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MERGING CRIME AND DISORDER REDUCTION PARTNERSHIP AREAS

UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE CDA 1998 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 97(3)


OF THE PRA 2002: GUIDANCE FOR HOME OFFICE REGIONAL
DIRECTORS IN ENGLAND

1. Introduction

1.1 This paper provides guidance for Home Office Regional Directors
(HORDs) 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.

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 audit and strategy functions
under sections 6 to 7 of the Act. Annex A sets out the relevant sections of the
legislation.

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.
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.

3. Timing

3.1 A number of partnerships are already working together ‘informally’ as


merged partnerships. However, it is a requirement of the legislation that each
CDRP consults locally on its crime and disorder and drugs audit, and
publishes its joint strategy locally. The audits and strategy toolkit suggests
ways in which this might be interpreted (see also FAQ at annex D). Without a
formal order to merge from the Secretary of State, those CDRP areas

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currently working together ‘informally’ as a merged partnership are still
formally required under the legislation to publish and consult on their crime
and drugs audit report and publish their strategy in each of the local
government areas within the ‘merged’ partnership area. The process outlined
in this guidance is therefore intended to be as straight forward as possible in
order to facilitate formal mergers for these partnerships as soon as possible.

4. Process for merger

4.1 The process for merging CDRP areas has been broken down into 6
stages – see flow chart at annex B. Home Office Regional Directors and their
teams will be best placed to consider the merits of applications to merge and
the process set out here therefore delegates that decision making function to
HORDs. 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. If you decide that the
merits of an individual case warrant the making of a ‘merger’ order, the case
will be put to Ministers to approve. The policy team in the Community Safety
& Local Government Unit (CSLGU) will submit the case on your
recommendation to Ministers to approve and will therefore require key
information and details of the application from you. The merger template at
annex C sets out the minimum information required by CSLGU in order to
make a case to Ministers.

4.2 The remainder of this section explains in further detail each of the
stages set out in the flow chart at annex B.

4.3 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 you will need to satisfy yourself that this is the case before partnerships
proceed to the next stage. You will also want to consider whether the
responsible authorities concerned have consulted with their stakeholders
locally on the merits of merger.

4.4 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.

4.5 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

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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 audit and strategy process or put together for the partnership’s annual
report

4.6 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.

4.7 In considering the merits of an application to merge, HORDs will of


course wish to take a range of additional factors into consideration. The
following list is not exhaustive but gives examples of the type of additional
information you may want to consider:
• 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

4.8 Stage 4
Once you have considered an application to merge, you should complete the
template at annex C and forward this to the policy team in CSLGU with any
other information you consider relevant. The information that you provide on
the template is the minimum information we feel we need in order to make a
case to Ministers to support the application to merge. However, you are
welcome to submit any additional supporting information you feel it is
essential for Ministers to be aware of. We hope that the information you
provide will be enough for us to make the case for merger to Ministers, but in
rare cases, we may need to come back to you for additional information. We
shall of course endeavour to keep this to a minimum.

4.9 If you feel on receipt of the application from the ‘informally merged’
partnership that they have not yet made a case for merger, you will want to
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discuss this with them. As mentioned above, we would only submit a case to
Ministers on your recommendation and if a partnership contacts us direct with
a request to merge, we would advise them to contact the Government Office
in their region in the first instance.

4.10 Stage 5
Using the information you have supplied in the merger template and any other
supporting evidence we will put a submission to Ministers recommending that
an order is made. You will be copied into these submissions to Ministers.

4.11 Stage 6
Once we have received Ministerial approval the policy team in CSLGU will
liaise with Home Office Legal Advisers for an order to be raised. You should
bear in mind that it may take upto 3 months for an order to be raised. You will
be informed in writing once this has been done so that you can let the merged
partnership know, and a copy of the order will be sent to you.

5. Good Practice

5.1 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. We would
therefore welcome examples from merged partnerships in due course, of:
• good practice around the issues outlined in paragraph 4.7 above
• barriers that have been overcome during the merger process, and
• lessons learned from it

5.2 We will then post these examples on the partnerships area of the
Crime Reduction Website.

6. Further Information

6.1 Annex D contains answers to some frequently asked questions about


the process for merging CDRP areas. Additional enquiries should be
addressed to:

Steve Lusted
Community Safety & Local Government Unit
Home Office
4th Floor, Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

020 7035 4863


steve.lusted@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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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”.
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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 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 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

Stage 4
The Home Office Regional Director for the region will consider the application and
 make a recommendation supporting the application – the recommendation should be
submitted to CSLGU on the merger template together with any other information the HORD
considers should be put to the Home Secretary

If the HORD 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
CSLGU 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 HORDs - 18 November 2005 6
Annex C
Merger Template [to be completed by HORD

Information required Response


Name of Region
Name of HORD
Partnership areas concerned

Name under which the ‘informally’ merged


partnership is currently operating
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.

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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 HORDs 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 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 funding be calculated for the merged partnership?

Where two or more CDRPs propose merger, it will be necessary to consider


how their individual allocations under the Safer and Stronger Communities
Fund are likely to be affected by that merger. Where the Home Office is made
aware of mergers in advance of annual announcements under the fund,
arrangements would be made to combine the individual CDRP allocations
within the detail of the announcement.

Where merger occurs in-year, or news of merger does not reach the Home
Office before allocations are announced, it will be for individual Government
Offices to aggregate the allocations of each of the CDRPs that have merged,

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thereby creating one pool of money for that newly-formed CDRP. In most if not
all cases of merger, it will be a straightforward pooling of funds.

How will merged partnerships be affected by the introduction of the Safer


and Stronger Communities Fund from April 2005?

CDRPs will be involved in negotiations around the SSCF from April 2005. In
two tier areas where partnerships have merged the new merged partnership
will be involved in negotiations and individual allocations agreed as part of the
negotiation would be combined. In areas where negotiations for the SSCF
have already concluded, merging of partnerships should not be impeded if the
partners involved and the GO concur that it is conducive to the delivery of the
agreed outcomes. The GO will also need to aggregate any agreed allocations
of the SSCF to the CDRPs to create one pool of money for the newly formed
CDRP.

Will a merged partnership area be selected as a Local Area Agreement


pilot area?

Ministers have already announced the selection of Local Area Agreement pilot
areas in 2005/06. Partnerships in LAA pilot areas will not be prohibited from
merging in these areas if they wish, as it will add an extra learning element to
pilots. However, the GO will need to take into consideration how this would
alter the negotiation and operation of a LAA. If the merger takes place after
the LAA has been agreed the GO will need to establish with all partners signed
to the LAA that the merger of the CDRPs does not adversely affect the delivery
of the negotiated outcomes.

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 HORD 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.
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What information or guidance will partnerships receive about this
process?

This guidance has been produced for HORDs and their teams on the
procedure to be followed for merging CDRP areas because the role of the
Government Offices in the process is central to it. We do not intend to produce
separate guidance from the centre for partnerships, but this guidance note will
be published on the Crime Reduction Website at www.crimereduction.gov.uk

What are the responsibilities of DATs and CDRPs in the audit and
strategy 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 audits, strategies and reports.
Such an approach can yield economies of scale and greater synergy. It will
support strategic planning by agencies serving the county as a whole. If
this approach is adopted, the audits, strategies 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 audit and publish the
joint strategy 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 audits, strategies and reports or
separate documents (e.g. one audit document covering crime and disorder
and a separate audit 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 audits, strategies and reports 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 audit and strategy functions under sections 5 – 7 of the CDA 1998 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 audit
and strategy 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
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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.

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CSLGU
Home Office
4th Floor Peel Building
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 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

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