Community safety (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)

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.