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  1. 1. Crime The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined violence as: The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.1 (World Health Organisation definition) Violent crimes are offences such as Actual Bodily Harm (ABH), Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). Fear of crime and anti-social behaviour is high in Barnet. They are top of residents’ list of the greatest areas of local concern, despite Barnet being among the safest boroughs in London and that crime hotspots in the borough are linked to areas of disadvantage which are linked to greatest health inequalities. Alcohol is the common factor in many of Barnet’s crime and disorder problems, including violent crime (where there is a strong correlation with alcohol related incident hotspots), domestic violence and youth disorder, and alcohol misuse leading to a series of other problems including the impact on health. The impact of crime is far reaching, both in terms of physical trauma but also in terms of emotional health and well being. A fear of crime causes people to feel unsafe, even when their actual risk of being a victim is low. Primary responsibility for responding to crime lies with the Metropolitan Police, Barnet Crown Prosecution Services Justice system supported by the local authority. However, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places an additional responsibility on primary care trusts to work in partnership with local councils, police and fire services to produce an annual Crime and Disorder Strategic Assessment which maps crime hotspots and strategic responses. Figure 1: Crime trends in London 2004-2008 1 Etienne G. Krug, Linda L. Dahlberg, James A. Mercy,Anthony B. Zwi and Rafael Lozano (2002) World report on violence on health World Health Organisation 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 Violence against Person Burgulary Offences against Vehicles Criminal Damage Drugs 2004/5 2005/6 2006/7 2007/8
  2. 2. Figure 2: Crime trends in Barnet from 2004 to 2008 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 Violence against Person Burgulary Offences against Vehicles Criminal Damage Drug Offences 2004/5 2005/6 2006/7 2007/8 Comparing crime trends for London and Barnet between 2004-2008 reveal similar crime trends. Drug offences and burglaries have increased between 2006/07 and 2007/08 and appropriate responses have been set out in the Safer Communities Strategy. Impact of crime on health The most obvious impacts on health from being a victim of crime include: physical injury, permanent or temporary oate disability and death resulting from violent assaults, abuse and accidents, including those caused by dangerous driving, and the associated physical and psychological consequences. Fear of crime While it is difficult to define and measure fear of crime, there is some evidence that the way people change their behaviour as a result of crime may affect their health. It has been found that fear of crime and violence can affect people’s quality of life and also be a cause of mental distress and social exclusion. Women and older people in particular may worry more about becoming victims, and this may prevent them from going out and socialising, even when their actual risk is low. This in turn can lead to social isolation, reduced mobility and consequent increased risk of physical and mental health problems.2 For some groups in the community, the fear of racial or other kinds of harassment and crime may present a real barrier to their ability to access health and other services, and the means to live healthy lives. At national level, while 19% of white people say they are “very afraid” of violent crime, the figures for Asian and black people are 43% and 40% respectively.3 At a local level Anti-social behaviour 2 Acheson D (1998) Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health. HMSO 3 Home Office (2004) Crime in England and Wales 2003/04. HMSO
  3. 3. Issues relating to antisocial behaviour emerge as the strongest issues of concern for Barnet’s local communities. The Safer Neighbourhood Teams survey4 found that Barnet residents found the following to be significant problems in their ward: Table 1 shows the summary of Public Attitude Survey (Quarter 1 2007/08) Long term trend (excluding latest result) Latest Result Citizen Focus Local confidence in the local police Improving Improving Promoting Public Safety: Fear of crime (Burglary) Improving Improving Fear of crime (Auto Crime) Improving Improving Fear of crime (Violence) Stable Improving Perception of Anti Social Behaviour Stable Improving Perception of drugs Worsening Improving Neighbourhood Policing Understanding issues that affect the community Stable Stable Deal with issues that matter to people in the community Stable Improving Feel safe walking after dark Stable Improving Feel safe walking in the day Stable Stable Satisfaction and Confidence Satisfaction with way area is policed Improving Improving Can be relied upon to be there when you need them Worsening Improving Treat people with respect Stable Stable Treat people fairly Worsening Worsening Can be relied upon to deal with minor crimes Worsening Stable Police in the area are helpful Worsening Worsening Confidence in police in the area Improving Improving Feelings of Safety and Security Feel safe at home in the day Stable Stable Feel safe at home after dark Stable Stable Feel safe on a bus Stable Stable Feel safe on the tube Stable Stable Feel people carrying guns or replica guns in the area is a problem Worsening Improving Police Visibility Often see police on foot or bicycle Improving Improving Source: The Barnet Crime & Disorder and Substance Misuse Strategic Assessment 2007/08 Violent Crime There has been 18.7% reduction in violent crime compared to 2006/07,5 and Barnet has lower levels of violent crimes compared to similar boroughs. Domestic violence Nationally, a fifth of all violent crime occurs in the context of a long term relationship between two people6 . Findings from the last British Crime Survey in 20017 indicate that one in five women and one in ten men have been victims at some time in their lives. Three 4 As cited in London Borough of Barnet (2008) Barnet Crime & Disorder and Substance Misuse Strategic Assessment 2007/08 5 London Borough of Barnet (2008) Barnet Crime & Disorder and Substance Misuse Strategic Assessment 2007/08 6 Walby S (2004) The Cost of Domestic Violence. Women and Equality Unit of the Department of Trade and Industry
  4. 4. quarters of the women victims, and over half of the men, reported being physically injured in the worst incident in the year prior to the survey, and nearly one third and one tenth respectively suffered mental or emotional problems. In women who experienced serious sexual assault since the age of 16, it led to 52% feeling depressed or other emotional problems and one in twenty had attempted suicide. Home Office and Department of Health guidance8 to primary care trusts in England outlined their responsibilities for tackling crime highlights the damaging effect of domestic violence on children’s health, educational attainment, emotional well being and development. There are nearly three quarters of the children on social services at risk registers experiencing or witnessing domestic violence, this indicates that at least 750,000 children are affected every year. The effects on children who witness domestic violence can be devastating and include post- traumatic distress disorder, bedwetting, sleep disruption and a range of emotional and cognitive disorders which include increased potential to violent behaviour. In Barnet there has been a reduction in reports of domestic violence incidents to the police since 2005/06 and a long term decrease of around 30%. Year Number of domestic violence cases reported per month 2005/06 171 2006/07 133 2007/08 132 The Cost of Domestic Violence Walby’s report9 develops a Home Office framework for costing crime to calculate the social and economic costs of domestic violence. To estimate the impact of different types of domestic violence on hospital and ambulance services, costs per person were identified for different levels of severity and then multiplied by the number of victims to yield a figure of more than £1.1 billion. Since the services provided in primary care are important for survivors of domestic violence, the costs of consultation with GPs and consequent prescriptions were calculated at an additional £52 million. This produces a total for physical injuries of £1.2 billion, representing approximately 3% of the NHS budget for England in 1998-99. The report also estimates mental health costs, which are included because strong associations exist between domestic violence and a several kinds of mental disorder, notably depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide. Adding mental health in brings the total NHS cost to almost £1.4 billion. 7 Walby S, Allen J (2004) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate. 8 Department of Health and Home Office (2004) Guidance for partnerships and primary care trusts. Commencement of PCTs as responsible authorities from 30 April 2004. 9 Walby S (2004) The Cost of Domestic Violence. Women and Equality Unit of the Department of Trade and Industry
  5. 5. In Britain women in households with an annual income of less than £10,000 are three and a half times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than in households with over £20000.
  6. 6. The Police recorded around 2489 domestic incidents and 1460 domestic offences in Barnet in 2007- 08, a considerable number of which are likely to be witnessed by children, with a smaller number of incidents in which children are themselves victims. Of 21 high-risk domestic violence cases requiring multi-agency interventions between April and September 2008 (all male to female DV), 8 victims were 20-30yrs old (38%). Seven of these young women were pregnant and/or had young children. Three victims were 20- 25yrs old. Overall, 95% of cases involved children, 31 children in total (only one victim had no children). In 07/08 37% (average) of child protection conferences showed evidence of domestic violence. Alcohol According to the Government’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England10 , about half of all violent crimes and one third of domestic violence incidents are alcohol misuse related. Drink-driving casualties are rising, with young male heavy or problem drinkers six times more likely to be involved in an accident than moderate drinkers. The British Crime Survey 2005/06 found that in all violent incidents, 44% of victims believed that the offenders were under the influence of alcohol. This figure rose to 54% in cases of stranger violence. Other studies have estimated that alcohol is linked to 30% - 50% of the most serious stranger violence as well as sexual assaults.11 The Ambulance Service in Barnet has experience 33 percent increase in the number of alcohol related calls which is further supported by Police CAD data. Year Number of Calls 2005 329 2006 368 2007 438 Alcohol continues to be sold to young people under the age of 18 years. In 2008, Barnet Council’s Trading Standards and Licensing Team attempted to purchase alcohol across Barnet using young people. Out of 72 attempts, alcohol was sold on 23 (32%) occasions to under-age young people. Most offences involving alcohol and young people in 10-19 year old age group are violent crimes such as actual bodily harm 28%; common assault 16% and affray 7% with peak time for offences occurring between 23:00 hours to 02:00 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 10 – 17 year olds tend to drink between 23:00 hours to midnight on the same days. Drugs 10 Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (2004) Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England. Cabinet Office 11 As cited in London Borough of Barnet (2008) The Barnet Crime & Disorder and Substance Misuse Strategic Assessment 2007/08
  7. 7. Barnet has one of the lowest levels of drug related offences compared to other London borough despite experiencing a 23% rise between 2005 and 2007/08. The is a gender differentiation in drug use with cannabis used predominantly by men and alcohol by women. Home Office research12 has clearly demonstrated a link between drug use and crime. This picture is reinforced at a local level. The most significant crimes committed in Barnet relating to drug- activity include acquisitive crime such as shoplifting, burglary, vehicle crime and robbery. 30.5% of high-risk, repeat victimisation cases are carried out by perpetrators known to have drug related problems. In quarter 1 of 2007/08, Barnet Drug and Alcohol Team (DAAT) all 31Prolific and other Priority Offenders (PPO) were identified as having a drug problem. Only 13 agreed to enter a treatment programme. The majority of patients treated were men (72%) within the 35 – 64 year old age group of White British origin (84%). Work is now underway to establish whether any of these men are known to other health and social care agencies. In Barnet the most widely used drugs are opiates (88%) compared to 59 percent in London and 96 per cent nationally. The Barnet Young Persons Needs Assessment 2008 anticipates that substance misuse amongst young people is a concern. Given the expected increase in the size of the youth population drug support services will need to be allocated accordingly. The influence of crime on health inequalities The risk of being a victim of crime is not distributed equally within the population. A cross- national study13 of 27 East European and Western countries has found associations between income inequality within a country and victimisation rates for violent crime and theft: the greater the inequality, the higher the rates. People living in the poorest areas suffer more violent crime, burglary and the fear of crime than those in more affluent areas14 , although the latter are more likely to report crime and anti-social behaviour. Residents in poor neighbourhoods are nearly twice as likely to experience problematic levels of crime as those in less deprived neighbourhoods. This is reflected within Barnet where the levels of crime are higher in more deprived areas. People with poor health are more likely to be victims of crime. Disabled people more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime, with the figures being very distressing: • three times more likely to be victims of property crime than non-disabled people • higher likelihood to be a repeat victim • deliberately targeted for car crime 12 As cited in London Borough of Barnet (2008) The Barnet Crime & Disorder and Substance Misuse Strategic Assessment 2007/08 13 Van Wilsem J (2004) Criminal victimization in cross-national perspective. European Journal of Criminology, 1, 1, 98-109 14 Paxton W, Dixon M (2004) The State of the Nation: An Audit of Injustice in the UK. Institute for Public Policy Research, London
  8. 8. • generally seen as easy targets15 Mental health is still socially stigmatised. Populist portrayals of people with mental health support needs as violent hides the reality that less than 5 percent of mental health sufferers kill a stranger and that 16 percent of people with psychosis living in inner-city environments are more likely to be victims of crime16 . 15 Cunningham S, Drury S and McManus J (2003) Disability, neighbourhood stress, fear of crime and health. Nacro, London 16 Social Exclusion Unit (2004) Mental Health and Social Exclusion. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
  9. 9. Young People A snap shot of young people and crime – National.  32% of all recorded crime is committed by young people.  60% of antisocial behaviour is attributed to young people.  60% of young people not in full time education commit crime  61% of young people are victims of crime A snap shot of young people and crime - Barnet  70% of youth-on-youth crime in the borough involves some degree of violence  Sexual offences feature amongst youth victims of crime  Prolonged school holidays tend to decrease the rate of youth crime. This is due to a significant amount of offences which occur at the end of the school day as children travel back home from school.  Friday is when youth crime tends to peak  16 -18 year olds not in education/employment and training (NEET) population is relatively low.  . Distribution of Leisure and Arts in Barnet As discussed previously a clear link has been identified between deprivation and crime. In addition, it is recognised that there is an association between crime and the lack of activities available to young people. Figure 1 shows the areas of deprivation in Barnet and the approximate locations for leisure and art facilities. It should be noted that there is bias towards the north and east of the borough where there is lower levels of deprivation compared to the west of Barnet. Figure 1shows the relative deprivation levels in Barnet at electoral ward level compared to the distribution of leisure and arts activities in Barnet Sports and Leisure Facilities
  10. 10. Edgware Hale Burnt Oak Colindale West Hendon Golders Green Childs Hill Hendon Garden Suburb Finchley Church End East Finchley Mill Hill Totteridge West Finchley Woodhouse Coppetts Underhill Oakley Brunswick Park East Barnet High Barnet Index of Multiple Deprivation (2007) Very high High Moderate Low Very low Edgware Hale Burnt Oak Colindale West Hendon Golders Green Childs Hill Hendon Garden Suburb Finchley Church End East Finchley Mill Hill Totteridge West Finchley Woodhouse Coppetts Underhill Oakley Brunswick Park East Barnet High Barnet Edgware Hale Burnt Oak Colindale West Hendon Golders Green Childs Hill Hendon Garden Suburb Finchley Church End East Finchley Mill Hill Totteridge West Finchley West Finchley WoodhouseWoodhouse Coppetts Underhill Oakley Brunswick Park East Barnet High Barnet Index of Multiple Deprivation (2007) Very high High Moderate Low Very low Index of Multiple Deprivation (2007) Very high High Moderate Low Very low Drama/ Dance/ Art Scheme Youth Centre Group
  11. 11. Views of local residents Safer Neighbourhood Team survey in which drugs and alcohol related problems were a key feature in Barnet wards. Top 10 Anti-social behaviour (ASB) problem perceived in Barnet Wards % Youth Related Disorder 80 Graffiti 70 Disorder/ASB in parks 65 Intimidating congregations in public areas 50 Licensed premises related disorder 50 Street Drinking 50 Disorder Drunken behaviour 45 Taking Drugs 45 Animal related problems 35 Dealing – Street 35 Table 2 summarises the trends in Barnet’s performance against various measures included in the Public Attitude Survey. It is based on the results published from the most recent survey which covers Quarter 1 of 2007/08 (April – June 2007). Due to the nature of the work involved in the carrying out of the Public Attitude surveys there will always be a time lag between when the surveys are carried out and when the results are available. This should be borne in mind when viewing the results. The survey shows an overall trend of increasing local confidence in the police rising from 66% (Jul 06 – Jun 07) to 88% in the first quarter of 2007/08, (note the latest figures should be regarded as provisional as they are only based on data from one quarter). Additionally the majority of the various measures in the survey show improvements, particularly in Promoting Public Safety, Neighbourhood Policing and Police visibility.