We are pleased to present Portsmouth’s Community Safety Plan for 2021-22. The council, police, fire service, health services and probation services have a collective responsibility to identify community safety priorities for the city and put in place a plan to address them. We encourage our partners to share this document widely within their individual organisations. The strategic assessment for 2019/20 identifies the priorities and this plan sets out how the priorities will be addressed. All community safety partners and all council departments are responsible for making sure the actions in the plan are delivered. This plan supports our City Vision 2040 and aims to make sure all our residents and communities feel safe, feel like they belong, and can thrive. The plan will also inform the next Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
Over the past 20 years, the community safety partnership has regularly analysed a wide range of data in order to understand what drives crime in the city, taking what is now referred to as a ‘public health approach’ by refining research and focusing in on the detail as well as understanding long term trends. Plans based on the findings from this analysis have been updated and published every few years in line with statutory requirements. Crime levels and rates have come down over the past 10 years, despite changes in the way crime is recorded by police. Violence – especially most serious violence – has remained relatively stable over the past two years, although, like all densely populated urban centres, Portsmouth will always have challenges.
Overall, it is a safe city. However, there are known risk factors including domestic violence and abuse, poor mental health and substance misuse1 that often result in young people and adults becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. It is important to raise awareness that community safety issues touch so many areas of our work, and to join up the plans and activities of a wide range of council services alongside our partners to reduce duplication and maximise efficiency. This collaborative approach can reduce costs and increases opportunities for early intervention, crime prevention and working together in active partnership to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour in the city.
As the approach to analysis has developed over the years, there has been increasing pressure on public sector resources. This has necessitated an evolving, more mainstream approach to tackling the ‘wicked issues’ described earlier, often challenging our established systems and changing the way we deliver services to better reflect the needs of those who are vulnerable to poor outcomes.
The 1996 Morgan Report put forward the idea that crime reduction was not solely the responsibility of the police. Nearly 25 years on, it feels as though this is understood and embraced by all partners working to improve community safety in Portsmouth.
We know the COVID-19 virus has had a huge impact on our city and on our work, and has affected different groups of people in very different ways. This plan will be refreshed in line with other key strategies in the city once the pandemic is over. The Health and Wellbeing Board approved this plan on 3rd February 2021.
Superintendent Clare Jenkins – Hampshire Constabulary
Cllr Dave Ashmore -Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Portsmouth City Council
Dr Linda Collie – Co-Chair, Health and Wellbeing Board