Community safety (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)


What is the Community Safety Partnership?

  • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires that every local authority has a Community Safety Partnership.
  • Our partnership is called 'Safer South Tyneside' and the vision we are working towards delivering is that:
  • "South Tyneside will be a place where people feel safe because crime and ASB is the exception rather than the rule. It is also a place where everyone can feel involved and included in a way that suits them, where people understand and respect each other, and communities are actively engaged in decisions that affect them." (South Tyneside Council: Community Safety Partnership)
  • Whilst South Tyneside continues to be a safe place to live, work, visit and study, a statement supported by the Safer Communities Survey which identified that 98% of residents surveyed feel very or fairly safe living in the community, it still remains that 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 crimes, including domestic  violence and sexual offences and less directly via the psychological trauma of experiencing crimes such as burglary or vandalism.
  • Less  than 3% of the population of South Tyneside are at risk of being victims of crime but just the fear of crime can have a devastating effect on quality of life and providing public reassurance is a major aspect of addressing this fear.
  • In addition to actual crime, the effects of long-term and continuous cases of experiencing anti-social behaviour, such as neighbour disputes, can have a devastating impact on the individual and wider community.
  • Offending behaviour of both the criminal and anti-social kind is damaging for not only offenders and their victims but also their families and the wider community.  It is closely associated with substance misuse, mental health, financial management, accommodation and employment.

Key issues

Linking crime and anti-social behaviour to health related issues, identifies the following key issues:

  • Support for Domestic Violence Victims
  • Education to reduce Domestic Violence - Victims and Perpetrators
  • Reduce alcohol related crime and ASB
  • Provision of mental health services for both victims and offenders where mental health is a factor in their offending behaviour.

High level priorities

The South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership (CSP) carries out an annual Strategic Assessment of crime and anti-social behaviour which is then used to inform the priorities for the CSP for the coming year. These priorities are published in the form of 'Making Communities Safer', the South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership Plan. This is a three year plan with an annual refresh.

The priorities for 2016 - 19 plan are:

  • Preventing Crime (including re-offending)
  • Dealing with Anti-social Behaviour
  • Addressing Domestic and Sexual Abuse
  • Putting Victims First
  • Delivering Community Confidence

To address these priorities there is a need to provide services to:

  • Support victims of Domestic Violence
  • Provide interventions to reduce substance abuse, in particular alcohol related crime and disorder
  • Reduce the offending rate of Looked After Children
  • Provide support to both victims and offenders with mental health issues.

Those at risk

  • Crime is a health issue. It affects the health of our communities and individuals within them directly and indirectly. Crime against health service staff, patients and property diverts resources away from health service provision. Reducing crime benefits health services.
  • Crimes that impact directly on health include: violent crime, dangerous driving and drug and alcohol abuse.
  • The effects of being a victim of crime can be both immediate and long-term.
  • It has been estimated that the NHS spends over £1 billion per year on treating the victims of crime in addition crimes against staff, patients and NHS property divert resources away from patient care.
  • There is a clearly established relationship between mental illness and violence, whether against the self or other people. A significant proportion of young offenders, sentenced or remanded in custody, have been found to have some degree of mental health disorder.
  • Crime is associated with social disorganisation, low social capital, relative deprivation and health inequalities. The same social and environmental factors that predict geographic variation in crime rates may also be relevant to explaining community variations in health and well-being.

Level of need

  • Residents of South Tyneside between the ages of 24 and 28 years of age are those most likely to be victims of crime. There is no significant difference between the ratio of male / female victims overall but of those who were victims of violent crime, 26% were male and 34% female. This is accounted for by the proportion of victims of Domestic Violence, 83% of which were female.
  • The major source of ASB complaints to both the Police and Community Wardens relate to household noise and neighbour disputes. While on an individual basis these may not seem particularly serious, if not stopped can have a long lasting effect on quality of life leaving victims feeling helpless or desperate effecting both their physical and mental health.
  • Violent crime accounted for 26% of total crime in South Tyneside in the period analysed for the 2015 Strategic Assessment and 31% of these were identified as Domestic Violence, 854 crimes.
  • Alcohol was identified as a factor in 16% of total crime, 37% of violent crime and 47% of those identified as Domestic Violence.
  • Within the Northumbria Police Force Area, South Tyneside has the second highest rate of alcohol related crime, the highest rate of crimes identified as Domestic Violence and the highest rate of alcohol related Domestic Violence.
  • Police contains detailed information with regard to crime performance both nationally and locally.
  • The correlation between deprivation and crime and anti-social behaviour is clearly demonstrated using the 2015 Index of Mass Deprivation showing that the average number of crimes in the most deprived areas of South Tyneside is 169 compared to 22 in the least deprived. This is reflected in the Anti-social Behaviour reports, demonstrating an average 100 reports in the most deprived areas compared to 22 in the least.
  • Analysis of those crimes tagged as Domestic Violence also shows the same correlation with an average of 20 reported in the most deprived areas reducing to 3 in the least deprived.
  • Domestic Violence and the influence of substance misuse, in particular alcohol have consistently been identified as priorities in South Tyneside.
  • During the 2014 - 15 financial year, Northumbria Police Protecting Vulnerable People Unit identified that in South Tyneside there were 25 Domestic Violence incidents reported per 1000 population compared to 20 per 1000 population Northumbria Force wide.
  • 42% of domestic abuse incidents reported to the Police involved children, while 65% of Options / Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) clients have children who lived in or regularly visited the household. Almost half of those families had Children's Social Care involvement at intake.
  • At the point of intake, over two-thirds (68%) of Options / IDVA clients were not in employment, education or training. In nearly three-quarters (72%) of cases, clients' annual household income was known to be less than £15,599.
  • In terms of more complex needs, only 4% of Options / IDVA clients disclosed drug misuse, 61% of whom had accessed a specialist drug service for support. A higher number of clients (9%) disclosed alcohol misuse, 72% of whom had accessed a specialist alcohol misuse service. In addition, 23% of clients reported mental health issues, 84% of whom had accessed a specialist service to support with these needs. The same (23%) of clients also reported financial problems.
  • In terms of complex needs relating to the primary perpetrator of the abuse, in relation to Options / IDVA clients, alcohol misuse (42%), drugs misuse (34%), mental health issues (28%), and financial problems (13%) were highlighted.
  • Over the course of the last full year, Options / IDVA received 436 referrals, 81% of which were new clients.
  • One in ten clients (10%) of Options / IDVA clients attended A&E as a result of abuse.
  • Over the course of the last full year, the Women's Refuge received a total of 259 referrals, resulting in a total of 71 clients and 47 children stayed there. The service also received a total of 747 calls for advice on issues relating to domestic abuse. 
  • Mental health issues were identified as being present in both of the Domestic Homicide Reviews that have been carried out in South Tyneside. One of the resulting recommendations was to raise public awareness of how to identify and seek appropriate help for mental ill health. Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside Council's Public Health team are jointly responsible for responding to this recommendation.
  • Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, South Tyneside has implemented Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) which place restrictions on people drinking alcohol, begging or using mechanically propelled vehicles in designated hotspot areas.

Anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking and homelessness has long been recognised as a concern within South Tyneside. Much of this anti-social behaviour has been attributed to a small group of individuals some of who are known to be treatment resistant. They are often vulnerable people, lead chaotic and disorganised lives, frequently because they have extremely difficult backgrounds and / or mental health issues and are also susceptible to being victims of crime.

But, however harrowing their situation, it is recognised that they can pose a nuisance and can be intimidating to passers-by.

While the PSPOs assist with enforcement actions to address this type of anti-social behaviour, to provide a long term solution, support to address the alcohol and mental health issues of these individuals is required.

Unmet needs

  • South Tyneside currently has one full time Independent Domestic Violence Adviser.  However, based on the current volume of high risk cases being discussed at MARAC, Safe Lives recommends that we have a total of three IDVAs to safely manage the risk of that caseload.
  • The Women's Refuge declines two-thirds (66%) of the referrals it receives, 64% of which are as a result of the scheme being full.
  • The Borough currently has no specialist support services for discrete community groups (e.g. people from minority ethnic backgrounds, LGBT, etc.) either within existing services or as stand alone services.
  • Government's Ending Violence Against Women Strategy recognises that "abused women use health care services more than non-abused women and they identify health care workers as the professionals they would be most likely to speak to about their experience". As a result, it is promoting a model to provide Domestic Violence and abuse training, support and referral programme to support GPs in asking about and responding to such disclosures. However, South Tyneside has lost its recently established specialist GP Domestic Abuse Link Worker, which had resulted in a 540% increase in referrals from GP practices to the Options / IDVA service. As a result, we have lost the different paradigms of care that were offered, which extended beyond the traditional medical models. 
  • There is a need to provides support for families where young people who perpetrate violence against parent / carers which can then lead to parents asking for their children to be accommodated by the Local Authority.
  • A lack of focus on Looked After Children who offend is an area of concern.

Projected Need and Demand

The Policing and Crime Bill which was published in February 2016 introduced new legislation to 'Stop children and young people under 18 experiencing a mental health crisis being detained in police custody - and restricting the circumstances when adults can be taken to police stations - by reforming police powers under sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983'.

Clearly this will impact on commissioning as there will be a requirement to:

  • Ensure that there are enough age appropriate places of safety for under 18's
  • Ensure that there is greater access to alternatives to police custody for adults?
  • The Governments Modern Crime Prevention Strategy was published in March 2016. The Strategy highlighted six key drivers of crime: 
  • Opportunity
  • Character
  • Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System
  • Profit
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol

'Drugs as a Driver of Crime' focuses on three areas:

Treatment, Diversion and Enforcement. Ensuring that there are adequate and effective drug .recovery systems in place will be intrinsic to meeting the treatment demands of this driver.

In addition, consideration will need to be given to the Government Drug Strategy which is currently being refreshed and promises to reduce demand, restrict supply and build recovery.

'Alcohol as a Driver of Crime' identifies that "reducing the availability of alcohol, providing targeted treatment and brief advice and prevention approaches that build life skills and resilience can be effective in reducing alcohol harm". The strategy commits to providing support to local authorities, the police and health partners to create safe spaces.

'Character as a Driver of Crime' Supports building character and resilience in young people at risk from more serious offending. For example, by providing interventions in A & E to prevent youth violence. The plan also encourages more effective hot-spot policing, including through greater sharing of A & E data. Also by supporting the 'Information to Tackle Violence' initiative. GOV.UK: Information Sharing to Tackle Violence Guidance for Community Safety Partnerships on engaging with the NHS

One of the strategic aims of Government's Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy is to increase the reporting of Domestic Violence and abuse, in light of it often being a hidden crime.  While the precise level of increases will only become clear over time, this will clearly have resource implications for existing services.

Adolescent DV against parent / carers

In 2014 / 15, the number of families where adolescents had perpetrated violence against parent / carers and which subsequently led to parents asking for their children to be accommodated by the Local Authority equated to 10% of all LAC. This number is not decreasing. These young people are difficult to accommodate because of a violent history and are often unable to sustain stable accommodation. Some are repeatedly LAC when return to home is unsuccessful. The rate of offending amongst this group tends to be higher than the rate of offending generally.

LAC offending

In 2015 / 16, there were there were 161 young offenders.

  • Of these, 39 (24%) were LAC at some point in their life.
  • Of these 39, 25 (64%) were LAC at some stage in 2015 / 16.
  • Of these 25, 20 (80%) committed offences whilst Looked After and jointly committed 20% of all recorded youth offences during the year.
  • The significance of this is that the overall offending rate by young people who were not looked after was 1.6 i.e. each young person who offended committed on average 1.6 crimes each. However those Looked After committed on average 3.5 crimes per person which is just over double the rate.

Community assets and services

  • Our existing specialist Domestic Violence and abuse services are currently delivered by larger organisations which have experience and expertise far beyond the Domestic Violence and abuse agenda.  As a result, they are often in a position  to provide clients with a range of other services and wraparound support.
  • Some of our specialist services use volunteers, often ex-service users, to provide support for clients.

Evidence for interventions

Based on the current ASB problems being encountered by the Community Safety Partnership, a report was drawn up on the issues of motor cycle nuisance, street drinking and begging. The findings are contained in the report attached as Appendix 1.

There is strong evidence based on Police, Community Wardens and CCTV incidents, to support the proposals for:

  • Borough wide restriction on illegal motor bikes being used in public spaces.
  • Street drinking in all our town centres
  • Begging in all town centres except Hebburn.
  • A small area located near Chichester metro station was also identified as having problems with street drinking and begging.

The evidence base was used to develop our proposals for making five Public Spaces Protection Orders to restrict the activities highlighted. More information about PSPOs is available on the website at South Tyneside Council: Public Space Protection Orders.


Northumbria Police work together with the six local councils, the Probation Service and the Local Criminal Justice Board to conduct the Safer Communities Survey. This asks a series of questions to help all partners to understand the views and experiences of residents about life in their local neighbourhood and the work of the police and council to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

South Tyneside consistently demonstrates high levels of satisfaction by the residents, the survey covering the period of July 2015 to June 2016 indicated that 98% of those surveyed feel  very or fairly safe living in their neighbourhood and 76% agree that the Police and Council are dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime issues that matter in their areas. This is the highest percentage across the Northumberland Force area.

Additional Needs Assessments Required

None identified.

Key contacts and references


Key contact

Pat Thompson


Performance and Information Support Officer

Job Title

Phone Number


References from Sections 1 to 11

South Tyneside Council: Community Safety Partnership


Home Office Report 30 / 05

GOV.UK: Information Sharing to Tackle Violence Guidance for Community Safety Partnerships on engaging with the NHS

South Tyneside Council: Public Space Protection Orders

Local Strategies and Plans

Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment

'Making Communities Safer' South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership Plan

South Tyneside Vision

National Strategies and Plans

Crime and Disorder Act 1998

Modern Crime Prevention Strategy

Last updated: October 2016