Each key priority for Bexley is outlined in the following sections in further detail. The ward level data referred to in the chapter reflect ward boundaries prior to boundary changes in May 2018.
In summary the key data points by exception are:
- Violence Against the person recorded incidents has increased over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months to May 2018. The increase is 7.8% in Bexley and 5.5% across London. The trend within Bexley mirrors London and is an average increase of 31 cases per month between the 2 years.
- Domestic Abuse incidents within Bexley does not follow the London trend and the number of incidents has remained constant comparing 2 years data to May 2018. The London position has increased by 6.1% comparing the two years. Domestic abuse incidents are largely higher in the north of the borough, consisting of Thamesmead East, Belvedere, Erith and North End.
- The average number of sexual offences for the year across Bexley and London has increased with an increase of circa 11% for both areas. The case mix of these offences is however different with Bexley having a recorded change of 10.6% for Other Sexual and 12.6% for Rape. This is compared to an increase in London of 7.5% for Other Sexual and 18.8% for Rape.
- Hate crime incidents have fallen within Bexley and London year on year with a reduction of 7.1% and 3.2% respectively.
- The yearly average has fallen for Anti-Social Behaviour within Bexley. Peak periods of reporting occur in the summer months and are 33% higher than the winter months.
- Residential burglaries have increased by 70.7% in Bexley compared to 29.2% for London. Although the number of burglaries has increased for both areas, there seems to be a greater rate of increase in Bexley compared to London. Peak reporting of incidents occurs from October 17 through to February 2018 with these months being around 250% higher than the previous year’s average.
- Drug offences have decreased by 1.3% & 6.5% in Bexley and London respectively. Drug trafficking has reduced by 27.7% compared to the previous 12 month period, whereas there has been a small increase in the possession of drugs.
Maps have been obtained via the following public websites:
- Metropolitan Police Service Crime Data Dashboards
- MOPAC website for anti-social behaviour.
- The Domestic Abuse map has a Crown copyright all rights reserved Bexley Council 100017693
Violence Against the Person
A nationwide HMIC (Accuracy of Statistics) report found that violence against the person had the highest level of under-recording. There has been an increase in the reporting of domestic abuse and subsequent recording of these offences by the police, as a result of an improved response by police to domestic abuse following a HMIC inspection in 2013 on the handling of domestic abuse incidents.
The renewed focus on the quality of crime recording means that caution is needed when interpreting statistics on police recorded crime. While we know that it is likely that improvements in compliance with the National Crime Recording Standards have led to increases in the number of crimes recorded by the police (for example, violent crime and sexual offences), it is not possible to quantify the scale of this or assess how this effect and timing of improvements varied between different police forces.
Violence Against the Person in Bexley (12 month rolling to May 2018)
Data source: Metropolitan Police Crime Data Dashboard
Violence Against the Person includes a range of offences from minor offences such as harassment and common assault, to serious offences such as murder, actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm.
Key data points
- Using a rolling 12 month period there is an upward trajectory in violence against the person across both Bexley and London.
- Violence against the person incidents are 5,101 for the period.
- Violence against the person, has increased by 7.8% from May 2017.
The map below highlights that the most prominent wards for violence against the person
The Bexley Serious Violence Prevention Panel (SVPP) was set up in 2012 following a fatal gang related incident in the borough. The multi-agency panel works in a targeted way to monitor individuals who are at the highest risk of causing, or being the victim of, serious violence and to agree a multi-agency plan of action.
Since April 2017, 24 referrals were made to the Serious Violence Prevention Panel (SVPP). Out of those 24, 17 were accepted onto the panel, as they met the criteria. Advice and intervention through signposting is undertaken with those that don’t meet the panel criteria. The panel also uses an Early Notification system produced to assist professionals who have some concerns they wish to flag. This system helps to prevent escalation of issues and is used frequently by professionals to try and divert the individual away from potentially damaging behaviours.
The lead officer for Serious Violence also attends the weekly Missing meeting with Children’s Social Care and Police which is another place that makes it viable for young people to be identified at the earliest opportunity. Training is also provided for front line staff to keep them aware of the issues and there is close liaison with Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Police to share intelligence or interventions and, on occasions, enforcement.
An intervention programme is available to support high risk individuals which is funded externally and is reviewed on an annual basis.
The Serious Violence Prevention Officer has accepted referrals to work with children as young as 10 years old to prevent them being caught up in a dangerous lifestyle.
Since 2016, the potential escalation of gang activity is monitored by sharing multi-agency information that forms an on-going gang activity profile for the borough. This helps to highlight the number of complex issues around gang related activity where it is connected to criminal activity, territorial issues and conflicts with other gangs for example. There are concerns that the number of Bexley residents becoming involved in violence, gangs or missing to join county lines is increasing.
The Police “flag” and monitor offences they believe may be related to gang activity. For the rolling 12 month period to October 2017:
- 1,128 gang flagged offences were recorded London wide. The number of offences flagged in Bexley had increased to 13.
- Greenwich had 198 offences flagged, the highest number in London for this period, this may be attributable to better recording procedures within Greenwich borough.
- The age of Bexley residents\individuals is monitored through the Trident Gang matrix and indicates they are more likely to be over 18 years old.
- The number of cases flagged by the Youth Offending Team as potential gang associated risk fluctuates throughout the year but overall has remained stable.
- In the 12 month rolling period to October 2017, the London Ambulance Service recorded 1,073 assaults an increase of 210 (24%).
Whilst Bexley is not currently considered by the Metropolitan Police Service to be a “Gang Borough” (these receive additional funding from MOPAC to tackle issues), the proximity of the high level of incidents in Greenwich is of concern and the impact on families and communities is something that should not be overlooked.
To help to understand and tackle the rise in violence against the person offences in the borough, the BCSP is developing a Serious Violence Strategy. This strategy will encompass four main areas:
- Serious Youth Violence
- Knife Crime and
- Organised Crime Networks
It will include a knife crime action plan not only tailored to the specific issues in the borough, but also paying attention to any emerging threats from other areas. The strategy will include an action to fully engage with communities who can help with raising awareness of all serious violence. They are also a vital link in to both the perpetrators and victims of serious violence, often having knowledge of the individuals concerned and their families.
The strategy will help build on the already excellent partnership working between both statutory and non-statutory organisations within the BCSP. All partners have had to think more creatively on how they work with others due to a general reduction in resources. This is an opportunity therefore to maximise these links and work more collaboratively on a very important topic such as serious violence.