of St Michael’s Infant School. They will cover ongoing costs related to the monitoring and upkeep of the CCTV. The school will also allow the Police to access evidential quality images for the lifetime of the equipment.
Strategic plan for the West Cumbria Community Safety Partnership
The CSP has a strategic plan which sets out its priorities until 2023.West Cumbria's Community Safety Partnership's Action Plan
More information on the work of the Community Safety Partnership
Our website contains more information on the work of the CSP.