Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1 The purpose of this decision report is to allocate MOPAC’s contribution to the central London Safeguarding Children Board and to London boroughs’ local safeguarding children and adults arrangements.
1.2 MOPAC has historically allocated £80,000 to London Councils annually to run the London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). This funds a Principal Policy and Projects Officer post to manage the board and some funding is also used for administration support.
1.3 MOPAC has provided an annual contribution per London borough of £5,000 to local safeguarding children boards and £5,000 to adult safeguarding boards on behalf of MOPAC and the MPS. The funding is given directly to boroughs as part of their London Crime Prevention Fund allocation. Local leaders are able to allocate funding in line with their own identified needs.
1.4 Safeguarding funding is provided as part of the Police and Crime Plan 2017-21 commitment to ‘continue to fund the London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and work with London Boroughs’ Safeguarding Children and Adult Boards to develop consistent and effective practice and information sharing by local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) to protect children across London’
2. Issues for consideration
2.1 Under the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011 Section 1 (8)(h), MOPAC has a statutory duty to ensure its functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged with regard to safeguarding and also promotes welfare of children. The same act gives the Mayor a duty to hold the MPS Commissioner to account for the exercise of duties in relation to the safeguarding of children and the promotion of child welfare.
2.2 MOPAC is an active member of the LSCB. The board’s membership is made up of representatives from the London boroughs, the police, health, and probation; and the voluntary and community sectors.
2.3 MOPAC and LSCB’s safeguarding priorities include actions to:
o Address adolescent safeguarding
o Reducing the number of children in police custody
o Developing robust pan London safeguarding procedures
2.4 Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 and Section 43 of the Care Act 2014 place a statutory duty on local authorities to establish Local Safeguarding Children Boards and Local Adult Safeguarding Boards, respectively.
2.5 However in June 2018, Local Safeguarding Children Boards (“LSCBs”) were abolished by the Children and Social Work Act 2017. The new legislation has resulted in the replacement of boards with ‘local safeguarding partners’. This is a new statutory framework which requires the three safeguarding partners (local authorities, police and CCGs) to co-ordinate their safeguarding services; act as a strategic leadership group; and implement local and national learning, including from serious safeguarding incidents. Other safeguarding partners should be included as appropriate.
2.6 The requirement for local authorities to begin their transition from LSCBs to the safeguarding partners began in June 2018. The arrangements must be published by 29 June 2019 and implemented by 29 September 2019. MOPAC’s safeguarding funding will be used to support the new local arrangements.
2.7 However, in light of the changes in legislation and new local arrangements to be in place in the next few months, further consideration needs to be given by all London partners to the resources required from 2020/21 onwards. This review will support future decisions on funding.
2.8 The London Safeguarding Children Board is reviewing its membership and workplan in line with the new statutory arrangements.
2.9 MOPAC will work with the London Safeguarding Children Board to review the new ‘local safeguarding partners’ arrangments that replace LSCBs across the capital and that it presents recommendations for future support.
3. Financial Comments
3.1 The proposed allocation totals £400,000. The suggested allocation is £80,000 for London Councils and the remaining £320,000 is for London boroughs. Each borough will receive £10,000. The funding is included in the 2019/20 MOPAC budget.
4. Legal Comments
4.1 MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
4.2 Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
4.3 Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 5.6). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to Directors is in accordance with the general power of delegation in paragraph 1.7.
5. Public Health Approach
5.1 The Mayor of London has taken a public health approach to violence that has a focus on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. In particular it aims to broaden the concept of safeguarding to include ‘contextual safeguarding’ looking at all factors that could cause harm to the child or vulnerable adult in the context of their community, not just their immediate family environment.
5.2 At its heart a public health approach to violence focuses on prevention and the reduction of violence by addressing risk factors and increasing protective factors. This is in line with effective safeguarding interventions.
6. GDPR and Data Privacy
6.1 The requirement for providers to ensure the policies and procedures are GDPR compliant is included in all contracts.
7. Equality Comments
7.1 The Equality Act 2010 puts a responsibility on public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.
7.2 This requires MOPAC to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
7.3 The promotion of effective children and adult safeguarding arrangements supports MOPAC’s eqailities duties.
8. Background/supporting papers