The first Community Safety Assembly in the county was held this May as Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Lisa Townsend united partner organisations with a shared commitment to work more closely together.
The event launched the new Community Safety Agreement between partners that include Surrey Police, local authorities, health and victim support services across Surrey. The Agreement outlines how partners will work together to improve community safety, by enhancing the support for individuals affected or at risk of harm, reducing inequalities and strengthening collaboration between different agencies.
The Assembly organised by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey welcomed representatives from over 30 organisations to the Dorking Halls, where they discussed how to improve the joint response to community issues including antisocial behaviour, mental ill-health, and criminal exploitation. The meeting was also the first time that representatives from each of the organisations had met in person since the start of the pandemic.
Group work on a variety of topics was accompanied by presentations from Surrey Police and Surrey County Council, including the Force’s focus on reducing violence against women and embedding a problem-solving approach to preventing crime across the service.
Throughout the day, members were asked to consider the bigger picture of so-called ‘low level crime’, learn to spot the signs of hidden harm and discuss potential solutions to challenges including barriers to sharing information and building public trust.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Lisa Townsend, who is also the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s national lead for Mental Health and Custody, said: “Every organisation has a role play in reducing vulnerabilities that can lead to harm in our communities.
“That’s why I’m proud that the Community Safety Assembly held for the first time by my office has brought such a wide spectrum of partners under one roof to discuss how we can all take steps to deliver a more joined-up response within the new Community Safety Agreement for Surrey.
“We heard from partners about what we can learn from the amazing work that is already happening across our county, but also had really open conversations about what doesn’t work so well and how we can improve.
“It is important that we spot the signs of harm earlier and address gaps between agencies that can prevent individuals from accessing the right support. For example, we know that mental ill-health has a significant impact on policing and this is one of the areas that I am already discussing with our health partners to ensure the response is coordinated so that individuals receive the best possible care.
“The Assembly was just the start of these conversations, that form part of our ongoing commitment to together improve safety right across our communities.”
Find out more about the Community Safety Partnership in Surrey and read the Community Safety Agreement here.
You can see our dedicated page for updates following the Community Safety Assembly here.