Newsletter 31.3.2022 Local Policing, and a chance to comment on the new Commissioner’s Turnaround Plan for the police

Dear Members

You’ll be aware that the police, including our own Safer Neighbourhood Team, have been going through some uncomfortable times recently. John Nicholson, who is IARA’s representative on the Safer Neighbourhood Panel has been attending meetings on our behalf, and below are his two reports.  

The first is of the February Panel meeting, which identifies current issues, including what you can usefully report (you can email us to forward to John).

The second was a special consultation meeting about the Met Commissioner’s Turnaround Plan, and includes a link to a survey which invites comments and suggestions on the Plan.  This is still current, and responses are invited as soon as possible.

Kentish Town Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting 16 February 2023

This was the first meeting since the change to the ward boundaries in Camden involving both Kentish Town North and Kentish Town South Wards.

The Panel’s priorities remain tackling anti-social behaviour, including drugs and robberies, principally of person.

The SNT have been working with Camden Council to tackle a major issue of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in Hampshire Street, NW5.

Cantelowes Park is another area of significant anti-social behaviour involving drug dealing at all times of day.

Late night patrols have continued and resources have been put in to tackle issues of drug dealing involving school children.

Currently the SNT report much less intelligence being received on drugs-related activities in the area. It is important that, where possible, residents keep a record or diary of drug dealing when they see it so that the SNT can build up a picture and combine it with other intelligence. This should ideally record the days, times, exact venue and any description of the individuals involved.

This information can be provided anonymously and I am happy to forward any such information to the SNT without identifying who provided it, if that is what any individual residents prefer.

Concerns were raised at the meeting about motor cyclists, particularly those involved in fast food delivery ignoring traffic signs and cutting through in low traffic neighbourhoods. The question of signage would be raised with Camden Council. Cyclists ignoring traffic lights on Kentish Town Road and the random dumping of hire bicycles such as Lime bikes were also mentioned. However, police resources to deal with these issues was limited. It was suggested that the relevant officers in Camden Council should take up the problem of dumped Lime bikes directly with the company.

Kentish Town Safer Neighbourhoods Panel – consultation meeting on Metropolitan Police Turnaround Plan 2023-2025  

Note of a meeting at Kentish Town Community Centre on 14 March 2023 

The Plan was presented by Acting Sergeant Jason Vickers who covers the 5 new Camden Wards of Hampstead Town, Highgate, Kentish Town North & South and Camden Square. Panel members from all 5 Wards were invited. 

The new Met Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, has launched a consultation on the draft of a Turnaround Plan 2023-2025 which is designed to re-focus Met policing on 3 key themes: More Trust; Less Crime and High Standards. 

The Plan covers 9 Turnaround Priorities: 

1. Neighbourhood Policing 

2. Public Protection and Safeguarding 

3. Service to victims and members of the public 

4. Proactive approach to reducing crime 

5. Raise standards and show care and respect 

6. Set the frontline up to succeed 

7. Invest in people, modernise learning and develop leaders 

8. Data-driven and evidence-based delivery 

9. Innovate and make efficient use of resources. 

The Plan goes into detail on each of these priorities, outlining key interventions and outcomes.  

One of the key outcomes anticipated by the Plan is a return to and re-focus on Neighbourhood Policing and investment in dedicated Ward Officers which has been lacking for a number of years.  More detail can be found under Priority 1 in the Plan. (See page 9) 

This is something that I believe we should welcome. I have already fed back that this is reliant on an effective recruitment and retention policy for the Met. 

Priority 3 in the Plan (See page 12) outlines plans to provide a better service to the public, especially victims of crime and includes proposals on better call-handling, attendance at burglaries and keeping victims of crime better informed. 

Page 6 of the Plan covers Core Policing Activities: 

KEEPING THE PUBLIC SAFE: Ensuring the Met reduces the threat, risk and harm of crime by being prepared to respond effectively to incidents and becoming increasingly proactive in tackling crime.

RESPONDING TO AND RESOLVING CALLS: Answering calls from the public, whether through 999 or 101, promptly and actively triaging to ensure the most appropriate and effective service is provided.

INVESTIGATING AND SOLVING CRIME: Finding, collecting and analysing information and evidence to establish the facts behind incidents of crime and securing an appropriate criminal justice outcome, irrespective of the crime-type.

UPHOLDING PUBLIC ORDER: Keeping the peace through our presence and activity to prevent or reduce harm caused by criminal disruption in public.

TARGETING THE MOST PROLIFIC AND DANGEROUS OFFENDERS: Developing effective intelligence to understand who poses the highest threat to other members of the public and focusing resources on them.

PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE AND REPEAT VICTIMS:

Understanding who is most likely to be at highest risk from crime and focusing resources to protect and remove them from harm.

IDENTIFYING AND RESOLVING NEIGHBOURHOOD PRIORITIES:

Understanding what matters most to neighbourhoods and communities and working closely with them to deliver their needs.

USING STRATEGIC PREVENTION INITIATIVES TO REDUCE CRIME:

Specific initiatives to get ‘up stream’ of the risk of crime, to mitigate or stop potential harm being caused.

OPERATING WITH INTEGRITY: Holding all staff and officers accountable, ensuring professionalism at every level and fostering a culture aligned to our values. 

Although the Plan is 26 pages long it is worth looking at if you are interested in the future of policing in London and our area and taking part in the consultation survey which will feed into the final version of the Plan due to be published in April. 

The survey is being undertaken independently of the Met and is anonymous. 

The full plan and a link to the survey is at: 

www.met.police.uk/turnaround-plan 

John Nicholson