Question: Policy and procedures regarding serious crime in the area affecting welfare and mental health of local residents.
Response Cllr Gerard Hargreaves: The Council is committed to working with residents, the police and partners to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and to support victims to recover. It is vital that as a council we work with partners to reverse increases in crime across London and the UK to preserve the health and wellbeing of our residents in Kensington and Chelsea.
Crime and the fear of crime can have significant effects upon individuals and communities leading to social isolation, poor health and mental health outcomes and neighbourhood decline. Violence, and the fear of violence, are serious crimes and can have such adverse effects.
Residents whose mental health is impacted by crime can access RBKC talking therapies. Visit the Information for Families website for details.
To ensure that the Council’s responses to crime are founded on best practice we commissioned an independent review of our community safety services in 2018. Both the review, and the Council’s response, are available on our webpages. Tackling youth related violence and violence against women and girls are key to our strategy for 2019-2022.
Additionally, our Serious Youth Violence Strategy aligns to four key themes:
- Prevention and Early Intervention: supporting young people in schools and youth settings to resist and act against violence and crime and to be able to identify and intervene early with those that are drawn to crime;
- Targeted Interventions: engaging and supporting those young people engaged in crime to change their lives;
- Engaging Communities: supporting residents, communities and faith groups to act against crime concerns and support young people affected; and
- Enforcement: ensuring the police can provide swift and effective enforcement against criminals and organised criminal networks.
To support this work, the Council will invest an additional £1m public health funding in a detached outreach service attached to the Council’s Early Help Service. This will identify and support young people to access mental health and wellbeing services and safeguard them from involvement in crime or being exploited. This will be integrated with other outreach services which seek to engage young people who may be involved or at risk of involvement in gangs or crime. The outreach services will work alongside schools, housing providers and the police to identify individuals and groups of concern and support them to access appropriate services from substance misuse, mental health, employability, family support and sports.
The intention is that these services will reduce the severity and frequency of violent offending and risk of victimisation. The local model draws on learning from other areas such as Glasgow and Hackney where a collaborative, multi-agency approach has been successful.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea engaged over 900 young people’s views on youth provision locally, which has helped to develop the design of our youth provision going forward. Work is underway to develop a more detailed picture of youth offending to further inform action.
Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a priority for the Council and its partners. This work is found upon the Coordinated Community Response model which recognises that all organisations and individuals have a responsibility to identify potential victims and support them to access support.
The Council commissions the Angelou Partnership, a consortia of nine specialist organisations, to provide practical, emotional and psychological support to survivors and their children to enable them to become safe, improve their health and well-being, to navigate the criminal justice system and ultimately, to recover and live a life free of violence and its affects.
Residents concerned about domestic abuse or violence against women and girls access support via the Angelou Partnership - call tel. 0208 741 7008. Residents concerned about serious youth violence can contact the Community Safety Team on tel. 0207 361 3000. In an emergency always dial 999.
The Council’s response to the Independent Community Safety Review can be found on the Leadership Team Meeting page.
I hope this answers your initial query.