About this consultation
By 2017/18 government funding will have been cut by almost 50%. This, coupled with changes like the increased cost of living and an ageing population, means making tough choices about funding local services. Our budget will have been reduced by nearly £78 million by 2017/18. This is on top of the £93 million we have already saved between 2011/12 and 2014/15.
The Council works with a range of agencies to reduce crime and make the Camden a safer place. We currently spend £5 million each year on community safety and crime reduction services. In December 2015 our Cabinet agreed to reduce this figure by 25% as part of a package of proposals developed following consultation with residents to meet our tough financial challenge.
This reduction will mean that we cannot continue to deliver services in the same way and we need to rethink the way we provide community safety services. The changes we are proposing to our Community Safety Service are based on the priorities set out in the Camden Plan, ensuring Camden is a safe place for everyone. The proposals aim to make sure that the services we provide are focused on those most in need.
We are asking for your views on how we are proposing to deliver services in the future.
What are we consulting on?
We are proposing to prioritise the use of these reduced resources on areas where we can make the greatest difference, by providing support and interventions for those who are most vulnerable and at the highest risk of harm in our communities. This will mean the Council’s Community Safety Service will assess all requests for advice, support and action, and will prioritise issues where there is a risk of harm to individuals.
We will of course continue to work closely with our community partners to offer support to people in cases where we will not be able to act directly. This might be through links to schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch, housing management resources or locally based community services and by working with partners to develop these.
Our partnership work with the Metropolitan Police will continue to ensure the safety of our communities across the borough. The police will continue to provide patrolling and neighbourhood services to respond to issues raised by local communities. We will encourage residents to seek support from the police regarding crime and community safety issues.
We are proposing these changes because we want to make sure that our available funding continues to have a positive impact for the most vulnerable people in our community.
What are we proposing to prioritise?
Cabinet members have decided to invest more money in services to tackle domestic violence and abuse. One in four women and one in six men in the borough will be subject to domestic violence and abuse in their lifetime, many of whom will be at risk of murder by a partner or family member. Supporting victims of domestic abuse is one of our key priorities and we believe that there is more we can do to ensure victims’ safety. We will invest more in these services to ensure the safety of Camden residents.
Cabinet members have decided to protect the money we spend on tackling the inequality of rough sleeping in the borough. Increasing numbers of rough sleepers are based in Camden and in the last year alone there was a 12% increase in rough sleeping. The Council remains committed to investing in the specialist outreach Safer Streets Team in order to provide services for vulnerable individuals engaged in high risk street activity, including rough sleeping, begging, sex working and street drinking and to reduce the impact of street activity on our local communities and businesses.
What are we proposing to change
We think that there is more that we can do to join up council services and work with other organisations, like the police and community centres, to improve the level of service that customers receive. This would mean that we would also be able to point people in the direction of other local services available.
We have assessed the community safety needs of vulnerable people and have identified ways in which services can be reorganised so they are more efficient. Consideration has also been given to the services that will continue to be provided by the police and other organisations, and in some cases where additional support can be provided to reduce the impact of the Council’s changes.
We are proposing to focus our Community Safety Service on incidents of antisocial behaviour, youth violence and youth disorder that cause a high-risk of harm to individuals. This would ensure that interventions we offer have the greatest impact. This would mean we would no longer directly intervene in cases of antisocial behaviour, youth violence and youth disorder where there are lower levels of risk.
Direct work to reduce reoffending with perpetrators of some types of crime will stop. Other agencies will continue to provide support to offenders and our Community Safety Service will assist with this where the offending poses a risk of harm to identified victims.
The Council is proposing to retain the current CCTV and Housing Patrol Service on housing estates. The Community Safety Service will continue to provide services in our communities, but we are proposing to make changes to the current Community Warden and Parks Patrol services.
For cases where we can no longer respond directly, we will help the community to work together to find their own solutions and interventions for those issues where there is lower risk of harm to individuals.
We currently fund services to manage the impact of the night time economy on local communities, including the provision of additional police officers. We are proposing to reduce this funding.
Where services would no longer be available, communities will be given advice and information about other agencies that can offer support, as well as steps that they might be able to take with others in their communities that could address problems.
Why We Are Consulting
We want your views on our proposed plans to change our Community Safety Service. We will use your responses to inform the changes we make.
As well as responding to this survey, there are other ways you can have your say. We are planning to contact community groups as part of the consultation to encourage responses from people who may not have access to an online survey.
The Safer Neighbourhood Board Public Meeting on Thursday 30 June is focusing on the consultation. Community members and residents are welcome to attend to discuss the proposals further with Councillors and Camden officers. The meeting is taking place at 7pm at Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, WC1H 9BD. Further information can be found in the attached CSNB flyer.
Please telephone the Community Safety Service on 020 7974 2915 or email email@example.com if you would like to discuss the consultation further, especially if you have ideas about other people we should contact specifically in regards to responding to the consultation.
Council staff will be consulted on changes to job roles after the responses to this consultation have been considered.
Please answer the consultation questions in the below online survey to give your views on our proposals.
The consultation on proposed community safety changes will run for eight weeks and closes at 5pm on Tuesday 12 July 2016.
Please see a pdf document of the consultation attached below as well as an easy read version.
If you are filling in a paper copy of this questionnaire, please send your response to the freepost address below:
Strategy & Change Floor 5, 5PS Freepost RSLT-RJBR-TXAA London Borough Of Camden Town Hall London WC1H 9JE
If you would like an easy read or large print version sent to you, or need it to be translated into another language, please call 020 7974 2915.