Community Action Panel for Lordship Ward 12th February 2014
There had been an increase in the number of residential burglaries. Known burglars had been targeted. Four had been arrested in the last week, three red-handed and one for possession of drugs and a knife
There had been a noted increase. There have been operations targeting vehicles seen in the neighbourhood and behaving in a way that suggested they were there for that purpose. Letters were then written to the registered owners of the vehicles. Between the first of January and the present time, 59 drivers had been engaged with.
- Targeting the prostitutes has not worked because it is a time intensive procedure requiring witnesses and three cautions. Then the magistrates will not give a fine or custodial sentence so that the workers are often back on the street immediately. The Police are engaging with the sex workers if they find them loitering but searches have not turned up drugs and that is why resources have been re-focussed towards the customers.
- What the police need from the public is constant information and descriptions of sex workers
- The problem could only be totally solved by stationing a police officer permanently at each location affected which is impossible.
Q. Can we have the camera back?
A. the camera was situated at the Lordship Park/Queen Elizabeth Park junction for one year. It is up to the Council./ In the meantime the Police are deploying a mobile camera unit.
Q. I am woken up regularly at night. I see the workers when I leave for work. There is always trouble. I never see a police officer. Please let us have the camera back.
P Snow said that there was a limited number of cameras available
It was suggested that more cameras should be obtained. Money was the stated problem.
Q. although this is a historical problem it doesn’t mean it cannot be solved. You need to do a BLITZ on it. This is causing misery to the people of the ward and they deserve the problem to be sorted out. You are being too narrow in considering the solutions.
A. There are just not the resources to do a continuous blitz on the problem.
Q. One way of dealing with the problem is to prevent the use of secluded space where the prostitutes can take their clients. I understand that Queen Elizabeth Close has been proposed a gate but Hackney homes are asking for £50 deposits on every key and the residents cant afford it.
A. A lot of the private residents have objected to a gate. And a gate is only effective if the residents use it. Chestnut Close has a gate but residents don’t use it.
A suggestion from the floor was for automatic card-operated gates to be fitted.
Discussion from the floor
A resident asked why the Police did not prosecute bicyclists riding without lights.
A. It is illegal to ride without lights but this is not a priority. Priorities are either things which affect a lot of people so that there is demand for action or things which are obviously more important. Such as Murder, Violence and Child Abuse. The Police have no plans to mount a large operation on this point although they are targeting riders in heavy traffic on Stoke Newington high Street and Road where the danger is greater.
How many Police are available in the ward and in the borough?
The Police were unable to answer this question.. They also made the point that Police officers might be front-line or support. There appears to be a certain confusion among Police officers about their own situation.
Their numbers have been reduced recently and the model of policing is continually changing.
It seems clear that although the framework of the safer neighbourhood teams remains in place, the number of police specifically linked to a ward has been reduced. In Lordship it is one PC and one PCSO. The emphasis has changed to a larger team working in a larger area (a neighbourhood).