Agenda and minutes

Housing and Community Safety Scrutiny Commission - Wednesday 15 February 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Meeting Room G02A - 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QH. View directions

Contact: Amit Alva  Email:

No. Item



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    To receive any apologies for absence.


    Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Barrie Hargrove and Cris Claridge (co-opted member).


Notification of any items of business which the chair deems urgent

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    In special circumstances, an item of business may be added to an agenda within five clear working days of the meeting.


    There were no items of business which the Chair deemed urgent.


Disclosure of interests and dispensations.

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    Members to declare any interests and dispensations in respect of any item of business to be considered at this meeting.


    There were no disclosure of interests and dispensations.




Interview with Cabinet Member for Community Safety

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    Interview with Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, Cabinet Member for Community Safety on:


    ·  Southwark’s Community Safety Plan (Supplementary Agenda no. 2)


    ·  Impact of the change of Domestic abuse providers from Solace to Refuge (Main Agenda)


    ·  The projected impact of the cost of living crisis on Southwark council housing tenants, report covering but not limited to:


    §  Effect on Domestic Abuse (Main Agenda)


    §  Effect on Anti-Social Behaviour (Supplementary Agenda no.1)

    Supporting documents:


    The commission first heard from Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle on the following topics

    ·  Council Delivery Plan setting out community safety priorities, commitments and objectives

    ØUpgrade street and estate lighting

    ØTackle misogyny and violence against women and girls (Through Her Eyes’ campaign)

    ØMake Southwark safe for young people

    ØMake it clear that there is no place for hate in Southwark

    ·  Council’s successes in tackling ‘Cuckooing’ by working with the police

    The commission then asked questions on the following points

    ·  Measuring success of the anti-misogyny education campaign

    ·  Reasons behind the high levels of homophobic hate crime  at 18 % compared to national levels of 13%

    ·  Safe spaces for people to communicate thus evaluate the success of the community safety campaigns against domestic violence, misogyny and hate crime

    ·  Dedicated Liaison officer for Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG)

    Councillor Dixon-Fyle informed the commission that the measure of success in anti-misogyny educational campaign would be reduction in cases of domestic violence, name-calling and wolf-whistling. The educational campaign received quite positive responses and feedback from the young men and boys in the schools.


    Stephen Douglass, Director Communities, Environment, Neighbourhoods and Growth explained to the commission a good measure was the number of online views of the anti-misogyny video and also that there will be a full evaluation of the educational campaign before we roll out further stages. On homophobic hate crime Stephen informed the commission that Southwark has a high number of people who identify as LGBTQ compared to other London Boroughs and majority of such incidents go un-reported, spreading awareness throughout the community is an important step in tackling this issue.


    Stephen informed the commission that there is a wide-network of safe spaces and havens across the borough where women can discuss wider issues with regards to their safety.


    On having a dedicated Liaison Officer for VAWG Councillor Dixon-Fyle explained that she wasn’t aware that such a gap had occurred and it could be filled by working in partnership with the police.


    Domestic Abuse (DA)


    The commission then heard from Sharon Ogden, Safer Communities Team Manager on the Transition of Domestic abuse service providers from Solace to Refuge;


    The commission then asked questions on the following points

    ·  Crossover of services at Women’s Safety Centre due to the change in contract

    ·  Council planned changes to communication with domestic abuse sufferers under the new contract with Refuge

    ·  Collaboration with other Local Authorities like schools, to spread awareness of domestic violence.

    ·  Changes in delivery mechanism and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

    Sharon explained to the commission that 70 referrals have been crossed over from Solace to Refuge and this new contract with Refuge is for a period of 18 months with the same service options, referral mechanisms and contact number also remaining the same as Solace with a slight change in delivery mechanisms; from August 2024 there will be a new holistic service in place for the Women’s safety centre with a staggered approach to the launch of services.


    Sharon informed the commission that changing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Interview with the Borough Police Commander for the London Borough of Southwark

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    To receive a presentation and interview Chief Supt. Colin Wingrove, Borough Police Commander for Southwark on ‘Trust and visibility of policing in the community’. (Presentation to follow)


    The commission noted that Chief Supt. Colin Wingrove, Borough Police Commander for Southwark would be leaving this role after 3 years in the job and will be succeeded by Chief Supt. Adjei Addoh. The commission then heard from the Borough Police Commander on the following points:


    ·  Plans under new commissioner for London Met undergoing consultation with the objectives of creating more trust, less crime, raising policing standards and culture change in the Met

    ·  Focus is on Policing within the community and Neighbourhood policing with sign off from Mayor of London for an additional 500 PCSO’s, dedicated ward officers and partnership working arrangements.

    ·  Additionally there would one neighbourhood policing Superintendent per London Borough supported by a Chief Inspector.

    ·  Prioritising VAWG- commitment to strengthen community Safety, Operation Vigilance in hotspots and support to survivors provided by Refuge that are measured in KPIs

    ·  Improving practices by police officers, better interviews of victims and use of body cameras, Domestic Abuse Prevention Orders

    ·  Increase in criminal charges per trace for DA gone up from 7% in 2022 to 15% in 2023; best performance levels in London on sanctions detection outcomes by working with Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) from 2.3 % to 10 %

    ·  Organising and appointing LGBT engagement officers in an effort to curb hate crime in LGBTQ community

    The commission then asked questions on the following points:

    ·  Concerns on whether the scale of unrecorded less serious misogynistic cases are not being assessed because it’s not considered a hate crime as compared to a protected characteristics

    ·  Absence of a dedicated liaison officer for VAWG

    ·  Cultures and failings in the  Met police with regards to the murder of Sarah Everard and other high profile cases, changes being made within the Met to build trust and successes

    Chief Supt. Wingrove agreed with the commission that the environment we live in, should not tolerate individuals exhibiting misogynistic, sexist and racist behaviour; public attitude surveys are an important method of getting such data to gauge trust in policing in different areas and splitting that data among gender, race, sex and age. The Met police is committed in striving to improve women’s safety through walking talks conducted by neighbourhood officers and feeding this data back into partnership conversations; this would eventually help tackle male perpetrators of violence against women and girls.


    Chief Supt. Wingrove explained to commission that a lot of work is being done in the area of VAWG, sign-posting, outreach, partnerships stalls at London Bridge stations, campaigns by London Met around DA and also public protections services such as Gaia, Solace and Refuge. There may be some benefits to having a dedicated VAWG Liaison officer but it needs a bit more thought in terms of added value it could bring, however the current structure in place to provide support in VAWG has; a senior lead, a proper action plan, the working groups aligned to community safety and officers working with partners doing a range of activities.


    On culture issues and failings in the Met Police, Chief Supt. Wingrove  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Work Programme 2022-2023