An assessment of the evidence base has been undertaken by the Community Safety Partnership Analysts. The top crime and anti-social behaviour categories impacting across the county are:
- Violence against the person (predominantly wounding (also known as GBH), assault with less serious injury (ABH), sexual assaults, rape and robbery – all of which account for significant harm to the victim and within the local community).
- Domestic abuse is an issue for all areas of Lancashire. Despite a decreasing trend of Domestic Abuse incidents, the last 12 months have experienced a significant increase in repeat high risk cases.
- Child sexual exploitation (CSE). The risk of CSE varies across the county. It is clear from the available data and improving intelligence picture, that social care, education and public health have a key role to play in understanding and tackling CSE. In particular, data from across these key areas can be used to identify potential cases early. Factor analysis was inconclusive and suggests that there are no significant variables that stand out in CSE referral cases, thus, demonstrating the complexities with CSE cases. However, problematic parenting and family structure were noted as significant issues in many CSE referral case notes.
- Anti-social behaviour (ASB) continues to be an issue for Lancashire-14 (noise nuisance, problems between neighbours and repeat incidents). Whilst the overall volume has been decreasing (as reported to the police), ASB shows seasonal trends that rise through the summer. Additionally, the volume of more problematic ASB requiring an ASBRAC (anti-social behaviour risk assessment conference) cases remains high.
- Road safety: the last two years have experienced an increase in KSI casualties. The trend in KSI casualties is mirrored by the casualty records for pedal cyclists, 65+ year olds and to a lesser extent by 0-15 year old KSI casualties. The criminal use of road networks and ASB on roads also presents road safety issues, targeting of which can have a positive impact on collisions.
However, by utilising an alternative approach to analysis through the Cambridge Harm Index, the key categories causing the most harm in the community are rape, wounding, sexual offences, assault with less serious injury and robbery.
The main contributory factors in the commission of crime and for increased risk of victimisation are:
- Alcohol harm (particularly in respect of serious violent crime). Alcohol increases the risk of injury in violent crime and alcohol-related violent crime is statistically significant near licensed premises. Alcohol harm has been noted as an issue in families on the Working Together with Families (WTwF) programme, in cases of domestic abuse and for increasing risk of reoffending.
- The harmful effects of drug use / misuse. Whilst chaotic opiate use is in decline, there is an increase in cannabis use among young people. Intelligence suggests that there is a significant link between illicit tobacco markets and cannabis cultivation and supply within the county. These two areas are also linked to wider serious and organised criminality issues within the county.
There is a significant threat from new psychoactive substances (NPS). NPS pose a threat due to the lack of intelligence as to how widespread its use is and the impact on health services due to varying chemical composition of NPS, particularly when an individual has suffered adverse effects or an overdose.
- Reoffending remains an issue (significant pathways that promote reoffending include alcohol, drugs and housing). Those most at risk of reoffending are those that are on community orders (particularly within 3 months of being given the order), those who have been on cohort caseloads for less than 3 months and those who have been on short sentences. Interestingly, analysis of the Working Together with Troubled Families data showed that households with adults with a proven offence were more likely to have a child with an offence.
- Deprivation and social inequality. Analysis of families on the Working Together with Families programme noted that the more deprived wards contained a higher rate of families. This is to be expected based on the initial methods used to determine the number of families that each area had to work with. However, evaluation of local families found that needs were more complex than the national criteria used to govern which families should be worked with. Parenting difficulties (also a key factor in CSE referrals) were identified in 61% of families. Furthermore, parenting problems were associated with social care issues, education and depression.
- Mental health (MH) There is a danger of simply listing MH as a risk factor without sound research, as MH issues are broad and complex. However, research has evidenced that those with MH issues are more vulnerable to being a victim of crime or ASB and those who are repeatedly victimised are vulnerable to developing MH issues. In addition, a sample of data from WTwF showed that a quarter of children from families on the WTwF programme were believed to have MH issues. MH issues were noted in families with parenting difficulties, which increased the risk of a child with an ASB intervention or CSE referral.
Further details are contained in the Lancashire Strategic Assessment 2015 (PDF 1.0 MB)
The Community Safety Agreement (PDF 157 KB) sets out how we will work together to address the community safety priorities for Lancashire.
Page updated April 2017