The SPP Plan 2018- 2020 can be found below.
Police recorded crime has continued to increase since the data integrity report in 2014 by HMIC, and has risen by 17% since 2015/16. There has also been an increase in 999 calls and a slight increase in 101 calls to the police for the whole force area, which indicates an increase in demand and suggests that we are now seeing a genuine increase in some types of crime.
This rise in crime has largely been driven by an increase in violence, particularly violence without injury, but there have also been increases in other types of crime, including serious acquisitive crime, theft and handling offences, criminal damage, sexual offences and racially or religiously aggravated offences.
Although we know that the change in police recording practices as a result of the HMIC report may partially account for some of the increases seen, it is likely that it does not account for all of the increases. However, comparing the rate of increase in 2017/18 with the previous year we seem to be seeing a stabilisation in overall crime.2 The Strategic Assessment for 2016/17 provides comprehensive and detailed analysis upon which this plan is based.
The last plan set out how much financial resources have reduced since 2010; despite this our continued local investment in research and analysis means we understand much more about what drives crime, anti-social behaviour and substance misuse. Whilst our local strategic priorities have not changed significantly – domestic abuse, substance misuse and adults with complex needs, there is increasing focus on a small cohort of young people who may be at significant risk of harm.
The challenge now is to use this improved understanding to change the way we design and deliver services to reduce harm and improve outcomes for those affected. Even more important is when we deliver services.
Learning from places like Manchester, collaboration, co-location and service re-design will be our strategic focus as well as improving links between long term strategic planning and operational activity. We can achieve much more by targeting our interventions based on strong evidence and co-ordinating our efforts, than by working in organisational silos.
Alongside the new focus on service design, we want to recast the language used to explain some of our pressing problems. Children who are sexually exploited are sometimes described as making ‘lifestyle
choices’ implying they are complicit in their abuse or exploitation. We have learnt in recent years that this is not the case. Homeless adults with mental health and substance misuse problems living on the street are described in similar terms yet research tells us that 85% have experienced childhood trauma. Somewhere in the transition from childhood to adulthood things go very wrong for this small minority of our community.
The collaborative leadership required to tackle ‘wicked’ issues like homelessness, domestic abuse, exploitation of children, anti-social behaviour, offending, and radicalisation and extremism, will take renewed focus and commitment from our senior leaders. Embedding this collaborative approach towards a cohesive community across the workforce and dispersing leadership is a continuing task.
The role of SPP partners is to find the right balance between resourcing targeted early intervention and managing increasing acute demand, to enable us to respond appropriately to new funding initiatives from central government such as the Serious Violence Strategy.
We are in challenging times across the public sector, but with increased collaboration we know that we are well placed to prioritise our respective resources.
The Safer Portsmouth Partnership plan 2018-2020 can be found here: