Community Safety Hubs
North Yorkshire Police is developing a series of Community Safety Hubs across the county, in collaboration with other public sector organisations, so we can tackle anti-social behaviour and low-level crime more effectively.
Not all issues can be solved by the police alone, so we often work in partnership with other organisations (including local councils, healthcare providers, emergency services, probation officers and charities) to see how local issues can be addressed.
Community Safety Hubs are about taking partnership one stage further by creating a single team, made up of officers and professionals from other relevant organisations, who work together on a day-to-day basis to address issues such as anti-social behaviour, that can seriously affect the quality of life in a neighbourhood.
For example: a problem such as “nasty neighbours”, who are disturbing people in the neighbourhood by being noisy throughout the night, using drugs in the property, littering or making racist or “hate crime” remarks, might need tackling in a number of different ways. If there has been a crime, the police will take action. But the local housing authority may also need to deal with some aspects of the problem.
By operating as one single team, the Community Safety Hub can take the right action, at the right time, from the right agency. This speeds up the response, so the problem is tackled more quickly, which is better for the community.
There are several Community Safety Hubs in areas across the county, including York, Selby, Scarborough and Harrogate, all set up slightly different to address the differing needs of each area. It’s a new and innovative way of working.
A partnership team which includes Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers, the Housing Tenancy Enforcement function and police officers now works together from one location in York.
Working with this new approach, the partnership successfully secured £440k from the Police Innovation Fund and £115k from the council’s Delivery and Innovation Fund, which is being spent supporting and improving the service in a number of ways. This includes employing and training additional Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers and a Mental Health Co-ordinator, legal costs and community inclusion projects.
One benefit to residents of this new way of working is that the right person, with the right powers, is tasked to deal with each complaint of anti-social behaviour. All reports of anti-social and nuisance behaviour are reviewed daily and given to the appropriate officer depending on the level of risk of the complaint. This may be given to an officer from the hub, a Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer, Estate Manager or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).
As well as the daily review, a wider partner meeting takes place weekly and includes representatives from teams working with troubled families, youth offending team, housing services and legal. This team ensures that a holistic approach is taken to any emerging themes.
Harrogate District’s Community Safety Hub, based at Harrogate Borough Council’s Springfield House, brings together police officers and staff, the Prevention Team (they offer early help for children up to age 19), treatment services, housing services, probation, Children and Adult’s Social Care, and mental health services.
It means that instead of working in isolation, we all work together, sharing information and using a holistic approach to tackle issues that are affecting the quality of life for local people. By doing this, we can make a greater impact. In fact it is key to successful policing, we can’t do everything on our own.
The hub helps to provide a much better service for victims. For example, take “nuisance neighbours”, who are disturbing the neighbourhood throughout the night, using drugs, littering or making racist remarks. This might need tackling in a number of different ways. If there is a crime, the police will take action, but the local housing authority may also need to deal with some aspects of the problem. By working as one team, the Community Safety Hub can take the right course of action at the right time. This speeds up the response and ensures everything is done to address the problem at once.
Scarborough has had a multi-agency Community Safety Hub known as the Community Impact Team (CIT) which includes North Yorkshire Police, based in offices at Scarborough Town Hall, King Street, Scarborough.
The Community Impact Team at Scarborough consists of a police Inspector, two Sergeants, eight Constables and 17 Police Community Support Officers. The local authority’s contribution to the hub is the Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager, one Admin Support Officer, two Community Safety Support Officers and one Legal Advisor.
Other agencies ‘hot desk’ within the hub, including North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, North Yorkshire County Council’s Community Cohesion Officer, Street Triage Mental Health Services, Yorkshire Coast Homes, a Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) support worker, a mediation officer from REMEDI and an outreach worker from Changing Lives & Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS).