Community Safety and Crime Reduction Strategy

2020 – 2023


Updated 2022










Community Safety Partnership 2018






The Partnership and its work


Brighton & Hove and the people in the city


Crime and disorder overview


Current landscape


Identifying and progressing priorities


Relevant work of key partners



Our priorities:


Violence, exploitation and abuse


·        Serious violence and exploitation

·        Domestic violence & abuse, sexual violence and other forms of violence against women & girls


Anti-social behaviour


Community cohesion and resilience


·        Hate incidents/crimes

·        Challenging extremism

·        Prevent




Appendix: About the Partnership



If you would like to provide any feedback on this document, you can do so by email to:


















The Partnership and its work






The Partnership’s aims

The Community Safety Partnership’s overarching duty is to:

·        reduce crime and disorder,

·        improve community safety, and

·        reduce re-offending

in Brighton & Hove.

This will serve to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives in, works in or visits the city. 

The focus is on:

·        taking early action to prevent crime and disorder

·        tackling the issues which have the biggest impact on people

·        reducing fear of crime and meeting the needs of victims.

About this strategy

This strategy lays out the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Partnership’s plans for the three year period from 2020-2023.  It is a requirement of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and this is the second annual review, as required by legislation. 

Statutory and other partners

The city is much better placed to tackle crime and disorder if everyone – local residents and businesses, community and voluntary groups, and city services – work together in a coordinated way.  The local authority, police, health, probation and fire services are statutory partners under the 1998 Act.  However, in practice, the Community Safety Partnership works across a much wider range of partners at different levels and on different topics to work out what needs doing, and who can help. 

There is a need for good information exchange between those concerned, including with residents, so that agencies can listen and respond to the needs of local people.  At the same time local people need to be able find a route through to the services they need or identify ways in which they can respond within their own communities.

As well as the impact on individuals and communities, the negative effects of crime and disorder increase demand on public services. Working in partnership and adopting a ‘whole system approach’ is essential.  Our work contributes to, and overlaps with, the Police & Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan[1], to the council’s Corporate Plan[2], and to measures in the Public Health Outcomes Framework to name a few examples.

Setting our work in context

Politicians and legislators can impact broadly on the legal and social setting in which we all live.  The work of central government departments is also important in our wider partnership.  In March 2016 the Home Office issued their ‘Modern Crime Prevention Strategy’[3].  This argued that although crime is changing in its nature, for example with a growth in ‘cyber crime’, the reasons behind people committing crime – ‘drivers of crime’, listed as opportunity; character; profit; drugs; alcohol and the criminal justice system – are the same. 


















Brighton & Hove and the people in the city






The information in the next two sections has been taken from the Strategic Assessment of Crime and Community Safety 2021.  To request a copy, please contact

Our residents and visitors

People with many different characteristics contribute to the makeup of the local population, and crime and disorder issues impact on people differently. 

The 2011 census found that the city had 273,400 residents and this was estimated to have increased to 291,700 by 2020.  It is predicted that by 2030 it will have reached 303,000.

Compared with England and the South East, Brighton & Hove has fewer children and older people, and more younger adults, particularly in their 20s and early 30s.  Contributing to people in this age group are those who come to the city to study; in 2019/20 there were 38,380 students enrolled at the two local universities.  Also, Brighton & Hove was estimated to have 1,800 short term[4] international students in 2017, with many more visiting for a shorter period.

In 2019 around 10.7 million trips were estimated to have been made to the city by day visitors, up 12% on 2018, with over 5.4 million overnight stays.  This will have reduced significantly in 2000.

At the time of the 2011 census, there were 147 residents employed by the armed services, and in 2018 532 veterans were receiving pension or compensation related to military service, proportionately fewer than the South East and England.

According to the 2011 census, 19.5% of the resident population belonged to a non-White British ethnic group (53,400 people), defined here as Black or Minority Ethnic or BME, an increase of 12% on the 2001 census.  37% of BME residents were ‘White Other than British’, 21% Asian/Asian British, and the mixed/multiple ethnic group made up 20%.

The lesbian, gay, and bisexual population makes up between an estimated 11-15% of our population, equating to between 27,200 and 37,500 residents based on 2020 population estimates.  It is estimated that there are between 1,500 and 2,500 trans adults living in Brighton & Hove, with many more coming to the city as visitors.

In 2020, among residents aged 18 to 64, there were an estimated 38,400 people with a common mental health disorder and 9,100 people with impaired mobility.  There were an estimated 5,900 people aged over 18 with a learning difficulty. 

In 2019/20 9% of city residents surveyed reported low levels of happiness and 27% reported high levels of anxiety, both measures higher than the South East and England. 

The day-to-day activities of 16% of city residents are ‘limited a little’ or ‘limited a lot’ by health problems (Census 2011).  These residents are on average less likely to feel safe in the city.

Regarding children, there were 1,920 Children in Need and 273 children who were the subject of a child protection plan in the city as of March 2021, both proportionally higher than the South East and England.  National evidence shows that people who have been looked after as children are more likely to be unemployed, be involved in crime and be identified as having a substance misuse problem.

Social and economic factors

The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 ranked Brighton & Hove 131st out of 326 of all local authorities in England, slightly more deprived than the England average.  However, the level of deprivation varies widely across the city, with some of the more deprived being in the east.

There were an estimated 8,300 unemployed people in the city in the twelve months up to September 2021.[5]  This represents 4.8% of all those who were economically active[6] and is similar to the position nationally (4.8%) and in the South East (3.9%).

One in five (21%) respondents to the City Tracker survey 2018 reported that they did not feel they would have enough money, after meeting housing costs, in the next year to meet basic living costs such as food and heating.

Between 2.9% and 4.4% of 16-17 year olds (up to 220 young people) were not in education, training or employment in the three months ending February 2021. 

Housing and homelessness

Brighton & Hove had 126,827 homes at the time of the 2011 census, with an average household size of 2.2 occupants. 

The city has fewer owner occupiers and more people renting from private landlords than the average for the South East and England as a whole.

According to the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25, 876 people had been found sleeping rough in a recent two year period in the city.  The cost of housing for people on low incomes remains a problem.

…and what we don’t know

We need to remain aware that not all of the people in the city will feature in the various statistics at our disposal, or come to the attention of services.  This ‘invisible’ or unidentified population may be among the most vulnerable to crime and community safety problems and extra focus is needed in order get help to them if they need it.

Meeting our equalities duty

The Equality Act 2010 requires that public sector bodies consider and take account of how different types of people – those with ‘protected characteristics’ – are impacted by their work.  Our Strategic Assessment in 2019 reported on how different people are affected by crime and safety issues.  The process of determining our priorities and actions takes these findings into account.


















Crime and disorder overview






Nature and scale of crimes

There were 24,604 police recorded crimes in 2020/21, down from 29,393 in 2019/20, with the difference being strongly influenced by Covid.  The crime rate per 1,000 population in 2020/21 was 84.9, a little higher than the average of our group of 15 ‘matched’ partnerships (84.5).  

The pie chart in Fig. 1 shows that violence against the person made up 46% of all recorded crime, with theft offences (incl. vehicle crime) being the next biggest crime group (25%), followed by criminal damage (12%), burglary (4%) and sexual offences (3%).  Compared with 2019/20, all main crime groups showed a drop in number in 2020/21, with acquisitive crimes showing the biggest drop.

14% of all crimes in 2020/21 were related to domestic violence or abuse.

Fig. 1. Total police recorded crime breakdown, 2020/21 (n=24,604)


The line graph (Fig. 2) shows the trend in total police recorded crime over the last ten years. 

Fig. 2. Total police recorded crime, 2011/12 – 2020/21

Numbers of police recorded total crimes showed a decline between 2011/12 and 2013/14.  However, there was a turnaround in 2014/15 and numbers have increased year by year up to 2019/20[7].  However, between 2019/20 and 2020/21 there was a 20% drop, strongly linked to the Covid pandemic.

In the first seven months of 2021/22 violent crimes and sexual offences are showing an increase on the same months of both 2020/21 and 2019/20.  However, other crime types have dropped further than in the same months of 2020/21.

Police recorded ASB incidents showed the reverse trend to that of crimes in 2020/21.  There were 13,436 incidents recorded, up from 7,271 in 2019/20, with this increase being associated with people contravening Covid restrictions.  Up to 2019/20, ASB incidents were showing a long term decline.[8]

More information on recorded crimes and incidents is provided in the Strategic Assessment.14

Crime patterns

The retail and leisure area in the city centre is also the geographical centre for much of the city’s crime and disorder. 

Seasonal patterns often coincide with the peak visitor season when there are more people in the city to both perpetrate and be victims of crime, and when people tend to spend more time outdoors. Certain crimes are more likely to take place at particular times of day, for example violence occurs more frequently on Friday and Saturday nights, linking with the night-time economy.

Offending and reoffending

There were 1,948 offenders (1,889 adults and 59 young people) in 2019/20 in Brighton & Hove.  30% of the adults and 51% of the young people perpetrating crime in this period went on to reoffend in the following 12 months.  These are higher rates than for England & Wales as a whole (25% and 34% respectively).

Alcohol and drug use

Violent crime is frequently associated with alcohol misuse, and habitual drug use can be a driver for acquisitive crimes.3

Measures of alcohol sales and consumption are higher than England, the South East, and also higher than the average of our matched authorities.[9]

Estimates based on modelling from 2016/17 show that, compared with the South East and with England, the proportion of the city’s resident population using opiates or crack cocaine is higher.[10]

Hidden crime and criminal groups

It is necessary to remain aware that crimes may be hidden from sight.  Criminal behaviour continues to evolve while pressures on victims to remain silent can persist.  Organised crime groups can widen the geography of both perpetrators and victims in areas such as child sexual abuse, drug dealing and human trafficking.  Partnerships play an important role in addressing these issues.

Impact on quality of life

National research found that in 2019/20 8% of survey respondents reported feeling a high level of worry about violent crime, 10% about burglary, 19% about fraud, and 7% of car owners had a high level of worry about car crime.  Women tended to worry more than men, as did people from Asian/Asian British or Black/Black British ethnic groups, those in more routine occupations or unemployed, and those living in more deprived areas.[11]

Locally, nearly all residents (96%) surveyed in the 2018 City Tracker survey reported feeling safe in their local area during the day, but after dark this dropped to 80% in their local area and 64% in the city centre.  Females, those with not enough money to meet basic needs, and those with a long term illness or disability reported feeling comparatively less safe than average, especially after dark.

Financial impact

The financial impact of crime is significant.  Estimated costs of crime have been provided by the Home Office and cover, for example, physical/emotional harm, lost output, value of property stolen/damaged, and the cost of health, police and other public services in response to crime.[12] 

The average cost of each crime that takes place is estimated at:

·         £14,100 for a violent crime with injury/£5,900 without injury

·         £5,900 for a domestic burglary

·         £10,300 for a theft of a vehicle/£870 for a theft from a vehicle

·         £8,400 for arson/£1,400 for other criminal damage

·         £39,400 for rape and £6,500 for other sexual offences

Costs are generally higher if they relate to commercial crimes.



















Current landscape













The last few years have seen some significant national and international developments which have affected the landscape in which our work to reduce crime and disorder is set. 

The European Union membership referendum in 2016, which resulted in the UK voting to leave the EU, provided an opportunity for the voicing of different views around immigration.  A sense that the expression of far right views was becoming ‘normalised’ was previously reported, but this has appeared to have lessened. Black Lives Matter demonstrations during 2020 also brought out vocal opposing narratives.

Nationally, the Crime Survey England & Wales reported that, linked to Covid restrictions, in 2020/21 total crime levels excluding fraud and computer misuse had decreased by 19% compared with 2018/19, with theft offences in particular showing a drop.  However, fraud and computer misuse had gone up by 36%, so the overall total number of crimes was similar.[13]

Covid changed the dynamics around community cohesion in a number of ways. While there were numerous examples of support from our local communities to help others in need during the Covid lockdown periods, it also resulted in new contexts for hate incidents to occur, for example around the wearing of masks or stigmatising people of different ethnicities. 

Besides the immediate impact of the Covid pandemic, there is also the potential of longer term issues.  While the government provided a financial cushion for those whose work has been affected by Covid during 2020, the longer term impact on the economy, coupled with rising living costs, may lead to increased hardship.  The negative impact on mental health and the disruption to education are other examples where Covid may have had detrimental effects and result in increased demand for services.

The cost of housing in Brighton & Hove remains an additional pressure, making access to suitable housing for those on lower incomes very difficult.  Inadequate housing may contribute to pressures on those at risk of offending. 

The threat of terrorism remains present nationally.  Since 2019 the threat level has fluctuated between ‘substantial’ meaning that an attack is likely and ‘severe’ meaning an attack is highly likely.  It was raised to ‘severe’ in November 2021, but was reduced once again to ‘substantial’ in February 2022.

Creative ideas which lead to new ways of working effectively, but which cost less or are cost neutral, will continue to be needed.  For example, while the penetration of the internet and social media into daily lives changes the nature of risks, it can also offer new opportunities for public services to engage with communities.  The Covid pandemic accelerated the development of internet-based services.
















Identifying and progressing priorities






Local analysis

Our plans for the three year period from April 2020 to March 2023 were informed initially by the Brighton & Hove Strategic Assessment of Crime and Community Safety 2019. This looked at the crime and community safety picture in the city.  It considered the nature and scale of problems, trends, the impact on communities and individuals, and so on.

The Strategic Assessment 2021[14] reviewed progress on key measures and actions over the last year, and considered the impact of changes in national and local context, including around funding.  This led to conclusions around the strategy should be updated in its third year.

The work for the 2021 Strategic Assessment was carried out jointly by officers with lead responsibility for each priority area and analysts in the council’s Public Health Intelligence Team.

The focus of our partnership strategy

The priorities in this strategy focus on areas where working in partnership is fundamental to achieving progress.  It prioritises work where added value is achieved by working in partnership.

There are three overarching themes in this strategy: violence, abuse and exploitation, anti-social behaviour, and community cohesion and resilience.  The priority areas reflect both national and local priorities, with a particular focus on areas where the impact on victims is high.

Considerations around resources

Budgets of public organisations have been reducing and budgets remain tight. Difficult decisions need to be made about whether to allocate scarce resources to prevention work or to responding to the impact of crimes and supporting victims after they have occurred.  Without investment in prevention work, there is the risk that significant problems will be stored up for the future.

Partnership resources are currently supporting an experienced and skilled workforce.  Withdrawing financial support for the work they carry out risks resulting in a break in continuity of services which will take considerable effort to re-establish.

Monitoring the effectiveness of our work

The impact that we are aiming to achieve through our partnership work is laid out at the beginning of each priority area in this strategy. 

Action plans are drawn up for each of our priority areas, laying out timescales and assigning responsibility for taking the work forward.  Progress is monitored through thematic steering groups or forums, and the Community Safety Partnership Board also keeps progress under review at a more strategic level.

Individual measures of crime and community safety are rarely able to describe the complete picture of underlying problems and do not allow us to fully understand the effectiveness of our work.  Our approach to this is to monitor groups of performance indicators for each priority area which together contribute to the overall picture.  The data need to be carefully interpreted to avoid drawing misplaced conclusions.


















Relevant work of key partners






The work of key partners

There are a number of statutory agencies whose core business is to tackle crime – the police, youth offending service, courts, probation and prison services are some significant ones.  The work of other agencies, for example health and social services, is also key to reducing the ‘drivers’ of crime. 

These partners have their own plans/strategies, and may work across wider geographical areas.  Community Safety Partnerships also exist in East and West Sussex and in some areas of work projects operate across boundaries.

Mentioned below are some important areas of work which are managed by our partners and not described in detail in this strategy document.

Relevant work streams led by others

Children’s services.  Brighton & Hove’s work with young people who are engaged in criminal behaviour is part of the council’s Adolescent Service.  The Youth Justice Plan is integrated within the Complex Adolescent Strategy 2020-23.  It has the following priorities:

·    Divert children away from the Criminal Justice System

·    Gain a better understanding of why children reoffend in order to respond appropriately

·    Maintain a low number of custodial sentences and to avoid wherever possible

·    Embed contextual safeguarding approaches and ensure a robust multi-agency response to child exploitation

·    Increase service user participation

·    Ensure a shared understanding of children and young people’s substance use, and respond appropriately to reduce harm caused.

This work is overseen by the Adolescent Strategic Management Board which reports to the Community Safety Partnership Board.

Integrated Offender Management (IOM).  There is pan-Sussex operational guidance for the management of adult offenders to reduce reoffending with a Brighton & Hove IOM delivery group.  This sets out how police, probation, courts, prisons, health, local authorities and others can support the needs of offenders.  The work is overseen by the Sussex Criminal Justice Board.  The government has restructured probation services, and from June 2021 there was a shift to a single national probation service, moving away from the previous two-tier system.

Alcohol misuse.  The Alcohol Programme Board takes a strategic lead here.  Work is structured around the themes of:

·    health promotion and reducing harmful drinking

·    treatment and recover and

·    licensing and the night-time economy.

Drugs misuse.  The Substance Misuse Programme Board oversees work around drugs misuse.  The group’s work is structured around the themes of:

·    health promotion

·    harm reduction for users

·    responding to emerging trends

·    treatment and recovery and

·    the availability of drugs.

Mental health services. Many offenders have needs around mental health, often compounded by alcohol and/or drugs misuse. The Police and Court Liaison and Diversion Scheme is a scheme whereby people who are arrested or held in custody are assessed for needs around mental health, alcohol or substance misuse, and can be referred to treatment services.

Homelessness and rough sleeping.  The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2026 has priorities under the headings of prevention, interventions and sustainability.

Private sector housing.  The licensing of private landlords includes clauses to manage anti-social behaviour.

Serious and Organised Crime.  Sussex Police take the lead on tackling serious and organised crime which impacts across communities and is associated with, for example, drugs, fraud, acquisitive crime, child sexual exploitation and abuse, modern slavery and human trafficking. The cost to society of serious and organised crime is estimated at many billions of pounds a year.[15]

Adult and child safeguarding.  The city’s multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Board works across agencies to raise awareness and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults, and enable people to live safe and secure lives.

The Safeguarding Children Partnership co-ordinates work by all agencies and individuals to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. 

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.  Core business of ESFRS is to reduce the risk of and harm from fires in people’s homes and in communities.  They work closely with partners, including housing providers, and local communities to provide awareness and education on fire safety in the home and fit smoke alarms where appropriate.

ESFRS works in the context of a mixed and ageing housing stock, an ageing population and vulnerabilities of some residents, overlapping with key populations of interest in the wider community safety context and have a commitment working in partnership around safeguarding.

Road safety.  The council’s long term Local Transport Plan includes goals to create streets and neighbourhoods that are safe and welcoming for people to move around and use socially.  Brighton & Hove City Council is a member of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.

‘Cyber crime’.  There is a joint police Surrey and Sussex Cyber Crime Unit which focuses on crimes which are enabled or perpetrated using communication technologies and the internet.

Regulatory services. Regulatory services and other teams within the local authority, for example, environmental health, may help to address issues such as anti-social behaviour. 

The police and council licensing teams and other responsible authorities under the Licensing Act have a responsibility to ensure the licensed premises operate in such a way that they do not cause public nuisance or compromise public safety.






Priority theme




Violence, exploitation and abuse























Serious violence and exploitation

including modern slavery and human trafficking


Our aim: There is less harm caused to individuals and communities in our city by serious violence, knife crime, organised crime, drugs and exploitation


What we want to achieve

·         Fewer people harmed by serious violence and to prevent vulnerable people from becoming involved with organised crime networks

·         Safeguard vulnerable people who are being exploited and provide a safe effective pathway to enable vulnerable people to exit involvement with organised crime networks

·         All parts of the community to be free of the fear of violence, drugs and exploitation, have confidence to report and an increase in awareness of all forms of exploitation, drug harm and serious violent crime

·         A thriving night-time economy free from drug and alcohol-related violence.

·         A stronger preventative approach to serious violence and exploitation and a decrease in drug-gang related activity through the better use of all available data.

Why this is a priority

Serious violence, or the threat of violence, can have a negative impact on individuals, communities and the city as a whole.  It can undermine how safe people feel and their wellbeing.  Out of a range of crime groups, offences of violence with injury are estimated have the highest cost impact for the city when costs to individuals and services are all considered.  If fear of violence deters residents and visitors from engaging in what the city has to offer in terms of leisure or commerce, that limits people’s lives and poses an economic cost to the city.

In 2018 the government published a Serious Violence Strategy, seeking to ensure that key agencies in all local areas tackle serious violence in partnership.

Brighton & Hove Community Safety Partnership invited the Home Office Violence and Vulnerability Unit to undertake a review of the scale and impact of all forms of exploitation in the city in March 2018.  This led to violence, vulnerability and exploitation being included into the previous Community Safety and Crime Reduction Strategy in 2018.  In addition to this, Brighton & Hove City Council has undertaken an internal review of its compliance in adhering to statutory duties under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

Crimes involving exploitation often involve the criminal exploitation of children, young people and vulnerable adults on a physical, sexual or financial basis.  This is a major concern nationally and within Brighton & Hove.  There is national recognition that the links between criminal exploitation, modern slavery and human trafficking are significant, so these crime types have been absorbed into a wider exploitation agenda.

Key facts

Serious violence happens in different contexts: alcohol-related violence, including in connection with the night-time economy, domestic violence, and organised violence (eg. drug-related violence and exploitation). 

The restrictions imposed on people’s day to day activities due to Covid, particularly during 2020/21 when socialising and access to pubs and clubs was curtailed, were associated with fewer violent crimes and assault-related attendances at A&E.  However, over the course of 2021 numbers of violence with injury crimes and attendances at A&E have been rising to a point approaching pre-Covid levels, and violent crimes in the city centre at night at weekends jumped up strongly during the summer of 2021.

Compared with 2020/21, in the first seven months of 2021/22 a higher proportion of A&E assault-related attendances resulted from an assault in outdoor spaces or linked to a licensed premises, and a lower proportion happened in a dwelling.  There was a slight increase in the number of A&E assault-related attendances due to stab injuries in the first seven months of 2021/22 compared with the same months of 2020/21.

Crimes involving exploitation tend to be committed in private spaces.  There are many factors which make someone vulnerable to exploitation, with more than one factor present increasing the risk.  These may include poor mental health, substance misuse, poverty or debt, school exclusion, experience of coercion or abuse, isolation and homelessness.  The Multiple Complex Needs Joint Strategic Needs Assessment found high levels of needs across a number of these risk factors for a significant proportion of city residents.  The following reflect levels of vulnerability for some of these risk factors:

·         There were 1,104 episodes of children going missing from home or social care in 2019/20, dropping to 987 in 2020/21. In the first half of 2021/22 there have again been proportionally fewer episodes at 407.  An average of 27 children per quarter were reported as missing from social care in 2020/21, rising to an average of 31 per quarter in the first half of 2021/22 and an average of 68 children missing from home in 2020/21, dropping to an average of 63 per quarter in the first half of 2021/22.

·         In October 2021 there were 31 children, identified as being at risk or child sexual exploitation or child criminal exploitation, or both forms of exploitation.  This has dropped from 40 in October 2020 and 68 in February 2020. 

·         The number of modern slavery offences recorded by the police in the city in dropped from 55 in 2019/20 to 50 in 2020/21 and in the first half of 2021/22 has proportionally dropped further to 7 crimes.

In terms of ‘county lines’, gangs involving drug dealers from London and elsewhere may establish a local base such as in this city.  Typically they take over the homes of local vulnerable adults (who are often drug users) by force or coercion in a practice referred to as cuckooing.  They then use the premises to deal drugs from and recruit local vulnerable (mainly young) people as drugs runners.  This leads to anti-social behaviour, violence and safeguarding concerns.  There has not been a significant increase in cuckooing cases during Covid and only slight increases during the full lockdown periods.  As of September 2021, there were 10 cuckooed properties identified in the city, the same as 12 months before, but down from 15 in May 2020.  9 new cuckooed properties have been identified in the first half of 2021/22. 

Current context

Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) has recruited to the new role of Drug Impact Reduction Coordinator (in the Safer Communities Team). The central aim of the role is to reduce the harm caused by drugs to our communities. Key to this will be working with the council’s Community Engagement Team and other partners to increase public confidence in reporting incidents of drug harm, and to identify safeguarding concerns in neighbourhoods. This will enable us to focus resources appropriately.

Part of the requirement of this new post is to deliver a citywide Drug Summit to work with residents to effectively address drug harm in our communities. In preparation for this, smaller community engagement events (mini summits) are planned to listen to residents and respond effectively. Two events are planned for April 2022. These will involve residents, Sussex Police officers, elected members, council housing, social housing providers and relevant support services such as substance misuse.

In December 2021, central government produced a new drugs strategy, ‘From Harm to Hope: a 10-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives’. The strategic priorities focus on breaking drug supply chains, delivering a world-class treatment and recovery system, and achieving a generational shift in demand for drugs. Breaking drug supply is a key component of the current Exploitation and Serious Violence Action Plans.

These priorities will inform ongoing discussions with partnership organisations. Despite the government’s strategy being largely concerned with public health priorities, other elements are already aligned with areas of action set out in our current local Exploitation Action Plan, particularly those focused on preventing exploitation and/or supporting those who have been exploited. The government strategy’s acknowledgement of the harm caused by organised drug gangs and consequent exploitation is reflected in the priorities for the Drug Impact Reduction Coordinator post. There is an expectation for new local delivery partnerships, to be accountable for an outcomes framework. Discussions around governance and responsibility are planned for early 2022.

The Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) ‘hub and spoke’ model continues to develop across the county. The hub is a core team made up of a VRP Manager, Analyst and Project Coordinator. The Brighton & Hove ‘spoke’ VRP is governed by the Brighton & Hove Violence Reduction Partnership (BHVRP) Executive Group and is co-chaired by Sussex Police and BHCC. Sussex VRP (and therefore BHVRP) continues to receive year-on-year funding from the Home Office towards interventions, prevention work and coordination of the partnership at a local level. The Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) Exploitation Subgroup continues to have governance of the Exploitation Action Plan with representation from the local authority, police and health as key safeguarding partners. The Exploitation Subgroup began to meet bi-monthly instead of quarterly due to the ongoing impact of COVID. This decision has now been made permanent. Key representatives from the BHSCP Exploitation Subgroup attend the BHVRP Executive Group.

BHVRP continues to develop operational subgroups focusing on data, communities, locations, victims and perpetrators.

The other main area of development in the city has been in relation to improving our systemic responses to adults with multiple complex needs, something that was highlighted as a significant area of concern in last year’s strategic assessment. BHCC was part of a successful bid to what was then the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (now the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) as part of the national Changing Futures programme. This brings £4.4m to Sussex over a three-year period and focuses on systems change, trauma-informed care, lived experience, data and service delivery.  Brighton & Hove’s Safeguarding Adults Board has recently undertaken a thematic learning review related to women with multiple complex needs and the recommendations from this review are set to be published in early 2022. Together with learning from previous Safeguarding Adult Reviews, these recommendations are to be considered alongside outcomes from the Big Lottery-funded Sussex Fulfilling Lives project to explore how people with multiple complex needs, who may slip between statutory and non-statutory services, can have better outcomes. All this work will now be overseen by the Sussex Changing Futures programme.

Our plans

Due to the significant crossover of work contained within the previously separate serious violence and exploitation strategy sections and action plans, they are being merged into this single serious violence and exploitation strategy section, supported by a violence and exploitation reduction action plan.  There is already work underway to review the relationship between current governance structures such as the BHVRP and BHSCP Exploitation Subgroup to reduce duplication and support operational capacity.

There will be a focus on each of the BHVRP subgroups to ensure that they encompass all elements of exploitation, drug harm and serious violence.

As part of the Sussex Changing Futures programme, we will explore the possibility of a multi-agency risk meeting for adults with multiple complex needs.

We will develop and deliver drugs summits as part of our greater focus on communications, education and training. This will be reflected in the action plans with a particular focus on drug harm, modern slavery and human trafficking.

Breaking drug supply, as per the new government drug strategy, continues to be reflected in the combined action plan. BHVRP Communities Subgroup will continue to engage with minoritised communities in the city and use their experiences to shape future activity.

Further development work needs to be undertaken in relation to Operation Cuckoo and how we respond to reducing vulnerabilities of adults who are complicit in drug dealing yet who may at the same time be subject to exploitation themselves.

The outcome of the task and finish working group exploring how the city supports refugees, migrants and asylum seekers may influence activity undertaken by the city’s Anti-Slavery Network.










Domestic & sexual violence and abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls


Our aim:    Everyone, from child to adult, can live safe lives without the threat or experience of domestic and/or sexual violence and abuse (including stalking and harassment and harmful practices)


What we want to achieve

·         A city where domestic and sexual violence and abuse is not tolerated by our communities or our organisations.

·         Victims to be believed and not blamed, treated with dignity and respect, and supported to feel safe within their community, knowing that their offenders are being worked with to change their behaviour and/or brought to justice.

·         All sectors, services, neighbourhoods and communities across the city to recognise that domestic and sexual violence is everyone’s business and to overcome barriers to progress.  Responsibility for tackling the issue needs to be truly shared.

·         More prevention and early intervention work.  Evidence based approaches are needed to change attitudes and challenge behaviours in our communities so victims are protected and the cycle of offending is broken.

·         High quality trauma-informed service pathways.  Coordinated and accessible interventions and support to reflect what people tell us they want and need.

·         A stronger criminal and civil justice response to perpetrators, and the development of sustainable proactive intervention and preventative programmes.

·         Robust partnership working at both a strategic and operational level across a broad coalition of partners to enable consistent quality services, working across services and sectors and focusing on positive outcomes for victims.

Why this is a priority

In November 2021, the government declared domestic and sexual abuse and violence and the wider forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) an “urgent national priority”. This means all forms of VAWG have been added to the strategic policing requirement. The national framework for delivery was published in December 2021 and reflects that VAWG must be a strategic priority for all forces and by extension Community Safety Partnerships.

Incidents of domestic and sexual abuse and violence and the wider forms of VAWG occur in private and public spaces. However, the true extent of all forms of VAWG is unknown. Many survivors never report crime incidents or reach out for support.

Key facts

Domestic violence and abuse is a prolific crime.  Setting aside those which remain unreported, there were 5,800 police recorded crimes and incidents of domestic abuse in the city in 2020/21.  The initial months of Covid restrictions resulted in enhanced levels, but then numbers dropped during the second half of the year, rising again in the first half of 2021/22, broadly rising as Covid restrictions were tightened, and falling as they were relaxed.

There were 989 police recorded sexual offences in the city in 2020/21, including 751 serious sexual offences.  There has been a rising trend in these offences over the recent years, and numbers have continued to increase in the first half of 2021/22.  Sexual offences often happen in the context of the night-time economy as demonstrated by location and temporal patterns.  When Covid restrictions were imposed on clubs and pubs, numbers were consequently depressed.  The sexual offence of ‘upskirting’ was introduced in April 2019, although fewer than five offences have been recorded in the 18 month period up to September 2021.

Regarding other VAWG crime types, there has been a year on year increase in the number of stalking offences since it became a crime in 2012, reaching 549 in 2020/21, although numbers dropped back by 13% in the first six months of 2021/22 compared with the same months in 2020/21.  Coercive control was introduced as a crime in 2015 and also saw a year on year increase up to 2019/20 when 273 offences were recorded, although numbers dropped back to 231 in 2020/21 and have shown a further decrease in the first six months of 2021/22.  In both cases, the rising trend was likely to have been strongly influenced by increased awareness by services and the public.

There were seven honour-based violence crimes in 2020/21, compared with ten in 2019/20 and 11 in 2018/19.  Local evidence of other harmful practices (forced marriage and FGM) is scarce, but it is necessary to remain vigilant to pick up on any cases where support can be provided to those affected.

The weekly MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) has continued to meet with good attendance from partners. There were 666 high risk cases heard at Brighton & Hove MARAC in the 12 months up to September 2021. This represents to 58 cases per 10,000 of the population, higher than the national average of 46 per 10,000. Compared with national rates, disabled and LGBT survivors are overrepresented in Brighton & Hove MARAC data, while Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) survivors are underrepresented. 

Current context

From April 2022, Brighton & Hove’s strategic response to domestic abuse, sexual violence and VAWG will be coordinated by a new unit, which will sit within the council’s Safer Communities Team.  A priority focus for the unit will be to continue to consult on VAWG with those with protected characteristics to ensure they are able to access tailored services. Another key focus will be the development of an enhanced data collection set for domestic abuse, sexual violence and VAWG for the city.  The unit will continue to explore potential funding streams to improve the capacity of local offer work to tackle VAWG.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduced a range of new duties, and the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 Commencement Schedule set out the dates for each section of the Act to come into effect. The new duties include provisions for the protection for victims and witnesses in legal proceedings, special measures in family proceedings for victims of domestic abuse, and new duties for housing which include granting secure tenancies in cases of domestic abuse. The Act further extends police powers to tackle perpetrators with the introduction of Domestic Abuse Protection Notices (DAPN) and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPO), both of which come into effect from 2023.

The Act requires local authorities to ensure there is adequate support in safe accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse. In response to the Act, Brighton & Hove has developed an enhanced housing pathway for survivors (more details below).

A further requirement of the Act is the formation of a Domestic Abuse Partnership Board. Brighton & Hove will partner with the other Sussex councils on the pan-Sussex Domestic Abuse Partnership Board. The Board membership consists of statutory and voluntary sector organisations. The workplan of the Board and subgroups will include implementation of the pan-Sussex Strategy for Domestic Abuse Accommodation and Support, 2021-2024. The stakeholder and public consultation for the strategy highlighted an ongoing need to ensure inclusive services for all survivors.

The recent successful pan-Sussex bid for Home Office Safer Streets funding for the Safety of Women at Night in Public Spaces means that Brighton & Hove will benefit from additional resources.  These include: work in schools on healthy relationships; Bystander to Upstander sessions to support people in recognising and challenging unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour; street pastor/street angel and beach patrol schemes; Sussex #MakeHerFeelSafe campaign aimed at addressing unacceptable behaviour by men and boys; VAWG community navigators; and the installation of additional lighting and CCTV in city centre locations, as well as mobile CCTV units.

Our plans

The local authority will continue to work with partners to improve the city-wide response to all forms of VAWG. There are several specialist services in Brighton & Hove, but where we do not have the specialism locally, we will work with national services to enhance local capacity and understanding for meeting the needs of those who have experienced VAWG.

The national Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy outlines the government’s ambition and commitment to tackling VAWG. The priorities of the national strategy are prevention, supporting victims, pursuing perpetrators, and strengthening the system.  In 2022, Brighton & Hove will launch a new Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which will align with the pan-Sussex Strategic Framework for Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse 2020-24, the pan-Sussex Strategy for Domestic Abuse Accommodation and Support 2021-24, as well as the national strategy.  Informed by the findings from recent public and stakeholder consultation, the forthcoming Brighton & Hove strategy will work with communities and young people, and support the local response to wider forms of VAWG including harmful practices.

National government has committed to improve the response to rape following the recommendations of the End-to-End Rape Review. The review highlighted that prosecutions and convictions for adult rape have fallen nationally, by 59% and 47% respectively, between 2015/16 and 2019/20, and the review is supported by a framework for improvement. The Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and VAWG Unit will work with partners to improve the local response to rape and sexual violence.

At the time of writing Brighton & Hove has one Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) in progress. The findings from this will inform practice in Brighton & Hove.

In view of relatively low numbers of BAME survivors receiving support through the MARAC, the new Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and VAWG Unit will review work with BAME communities to ensure adequate capacity building. Targeted work will be delivered to raise awareness of local services and how to refer to MARAC.

Brighton & Hove MARAC also has a high repeat victimisation rate at 55% in 2020/21 compared to the Safe Lives recommended repeat rate level of between 28% and 40%.  The new Unit will target work to address the high repeat rate and also consider how we work with repeat perpetrators to disrupt their behaviour.

A new Brighton & Hove multi-agency Domestic Abuse Operational Group provides professional and workforce expertise to maintain and improve partnership pathways. It will have oversight of a multi-agency communications strategy and action plan led by the local authority, police and health for delivering regular, clear messaging, ensuring children, young people and vulnerable adults are aware of support services available.

Brighton & Hove City Council will commence White Ribbon UK accreditation during 2022/23.  The White Ribbon Campaign recognises the positive role that men play in preventing violence against women, based on the understanding that most men are not violent. The White Ribbon Campaign aligns with the global 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women. On 25 November people show their support for the campaign by pledging never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls in all its forms by wearing a white ribbon. 

The new Domestic Abuse Housing Pathway which includes a co-located Housing IDVA (Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor), Flexible Fund, Floating Support and Sanctuary Scheme will enhance the options available to survivors of domestic abuse in the city. The initiative will provide a diverse range of support to survivors to ensure the accommodation they have, including private housing, social housing or any other accommodation type, is safe.





Priority theme



Anti-social behaviour




























Anti-social behaviour


Our aim: Anti-social behaviour causes less harm to individuals and communities



What we want to achieve

·     Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is addressed appropriately and consistently, making best use of available tools and powers

·     ASB committed by priority and repeat perpetrators is reduced

·     ASB, risk and harm associated with the street community and unauthorised encampments is reduced

·     Harm caused by ASB to our most vulnerable residents is reduced

·     Youth ASB is reduced.

·     Successes are communicated to key partners and communities

 Anti-social behaviour is 
 (a) conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person,
 (b) conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or
 (c) conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person.

Why this is a priority

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can adversely affect individuals, communities, and the environment. 

ASB affects quality of life and, at its worst, can have a significant negative impact on people’s lives and feelings of wellbeing. 

Persons committing ASB often have their own vulnerabilities such as substance misuse and/or mental health issues.

Key facts

National guidance and legislation in response to Covid has impacted on the level, type, and location of ASB, including that recorded by the police.  Prior to Covid, police-recorded ASB incidents were on a long-term decline, but there was a sharp upturn as the police responded to incidents involving people contravening government restrictions or neighbourhood disputes.  During periods of Covid restrictions the hotspot for ASB incidents had shifted away from the city centre, but the first six months of 2021/22 has seen it returned to the city centre.  There was a mention of noise in 20% of police recorded ASB incidents during this period. By the end of 2021 recorded incidents had returned to pre-Covid levels.

Reports of ASB to the council’s Community Safety Casework Team also show the highest number of reports to be in city centre wards, particularly St Peter’s & North Laine, Regency and Queen’s Park.  St Peter’s & North Laine also became a target for criminal damage involving graffiti, as well as incidents of drug litter, which was also reported in various locations along the seafront and in public toilets.

Current context

The Violence Reduction Partnership and Brighton & Hove City Council’s (BHCC) Youth Grants programme has allowed the commissioning of extra necessary diversionary services to address youth ASB.

The newly implemented Joint Action Group (JAG) has successfully brought together key partners to work together and put in place operational action plans to address emerging priority ASB concerns across the city.  However, current budgetary pressures resulting from BHCC’s necessary response to COVID may cause further cuts to council services and those of partners who significantly contribute to this work.

The removal of the “Everybody In” policy for homeless people and the end to the moratorium on evictions that were implemented due to COVID are likely to result in a rise in street homelessness and a possible increase in ASB associated with the street community.

Our plans

The council’s Safer Communities Team will continue to co-ordinate strategic work to tackle ASB across the city in partnership with the police and other key partners. 

The monthly Partnership Tactical Tasking Command Group and newly implemented JAG will agree and review Community Safety Partnership operational priorities and ensure that available resources are appropriately deployed.

The Community Safety Casework Team will continue to provide advice and guidance to a wide range of professionals, for example local social housing providers and supported accommodation providers, on best practice in addressing ASB and reducing harm.

Where appropriate, we will make use of the powers introduced in the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014, particularly to address behaviour which causes the most harm, such as cuckooing and associated ASB/exploitation, ASB associated with the street community and unauthorised encampments, graffiti, and also to address the behaviour of repeat perpetrators. We will also use restorative practice where appropriate to reduce harm.

Multi-agency work to address harm associated with the street community will be managed through the six-weekly Street Community Partnership Meeting, and the monthly Hate and ASB Risk Assessment Conference (HASBRAC) will manage the harm caused to victims of ASB and address the behaviour of priority and repeat perpetrators. 

To address youth ASB and to stop young people involved in ASB becoming prolific offenders, we will continue to commission diversionary activities funded by the Violence Reduction Partnership and Youth Grants programme.

The local authority will continue to implement its new graffiti strategy with the aim of reducing the amount of time graffiti vandalism spends unremoved. The strategy encourages statutory undertakers and large businesses to remove graffiti from their property and allows the council to do that work by default, charging for its time and resources.

Work with partners, whether from the community, voluntary or statutory sector is central to our effectiveness. This includes keeping in close communication with elected members and residents through Local Action Teams and residents’ and community groups. The JAG will co-ordinate this communication with partners and communities.





Priority theme



Community cohesion and resilience


























Hate incidents and crimes



Our aim: An increase in trust and confidence in statutory services, fewer hate incidents and crimes, and a reduction in harm to individuals and communities



What we want to achieve

·           Trust and confidence in local services is increased so that individuals and communities feel confident to engage with those services

·           Hate incidents and crimes and the harm they cause is reduced

·           Hate incidents are addressed appropriately and consistently, making best use of available tools and powers

·           Hate incidents committed by repeat perpetrators are reduced

·           Successes are communicated to key partners and communities



 A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because of their gender identity.

Why this is a priority

People harmed by incidents perpetrated against them because of personal attributes relating to disability, ethnicity/race, religion/faith, sexual orientation or transgender identity tell us this has a significant effect on their quality of life and wellbeing.

People harmed by hate crimes are often more emotionally impacted than persons harmed by other types of crime.

Key facts

Government restrictions imposed due to the pandemic had a direct impact on the number of hate crimes and incidents which often occur in public places or are linked to the night-time economy.  Since the onset of the pandemic numbers have tended to be higher when restrictions were less stringent, and lower when restrictions were at their most stringent.  Prior to the pandemic there had been a gradually increasing trend in hate crimes and incidents recorded by the police.

Over the past year Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) has continued to deliver a package of actions under the Anti-Racism Pledge. The Racial Harassment Forum completed the evaluation of the “Break the Silence” reporting campaign in the summer of 2021.  Its findings showed an increased understanding of what constitutes a hate incident following the campaign and also highlighted the importance of agencies providing feedback to community members on their reported cases. 

National narratives have drawn attention to migrant crossings leading to increased risk of anti-migrant hate incidents.  Also with the Home Office’s use of hotels in Brighton & Hove as accommodation for asylum seekers, there is potential for these narratives to have growing local impact. In 2020/21 there were 582 racist and 55 religiously motivated incidents and crimes recorded by the police in the city, and in the first nine months of 2021/22 there were 502 racist and 43 religiously motivated incidents and crimes. 

At different stages of the pandemic LGBTQ communities reported loss of safe spaces, with LGBTQ community spaces and commercial venues closed.  They reported heightened risk of being targeted with hate incidents in other venues.  Switchboard reported that more than one in five survey respondents had experienced unsafe living situations during the pandemic. In 2020/21 there were 257 LGB and 48 transphobic incidents and crimes recorded by the police in the city, and 232 LGB and 44 transphobic incidents and crimes in the first nine months of 2021/22.

With the easing of lockdown and the introduction of guidelines on distancing and face coverings there was anecdotal information about an increase in disability hate incidents, in particular targeting those with hidden disabilities who are exempt from guidelines.  Police-recorded disability hate incidents and crimes are low in number, with 65 recorded in the 2020/21, and 55 in the first nine months of 2021/22.

Current context

The loss of the Communities Co-ordinator post in March 2022 due to the removal of Home Office funding, will impact the local authority’s ability to take forward some of the actions plan objectives earmarked in the 2022/23 action plan, including supporting the Upstanders Network and the delivery of third-party reporting centres.

The budgetary pressures due to BHCC’s necessary response to Covid may cause further cuts to non-statutory services, both BHCC and partners, who significantly contribute to partnership working to address hate incidents and crimes and support those persons harmed by such behaviour.

Any further Covid restrictions may limit officers being able to work outside and/or conduct home visits and face to face interventions, and impact upon all partners to undertake ongoing work to address hate incidents and build trust and confidence in communities.

Our plans

The Housing, Neighbourhoods & Communities directorate will continue to co-ordinate strategic work to reduce the harm caused by hate incidents across the city in partnership with the police and other key partners. The Community Safety Casework Team and the Communities, Equalities and Third Sector Team will provide advice and guidance to a wide range of professionals regarding best practice in addressing hate incidents and reducing harm.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced powers which we will make use of where appropriate, particularly to address behaviour of repeat hate incident perpetrators. We will also use restorative practice where appropriate to reduce harm. 

The monthly Hate and ASB Risk Assessment Conference (HASBRAC) meeting will manage the harm caused to victims of hate incidents and address the behaviour of priority and repeat perpetrators. 

We will seek to increase community and individual knowledge of, and trust and confidence in, statutory services to increase the reporting of hate incidents and deliver third party reporting centres and mechanisms across the city.

We will continue work with education providers to ensure that bullying is consistently addressed using best hate incident practice and develop preventative educational programmes for hate incident perpetrators.

Working with partners, whether from the community, voluntary or statutory sector is central to our work.  This will include keeping in close communication with elected members and local residents through Local Action Teams and residents’ and community groups and facilitating dialogue and joint working among diverse community groups.


Challenging extremism


Our aim: A cohesive city where extremist narratives are challenged and people are protected from the harms of extremism


What we want to achieve

·           Services and partnerships understand the nature of extremism occurring in our city and work together effectively to reduce the risk and harm of extremism.

·           Empowered individuals, community groups and communities recognise extremist narratives and are confident and able to challenge these narratives

·           Diverse community groups work collaboratively and visibly together and with services to stand against all forms of extremism, building cohesion and resilience against divisive extremist narratives. 




With the introduction of the national Counter-Extremism Strategy in 2015, an expectation was placed on Local Authorities to deliver this strategy in their local area.  Following strategic assessment, it was agreed to introduce a Challenging Extremism priority to the Brighton & Hove Community Safety Strategy.  The Communities Coordinator was recruited in 2017 with Home Office funding to implement the strategy objectives.  This work included raising the profile of the strategy, developing the Upstanders Network, work to challenge underlying hate narratives and encourage reporting of hate crime tackle, and supporting community groups to gain funding for Building a Stronger Britain Together projects (which are now complete).

For the year 2021/22 the Home Office requested that, now this initial embedding work on the counter-extremism strategy was complete, the Community Coordinators re-focus on wider crime types (including hate crime) whilst maintaining the same mechanisms of collaborative work with community groups.  Therefore work relating to hate crime and the Upstanders Network has continued under the Hate Incidents and Crimes section of this strategy, although following the national spending review, funding for the Communities Coordinator post concluded in March 2022.

Issues relating to extremism are now managed under Prevent (see next section).














Our aim: Individuals, institutions and communities are resilient to all forms of terrorism and extremism, harm is reduced, and people have higher levels of trust and confidence.


What we want to achieve

·         Terrorisms and extremisms are better understood, and frontline staff, partners and communities are better equipped to challenge them

·         Individuals vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and extremism are identified at an early stage and supported to reduce risk

·         Individuals at risk of re-engaging in terrorism related activities are identified and supported to reduce risks and rehabilitation

·         Key sectors and institutions are better able to manage risks including those posed by extremist speakers, events and groups

·         Improved compliance with the Prevent Duty is achieved

·         Cohesive communities are resilient to the challenges posed by international, national and local critical incidents, and the risk of harm caused to individuals and communities is reduced.



Why this is a priority

Prevent is a statutory duty and requires ‘specified authorities’ ‘to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.  The Channel Duty requires vulnerable individuals to be supported before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who want them to embrace terrorism, and before they become involved in criminal terrorist-related activity.

Terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to the UK’s national security.  A step change in terrorist threat was noted in 2017 with five terrorist incidents in the UK, and a further nine terrorist incidents have occurred since 2017, three of those in 2020 and two in 2021.  Additionally, 32 terrorist plots (18 international terrorism plots and twelve extreme right-wing plots) have been successfully disrupted by the police and security agencies in the UK since March 2017, seven of those during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Two further extreme-right wing organisations were proscribed in 2021.  The number of disrupted plots and proscribed organisations evidence an increase in the extreme right-wing terrorism threat.  Furthermore, counter terrorism investigation numbers have increased to over 800, although the number of arrests has reduced. 

In November 2021, the UK terrorism threat level was raised to ‘Severe’, meaning an attack is highly likely.  The threat level was increased following two terrorist incidents occurring in the UK within a month: the tragic murder of Sir David Amess MP in October; and an explosion in a taxi in Liverpool.  The national threat level was reduced again to ‘Substantial’ in February 2022.  Northern Ireland related terrorism remains a serious threat, particularly in Northern Ireland itself. 

Terrorist attacks not only cause loss of life and economic damage, but they also fuel community tensions, and damage public confidence and community cohesion.  International and national incidents impact on inter-community relations locally.  Right-wing and Daesh/ Al-Qaida-inspired terrorist groups feed off one another.  The most damaging impact is seen in ‘normalisation’ of these discourses and an associated reduction in challenges/ oppositional voices.  Unless the ideologies and the ideologue are challenged and recruitment to these groups stopped, the cycle of violence, criminality and hate incidents will continue with significant resource implications across partners and significant impact on communities.

All of this combines to paint a picture of a sustained and high tempo threat with significant impact.  It takes a whole society approach to effectively tackle terrorism. Partnership between communities, statutory and voluntary services is crucial in countering terrorism and building resilience.

Key facts

There were 188 arrests in Great Britain for terrorism-related activity in the 12 months ending September 2021, the lowest for ten years. A record number of those taken into custody were children, comprising one in eight people arrested on suspicion of terror offences.

As the number of extreme-right-wing investigations grow, twice as many terror suspects arrested in the UK are ‘White’ (54%), compared to those of ‘Asian’ ethnicity (26%), and the proportion has been growing.

National Channel data published by the Home Office revealed that there has been a decline in overall referrals in 2020/21, with 4,915 individuals referred due to concerns that they were vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and 688 people received Channel support.  The proportion of individuals who received Channel support due to right-wing extremism has increased steadily over the years reaching 46% in 2020/21, up from 26% in 2015/16.  A majority of individuals referred to Channel and who consented to receive support were aged 20 years or under, and male.

Key local threats continue to arise from the extreme right-wing terrorism and self-initiated terrorists (individual/s who may be inspired by the rhetoric of groups or causes across all extremist perspectives to carry out attacks). The extreme right-wing terrorism threat has increased with online space providing a major platform for this growth. Extreme right-wing groups/ influencers are likely to exploit the issue of local asylum provision in order to promote grievances, increase support and gain purchase in the city.

The risk from ‘Al-Qaida’ or ‘Daesh’ and affiliated or inspired terrorisms has continued with a rise in referrals related to this concern nationally and locally.  A city resident has been prosecuted for a terrorism offence.

Increased risks are noted from accessing online materials, forums, influencers, social media, and gaming platforms from across the spectrum of extremisms and ideologies.  Individuals may also move from being a consumer of online content to disseminating and producing online content. 

The extreme right-wing have significantly expanded their reach to young people online during Covid-19.  During this period increased vulnerabilities to radicalisation have been reported with reduced protective circles around vulnerable individuals which could be exploited by groomers.  Combined, these factors present long term risks.

Extremists have exploited the pandemic to spread disinformation and misinformation. Conspiracy theories have proliferated during this period. Extreme right-wing narratives are tailored to cohere with a conspiratorial worldview, such as the ‘Great Replacement’ or ’White genocide’ and ‘Great Reset’.  The narratives variously intersect with anti-establishment, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, anti-left and anti-migrant tropes and often include call for violence. 

Conspiracy theories not only fuel division but also mobilise audiences around supposed threats to society and can present a significant communications challenge.  The conspiracy theories pose potential threat by engendering distrust in their audiences and encourage violence towards the government.  This also demonstrates growing relationship between misinformation propagated online and terrorism/ violence (for example the Capitol Hill Riots in the USA).

Different topical themes such as Brexit, Covid-19, anti-racist protests, environmental concerns, and anti-vaccine have been used by extremist and terrorist groups of all perspectives to expand their reach into communities, promote ‘victimisation narrative’, raise their profile, increase their membership, radicalise and recruit.  Some extremist and terrorist actors have demonstrated the degree to which they grasp the mutability of public perceptions and identify the prominence of certain issues in wider discourse to draw people into their causes.

Current context

Since 2009, the Safer Communities Team have been delivering on Prevent in the city in partnership with our communities.  The city has been identified as a Prevent priority area and supported with dedicated posts and projects to mitigate strategic risks since April 2015. However, the city will no longer be a Prevent priority area after March 2022 and the financial support from the Home Office will cease.  The Prevent Board will therefore need to manage and mitigate strategic risks for the city and continue to deliver on the statutory Prevent and Channel Duties from the mainstream budget.

The city will continue to receive funding to deliver the Channel Pilot where the local authority delivers on some of the functions that were previously delivered by the police.  The pilot is additional to the Channel Duty on the council and is supported by a Channel Coordinator post.  The number of Prevent inquiries and referrals in the city continue to remain high compared with the region and the work to safeguard individuals from being drawn into terrorism is highly regarded.

In November 2020, the revised Statutory Channel Guidance amongst other requirements, introduced a new monitoring compliance framework to improve local governance, quality assure, and increase consistency of practice by Channel Panels across the country. Each local authority is required to complete an ‘Annual-Assurance Statement’ signed off at the leadership level.  The Home Office are empowered to provide directions to local authorities and Channel Panels for improvements, as required.   The new ‘Annual Assurance Statement’ for the Brighton & Hove Channel Panel submitted in April 2021 received positive feedback from the Home Office.  Current local Prevent delivery is aligned to the new requirements and our existing best practice needs to be sustained within reduced resources and from mainstream funding. 

The national Independent Review of Prevent looked at the effectiveness of present strategies to protect vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and make recommendations, receiving evidence and carrying out engagements with communities in 2021.  After a delay, the Prevent Review and the government response to the findings are now expected to be reported in February 2022.  Partners, communities, and the Prevent Board had opportunities to engage with the Review and will need to further consider local delivery once findings are published.  Local efforts to sustain a shared understanding of Prevent with our communities will need to continue.

Our plans

We will continue to build on our existing best practice in coordinating and delivering Prevent locally and on our engagement with diverse communities and partners to mainstream Prevent work.  Our annual action plan responds to all the identified strategic risks and remains flexible to respond to emerging threats and nuances identified.

We will respond to the findings of the Independent Prevent Review and shape local Prevent delivery to continue to inspire community confidence in Prevent and continue to work in partnership with our communities.   We need to plan for the implication of cessation of funding from the Home Office resulting in a reduction in resources for Prevent delivery locally and need to secure resources to deliver this work in future.

Through improved communications of Prevent work and its impact, we will improve trust and confidence amongst partners and communities.  Empowered individuals and communities remain at the heart of effective Prevent delivery.



Appendix 1. About the Partnership


The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 specifies that community safety strategies must be delivered by Community Safety Partnerships.  The ‘responsible authorities’ who are required by legislation to participate in our Community Safety Partnership are the local authority, police, probation, health, and fire and rescue services.  However, many other partners from the statutory, community/voluntary and business sectors, including the Police and Crime Commissioner are fully involved in the Partnership’s work.  Local residents also play a key role.

The diagram shows the structure of the Community Safety Partnership.  The Community Safety Partnership Board has overall responsibility for the work of the Partnership, while the individual priority areas within this strategy are supported by multi-agency working groups made up of specialists in the relevant area.  In some areas there are also dedicated staff to drive forward the work. 

Local Action Teams exist across the city and these are an important part of the Partnership.  LATs involve residents, local businesses and agencies working together and they provide a key route through which community safety issues for local neighbourhoods are taken forward.  LATs meet together via the LAT Forum where issues of common concern can be discussed and ideas shared.

The Community Safety Partnership links with the democratic process through the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee.  Integrated working with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner is being achieved through having regard to each other’s priorities and providing reciprocal support for delivery.
























Community Safety Partnership 2018


[2] Our plan 2020 to 2023 (

[3] Home Office (2016) Modern Crime Prevention Strategy,

[4] Short term defined as staying here for between 3 and 12 months.

[5] Unemployed refers to people who were actively seeking work or who had found work and were waiting for it to commence. 

[6] Economically active refers to those who are either employed or who are unemployed according to the above definition.

[7] The increase seen from 2014/15 onwards was influenced by the Sussex Police response to the national HMIC inspection programme on data integrity which was undertaken during 2013/14 aimed at improving police recording practices.  This work had an impact on the recording of violent and sexual offences in particular.  A subsequent HMIC inspection in 2016 on data recording by Sussex Police found that improvements have been made, while further areas for improvement were identified

[8] The improvement in crime recording practices mentioned in the previous footnote is likely to have played a part in the long term decline in the number of occurrences classed as ASB incidents.

[9]  accessed Jan 2021


[11]  Crime in England & Wales: Annual supplementary tables.  

[12] The economic and social costs of crime, Home Office, 2018

[13] Crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2021.  Crime in England and Wales - Office for National Statistics (

[14] Contact to request a copy of the 2021 Strategic Assessment of Crime and Community

[15] Home Office Research Report 73 (2013), Understanding organised crime: Estimating the scale and the social and economic costs