County Lines Update Report and Round Table Discussion
- Meeting of Housing and Community Safety Policy and Scrutiny Committee, Monday, 28 October 2019 5.30 pm (Item 23.)
Members will receive the report outlining how the North Yorkshire Police are working in partnership through a multi-agency approach to understand the rise of drug trade and related crime in local communities and the progress that has been made to date.
The Committee were joined Councillors by D. Taylor and Webb from the Children, Education & Communities Policy & Scrutiny Committee, Superintendent, Commander for York and Selby, and the Interserve Justice Manager (probation service), County Lines Lead for the round table discussion.
The Head of Community Safety introduced the report, noting the impact of County Lines on York and that this is not a surprise due to York’s strong transport links. The Safer York Partnership has a strong handle on the issue with the support of North Yorkshire Police and other partners. The Superintendent confirmed that County Lines based on Threat, Harm, and Risk is a number one priority for policing in York.
The Interserve Justice Manager stated that there had been a disappointing approach from National Government and resources are not sufficient. The number of drug workers and mental health workers operating in the county is insufficient to meet current demands. She confirmed that middle class cocaine use is York’s main drug issue, and that it has been normalised. The Superintendent agreed that heroin and crack cocaine are the main drugs supplied. Members highlighted the need to raise awareness that heroin and crack cocaine use is not a victimless crime.
In response to Members’ questions Officers confirmed that:
· Communications is part of the Safer York Partnerships action plan, in relation to the need to highlight the impact of purchasing heroin and crack cocaine has on vulnerable people;
· There is not one agency or partner that requires further training to spot hidden vulnerabilities, instead awareness training needs to be held with all partners;
· They did not have figures for convictions for crack cocaine use, so could not confirm if these were rising in time with the County Lines issue increasing. The Superintendent noted that she will share figures with Members after the meeting;
· A needs assessment was a very important early step. Public Health have skilled staff who work with data, however, this is niche data and might require taking up support that is on offer nationally;
· When looking to take out a Premise Closer Order a multiagency approach is taken, support needs are identified and support is put in place. With consideration taken for both the needs of the vulnerable individual and the local community.
The Chair raised in the Locality Review that national action should be not lead by police but by health and social care agencies. The Assistant Director Public Health noted that there is likely not a uniformed recognition of the County Lines issue within health and social cares remit, some areas of the health service are likely more engaged than others currently.
i. That the content of the report and the associated annex be noted.
ii. That another joint round table discussion on County Lines be agreed between the Chair and Officers, to come to a future meeting of the Committee.
Reason: To ensure that all opportunities for multi-agency engagement on County Lines are being fully exploited. And that both Committee’s remain involved with the County Lines issue in York.
- County Lines Discussion Report, item 23. PDF 185 KB
- Annex 1 York LR report 2019_, item 23. PDF 662 KB