Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Liz Jordan, Scrutiny 01792 637314 

No. Item


Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.


No interests declared.


Community Cohesion and Hate Crime Overview pdf icon PDF 652 KB

Jane Whitmore, Partnership and Commissioning Manager

Paul Thomas, Community Integration and Partnership Manager

Declan Cahill, South Wales Police



Paul Thomas, Community Integration and Partnership Manager attended to present the report.  Councillor Will Evans, Jane Whitmore and Duncan Cahill of South Wales Police also attended and answered questions. 


The following main issues were discussed:


·         This is a developing area of work. 

·         A partnership approach is very important.

·         There is an issue about how we tackle problems and bring communities together.

·         Working Group concerned about reporting of hate crime in the media and on social media and would like closer working with local newspapers. Informed that locally relationship with media is improving but not much we can do nationally.  Very difficult to regulate social media.  Education is key to this. 

·         Police looking at different ways to obtain tension indicators for hate crime so they can understand what is going on.  Councillors can feed into the process by contacting their Police Community Officers (PCOs).  A piece of work needs to be undertaken to join up the information coming in.

·         Working Group had concerns about PCOs working in areas as people don’t know who they are and what their role is.

·         Welsh Government is providing funding to 7 organisations.  Working Group would like to know how effective these organisations are.  Funding does not appear to be filtering down to a local level.

·         Working Group felt there is not enough community cohesion training and training sessions and one and a half hours are not long enough to cover everything that should be covered.

·         Council provides training on specifics but in terms of community cohesion the Working Group suggests we look again at our equalities training.  The Working Group will share the learning it has from other areas with relevant officers.



Discussion and Conclusions

Councillors are asked to discuss conclusions arising from this session for inclusion in the Convener’s letter to the Cabinet Member:


a) What do you want to say about this issue to the Cabinet Member in the Convener’s letter (what are your conclusions arising from this session?)

b) Do you have any recommendations for the Cabinet Member arising from this session?

c) Are there any further issues you wish to highlight to the Scrutiny Programme Committee arising from this session?


The Panel discussed progress and made the following conclusions:


·         Hate Crime Strategy is a fairly robust framework and is a good strategy

·         There is a lot of work to do on community cohesion as there is no overarching direction or strategy.

·         Swansea’s definition of community cohesion focusses too much on the crime element.  Working Group would like to see a better balance.

·         Working Group will recommend to Scrutiny Programme Committee that a further meeting be held in six months to focus on community cohesion as concerned about lack of a plan / strategy for this aspect. Useful for Community Cohesion Coordinator to attend the meeting.

·         Working Group felt that community cohesion is a possible future scrutiny inquiry topic or matter which needs to be picked up by relevant Policy Development & Delivery Committee.


Following on from this meeting:


·         A letter will be written from the convener of the Working Group to the Cabinet Member, summarising the discussion and outlining the Working Group’s thoughts and recommendations.




Letter to Cabinet Member