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Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 0208 496 4328 Email:  democraticservices@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and asked for introductions. 

 

The Chair varied the order of business and took the agenda items in the order set out in this minute document.

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Vicky te Velde, Amanda Wheate, Martin Newnham, Liz Phillips and James Phillips. 

 

The Board noted that Chan Farooqui had resigned as a member of the Safer Neighbourhood Board.  It was also noted that Victim Support would provide a representative to attend in Ms Farooqui’s place in due course. 

3.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 391 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting, held on 10 June 2019, were approved and signed as a correct record. 

4.

QUESTIONS TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE

Minutes:

Inspector Walton reported that knife crime was down 25% which he described as a fantastic achievement brought about by exceptional hard work both by partners organisations and officers working long and difficult hours.  He added that knife crime across the Metropolitan Police was down by 11%.

 

Staffing

Inspector Walton confirmed that challenges remained with staffing and high abstractions for aid.  He confirmed that it had been a challenge to provide staffing across the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) and said that there was one new officer and 3 vacancies. 

 

Inspector Walton stated that SNTs and Dedicated Ward Officers (DWOs) were a priority but were second to efforts to boost response team numbers as optimum strength was rarely achieved.  He confirmed that there had been police officers allocated to the Police training school however explained that it would take time for those officers to become operationally effective. 

 

Inspector Walton confirmed that extra funding had been applied for and spent which allowed officers to work extended shifts to facilitate crime patrols.  He went on to say that both proactive and covert patrols had been taken place, for example Operations Bicorn, Gibus and Moab. 

 

Stop and Search

Inspector Walton stated that the North East of the borough had very high stop search numbers but confirmed a high return of items found on those stopped and searched.   He said that positive outcomes were dealt with proportionally according to severity and previous records.   Inspector Walton went on to say that Police made maximum efforts to reach some form of community resolution with regard to low level typical first offence, for example, a perpetrator with small traces/small quantity of cannabis and no previous convictions.   He explained that it was a difficult balance to not over criminalise low level offending whilst not losing sight of the potential link of drug supply and serious organised crime and the risk of exploitation of young or vulnerable people.

 

Inspector Walton confirmed that August 2019 figures for the North East of the borough stood at 2563 stop and searches, of which, 1984 were conducted by North East officers.  The remaining  stop and searches were conducted by officers from out of the borough, taskforce etc.  He added that 20% of stops resulted in positive outcomes.

 

Inspector Walton stated that the numbers of stop searches did fluctuate according to events and incidents within the borough.  He also referred to a new policy to increase proactive use of stop searches which had been publicised approximately a year ago.  Inspector Walton said that the Metropolitan Police were keen to drive the policy with appropriate safeguards in place. 

 

Section 60s

Inspector Walton confirmed that there had been 3 section 60a issued from July to September 2019. The sections 60s were issues following incidents of (a) shots fired; (b) a machete attack; and (c) disorder at the Chingfest event.  Inspector Walton went on to say that Chingfest was, overall, a positive event however, said that the type of music in the latter stages of the event could have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

YIAG UPDATE

Minutes:

Representatives from the YIAG provided an update on the work they had undertaken since the last Safer Neighbourhood Board on 10 June 2019.  The update is electronically available on the Council’s website. 

 

The Chair stated that she had attended one of the workshops ran by the YIAG and said she was very impressed.  She added that the roleplay session was very helpful and had received good feedback.

 

The Chair then asked what the most surprising aspect of Streetbase was.  A representative from the YIAG stated that Streetbase had liaised with a number of gang members who actually engaged with them.  The representative added that now those individuals new the members of Streetbase and would voluntarily engage with them. 

 

Ms Brueseke explained that the YIAG had been working with the Council’s ASB Team and had previously provided a presentation ASB officers’ team meeting.  Councillor Berg stated that Streetbase seemed to be working and congratulated all involved.  

 

Ms Highfield pointed out that young people would be able to better identify with the needs and wants of other young people and applauded the Streetbase campaign.  She asked how many members of the YIAG went out at a time.  A representative from the YIAG confirmed that they went out in groups of four. Ms Brueseke explained that Streetbase members had received DBS checks, relevant training and safeguarding and consequently know what to do should there be any issues. 

 

 

6.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR - NOISE UPDATE

Minutes:

Phil Connor - ASB Service Delivery Manager, provided an update on how the Council deals with noise nuisance as requested previously by the Board and, in doing so, confirmed that noise did not fall into the remit of ASB.  In response to questions from the Board, Mr Connor’s verbal update covered the following points:

 

·         That there was a small team dedicated to dealing with noise nuisance, headed by the Director of Regulatory Services.  A service manager was recently recruited. 

·         The fact that the remit for tackling noise nuisance sat with a number of different departments within the Council. 

·         That noise nuisance was a breach of conditions of tenancy agreements and the onus was on the landlord to enforce agreements. 

·         That relevant officers were able to visit locations/premises of persistent noise nuisance up until 2am.

·         That resolutions were encouraged by talking to neighbours about the issue in a non-confrontational way.

·         If noise nuisance was ongoing then the complainant should make contact with the Council and would then receive a diary template to record incidents of noise nuisance which would be assessed by relevant officers in the Council. 

·         Education before prosecution was the recommended approach. 

·         The fact that there is an online reporting tool available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which residents could access.  They would receive a response during business hours. 

·         That if the complainant was a business rather than a resident/tenant then they would have routes to address noise nuisance through licensing officers.  

·         Should noise nuisance persist, the Council would consider closure of the property or consider the use of injunctions in conjunction with the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.  Should the injunction be breached then fines would be issued. 

·         The importance of a standardised and consistent approach as detailed in the ASB Strategy. 

·         The fact that there were limited resources to deal with the issue of noise nuisance which is why all relevant departments need to do their part. 

·         The importance of working in partnership, for example, Operation Bighorn between the Police and the Council’s ASB Team. 

 

Philip Dundon made the point that the previous process for dealing with noise nuisance involved no fewer than 2 people going to the premises to ensure an accurate report.  He went on to say that under new arrangements the person taking the risk was the public who were encouraged to talk to perpetrators to find a resolution often at unsociable hours.  Mr Dundon added that members of the public were forced to wait until there was a significant number of diary entries in relation to the noise and could discourage reporting in general or would feel unsafe to report noise nuisance incidents.  He also said that noise nuisance was often an introduction to other issues and that relevant officers could take that opportunity to address them. 

 

Mr Connor explained that the team that used to respond to noise nuisance was disbanded approximately 5 years ago.  He said that the interim team had two officers who were trained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

IAG & SNB MERGER - AGREEING THE BASICS

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the ‘Proposed SNB and IAG Structure’ document that had previously been circulated to all members of the Board.  [The document is attached as an appendix to these minutes]

 

The Chair confirmed that the IAG and SNB merger was supported unanimously by the IAG.  She said that the reason for the merger was that there was an overlap in the work undertaken by both bodies and that, by pooling resources, more might be achieved.  The Chair went on to say that there was overlap in the type of questions asked of the Police, that the merger would provide more potential to attract and retain members and that it would be a more efficient and effective use of time. 

 

The Chair explained that there were some differences between how the two boards operate:

 

·         MOPAC provide funds for the secretarial support to the SNB, whereas the IAG did not have the same support and a member of the board was required to provide secretarial support.

·         The IAG meets 6 times a year whereas the SNB meets 4 times a year.  The Chair confirmed that it was proposed that the merged board would meet 6 times a year.

 

The Chair then made the following points:

 

·         The objectives for the SNB and the IAG have been merged to form one cohesive document

·         The main change was that ‘complaints’ was to be removed from the SNB’s remit.

·         Members of the SNB and IAG would automatically become mebers of the new merged board. 

·         The terms of reference and membership process would be a combination of those used for both bodies

·         The roles and opportunities available to members of the new board as representatives from Waltham Forest would be needed to attend a series of meetings. 

 

Councillor Berg thanked those involved for their hard work.  He expressed concerns around the number of Board members and pointed out that if all ward Panel Chairs attended then the meeting would be 30 – 40 attendees and maybe difficult to maintain.  Mr Macorkindale, Head of Community Safety, said that another option could be to allow Ward Panel Chairs to elect representatives from the pool of Ward Panel Chairs to represent the new board.  He said that all the Ward Panel chairs need not all attend the new Board, instead the Chairs representing them could feedback. 

 

The Chair stated that a task and finish group would need to be implemented to finalise the merger.  She also pointed out that the new board would be a independent body and that they were not required to have councillors as members of the new board. 

 

Ms Brueseke made the point that other SNBs received more support from the Metropolitan Police.  She asked if it was possible to receive similar support in LBWF.  She also added that youth representation on the new board was important and should be considered.  Ms Brueseke went on to say that IAG members were subject to vetting and checks and asked whether it would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

MOPAC FUNDING

Minutes:

The Chair provided an update on MOPAC funding of community safety projects for the borough and stated that confirmation of funding from MOPAC had been received and interested organisations who had applied for funding had been written to.  She said that 15 applications for funding had been received, some north and some south of the borough.  The Chair added that she, Cathy Mears and Martin Newnham were working through the applications, of which she confirmed some were good applications.  She confirmed that she would provide feedback on projects which were not of the same standard.  The Chair said that, from the applications considered to be of a good standard, they would consider how many could be funded. 

 

The Chair went on to explain that the Board would select projects and would make a recommendation to MOPAC who would the have the final decision.  She said that once a decision was made by MOPAC then a press release would be released confirming which projects would be progressing. 

9.

LEYTON 6TH FORM COLLEGE - PERFORMANCE ON THE THEME OF KNIFE CRIME REDUCTION

Minutes:

The Board watched a 3 minute trailer for the performance ‘Lockdown’ by Leyton Sixth Form College. The production was inspired by young people’s experiences of knife crime and violence in Waltham Forest and was performed by young actors training at Leyton Sixth Form College. 

 

The Chair pointed out that the production was as a result of project funding from MOPAC.  The Board then viewed a live extract from the performance and had the opportunity to ask questions to the young actors.