Community Safety Partnership Plan 2023-2025

What is the Safer Arun Partnership?

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 makes local community safety partnerships (CSP) a statutory requirement. Representatives of the relevant local authorities, police force, fire and rescue service, probation and health services are all obligated to participate.

In the Arun district, the community safety partnership is known as the Safer Arun Partnership.

The responsible authorities will work together to deal with local issues such as crime, anti-social behaviour, re-offending, and misuse of drugs and alcohol. The Safer Arun Partnership recognises that no individual authority can deal with these issues in isolation. By coming together, and sharing knowledge and resources, we can assess the concerns of our residents, businesses, and visitors cohesively and set a plan about how to tackle them.

The strategic vision of the partnership is to:

  • Reduce the risk of harm to our communities by creating a safer place for people to live, work, and visit.
  • Take a proactive approach to reducing crime and nuisance behaviour.
  • Consider the concerns of local people and to deliver against their priorities as well as those at county and national level.
  • Work together and make best use of partnership resources.

To achieve this shared vision, the partnership undertakes an annual review of its priorities. This is done by considering the Strategic Intelligence Assessment (2022) for Arun, alongside the insights of our partners, both statutory and within the community and voluntary sector.

In addition to the aforementioned review process, the partnership held a workshop in October 2022 where a range of partners and ‘on the ground’ service providers came together to share their own experiences. This approach was new to the Safer Arun Partnership but was hugely beneficial in gaining a wider understanding of what is going on in our communities, and what can be done to address these issues.

Historically, the Safer Arun Partnership’s strategic priorities have been set and reviewed on an annual basis. However, this has resulted in proposed work plans having insufficient time to be developed and carried out. Therefore, the partnership has agreed that this community safety partnership plan will be adopted for a period of three calendar years, January 2023 to December 2025.

Further details about the Safer Arun Partnership can be found on the district council’s webpage Safer Arun Partnership.

Key findings of the 2022 Strategic Intelligence Assessment (SIA)


10,521 recorded offences in Arun during 2021: +10 crimes when compared to previous year. This is second highest level across West Sussex.

Drugs trafficking and supply +19% from 2020.

54% of recorded crime in Arun classified as violent crime: +9% from 2020.

Sexual offences +2% compared to 2020.

Domestic abuse crime in Arun -1% from 2020 but +8% from 2019.

25% of all knife-related crime in West Sussex recorded in Arun. One third of knife crimes in Arun committed by suspects under the age of 25.

36% of youth violence committed by repeat offenders.

£921,500 lost to cyber enabled fraud in Arun during 2021.

Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)

4,041 police recorded ASB offences in Arun: +1% from 2020.

  • Environmental ASB offences: 163
  • Personal ASB offences: 319
  • Nuisance ASB offences: 3,532

Arun District Council’s ASB team recorded 153 individual perpetrators of anti-social behaviour. 12 of which reoffended¹ = 8% reoffending rate.

Significant community tensions arose as a result of youth related ASB in town centres.

Our communities

164,800 residents in Arun².

14% of children in Arun are living in poverty.

6 wards in Arun are considered to be among the top 20% most deprived areas in England and Wales.

At the time of compilation, the SIA made reference to the emerging cost of living crisis and the impact this may have on our communities. Social inequality was identified as likely having an adverse effect on the quality of life for individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole.

Since then, inflation, food, fuel, and energy prices have all risen considerably. Additionally, the impact on wages, taxes, and benefits have led to significant reductions in people’s income. It is anticipated that the effects will include a rise in acquisitive crime and be detrimental to public health .

The Safer Arun Partnership reached out to the district’s residents and sought their views on crime and disorder by way of a community safety survey. This is an approach that the partnership aims to build on and run similar surveys on an annual basis.


Of the 437 responses received, almost 81% of people indicated that they had not been a victim of crime during the past 12 months. Despite this, when asked how much of a problem people thought crime was in their local area, the average score out of 5³ = 3.42

Overall, respondents indicated that they felt drug dealing and drug taking are equally problematic. Responses show that violence in a public place is seen as less prevalent.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB)

ASB was seen as more of a problem than crime, with the average score = 3.82.

The most regularly experienced ASB issues were reported to be anti-social driving, dog fouling, public drunkenness, and visible drug use and dealing.

The least often seen ASB issues were aggressive begging, environmental nuisance, selling of alcohol to intoxicated people, and noisy neighbours.

Main concerns

Respondents were asked to select the 3 main issues that concerned them the most in their local area:

Main concerns
Top 5 Bottom 5
1. Youth anti-social behaviour 16. Violence
2. Speeding 17. Robbery (mugging)
3. Drug taking or dealing 18. Domestic abuse
4. Burglary 19. Hate crime
5. Vehicle crime 20. Racial abuse

Additional commentary

The survey allowed for free text comments to be added regarding crime and disorder within the district. Of the 203 comments made:

  • 31% referenced the word ‘Police’
  • 20% referenced ‘drugs’
  • 18% referenced the word ‘roads’
  • 11% referenced the term ‘anti-social behaviour’

The Safer Arun Partnership

72% of the 437 replies stated that they had never heard of the Safer Arun Partnership prior to the survey.


¹ Assessed against compliance with Acceptable Behaviour Contracts or higher enforcement

² Census 2021 data

³ 1 no problem at all - 5 a very big problem

The strategic priorities for 2023-2025

Serious violence

What we want to achieve:

  • Reduce incidents of weapon related crime.
  • A reduction in reoffending rates of adults and juveniles.
  • An increased sense of people feeling safe.
  • Fewer victims of violent crime.
  • VAWG work to result in improved support for victims and confidence in reporting.
  • Less children being drawn into violence and associated crime.
  • Reduce school exclusions as a result of violent behaviour.

Reducing drug and alcohol related harm

What we want to achieve:

  • Reduction in visible drug taking and dealing.
  • Increased access to support services.
  • Less drug related deaths.
  • Protect young people from exploitation by County Lines.
  • Create effective pathways for dual diagnosis treatment.
  • Reduce homelessness related to drug and alcohol use.

Tackling anti-social behaviour

What we want to achieve:

  • Reduce the number of repeat ASB offenders.
  • Reduce cases where repeat victims are targeted.
  • Develop a complete ASB profile for the district to inform future tactics.
  • Reduce the negative impact of anti-social driving in communities.
  • Utilise HASBRAC to reduce number of high risk cases.
  • A reduction in deliberate fires causing damage to community assets.

Building community resilience

What we want to achieve: 

  • Improved confidence in reporting crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Increase awareness of the Safer Arun Partnership.
  • Improve partner engagement activity with communities.
  • Improve the feeling of Arun being a safe place.
  • Reduce incidents and financial loss through fraud.
  • Improve public perception that crime and ASB is dealt with by agencies.

Priority: Serious Violence

What is the definition of serious violence?

Violence that includes specific crime types that cause or are intended to cause serious injury, and includes homicide, knife crime (including knife possession), personal robbery and gun crime, where these occur in a public place.⁴

Why is this a strategic priority?

  • The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 introduced a new Serious Violence duty. As a result, changes were made to section 6 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requiring Community Safety Partnerships to formulate and implement a strategy to prevent and reduce serious violence.
  • Serious violence causes significant harm to individuals and to communities.
  • 54% of recorded crime in Arun during 2021 was violent crime.
  • Increased risk of young people being exploited and being drawn into criminal activity.
  • A need to safeguard vulnerable adults and children from being taken advantage of through modern-day slavery, sexual exploitation, and County Lines⁵ activity.
  • To counter the rise in domestic abuse and to improve the support on offer to victims.
  • Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a national issue with local implications; there is a real need for females to feel safe in Arun.
  • To protect children and young people from becoming victims of serious violence.

What can we do to reduce serious violence?

  • Adopt a public health approach, considering violence as a result of societal risk factors that may be preventable i.e. adverse early life experiences or other harmful social circumstances.
  • Follow the West Sussex contextual safeguarding approach to understand and respond to young people’s experiences of harm outside their family setting.
  • Embed a multi-agency early response process to incidents of serious violence involving young people.
  • Support the work of the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership and influencing the need for localised intervention work where it is identified by partners.
  • Develop strategies to address domestic abuse within the local area and support wider WSCC led initiatives.
  • Extend youth outreach provision and diversionary activities.
  • Carry out meaningful engagement with young people to understand the risks they are exposed to and the and reasons why they engage in serious violence and criminal activity.
  • Work closely with community and voluntary organisations to reduce VAWG.
  • Improve partnership intelligence sharing practices to ensure that incidents of serious violence, and the concerns of residents, are reported at the earliest opportunity.
  • Lead educational programmes in schools and reduce exclusions as a result of violent behaviour.
  • Utilise the Arun Peer Group Conference to identify high risk individuals and undertake a multi-agency approach to early intervention.
  • Reduce number of individuals who repeatedly reoffend in acts of serious violence.

Which organisations have a key role to play?

  • Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership
  • Office of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Sussex Police
  • Probation Service
  • West Sussex County Council; Communities and Wellbeing, Children and Adult social care teams
  • Arun District Council; Community Safety, Safeguarding, and ASB teams

⁴ As defined by the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership.

⁵ County Lines is the practice of criminal gangs running illegal drugs from inner cities to other areas, often using children and vulnerable adults as carriers.

Priority: Reducing Drug and Alcohol Related Harm

Why is this a strategic priority?

  • The use of drugs is often a driver for crime and creates prolific offending.
  • Our residents have told us that drug related activity is one of their top concerns.
  • County Lines activity causes great harm to individuals and the wider community.
  • Open drug use or dealing creates an unpleasant environment for residents and visitors, creating ‘no go’ areas.
  • An increase in cannabis amongst adolescents leads to behavioural issues and exposure to crime as a way to pay for supply.
  • Admissions for alcohol-related conditions are rising in Arun, including a rise in admission rates of under 18s.
  • Drug debt increases vulnerability and risks to individuals.

What can we do to reduce drug and alcohol related harm?

  • Increase access to support services.
  • Deliver targeted education programmes for young people.
  • Support the West Sussex Combating Drugs Partnership, especially where recommendations develop from the Understanding & Reducing Drug Demand: Bognor Regis report.
  • Develop and communicate clear pathways for accessing service provision.
  • Utilise the family safeguarding model to connect services around families.
  • Work closely with British Transport Police to identify County Lines activity coming into the district.
  • Implement a pathway for dual diagnosis support to provide a holistic approach for those in need.

Which organisations have a key role to play?

  • West Sussex County Council; drug and alcohol commissioning, and public health teams
  • West Sussex Combating Drugs Partnership
  • Change Grow Live
  • Public Health
  • National Health Service
  • British Transport Police
  • Sussex Police
  • Probation Service

Priority: Tackling Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)

Why is this a strategic priority?

  • Anti-social behaviour is seen as more of a problem locally than crime; the community safety survey saw youth related ASB ranked as resident’s top concern.
  • ASB leads to breakdown of community and family relationships.
  • There are significant cost implications where ASB related damage is caused i.e. street furniture, play equipment.
  • Creates a feeling of being unsafe in specific locations linked to ASB.
  • Repeat victimisation results in declining mental and physical health, and a sense of isolation.
  • Residents told us that anti-social driving and speeding is a high priority for them and an issue they want dealt with.

What can we do to tackle anti-social behaviour?

  • Embed early intervention practices to reduce reoffending; Arun District Council’s ASB team have an annual target of achieving a 5% or less reoffending rate.
  • Follow the West Sussex contextual safeguarding approach to understand and respond to young people’s experiences of harm outside their family setting.
  • Utilise the Hate and ASB Risk Assessment Conference (HASBRAC) multi-agency forum to identify high risk cases and collaboratively reduce harm.
  • Put victims at the forefront of our approach.
  • Monitor ASB reports to identify hotspot locations and undertake timely intervention.
  • Implement the Arun and Chichester Road Safety Action Group as a means of tackling anti-social driving.
  • Work in partnership to reduce deliberate fire setting.
  • Identify seasonal trends and produce targeted messaging.
  • Work with schools to provide awareness information and talks to children.

Which organisations have a key role to play?

  • Arun Neighbourhood Policing team
  • Arun District Council ASB team
  • Registered Social Housing providers and landlords
  • Youth outreach providers
  • Schools
  • Community Wardens
  • West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
  • Sussex Safer Roads Partnership
  • Community Speedwatch co-ordinator, Arun NPT
  • Priority: Tackling Anti-social Behaviour (ASB)

Priority: Building Community Resilience

Why is this a strategic priority?

  • Resilient communities are better equipped to deal with adversity.
  • There is a need to address public perceptions around the fear of crime vs actual risk and understand the issues that residents are most concerned about.
  • A need to build confidence and the trust of our communities in the work of the community safety partnership.
  • Communities where crime and anti-social behaviour goes unchecked will deteriorate and leave people isolated.
  • The cost of living crisis will expose communities to harmful experiences. We can learn from the way communities came together during the early part of Covid-19 lockdowns to show unity and look out for one another, improving cohesion.

What can we do to build community resilience?

  • Engage better with communities, especially those experiencing on-going and widespread difficulties.
  • Encourage timely reporting of crime and ASB by promoting clear and effective pathways.
  • Reach out to communities and vulnerable groups to host fraud awareness talks and advice.
  • Through the Joint Action Group, work in partnership with town and parish councils to identify place based concerns and provide feedback to communities.
  • Provide a visible presence in hotspot areas to reassure residents.
  • Improve public understanding of what ASB is and the processes for dealing with it.
  • Hold an annual residents community safety survey to compare year on year responses to determine factors such as:
    • How safe people feel in their neighbourhood
    • Perceptions and experiences of crime and ASB
    • The issues that concern residents the most
    • How residents feel about SAP and its performance
  • These results are important in directing actions and partnership responses, ensuring that the needs of our residents are met.
  • Carry out effective scrutiny of the Safer Arun Partnership and hold partners to account for their actions and participation.
  • Further embed the Community Engagement Project in Bersted and Wick to enhance social inclusion.

Which organisations have a key role to play?

  • Arun District Council Community Safety team; inc. community wardens, community engagement projects at Chilgrove House and Bersted Green
  • Arun Neighbourhood Policing team
  • Town and parish councils
  • Neighbourhood Watch
  • Community and voluntary sector groups
  • Local Community Network

Partnership Working

Safer Arun Partnership

Serious Violence

  • West Susssex Violence Reduction Partnership
  • Partnership Tactical & Tasking Conference Group
  • Arun Peer Group Conference
  • West Sussex Domestic Violence Steering Group
  • Anti-slavery Network

Reducing Drug and Alcohol Related Harm

  • West Susssex Combating Drugs Partnership
  • Reducing Drug Related Deaths Partnership
  • Arun Drug Harm Conference

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour

  • Hate & ASB Risk Assessment Conference
  • Arun & Chichester Road Safety Action Group

Building Community Resilience

  • Joint Action Group
  • Local Community Network
  • Partnership Communications Network

In addition to the responsible authorities who have a statutory duty to participate in the Safer Arun Partnership, the CSP works closely with a wide range of departments and community and voluntary sector organisations.

Although the work to reduce crime, nuisance behaviour, and community harm is led through the CSP, other organisations have their role to play. We will endeavour to involve the following⁶ in the work we undertake:-

  • Office of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
  • Public Health
  • Youth Justice Service
  • Town Councils
  • Parish Councils
  • Crimestoppers
  • Schools
  • Local Community Network
  • Business and traders partnerships
  • Youth service providers
  • Registered Social Landlords
  • Homelessness support organisations
  • Change Grow Live
  • Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester

⁶ This list is not exhaustive; the CSP recognises that local stakeholders are beneficial in helping to achieve its aims and will work with stakeholders as required.