GUIDANCE ON MERGING CRIME AND DISORDER REDUCTION PARTNERSHIP AREAS UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE CDA 1998 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 97(3) OF THE PRA 2002 1. Introduction 1.1 This paper provides guidance for Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships and Home Office Regional Deputy Directors (HORDDs) in England, and their teams, on the procedure to be followed at local, regional and national level in order to facilitate the merger of crime and disorder reduction partnership (CDRP) areas. This guidance has been revised in the light of the new Hallmarks for CDRPs and also reflects experience gained from the mergers that have occurred since 2005. 2. Background 2.1 Section 5 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as amended by section 97(3) of the Police Reform Act 2002 sets out the circumstances in which the responsible authorities for each CDRP area can join together to work as a combined partnership in order to carry out their functions under sections 6 to 7 of the Act. The previous requirement for an audit and strategy has been repealed and partnerships now have to carry out a strategic assessment which informs their partnership plan. The document “Delivering Safer Communities: A guide to effective partnership working” provides comprehensive guidance for partnerships on the new requirements. 2.2 There are clearly benefits for some partnerships, particularly in two tier areas, to work together in this way, such as the pooling of expertise, knowledge, skills and resources to more effectively tackle crime and disorder and the misuse of drugs at local level. Merger of CDRP areas may also be beneficial in overcoming the practical barriers in two tier areas to integration/closer working between the County DAT and the District CDRPs. It will also help with the joining up for the County Strategy Group and the Community Safety Agreement, which form part of the new requirements outlined in the Minimum Standards for Partnerships. (Please see the Delivering Safer Communities Guidance). The expectation therefore should be that mergers should take place where it will be in the interests of reducing crime and disorder or of combating misuse of drugs, and where all the responsible authorities concerned in those areas want to merge. The ability to comply with the Hallmarks and Minimum Standards should also be taken into account. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 1 3. Process for merger 3.1 The process for merging CDRP areas has been broken down into 6 stages – see flow chart at annex B. Home Office Regional Deputy Directors (HORDDs) provide the initial approval of a merger application. This includes assessment of the pilot period that the partnerships have been informally working together and whether this is of sufficient length to conclude that a formal merger will be successful. 3.2 This section explains in further detail each of the stages set out in the flow chart at annex B. 3.3 Stage 1 In order to fulfil the requirements of the legislation, a joint application to merge needs to be made by all responsible authorities across the areas wishing to merge. In practice therefore, they all need to be in agreement to the merger and the HORDD will need to be satisfied that this is the case before partnerships proceed to the next stage. The HORDD will also consider whether the responsible authorities concerned have consulted with their stakeholders locally on the merits of merger. 3.4 Stage 2 The process of revoking an order to merge partnership areas would inevitably be a complex one. The Home Secretary will therefore want to be satisfied that all responsible authorities and partnership agencies are confident that the merger will work before an order is made. Those partnerships that have already successfully operated as an „informally‟ merged partnership may proceed directly to stage 3 of the process rather than piloting their arrangements for a further set period - see also FAQ at Annex D. 3.5 Stage 3 The responsible authorities and partnership agencies will already have been working together for a period as a merged partnership when the application for an order is made. The partnership should therefore have gathered a considerable amount of evidence in support of merger. As a minimum, the application should draw on evidence from: a completed self assessment during the pilot phase and joint improvement planning evidence of performance improvement during the year including the benefits of merger – this can be drawn from information gathered during the strategic assessment and planning process and iQuanta performance data information. 3.6 The application will also need to set out why merger is in the interests of reducing crime and disorder or of combating the misuse of drugs and be made jointly by all responsible authorities concerned – these are requirements of the legislation. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 2 3.7 In considering the merits of an application to merge, HORDDs will take a range of additional factors into consideration. The following list is not exhaustive but gives examples of the type of additional information that may be considered: How any issues of losing the „local agenda‟ as a result of merger will be addressed. How the merged partnership will retain local sensitivity, consult with and be accountable to local people. For example, has the merged partnership developed a community engagement strategy for ongoing consultation with local people, businesses and community groups, which is sensitive to the diversity of areas within the merged partnership‟s geographic boundaries? How the merged partnership will manage its relationship with all the responsible authorities within the merged partnership area, the Drug Action Team, Local Strategic Partnership, Local Criminal Justice Board and other local partnerships and agencies for the constituent local authority areas. For example, what overarching performance management arrangements and accountability structures has the merged partnership put in place? How merger will lead to economies of scale How the pooling of local resources financial as well as expertise, skills and knowledge will achieve more effective and sustainable outcomes How the merger will help the partnership achieve the Minimum Standards and Hallmarks 3.8 Stage 4 Once the HORDD has considered an application to merge, they will complete the template at annex C and forward this to the policy team in Police and Crime Performance Unit (PCPU) with any other information considered relevant. The information that is provided on the template is the minimum information needed in order to make a case to Ministers to support the application to merge. However, HORDDs are welcome to submit any additional supporting information they feel is essential for Ministers to be aware of. In most cases the information provided will be enough for PCPU to make the case for merger to Ministers, but in rare cases, additional information may be required. 3.9 If HORDDs feel on receipt of the application from the „informally merged‟ partnership that they have not yet made a case for merger, the HORDD will want to discuss this with the partnership. As mentioned above, PCPU would only submit a case to Ministers on HORDD‟s recommendation and if a partnership contacts the Home Office directly with a request to merge, they would be advised to contact the Government Office in their region in the first instance. 3.10 Stage 5 Using the information supplied in the merger template and any other supporting evidence a submission will be put to Ministers recommending that an order is made. The appropriate HORRD will be copied into these submissions to Ministers. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 3 3.11 Stage 6 Once Ministerial approval has been received the policy team in PCPU will liaise with Home Office Legal Advisers for an order to be raised. It should be borne in mind that it may take a few weeks for an order to be raised. The respective HORDD will be informed in writing once this has been done so that they can inform the newly merged partnership, and a copy of the order will be sent to the HORDD. The order will have the date on which the partnerships will be legally merged. 4. Good Practice 4.1 Partnerships that are considering the option of merger may find it helpful to discuss the practical issues with a merged partnership that has been through the process and learned the lessons from it. Merged partnerships are encouraged to submit their example, of: good practice around the issues outlined in paragraph 3.7 above barriers that have been overcome during the merger process, and lessons learned from it 4.2 We will then consider posting these examples on the partnerships area of the Crime Reduction Website. 5. Further Information 5.1 Annex D contains answers to some frequently asked questions about the process for merging CDRP areas. Additional enquiries should be addressed to: Charlie Storer Partnership Policy Team Crime Strategy Unit Home Office 4th Floor South East, Peel Building 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF 020 7035 4866 email@example.com CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 4 Annex A The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 states: 5 Crime & Disorder Strategies (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the functions conferred by section 6 below shall be exercisable in relation to each local government area by the responsible authorities, that is to say – (a) the council for the area and, where the area is a district and the council is not a unitary authority, the council for the county which includes the district; and (b) every chief officer of police any part of whose police area lies within the area. The Police Reform Act 2002 states: 97 Crime & Disorder Partnerships (1) The Crime & Disorder Act 1998 (c. 37) shall be amended as follows. (2) In section 5 (authorities responsible for strategies). In subsection (1), after paragraph (b) there shall be inserted – “(c) every police authority any part of whose police area so lies; (d) every fire authority any part of whose are so lies; (e) if the local government area is in England, every Primary Care Trust the whole or any part of whose are so lies; and (f) if the local government are is in Wales, every health authority the whole or any part of whose area so lies.” (3) After subsection (1) of that section there shall be inserted – “(1A) The Secretary of State may by order provide in relation to any two or more local government areas in England – (a) that the functions conferred by sections 6 to 7 below are to be carried out in relation to those areas taken together as if they constituted only one area: and (b) that the persons who for the purposes of this Chapter are to be taken to be responsible authorities in relation to the combined area are the persons who comprise every person who (apart from the order) would be a responsible authority in relation to any one or more of the areas included in the combined area. (1B) The Secretary of State shall not make an order under subsection (1A) above unless – (a) an application for the order has been made jointly by all the persons who would be responsible authorities in relation to the combined area or the Secretary of State has first consulted those persons; and (b) he considers it would be in the interests of reducing crime and disorder, or combating the misuse of drugs to make the order”. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 5 Annex B Process for Merger Stage 1 A proposal to merge must be agreed by all of the responsible authorities across the areas wishing to merge and discussed with the relevant Home Office Regional Deputy Director. Stage 2 CDRPs pilot working together as a merged partnership Stage 3 After piloting working arrangements as a merged partnership, an application to merge is made to the Home Office Regional Deputy Director The Application should: draw on evidence from a joint Self Assessment completed by the „informally merged‟ partnership during the pilot phase and joint improvement planning draw on evidence of performance improvement during the pilot period set out any benefits already gained or expected to be achieved and how these impact on reducing crime and disorder or combating the misuse of drug. clearly show that all of the responsible authorities for all relevant areas are in agreement with the merger show that the Minimum Standards & Hallmarks are being met and that the merger will help in complying with these Stage 4 The Home Office Regional Deputy Director for the region will consider the application and make a recommendation supporting the application – the recommendation should be submitted to PCPU on the merger template together with any other information the HORDD considers should be put to the Home Secretary If the HORDD is unwilling to support the application, he/she should discuss with the „informally merged‟ partnership what further areas for improvement are needed within a mutually agreed timescale Stage 5 PCPU recommend to the Secretary of State that an order is made under section 5(1A) of the CDA 1998 as amended in section 97(3) of the PRA 02 Stage 6 Recommendation is approved and Home Office Legal Advisers arrange for an Order to be madeCDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 6 Annex C Merger Template [to be completed by HORDD Information required Response Name of Region Name of HORDD Partnership areas concerned Name under which the „informally‟ merged partnership is currently operating Why is the partnership considering merger? What would the merged CDRP structure look like? Where will the different teams of the proposed structure be located? What difference will be seen to the existing CDRP structures in each of the Local Authority areas? What are the financial implications if the partnerships merge? What are the risks in merging these partnerships? Is the merged partnership complying with the Minimum Standards & Hallmarks as prescribed in the Police & Justice Act 2006? CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 7 Has an application for an order under section 5 (1A) of the CDA 1998 (amendments contained in section 97(3) of the PRA 02) been made by all the responsible authorities in each of the areas concerned? (Please provide details) Are you satisfied that the „informally‟ merged partnership has been working well in practice ? (Please provide a summary from the partnership‟s application for merger as evidence of this) Are you satisfied that making an order under the Act for these CDRP areas to merge will be in the interests of a) reducing crime and disorder, or b) combating the misuse of drugs Please summarise here the main benefits that a merged partnership would bring. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 8 Annex D Frequently Asked Questions How long does a pilot period of partnerships working informally together need to be before they can apply for a merger? This is something that HORDDs will need to consider when processing merger applications. It will need to be of sufficient length to reasonably conclude that a formal merger will be successful. What happens if responsible authorities decide that they no longer want to work together as a merged partnership after an order has been made? The process of revoking an order to merge partnership areas will inevitably be a complex one which is why we have said that „informally‟ merged partnerships should work together for a pilot period before making an application. Whilst requests to revoke an order have not happened and in the future are likely to be rare, there can be no cast iron guarantee that it will not happen if for example the political landscape at local level were to change. In these circumstances Ministers would need to be satisfied that all responsible authorities in the merged partnership area were jointly seeking to „de-merge‟ and that to do so would be in the interests of reducing crime and disorder or of combating the misuse of drugs. Can the Home Secretary force CDRP areas to merge? The Act enables the Home Secretary to make an order to join together two or more CDRP areas to work as a combined partnership provided he: first consults all the responsible authorities in the areas concerned, and if he considers merger to be in the interests of reducing crime and disorder or combating misuse of drugs in the areas concerned. The process for merger we have outlined in this guidance assumes that in the majority of cases the CDRP areas concerned will want to merge. However, this may not always be the case. There may be circumstances where it is considered that merger would be appropriate, even if the responsible authorities concerned have not requested it, in order to improve partnership working and overall performance. How will merging affect the County LAA in two-tier areas? The duty to prepare the LAA rests with the County Council in two-tier areas. However the involvement of District level partners in two-tier areas should remain central throughout the negotiating process and the Government Office will seek assurance on this point, working with the relevant county and district authorities as appropriate. Where district CDRPs have merged the County Council should ensure that the new CDRP is fully involved in the preparation and delivery of the LAA. The new CDRP assumes any responsibilities for preparation and delivery of the LAA which were previously the responsibility of the districts it covers. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 9 How will funding be calculated for merged CDRPs? Home Office Safer & Stronger Communities funding, previously paid directly to CDRPs via the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG), is now paid through DCLG to local authorities as part of Local Area Agreement Grants. With effect from 1st April 2008 this funding will be paid to local authorities (again via DCLG) as part of Area Based Grants. The calculation of funding for any merged CDRPs is a matter for the relevant lead authorities in consultation with their partners in the local strategic partnerships. How will merger of a group of CDRPs affect the groupings of ‘most similar’ CDRPs? Revised groupings of „most similar‟ CDRPs have been published on iQuanta. We will continue to work with colleagues responsible for producing „most similar‟ groupings to ensure that relevant groupings for merged partnerships and „informal‟ partnerships working towards merger are reviewed annually so that they will have an appropriate group to benchmark themselves against. Partnerships will need to be aware that their crime statistics and families will only be reported on the merged partnership from April and for this reason, where possible, mergers should be arranged to take place formally on 1 April. What happens if after the pilot working period the ‘informally merged’ partnership decides it wants more time before submitting an application for an order to merge? A decision to make an application to merge will need to be taken jointly by all the responsible authorities in the areas concerned and if they decide jointly that they need more time, this is ultimately a decision for them. However, we would expect the HORDD to be fully involved in that discussion because an „informal‟ partnership should not continue to operate indefinitely if there is no clear intention to merge or if it is clear that merger does not have the full support of all responsible authorities. What are the responsibilities of DATs and CDRPs in the strategic assessment process and how will merger of CDRPs in two tier areas affect these responsibilities? In two tier authorities, county level strategic planning of the drug strategy is critical. It is recommended that partnerships adopt one of the approaches described below, both of which ensure that strategic planning of the drug strategy takes place at county level whilst allowing responsible authorities to meet their statutory responsibilities at district level. DATs and CDRPs should, where practicable, work jointly to produce county-wide crime and disorder and drugs strategic assessments and partnership plans. Such an approach can yield economies of scale and greater synergy. It will support strategic planning by agencies serving the CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 10 county as a whole. If this approach is adopted, the strategic assessments. plans and reports must have the agreement of all CDRPs and be comprehensive in their coverage of crime and disorder and drugs issues in each CDRP area. Each CDRP will still be required to publish and consult locally on the joint strategic assessment and publish the joint plan locally (this is a requirement of the legislation). Again, in terms of format, partnerships will be free to decide whether to produce combined crime and disorder and drugs strategic assessments and plans or separate documents (e.g. one strategic assessment covering crime and disorder and a separate strategic assessment document covering drugs). If separate, the documents will need to be cross referenced and complementary. Where the above approach is not practicable, each CDRP will be required to produce crime and disorder and drugs strategic assessments and plans for their local area. CDRPs are expected to agree the drugs element of these documents with the county DAT in order to ensure consistency with the county-wide audit, strategy and report produced by the DAT*. Where a merger order is made, the combined responsible authorities will fulfil their strategic assessment and partnership planning (as prescribed in the Crime and Disorder (Formulation and Implementation of Strategy) Regulations 2007) as if they were the responsible authorities for a single CDRP area. Accordingly, they will be required to consult on and publish their joint crime and drugs plan in the local area to which the order applies. * Note: the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended) places statutory requirements on responsible authorities operating at district level. District level CDRPs need to address the impact of drugs misuse on their local communities. However, that does not detract from the importance of county level strategic planning of the drug strategy. As a result, DATs in two-tier authorities are expected to produce county-wide drugs audits, strategies and reports. This will ensure consistent approaches within unitary and two-tier authorities to auditing, planning and reporting within the revised framework for local delivery of the drugs strategy. CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 11 An example of a standard worded letter from the Partnership to the Police and Crime Policy Unit with signatures required that should be submitted along with the application and HORDS template. PCPU Home Office 4th Floor Fry Building SE 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF To the Home Secretary, On behalf of the (insert number here) Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) in …(area)……… we are writing to formally request an approval for an order, under Section 5 (1A) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (CDA) as amended by Section 97 (3) of the Police Reform Act 2002, for (insert number here) district based CDRPs in …………… namely …………………… to combine together to form a single …………….. CDRP to be known as the ……(insert name ie XXX Community Safety Partnership) …………………. The xx CDRPs have already working together successfully as a informally merged partnership for (insert period). We have been demonstrating the value of combining by our day to day collaboration (insert some evidence here). The new CSP will be coterminous with the BCU/PCT (delete as applicable). The Home Office Regional Deputy Director fully supports the application in the interests of reducing crime, disorder anti-social behaviour and misuse of drugs. The undersigned certify that the application for merger is supported by all of the appropriate responsible authorities concerned in the combined area. Chief Executive Chief Executive Council Council Chair/ Chief Executive Chief Superintendent PCT Police BCU or Chief Officer Police Force Chair Chair Police Authority Fire and Rescue Authority Date CDRP Mergers – Guidance for HORDDs - xxxx 2008 12
"MERGING CRIME AND DISORDER REDUCTION PARTNERSHIP AREAS UNDER"