Venue: Orbit Business Centre, Rhydycar Business Park, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 1DL
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Christine Richards
Declarations of Interest
Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992 relating to Council Tax, the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct
(a) Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest and
(b) Where Members withdraw from a Meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave
Mel Jehu declared a personal interest as a non-executive trustee with Safer Merthyr Tydfil as funding is received from the Commissioner’s Office.
Councillor Bernie Bowen-Thompson declared a personal interest as Chief Executive for Safer Wales as they receive funding from the Commissioner’s Office.
Minutes of Previous Meeting(s)
To approve as accurate the Minutes of the following Meetings:
The minutes of the Meeting held on the 7th of December 2021 be accepted as a true record.
The minutes of the Meeting held on the 3rd of February 2022 be accepted as a true record.
To consider the attached report
The Commissioner presents report on the Wales Violence Prevention Unit.
· Overarching mission to prevent violence in Wales through the implementation of a Public Health Approach.
· The Unit uses evidence to better understand the nature, prevalence and causes of violence.
· The unit’s vision is a Wales in which young people and their communities are able to thrive, free from violence and the fear of violence.
· 5 Strategic Priorities for 2022/23
· Reducing Inequality
· Engaging with Education
· Partnerships for Prevention
· Evaluating our impact
· A 10 point approach
· Coproduction and Children’s Rights
· Prevention and Early Intervention
· System Leadership
· Reducing Inequalities
· Data Analysis and Epidemiology
· Partnership Working
· Research and Evaluation
· Intention to reduce violence in communities across Wales through communication and collaboration with partners and local authorities.
· As part of their commitment to tackling violence, the courts in Wales were re-opened faster than England.
· The number of PCSO’s will be returning to similar levels as their peak in 2010 following training, aiding their commitment to neighbourhood policing and community safety.
· Commissioner stresses the importance of consistency and continuity in the presence of PCSO’s in local communities to establish relationships with local councillors ensuring successful collaboration.
The following questions and comments were raised by Panel Members and answered in detail by the Commissioner’s Office:-
· How efficient is training?
Commissioner assured panel that figures demonstrate the improvement in safety, with the purple flag initiative now recognised internationally. Future training will have a focus on problem solving within local communities, establishing relationships with local councillors.
· Figures presented to local authorities should include prevented crimes and positive impacts to aid constructive conversations.
Commissioner believes there should be a template for figures and a wider discussion with local councils should take place.
· Concern regarding PCSO non-attendance and request for detail-oriented reports that can be fed into the community to prevent crime.
Commissioner shows appreciation for feedback.
· How can spontaneous violence be prevented?
Commissioner emphasizes the importance of early intervention and mental health support for children and young adults in the prevention of violence. There is evidence that projects such as Early Action Together have transformed communities through communication and played a large role in preventing violence.
· Following a request from the member of the public; Is the death penalty a solution to deterring violence?
A discussion on the risks of miscarriage of justice takes place with no further action required.
· A concern is expressed that mental health may be viewed as the sole cause of violence and that victims suffering with mental health because of violence are overlooked.
The commissioner recognises that mental health requires additional support, and that crisis support is key to preventing damaging behaviour. There is further discussion on providing mental health first aid training as well as education on gang culture and healthy relationships in secondary schools.
· There is a need for PCSO “community context” training, increasing information sharing through trust.
Commissioner acknowledges feedback and discusses training for police and partners.
· Observation that panel would benefit from a report on outcomes to ... view the full minutes text for item 106.
Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair
· A letter received from Mr Jenkins with a question asking whether the commissioner was concerned if there were to be an investigation into conduct.
Commissioner welcomes the most stringent investigation as he has great confidence in the integrity of monitoring officer.
The panel notes the letter and its content.
· A complaint was received that the website was not up to date.
It has been reviewed and a formal response will be issued.
· 8th of June Meeting
Lengthy discussion on the possibility of moving the meeting to a later date.
A new date will be set before the 30th of June.
Chair extends thanks to panel and Vice-Chair for support throughout his role. The commissions commitment to communication with the panel is greatly appreciated.
Thanks are extended by the commissioner to the Chair and Panel.
Vice Chair thanks the Chair for his valued service and friendship.