Bristol City Council
Strategic Partnership Against Hate Crime (SPAHC) Data Dashboard
Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives
Hate Crime is a key priority for the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership (KBSP), the city’s statutory Community Safety Partnership, which is responsible for tackling crime, disorder and substance misuse. The Strategic Partnership against Hate Crime (SPAHC) forms part of KBSP and is a multi-agency partnership which governs the approach towards tackling hate crime in Bristol. Partners include police, local authority leads (within community safety, social care, education and housing and landlord services), health and victim support organisations.
One of the priority work strands within the SPAHC action plan involves building an understanding of hate crime incidents. Avon & Somerset Police produced quarterly reports containing analysis of police hate crime offences across Avon &Somerset. However, no existing reports or tool provided this overview for Bristol specifically. As this report presented a snapshot of hate crime, the data could not be interrogated or filtered. Finally, the report contained data from police sources only- the Crime Survey of England and Wales has previously estimated that only 48% of hate crime incidents came to the attention of the police (Hate Crimes, England and Wales, 2014/15 (report-it.org.uk)). As such, police data provides a limited understanding of the scale and nature of hate crime. There was therefore a requirement for a dashboard to display live hate crime data for the Bristol area, which would be the used by the SPAHC to incorporate data from across the partnership to focus on informing strategic, tactical and operational approaches to preventing hate crime.
What are the key achievements?
A dashboard was produced in Power BI. The completed dashboard provides comprehensive analysis of police hate flagged crime offences for Bristol, namely:
– Offences trend analysis- a breakdown of offences by month, by category of offence, by day and time of offence
– Demographics analysis- a breakdown of offenders and victims of hate crime, by age group and ethnicity
– Location analysis- Breakdown of offences at Ward/Lower-Level Super Output Area (LSOA)/postcode levels
– Calculated analysis of repeat offences from the perspective of repeat victims and repeat offenders
– Analysis of police outcomes
In addition to this, data from one victim support organisation has later been added to provide a richer picture of hate crime in the city. The dashboard was initially presented to the co-chairs and amended following initial feedback. It was then presented at a quarterly SPAHC meeting, attended by police and council leads and multiple support organisations (15 attendees in total).Positive feedback was received during the presentation and engagement was high. For the first time, it was possible to have an interactive overview of hate crime across Bristol by hate type, offence category, offender/victim demographic and location. It generated a lot of conversation and action points. Some examples of the feedback received from partners during the presentation are as follows:
A strategic lead in Avon and Somerset Police commented “Can I just commend Nawaaz for this amazing piece of work – can we apply for any awards for this – I am sure it will be pioneering.”
A number of people within the local authority also responded with “Nawaaz this is an outstanding tool, great work!”
“This is what we exactly need for that strategic oversight…it allows us to interrogate the data in coherent way”
“You can see who are our repeat victims and offenders; which roads/ addresses are the hotspots and by any hate crime type. It is so versatile.”
Following this positive feedback partners were very interested in gaining access to the dashboard to have the opportunity to interrogate the data themselves. There is scope to expand the data sources to provide a fuller picture. In addition to this, the data will assist in future hate crime case review meetings, as the underlying data can be used to identify the most prevalent offenders/victims. The potential to extend the dashboard to review specific incidents and support individuals at highest risk goes beyond the initial aims of a purely strategic overview of hate crime.
The information in this dashboard is now used to support SPAHC and presented at community safety meetings on a regular basis. Community Safety meetings take place weekly and involve Police Neighbourhood Chief Inspectors, Local Authority Service leads and a variety of other partners across the city. The meeting serves to share information among partners to raise awareness and encourage multi-agency approaches to current community safety issues in the city. The approach used for this dashboard is also being adopted in relation to other issues such as domestic abuse.
How Innovative is your initiative?
One of the main issues surrounding the support of Hate Crime victims is access to information of when and to what extent hate crimes have taken place. This innovative piece of work pulls together information from across organisations to display a current and up to date picture of Hate Crime- this has never been achieved in Bristol. Information sharing agreements have been put into place to allow the flow of data between the Police and the Local Authority in an automated overnight process, meaning that the dashboard is refreshed with information within 24 hours of the occurrence. The dashboard also includes data from commissioned services updated through a less regular but automated process.
Strategically it has been difficult to obtain data that is directly related to the Bristol area and until now the picture in Bristol has been difficult to identify. This piece of work rectifies that. By working closely with analysts and strategic leads at Avon and Somerset Police and the local authority, information at the correct level, which is then actionable has now provided a space where data is passed to teams within Safer Communities and the Local authority more efficiently and more quickly. The close relationship between the two organisations through other Early Help programmes such as the Supporting Families programme has allowed this piece of work to move at pace.
On a technical perspective, the dashboard itself has been developed in an iterative and agile way. Versions of the app havebeen released and tested, then amended and re-released. User Acceptance Testing has taken place with the main end users,to ensure the information is presented in an uncomplicated and understandable way. Definitions for how the figures arecalculated are also included to ensure the information is used to inform the correct decisions. A flag when opening theapplication tells users to use the information in the correct way and in line with governance.
What are the key learning points?
The start of the project was delayed multiple times due to a lack of clarity as to which organisation should be taking ownership for the development of the dashboard. Having an initial scoping meeting where this was made clear would have resolved this issue. The requirements gathering process also needed to be more streamlined- we faced delays in confirming which sources of data could be made available to us. The starting point was to review the existing quarterly reports and extract the potential data sources which could prove useful for Bristol. However it was later found that some qualitative analysis could not be automated and imported directly into the dashboard.
Demonstrating the dashboard increased interest in the project and encouraged partners to discuss potential additional data sources. Following the initial presentation a voluntary organisation contributed data and this has been integrated into the dashboard. A major learning point throughout the development was to raise this was a collaborative piece and not just for Bristol City Council, by building a dashboard with a variety of partnership data sources it was vital that access to the dashboard was available to external professionals as well as internal. Adopting an agile approach for development and implementation enabled all partners to be engaged and feel part of the journey.