Exploring the role of housing associations in delivering Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens’ Police and Crime Plan was the focus of a conference held at Police headquarters on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
PCC Sue Mountstevens invited a number of housing providers from across Avon and Somerset to attend the meeting with the aims of fostering effective ways of working, sharing information between the Police and the sector and to develop a joint vision for ways of working going forward.
More than 50 people attended the event including representatives from all of the local authorities and a range of housing providers including Alliance Homes, Merlin, 1625 Housing, Yarlington Housing, Magna Housing, Aster Housing, Knightstone Housing, Raglan Housing, Falcon Housing and Curo Group amongst others.
Speaking at the meeting, PCC Sue Mountstevens said: "I am delighted that so many of you are here today to join me to explore the housing sector’s role in realising the ambitions set out in my Police and Crime Plan. While a great deal has already been achieved, I am determined to explore new ways of working to protect the most vulnerable in society and build safer and stronger communities."
The meeting began with an opening address by the PCC before presentations from Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Crew – portfolio lead for local policing, Andrew Snee from Curo, Annie Cole from Magna Housing, Angela Gaiscoigne from Shal Housing and Gudrun Burnet from Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
Annie Cole, Magna Housing said: "A multi-agency approach and partnership working is vital in assisting with resolving anti-social behaviour issues at an early stage."
DAHA’s Gudrun Burnet’s presentation focused on the importance of getting domestic abuse on the housing agenda suggesting that housing providers are ideally placed to recognise and prevent domestic abuse in properties. Gudrun also highlighted that housing makes up only 3.8% of referrals to MARAC and that more should be done in this area.
Following the presentations the room were invited to put their questions to the panel of speakers. Questions raised included the housing of offenders and how this fits with integrated offender management, measures to ensure better sharing of information and influencing new developments and affordable housing.
Attendees then took part in roundtable discussions based on sharing examples of good practice and meeting the Police and Crime Plan priorities, examples of how we could work better together and what is our joint aspiration and how do we get there.
Following the event, feedback will be gathered and evaluated by the PCC and Avon and Somerset Police, before a plan of action is established and ways of taking the findings forward are agreed.
Posted on Friday 3rd July 2015