Integrated Community Safety is a new approach to the way we work together, involving the Council, partner agencies (such as the Police, Fire & Rescue, and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing) elected members and local people all working together to create a safer Kirklees.
Partnership problem solving groups in the four district areas of Batley & Spen, Rural, Dewsbury & Mirfield and Huddersfield are working together on key priorities to make communities safer. These are:
Reducing Crime and tackling anti-social behaviour
- creating confident communities, where people feel safe and have confidence
- Protecting people from serious harm such as domestic abuse, hate crime and child sexual exploitation
The underlying principle is to utilise partnership intelligence effectively to tackle problems at the earliest opportunity or ideally by preventing them from happening in the first place.
An example of this is the Huddersfield town centre crime reduction initiative focusing on theft from person, shoplifting alongside alcohol related crime in the night time economy. Co-ordinated by Safer Kirklees, this involved partner agencies such as West Yorkshire Police, CHART and voluntary supporting agencies working together to educate and safeguard individuals to tackle this issue and prevent offences. We worked closely with retailers, progressing early interventions with the alleged offenders which resulted in an overall reduction in shop theft of 20%.
We have developed a protocol for addressing street drinking and vagrancy which will alleviate tensions from residents and retailers in the area and reduce offences committed in Dewsbury Town Centre. Yellow and Red warning letters will be distributed informing individuals of the consequences of their continued actions, and supporting information and signposting will be offered at the same time.
Safer Kirklees have utilised tools and powers to effectively address problematic tenancies where vulnerable individuals have effectively lost control of their tenancies. Closure Orders have been obtained in the Magistrates Court which preclude anyone apart from the actual resident accessing the property and any defined external areas. These orders have proved extremely successful in alleviating persistent anti-social behaviour and disorder associated with particular properties, and have given neighbours and residents much needed respite. They have also had the effect of allowing supporting agencies to interact successfully with the vulnerable individual in order for them to maintain a successful tenancy and receive the help they require.
Integrated working is an exciting area of work and is still in its infancy. Future plans include using digital technologies across organisational boundaries to simplify reporting and deploy multi agency teams.