Terms of Reference

Details on the purpose, responsibilities and protocols for the Safer West Sussex Partnership

1. Purpose

The Safer West Sussex Partnership (SWSP) is a partnership of partnerships. It oversees and engages with wider partners in the development and delivery of the West Sussex County Community Safety Agreement.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 was subject to amendments in 2007.  Regulation 8 of amended legislation introduced a county level strategy group in addition to the existing district and borough-based Community Safety Partnerships.

The partnership is subject to annual scrutiny by the West Sussex County Council Communities, Highway and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

The Partnership will work towards its vision by:

  • Having strategic oversight of issues relating to all aspects of community safety.
  • Overseeing production of annual strategic intelligence assessments.
  • Developing the County Community Safety Agreement.
  • Using evidence from crime audits, needs assessment and other data sources to plan value for money services and interventions at county and force level.
  • Making decisions in an inclusive and transparent way.
  • Maximising the opportunities to be gained from financial efficiency by closer partnership working and reducing duplication.
  • Monitoring and evaluating services and interventions to make sure they are having a positive impact on identified areas of priority need.

2. Responsibilities and core business of the Board

The responsible authorities named in the Crime and Disorder Act have a statutory duty to work together to:

  • reduce reoffending
  • tackle crime and disorder
  • tackle anti-social behaviour
  • tackle alcohol and substance misuse
  • tackle any other behaviour which has a negative effect on the local environment.

In carrying out their statutory duties, responsible authorities also have further obligations including to:

  • set up a strategic group to direct the work of the partnership
  • regularly engage and consult with the community about their priorities and progress achieving them
  • set up protocols and arrangements for sharing information
  • analyse a wide range of data, including recorded crime levels and patterns, in order to identify priorities in an annual strategic assessment
  • set out a partnership plan and monitor progress
  • produce a strategy to reduce reoffending
  • commission domestic violence homicide reviews.  

In order to coordinate and deliver on the Partnership’s strategic priorities sub-groups will be formed as and when necessary and will report into the Partnership Executive Board.

In accordance with the West Sussex Four Board collaborative working arrangements the partnership will have strategic oversight of the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Partnership on behalf of Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, Safeguarding Adults Board and Health and Wellbeing Board.

These collaborative working arrangements can be considered in any future partnership arrangements when appropriate and with the agreement of all Boards.

2.1 Strategic planning

  • To oversee the delivery of the priorities identified in the strategic intelligence assessment for community safety, holding those responsible to account.
  • To integrate, wherever appropriate, the plans and services of partner organisations.
  • To ensure that the partnership is kept up to date so that it is able to respond effectively to changes in legislation, information and developments in relation to community safety.
  • To identify, gain and manage funding as required to implement the County Community Safety Agreement.
  • To produce, adopt and review information sharing protocols.

2.2 Taking a needs-based approach

  • To be well informed about community safety issues affecting the communities, both at population level and the needs of individuals, in West Sussex and take an evidence-based approach to tackling the key issues that have negative impact.
  • To oversee the production of annual strategic intelligence assessments and endorse action plans ensuring clear links between need and activity.
  • To use the findings of the annual strategic intelligence assessments and other data sources to inform the group’s priorities and work programme.

2.3 Monitoring outcomes

  • To monitor the work of the partnership against the strategic priorities to ensure an effective partnership response.
  • To ensure equalities underpins the work of the partnership and all improvements deliver equality of access, outcome, participation and service experience.
  • To report progress and account for actions and performance on the implementation of the County Community Safety Agreement to the West Sussex Communities, Highway and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

2.4 Community engagement:

  • To ensure the views of service users about the services they need are taken into account in the delivery of those services.
  • To ensure effective engagement with the communities of West Sussex ensuring that everyone has a voice in the work and priorities of the partnership.

2.5 Communications

  • The West Sussex Community Safety and Wellbeing Team will promote the work of the partnership to partners and the communities of West Sussex.
  • Members of the Board will promote their work on community safety to the general public.

2.6 Integrated working:

  • To establish specific, time-limited task and finish groups, when appropriate, to report on particular topics, as and when required. The task and finish groups will advise, guide and report their findings to the partnership.
  • To ensure that all partners and statutory agencies have a clear understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
  • To provide advice, assistance or other support to enable partners to join together to design and deliver services around the needs of users thereby helping to eliminate unnecessary gaps and duplication between services.

3. Operational protocols

3.1 Membership

The membership of the Board will:

  • reflect statutory duties
  • be related to the agreed purpose of the partnership
  • be reviewed annually
  • possess the relevant expertise to carry out the responsibilities
  • be responsible for disseminating decisions and actions back to their own organisation and ensuring compliance.

3.2 Chair and Vice Chair

The chair of the Board and Vice chair will be elected by the board and reviewed on an annual basis.

3.3 Deputies and representation

Partner bodies are responsible for ensuring that they are represented at an appropriate level. Where the nominated representative is unable to attend, a deputy will attend in their place.

3.4 Co-opting

The Board may co-opt additional members by agreement who will be full voting members of the Board.

3.5 Ex-officio

The partnership may invite additional officers and other stakeholders to attend on an ex-officio basis, who will not be voting members of partnership to advise and guide on specific issues.

3.6 Confidentiality

The SWSP will on occasion, jointly commission or collaborate on pieces of work which concern named individuals. Given its strategic remit, SWSP members will not disclose information about individuals outside the meeting beyond that agreed or until reports are published; any other disclosures will be considered a breach of confidentiality.

3.7 Meetings

  • A minimum of 3 meetings a year will be held.
  • A meeting of the SWSP will be considered quorate when at least the chair or vice chair, and a representative of each of the local authority, health and police are in attendance.
  • Attendance by non-members is at the invitation of the chair.
  • The agendas, papers and notes will be made available to members of the public when requested, but meetings will not be considered as public meetings.
  • Members will develop and agree protocols for the conduct of members and meetings.

3.8 Agendas

Agendas and reports will be circulated at least five working days before the meeting, after the agenda has been agreed by the Chair and Vice Chair. Additional late items will be at the discretion of the chair.

3.9 Partner action

Representatives will be responsible for ensuring that all key issues are disseminated back to their organisations, ensuring compliance with any actions required and reporting back progress to the CSP.

3.10 Interest

Members must declare any personal and/or pecuniary interests with respect to agenda items and must not take part in any decision required with respect to these items.

3.11 Absence

If a representative of a statutory agency is unable to attend, a substitute must be sent to the meeting. If there is no representation for three meetings the organisation/sector will be asked to re-appoint/confirm its commitment to the partnership.

3.12 Review

These terms of reference will be reviewed by the Safer West Sussex Partnership on an annual basis.