Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Wednesday 1 May 2013
10:30 a.m.
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

McIntyre (Chair), J Hobson, Junier, Lowes, J Sharrocks
R Black, G Brown, P Clark and S Harker
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Councillors Brady, Loughborough and P Purvis
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest at this point in the meeting. 

Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the meeting of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel held on 10 April 2013 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.


The Scrutiny Support Officer presented a report to provide an outline of the purpose of the meeting which was to receive further information with regard to the statistical data available within the Local Authority in relation to anti-social behaviour (ASB) and a breakdown of crimes by crime type in Middlesbrough Wards.


The Flare system was used by Community Protection services including the Neighbourhood Safety Team. Safer Middlesbrough Partnership analysts combined data from various sources including Police and Fire Brigade in an attempt to provide a comprehensive picture of crime and disorder. This could then be used to support problem-solving and inform larger scale analysis such as the Strategic Assessment and Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.


Data from the Neighbourhood Safety Team on incidents of anti-social behaviour were not included in this wider data set. Street Warden data was previously included, as the Wardens recorded incidents on the CRM system. However, in August 2012 the Wardens moved to the Flare system and since then data had not been readily available.


To date it had not been possible to extract data from the Flare system and use it for analysis due to the way data was collected.  This was because when incidents were recorded on the Flare system by the Neighbourhood Safety Team, they were not recorded as unique events. Instead, diary sheets were attached to one originating service request, which might not reflect the resident’s most recent concern. The date and time were recorded, but not in a place on Flare that could be accessed by running a report. As such, no systematic analysis of victims, offenders and incidents could take place.


However, the anti-social behaviour unit at Stockton Council was able to conduct systematic analyses of their data because they recorded each incident as a unique event linked to a central record, which made it easier to view all the anti-social behaviour related incidents logged against a particular address or perpetrator. Stockton Council had an individual employed in the role of Flare Guardian, whose role it was to ensure appropriate and accurate recording of information on the Flare system, and also development of the system to maximise its capacity and abilities. 


Members of the partnership support team and the Neighbourhood Safety Team had visited Stockton to learn from their practices, and their Flare Guardian had made suggestions about how Middlesbrough Officers could record things on Flare in a slightly different way, which would enable the necessary reports to be produced. This information had been left with the Neighbourhood Safety Team Manager to progress from an operational recording angle. The SMP were unable to change the methods of recording without the agreement of the Neighbourhood Safety Manager. 


The Community Regeneration Manager and Chair of the Safer Neighbourhood Steering Group, had produced a bid for Public Health, to employ a similar Flare Guardian at Middlesbrough. Stockton had agreed to assist with the role description prior to this bid being submitted and the Neighbourhood Safety Manager had been asked to consider within their team restructure where this role might fit, and therefore give consideration to the longevity of the post. 


Appendix 2 to the submitted report provided a break down of crime by crime type in Middlesbrough Wards as requested by Members at the last meeting. Details of the percentage change between 2009 and 2012 for the key crime categories were provided. It was highlighted that due to a change in Home Office codes used to classify ASB, it was not possible to provide a direct correlation between ASB incidents in 2009 and 2012. 


AGREED that:

1. The information provided be received and noted.
2. The Chair, and the Manager of the SMP, and a representative of the Neighbourhood Safety Team be invited to a future meeting to provide an update on progress in relation to changing the method of recording on the Flare system and the appointment of a Flare Guardian.

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