Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel: AGM Minutes

Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel

Held in Hawksley Court Community Hall, N16 0UA

On Wednesday 19th July 2017 at 19:15

AGM Minutes

Meeting opened at 19.20hrs


Panel Attendees: S Anderson, P Brown, M Scoullos, Ida Scoullos (Chair), A Weaver (Minutes),

First Time Attendees: K Heimark

MPS Representatives: PC D Brennan (Clissold), PS N Walsh (Clissold)

Apologies for absence: Cllr S Cameron, Cllr S Etti, Cllr N Hercock, D Dyer (Vice-Chair), PC Fox (Clissold), J Mazza, Sarah @ St Mungo’s, J Williams

  1. Introductions:

Ida Scoullos (IS) welcomed attendees to the AGM and asked them to introduce themselves.

  1. Reading of Minutes from last meeting (Wednesday 19th April 2017)

IS requested confirmation of the Minutes (confirmed). Meeting will continue to be the third Wednesday of the month (every third month) which allows the Councillors to attend. Unfortunately, no Councillors could attend in this instance due to another meeting taking place, but going forward this should be fine.

  1. Matters arising from Minutes

There were no matters arising.

  1. Chairman’s Report

IS gave a verbal report. IS met with Nicola Baboneau from the Hackney Safer Neighbourhood Board regarding the recent acid attacks. She would like to information share so would like to be added to the circulation list. Arbor Court – Neighbourhood Watch (JM) sent in an update from Arbor Court regarding vice and drugs in the Lordship Park and Clissold Park area. Is there any possibility to feed in ‘community intelligence’ to help the police to extend their knowledge of the area and how could this better be used. It should be possible to put together a map of what is known about the drugs and vice trade, for example, pick-up, look out, soliciting points and drug drop-offs. The ‘map’ so far extends along Lordship Park from Manor Road to Brownswood Road, with streets intersecting with Lordship Park: QEW/Allerton Road/ Queen’s Drive/Green Lanes. There is regular reporting of VR numbers. Could anyone contribute any information for the ‘map’, perhaps via the ward CAP. The police response at the meeting was that certainly, it would help if residents could send vice/drug vehicle registrations direct to the ward police. However, it was important that residents were mindful of their own safety and did not put themselves at risk.

  1. Receive the Sergeants Report: (period April 2017 – July 2017)

  1. The Report was distributed and summary provided as follows.

  2. Resourcing: The new Sergeant (PS Carroll Weeden) is currently on long-term leave of absence and PS Walsh is standing in for her and attended the meeting to give the Sergeant’s report. PC Brennan is now in role six months and PC Fox is also assisting on the Ward. PCSO Balkar Bains remains on secondment to Enfield working on the Smart Water project. The SNT is receiving some support from a PCSO from Stoke Newington Ward. Therefore, the SNT for the ward is currently made up of three people which is a minimal strength. To summarise the team covering Clissold and Stoke Newington ward now consists of PC Daniel Brennan DWO for Clissold, PC Clifford Fox DWO for Stoke Newington and A/PS Nigel Walsh who is currently overseeing both. James Hawkins is the new Inspector. With only three people covering two wards there are clear and obvious limitations to what can and cannot be done. However, PS Walsh feels that thanks to the hard work of all those involved the team have still been able to make a substantial impact on the issues being experienced in the ward and which the CAP had asked to be focussed on, namely ASB behaviour by minors, speeding and finally, drug use, soliciting and prostitution.

  1. ASB Behaviour: ASB behaviour by children and young people in the Shakespeare Walk/Allen Road area was an increasing issue and was occurring daily. To address this, there has been increased engagement with youth in the area. The team have worked with the schools’ police officers who in turn work with teachers at the schools. The SNT have requested that council safety wardens who would often be in the area around Stoke Newington School after school to extend patrols to the Shakespeare Walk area. The team are also liaising with housing agencies regarding design features to work as a crime deterrent to prevent access to one of the hotspot areas which is currently acting as a hotbed and magnet for this activity. Overall, this ASB activity has now massively reduced. Stoke Newington School have also issued a home letter regarding behaviours deemed unacceptable outside of school, and equally have also sent letters regarding pupil’s safety outside school. PC Paul remains the Schools Officer and is present at SN Secondary School.

  1. Speeding: Residents raised concerns about the issue of speeding on Green Lanes and how it is a hazard and at times out of control. Police will always look to stop drivers who they feel are falling below the required level of care and attention when using the roads. However, as the team are almost always on foot patrol this will require assistance from other units. As such, PS Walsh will look to contact the Road Policing Unit regarding the area. AW raised that residents on Lordship Park had had several meetings with councillors regarding speeding / poor driving along Lordship Park which was of serious concern to safety for both adults and the many children using the crossings to get to local schools or the park.

  1. Drug use, soliciting and prostitution: PS Walsh reporting that both the Clissold/Stoke Newington Teams and neighbouring teams such as the Brownswood patrol this area whenever possible. However, it is a general area issue and one which required more than just police action. On that note, we are still waiting for Arbor Court residents to make lasting design changes to the location to help deter this activity. Furthermore residents of Queen Elizabeth’s Close, who do already have a gate installed, are not closing the gate which therefore creates another ideal location for this sort of activity. With current staffing levels, it is long overdue that residents staring taking more social responsibility for their area and help to take action to deter this sort of behaviour. Offenders for prostitution and soliciting continue to be processed as explained at the previous CAP meeting by PC Curtis from the Brownswood team.

  1. Other duties: The SN police continue to be called upon to provide support outside of the ward and may provide staffing to emergency teams where required. The team cover all areas of ASB and these can be protracted investigations which can be resource hungry. There is a lot of pressure on other services and during this period there have been the events of London Bridge, Finsbury Park, Grenfell Tower, as well as local counter-terrorism patrols.

  1. Questions and Answers Reference Report:

  1. Resourcing: Question regarding how many wards in Hackney and how many staff there would ideally be for the two wards.

Response: Hackney has 21 wards. Across the two CAP areas of Stoke Newington and Clissold, there would ideally be seven made up of one sergeant + 2 PCs +2 PCSOs. The reality is that this is never totally the case. Staff are coming and going, as priorities change. With terrorist levels this high, this is a drain on resources and there is a need for a lot of intelligence work. The good news is that there are going to be more PCs on the borough who are going through recruitment, roughly 20-30 for Hackney alone. These officers will come in as DWOs and need to be trained up and familiarised with the area. Action arising: IS said that she would raise resourcing for Clissold with Councillor Shada Etti who is the newly appointed champion for keeping Hackney safe.

  1. Reporting crime: Question regarding how best to report crime. As raised at the previous CAP, a number of residents have express frustration regarding reporting generally. This holds particularly for reporting to the landline ward number and particularly with 101 where people had experiences of the line not being answered.

Response: The Met are very aware of the problems with access to the 101 service and this has been escalated. In the meantime, always use 999 if it’s emergency. For incidents such as reporting prostitution/kerb-crawling ring 101 and get a CAD crime reference number as the ward landline number is not always answered depending on shifts. If residents can obtain the VR number, this is very helpful. However, residents should always be mindful of their personal safety and not put themselves in a position of risk. Residents can also go online to report crime and should also take a note of the CAD number. CADs are not the same as crime reports and this appeared to be an area of confusion for residents. Once the CAD is generated, then this is also where the response to the CAD is generated, eg. Police attended, etc. All reasons for attendance are documented through a crime report, even where the incident was not recorded as a crime but attendance still occurred. The CAD number is nevertheless important as it is a record of a residents call to the police.

In terms of contacting the SNT, it is much better to send emails to the general team email rather than to a specific officer. As mentioned, currently the team is operating at minimum strengths and therefore individual officer emails may not be checked on a daily basis or an officer may be away on annual leave. However, the SNT group email is monitored everyday so emails are picked up and distributed or passed to another officer as appropriate. As the team regularly receives quite a lot of emails, this helps in ensuring important emails are not missed. Most of the SNT teams work a day shift pattern with only occasional night time patrol, so if the incident occurs at night and it is an emergency, as before always dial 999. If not an emergency call 101 and then if the operator feels it is appropriate, they may upgrade the level of response.

There was some discussion around determining when to call 999 or when to call 101. The example was given of burglary, so if a crime is taking place and the suspect is there, then it would be appropriate to call 999. If the burglary has already occurred and the suspect has left, then use 101. Clearly, not all circumstances fit neatly within a box (particularly in relation to prostitution), but generally if calling 101 they will upgrade if necessary depending on the situation. Residents raised that they did not feel that prostitution was being sufficiently tackled despite the regular reporting. PS Walsh responded that with the current levels of resourcing, it was difficult to tackle this issue head on. Additionally, residents wanted to know if letters were being sent out in response to their reporting of VR numbers as often they did not get a response so they didn’t know if being actioned. The Brownswood team has also undergone changes to resource and the continuance of letters needs to be clarified with that team, as PC Curtis has changed role. There also needs to be more communication of the process of reporting crime, such as via estate boards.

Action: PC Brennan to look at drafting a list of who to contact in the event of an incident. The crime stoppers number to be included. This can be put forward at the next meeting for consideration before distribution via estate boards. Further clarification needed regarding the Brownswood team and who is carrying forward sending out letters. It would be helpful to know, for example, how many letters were sent out in the three months prior to the CAP meeting.

  1. Youth ASB: Question regarding behaviour of youths around Milton Gardens youth club.

Response: this was primarily a discussion around what options there are for youth in terms of clubs in the area, which also raised the question around who is running Youth Hub, as this is funded by MOPAC. There is not enough for young people to do and people are not tolerant of the teenage age group, so how can they be encouraged and importantly, they need somewhere to go – ‘to hang out’. There is segregation of ages at some clubs which is not how things are at home. The Hawksley club allows for ages from 6-18 and does not have ASB issues. People need to be more tolerant and we need to make provision for our youth. Milton Gardens has space but who manages it and what can be done to engage the kids more. MOPAC get a lot of funding but what is being done with it. Hawksley have a model that works and maybe this could be rolled-out more.

  1. Lordship Park: Previously Cllr Cameron had raised issue of speeding and dangerous driving on Lordship Park following up to four recent crashes on the road, and a number of residents also reporting damage to cars. AW raised that some traffic calming measures have recently been put in place, such as the smiley/sad face generated at speeds over 20mph, but they had only just been installed so it would probably be worth getting an update at the October meeting from residents to see if this had had any impact. It would also be useful to know if the Brownswood SNT and/or traffic were still subjecting the area to once monthly targeting both for traffic violations and in relation to vice. This is not clear as the Brownswood SNT has recently undergone changes to resourcing.

  1. Mopeds/Acid attacks: The issue of Moped crime was raised – ‘joy riding gone mad’. This covers both thefts of mopeds, but also theft from individuals using often stolen mopeds. At the last meeting, there had been a spate of thefts of bags and phones along SN Church Street and the High Street, but this had lessened in the last quarter. Acid attacks were also raised, particularly in light of the attacks in the area over the last week.

Response: Moped-crime is cyclical and those involved in this type of crime tend to move rapidly between different areas. For example, they move to Islington, then Hackney, then Dalston, then back to Islington. Newham is particularly bad, it is like an epidemic. A key thing to bear in mind is that the mopeds used are often stolen and subsequently dumped, so if you can stop people having their mopeds stolen, this could help. It is very dangerous to pursue as the moped may crash or hit pedestrians. Education around better prevention from theft is key – extra locks, etc. Specifically in terms of the recent acid attacks, two people were arrested, one from Stoke Newington. With this type of crime, people have taken things to a new level. This particularly affects gang-on-gang retributive acts. The area of licencing for many products needs consideration, but the main problem is that lots of household products can be used. This is an evolving area. In the event of an attack, don’t make skin contact, but apply clear running water as quickly as possible to the affected areas and call an ambulance.

  1. Clissold Park/Springfield Park: Safety in Clissold Park and Springfield Park over the summer was raised. There had been a spate of burglaries in Springfield Park and also the drugs situation in Clissold Park last summer was difficult particularly around the basketball/cage area and in the bushes between the ponds and the One O’Clock Club.

Response: The team are aware of the problems and PC Brennan is regularly patrolling Clissold Park as part of his shift. Clissold Park is actually much better in comparison to some of the other parks. In terms of the Springfield Park burglaries, the police use predictive/hotspot mapping and will increase patrols in such areas and inform other residents in the immediate area giving advice on measures to help prevent a burglary.

  1. Hackney Community Safety Wardens Activity Report:

Hackney Community Safety Wardens did not provide an activity report and there was no one in attendance from HCSW. IS will contact HCSW with regard to future meetings and also regarding the need for a regular activity report. PS Walsh and PC Brennan commented that they were aware that the wardens were busy on some other areas of the borough. IS said that the general feeling is that Stoke Newington is also becoming a hotspot. Clissold maybe lower currently, but the problems seem to be increasing. Dalston has been terrible with knife crime so the police think it is worse. However, the problems are trickling over here with gang related issues and we still need proper focus. When you see other areas which are worse, it may put the situation into one perspective, but equally it is possible to compare with other areas which don’t have the problems and to see that they have much better resourcing, etc. Action: IS to write to Barry Fox for update at next meeting and also to Councillor Shada Etti regarding these concerns regarding resourcing.

  1. Any Other Business

  1. Graffiti near Nando’s: this was raised by one resident and IS gave advice on further reporting.

  1. Priorities for the 5 Neighbourhoods within the Borough for the next three months

  1. Burglary/Robbery (theft of and from, parts of cycles, motor vehicles and persons)

  2. Anti Social Behaviour (Drug Dealing, Using, Prostitution and Soliciting)

  3. Violence (of all types, specifically knives and guns)

  1. Three objectives from the Ward Panel to the Police:

  1. ASB behaviour

  2. Moped crime & theft of mopeds.

  3. Vice related activity – Drug Dealing, Using, Prostitution, Soliciting

  1. Date / Time of the next meeting:

Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 19:15hrs – Hawksley Court

Thereafter: Wednesday 17th January 2018 at 19:15hrs – Hawksley Court

  1. Meeting Closed: The meeting closed at 21.00

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