This case study was originally prepared by VANEL as part of work on the Humberside Safer Future Communities Network (HSFCN).
The website for HSFCN is www.vanel.org.uk/sfc.
The Safer Stronger Communities Working Group (SSCWG) has met as a North East Lincolnshire based partnership group since 2007.
Originally kickstarted through a project at VANEL which permitted administrative and management support to make the group come together, the SSCWG has become a proactive, work programme delivering group to ensure organisations, services and agencies with a role in, or interest in Safer and Stronger communities have a place to meet.
About the group and the meetings
Individuals attending the group are from organisations (non-profit, community, charities or public sector) who have an interest in making communities in North East Lincolnshire both safer or stronger.
Membership has grown since 2007 to around 30 individuals who are on the mailing list or regularly attend meetings.
Administration and secretariat is generally provided through VANEL, and the group meets monthly (am first Friday of the month) at venues around Grimsby (currently VANEL offices at the Elms).
When the group meets, there is usually a theme or topic, presentation or workshop that allows the group to learn about or explore a theme in depth.
But the SSCWG is also a working group with a work programme that aims to actually make change within the communities.
By organisations working together – local people, local community organisations and the service organisations that can make changes (council, probabtion, police, fire and rescue etc) – a difference is able to be made.
What has the group tackled to date?
The group has met monthly since 2007. By way of example of the themes and key topics covered by the group, here are the topics tackled at meetings during 2012 and 2013:
Eddie McGee: “An Anatomy of Murder”
Reducing Re-Offending Workshop
Neighbourhood Policing Workshop
Police and Crime Commissioner
Restorative Justice & Practices
Criminal Record Bureau – checks & changes
Neighbourhood Watch Update
Outstanding Safer and Stronger Communities Awards/ JSIA
NELC Budget Presentation
Safer Future Communities Network
Fire Service briefing
Humberside Probation Trust – locality pilot
Some of these sessions have been larger workshops (rather than simple presentations) and some group sessions have resulted from the meetings such as a visit to Hull Prison in 2012.
What has the SSCWG achieved?
Firstly, the regular communication and networking opportunity allows statutory agencies and communities to talk to each other in a useful forum. Each can be listened to, each can support or challenge the other’s approaches and as a result both the community level individuals and groups and the public body level organisations can make progress together.
The group has, over the years, supported itself by looking for opportunities for training and learning and created opportunities out of this – visits to local Prisons and a Community Justice learning event are examples.
The SSCWG is not public/community facing itself. But over the past years it has helped to identify needs and put posts into place that are community facing and can make a difference. Both the Restorative Justice Champion and Victims Champion positions (see other case studies) are roles that the SSCWG has created, supported and followed through to bring into being.
Other initiatives such as the Outstanding Safer and Stronger Communities Awards (OSSCAs) are supported and encouraged via the group, and the recent co-location of VANEL at the Elms with the Safer Communities Team is also a result of support from the group. The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in 2012 were supported locally via the group and the SSCWG supported VANEL as it in turn supported the PCC elections through the Humberside Safer Future Communities Network (see website at www.vanel.org.uk/sfc).
Example slides from the 2012 Reducing Reoffending Event
Learn more about Victims Panels here – the latest work from the Victims Champion.
Further information – contact
For general enquiries about the group, please contact Vicky Campbell at VANEL (minute secretary) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or contact the current Chair of the SSCWG – Brian Duke (email@example.com)