Joint Scrutiny Committee






Report of Head Legal and Democratic

Author: Karen Brown/Katharine Doherty (Community Safety Team Leaders)

Telephone number:
Karen Brown 01235 422592


Cabinet members responsible:

South Oxfordshire – Cllr Maggie Filopova-Rivers


Vale of White Horse – Cllr Helen Pighills


To: Joint Scrutiny Committee

DATE: 7 November 2022






South and Vale Community Safety Partnership – performance report


(a) To note the progress that the South and Vale Community Safety Partnership (CSP) made in 2021-22 in delivering its priorities and statutory functions 

(b) To support the CSP’s view that the 2022-25 plan will deliver core priorities and statutory functions and focus on these four key priorities:

·         reducing harm caused by domestic abuse

·         supporting young people at risk of exploitation

·         tackling violence against women and girls

·         reducing rural crime



Purpose of Report

1.     The main purpose of this report is to update the scrutiny committee on the progress that the South and Vale Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is making to reduce crime and the fear of crime, focusing on the benefits it generates for residents, businesses, and partner agencies in the two districts.  



2.     The CSP was formed in April 2011, bringing together the two-existing district CSPs that were created in accordance with the requirements of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.  This was done so that the partnership was coterminous with the local police area and mirrored the shared working across the district councils.

3.     Under the umbrella of the CSP, a wide variety of local agencies work together to maintain low levels of crime and protect vulnerable people in both districts to ensure residents feel safe and stay safe.

4.     The CSP involves the community safety portfolio holders from both district councils and officers representing:


·          South Oxfordshire District Council

·          Vale of White Horse District Council

·          Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire Integrated Care Board

·          Oxfordshire County Council (OCC)

·          Thames Valley Police (TVP)

·          Thames Valley Probation Service

·          Sovereign Housing Association

·          Soha Housing

·          Office of the Police Crime Commissioner

·          Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue Service


5.     The CSP has a statutory duty to develop and publish a plan which sets out its priorities, actions, and measures.  To align with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Criminal Justice Plan we have introduced a three-year plan.  The 2022-25 plan is attached as Appendix A.  When drafting the plan and to meet our statutory duties, we review information from the Oxfordshire Strategic Intelligence Assessment along with the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) plan.  The Oxfordshire Strategic Intelligence Assessment 2022 including Serious Violence is attached as Appendix B.

6.     The CSP has a statutory duty to monitor the effectiveness of its plan which is does through quarterly performance reports that are reviewed at quarterly meetings.


7.     To help the CSP deliver its priorities and statutory duties, it receives funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).  This income stream is not secure and is agreed on an annual basis.  The CSP’s 2021-22 grant funding from the PCC was £105,831.

8.     The CSP uses the funding to support local projects that it believes will help to deliver its priorities.  Managed by the districts’ community safety team, this involves overseeing the CSP grant application process, directing Service Level Agreements (SLAs), monitoring contract compliance to ensure accountability and proper governance.  In 2021-22, the community safety team managed SLAs on behalf of the CSP for a range of projects, including outreach and diversionary projects for vulnerable young people and the sanctuary scheme that helps people who have been a victim of crime remain and feel safe in their own homes.

9.     The CSP financial summary for 2021-22 can be found in Appendix C.


Delivering the community safety partnership’s statutory duties and three key priorities – summary of key areas of work in 2021-22


anti-social behaviour

10.  There are several statutory functions relating to anti-social behaviour (ASB) that the community safety team is responsible for delivering:

Statutory responsibility

Relevant legislation

Public Spaces Protection Orders (currently in place in Thame, and Henley) to tackle anti-social behaviour

see paragraph 39


Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

On behalf of the CSP, managing the Community Trigger process
see paragraph 15


Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Managing the process for the issuing Community Protection Notices (non-noise related)

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Supporting police applications for Closure Orders
see paragraph 28

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014



11.  If residents don’t feel able to report ASB directly to the police, they can contact the district councils’ community safety team to report the incident.  The issues reported to the team are varied and complex.  They range from neighbour disputes to abuse and harassment.  We investigate and risk assess cases, working in partnership with relevant agencies and provide updates to the complainant until the issue has been resolved.  This service provides residents who are unable or unwilling to report ASB to the police with an effective alternative reporting option.  The community safety team works to ensure that appropriate and joined up action is taken by agencies to resolve cases.  If someone is at risk of danger the team always recommend contacting the police.

ASB casework - detailed example

Issue – The district councils’ community safety team received a report from a resident who was concerned about the behaviour of a neighbour and her son. They had witnessed arguments between the two family members which involved excessive noise, verbal abuse, explicit language and aggressive outbursts both within the home and on the street. 


Impact – Neighbours were being adversely affected by the noise nuisance but were also worried for the welfare of the family - for example, video evidence showed that the mother was facing some challenging behaviour from her son that may have required support. 


Actions – Having identified that the family were tenants of a Housing Provider, the community safety officer contacted Children’s Social Care and the housing provider to determine the extent of the issues, actions taken and support already in place (if any).


Outcomes –

  • Children’s Social Care confirmed that their Early Help Service was actively involved in supporting the family as the mother had asked for help regarding her son’s behaviour and learning disabilities.
  • The community safety team established that the mother was also awaiting an appointment with a paediatrician and the child’s school was offering support alongside the Special educational Needs (SEN) casework team.
  • The housing officer explained that previous noise nuisance complaints had been looked into, but the complainants had not provided any further supporting evidence.
  • Whilst they were keen to have a conversation with their tenant about the issues at hand, the housing provider did not want to open a noise/ASB investigation knowing the level of support that was in place to help them address the behavioural issues.
  • The complainant was advised to keep the housing officer informed of any further incidents and if no improvement was seen, they would open a case to investigate further the issues impacting on the community. No further reports have been received.


12.  In addition, the CSP helps to fund local community-based projects that aim to improve young people’s resilience and divert them away from committing ASB. Funding this year has been provided to Didcot Train, SOFEA, Nomad in Henley, YoCo (Youth Challenge Oxfordshire) for Wantage and DAMASCUS who cover South Abingdon and surrounding villages.

Outcomes from CSP funded diversionary projects in South and Vale (names have been changed to protect the individual’s identity)


DAMASCUS – Provide support to vulnerable young people focussing on self-esteem, mental health, drugs and alcohol, sexual behaviour, ASB, poor parental control and discrimination in South Abingdon and surrounding villages.


Joint Case study with YoCo – young person H


Damascus has been working with H and his family since 2019.  H has been arrested several times, often involving violence and regularly associates with individuals known for violent offences, including weapons, and is considered high risk in terms of child criminal exploitation. 


Much of the support for H was focused on restorative justice and developing critical thinking skills to build resilience and his ability to recognise negative risk.  H would often show remorse in his actions but was easily influenced and regularly misused substances that would often lead to increased risk taking. 


H would regularly stay with his dad where he was away from many of the negative influences.  Damascus used these opportunities to reflect with H and support him to identify opportunities and pathways out of the lifestyle he was leading.  H would often show improvements after these interventions but struggled to keep on these paths. 


H was discussed at the Community Safety Partnership Violence Reduction Hub (please see paragraph 39).  This provided a helpful opportunity to identify any other organisations that knew of H and for further suggestions of how to support him.  This resulted in a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting being organised.  YoCo also have knowledge of H from a prior engagement which led to further conversations outside of this meeting to discuss joint opportunities to provide ongoing support. 


Nomad - Provide targeted support for young people and families disadvantaged through economic and/or complex social issues in Henley and surrounding villages.


Case study – young person (YP) 1/21


Young person 1/21 is 17, has been known to us for several years and was a student at the local school, until removed by parents to be home schooled.  The YP remained living locally, stayed in touch with friends and was often seen in the community during detached sessions.  They were known to be abusing substances at some level and mixing with other users. 


When the parents separated, this YP continued to live locally with the father.  When that relationship broke down following some allegations of domestic abuse, they sofa surfed with friends and finally went to live with the mother abroad.  In May this year, we became aware that YP1/21 had returned to the UK to live with the father, but once again found themselves homeless and sofa surfing.  The YP self-referred to Social Care but following assessment did not meet the criteria for support. 


Following conversations with both parents, we found a safe place for them to live for the summer and supported them with their online education enabling them to graduate.  In June 2021 YP1/21 returned abroad for the summer but plans to come back to the UK to start college. 


We know that this young person while being very capable is extremely vulnerable and at risk of falling into alcohol/drug use and the associated behaviours.  We hope that the relationship built with them will help to steer them in the right direction.



Didcot TRAIN – Engage disadvantaged young people in positive activities, whilst empowering and providing young people with opportunities and tools to make the right decisions, rather than becoming involved in ASB and being disengaged with the local community.


Case study – young person X


X started engaging with us in 2020 through our dinner and debate, X still attends the
dinner and debate group, as well as, our youth club, and group trips. X struggles with their self-esteem and confidence. X doesn’t find it easy to talk to people and has
very little trust in most of their peers and especially professionals. At home, X lives in a one parent household with mum, from what X has said to us they don’t have the best relationship and is reluctant to tell mum about anything that is going on with them. X also struggles with their mental wellbeing and has a history of self-harm. 


Since engaging with us we have steadily built a rapport with X, and they now confide in us a lot more than what they used to. X is working on building up their confidence and having more trust in people, especially professionals and trusted adults. X seems to be doing more to look after their emotional wellbeing, such as cutting down on a sport that they weren’t enjoying.


In recent weeks, X has started doing 1:1’s with us, which is a space in which X can offload what’s been going on every week, whether that’s things that are going on at home, issues with friends, problems with mental health or anything else. This is a natural next step to building our rapport with this young person, as well as building up that trust, which is important to their development.


X has been benefiting from the 1:1 mentoring and has the confidence to express their feelings appropriately with their friends and mum. They have also spoken of the relationship with mum as ‘getting better’. Along with this they are in a positive relationship with another young person known to TRAIN.



SOFEA – provide education, employability, and wellbeing programmes for vulnerable youngsters


Case study - young person S


S is 16 and joined SOFEA’s education programme in September 2020 after finishing secondary school and hoping to gain further qualifications.  S presented as a polite and respectful girl but struggled with her self-confidence and mental health.  Friendships were also a complex factor in her life, often feeling peer-pressured within her local community.


S was also engaging with Didcot TRAIN so had experience of being part of a youth group.  After two weeks into the programme, S began to participate more in open, honest discussion.  It was clear she felt a little out of her comfort zone, particularly with some of the more creative and physical activities but was motivated to continue her development, nonetheless. 


In week three of the eight-week programme:  Confidence and Resilience, S started to open up about her lack of self-confidence, particularly during school.  She struggles with dyslexia which made her engagement in lessons difficult.  She expressed that she often felt silly for needing extra help, so avoided asking questions which impacted her exposure.  After the session S, was pleased she attended, and it was clear she had felt confident enough to push herself out of her comfort zone.  


In the ‘differentiation’ week, S was able to confidently draw on her own experiences, having a family member with autism spectrum disorder, to explain why it is important for others to understand that different individuals have different needs and these need to be approached sensitively. 


In the final week, the group were asked to present what they had learnt from the programme, S created a poster which drew on her favourite topics including, confidence, leadership and groupwork and stand up in front of her peers to talk through the poster.  This was a huge achievement and afterwards claimed she couldn’t believe she had done that and had felt proud of herself.





13.  The community safety team is responsible for running Joint Tasking Meetings (JTM). These meetings maximise partnership working to make best use of resources.  They problem solve complex cases to support the most vulnerable people in our community.  Officers from Thames Valley Police, Community Safety, Adult Social Care, Children’s Social Care, Environmental Health, Housing, Soha, Sovereign, Mental Health, Fire & Rescue, Trading Standards, and other agencies share resources, knowledge, and data monthly to support:


·         repeat victims of ASB

·         medium/high risk ASB victims

·         families in need of intervention to avoid ASB

·         domestic abuse victims

·         prolific offenders

·         vulnerable individuals (e.g. rough sleepers, individuals at risk of radicalisation, concerns of child exploitation)

·         individuals with complex needs that do not meet the threshold for a safeguarding referral


South and Vale Joint Tasking Meeting (JTM) Case Study

A neighbour dispute and noise nuisance complaint from a single elderly resident living in the Vale was being reported to, and investigated by, both the police and the council’s environmental health team. It was causing significant service demand. No evidence of the reported noise nuisance was captured using a council recording device, but evidence of a retaliatory noise was recorded. Mediation services were offered but rejected. Due to the nature of their allegations and behaviour, officers were concerned about the complainant’s health, both in terms of possible hearing problems (tinnitus) and mental health.


The case was raised at JTM to determine if relevant support agencies (e.g. mental health, health, adult social care) were aware of and/or engaging with the complainant. It was quickly identified that:

·         the complainant was not receiving any services from adult social care and was not regarded as having any unmet care and support needs;

·         the complainant was unwilling to discuss how agencies could help them to address any issues relating to their hearing or mental well being;

·         colleagues in the NHS were unable to find any record of the complainant being registered to a GP whom JTM could flag the health concerns to directly.


JTM tasked Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue to conduct an independent safe and well visit to make the property safe, including checking if there were any devices in the property that could be contributing to the noises the complainant was reporting. It was hoped that this would also provide officers with the opportunity to encourage the complainant to engage with their GP (the route to accessing help for both hearing and mental health issues). Unfortunately, the complainant refused the visit. The district council’s community safety team, in a final attempt to flag the health concerns to GP, contacted the Integrated Care Board who were able to pass on these concerns to their GP.


JTM played an important role in ensuring that all the relevant services were aware of the issues and that there was a joined up approach to addressing them. JTM also enabled a variety of partnership approaches to be taken. Although, without the complainant’s willingness to engage, agencies were ultimately unable to resolve the possible unmet health needs, they could be confident that they had tried everything to help the complainant access relevant support.



14. The two community safety officers co-ordinate and chair monthly ASB neighbourhood meetings across the local police areas to ensure they are accountable, effective, and inclusive of relevant agencies. 

ASB multi-agency neighbourhood meetings


26 meetings held in the year:

·         8 – Abingdon

·         7 - Didcot and Wallingford

·         6 - Wantage and Faringdon

·         5 - Thame and Henley


Total number of cases raised - 77: Wantage & Faringdon addressed 24 cases, Didcot 18, Abingdon 20 and Thame and Henley 15.


The most common ASB issue raised at NH meetings in 2021-22 related to neighbour disputes (33 cases), followed by other ASB (12 cases) and noise nuisance (10). Other ASB includes:


·         Reports of numerous people regularly visiting a property and causing a disturbance to local neighbours (raised concerns about vulnerability of person being visited)

·         Resident with mental health issues having confrontations with local community

·         Threatening behaviour

  • Nuisance communications




There was consistent multi-agency engagement at all meetings, involving the police, the district councils’ community safety and environmental protection teams and numerous registered providers/registered social landlords.


Most common outcomes from cases being raised at the NH ASB meetings in 2021-22 were:

·         Achieving an improved multi-agency response around enforcement (e.g. joint visits, joint drug swabbing) - 36 cases

·         Securing a more joined up approach to supporting both victims and subjects of ASB cases to tackle the issues (e.g. working together to refer people to additional support e.g. Turning Point) - 31 cases

·         Reduction in ASB - 24 cases


Please note that some cases achieved more than one of the listed outcomes.



Case example which shows improved multi-agency enforcement and reduction in ASB:

The following case example from a neighbourhood ASB meeting highlights the opportunity that these partnership meetings provide for agencies to share information about cases of concern, agree joint actions and secure positive outcomes for both the community and the person causing the ASB:


Soha Housing and Thames Valley Police had received multiple reports from residents who were concerned for the personal welfare for a man living in a Soha owned property. He was displaying intimidating and abusive behaviour towards one neighbour in particular, who was beginning to feel frightened by the situation.


The case was raised at the neighbourhood ASB meeting to gauge previous or ongoing partnership involvement from the attending agencies and the following outcomes were achieved:


·         The neighbourhood policing team and Soha conducted a joint visit to the concerned individual to explain the impact their behaviour was having on the neighbours and got them to sign a good neighbour agreement with conditions to adhere to.


·         The community safety team checked the individual’s details with the adult social care and adult mental health teams, and it was noted that the individual had previously been diagnosed with mental health problems. The housing officer assigned to the case from Soha supported their tenant to seek guidance from their GP.


·         The community safety team arranged the installation of a digital door viewer at one of the neighbour’s properties to ensure that they felt safe and Soha continued to work with neighbours about their tenant’s behaviour.


The community safety team also advised the individual to sign on to the housing register for further support with finding a new property, which was subsequently completed. The individual, and their family, were then granted a move by Soha to a new property in a different area and no further reports relating to the individual’s behaviour have been received by any agency.



15.  The CSP has a legal duty to provide a Community Trigger, in accordance with the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.  This mechanism gives victims and communities the right to require agencies to review cases of persistent anti-social behaviour if they feel the issues have not been properly addressed already.  The trigger could be activated by a member of the public, a community, or a business.  The Community Trigger process is managed by the community safety team.  Rather than set up a new panel, the CSP use JTM as the ASB case review panel for the statutory Community Trigger process which maximises resources and ensures that information is properly shared across a broad range of agencies.  

·         Number of applications made: 3

·         Number of times threshold met: 2

·         Number of ASB case reviews/community triggers carried out: 2

·         Number of ASB case reviews where recommendations made: 1

 Community Trigger case study


The community safety team received a community trigger request relating to a neighbour dispute where the main issue was the smell of cannabis smoke. The threshold was met to progress with the case review, where the police and Registered Social Landlord (RSL) confirmed that they had responded to all reports of cannabis smoke but had found no evidence of the issue when attending the address in question. The RSL was engaging with subject of the complaint about the issue and had subsequently identified that a lodger and their associates were the likely source of the smoke. Although it was agreed at JTM that the agencies’ response to the reported incidents was proportionate and appropriate, partners agreed that some further pro-active work could be done to address more recent issues:


·         the RSL to open noise complaint to investigate new concerns about noise nuisance;

·         the RSL to visit their tenant to ensure that the lodger was adhering to tenancy rules;

·         the RSL to look at tenancy enforcement options in case the problems continued.

All of the above were completed. The resident who requested the Community Trigger was also advised to report any further incidents of ASB to the RSL. However, no further reports were received.




16.  The community safety team co-ordinate the installation of covert cameras (guard cams and digital door viewers) in response to incidents of ASB, burglary and domestic abuse.  The device is normally put in place for up to three months to capture future incidents and provide additional security and reassurance.  After three months the situation is reviewed with the referring agency and resident.  Unless there is a particular need to keep the camera in place, the resident can purchase the device from the CSP, or it will be removed for use at another property.  It’s hard to gauge the degree to which the devices contributed to the resolution of the issue(s), but we do know that they provide reassurance to residents who want to feel safe remaining in their own homes.  There is a clear audit trail in place.  A total of 115 cameras (88 guard cams and 27 digital door viewers) were installed in 2021-22 compared to 72 in 2020-21 and 49 in 2019-20. 11 people chose to retain their cameras and purchased them from the CSP in 2021-22.  An outcome from March 2022 revealed how footage captured by a digital door viewer resulted in a high-risk perpetrator of domestic abuse being arrested and charged with a breach of a non-molestation order.  The order was due to run out in May 2022, but this breach resulted in the issue of a further 12 month restraining order for protection for the client.  Feedback from one of the residents who purchased a camera described how she did not sleep at all before the cameras were installed and now feels safer and can sleep at night knowing they are there.

17.  In 2021-22, the South and Vale CSP offered partner agencies a free mediation referral service to help them tackle cases of neighbour related anti-social behaviour (ASB). This project received £4,000 of CSP funding and the service provider was Mediation Bucks. The service involved single or multiple parties being referred to a trained mediator who worked with them to discuss the main issues, diffuse tensions and agree a positive way forward. Partner agencies offered mediation to residents in 24 cases of ASB in 2021-22. 14 of these were referred to Mediation Bucks and mediators were able to have input on 11 cases. They held joint meetings in five cases, where mutual agreements were reached between all parties involved.





18.  The cost per referral to Mediation Bucks was £285. The offer and/or provision of    mediation helped reduce service demand on partner agencies regarding reports of ASB: of the 24 cases where mediation was offered in 2021-22, only two had reported further incidents. The OPCC has agreed to fund the service for a further year (2022-23).


19.  The community safety team co-ordinate the Safe Places scheme in partnership with multi agencies, such as the police, fire and rescue, Oxfordshire Family Support Network, and local businesses.  The scheme helps vulnerable people feel confident and safe whilst out in the community.  If someone feels they are being abused or harassed whilst they are out in the community, they have a safe place to go.  Window stickers are displayed in public places such as shops, libraries, community, and leisure centres to identify themselves as Safe Places.  In February 2022, the scheme was extended to Botley and we currently have 87 Safe Places across Abingdon, Faringdon, Wantage and Grove, Botley, Didcot, Wallingford, Henley, Thame and in the villages of Goring, Woodcote, Sonning Common, Wheatley and Chinnor.  There’s more details about safe places on the  national website.  The community safety team continue to review our safe places, to ensure the businesses signed up are still open for business and importantly, willing to continue their participation. We are looking to extend the scheme to restaurants, cafés, and hotels to ensure safe places are available during all hours and we will work with the councils’ communications team to promote the scheme across the districts.





20.  The CSP provides funding to the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service (ODAS) to deliver outreach and support for women, men, and children whose lives have been disrupted by domestic abuse in South and Vale.  In 2018-19 A2 Dominion and Reducing the Risk were awarded the contract to deliver this service for the whole county and West Berkshire.  In addition to outreach, they set up and run support groups and enable those in need to draw upon a range of resources, for example, providing a local help-line service (0800 731 0055) and refuge accommodation.  Every helpline call receives safety planning, emotional support, help to access emergency orders and signposting to relevant services (housing, legal support, counselling). In 2021-22 the service received a total of 1,535 new contacts of which 341 were from residents in South and Vale which equates to 22 per cent.  This compares to 1,757 in 2021-21 where 406 referrals were from residents in South and Vale equating to 23 per cent and 1,892 calls in 2019-20 of which 312 were residents in South and Vale equating to 16 per cent. 


21.  The main objective of outreach is to support people to reduce the risk towards them and to help them achieve independence, either through orders or going to refuge/places of safety.  A total of 249 service users were supported through outreach for 2021-22 of which 90 were from South and Vale (36 per cent).  This compares to 232 clients in 2020-21 where 85 were from South and Vale equating to 37 per cent of Oxfordshire. Outreach support is provided by the clients preferred method of contact, such as Zoom, Teams, telephone and in person.

A further 59 clients were supported by Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) who support high risk victims of domestic abuse.  Most of these referrals came from victims themselves, which highlights the importance of the continued need to raise awareness of domestic abuse services to ensure victims know who to contact for help and support.  The community safety team promote the helpline number on the district councils’ webpages and through social media.  ODAS appointed a young person’s IDVA in June 2021 to work with clients aged 16-25 for all risk levels.  A total of 52 clients received support for the year.

22.  The CSP continue to provide support to victims of domestic abuse by co-ordinating sanctuary scheme works to help vulnerable victims of crime stay and feel safe in their own homes.  In 2021-22 the community safety team co-ordinated 97 referrals compared to 60 in 2020-21 and 42 in 2019-20.




23.  The CSP also fund small repairs/security works under the sanctuary scheme to help private tenants/owner occupiers at risk of domestic abuse stay and feel safe in their own home.  24 properties received security works in 2021-22 compared to 11 properties in 2020-21 and 23 properties in 2019-20.  Security works can include a change of locks, fire-proof letter boxes, and covert guard cameras. The community safety team co-ordinate referrals for guard-cams (covert cameras) in response to domestic abuse and 63 cameras were installed in 2021-22 compared to 35 in 2020-21 and 29 in 2019-20. Feedback from one client claimed the security works had offered her great support, especially at night as there is no street lighting and at the back of the property it is particularly dark. 



24.  The CSP has a statutory duty to conduct Domestic Homicide Reviews under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.  A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a multi-agency review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse, or neglect by a person to whom they were related or with whom they were, or had been, in an intimate personal relationship, or a member of the same household as themselves. The main aim of a review is to establish what lessons can be learned regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims.  The community safety team is responsible for managing the DHR process and providing administrative support.


Summary of Domestic Homicide Review’s in South and Vale




Thame (two murders, one attempted murder)


Review approved by Home Office. Action plan completed

Joint Serious Case Review (SCR) and Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) Didcot


Review approved by Home Office. Action plan completed

Hales Meadow (manslaughter)


Home Office requested further amendments to this review.  Report resubmitted to Home Office in August 2020

Didcot (three murders)


Review approved by Home Office.  Action plan completed

Watchfield (suicide)


Review approved by Home Office. Action plan completed

Kennington (suicide)


In progress

Drayton (suicide)


In progress

Wallingford (murder)


In progress


25.  Since their introduction in 2011, there have been 16 DHRs in Oxfordshire, five of these have taken place in South Oxfordshire and three in Vale of White Horse.  Oxford City has carried out four reviews, one has taken place in West Oxfordshire and three in Cherwell.

26.  The community safety team continue to promote domestic abuse messages to raise awareness of local support available, for example over the festive season when domestic abuse spikes we promoted messages on gaslighting.  In November they worked with the local domestic abuse charity Reducing the Risk to raise awareness of domestic abuse using chalk-based stencils in our seven market towns as part of the 16 days of activism starting on 25 November. Stencils featuring the messages:  Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells?  Are you afraid of your partner? Are you worried about someone you know being controlled? along with the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline and Reducing the Risk weblink, were displayed in council carparks and outside public toilets.

27.  The team also worked with Reducing the Risk to raise awareness of domestic abuse with the hair and beauty industry across the districts.  Three webinars were delivered to staff working in these fields and included a pre-recorded message by Lee Stafford, a celebrity hairdresser who emphasised to the industry the importance of domestic abuse awareness, a victims account of domestic abuse, and interactive discussions. Examples of feedback received:

·         Thank you for training on Monday evening. I thought it was incredibly well presented the content was thought provoking and informative.’ 


·         ‘Very informative, I now feel much more confident in recognising the signs/what to do if someone is suffering. I thought it was good to talk about the apps, like Blue Sky - I wasn't aware that these existed but having real-life examples and showing us the tools available is so valuable’.


·         ‘I got a lot from the workshop, especially the videos. The links with Reducing the Risks especially! I’d like to hear from more domestic abuse survivors. I’m a therapist and to be able to identify signs would be helpful. To know how to “kickstart” a talk with someone who’s perhaps too worried to admit what’s happening would be good too. Katrina was incredible sharing her story, what a very brave woman. I could see how upsetting it still is for her, all these years later. Please keep me informed of any other similar workshops, courses or webinars going on.’



28.   From 1 November 2015, specific public authorities have a duty to notify the Secretary of State of any person identified in England and Wales as a suspected victim of slavery or human trafficking.  The CSP has developed a multi-agency response to tackling exploitation in South and Vale through the JTM meetings and this partnership approach addresses the threat, harm and risk of County Drug Lines, local Organised Crime Groups, Child Drug Exploitation, Labour Exploitation and Criminal Exploitation.  Closure orders are a tool that the police use to try and tackle the problem relating to abuse of vulnerable people and their properties.  The orders close or restrict access to properties that are known to be used by drug gangs and the community safety team is consulted before the police apply to the courts.  In 2021-22, ten closure orders have been issued by the police in South and Vale compared to 20 in 2020-21 and 35 in 2019-20.  The closure orders have a positive impact on residents as they give them back control over who can access their property.

29.  These closure orders are often welcomed by vulnerable people whose lives have been taken over by organised crime groups.  The orders help victims feel protected and in addition with other security works, they feel safe in their own homes.  A breach of a closure order can result in a fine, imprisonment for up to three months, or both.

30.  The community safety team have been working on projects to prevent children from being exploited.  They co-ordinated a virtual delivery of “Chelsea’s Story”, a hard-hitting play that shows how young people are can be groomed by adults for the purposes of sexual exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people, and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives.  This play was offered to all secondary and private schools across South and Vale.  Due to the pandemic this play has been rearranged several times throughout the year, however it was delivered within eight schools in June and July 2021.  Feedback received from students:


·         I think it is always good to know and Chelsea’s story was a good interpretation of what could happen


·         I really appreciated it when they went through the fact that it didn't just happen to young girls, and that it could happen to anyone no matter the age, gender, race, etc. A lot of people overlook that, so I really liked seeing it mentioned.


·         I feel like that Chelsea’s story definitely had a strong impact on me because the fact that she was so young and vulnerable, made me realise how sexual exploitation can have such a big impact on someone’s life. This made me realise that one simple mistake that you thought could be harmless, can turn into a real nightmare.



31.  The community safety team supported Anti-Slavery Day and the police’s drug intensification week 18-24 October by purchasing 10,000 stickers featuring a QR code to promote the #LookCloser campaign.  Local police neighbourhood teams engaged with local cafes and food outlets who promoted these stickers on their merchandise to their customers (See social media posts on Thames Valley Police Twitter and Facebook pages). This campaign focuses on how to spot and report signs of exploitation.


32.  Under Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 local authorities have a duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.  The Licensing and Community Safety Manager attends the Oxfordshire Channel Panel meetings when a South or Vale referral is on the agenda.  Channel provides a mechanism for ensuring that individuals identified as vulnerable to radicalisation are referred to and assessed by a multi-agency panel which decides on the most appropriate support.  The Channel process uses existing partnership working between the police, local authorities, statutory partners, and the local community to support those who are vulnerable to being drawn into violent extremism by: identifying individuals and groups at risk of being recruited by violent extremists; assessing the nature and extent of that risk through multi-agency panels; and referring cases to intervention providers (as required) to develop the most appropriate support package to safeguard the individual at risk. In addition, low level intelligence/cases of concern relating to Prevent (for example, protest marches, internet propaganda) are shared at monthly Joint Tasking Meetings and relevant partnership action is agreed.


33.  The community safety team continue to share messages on fraud and scams on our social media platforms throughout the year.  This year the team promoted the message 12 frauds of Christmas raising awareness of shopping online to prevent residents from being exploited.




34.  The community safety team support the licensing and responsible authority meetings, a multi-agency groups that pools resources to tackle premises of concern, reduce late night violence and associated crime and disorder. This year the team promoted messages on ‘Alcohol and Relationships’ as part of Alcohol Awareness Week and drug driving messages over the festive season.


35.  The community safety team launched #NoLaughingMatter – Nitrous Oxide awareness campaign after receiving numerous reports of the littering of these canisters from police, council officers and member of the public.  This campaign aimed to raise awareness of the risks of recreational drug use (nitrous oxide), deter its use and encourage reporting.  Statistics from the ONS show that nitrous oxide remains the second most used recreational drug in young people aged 16-24 after cannabis.  The campaign involved chalk based stencils in key locations alongside posters encouraging young people to enter an online quiz to win a £25 restaurant voucher.  The campaign was successful in reaching a large audience with a total of 756 responses to the quiz received, of which 670 entered the prize draw. Whilst most responses received were from those over 35, the 16–24 year audience made up 39 per cent of responses.  Even though the quiz results identified respondents were aware of laughing gas, most indicated they had learned something from it.  The team are monitoring the levels of nitrous oxide cannisters reported and will target areas of need with a similar campaign if identified.  


36.  A safer streets survey was conducted in December and January for residents in Abingdon and Didcot to measure their feelings of safety when out in these areas at night-time. 614 people responded to the survey (81 per cent female) outlining where they feel unsafe and what steps we could take to help people feel safer.  The community safety team have implemented some of the suggestions made using funding from the Safer Streets Fund which was awarded by the Home Office to Oxford City as part of their project ‘safe journey, safe destination’ to prevent violence against women and girls.  The community safety team received £15,000 each for Abingdon and Didcot areas.  Improvements have been made to lighting and shrubbery across both areas.  Abingdon Street Pastors were awarded a grant along with a gazebo to act as a Safe Place during the evening when late night venues close.  The CSP aims to introduce further improvements in 2022-23 using environmental visual audits to identify priority areas across the whole of South and Vale to prevent violence against women and girls.


37.  To support vulnerable young people across South and Vale, the community safety team introduced a Violence Reduction ‘Hub’ in March 2021 to bring together the voluntary sector to provide a joined-up approach to delivering positive pathways and alternative activities for young people.  The aim of the ‘hub’ is to build community resilience, problem solve issues in relation to serious youth violence, reduce demand on statutory services, explore collaborative engagement, provide intervention and diversionary strategies.  Since its introduction, the group have received over 30 referrals mainly from police, but the case example below shows a referral made by the councils’ housing needs team.


Violence Reduction Hub – case example


The councils’ housing needs team referred a young male presenting with mental health issues.  Information was shared within the Hub around his living situation, suicidal thoughts, and previous engagement with Aspire for past drug abuse.


The referral identified that he liked to work with his hands to keep his mind occupied.  SOFEA was tasked to reach out and offer help to this young man.  He now regularly attends SOFEA, with early feedback from staff acknowledging he is a pleasant and intelligent individual.  In addition, he has now secured housing through the young people’s housing pathway.




38.  The team worked on a project with Thames Valley Police to raise awareness of youth violence to provide students with knowledge and information to make positive life choices.  They piloted an event with four local secondary schools.  The project involved the charity Prison! Me! No Way!  (PMNW).   PMNW involves two prison officers and a prisoner who presents their life story to young people and shares the impact prison life and crimes has had upon them, their family, victims, and future life aspirations.  The project also includes a replica life size prison cell van for young people to visit.   The day featured Thames Valley Police True Costs campaign that focuses on drug abuse and exploitation, talks were delivered on knife crime, gang related crime and child exploitation. The #knifefree campaign which aims to reduce knife crime was promoted with stickers on canteen food and drinks.  Feedback received from students relating to the most impactive part of the day:


·         “The talk about knife crime as I didn't realise how badly the victims of knife crime can be affected long-term.”


·         “The model prison cell was the best part of the day because I thought the cells would be larger and more spaced out and it was interesting to see what it would be like to live in those conditions”


·         “The ex-prisoner talks because it was more understanding and emotional hearing it from someone who has experienced being in prison and making bad life choices”.


Key survey findings received from 102 students:


·         83 per cent, said that after the event, they ‘understand completely’ about what positive life choices are and how to make them.

·         84 per cent students felt the talk from the ex-prisoner helped them with life choices. 61 per cent pupils further stated that this part of the day had the most impact on them and affected them the most.

·      92 per cent of students identified that #Knifefree was the correct website name where you can get additional information, help, and support on knife crime.



39.  In 2018, the district council introduced Public Spaces Protection Orders in Thame and Henley to help the police tackle alcohol related ASB. In Thame, the order also covered group related ASB. The orders last for up to three years so prior to their expiry, the community safety team carried out a review to clarify their use and identify if there was a need to extend or vary them. As part of this work, the team consulted the police and then sought feedback from key stakeholders, including the Town Councils, Oxfordshire County Council, local councillors and the local Pubwatch groups. Taking the outcome of this review into account, the district council agreed to extend the alcohol restrictions in both towns so that police can continue to ask people to stop drinking alcohol or confiscate their alcohol if they are behaving (or are likely to behave) anti-socially.  In Henley, the police also now have the power to require groups of three or more people to disperse if their behaviour is causing alarm, distress, harassment, or a nuisance.  This measure is already in place in Thame but, following an increase in issues in the local area, the area it covers has now been extended to include Church Road and the cricket field. If someone fails to co-operate with either request when asked they can be fined.  The measures only target anti-social behaviour and will not prevent groups from gathering peacefully or people from drinking in public areas. Both orders remain in place until May 2024.


40.  The Community Safety Manager attends the Safer Oxfordshire Partnership Co-ordination Group which meets quarterly to share information on current crime issues, priorities, and forward plans.  The group aims to identify any overlapping work streams and gaps ensuring that all boards and partnerships are clear where and how the main risks are being managed.


Anticipated direction of travel for the CSP in 2022-23

41.  The CSP receives all its funding directly from the PCC to support the delivery of his plan.  The new PCC was elected in May 2021 and the Police and Crime Plan 2021 - 2025 was launched on 30 June 2021. It is therefore important that we ensure that we take the PCC priorities into account when setting our own plan.  The South and Vale CSP 2022-25 plan was signed off by CSP members in October 2022.


Climate and ecological impact implications

There are no climate and environmental impact implications


Financial Implications

42.  The CSP receives funding from Office of the Police Commissioner via Oxfordshire County Council for delivery of local community safety priorities.  For 2022-23, partners must apply for funding, which is allocated to each agency based on evidential need.  To date the South and Vale CSP has successfully applied for and allocated £92,140.

Legal Implications

43.  None


44.  None

Other Implications

45.  None.


46.  The CSP continues to deliver projects to meet the needs of local communities and ensure that statutory functions are delivered.  The CSP will continue to focus on protecting and safeguarding vulnerable people. 

Background Papers

·        Appendix A – South and Vale CSP Plan 2022-25

·        Appendix B - Oxfordshire Strategic Intelligence Assessment 2022 including Serious Violence

·        Appendix C – South and Vale CSP financial summary 2021-22