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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Cameron MacLean, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8496 4328 Email: cameron.maclean@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

INTRODUCTION AND MEETING GUIDELINES

The Chair to –

(a)  Welcome all persons in attendance to the meeting and to invite those present to introduce themselves; and

(b)  To inform members regarding the procedure to be followed in considering items on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed members of the Board to the meeting and referred to the guidelines for the conduct of the meeting. He asked those present introduce themselves and the organisations they represented. Members then took it in turns to introduce themselves.

 

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from –

(i)            Neil Thurlow: Community Safety Team Manager, LBWF

(ii)          Phoebe Pluckrose-Oliver: MOPAC

(iii)         Molly Samuel-Leport:

The Chair stated that he had not had any recent contact from either Cllr XX or Maheswaran Marisamy. He asked that, if any Members of the Board had contact details for either of these members, if they could inform him so that he might make contact with the members.

 

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter that is to be considered at this meeting.  Interests are defined in the front cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

The Chair referred the Board members to the provisions regarding the declaration of pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests set out on the pages attached to the agenda.

There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

REPORT BY THE CHAIR pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Report of the Chair updating the Board on the work of the SNB.

Minutes:

The Chair presented his report to the Board which had been circulated with the papers for the meeting. Matters covered by the report included –

(i)        MOPAC Funding

(ii)       Stop & Search Group

(iii)      London Community Policing Partnership (LCP2) Meetings

(iv)      SNB Priorities & Workplan

The Chair noted that there would be an annual general meeting of the Board on 10th December 2015, when elections to various posts on the Board would be decided. The Chair then thanked the Board’s Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary for their work throughout the year, and thanked the Democratic Services Team at the London Borough of Waltham Forest (“LBWF”) for servicing the Board.

Resolved: To note the report

 

5.

BOROUGH COMMANDER'S REPORT

(a)  Introduction of the Borough Commander to the Board

(b)  Report by the Borough Commander and questions to the Commander

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the Borough Commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker.

DCS Tucker stated that he planned to be at Waltham Forest for some time. He acknowledged that he had come to Waltham Forest 31/2 years into MOPAC's four-year programme of tackling a basket of seven “neighbourhood offences” (residential and non-residential burglary, theft from the person, robbery, theft from and of motor vehicles, violence and criminal damage). During this period, Waltham Forest had seen a significant reduction in the number of offences in, including theft and criminal damage. However, he acknowledged that there had been an increase in violent offences. DCS Tucker went on to say that much of the reason for the reduction in crime in Waltham Forest and generally was attributable to the Police working with different agencies including local authorities, shopkeepers, industry, drug workers, and various charities. He added that this reduction was in the face of an increasing population and reductions in police funding.

DCS Tucker stated that keeping people safe, including young persons, the elderly, the mentally infirm, and the vulnerable, was the main priority for the police, The issues in Waltham Forest that were of particular concern for the police included addressing crimes that were the result of social deprivation, which could be addressed by the police referring individuals to the appropriate pathways for help and assistance. DCS Tucker went on to say that he was getting a feel for the area and that he had been in Waltham Forest before when working as a CID officer in Newham. He said that he was wary of presenting too many statistics adding that crime was a personal experience and an extraordinary event or the individual. Consequently he tried to get down to the individual level, noting that the police were working for the people and that was part of the job stop the added that the police adopted a broad range of tactics in helping to keep people safe.

At this stage in the proceedings, the Chair said that a number of questions had been emailed tom the Borough Cmdr. and that he would ask DCS Tucker to answer these questions. However, before that, he would present the various crime statistics and questions that were emailed to DCS as these had not been included in the papers for the meeting. The Chair then presented the information and questions. In the subsequent question and answer part of the meeting, DCS Tucker provided the following information: –

(i)        Young police officers were put in the busiest areas so that they might become familiar with the streets and could interact with people. He added that these were busy streets in terms of the number of pedestrians and included the main high streets and not streets where there was necessarily a particularly high crime rate. He said there were two wards, Lea Bridge Road and High Street, where old-fashioned town centre style policing was appropriate. This allowed police officers could get to know the traders and shopkeepers, as well  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

MOPAC DATA PACK pdf icon PDF 675 KB

Minutes:

The Chair referred the members of the Board to the MOPAC information that had been sent out with the papers for the meeting. He suggested that it might be appropriate to refer any questions on the MOPAC data to the Borough Comdr. The Chair then invited further questions to the Borough Cmdr. In response to various questions by board members, DCS Tucker provided the following information: –

(i)        The number of police officers in the borough had increased. The growing population in east London continued to create problems in terms of police numbers. However, the redeployment of police officers to areas where they were required and cuts in expenditure on the police would inevitably mean an overall reduction in police numbers in London and would be dependent upon the comprehensive spending review when it was made public. Some of the reduction in numbers could be offset by improved efficiencies within the force, but it was unlikely that these efficiencies could offset a major reduction in police expenditure.

(ii)      Fear of crime was a matter for the police and the presence of police officers on the street often reassured people that they were safe, particularly at times such as the lead up to Christmas. However, the number of personal robberies had plummeted across the country in recent years.

(iii)     As yet, it was not known by how much the police would have to reduce its budget to meet government savings targets. Despite the cuts, the MOPAC basket of seven offences would not be affected before the end of the programme. Regarding the wider cuts, it would be necessary for the police to change the way in which it carried out many of its functions including, for example, adopting a digital policing plan whereby police officers would not have to return to the station to carry out necessary paperwork. Whatever changes might be necessary, the focus would still be on working with and for the public and on core policing. Major cuts in expenditure would require the police to focus on public protection rather than, say, property crimes.

(iv)     Regarding rape statistics, stranger rape was relatively rare. The Board could be provided with the statistics if requested.

(v)      Police stations were costly to maintain and manage and, therefore, police stations may well close in an effort to reduce costs. It was acknowledged that people liked to have police stations in their area. However, stations were visited by very few persons and, therefore, were not economical to maintain. In response to the requirement to make savings there were some experimental measures being taken with regard to combining forces in different boroughs. One advantage of so doing was the breakdown of territorial inefficiencies in responding to instances of crime and parallels could be drawn with the way in which the fire brigade operated across boundaries.

The Chair then opened the meeting. In the subsequent discussion the following points were raised: –

(i)        There appeared to be discrepancies in the statistics relating to hate and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

YOUTH INDEPENDENT ADVISORY GROUP (YIAG) UPDATE pdf icon PDF 336 KB

Update report of the YIAG

Minutes:

The various YIAG members present took it in turns to present the YIAG update report which was circulated with the papers for the meeting. Having presented their report, the Chair stated that he was going to invite the YIAG members to ask the Borough Commander any questions that they might have, and then invite the Board members to ask any questions they might have for the YIAG members.

In response to a number of questions, the Borough Cmdr. provided the following answers: –

(i)        That the recent incident involving several hundred young persons from Walthamstow did not constitute a riot and the police had subsequently engaged with schools and colleges as well as parents. A debriefing had followed the incident and the police were pleased with the way in which they had dealt with the matter. Enquiries were continuing and it was noted that shopkeepers and the public had been distressed by this incident and the police were anxious to make sure that such an incident did not occur again. There would be a further debrief and the SNB would be included in the results of that debrief.

(ii)      Changes in police shift patterns meant that there were more police officers working “late turns” i.e. late afternoon and evening, and night time shifts. Also, there were more police officers in cars responding to an increasing number of 999 calls. Consequently, there was a need to balance the number of police officers on duty at any time with changing shift patterns and the need to keep a police presence on the streets during the day. In addition, different parts of London were busy on different days and at different times requiring varying police presence at those times e.g. Tower hamlets was busy on Sundays, and Camden and Romford were busy all the time.

(iii)     Good police officers would park up their vehicles and carry out foot patrols, but it was not always easy to get police officers to leave their vehicles. However, this was something that would be taken into consideration.

(iv)     The FGM event referred to in the YIAG report, which was aimed at professionals, was open to members of the Board to attend and an invitation would be sent to members.

In response to a number of questions the YIAG members provided, the following answers.

(i)        A member of the YIAG noted that, while on patrol with the police, she had witnessed a race complaint and was dealt with by the police officers she was accompanying. She stated that the officers were very patient and dealt with the complainant in a very sympathetic manner.

(ii)      Another YIAG member had accompanied police officers who had to take a witness statement from someone claiming to the victim of an incident of domestic violence that had happened a week before. She said that there was an element of frustration on the part of the officers as it took over two hours to take down the statement. The consequence of this frustration was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

FUNDING

(a)  Verbal Reports from SNB Officers and Members

(b)  Treasurer’s Report

Minutes:

The Chair invited Board Members to give verbal reports on any items on which they wished to report. He added that the Board’s treasurer, Julie Gilson, would present a report and he wished to put on record the Board’s appreciation for the work done by Ms Gilson.

Treasurer’s Report

Ms Gilson then presented her report, noting the SNB at its last meeting had agreed that there should be funding for four projects and that this funding had now been received from MOPAC and she had written to MOPAC to ask if the implementation date of these projects could be put back and this had been confirmed. Consequently, she would now be writing to each of the projects to ask for their project plans, and that she would be issuing monitoring reports for completion at various intervals during the lifetime of the projects.

The Chair noted that there had been various delays in getting funding approved for these projects and that these delays were due in part to personnel and process issues at MOPAC and to the SNB being slow to respond to requests. He stated that, now that the Board was aware of the potential for delays, measures would be taken to ensure that there would be no delays in processing funding for next years’ funding. He added that funding for next year should be agreed before the election of the May election of the Mayor of London.

It was proposed that the Board should support a meeting of the SNB Forum members seeking a meeting with the mayoral candidates to discuss police funding and the style of policing for London, including services that will be provided or be lost.

IAG Report

Michael Verrier reported that he had stood down as chair of the Internet Advisory Group (IAG) and, therefore, was considering whether he should continue his membership on the Board. The Chair stated that the SNB membership process meant that, although Mr Verrier had stood down as Chair of the IAG, he could continue as a member of the SNB. The Chair stated that, personally, he would welcome Mr Verrier’s continued membership on the SNB as this might afford an opportunity of hearing from members and groups who were disengaged from the police and the reasons for that disengagement.

Noted

 

9.

WORK PROGRAMME

Workplan (including SNB Terms of Reference)

Minutes:

AGM

The Chair noted that most of the Board’s time had been taken up with considerations of funding, MOPAC and questions to the borough commander. He suggested that now was an appropriate time for Board members to think about issues that might be raised at the next meeting of the Board which would be the Board’s AGM which would be held on 10th December. Included on the agenda for that meeting would be a number of workshops.

Terms of Reference

The Chair stated that draft terms of reference for the SNB would be prepared for submission to MOPAC. He stated that the draft terms would be submitted to the Board members for comment and that members were invited to contribute to drafting the terms of reference or making submissions, if they so wished. He noted that MOPAC approval to the terms of reference was required if the SNB was to receive any further funding from MOPAC.

Noted

 

10.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

The Board noted the following items of business –

Mayor’s Charity Christmas Dinner

Cllr Shabana Dhedhi informed Board members of the Mayor’s Christmas Charity Dinner which would be held at Madison restaurant on Monday, 7th December. 6.30 to 9.30pm. She urged members of the Board to attend the dinner if at all possible and support its charitable causes.

Chingford Mount Cemetery

Cllr Berg informed the Board members that, on Friday, 6th November, 190 children would be attending Chingford Mount Cemetery to lay a rose on the grave of each serviceman (322 graves in all), ahead of Remembrance Day on 11th November. The event would be attended by councillors, members of the British Legion, a bugler, Ian Duncan Smith MP and the press.

The service had taken place last year and had proved a moving and successful service. Cllr Berg stated that three schools would be attending the service and that members of the YIAG would also be welcome to attend.

The Chair then closed the meeting.