Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel – AGM Meeting: Minutes

Held in Hawksley Court Community Hall, N16 0UA

Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 19:15

Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened at 19.20hrs

PRESENT:

Panel Attendees: JA, MB, PB, DK, KM, IS (Chair), MS, AW (Minutes)

First Time Attendees: None

Hackney Representatives: SG (Community Safety Principal Enforcement Officer, Hackney)

MPS Representatives: PC Higgins (Stamford Hill West), PC T Roulstone & PC D Walters (Clissold)

Other: None

Apologies for absence: Cllr S Cameron, Cllr S Etti, Cllr N Hercock, JV-Open Doors

  1. Introductions:

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

  1. Reading of Minutes from last meeting

IS requested confirmation of the Minutes (confirmed). The meeting continues to be the third Wednesday of the month (every third month). Addendum – please note that this is with the exception of April due to the Easter Holidays & Easter weekend falling during the third week. The next meeting will therefore take place on Wednesday, 24th April 2019. All councillors can attend. See end of minutes for further meeting dates which are now set for the year.

  1. Matters arising from Minutes – no matters arising

  1. Chairperson’s Report

  • Apologies: Apologies were received from Cllr Cameron who was attending another meeting.

  • Meetings: No meetings attended.

  • Change of PCs: IS would very much like to thank PC Brennan on behalf of the panel for all his work and commitment to Clissold Ward over the prior two years – we wish him well in his new role. We would also like to welcome the new team, including PC Roulstone who is new to the Clissold SNT. PC Walters attended at the last meeting so has already had a chance to meet some of the ward panel attendees. Welcome also to PC Higgins who is based at Stamford Hill and is now the lead on prostitution for the borough. He has attended tonight to provide an update on activities regarding prostitution on Clissold and neighbouring wards, following concerns expressed at the last meeting due to the many changes in neighbouring teams. He will provide an overview of work being undertaken.

  1. Receive the Sergeants Report: (period October 2018 – January 2019)

The Report was distributed and summary provided as follows.

  1. Resourcing: PC Daniel Brennan has changed teams and has left Clissold ward after two and half years. Clissold Ward now consists of both PC Dean Walters and PC Tom Roulstone who replaces PC Brennan. These are the Clissold Dedicated Ward Officers (DWO’s). PC Valentine and PC Leigh are the Dedicated Ward Officers for Stoke Newington. Sergeant Daryl Jones is in charge of Clissold, Stoke Newington, Brownswood and Woodberry down wards. PCSO Raheem is on Stoke Newington ward. PCSO Mo Ashraf is on Clissold ward.

PC Paul who was the Safer Schools Officer for Stoke Newington School for the last ten years has now moved and is replaced by PC Hakim who will cover Stoke Newington School and Mossbourne. Although PC Hakim is not based at the school, he is in regular contact with them and they are able to contact him directly.

  1. Other demands: The team continue to investigate our own crimes as well as managing long-term problem solving and neighbour issues across the ward. Since the last ward panel there have been several abstractions from neighbourhoods looking to combat anti-social behaviour over both the Halloween/bonfire night period and Autumn Night events and then again throughout the Christmas and New Year’s period. Whilst this meant a slight reduction in time to cover the core neighbourhood’s duties, this did allow for an increased policing presence in areas experiencing issues with groups or late at night. During the forthcoming months there are likely to be further abstractions, including for Brexit duties.

  1. Priorities from the ward panel to the police given at the previous meeting:

Three objectives from the Ward Panel to the Police (set by the community):

  1. Lordship Park/QEW – Prostitution and ASB arising

(ii) Church Walk – drug dealing

(iii) Lordship Estate – drug dealing.

  1. *Burglary will be covered as part of borough priority.

Lordship Park/QEW- Prostitution & ASB arising

Following residents reporting an increase in prostitution and ASB around the Lordship Park area a multi-ward operation was conducted in November and the again in December. This consisted in up to 10 police officers from multiple different teams working night shifts focussed solely on this area. The first operation was in plain clothes, looking to identify kerb crawlers and engage with the girls working in the area. One of these nights we were joined by two workers from Women-at-the-Well to assist with diversion and engagement. The second operation was in uniform looking at enforcement. This was led by PC James Higgins (Stamford Hill West). Following some uncertainty at the last panel we can confirm that the warning notices ARE still being sent out and furthermore the diversion courses for kerb crawlers ARE still being run!

PC Higgins provides an update: PC Higgins introduced himself. He is the PC taking the lead on prostitution across the borough supported by PC Sal. This also covers Brownswood ward. Two operations were undertaken before Christmas. There is definitely the need for a better balance and there has been a change to the way things are done to allow for more enforcement. In terms of breaches, a prostitute may breach many times as they are often very vulnerable, but the court can force them to seek help.

Over the previous period, 38 kerb crawlers were sent letters. Whilst residents do get frustrated and think things are not progressing, often in sending out letters, the Police discover that the kerb crawler may be using a hired vehicle and therefore people are only replying now several months after the letter was send out. Previously, they used to be brought in and offered a community protection course but now they need to attend the course, there is no choice and it will be obligatory. It is consequently really important that people keep reporting and a number of pamphlets were provided on how to report are available for hand-out to residents. The money raised is used to fund undercover operations with undercover officers, etc. In terms of operations, there are two three-night operations planned. The next operation will be in February and again in March, but they are hoping to move to a three-week focus. There are a number of meetings ongoing with the vice team. What often happens is that the drivers will say that their number plate has been stolen. While this is an excuse, the fact is that a person is innocent until proven guilty so it is important to do the due diligence and to be sensitive around the information and there is a need to accommodate what is being said until sure that it was the person.

Question: What about sexually transmitted disease and transfer to partners of kerb-crawlers? PC Higgins said that he was meeting with JV from NHS Open Doors who work with the women involved in the next week or so and this will cover this type of thing. Question: What about people in the street being approached e.g. someone’s daughter. This is a problem and kerb crawlers may become angry if they see they are apparently being rejected by someone who they think is a prostitute. People may not report and so it is really important that people are given information on how best to report. The pamphlets are planned to be distributed in the area. The target areas seem to be Queen’s Drive through to Bouverie Road. Shacklewell is also a key area. We are in the process of getting a map together and are speaking with Community Safety at Hackney.

Church Walk – Drug dealing

There had been several complaints from local residents and parents regarding a large amount of drug dealing on Church Walk N16. Whilst regular patrols were taking place due to the nature and layout of the area it was proving difficult to catch the offenders in the act. As such a more long-term approach was required. Fortunately thanks to the local community providing information on the issue we were able to execute a Section 23 Misuse of Drugs Act Warrant on the address where the offenders were working out of which resulted in three people being arrested. The investigation is on-going.

Working in partnership with the local council and housing provider we were also able to obtain a closure order for the property so that it couldn’t be misused in this way again! A great result all round and it was only possible thanks to the community’s trust and patience. Since then no reports so the police are seeing how it goes.

Lordship South Estate – Drug Dealing

There had been an increasing number of reports of groups of male congregating on the Lordship South Estate and potentially dealing drugs. Through regular patrols we were able to identify and engage with some of these individuals. We then flagged the area up to Gangs Task Force so that the area could be included in borough tasking’s for other units, thereby increasing the police presence on the estate significantly. Since then there has been a reduction in this issue, however work is still ongoing to identify what/who is drawing them to the estate and how to resolve this long term.

We also have the Neighbourhood Task Force. This is aligned to the SNTs. There is one sergeant and six pcs within a total of four teams. If there is a requirement for a key task force, then we can get in touch with and conduct patrols. Each neighbourhood is aligned to one. For example, we can involve a Burglary Task Force such as in the case of the Springfield robberies, but they are not offence specific instead they are essentially hotspot specific.

Burglary

Crime prevention meetings continue and advice continues to be distributed to residents at every opportunity. It continues to be the case that most burglaries are best prevented by residents, not by the police. That being said the borough has invested considerable resources into the issue of burglary, with an unmarked car tasked on most night shifts to patrol burglary hot spots and by targeting prolific known burglars. This has resulted in multiple repeat burglars being arrested and significant reductions in several areas.

Furthermore, following an increase in burglaries and residents concern, PC Leigh and PC Valentine set up a burglary operation throughout December and January. This is a multi-faceted approach, which included hosting frequent drop in sessions to provide regular crime prevention updates as well as tasking the Neighbourhood Task Force to patrol specific areas.

However, burglary is always going to be present and it’s important that residents remain vigilant and take the advised crime prevention matters to crime harden their homes. Again, we cannot emphasise enough that the people with the biggest potential to reduce burglaries are residents themselves acting on the crime advice we provide. Class A drug consumption is a key indicator. Burglary prevention puts them off. Metrace – have a lot of kits which can be distributed. It is possible to give a presentation if people would like – please let us know.

Engagement:

The team are looking to hold regular drop in sessions, however would like feedback about what you as the residents would like to see. These can be general sessions where residents can attend and ask any questions they have or just for a chat. These can be targeted sessions, for example a session focused on crime prevention regarding bike thefts.

Or they can be more community-focussed sessions, such as taking part in fun runs or other events so that you can get to know your local team better with the added option of discussing any issues you have with us! All feedback greatly appreciated!

Crime rates: For December 2018 the three top reported crimes on Clissold Ward were Residential Theft, Miscellaneous Theft and Violence. Crimes per 1000 residents for Clissold was 6, compared to a borough average of 10 and a London average of 8. This follows a general trend of Clissold being significantly below the Borough and London average for crime rates. This information is all publicly available to residents, along with detailed maps of crime hotspots, crime prevention advice and long-term details crime information on;

https://www.met.police.uk/your-area/hackney/clissold/?tab=Overview

Contact us

If you have any local Clissold related queries or would like to contact the team, please feel to email us on: SNTGD-.Clissold@met.police.uk. This is not for emergencies or for crime reporting!

  1. If you wish to report a crime and it’s an emergency please call 999.

  2. If you wish to report a non-emergency crime dial 101.

  3. Alternatively you can now report crime (non-emergency) online at:

    https://www.met.police.uk/report/how-to-report-a-crime/

    1. Questions and Answers Report:

    1. Drug dealing/gangs: Question from resident regarding what’s happening to counter thefts and gangs. Are estate sweeps are happening? Suddenly young men are gathering which we have never seen before. These people are being given access by others on the estate.

    Response: In terms of bike thefts, there is a Bike Initiative in place. Estate sweeps are happening regularly, these are now normal on the ward. Knife crime is the biggest priority currently and knife sweeps are happening across borough. One positive is that there has been allocation of money for CCTV. This is to either update CCTV or for new CCTV. Some cameras are static, some are 360, some shot in different definitions. Good ones are being upgraded wire being put onto digital. This is really important as sometimes it is difficult to obtain pictures from the existing kit.

    As reported last time, a Community Protection Notice has been served on an individual in Shakespeare Walk with Housing serving notice to seek possession. One of the children living at the property is the main problem and the situation continues to be monitored.

    1. Muggings (robberies) of SNS students: There have been a number of mugging incidents on children in the vicinity of the school and the park. These have been reported to the school and to the police. Can the police increase patrols around end of school? From 3.45pm, the people traffic quietens down and the park is currently emptier of adults as many of the primary schools have now exited. It may be that this timeframe makes students more vulnerable as they may be walking home alone, so it may be that this timeframe is more relevant in terms of patrols.

    Response: SNT PCs with liaise with Safer Schools Officer. Depending on rest days, the team will look to increase presence in the area. Safety advice follows that previously given. If children feel in any way worried, they should return to a place of safety such as the school or leisure centre. Always where possible ‘buddy-up’ with someone to walk back from school or clubs and keep your phone out of sight. Do not carry money with you and make sure bank details are not held on a phone. Tell an adult in a shop or place of safety such as the school what has happened and ask them to call the police. Potentially contact can be made with local businesses to see if any can offer Safe Havens on Stoke Newington Church Street. Stoke Newington School are in the process of drafting a letter on student safety and the Safer Schools PC Hakim will be meeting all year groups to discuss personal safety and holding a session for parents.

    1. Speeding: JA said that he had been once again asked to raise the issue of speeding on Green Lanes, particularly in relation to the section between Newington Green and Clissold Park. There is currently no enforcement and no camera. What is possible and what can be done. A second resident said that she goes shopping along there. The cars are so fast particularly around Aden Grove. Crossing there is so dangerous. Why don’t they put notices, could they have a Community Street Watch. People are definitely driving without due care and attention. What is needed is permanent enforcement with permanent cameras.

      Response: As previously noted, this is not part of the role of the SNT as they are not able to undertake speed checks. They have previously contacted Traffic Police but it may be worth contacting Hackney Council as really this is down to Highways. It might also be talking to the Schools Safety Officer as Stoke Newington School is nearby and there is the safety of the children walking to and from school. IS/AW to raise with Councillor Cameron who has undertaken work on this on behalf of the residents of Lordship Park who also experience significant problems with traffic/speeding.

      1. Hackney Community Safety Wardens Activity Report:

      The Hackney Community Safety Principal Enforcement Officer (SG) opened by stating that there is a disconnect between what the expectations are from her role, which is to deal with high level enforcement. This can range from prostitution through to other issues such as fly-tipping. Currently, that role is completely at capacity and there is not time to produce any report for the meeting.

      IS (Chair) explained that what the SNT Panel would like was a short summary of the main activities undertaken by the wardens in the previous three months with a particular focus on Clissold Ward. This had been proposed at the previous meeting and agreed with SG and was important since Clissold Ward is the focus of this SNT meeting with the police and community. This did not have to be long but was to give residents an idea of what the council was doing alongside the police activities. This would allow the community to feel engaged with activities and allow them to input if they felt something else was needed.

      SG explained that officers are not ward-base but borough-based and this makes reporting at this level difficult. If the panel need stats on noise and drugs then that can be provided but it is time consuming and not within the scope of the role. The Principal Enforcement Officer can direct the activities of the Community Safety Wardens depending on needs, for example recently residents had raised issues about street drinking and they had activated patrols once a day. Officers also feedback on problems and can issue notices. People can email with any difficulties which they are experiencing. She would speak to the previous Community Safety Warden about what was supplied to previous meetings.

      IS (Chair) explained that as had been also explained at the previous meeting, the input given previously was not sufficient. There had been no attendance for more than a year by anyone from Hackney Community Safety to give an update despite many emails being sent. AW said that the SNT Panel were not looking for a long report but even ten bullet points on the key areas would help to provide a picture of what Hackney Council were focussing on and this could be disseminated amongst residents as the people in the meeting circulated as well as the email distribution list. It was difficult to see how it was not possible to put this summary together in three months. It was confirmed that all parties had agreed and signed-off the previous minutes as a fair reflection of the last meeting. The meeting was also about supporting all residents within the ward and disseminating information to them.

      SG stated that it was not possible and nobody else was available and that situation would remain as far as she was in role. IS said that this position was not helpful and that she would write to Amalia Rodriguez because she felt strongly that a summary of activities was required and the situation whereby there had been a lack of input from the Community Safety team had gone on for too long.

      No further update was provided on activities by Hackney Community Safety in Clissold Ward. As noted at the previous meeting, residents would generally welcome more structured input from Hackney Community Safety with specific input regarding Clissold Ward. There are problems that are specific to Clissold and residents need to know what is happening and being actioned, whether it relates to drug dealing or prostitution or to youth violence which is currently a key concern.

      1. Public Space Surveillance Team – Email received from Andy Wells (Civil Protection Service Manager for Hackney Council):

      The Lordship Park / Queen Elizabeth Walk area of the borough is renowned for attracting street workers and kerb crawlers. The Public Space Surveillance (PSS) Team (CCTV), along with our partners, have been working hard to improve the quality of lives of the residents in and around that area.

      Strategically:

      This year (2018) we have increased the number of cameras deployed to the area from 4 to 7. Their locations took into consideration intelligence and information we were given by the Police and residents. The seven cameras are:

      C299 – Lordship Park / Lordship Road

      C371 – Lordship Park / Queen Elizabeth Walk

      C315 – Lordship Park / Allerton Road

      C238 – Lordship Park / Green Lanes

      C235 – Allerton Road / Queens Elizabeth Walk

      C234 – Queen Elizabeth Walk / Arbor Court

      C370 – Brownswood Road

      We are now looking to lay more optical fibre along Lordship Park to connect the new camera locations directly back to the main monitoring room (currently images are transmitted by wireless and 4G). This will allow better and more efficient transmission of images from the cameras. It will also allow the possibility of extending CCTV coverage even further when either funds become available or crime trends dictate.

      Operationally :

      During 2018 the Public Space Surveillance team have been involved in several Police led ‘Operation Cruiser’ deployments which involve my PSS Operators and our mobile CCTV van. This has led to many arrests, street worker referrals and kerb crawler reports. These figures are collated by the Police. We also independently deploy the CCTV van to the area whenever circumstances allow, to provide a strong deterrent to kerb crawlers.

      Since June 2018 the CCTV van has been deployed to Lordship Park and the surrounding areas on 56 occasions. The area is also patrolled on a regular basis through use of the permanent cameras, as listed above. Since January 2018 we have generated 92 kerb crawler reports and referrals to the Police, who in turn refer kerb crawlers to the ‘Stop & Think’ educational programme. Some of the funds received from this have now been allocated to the PSS Team to fund continued use of the CCTV van patrols, allowing us to plan and resource a concerted period of patrols to deter kerb crawlers.

      1. Election for positions of Chairperson & Vice-Chairperson:

      Ida Scoullos was re-elected to Chair. Marvyn Bramble was elected as the Deputy Chair.

      1. Any Other Business: no other business

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

      1. Youth Violence / Violence (of all types, specifically knives and guns)
      2. Burglary/Robbery (theft of and from, parts of cycles, motor vehicles and persons)

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

      1. Three objectives from the Ward Panel to the Police (set by the community):

      1. Lordship Park/QEW – Prostitution and ASB arising

      2. Church Walk & Lordship Estate– drug dealing

      3. Robberies (muggings) around the park and Stoke Newington School.

      *Burglary will be covered as part of borough priority

      Additional (this item is to be left on the minutes): Although it is recognised by the meeting that speeding/dangerous driving both sit outside the remit of the local SN team, as residents regularly raise the issue of excessive speeding on both Green Lanes, Lordship Park and Lordship Road, we would ask that the team continue to report this issue back to the Traffic team so that this issue continues to stay on the radar. There have already been a number of accidents and this matter needs to be taken very seriously. There are a number of schools and small children walking these routes, as well as crossings which are frequently breached. There is real concern amongst residents that someone will be killed or seriously injured if this continues.

      1. Date / Time of the next meeting: Please see below for date of the next meeting in 2019 for your diaries. The meeting is the AGM and will be held at Hawksley Court and start at 19:15 hrs.

      Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 19:15hrs – Hawksley Court.

      All dates in diary please (18th September, AGM 15th January 2020)

      Meeting Closed: The meeting closed at 21.15


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