Agenda and draft minutes

Public Services Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 7th May, 2024 1.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions


No. Item


Declarations of Interest




Public Open Forum

Select Committee Public Open Forum ~ Guidance


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·      Please submit a written representation (via Microsoft Word, maximum of 500 words)


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The deadline for submitting representations to the Council is 5pm three clear working days in advance of the meeting.


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No submissions were received.? 


Serious Violence Duty: Regional Strategy pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Additional documents:


The Partnerships Manager explained presented the Gwent Serious Violence Duty Strategy, which was developed in response to the new legislation that requires multi-agency collaboration to prevent and tackle serious violence. She explained the definition of serious violence, the data sources and challenges, the four priorities and actions, the governance arrangements for the strategy and the fundingShe highlighted the need for multi-agency collaboration, localised approaches and evidence-based interventions.  Martin Smith from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner explained the national and local context and advised that the focus is on homicide and knife crime, and the intervention and prevention work with young people and offenders. Chief Inspector Amanda Thomas also assisted in answering Members’ questions. 


Questions from Committee: 


·        A Member asked how the town and community councils are involved and engaged in the strategy and the data collection. Sharon, Martin and Amanda explained that they are key partners and that they are planning to enhance the engagement with them and the wider community through local meetings and surveys.  

·        A question was asked data analysis and benchmarking, in particular, the choice of 2019-2020 as the baseline year, the percentages in the report, the progress of the data analysis system, the allocation of funding, and the comparison with low crime areas. The partnerships Manager answered that the year was chosen by the Home Office, that the data will be refined and updated, that the funding will be used to support existing services and local needs, and that the crime and anti-social behaviour data is monitored and responded to regularly Martin and Amanda clarified that the data was based on a five-year window, but there were variations due to COVID, that the data analysis system was using a portal that collated data from health boards and police, that the funding was used to support existing and localised interventions. They explained that the data is evolving and that they are using different sources, including A&E data, to get a better picture. They advised that they were looking at other areas for learning and comparison. They also advised that they are using the funding to embed systemic change and to address local issues. 


·        A Member asked why Monmouthshire has seen an increase in serious violence and how the strategy can influence the change given the reduction of services and resources over the years. Martin and Amanda acknowledged the impact of factors such as aces, covid, domestic abuse and knife crime and said that they are working with partners to address the risk factors and to provide intervention and prevention work.  


·        A question was asked about the consistency of data recording and reporting among the partner organisations and the turnover of inspectors. Martin and Amanda answered that they were working to ensure that the data was reliable and comparable, and that the PCC was responsible for holding the police to account and ensuring a smooth handover of the duty. 


·        Members questioned the impact of funding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Community Policing


Chief Inspector Amanda Thomas gave an overview of her role and responsibilities in Monmouthshire and Newport, explaining that she works closely with the Community Safety Partnershipand that she oversees the neighbourhood teams, the problem-solving hubs, the rural crime team, and the hate crime portfolio. She also mentioned some of the current issues and initiatives related to crime and anti-social behaviour, such as knife crime, school liaison officers, and funding from the government and explained that she is committed to problem solving and working with partners and communities to make Monmouthshire a safe county.  


Questions from Members: 


·        Members asked what the main priorities of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) were in Monmouthshire. Amanda explained that the CSP has four thematic areas that it focuses on: serious organised crime, violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, crime and antisocial behaviour, and exploitation. It also works on aligning its work with the regional boards and structures, such as the Gwent Public Services Board and the Serious Violence Duty.  


·        The Committee asked how the CSP works with schools and young people to prevent and tackle violence and antisocial behaviour. The Committee was advised that the CSP works with schools and young people through various initiatives, such as the Headley Back programme, which is a mini police scheme that aims to educate and engage primary school children on community safety issues. The CSP also supports the Youth Offending Service and the Arts programme, which provide intervention and prevention work with young people who are at risk of offending or have offended. The CSP also works with the schools liaison officers, who provide support and guidance to schools on crime prevention, safeguarding, and restorative justice.  


·        The Chair asked how the CSP deals with hate crime and diversity issues in Monmouthshire. Amanda advised that the CSP has a hate crime portfolio, which is led by her as Chief Inspector. The CSP works with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team, which engages with various community groups, such as LGBT youth groups, mosque leaders, Asian women's groups, refugee and asylum seekers groups, to raise awareness and encourage reporting of hate crime and hate incidents.  


·        The Chair asked how the Police specifically deal with hate crime and what their relationship is with the schools. Amanda explained that hate crime is recorded and reported according to the College of Policing guidance and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team engages with vulnerable and minoritised groups to encourage reporting and build trust and confidence. Schools liaison officer funding was ended by the Welsh Government and there is a need to find alternative ways to work with schools and educate young people.  

·        A member asked how the police are engaging with the community councils and the wider community. Amanda explained that the police are trying to attend the community council meetings and local events when possible, and to communicate through email, Facebook, and the Gwent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


To consider the Public Services Committee's forward work programme and action list pdf icon PDF 367 KB


The following additions were agreed for inclusion into the Forward Work Programme: 


·        Illegal sale of vaping ~ environmental health and dangers of black market vapes, with an invitation to Trading standards and also a representative from education. 


·        Mental health and links to other organisations such as Mind.  




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th December 2023. pdf icon PDF 283 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on the 11th December 2023 were approved.


To note the date and time of the next meeting: 14th October 2024


To be confirmed (17th June was postponed)