Minutes

Proposed venue: Chief Executive's Office - Lambeth Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Henry Langford  Democratic Services Officer, Tel: 0207 926 1065, email:  hlangford@lambeth.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Lambeth's Community Plan

    Minutes:

    The Safer Lambeth Executive (SLE) received a presentation on the context and challenges currently facing the borough. Members were asked to consider the initial data produced as part of the strategic assessment before agreeing on the top priorities to be targeted by the Safer Lambeth Partnership over the next five years.

     

    The SLE were advised about the following challenges facing the borough:

     

    • Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) – there had been a significant rise in recorded cases of VAWG. Evidence suggested that this reflected an increase in reporting. Nonetheless, Lambeth experienced very high levels of VAWG.
    • Violence Against the Person (VATP) – Increasing London-wide, but more violence with injury recorded in Lambeth than most similar boroughs.
    • Gang Crime - Gun crime remained high and there had been a recent surge in Serious Youth Violence. The SLP was asked to consider whether Gang Crime should be considered separately VATP.
    • Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) – Covered a wide range of issues. According to the last residents’ survey, ASB was no longer the main issue of concern; however Lambeth had the third highest level of ASB police call-outs of all London boroughs.
    • Drugs and alcohol - Lambeth was substantially overrepresented for drug trafficking offences and was experiencing an increasing trend for drug possession, opposite to the London wide trend.
    • Prevent – All Prevent initiatives were funded directly by the Home Office. SLP Members were asked to consider whether it was appropriate to grant Prevent priority status given the lack of data on the issue.

     

    Following the presentation, Members of the SLE discussed the challenges facing the Partnership and made the following key points:

     

    • Careful consideration was required before selecting gang crime as a key priority. Data around gang crime was not an exact science it was not always possible to fully relate it with Serious Youth Violence.
    • It was important to select VAWG as a key priority.
    • Many of the issues highlighted were closely intertwined. It was important to evidence the links between different priorities.
    • The drug market had transformed in recent years to one that was less visible and more heavily connected to organised crime.
    • Whilst the Partnership would not lose sight of more acquisitive crimes, it was important to select the high impact crimes as the key priorities for the SLP.
    • The Partnership needed to initiate a prevention agenda to tackle Serious Youth Violence. This should be a key priority.
    • Serious Youth Violence and VATP were two of the key problems in Lambeth and needed to be tackled as a matter of urgency.
    • Reducing ASB was a partnership activity and should also be treated as a priority. However ASB covered a wide range of problems and energy should be focused on combatting only the most pertinent issues.
    • The Partnership would be subject to increased financial pressure moving forward and there was no intention to create new programmes of work. However, more could be done to link ongoing projects and programmes.
    • Prevent would remain within the activities of the SLP but would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Serious Youth Violence: Group discussion

    Minutes:

    Following a recent spike in Serious Youth Violence, representatives from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) advised the group on recent events and requested that the SLP considered its immediate response and longer term strategic approach to the rising problem.

     

    Broadly there was understood to be a link between Serious Youth Violence, gang crime and organised drug crime; however other factors such as mental health and loss of status were also believed to have contributed to the London-wide spike in youth violence. The MPS would not be able to eradicate the problem solely through enforcement activities and the Partnership was encouraged to formulate a strategy to combat serious youth violence through early intervention and community engagement.

     

    Members of the SLE discussed the rise in Serious Youth Violence and made the following key points:

     

    • There was not enough information about the recent rise in Serious Youth Violence and at this stage the reasons for the uplift remained unclear. More analysis was required to identify whether the rise in violence represented one problem or a range of issues.
    • Work could be commissioned externally to look into the spate of crimes and investigate the root causes.
    • The decline of the third sector could be reducing the amount of successful preventative work taking place in local communities. It was difficult to statistically prove rates of prevention.
    • Short term action was required before schools broke up for the summer holidays. However any initiatives or targeted communication within schools would need to have the support of Headteachers and staff. It was also important to seek advice from the Young Lambeth Cooperative (YLC), youth service providers and the voluntary sector about how best to tackle the problem.
    • Lack of resource was a major short term problem for the YLC and voluntary sector. Partners needed to support the voluntary sector and lobby the Mayor’s office for financial investment.
    • Lambeth Fire Service had been at the forefront of the borough’s youth engagement, working with a wide range of young people to help them out of gangs and into employment.
    • A key area for improvement for the prevention of Serious Youth Violence and Gang Crime was the intervention age, which needed to be lower (e.g. 11-12 years old and younger). The Partnership also had a responsibility to provide meaningful employment opportunities to young people who had turned away from violence. Overall there needed to be a common identification and referral mechanism that all partners could implement.
    • It was vital there was better communication between partners to avoid positive schemes being run in isolation.
    • The voluntary sector was under severe financial pressure and the number of youth workers was reducing. Long term investment in the voluntary sector was required to reduce the level of Serious Youth Violence and the SLP needed to strengthen its ties with existing youth centres.
    • In the short term the MPS would be focussing on enforcement activity, however this would not provide the whole solution. Community leaders could often be more effective at combatting violence and the community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.