Agenda item

Overview of Safer City Partnership priorities for 2015/16 and recommended areas for scrutiny

Report of the Town Clerk.


The Committee considered a report of the Town Clerk outlining the role and remit of the Safer City Partnership (SCP), its areas of activity in recent years, and suggesting potential areas the Committee might wish to scrutinise in more detail.


Members noted that the role of this Committee was atypical of City Corporation Committees, as the Corporation did not operate the scrutiny system employed by most local authorities. In order to assist Members in this potentially unfamiliar role, the Town Clerk would be organising scrutiny training for the Committee in due course; it was also observed that the role of the Committee would be to act as a critical friend to the SCP.


The Committee discussed the role and composition of the Safer City Partnership, asking a number of questions with a view to developing a greater understanding of its work and identifying where Members’ scrutiny efforts might prove most efficacious. It was noted that limited funding was available for direct action, although some monies were occasionally made available through the Proceeds of Crime Act, and that the SCP tended to work through its partners (for instance the Christmas Campaign set out in paragraph 16 of the report, which the London Ambulance Service had led on to great effect).


In the process of debate, Members expressed a particular interest in understanding the SCP’s channels of communication and the way in which it was able to disseminate advice and information, either directly or through partners. Members noted the use of Twitter feeds and the City of London Police’s text messaging services but sought clarity as to the full suite of alternative communication methods which might be used. It was suggested that a report be prepared for the next meeting on this subject, thereby allowing the Committee to scrutinise the arrangements in place.


Members were also keen to gain an understanding of the process by which the SCP’s strategic plan and priorities were set. During the process of this discussion, the Committee discussed the recent increase in hate crime which had been reported across London and the nation in recent weeks, in the context of how emerging trends such as this might be captured or flexibility adopted in respect of key priorities. The Community Safety Manager clarified that hate crime would sit under the existing “violence against the person” priority, but confirmed that flexibility did exist to revisit and change priorities as appropriate.


Members were unanimous that, before formally determining the focus of any substantive deep-dive review, it would be beneficial for the Committee to further develop their understanding of the Safer City Partnership and its activities. To that end, it was asked that papers for the September meeting of the SCP be circulated to all Committee Members, along with an invitation to attend and observe proceedings.


Consequently, it was agreed that the next meeting of the Committee should be scheduled for the autumn, following the training session and September SCP meeting.



·         The paperwork for and an invitation to the September meeting of the Safer City Partnership be circulated;

·         A report be produced setting out the Safer City Partnership’s communications approach; and

·         Scrutiny training be organised for Committee Members.

Supporting documents: