Consultation on draft Community Safety & Crime Reduction Strategy 2023-26

Summary findings from the consultation


The consultation exercise took the form of an online survey on B&HCC consultation portal; it was open between 19th Dec and 5th Feb 2023.

We provided summary aims and plans, and a link to whole draft strategy document and the strategic assessment if people wanted to see more information.  Respondents to the online consultation were taken sequentially through the different proposed priority areas, but could skip those topics they did not wish to look at.  For each proposed priority area we provided background information on that topic and asked:

o   Do you support our aims and plans?

o   Is there anything we haven’t considered, or do you have any further comments?

We also invited any general comments on the draft Strategy as a whole.

1.    Respondents

There were 81 respondents to the online consultation.

·     49 residents

·     1 visitor

·     18 community & voluntary sector organisations

·     1 business

·     8 statutory organisations

·     4 other

Demographic data (not always complete) was provided by 49 residents as follows:

·     age range 22-75; mean age 52.6 years (n=44)

·     gender: 28 female; 13 male; 3 prefer not to say

·     gender identity: 41 identified with the sex they were assigned at birth; 2 did not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth; 4 prefer not to say

·     sexual orientation: 23 heterosexual; 5 lesbian/gay women; 7 gay men; 3 bisexual; 1 other; 9 prefer not to say

·     ethnic origin:35 White British; 2 White other; 6 Mixed ethnicity; 4 prefer not to say

·     religion: 22 no particular religion; 12 Christian; 5 atheist; 4 other; 2 prefer not to say

·     LLTI: 29 had no long term limiting illness; 9 activities limited a little; 8 activities limited a lot; 2 prefer not to say

·     11 respondents were carers


2.    Number of respondents providing comments

Table 1. Number of people commenting on each priority area


Serious violence, drugs and exploitation

Domestic abuse, sexual violence and VAWG


Hate incidents and crimes


Residents and other individuals






Community, voluntary and statutory sectors







(% of all 81 respondents)












·        There was a good number of people responding across all areas.  DV, SVA and VAWG and serious violence, drugs and exploitation received the highest number of comments followed by ASB and hate incidents.

·        The percentage of respondents from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors was highest for serious violence, drugs and exploitation.

3.    Levels of support for our proposals

Table 2. Do you support our aims and proposed plans?


Serious violence, drugs and exploitation

Domestic abuse, sexual violence and VAWG


Hate incidents and crimes








Partially support


















% who support






% who partially support






% who do not support












Total respondents







·        Table 2 presents the number of people commenting on each priority area and shows the extent to which they support the draft aims and plans.  Most survey respondents supported or partially supported the aims and plans in the draft strategy. 

·        The aims and plans for each topic were supported by between 58% and 72% of respondents with serious violence, drugs and exploitation and ASB receiving the highest level of support.  This rose to between 96% and 100% including those who partially supported the aims and plans.

·        A small minority of respondents (1 or 2) did not support the aims and plans for four of the priority areas. 


4.    Summarised comments provided for each priority area


The information below has been drawn together based on the individual consultation responses and tries to summarise the main points being provided in a structured way.  Lead officers have had sight of all comments as they were provided.

If more than one person has made a similar point, the number of people commenting is indicated in brackets.

Serious violence, drugs and exploitation

58 out of 81 people commented on this area

Exploitation & cuckooing

·     Prioritise victims – remove perpetrators from cuckooed properties, not victims. (3) 

·     Make specific mention of County Lines and exploitation of children and young people. More focus on under 18s needed. (2)

·     More thorough police investigations of cuckooing is needed

·     Important to refer to disproportionate vulnerability/link between homeless/rough sleepers and exploitation/drug distribution networks.  Failure to recognise this further marginalises this group.  Also need to refer to mothers whose children have been taken into care.

·     Outreach needed to vulnerable people.  Vulnerable people include those with learning difficulties.  Not just prevention – also safeguarding.  You can’t just eradicate vulnerabilities. (2) Safeguarding should be the front door and the pathway transparent and accessible.  Consented referral to the National Referral Mechanism needs to be allocated internally. 

·     People who are at risk of targeting by gangs need support.  Support needed to  NRM individuals to help them move out of area.

·     Trafficking into prostitution should be mentioned – common in organised crime and exploitation. (3) Strategies to support women to exit prostitution are needed.

·     Holistic approach needed for working with vulnerable/at risk people.  People (women) who use drugs have often been exploited or groomed, yet feel judged if they report abuse, leading to underreporting. (2) Change attitudes to addiction.  Trust and respect needed – don’t be heavy handed or judgmental.  Create a system enabling people to report without putting themselves at risk.

·     Punishment doesn’t work – investment in therapy and trauma support is needed. 

·     Make it easier to report adults and children of concern.

·     Be mindful of sex-based nature of vulnerabilities; contextual safeguarding needs to consider the wider context of sexual and domestic abuse in families and how this is responded to in communities.

·     Timely responses are needed

·     Courts need better outcomes against those who target vulnerable people to traffic and sell drugs.

·     People with learning disabilities are at risk of exploitation and abuse and need to have their voices heard.

Drugs and alcohol

·     Better access to drug treatment is needed with greater involvement of health partners in drug and alcohol service; needs to be better funded.

·     Harm reduction tools for drug users needed, eg. safe spaces for people to take drugs with police cooperation; better resourced safeguarding for drug users by adult social care.

·     Open street drug dealing is prolific, increasing and is ignored by police.  Lack of public confidence to report (drug-related) crime – not worthwhile. (3) Need easy and effective way to report.

·     Activities to support community integration of ex/drug users.

·     Consideration needed regarding which neighbourhoods to house drug users/dealers. 

·     More support needed to house people out of area where appropriate

·     Activities/strategies for young people, support at school before they become addicted.  (2)

·     Better links between police, schools, and third sector agencies needed.

·     Zero tolerance to any level of violence or drug use

·     Provide contextual information around why people are drawn into drug use.

Impact on general public and feeling safe

·     Use ASB and Policing Act to protect victims

·     Consider the negative impact on ‘low level’ issues (eg begging; drug litter) experienced by general public; also on (older) people feeling safe.

·     Some places across the city are dark/inadequately lit; better lighting at bus stops

·     More police on the beat/visible policing (2)


·     Linked to racism and poverty which need to be addressed.

·     Different agencies have different (equally important) agendas – not black and white issue

·     Refer to Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and Safeguarding Adults Board for contextual considerations and, including children transitioning to adulthood

·     Use Care Act 2014 language (‘adults with a care and support need and/or adults at risk’)

·     Include Fire Service’s Enhanced Home Safety Visits in policies and procedures to support victims and vulnerable people, eg. cuckooing, modern slavery, migration exploitation and domestic abuse.

·     Preventative/therapeutic work with perpetrators of violence/aggression and free/low cost meaningful activities with mentors.

·     The ‘Aim’ should focus more on prevention.

Domestic abuse, sexual violence and VAWG

59 out of 81 people commented on this area

Terminology and inclusion

·     Need consistent, accurate and inclusive terminology around this agenda. (5) Use “crimes which are labelled as VAWG regardless of the gender of the victim”.  Not ‘violence against and girls’, but ‘violence against women and children’.  Gender dichotomised terminology is passe, not fit for purpose and subject to claims for inequality and failure in public sector equality duty.  Brighton & Hove should set national standard on this subject. 

·     Domestic and sexual violence against all groups is important.

·     Mention groups who may have barriers or specific needs, eg. LGBTQ+ (more likely to experience mental ill health), disabled, Black and minoritised victims and heterosexual men.  Need to specify that there will be support for people who may not identify as male or female. 

·     Violence against men needs a higher profile in the strategy. (9)  Men experience domestic and sexual abuse, coercive control (also higher suicide rate).  There is much underreporting, fears of not being taken seriously and they are less likely to seek support.  More needs doing around prevention and awareness raising.  Particularly an issue for gay men and boys.

·     Refer to child victims of domestic abuse in their own right. 

·     Better support needed for homeless women and those with multiple disadvantage.  Link with services who already work with these clients to ensure best practice.

·     How are people in marginalised communities and with no recourse to public funds supported?  These groups may resist engaging in criminal justice process.

·     LGBTQ+ terminology is generally accepted for use nowadays.

Service provision and staff training

·     Need services and safe spaces for all people.

·     Provision of single sex services required across all domestic/sexual services. (11). Needed for both one to one and group services.  Biological sex, not gender identity.

·     Include self-identified trans women and girls in services so that the most disenfranchised are not omitted on a technicality. 

·     Better funding for services, expand/reinstate local services (Survivors Network, Threshold and RISE). (2)  Services in the community result in better trust and confidence and are better placed to deliver early intervention and prevention.  National housing associations and national charities are not best place to develop holistic offers, especially around the provision of services for women.

·     Commissioned providers don’t have specialist areas of expertise and dedicated female services/spaces.

·     “Expand our prevention and early intervention work via the newly commissioned services”.  This ignores existing expertise, track record and social value already existing in the city. 

·     Link across to complex trauma services in partnership with healthcare is missing.

·     Improved training for statutory frontline staff. (2) Support people in a trauma-informed, person centred way.  Victims lack trust and confidence and this is fundamental.  Reports of bad experiences leading to barriers to reporting.

·     Make sure training is well promoted.  Will it be funded?  Information on reporting, services and support should be more visible. Hard to keep track with changing contracts.

·     More training for police, courts and social services around coercive control.

·     How are current service providers being evaluated?

·     Specialist police team needs reinstating – they have more informed responses.  Women are less likely to speak to male officers responding to an incident, and risk may be increase.

Support for victims/survivors

·     Better safe housing provision and associated services needed.  More support for single parent families around housing, other practical issues and trauma support

·     Psychotherapy and counselling for survivors and their perpetrators needed.

·     Timely access to support and more focus between child to adult services.

·     Additional female refuge spaces needed to meet Council of Europe recommended levels.  Census data on sexual orientation suggests sufficient spaces for LGBTQ+ places.


·     Focus should not be angled towards responsibility on the victim, (eg moving out/leaving abuser) but on the perpetrator, and they should be held to account.

·     Need perpetrator programmes (2), incl. LGBTQ+, outside of the criminal justice system.  Perpetrators are more likely to die by suicide.  Need a multiagency MARAC type setting which discusses support for known perpetrators to break ongoing cycle of abuse.

Awareness raising and prevention

·     Prevention and education is key. Continuous awareness-raising needed.  Teachers in schools, employers and neighbours/communities have a role. (3) Talking about anger and relationships with men is still taboo. Help people to spot signs of abuse. 

·     Educate children in school to understand inappropriate behaviours (1) Provide safe spaces to discuss. 

·     Include more on addressing root causes.

·     White-ribbon campaign not truly inclusive or effective in disrupting traditional narratives of domestic abuse.

Partners and making links

·     The council’s VAWG strategy isn’t present in the list of actions.

·     Make links in the CSP Strategy with the CSP’s requirements under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, Our Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy for England 2011, and Health and Care Act 2022.

·     Include Fire Service Enhanced Home Safety Visits in policies and procedures for supporting victims/survivors.

·     Are partnerships working effectively?  Are faith groups involved?


·     Who will implement this work?

·     Need work to challenge gender stereotyping, misogyny, sexual harassment, etc. in schools, workplaces, etc.

·     Close naked lap dancing clubs; decriminalise prostitutes and criminalise punters.

·     Victims’/survivors’ voices should be heard and should guide policy. (2)

·     Wording of the ‘Aim’ could be more impactful – it’s about greater identification, response and prevention.


Anti-social behaviour

50 out of 81 people commented on this area

Locations of concern

·     Better lighting (3) where ASB is common.  Address issues on the Level; more lights and CCTV at Pavilion Gardens. 

Housing and homelessness

·     Policy of not evicting is wrong

·     More support for people in supported accommodation.

·     Housing Trusts hide what’s behind doors.  Need to have an anonymous line available for vulnerable people in shared accommodation to speak up and get help

·     Don’t criminalise homeless and vulnerable people – provide them with support and housing.

·     Same individuals being on the street for prolonged period leads to lack of public confidence in services.  Regular night shelter enables greater opportunity for interventions. Visible policing helps.

·     Sound proofing helps

Children/young people

·     Need a Youth ASB plan, including universities.  Intervene before enforcement action is needed.  This would help intergenerational relations. 

·     Safe spaces for young people to meet needed urgently, especially in less deprived areas.  Financial support for youth groups and centres.  Especially important following lockdowns. (2)

Ways of working

·     Poor sharing of information between council and police

·     Need timely response to ASB to minimise harm to residents.

·     Be more robust in responses.  Take issues seriously and reduce impact of ASB on others.

·     Good communication needed with those who are affected by ASB

·     Different agencies have different goals.  The working relations with clients can be affected.

Lower level ASB

·     Strategy only focuses on more serious ASB – low level also needs addressing – broken window syndrome.  Minor incidents aren’t minor to those living nearby.  A measure of the scale of all ASB would make the case for government funding.

·     Need community engagement and to empower/encourage local communities to report low level but persistent ASB.

·     Street community, tagging, drug litter, etc. make people feel unsafe.

Improved approaches

·     Whole system approach to improved housing and reducing inequality.   This would result in less ASB

·     Investment in services to support multiple disadvantaged, neuro diverse, addiction and homelessness would help reduce ASB.  Better mental health support would help reduce ASB. Services need to recognise the link between ASB and vulnerability and a holistic and trauma responsive response is needed rather than punishment which can increase vulnerability. (4)

·     Increase the use of restorative approaches and mediation.  Better awareness of and funding for alternative dispute resolution services to address ASB.  Cost of living situation means that fewer volunteers are free to give their time. Consider partnering more effectively with conflict resolution organisations. (3)


·     City is filthy and plan is unachievable.  Need a more realistic plan.

·     As well as the business and third sector support services, make links with the Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and the Safeguarding Adults Board, including children transitioning to adulthood.

·     Consider within the Strategy the role that the Fire Service might play around arson.

·     Reword the Aim so it’s more like that for Hate – “An increase in reporting and support, a reduction in crime and a preventative approach”

·     Use ASB Act as intended – zero tolerance.  Put victims first.


Hate incidents and crimes

47 out of 81 people commented on this area

How to tackle hate incidents

·     Holistic approach needed involving all partners, grassroots organisations and people directly affected. (2) Needs more resources. Don’t just rely on police to respond.  The council needs to act too

·     Mental health support needed. 

·     .

·     Strategy should include structural drivers of hate incidents

·     Hate links with poverty; city needs to be more affordable.

·     How is the fact there are more male victims of hate being addressed?

·     Community resolution works better than enforcement.

·     Make links with the Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and the Safeguarding Adults Board, to understand contextual issues linked with hate incidents, including hate incidents against those with care and support needs.

·     Prevention work by the council should be included in the Strategy.


·     People experience hate incidents from statutory services.  Commitment needed to secure trust and confidence.

·     Include role of Fire Services Home Safety Visits to support victims of hate crime

·     Be clearer about how victims of disability hate are being supported

·     Highlight the 3 reporting centres

·     Address cyber hate incidents and their impact in the strategy

Education and awareness raising

·     Involve schools and universities. (4)  Intensive education programme in schools to counter existing prejudices.  The link with education in the strategy could be stronger. 1

·     More public awareness needed on what constitutes a hate crime.


·     Analyse and respond to hate crimes and hate incidents separately and acknowledge they are both recorded based on perception. (2)


·     Misogyny not yet a hate crime, but sexual harassment needs tackling.  Hate against women needs mentioning in this section. (3)

·     Facilitate respectful discussion and dialogue about eg. gender identity, and anti-racist education to diffuse tensions and allow respectful disagreement. (3) Communications should be carefully considered around unpalatable truths (eg. the city’s historic link to slavery)

·     Comments on Critical Race Theory. (3)  Lack of clarity around Critical Race Theory. Divisive nature of response to inclusion in school curriculum is concerning.  Conflation of Black Lives Matter and its ideology with actual anti-racism.


33 out of 81 people commented on this area

·     Safety on the streets is a priority

·     Empowering individuals to take more responsibility and become part of the solution.  Low cost or free cultural events to encourage social interaction.

·     Local authority support needed to prevent re-exploitation of NRM referrals accommodated in the area

·     Need to develop deeper ties within communities.  They are the eyes and ears before the police get to know about things.

·     Different views on the Prevent agenda - concerns that Prevent work raises suspicions of racism; training has victim blaming elements (2). 

·     Government language and policy on refugees is an issue of concern.

·     Interesting link between domestic abuse and radicalisation – a focus on this and on Incel locally, including how this is grooming boys in schools, would be beneficial.

·     The Strategy should reflect how the CSP links with the work of the Prevent Board

·     Should reference the Safeguarding Children Partnership and Safeguarding Adults Board for contextual considerations, eg children transitioning to adulthood.

·     Strategy content very specific in places, not specific enough in other places.

·     Regard wording of the Aim: … higher trust and confidence in … what?

·     Bias to right wing threat, although good to see one mention of ‘extreme left’.

·     Link in with partners such as the B&H Muslim Forum with this work


General comments

34 out of 81 people provided general comments

·     Act swiftly. Victims first. Zero tolerance. Use the law effectively

·     Pretty much the same as previous strategies, but with less analysis by gender/sex.  What has been achieved?  How successful has the partnership been?

·     It does not work. It’s pie in the sky – no resources to do all this.

·     OK, but sounds like a paper exercise.

·     Consulting us to death, taking no heed of the feedback.

·     Needs more police presence on the streets, not in cars. More PCSOs (2)

·     Lacks sufficient focus on harms facing children and young people.  Work in schools needs developing/improving

·     No mention of fraud which is having a big impact.  Anti-fraud work needed; fraud victims need support.

·     LGBTQ+ people have a false sense of security in the city.  Police ignore dealing on the streets and only focus on venues

·     Closure of public toilets increases risk.

·     Need whole system approach, eg affordable accommodation (including for essential workers), better drug and alcohol support, more resources for voluntary sector organisations

·     Better system around housing needed.  Emergency housing is often unsafe/unsuitable for people with support needs without in-house support so placements fail and people return to abusive situations and feel trapped.  Listen to people with lived experience.

·     Provide support to vulnerable under 18s, don’t criminalise them.

·     Many vital support services including outreach teams have been cut, so losing links with local communities.

·     No gendered provision for male victims of crime

·     Involve voluntary and specialist organisations working directly with people affected.  Voices from the local community to be part of the resolution.

·     ESFRS can help across the priority areas.  Also with road casualties and accidental drowning.

·     Ensure the strategy is inclusive throughout.

·     Consider children of parental substance misuse and conflict

·     Make links with the Adult Learning Disability Strategy Priority 1. Relationships, Friendship and Feeling, especially around online safety and hate crime

·     Link more closely with Families, Children and Learning to the disadvantage strategy framework, Fairer Brighton & Hove.  This is looking to better identify and support families at risk of disadvantage and overlaps with CSP Strategy.

·     Make use of community strength available through the city’s faith communities.

·     Committed team of analysts