Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Council support for tackling exploitation, domestic and sexual abuse

8 April 2019

Multi-agency priorities of ending exploitation, tackling domestic and sexual abuse and investigating the impact of substance misuse have been given support by our Executive.

For the next two years, the work of Safer Central, the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) – which includes Bedfordshire Police, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services, National Probation Services and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group – will focus on tackling these issues through early identification and intervention with some of the most vulnerable residents in Central Bedfordshire, while creating stronger, safer and more resilient communities by working much closer with residents.

Domestic abuse remains a priority from the previous CSP strategy, as one in four women are likely to experience it in their lifetime, while there has been a 33 per cent increase in the number of recorded crimes in the last three years.

Sexual abuse is known to be highly under-reported, though nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted each year in England and Wales.

Marcel Coiffait, our Director of Community Services, said: "We want to ensure that we are a proactive partner in reducing crime and disorder, while responding to residents’ concerns. We will be focusing on earlier intervention for vulnerable people and earlier access to support services, while targeting resources and support to areas that need it most. This will help reduce the demand on public services and increase the public feeling of safety."

The CSP also aims to learn more about the prevalence and impact of substance misuse, as it is estimated that the social and economic cost of drug supply, nationally, is £10.7 billion per year and alcohol between £21-£52 billion. This will done by working with the police and public health and developing schemes like Best Bar None, to encourage safe, responsible drinking.

The work of Safer Central is influenced by the results of the Safer Central Community Survey. The majority of resident responses advised that drug taking/dealing was an issue to them, along with a lack of police presence and fly-tipping, while 90% were concerned about crime in their area.

CSP and multi-agency work will continue on the majority of issues raised, while residents can continue to give feedback online (link opens in new window) on the issues of crime, antisocial behaviour and safety in their area.

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