East Sussex Safer Communities Board


21st September 2021 10:30am





Members Present:


Cllr Carl Maynard (Cllr CM), Lead Member for Adult Social Care & Health. ESCC (Chair)

Tom Hook (TH), Assistant Director Planning, Performance and Engagement, ESCC (acting Chair for start of meeting)
Cllr Bob Bowdler (Cllr BB), Lead Member for Children and Families

Cllr Johnny Denis (Cllr JD) Cabinet member for Communities and Customers, Lewes District Council

Cllr Rebecca Whippy (Cllr RW), Lead Member for Disabilities & Community Safety, EBC

Cllr Philip Lunn (PL), Cabinet Member for Community & Public Health, Wealden District Council

Alex Morris (AM), Sussex NHS Commissioners

Caz Kearton-Evans (CKE), Safer East Sussex Team, ESCC

Darrell Gale (DG), ESCC, Director of Public Health

Eleanor Gregory (EG), Ministry of Justice

George Kouridis (GK), Head of Service, Adult Safeguarding, ESCC
Jeremy Leach (JL), Principal Policy Advisor, Wealden District Council
John Whittington (JS), Community Safety Manager, Hastings Borough Council

Julie King (JK), Assistant Director of Safer Communities, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

Justine Armstrong-Smith (JAS) Safer Communities Manager, Safer East Sussex Team, ESCC

Kate Parkin (KP) Director – NHS Armed Forces Community, Lead Sussex Armed Forces Network,

Katy Woolford (KW), Sussex Police

Michaela Richards (MR), Head of Safer Communities, ESCC
Nicola Walker (NW), Partnership Manager, OSPCC

Nicola Spiers (NS) Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) Team Leader, ESCC
Oliver Jones (OJ), Strategy and Partnership Lead, Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils
Richard Parker-Harding (RPH), Wealden District Council
Vicky Finnemore (VF) – Head of Specialist Services, ESCC

Ryan Weedon (RW), Safer Communities Analyst, Safer East Sussex Team, ESCC (Minutes)



Alison Sandiford (AS) – Independent Chair, Operation Maytree


Apologies received

Richard Christou (RC), Clinical Commissioning Group

Sam Harman (SH), Strategy & Partnership Office, Safer East Sussex Team, ESCC

Alison Jeffrey, (AJ), Director of Children's Services, ESCC

Mike Hepworth (MH), Hastings Borough Council

Mark Matthews (MM), Assistant Chief Fire Officer - Director of Service Delivery, ESFRS

Sarah Godley (SG), Sussex Police

Susie Miller (SM), Busines Support Manager, OSPCC

Tanya Jones (TJ), Sussex Police

David Kemp (DK), Head of Community Safety, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service







TH (acting on behalf of CM) CM introduced himself and welcomed everyone to the meeting and apologies received were noted.




Safer Communities Board Terms of Reference


TH confirmed amendments were made to the ToR following amendments put forward by JW and JL regarding the status of their own Community Safety Partnerships.


It was agreed to keep this as a Standing Item for future Boards.




Forward Agenda


Disclosures of Interest

 No members raised disclosure of interest at this meeting.






Minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising


Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.



Thematic Priorities Feedback

MR took the Board through the presentation of the strategic assessment for 2021.

MR re-presented the results of the SWOT analysis highlighting opportunities and risks presented by the two stated options for continuing the Board’s Business Planning process: (a) adopting a thematic approach; and (b) modifying its current priorities to include updated workstreams and overarching themes. MR outlined the importance of the Board’s ability to capture emerging themes and risks to be considered when refreshing the Partnership Business Plan.

The Board agreed to adopting a thematic approach to its business planning for 2022/23.

MR thanked the people that were involved in managing this discussion. Cllr CM thanked everyone for their input.























Domestic Abuse Strategy for Support in Safe Accommodation and governance link to the Domestic Abuse Partnership Board


MR presented the Pan-Sussex Strategy for Domestic Abuse Accommodation and Support (the DA Strategy) and discussed the primary themes underpinning it: Consistent and Collaborative, Diverse and Appropriate, Accessible and Inclusive, Responsive to Multiple Disadvantages, Victim-centred and Trauma-informed.

The strategy enjoyed broad support, with Board Members noting the inclusive approach to development, overall quality and the breadth of the document. Specific points were raised as below.

KP noted her desire for the further development of a trauma-informed approach. KP also noted ongoing efforts to increase engagement with the Armed Forces community and the need for the DA Strategy to ensure they are not indirectly marginalised.  

RT noted the Public Health approach outlined in the presentation is highly relevant and beneficial at a community level given the inter-related risks posed by Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). RT highlighted that the LGBTQ+ community was being assessed specifically and wishes to ensure alignment with the current risk assessments being completed by Public Health.

OJ noted that in order to refine approaches and priorities at an early stage, any issues with data collection and the development of new techniques and plans for data collection across members should be put into place as soon as possible.

CKE noted that while those living with substance misuse issues are not a protected characteristic that they should be considered as a specific group within the Accessible and Inclusive section of the Strategy. MR noted that this group was (also) reflected within the Multiple, Complex Needs section.

The Board agreed to include an item on the pan-Sussex Domestic Abuse Partnership Board as a standing agenda item on the Safer Communities Partnership Board (to which the pan-Sussex Board is locally accountable), and to provide progress reports on the development and implementation of the Strategy.



























Forward Agenda





Progress of Domestic Homicide Reviews


An update on progress of DHRs in East Sussex was provided by NG.

Partners noted the progress of DHRs in East Sussex.

AS – the dependent chair of Op Maytree (Eastbourne) – presented findings from this DHR. She highlighted strong levels of engagement despite the DHR being entirely virtual and a lack of contact with the offender whilst in custody.

The Board requested the Action Plan and Full Report for Op Maytree replace the acronym ESSCP with the full name of the Safer Communities Partnership, to prevent confusion with the Safer Children’s Partnership.

The Board approved the Executive Summary, Overview Report and multi-agency action plans for DHR Op Maytree for submission to the Home Office following the above changes.

It was noted Op Ellwood (Crowborough) and Op Coppice (Lewes) are to be submitted to the Board in due course having made good progress. It was recorded that Op Stafford (Hastings) has been delayed by restrictions to family engagement and may take further time to be brought to the Board. 

Regarding Op Woodhouse (Bexhill), NG confirmed 2 panels had been held, with a third to be convened following the trial for the alleged perpetrator in January 2022. 

Two DHRs (Op Winlock Hastings and Op Stonegate Wealden) had required re-submission to the Home Office as there needed to be more specific and measurable outcomes in the multi-agency Action Plan. Op Winlock is awaiting feedback while the Home Office have requested the inclusion of further victim voice in the Op Stonegate DHR Overview Report.

Notification of a new DHR


A new DHR – relating to a domestic abuse-linked suicide – will be subject to a Multi-Agency Suicide and Domestic Abuse Learning Review with a Chair yet to be appointed in relation to DHR Adult S (St Leonards on Sea).


Trends in DHRs


NG noted that East and West Sussex are experiencing an increase in DHRs in line with the national trend, whereas this is not the case in Brighton & Hove.























DHR partner contributions and Offensive Weapons Homicide Reviews

MR introduced the draft DHR Resource Framework and acknowledged the longstanding history of discussions around agreeing individual contributions being made towards DHRs by District and borough CSPs. 

MR reminded the Board that reviews undertaken where a death (by homicide or suicide) is ruled to be linked to domestic abuse must be completed by upper-tier safer communities partnerships (i.e. the Board), as per the Domestic Violence Crime & Victims Act 2004.

It was noted that work completed through DHRs is supported by the OSPCC. The OSPCC had asked for consideration to be given to a more standardised approach across Sussex.    

At the time of the meeting, five (5) DHRs were ongoing in East Sussex; it was noted that the average cost of appointing an independent Chair for each DHR was approximately £8k-£10k each.

NG noted that, following questions from Cllr JD and JW, that learnings from each DHR are recorded and are available on the Safer East Sussex website at https://safeineastsussex.org.uk/Domestic%20Homicide%20Reviews.html

As per the published report it was agreed:

·         That each District and Borough and ESFRS commit £3,000 per year, including the current financial year 2021/22, into the DHR ‘pot’.

·         That the maximum contribution in any given year to DHRs per District and Borough and ESFRS will be £4,000.

·         That the CCG contributes £9,000 per year to the pot in recognition that they cover the whole county (previous 3 x CCG areas).

·         That the maximum contribution in any given year to DHRs for the CCG will be £12,000.

·         That ESCC continue to fully resource the administration and co-ordination of DHRs, and also contribute £3,000 per annum to the ‘pot’.

·         That ESCC will meet the additional costs of sourcing DHR Chairs should they exceed the maximum contributions outlined above.

·         That ESCC waives the outstanding contribution for Wealden, Lewes, Rother and Eastbourne Councils of £137 for this financial year, 2021/22.

·         That ESCC credits Hastings Borough Council with their overpayment as per the table above.

·         That it is recognised that there will be differences across Sussex with regard to the resourcing of Tier 1 authority’s community safety functions, with Districts and Boroughs deploying PCC CSP funds to meet the costs of the WSCC Data Analyst, and in East Sussex, to meet the costs of Independent Chairs of DHRs - but that the total maximum contribution from any Sussex District and Borough to their Tier 1 authority will be £4,000 per year.


The Board agreed the DHR Resource Framework for future years as above

Offensive Weapons Homicide Reviews (OWHRs)

MR noted that OWHRs introduces a similar duty to upper-tier community safety partners, though is unclear whether this will be accompanied by additional funds from central Government.

It was therefore recommended a similar framework for OWHRs is approved so as to allow for multiple years’ funding without annual review.

Cllr JD queried the primary advantages and risks inherent with adopting a similar funding framework for OWHRs as for DHRs. MR noted that coordinating, funding and administering OWHRs, as for DHRs, is a multi-agency statutory duty and that without additional funding, it would be challenging for a single agency to both commission chairs and to service the review function. MR noted the proposed local Resource Framework assumes no funding for this duty will come from Government sources.

NW asked if the funding required for commissioning OWHR Chairs will be similar as for DHRs – MR noted costs for OWHRs are likely to be similar (totally approximately £40,000 pa).

AM noted that the current funding structure for DHRs and the proposed structure for OWHRs has been forwarded to the East Sussex NHS CCG for agreement.

The Board agreed to extending the DHR Resourcing Framework to incorporate Offensive Weapon Homicide Reviews when the Duty to conduct these is introduced, and if no external funding accompanies the Duty.












































































 Serious Violence and the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021

JAS Introduced the Serious Violence and the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 paper and provided an overview of serious violence in East Sussex. Of particular note was the recognition of the total impact of homicides despite their relatively low number in the county.

JAS confirmed that the Duty does not specify a lead organisation whose responsibility it is to coordinate activity or structure, and that self-monitoring is the primary source of evaluation, with some discretionary powers for PCCs.

It was also noted that new powers of review under the Bill included the aforementioned OWHRs alongside Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) in respect of offenders convicted of offences involving knives or offensive weapons. It was confirmed that any additional funding would need to come from mainstream resources and/or applying for external funding, as no additional funding is currently available.

The Board agreed to implement the guidance laid out in the Duty.

Following a question raised by Cllr RW and outlined as a point of consideration in the Report, the Board agreed to extend the local definition of Serious Violence to include Domestic Abuse occurring in private dwellings.



Carol Black Review Substance Misuse

A presentation on the key themes to have emerged from the second part of the Dame Carol Black Review was provided by CKE.

The Board noted the contents of the presentation and the key areas of the Review and agreed to cascade these findings as appropriate within their organisations.






Drug and Alcohol Related Deaths - thematic approach

A Report on the current and proposed outline structure of Drug and Alcohol Confidential Inquiries was presented by CKE in the absence of AG. 

The Board agreed that further dissemination of lessons learnt from Drug and Alcohol Related Death Reviews should take a thematic approach.


RT noted that a similarly thematic approach is taken during examinations of suicides by Public Health.


VF requested further detail on how the development of the DARD process would map onto the current reviews completed by the Safeguarding Adults Board and how learning would be shared. CKE noted that membership of DARD panels are not static – and therefore can include relevant professionals from within ASC where appropriate. It was also confirmed that the Safeguarding Adult Board is sighted on themes raised by DARDs.




The Safer Communities Partnership Headlines and Summary Report was circulated and noted by Cllr CM.

Cllr CM thanked Board members for their attendance and feedback.



Meetings for 2021:

Wednesday 2nd March 2022, 10:00 to 12:30 MS Teams