Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Item

17 September 2008

Portsmouth Community Contact Point (CCP): Progress Report

Report of the Chief Officer

Contact: Mick Crennell - Area Manager Community Safety Delivery

Tel: 02380 644000 ext 4065

1

Summary

1.1

In February 2008 the HFRA ratified the IRMP proposal for HFRS to permanently re-locate its operational resources within Portsmouth to two strategic locations to the north and south of the city and to establish a Community Contact Point (CCP) within the central Portsmouth area.

1.2

This paper reports on the progress, to date, in terms of the delivery of the CCP and indicates the next steps in the development of the CCP for the future.

2

RecommendationError! Bookmark not defined.

2.1

That the progress being made in relation to the development and implementation of the Community Contact Point, in support of the Fire and Rescue Service Plan 2008-2011, `Objective 10, Relocating our resources in Portsmouth', be noted.

3

Introduction Error! Bookmark not defined.and Background

3.1

The Authority has approved the establishment of a CCP in the area of greatest risk within the central Portsmouth area. The Charles Dickens Ward has been identified as the most appropriate location given the emergency call statistical analysis. However, it should be recognised that this may change over time as community risk adjusts due to the success of our activities and changes in demography.

3.2

The CCP will be comprised of two key elements. Firstly, a public-facing central hub for community safety and community risk reduction for the city of Portsmouth and secondly, an operational response resorting point.

3.3

The CCP will generate a wide variety of community safety activities and events that will be delivered by dedicated community safety specialists, such as our Community Liaison Officer, Youth Support Officer and Diversity Liaison Officer, as well as operational crews from Cosham and Southsea Fire Stations. The CCP will generate community safety referrals from the identified area, which will be delivered by both our community safety and operational staff.

3.4

It is considered that risk has three dimensions in terms of time, geography and demography and as such the CCP and its associated risk reduction activities will be conducted at identified key times of the day according to need and the risk profile of the area. These resources will also be available to provide an operational emergency response whenever necessary. The CCP will be in operation by October 2008 to enable a structured migration of community safety and risk reduction responsibilities from Copnor Fire Station.

3.5

The terms of reference of the CCP is to provide the following elements:

    a) An operational response resorting point

    b) A mechanism for the generation, co-ordination and delivery of: home fire safety visits; road safety initiatives; youth activities and support, community engagement activities; community partnership liaison; environmental visual audits; business education

    c) A community access point for general community safety advice, community fire safety advice and technical fire safety surgery/advice

    d) A mechanism for the delivery of the Portsmouth Group Plan hence supporting the Fire and Rescue Service Plan 2008 - 2011

    e) A centre for outreach working and recruitment and selection advice

    f) A jointly shared facility for other partners such as City Council community wardens and voluntary groups engaged in community activities. These partners will provide an additional stream of potential referral generation to inform our Community Safety priorities in the area.

3.6

Initial considerations for the development of the CCP centred around three potential fixed-point locations as well as a mobile solution:

    1) A `shop-front' facility within the Buckland area.

    2) A suitable community centre in the Buckland area.

    3) A suitable school within the Buckland area.

    4) A mobile CCP that can be parked in areas of high risk,

    or where an incident with significant impact has taken place.

3.7

HFRS evaluated each of the options utilising a balanced scorecard approach and have concluded that the most effective option in the longer term will be a mobile solution in relation to delivering the elements b) to f) above. The main reason being the flexibility that such a unit would provide to meet the changing nature of risk and the shifting demography of the area.

3.8

However, there are a number of such units currently operating successfully both in the UK and abroad. As such we are keen to capitalise on the experiences and best practise of these vehicles and thus are keen to ensure the design is developed based on the experiences of operating a CCP in the area.

3.9

In view of this, terms have been agreed for a one-year lease of a shop facility in Kingston Road within the Charles Dickens Ward. After one year the intention is to migrate to a fully mobile solution. As such, we have secured the provision of a dedicated parking location for operational fire appliances close to this site. This operational response resorting point would be re-evaluated when the mobile unit is operational.

3.10

The operating model for the CCP will be commensurate with the community and neighbourhood risk so as to provide core cover between key times of the day. This will see the CCP in operation during normal working hours and the appliance resorting point will be utilised between 2pm and 9pm daily (incorporating a shift change-over at 6pm).

3.11

This strategy will enable community benefit and risk reduction to be derived as a result of enhanced partnership working to deliver the Local Area Agreement.

4

Contribution to Corporate Aims and Objectives

4.1

The CCP will effectively be the mechanism for the generation and delivery of community-based activities in support of all aspects of community safety and risk reduction. It will also support and assist in the delivery of the Portsmouth Group Plan which itself contributes to the HFRS Fire and Rescue Service Plan 2008 - 2011.

4.2

HFRS has previous experience of operating community contact facilities, such as at Popley Fields, and this provides us with a wealth of useful information. This CCP concept is different, and a new innovative and exciting opportunity exists to work creatively in the reduction of risk to our community. We will use our experiences from this and other initiatives to inform similar solutions across the county.

4.3

The Portsmouth Service Delivery Group will continue to work hard with partners to deliver its ambitious and stretching targets in relation to the Local Area Agreement (LAA) and will maintain its commitment to delivering 3,600 Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) to the people of Portsmouth this year. The CCP is seen as an integral part of generating referrals and co-ordinating HFSV activity within the central Portsmouth area.

4.4

Community safety activity has already been increased within the central Portsmouth Wards (by utilising our personnel reserve system) in anticipation of the relocation of resources within Portsmouth. This activity will continue and will enable us to exceed the stated outcomes in relation to HFSV's in Portsmouth to reduce community risk.

5

Risk Analysis

5.1

A full risk assessment will be conducted as an integral part of the development phase.

6

Resource Implications

6.1

Revenue funding released from the closure of Copnor Fire Station would be utilised to fund the 1 year lease (~£20k) and the dedicated mobile unit.

6.2

A combination of existing community risk reduction personnel and operational personnel will be utilised to provide the required staffing levels both in the community safety hub and to crew the operational vehicle.

7

People Impact Assessment (PIA)

7.1

7.2

A full PIA for this project will be conducted within the development phase and will shape our thinking accordingly.

The CCP will provide the facilities to enable access to all and the promotion of equality and diversity on all levels. Further, it could be utilised as an effective tool for targeting our recognised more difficult to reach minority groups in terms of community safety, technical fire safety, road safety and recruitment and selection.

8

Consultation

8.1

Informal staff consultation has been positive to date in terms of the development of the CCP concept.

8.2

Staff, our partners and representative bodies are currently being fully consulted during the development and implementation phases.

9

Conclusion

9.1

The CCP will provide an integrated central hub for community safety for Portsmouth and provide a public access point for local residents. The associated resorting point for an operational vehicle would locate a fire appliance in an area identified high risk at key times of the day . This will serve to pro-actively assist in the effective delivery of the Fire and Rescue Service Plan 2008 - 2011 and the Portsmouth Local Area Agreement in reducing community risk.

Background Information (Section 100D of Local Government Act 1972)

The following documents disclose the facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of the report:

    · HFRA - The Fire and Rescue Service Plan 2008 - 2011

    · The Portsmouth Local Area Agreement 2008-2011

    · The Portsmouth Group Plan (2008/09)

    · The Copnor Fire Station Plan (2008/09)

Note: The list excludes: (1) published works; and (2) documents that disclose exempt or confidential information defined in the Act.

Secretarial/WP/Corporate/HFRA HFRA 17 09 08 Portsmouth Contact Point MC/JMW/8/9/08