Ensuring Canterbury is a safe place for people to live, work and visit
Canterbury City Council and Community Safety Partnership
The Canterbury Community Safety Partnership brings together a wide range of agencies who work together to keep crime low, prevent anti-social behaviour and ensure the district is a safe place for residents, businesses and visitors.
Every year, we’re responsible for completing something called a strategic assessment. The assessment looks at crime patterns and trends, anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse, and reoffending. We then use this data to write a CSP action plan that sets out our priorities for the district and how we’ll achieve them.
The action plan brings organisations together to understand local concerns and implement support to tackle issues, restore communities and support residents.
Safeguarding, vulnerability, and domestic abuse
The national figures for domestic abuse reporting had been in decline over the last decade but they have increased again, and local figures are following the same pattern.
Over the last year, the CCSP has provided additional domestic abuse awareness training and worked with partners to make referrals and signpost to support agencies.
We’ll put more focus on supporting young people and working with minority groups to understand and remove barriers to reporting domestic abuse.
Supporting young people
Supporting young people is a key priority for the CCSP. We work with organisations across multiple forums to ensure safety and safeguarding.
An important concern for us is the number of times looked after young people regularly go missing, as we are aware of the risks they expose themselves to, including coercion and exploitation which can lead them into gang culture.
Between 2020 and 2021, young people in the district were involved in over 50 violent offences on another person. Young or vulnerable people are the most likely to be coerced by gangs to carry out work, including involvement in county lines drugs deliveries and distribution.
We work with young people through youth inclusion programmes, and in schools, colleges and universities to promote awareness of the risks and the impact it can have on their lives.
Night-time economy and violence
We are aware of an increase in violence in the district, including an increase in knife offences.
Canterbury has a thriving night-time economy, and due to great partnership working has been awarded the Purple Flag Award for 11 years in a row.
We work closely with bars, clubs and restaurants to give customers a safe night out. For example we have the Canterbury Connected Routes initiative to encourage the safe use of routes at night.
When there was an increase in drink spiking echoing national news concerns, arrangements were put in place to report all concerns to the police for them to safeguard the individuals as soon as possible and to take decision making away from the venues.
The CCSP has been working with venues to raise awareness and educate both potential perpetrators and victims.
We also work with universities and share resources such as the student safety toolkit.
Community and Environment
Using anti-social behaviour data, we have highlighted the main areas of concern in the community that need more focused partnership working and targeted intervention.
We plan to hold enforcement activities in these areas of concern, as well as running engagement events to better understand concerns, offer signposting to families for support and assist those communities in need.
Tackling serious and organised crime
We work with partner agencies to get intelligence on and disrupt organised crime groups. According to the National Crime Agency’s National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime, the most common reported forms of exploitation in the UK are criminal, labour, and sexual exploitation.
There has also been an increase in firearms offences and cocaine use has increased by at least 290% nationally since 2011.
The coronavirus has had little impact on county lines activities in the district and this is a safety concern for users, vulnerable people at risk of having their properties ‘cuckooed’, and people who might become coerced into gang culture.