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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Anthony Jackson, Democratic Services Officer  Email: anthony.jackson@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

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

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Sandra DaCosta.

3.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved, subject to the following sentence being added to the response detailed at agenda item 6, question 8:

 

Ms Farquhar suggested that the community impact of such actions by the police was relevant to a community group such as the Stop and Search Monitoring Group.

 

 

4.

ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

The action log was noted. 

 

The Group asked that the following questions be included on the next meeting’s agenda under the item ‘Questions to the Police’:

 

·         Information on the monitoring of individuals who had been stopped and searched be included on the next agenda under the item ‘Questions to the Police’. 

 

·         The Police’s commitment to community involvement and engaging with the IAG and other similar organisations.

5.

YIAG PRESENTATION

Minutes:

Representatives from the YIAG provided an update on the work undertaken since the last Stop and Search Group meeting on 28 January 2019.  The update is electronically available on the Council’s website as an appendix to the minutes. 

 

A representative from the YIAG made the point that stop and searches of young people needed to be conducted in the proper way.  Ms Baah agreed and said that many young people took the view that it was a “them versus us” mentality.  Ms Baah went on to say that that the Stop and Search project, as referred to in the update, indicated that young people often had a negative view of the Police and stated that further work was needed to try and improve the relationship. 

 

A female representative of the YIAG explained that she had been stopped and searched despite the fact that the description of the accused was a male.  She said that the experience was embarrassing and made her feel uncomfortable.  Another representative from the YIAG said that he was stop and searched and that the police officer conducting the search had thrown his mobile phone on the floor.  Superintendent Khan stated that it was difficult for him to comment on individual cases.  He went on to say that officers either needed to have a clear reason for the stop or the area needed to be subject to a Section 60 where anyone in that specified area could be stopped and searched and officers did not need a specific reason for the stop.  Superintendent Khan went on to say that officers were conscious of the effect of stop and searches on young people and said that if anyone was unhappy with officers’ conduct during the search, then they needed to let relevant senior officers know.  He stated that there was an online facility to report.  He said that this would allow relevant officers to fully investigate the issue and to feedback to the complainant on any action that had been taken as a result of the investigation.  Ms Brueseke explained that the workshop was not about individual experiences and confirmed that the point was for young people to give their views about stop and search as a whole. 

 

Superintendent Khan then referred to the fact that body worn cameras had revolutionised the way that the Police investigated complaints.  He said that as a result of body worn cameras the process was more transparent.  Superintendent Khan referred to the importance of getting the message out to young people that stop and searches were conducted to try and keep the community safe. 

 

Ms Farquhar referred to the feedback received from young people and asked how it would be used to improve the current situation.  Superintendent Khan explained that once a complaint was lodged there was a specific process to follow.  He went on to say that, depending on the nature of the investigation the officer concerned might be suspended or put on light duties.  He added that if the officer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

QUESTIONS TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

The following sets out questions formulated by the Stop and Search Monitoring Group (as published in the agenda pack) and the Metropolitan Police’s responses.  It also includes a summary of supplementary questions asked and responses.   

 

  1. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) do an annual assessment of Constabulary’s with recommendations, how are they acting on them for 2018?

 

Response

Inspector Walton confirmed that HMICFRS were looking at how the Metropolitan Police managed their services and how they held themselves accountable.  He said that they were waiting for feedback and recommendations. 

 

2.    With the potential for increased stop and searches, how are Waltham Forest police using the information from the data on their own stops to improve ‘positive’ search results, and are they using this to inform the training of officers? How are they recognising the negative impacts of this on the community?

 

Response

            Inspector Walton said that it was a continuous learning process.  He stated that records from stop and searches were inputted into an intelligence system and was reviewed by a sergeant.  Inspector Walton then explained that the areas where there were positive outcomes were analysed, including how many searches resulted in finding drugs and how many found weapons.  He added that relevant officers would also look at which officers were producing the most positive outcomes, investigate why that was and try to take examples of best practice.  Inspector Walton also explained that if an officer was producing a low number of positive outcomes this would also be investigated and addressed.  Ms Baah asked how officers recognised negatives.  Superintendent Khan explained that stop and searches provided officers with a sense of what the community was feeling.  He added that officers also sought feedback from other organisations such as the Independent Advisory Group (IAG).  Superintendent Khan stated that officers conducted community impact assessments, engaged with young people and had officers who visited schools, which provided much of the information on public perception.  He also stated that the Police had a mini-bus that would often go out on patrol so that officers could engage with the public. 

 

3.    Why are Section 60s not giving distinct areas anymore? The last S60 after stabbing at Leyton tube on 13 March 2019 stated: “Further to the below, this is to let you know that a Section 60 has been authorised by Commander Musker for the south side of the A406 within Waltham Forest.  This is in place until 05:30 on 14th March 2019.”

 

Response

      Superintendent Khan explained that if a stabbing took place in a distinct area, the section 60 would apply to more than that particular area as, for example, if a gang were responsible for a stabbing in a particular area, the Police would expect a retaliation incident from another gang in another part of the borough.  He explained that officers would not be sure of the exact location of where the retaliation might take place so it would be necessary to extend the boundaries of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

BODY WORN CAMERA FOOTAGE FEEDBACK

Minutes:

Ms Baah impressed the importance of specific Group members being able to review body-worn camera footage and expressed concerns that no such viewings had taken place since the introduction of body-worn cameras.  Inspector Walton confirmed that he would investigate the issue. 

 

The Group noted the need to provide the names of Group Members (including YIAG representatives) to relevant officers at the Metropolitan Police to allow the viewing of body-worn camera footage. 

 

Feedback

Ms Farquhar confirmed that herself and the Vice-Chair had visited Chingford Police station to view body-worn camera footage and noted that some of the footage had yet to be uploaded.  She stated that they would make the effort to re-attend and view the footage once uploaded as it was important that police officers did not get the idea that if they were slow to upload then their footage could not be selected for viewing.  She stated that if she and the Vice-Chair were unable to attend, that the next Group Members that did attend had access to that same footage.

 

Ms Farquhar referred to one piece of footage that they viewed which they had concerns around the duty of care that officers had for members of the public.  She explained that a young person was handcuffed and told to calm down.  Ms Farquhar went on to explain that another individual went up to the handcuffed person and made a racist comment.  She said that that person was neither stopped nor spoken to by police officers.  Ms Farquhar explained that Acting Inspector Smith had provided assurances that the issue would be investigated.  Ms Baah added that it was important to note that there was no positive outcome as a result of the stop and search.

 

Inspector Walton explained that officers were required to take responsibility for uploading footage and acknowledged that uploading could be delayed for various legitimate reasons.  He also pointed out that police officers had a lot to take into account with regard to body-worn cameras, such as being aware of the camera position, when to start recording – as the situation may not start out as a stop and search but might turn into one.  Inspector Walton confirmed that best practice was for the officer to tell the person being stopped that the camera was recording and to explain the grounds for the search as this often helped calm the individual. 

 

A member of the public asked what information was provided to the person stopped and searched.  Inspector Walton confirmed that current practice was not to provide anything to the individual searched however, explained that it was the responsibility of the officer conducting the search to give a full account of the reason for the stop.  He said that the information collected from the stop and search was entered into an electronic tablet that all police officers on patrol carried.  He said that the individual searched was advised that they could request a copy of the record of the stop and searched if requested within a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

FUTURE MEETING DATES

The Group will be asked to note the forthcoming meetings of the Stop and Search Monitoring Group for the 2019/20 municipal year:

 

8 July 2019

7 October 2019

27 January 2020

20 April 2020

 

The above dates are provisional until the Programme of Meetings is approved by Full Council in May 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Group noted the forthcoming meetings of the Stop and Search Monitoring Group, which were as follows:

 

8 July 2019 (provisional)

7 October 2019 (provisional)

27 January 2019 (provisional)

20 April 2019 (provisional)

9.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

The Group noted that the Police had confirmed that the YIAG need to be named members of the Stop and Search Monitoring Group to be allowed to view footage from body-worn cameras.