Agenda item


A report by the Community Safety Manager


The Chairman welcomed Inspector Colin Clarkson of Lincolnshire Police to the meeting, and confirmed that his attendance was solely in support of the report to be tabled and the content therein.  Members were advised that Inspector Clark would be attending a future meeting of BTAC and it would be at that meeting that members would be able to table general questions.

Presenting the report the Portfolio Holder commended the report author on the depth and scope of information provided.  The report provided an overview of the work currently being undertaken by the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership at County level, the South & East Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership at a local level, along with information on CCTV across the partnership and Anti-Social Behaviour activity in Boston Borough.

Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) had been established under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. A CSP was required for each local government area, bringing the police, local authorities, fire and rescue, health, and probation to formulate strategies for the reduction of crime. Locally, the South & East Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership (SELCSP) was an informally merged partnership administered through the South and East Lincolnshire Council’s Partnership (S&ELCP), covering Boston Borough, East Lindsey, and South Holland.

At a county level, there was an informally merged countywide partnership known as the Safer Lincolnshire Partnership (SLP), administered by Lincolnshire County Council.  Boston Borough Council currently discharged its statutory duties for reducing crime and disorder at a strategic level through the above mentioned partnerships and at an operational level by delivering services such as CCTV and ASB investigation work.

The statutory duties of a Community Safety Partnership were to prepare and implement a partnership plan that set out a strategy for the reduction of reoffending, crime and disorder, combatting substance misuse, serious violence, and community engagement and addressing the priorities identified in the strategic assessment.  To set up protocols and systems for information sharing. To regularly engage and consult with the public about their community safety priorities and issues. To commission domestic homicide reviews (DHRs) following notification from the police of a domestic homicide. To hold one or more public meeting during the year.

The report provided an overview of the work of the local SELCSP and the county SLP. The report also provided summary data in relation to Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and the alcohol-related Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Boston, and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) across the partnership area.


Prior to opening the meeting for deliberation, the Chairman asked for an update on Operation California and was advised by the Safer Communities Service Manager that the two Itemisers currently used supporting entry to premises, were dated, and a bid had been submitted to replace them with new improved units and further information would be provided in due course.

Members were further advised by the Portfolio Holder, that the information was historic in its detail and that a number of initiatives were underway following the recent election which would be identified moving forward.


Significant discussion followed which is condensed and included the following:

A question asked how the various campaigns were monitored, identifying which had been successful and what level of impact they had on the targeted area.  Members felt it important to receive such feedback to allow them to relay to their residents, but caution was urged that, whilst certain factors could be monitored, not all information was quantifiable and certain data could not be monitored. Members were reassured that the Council ‘piggy-backed’ certain campaigns and supported local campaigns.

Advising that the public currently accessed information in respect of the Police via the neighbourhood policing website, a member noted that the focus over the last few months for the South Boston area had shown a concentration on traffic crime and nothing in respect of Anti-Social Behaviour.  The member asked if it would be possible if the outcomes on campaigns could be referenced on the NPC website identifying where successes had been achieved.

Inspector Clarkson advised that data from the PCC survey identified Boston as being at the top in relation to fear of crime, but then sat as average for all other areas of actual crime.  The perception and fear of crime in Boston was particularly prevalent in the elder residents who were too afraid to go out in the evening, and sadly in many cases, to visit the town centre in the daytime being afraid of the large groups of men who congregated within areas of the market place.  It was agreed that with a large ageing population, proof that the town was safe was required to reassure the residents and to turn their negativity around. 

A member voiced concern that whilst there was the facility to activate a Community Trigger, they were unaware as were many other members, of the actual process to activate such a trigger.  Inspector Clarkson confirmed that the process for Boston was being improved and stressed that the trigger process was in place not to apportion blame but to find a solution.

Referring to the CCTV data, members were advised that there were currently 73 cameras operating within Boston, many of which were out of warranty and would be replaced by the end of the year.  Members felt that the public should be better informed about the size and range of the CCTV service and the positive impact it has on the community in keeping residents safe.

A number of ‘hot-spot’ sites were referenced within the town which were subject to on-going anti-social behaviour, with members questioning the siting of the cameras.  Officers confirmed that when positioning CCTV they were constrained by issues relating to the provision of power and also the line of sight with the location of buildings and trees sometimes prohibiting a camera into a specific preferred location. Furthermore, members were advised that detailed intelligence was required to move a camera to a new site, as the Council had to be careful not to end up falling foul of blanketing a specific area, with no evidence nor outcomes to back up the need for the siting.

Members were advised that there was a maintenance contract in place for the service with the engineers reacting speedily to an urgent issue, and within a week for other issues with a visit to the destination to assess the issue. 

Responding to a problem identified within the village of Kirton, the CCTV Manager advised they were aware of an outage issue connecting to the recorder via the internet connection.  However as the internet connection was located within the Town Hall, it was the responsibility of the Parish Council to rectify the internet connection.  Referencing concerns in respect of the camera sited at Irby Street, the CCTV Manager agreed the concerns of a member in respect of continued incidents of fly-tipping, and confirmed that the camera was currently focused on the car park area and a change of coverage would be considered.

In response to a question seeking information how quickly the team responded to actual issues taking place, members were advised that the two partnership were different with the Council’s response being from a strategic stance.  They looked at a strategic issue but needed to be able to change to emerging priorities when a spike arose.   Daily meetings were held to address what had arisen within the previous 24 hour period and monthly meetings ensured identification of any changes in crime. 

On questioning what training programmes were in place for future volunteers, members were advised that any potential applicant was vetted initially to the police’s standard.  Training programmes would then be implement moving forward with the volunteers.


In conclusion the Chairman thanked Inspector Clarkson for his attendance and all the officers for their support throughout the item.  


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