Hmm – that interests me as someone who has watched while s.17 of the Crime and Disorder Act (CDA98) has been fairly consistently ignored since 1998.
Some readers may be saying… what is s.17? Here it is in full:
17. Duty to consider crime and disorder implications.
(1) Without prejudice to any other obligation imposed on it, it shall be the duty of each authority to which this section applies to exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect of the exercise of those functions on, and the need to do all that it reasonably can to prevent, crime and disorder in its area.
(2) This section applies to a local authority, a joint authority, [F1 the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority,] a police authority, a National Park authority and the Broads Authority.
(3) In this section—• “local authority” means a local authority within the meaning given by section 270(1) of the M1 Local Government Act 1972 or the Common Council of the City of London; • “joint authority” has the same meaning as in the M2 Local Government Act 1985; • “National Park authority” means an authority established under section 63 of the M3 Environment Act 1995.To my knowledge (and this is limited, I grant you), many councils just ignore this section altogether. There may even be people reading this post who ought to know about this part of the CDA98, but do not. If you are a councillor, for example, were you aware of this section? Other councils just add another impact assessment line to committee reports after finance and diversity etc. Very few councils if any, to my knowledge, have rigorously thought about this section and how they may be conforming to it or in breach of it… (Although I am happy to be informed otherwise...)
My interest in this stems from a small piece of work I did for Kate Flannery back in 1999 when she was at the Audit Commission (before she became one of the first, if not the first, ‘civilian’ HMIC). Kate asked me to produce a report outlining what a “s.17 compliant council” would look like. I have it still. I also ran a series of workshops investigating the implications of s.17.
In my view, then and now, s17:
> invokes the need to review everything that is done (and not done) by the council
> also invokes the need to review all decisions (including decisions not to make decisions) as to their likely impact on crime & disorder
1) What are we already doing to reduce crime & disorder and promote peaceful behaviour?
2) What have we got planned that will reduce crime & disorder and promote peaceful behaviour?
3) What more could we doing that would reduce crime & disorder and promote peaceful behaviour?
4) What are we already doing to increase crime & disorder and reduce peaceful behaviour?
5) What have we got planned that will increase crime & disorder and reduce peaceful behaviour?
6) What are we at risk of doing that would increase crime & disorder or reduce peaceful behaviour?
And now I am wondering, how the PCC might deploy this section of the CDA98 to ‘balance & support’ their relationship with the Police & Crime Panel members..!?