Venue: The Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA with remote attendance
Declarations of Interest
Public Open Forum
Select Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance
Our Select Committee meetings are live streamed and a link to the live stream will be available on the meeting page of the Monmouthshire County Council website
If you would like to share your thoughts on any proposals being discussed by Select Committees, you can submit your representation via this form
· Please share your views by uploading a video or audio file (maximum of 4 minutes) or;
· Please submit a written representation (via Microsoft Word, maximum of 500 words)
You will need to register for a My Monmouthshire account in order to submit the representation or use your log in, if you have registered previously.
The deadline for submitting representations to the Council is 5pm three clear working days in advance of the meeting.
If representations received exceed 30 minutes, a selection of these based on theme will be shared at the Select Committee meeting. All representations received will be made available to councillors prior to the meeting.
No submissions were received.
Hate Crime in Monmouthshire
To request the Chief Inspector of the Police to attend to discuss hate crime and the Police’s response.
The Inspector for Monmouthshire Ioan Williams attended on behalf of Chief Inspector John Davies to give an overview and broad understanding of hate crime in Monmouthshire. The chair advised that the committee had sought a statistical breakdown of crime in the county and how it compared with neighbouring authorities. He explained that the committee was interested in how we can evolve the conversation and increase awareness as well as gain more specific context as to where incidences are happening, because if the figures only show the hate crimes that have been reported and we know some people are not reporting, then we don’t have a full picture. The chair reminded the committee that some questions asked of Monmouthshire County Council Staff, with input from St Giles Trust at the previous meeting had been sent to the Police to guide the discussion today.
The inspector provided a short introduction to the Police’s role in terms of hate crime and how they support reporters:
I'll give you a general overview of hate crime in in the Monmouthshire area and how we how we deal with that on a daily basis. We don’t have daily occurrences, levels are relatively low but any incident of hate crime is too many. In comparison with some other Gwent areas, it is low. In terms of how we deal with reports, Gwent Police generate a daily briefing document every 24 hours and there's a specific section within it that relates to hate crime, to ensure early engagement, early action and hopefully early resolution. We have dedicated hate crime officers within the force who log hate crime incidences or even a hate incidence. It doesn't necessarily have to be a criminal matter for any incident to fall under that banner and be flagged to those specialist officers and they manage that engagement from that point forward. If it is a criminal matter, then an officer is allocated to investigate it and they will maintain that sort of investigatory oversight with the support of the specialist hate crime officer. From an overarching perspective, hate crime is managed well from my perspective and we do have clear oversight of it and as explained, specialist officers who are able to support, and investigate criminal matters.
I think that all crime is underreported ultimately and that we're doing as much as we can in terms of enabling more reporting of crime through various reporting mechanisms, such as our social media reporting mechanisms, which has shown an increase in conversations with people who potentially may not have reported crime previously if just traditional telephony reporting was only available. I think all crime tends to be underreported, but I haven't noticed anything significant in terms of hate crime specifically being underreported. I think that work is being done and further work does need to be done in terms of our wider engagement, so that people will generally feel more comfortable in reporting matters affecting them. ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
County Lines and Exploitation
To invite the St Giles Trust to discuss the support they offer young people who have been involved with county lines or are at risk of becoming exploited
The Chair welcomed Danielle, former senior case worker on the serious organized crime and CSU Finance project and Rebecca, Team Leader for Community Projects in Wales to the meeting to talk about the services provided by St Giles Trust to young people who may have been radicalised or become involved in county lines activity. The chair reminded the committee that the People Scrutiny Committee will be hosting a scrutiny workshop for Members on County Lines in July (date to be confirmed) and that all Members would be invited to the session.
Danielle and Rebecca explained that St Giles Trust is a national charity that has been operating for 60 years and 10 years in Wales, using expertise and real life/lived experience to empower people who may have been held back by poverty, been exploited or abused or those dealing with addictions or mental health problems or have been caught up in the criminal justice system. They provided a detailed explanation of the services provided, slides being available on the website together with the agenda. Following detailed discussion, Members asked the following questions.
How are the projects that are delivered in the Gwent area that you have explained in detail funded?
The Wedge service is funded by the police crime commissioner, who funds nearly all of the projects apart from the girls empowerment which I believe is funded by Newport Capsule. We received Top-Up funding via our head office in the South Wales area to deliver it across Gwent and we have funding for children in need. Some of the contracts were Ministry of Justice contracts, but we do go for small pots of money from businesses and other avenues.
We have team members in Wales and our own Development Manager in Wales, but the main team is in London. We try to resource anything locally and hold our own fundraising events.
There's always more that can be done on that level, but St Giles Trust doesn’t just deliver sessions to young people, but also to parents, teachers and the police, so we give the information to everybody who needs it, but yes, there is always more that can be done.
The work programme was noted and invitations for the next meeting were agreed.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
19th June 2023.