Community safety (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)

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.