Agenda item

Agenda item

Review of use of Community Protection Notices (CPN Review)


Background Information

The Scrutiny Committee has asked for this item to be included on the agenda for pre-decision scrutiny.

Why is it on the agenda?

The City Executive Board on 13 February 2018 will be asked to:

1.    Endorse the report, including the findings of the CPN Review and Cross-Party Panel; and

2.    Authorise the Head of Community Services in consultation with the Board Member for Community Safety to update the Antisocial Behaviour Policy and Antisocial Behaviour Procedures in line with the recommendations made.

This is an opportunity for the Scrutiny Committee to make recommendations to the City Executive Board.

Who has been invited to comment?

·         Councillor Tom Hayes, Board Member for Community Safety;

·         Tim Sadler, Executive Director for Sustainable City.

·         Richard Adams, Community Safety & Resilience Manager.




Councillor Wade addressed the Committee and asked for the report to be re-drafted before being presented to the City Executive Board.  She said that the findings and recommendations of the cross-party panel meeting described in the report did not reflect the views expressed by herself and Councillors Gant and Thomas at the meeting they attended on 29 January 2018.


Councillors Gant and Thomas re-iterated the points made by Councillor Wade.


In conclusion Councillor Wade asked the Committee and the Board Member for Community Safety to consider the following points which she, Councillor Gant and Councillor Thomas believed should be in place before CPN proceedings were started:

a.     There should be documented evidence of attempts to engage the individual and an assessment of his/her vulnerability to legal process.

b.     There should be a formal Protocol agreed by Legal setting out the process to be followed in each case under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

c.     There should always be a written legal advice on file.

d.     The process should be authorised in each case by the Head of Service and the Head of Law and Governance – and there should be no time limit on this requirement.


In response the Board Member for Community Safety said that he could agree point a) as it reflected current practice; that point b) was agreeable in relation to complex cases; but  that he had reservations about accepting points c) and d) due to practical and operational considerations. 


The Board Member for Community Safety and the Executive Director for Sustainable City said that the content of the report was based on the conclusions of an earlier cross-party meeting attended by members from the controlling political group and the independent member.  The minutes of that meeting could be made available.  They acknowledged that the report did not take account of the views expressed by Councillors Wade, Gant and Thomas at the meeting held on 29 January 2018.


The Board Member for Community Safety, the Executive Director for Sustainable City and the Community Safety & Resilience Manager then presented the report and answered questions from members of the Committee.


The Community Safety & Resilience Manager explained that legal advice was sought for all complex cases but that the volume of enforcement activity meant that it would not be practical or necessary to provide written legal advice for all cases.


In discussion the Committee considered the nature of the needs and problems in the city that CPNs could be used to address and the extent of checks and balances in the process for issuing CPNs. 


The Committee also noted that a legal opinion had been obtained by Councillor Thomas which, while it could not have been based on the full facts of any specific case the Council had dealt with, would be considered as part of the subsequent review of the Anti-social Behaviour Policy and the Anti-social Behaviours Procedures.


Members of the Committee suggested that any future informal meetings involving members from beyond any one political group should be fully documented.


On being put to the vote the Committee endorsed the City Executive Board report.


On being put to the vote a majority of the Committee supported a proposal that the following points should be presented to the City Executive Board as scrutiny recommendations:

1.     That a written procedure is produced which requires that legal advice is sought and documented in all complex cases that could result in the issuing of a Community Protection Notice or other legal sanction.


2.     That in future any informal cross-party meetings, such as those convened for this subject, should be fully documented (i.e. agenda and minutes) with appropriate provision made for members to consider confidential or exempt material at such meetings.


The one member who voted against including point 1) above as a scrutiny recommendation did so because they believed that the current procedure already covered this requirement.

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