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Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Community Safety Partnership announces priorities for the next three years: tackling drug dealing, domestic abuse and cyber crime

Friday, 5 February 2021

The Community Safety Partnership (CSP), a partnership of agencies working across Central Bedfordshire, will prioritise tackling drug dealing, domestic abuse and cybercrime over the next three years.

The CSP, made up of Bedfordshire Police, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services, National Probation Services and Bedfordshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group, had its 2021-2024 strategy approved by the council’s executive on Tuesday (2 February).

The new priorities reflect evidence and feedback from residents about the issues that are most important to them, and are best tackled in partnership.

For the next three years, priority one for the CSP will be identifying and disrupting County Lines drug dealing. Drug dealing was highlighted as the biggest concern for residents who took part in the 2020 Safer Central Survey which helps inform the strategy.

County Lines drug dealing, where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another across local authority boundaries, encompasses a range of issues including the exploitation of children and adults, cuckooing, human trafficking, drugs supply and violent crime. The CSP will work closely with partners to identify those at risk of exploitation, and ensure they have access to relevant support services.

Raising awareness of domestic abuse, and ensuring earlier intervention and access to support for those who are vulnerable, continues to be an important focus for the CSP. Nationally there has been an increase in reports of domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic, with Refuge reporting last April that calls to its Helpline increased by 25% since the first lockdown measures were introduced.

The CSP will also focus on tackling cyber crime, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that people are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime and fraud than any other type of crime. However, it is significantly underreported. The CSP have highlighted it as an ‘emerging issue’ and will be working to increase the knowledge and understanding around this type of crime.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Community Services, said:

Over the past three years when working on our previous priorities, the CSP members have already developed some really strong initiatives. We launched the Supported Pathway Service, to support young people involved in, or on the periphery of, gangs or youth violence.

We also delivered training to professionals to raise awareness of exploitation and increase information sharing, and Bedfordshire was the first county to launch the Home Office’s Child Exploitation toolkit to help practitioners disrupt perpetrators and safeguard children.

Working with partners and residents is key to achieving stronger, safer and more resilient communities. I am confident that all members of the CSP will continue to work hard to address the new priorities and continue to keep our communities safe.

In 2020, over 2,000 people took part in the Safer Central survey, which helps shape the strategy. Residents can continue to give online feedback on the issues of crime, antisocial behaviour and safety in their area.

Read the full report on the Safe Central website.