Issue - decisions
Knife Crime Scrutiny Task Group Report
RESOLVED: that the recommendations set out in the report of the Knife Crime Task Group be agreed.
Councillor Sandra Kabir (Char of the Knife Crime Scrutiny Task Group) introduced the final report which set out the findings and recommendations of the Knife Crime Task Group.
In considering the report, the Committee noted that through its work, the Knife Crime Task Group (the Task Group) sought to gain a better understanding of knife crime in Brent, how appropriate interventions could reduce it and which interventions might work locally. In particular, the Task Group looked at partnership working arrangements and reviewed what could be done to complement the wider public health approach and held a series of evidence-gathering sessions with internal and external partners and experts.
The Task Group had made 13 recommendations which it put to the Cabinet and the Safer Brent Partnership to affect change. Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee had also considered a draft report earlier and provided its comments - the final draft report was now being presented to the Committee to review and agree the final recommendations as set out on page 4 of the report.
Cllr Mili Patel, Lead Member for Children's Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care, welcomed the report on an important issue and thanked the Task Group for their hard work, particularly contextual safeguarding and important messaging backed up with a good set of recommendations.
Members particularly spotlighted on the following recommendations for the Committee:
Recommendation 7 (Youth)
The council to support and encourage schools and other community organisations to make their facilities available for youth-focused activities after school hours and during holidays, to keep young people engaged in positive activities and deterred from crime.
Recommendation 8 (Education and Schools)
The council to work with Brent primary and secondary schools, the Brent School
Partnership (BSP) and the Safer Brent Partnership, to develop and implement a Schools Safety Charter.
Recommendation 9 (Rehabilitation and Support)
The council must enhance the way it works with Brent youth offending services,
London CRC and the National Probation Service in order to support offenders who can be rehabilitated, and continue to manage and assess risk.
Recommendation 10 (Collaborative working | Faith and VCS Groups)
The council to facilitate more collaborative working between the voluntary and
community sector (VCS) and religious organisations, to raise funds for projects and training to prevent knife crime.
Recommendation 11 (Housing support and Government)
The council to make representations to Government to put guidance in place on the handling of housing needs cases for those at risk of violence (through gangs/ county lines) and reconsider the threshold at which someone who is deemed to be at sufficient risk gets re-housing support.
The council to make representations to the GLA/ Mayor’s Office for Policing and
Crime/ Violence Reduction Unit advising that the county lines programme is running at full capacity with an increasing unmet need. More intensive, longer-term funding needs to be provided.
Cllr Miller observed that this was a more positive story than some other boroughs and psychological trauma of knife crime could not be ignored. In praising the work, he stated that this was one of the best pieces of work coming out of scrutiny that helped contextual policy making and was a testament to the hard work of the task group chaired by Councillor Kabir.
Councillor Kabir thanked the colleagues of the Task Group and officers for their great work that also involved interviewing 43 people which provided invaluable insight. Councillor Kabir informed the Group that she intended to champion of reduction in knife crime and would do her best to make a difference and push for the implementation of the recommendations.
The Chair thanked the Task Group for their work particularly for its social justice and evidence based approach.
The Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee:
- Requested that the scrutiny report be sent to Safer Neighbourhood Board and Safer Neighbourhood Teams and responses sought.
- Agreed the report and recommendations of the Knife Crime Scrutiny Task Group and that the report now be referred to the Cabinet for consideration.