Community Safety Partnerships are nationally recognised bodies. Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, all ‘statutory partners’ should work in partnership to reduce crime and disorder.
In Somerset, Community Safety Partnerships have been in place since the inception of the Act.
Initially district based, the community safety partnership landscape in Somerset has evolved over time. In 2013, the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner approved a formal merger of a county-wide Safer Somerset Partnership.
What we do
The Safer Somerset Partnership operates at a strategic level, and is aided by a number of sub groups.
Safer Somerset Partnership Structure
For the first time, the Safer Somerset Partnership has partnered with the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner to co-produce a Local Crime Plan for 2017-2021.
Working together protocol
Almost all community safety work is done in partnership. No matter the subject area, it is rare that any one issue can be dealt with by a single agency.
There is a range of community safety work that concerns other partnerships. For instance, modern slavery, FGM, honour based violence, forced marriage, domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, child sexual exploitation, preventing radicalisation are all safeguarding concerns.
The inequalities in health that concerns the Health and Wellbeing Board are similar to the inequalities in victimisation and offending. Much of our work is targeted on those with a lower social economic background. The more susceptible to crime are also most susceptible to poor health and wellbeing outcomes. Therefore, strong relationships between these boards are pivotal in finding innovative solutions to common concerns.
Read more about our Violence Reduction Unit
Serious Violence Duty
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2021 is expected later this year and will introduce a new Serious Violence duty.
The Home Office guidance on the duty sets out details which include:
- That serious violence is an explicit priority for Community Safety Partnerships
- Changes will be made to section 6 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requiring Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to formulate and implement a strategy to prevent and reduce serious violence.
- Local areas need to choose the right Partnership structure to fulfil this duty. The responsible committee or group should involve all specified authorities and will be required to:
- Take a public health approach to reducing serious violence
- Share data
- Develop a Strategic Needs Assessment
- Prepare and implement a serious violence strategy
- Annual strategy review (evaluation of interventions) inc. refreshed needs assessment
The Safer Somerset Partnership is currently considering options for how to best implement this new duty. This will have a positive impact on the current partnership arrangements for the Violence Reduction Unit.
You can find a copy of the Home Office guidance on the GOV.UK website – Serious Violence Duty: draft guidance
Reducing reoffending in Somerset
In 2010, the Policing and Crime Act (2009) amended Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act (1998) to make Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) responsible for formulating and implementing a strategy to reduce reoffending by adult and young offenders.
Integrated Offender Management
Studies have shown that the most prolific 20% of offenders are responsible for 80% of all crime. In other words, a small number of criminals commit the majority of our crimes. These offenders are now identified and targeted by an innovative multi-agency management approach.
The aim is to rehabilitate offenders (as most commit crimes to support their problematic drug use) and help them through change to stop them reverting back to a life of crime and causing further harm to our communities.
Avon and Somerset Reducing Reoffending Board
In 2017 The Safer Somerset Partnership agreed to participate in the Avon and Somerset Reducing Reoffending Board, in the knowledge that strategically, there was benefit in working across local authority boundaries.