Crime and the fear of crime are key factors that affect people’s quality of life and sense of well-being.
There is a direct link to health through such things as violent injury, rape and other offences against the person, and less directly via the psychological trauma of experiencing crimes such as burglary or vandalism.
Fear of crime affects the health of the wider community via, for example, restrictions on unsupervised outdoor play for children and social isolation of older people.
It has been acknowledged that the actual rick of becoming a victim of crime is much lower than the perceived fear of crime and victimisation. Fear of crime can have a devastating effect on quality of life and more focus is being placed upon providing reassurance to residents and ensuring that they know how best to protect themselves from becoming a victim without raising fear unnecessarily.
Crime reduces the effectiveness of healthcare systems through violence against NHS staff, damage to property, and costs of replacement, repairs and security. Alcohol and illegal drug dependency increase crime, and have an impact on health care services. http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43763
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1. What are the key issues?
Despite reductions in overall crime, offences of violence are following an increasing trend. This has also recently been seen in offences of domestic related burglary.
Increases in reports of sexual offences area also emerging, however, a high proportion of these are historical offences.
There has been an increase in anti-social behaviour in the town centre of Stockton and its surrounding areas that are linked to the misuse of alcohol, in particular by adults during the daytime.
The consumption of alcohol and/or drugs remains high and plays an integral role in violent crime.
The true extent of the different themes and contributory factors associated with crime types remain difficult to assess due to data quality.
Repeat victimisation exists within all categories of crime; however, criminal damage and violence are the most common.
Difficulties remain in data collection relating to repeat victimisation and sharing of this information between partner agencies.
Victims of particular crimes such as domestic abuse are more vulnerable than others, however, there are limited interventions specifically focused on other crime groups.
Please see Offenders JSNA topic.
Data collection is difficult when reviewing and identifying troubled families in Stockton-On-Tees.
There are several areas within Stockton-On-Tees that suffer from disproportionate levels of crime and disorder. This correlates with high levels of substance misuse in those areas.
The levels of alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour are the higher in Stockton town centre and its surrounding areas.
It is difficult to analyse local authority and police data sets relating to location.
There are three electoral wards that have the highest crime rates every year; however, there are a number of wards which have lower crime rates, but they have higher levels of demand and are vulnerable to a variety of crime types.
In Stockton-On-Tees, the consultation processes with residents are not robust.
Substance misuse and reducing re-offending related services are not organised around working in specific localities. This can lead to service/staff not being aware of local issues or linked into local action plans
There continues to be a reduction in funding to key public sector agencies that will affect service delivery. Financial pressures could lead to changes in resident’s behaviour which could result in a rise in crime.
2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?
Extend the emerging issues priority to include burglary of dwelling and non-dwelling, as well as ‘Other Theft’. The main issue seems to be metal thefts, which is also impacting upon burglaries where metal is targeted.
Assess all current targets within the Community Safety Plan and re-set the plan for 2012/13.
Look at first time offenders and try to establish their motivation for offending. The first step would be to monitor the number of first time offenders in the forthcoming year to see if there is a big enough problem to warrant further research.
Prioritise offenders committing burglary offences as they have the highest rate of repeat offending.
Re-establish and agree the terms of reference for the drugs ‘Reducing Harm’ group.
Raise the profile of alcohol and assess the role of all current alcohol-related working groups as well as current procedures to ensure that nothing is being missed.
Ensure that domestic violence services are well publicised in Stockton, especially in more affluent areas where services are not currently utilised.
Look at the current transition processes between youth and adult services for offenders and drug and alcohol misusers, to ensure that people are not dropping out of treatment/support.
Ensure that problem profiles and more in-depth analysis is commissioned for specific issues throughout the year. Issues highlighted to explore so far are the possible reasons for the changes to crime and deprivation levels within Parkfield and Oxbridge electoral ward and the ‘Most Serious Violence’ category.
Reduce anti-social behaviour.
Reduce violent crime (inc robbery).
Reduce drug-related offending.
Reduce criminal damage.
Reduce alcohol-related crime/ASB.
Reduce domestic violence.
Use early interventions, including participation in educating offenders and their families in order to reduce youth-related ASB.
Use a wide range of partner data to gain a greater understanding of violence linked to misuse of alcohol/and or drugs.
Focus on problematic areas in order to aide with reducing levels of drug-related offending.
Partnership approach that ensures that the imminent changes to the PPO schemes in Cleveland continue to target and manage chaotic drug users who continue to engage in criminal activity.
Gain a greater understanding of poly drug use and the illicit trade in prescription and fake prescription medication to inform education treatment and control tactics.
Maintain our current approach to responding to reports of ASB along with the flexibility to react to changes in hotspot areas.
Due to the end to alcohol interventions in custody from April 2014, the partnership should work with the police to examine the use of conditional cautioning and other means of disposal to target offenders where alcohol consumption is linked to their offending behaviour into compulsory or voluntary alcohol treatment.
Ensure staff are trained and skilled to identify cross cutting issues with alcohol misuse (e.g referrals for domestic abuse) and refer for appropriate support.
Evaluation of a pilot scheme in relation to ‘Making Every Contact Count’.
Consideration should be given to monitoring shoplifting and other theft offences around Stockton town center over the 12 month period in light of the impending completion of the regeneration work in order to aide with attracting local businesses to the area.
Continue to use and develop restorative practices across a wide variety of organisations and agencies for both adult and youth offending.
Monitor implications of changes to the IOM scheme.
Monitor the impact that the Anti-Social Behaviour Act has had in relation to enforcement activity.
Research for the monthly Joint Action Group (JAG) meetings to continue to highlight any emerging or vulnerable locations.
Multi-agency approach to be tackling most vulnerable areas.
Consideration given as to how we are best to tackle changes through regeneration of the town centre to ensure crime remains low and image of Stockton is improved.
3. Who is at risk and why?
There is a strong correlation between locations which suffer from higher crime levels and deprivation and unemployment.
Unemployed people are twice as likely to be burgled and be victims of violence as the average person.
Men are more likely to commit a crime than women.
More young males are associated with ASB incidents.
Females are at a much greater risk of being a victim of domestic violence.
There is a high prevalence of female victims who repeatedly suffer violence.
Young households are more than twice as likely to be the victims of violence as the average household.
Males 25 and under tend to account for the highest proportion of victims of violence associated with the night-time economy.
Females aged 30 and under are at the most risk of domestic violence.
The 26-33 age group is the most prolific for shoplifting offences.
It is very rare that elderly people are victims of crime, but they are vulnerable to distraction burglaries.
Older people are more likely to suffer fear of crime and worry about being a victim.
The 2010/11 British Crime Survey (BCS) showed that the risk of being a victim of personal crime was higher for adults from a mixed background than for other ethnic groups. It was also higher for members of all BME groups than for the white group.
People with severe mental illness are responsible for one in 20 violent crimes.
Alcohol related hospital admissions are increasing every year.
Offenders who use heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine commit between one-third and half of all acquisitive crimes.
Females, young people, stimulant users and those from the BME community remain under-represented within treatment.
There is a high prevalence of repeat victims
Young men aged 16 to 24 have the highest risk of being a repeat victim of violence.
Lone parents are twice as likely to be burgled as the average person.
Households with less than ‘basic’ home security measures were considerably more likely to have been victims of burglary than households with ‘basic’ or ‘enhanced’ home security measures.
4. What is the level of need in the population?
The total crime rate in Stockton has reduced over the last 10 years, from 105.6 per 1,000 population (2004) to 53.8 per 1,000 population (2014). The reduction equates to almost 10,000 less victims of crime
House burglary has reduced by 79%, vehicle crime by 75% and violent crime has reduced by 46%. The significance of using 2003/04 as a baseline is that the National Crime Recording Standards are largely unchanged over this period.
Total crime has reduced by 10.9% (-1263 offences) during October 2013 to September 2014 compared to the same period in the previous year.
Violence against the person and rape has shown an increasing trend.
There has been a slight reduction in domestic burglary.
There is strong correlation between crime and ASB rates particularly in electoral wards with high levels of deprivation.
Stockton Town Centre, Mandale & Victoria and Parkfield & Oxbridge wards suffer from disproportionate levels of crime and disorder and there continues to be strong correlation with substance misuse in those wards. These wards also have above average levels of alcohol-related crime, violence and criminal damage. They also have the highest levels of anti-social behavior in Stockton-On-Tees.
The five most deprived wards in Stockton-On-Tees account for 49% of all crime and 46% of all ASB.
The ward with the highest crime rates and ASB levels are in Stockton Town Centre, accounting for one-fifth of all crime in Stockton-On-Tees.
The proximity of the town centre in Stockton plays a major role in why crime is higher in this ward area. The demographics of its residents and the majority of major retail stores and public houses are located there. This ward is the main focus of police enforcement activity.
Repeat victims of crime feature more highly for those linked to domestic abuse than other crime categories. Those victims who are at the most risk continue to be dealt with through the MARAC process.
Repeat victimisation linked to anti-social behaviour continues to exist and procedures remain in place to offer advice and support in order to reduce risk and minimise harm.
Young people are of concern and more likely to be a victim of theft from person or robbery by person of similar age than other crime types such as burglary or criminal damage.
Abstraction of personal data relating to victims of crime remains difficult to obtain and mainly focuses on person’s name and age. Crime data relating to their address, ethnicity or occupation remains limited. The recording systems are mainly focused on the event rather than the victim and/or suspect.
5. What services are currently provided?
The services provided in Stockton-On-Tees focus on the six key priorities for the Safer Stockton Partnership (SSP). There are multi-agency thematic working groups that drive each of the key objectives with action plans specific to each priority. There are a number of services commissioned through SSP such as treatment/support services for domestic violence, alcohol misuse and drugs misuse.
Safe at Home scheme
The SSP provides the Safe at Home scheme for vulnerable residents in Stockton-On-Tees, including victims of burglary and domestic violence. The scheme involves a visit from a crime prevention community safety officer. They carry out a full survey of the property then recommend various target hardening and security measures. The scheme arranges for the work to be carried out to ensure the vulnerable property is as secure as possible.
Think B4U Drink
The Think B4U Drink campaign promotes safe and responsible drinking in Stockton-On-Tees (including schools and colleges) and delivers key safety messages, such as getting home safely after a night out and how to reduce vulnerability when under the influence of alcohol.
Stockton Town Pastors
The Stockton Town Pastors (STP) are a group of volunteers who offer a caring presence in Stockton town centre on Friday and Saturday evenings when individuals may become unexpectedly vulnerable.
ASB, criminal damage and deliberate fires
There are a number of initiatives running to try to tackle ASB, criminal damage and deliberate fires. Much of the work has been focused within schools to educate young people about various issues such as the consequences of committing damage and the effect damage has to neighbourhoods, as well as explaining that anyone can become a victim of crime or ASB (regardless of age, gender or ethnicity) and how the behaviour of young people can be perceived as anti-social even when it is not intended in that way. The effects of alcohol are discussed in secondary schools, with a particular emphasis on how drinking can lead to risk taking that can result in crime and ASB.
Integrated Offender Management scheme
The Integrated Offender Management (IOM) scheme is a multi-agency intensive programme that ensures the most prolific/problematic offenders who cause the most harm are dealt with in a co-ordinated way.
The council’s ASB team and the police work in partnership to identify repeat callers and address concerns. A repeat caller is highlighted following three calls for assistance to either the police or ASB/enforcement teams. Repeat callers can be contacted by community safety support officers within the council to provide reassurance and address any immediate concerns. The Stockton council ASB team carries out a risk assessment on each call/service request to ensure that the correct level of service is provided.
6. What is the projected level of need?
There are currently no projected levels of need.
7. What needs might be unmet?
While there is a commitment to maintain high levels of service and support during times of austerity, it is clear that the pressures of budgets and the impact this will have on capacity within partner agencies will affect the level of service delivered. This in turn could potentially lead to a lack of community reassurance linked with the wider feeling that public services are stretched at a time where issues such as high unemployment are prevalent within communities. This poses a challenge for the SSP in relation to the wider reassurance agenda.
There is a lack of information regarding the victim for variety of crime types
There are several areas in Stockton-On-Tees which sufferer for disproportionate levels of crime, however, a lack of resources (due to financial constraints imposed on police and local authority) can impact on how we deal with these areas. Therefore potential for crime to increase and reduce public confidence and reassurance in these localities.
8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?
The Home Office produce online information in relation to effective practice. This sets out examples of effective practice from around the country, covering issues such as burglary, robbery and prostitution.
A Scottish Government paper sets out the main evidence for why offenders move away from committing more crimes in the future.
The Seven Pathways to Reducing Reoffending (Reducing Reoffending National Action Plan, Home Office, 2004) is Probation guidance on how to effectively reduce reoffending.
The HMIC recommend the following for reducing ASB.
The evidence for the multi-agency approach to address troubled families is still in the development stages however CLG make reference to effective partnership working to address the needs of troubled families in Westminster (The Westminster Model) which highlights structure and cost savings as a result of their approach.
9. What do people say?
The findings from the local survey carried out by MORI in 2011 showed that:
Tackling Crime and Disorder Audit
In 2013, a survey was undertaken with 5,488 residents (and visitors) of Stockton-On-Tees. It was a questionnaire asking residents what they thought should be a priority for the SSP.
Extensive face to face consultation was also carried out in various locations in Stockton-On-Tees to seek the views of residents.
Interim analysis reports were periodically conducted to ensure that the consultation covered a diverse range of people from different genders, age ranges, and ethnicities as well as focusing geographically to ensure a good response rate from all of the electoral ward areas in Stockton-On-Tees.
A full analysis report has been produced and can be downloaded from www.saferstockton.com
The survey showed that the key concerns/priorities for residents were:
Respondents felt that most ASB is youth-related.
10. What additional needs assessment is required?
No additional needs assessment is required at present.
Name: Steven Hume
Name: Lisa Lyons
Job Title:Community Safety Analyst