Mike Hill provided an update on the achievements made against the targets in the Action Plan. He explained that the Action Plan was agreed by the Board and the monthly Task Groups monitored performance.
Low crime area
It was important to note that South Cambridgeshire remained a low crime area and so small numerical fluctuations could look more concerning when expressed in percentage terms.
This year had seen a focus on areas such as child exploitation which was feared to be under reported. It was noted that a theatre group was due to visit schools to educate children on this issue.
Protecting vulnerable residents
There had been considerable work done to protect vulnerable people from rogue traders by setting up of 49 no cold calling zones, which were run by local people. Stickers on doors helped to give home owners the confidence to say no. This encouraged neighbours to look out for each other. It was noted that organisations that carried out home visits could identify vulnerable people and help mitigate risks, whether it was due to isolation or fire hazards, as well as address Health and Wellbeing issues.
Misting systems were being added to the homes of vulnerable residents who would not be able to evacuate in the event of a fire.
It was noted that an item had been put in parish newsletters recently highlighting the risks associated with hoarding and how to identify those with hoarding behaviours.
It was noted that a Facebook campaign to promote LGBT month had resulted in the removal of a number of inappropriate posts. Kathryn Hawkes agreed to provide Phil Priestly with details of the comments received, although it was unlikely to qualify as a hate crime. Future campaigns would learn from this.
Mike Hill explained that the latest population data showed that South Cambridgeshire was becoming more diverse.
Jack Ossel reported that a focus group Cambourne Crescent had said that one of their main issues was finding a place to worship. A focus group for disabled people had found that the more able considered themselves victims of hate crime because they were out and about more, whilst the less able were not so aware of being discriminated against, but it was noted their carers may know more and this would be an area for future investigation. The challenges of engaging with the Traveller community were noted, including the range of groups within this cohort or South Cambs residents and that it was easier to speak to female Travellers on encampment sites. People’s opinions about the Traveller community were often coloured by one bad experience.
It was noted that this included both theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles.
It was noted that burglars tended not to carry their own tools, so residents could protect their homes by making their sheds secure and locking away items that could be used as potential tools to aid burglaries.
It was noted that all villages tended to have their own sites on social media where crimes were often reported.
The Board NOTED the work carried out over the last 12 months.