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Agenda and 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:

Apologies for absence were received from Aimee Farquhar and Wendy Baah.  It was also noted that Ms Baah had resigned from the position as interim Chair of the Group. 

3.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 377 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 8 July 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting, held on 8 July 2019, were approved and signed as a correct record. Subject to the following changes:

 

·         A correction to the spelling of YIAG Member - Rickisha Dalsen, the correct spelling of her surname being Dalson.

·         A correction to the role of Katy Thompson as the minutes record her role being a member of the YIAG whereas she was actually a Young Advisor.   

·         In relation to item 5 at the start of the fourth paragraph, it states – “Ms Baah asked whether there was a database of young people with mental health issues”.  The sentence was corrected to state: “Ms Baah asked whether there was a database of youth support services which young people could be signpost young people to.”

·         In relation to item 6, Question 1, that the following paragraph is added after the first paragraph in the response:

 

“Inspector Walton outlined a proposal to maintain a list of all under 18-year olds stopped and searched. This would include those that were not found to have anything on them. The suggestion was that this list would be used to inform “partners” of those on the list. The group raised concerns about this proposal and requested more information and the opportunity to feed into this proposal before it comes into effect.”     

 

 

 

4.

ACTION LOG pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

In relation to the first ongoing action, the Chair reported that she and Ms Farquhar had attended two body worn camera viewings and that a third had been set up. 

 

With regard to the second listed action, it was noted that the pilot had now been extended to other Police forces.  Inspector Walton confirmed that they were now at the stage where outcomes from the pilot were being reviewed and those taking part in the pilot were now providing advice and feedback.  He confirmed that the final report was still to come. 

 

The Group agreed to leave the third list action as pending until a new Chair was appointed. 

 

In relation to the last action, Inspector Walton said that he could not discuss specific cases, however stated that members could see a snapshot of people being stopped and searched at body worn camera footage viewings.  He went on to give details of a piece of work the Met. Police were doing which involved highlighting those people who encountered the most incidents of being stopped and searched.  He said officers would look and assess why certain people were coming to notice and whether there were any positive outcomes as a result of the search.

 

The Chair confirmed that the last action could be closed. 

5.

YIAG PRESENTATION pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Minutes:

Representatives from the YIAG provided an update on the work undertaken since the last Stop and Search Group meeting on 8 July 2019.  The update is electronically available on the Council’s website as an appendix to these minutes. 

 

A representative gave details of their experience on Streetbase patrols.  In response to a question, the YIAG stated that how young people engaged with Streetbase was dependent on many factors, including body language. The YIAG also said that if a member of Streetbase immediately asked for the young person’s details it would give the impression that they were working with the Police.  The YIAG added that if you approached young people as a peer then this was more likely to yield results.  The YIAG stated that they many young people that they engaged with surprised them as many had ambition and positive things to say.  They said that often they were eventually able to get the young person’s contact details and offer appropriate services. 

 

The Chair asked how Streetbase knew who to approach.  The YIAG said that they could tall who to approach by what young people were doing and how they conducted themselves.  They also explained that the Streetbase Coordinator would obtain information and patrols distributed based on the coordinator’s advice. 

 

The Chair then asked whether, since Streetbase had started, demand had increased for the service.  The YIAG confirmed that more people seemed interested in their work.  They added that some members of the YIAG were ex-offenders which meant that they had had similar experiences to those young people which Streetbase were targeted and gave them more credibility with the young people that they engaged with. 

 

 

6.

QUESTIONS TO THE POLICE pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.    Body scanners pilot at Stratford station. Please provide some more information about this including the dates and community monitoring arrangements for this pilot.

 

Response

Inspector Walton made the point that Stratford station was in the London Borough of Newham which was outside the remit of the Waltham Forest Stop and Search Group. 

 

Inspector Walton explained that facial recognition was being trialled, by the Council, at Wood Street Station.  The trail took place with volunteers.  He confirmed that the technology had not been used by the Metropolitan Police at this stage and said that he did not have an exact date for the body scanner pilot that was forthcoming.  He said that he would look into it and report back at the next meeting.

 

      Mr Hinds referred to a piece of technology called ‘True Vision’ which was a machine being piloted in certain areas.  He explained that a camera would take shots and could discern whether the person that they had photographed was carrying a weapon or if that person was of ineterst to the Police.  He said that people were, however, not obliged to step in front of the machine.   

 

2.    Under 18 stop and search register project. Please ensure that the monitoring group are provided with a full update on this pilot including dates, community involvement and monitoring, compliance with Data Protection Act and any preserved benefits to the child concerned. NB: A number of the group would be keen to feed into this work and would be disappointed if we are not allowed this opportunity.

 

Response

Inspector Walton confirmed that the project had not progressed any further since the Stop and Search Group’s last meeting.  He said the plan was still for the project to go ahead however explained that the project would not offer anything that the Met. Police do not already do. 

 

Inspector Walton explained that the Police had a statutory obligation that if a young person comes to notice that they speak to appropriate parties to ensure that the young person was being looked after. 

 

The Chair asked a question on behalf of Ms Farquar who had given apologies for absence at this meeting.  She asked if someone was stopped but found to have nothing on them were there details being kept on a database.  Inspector Walton stated that the person stopped would be asked for their name and address but confirmed that they were not obliged to provide.  He added that if the person stopped was under 18 years of age then the Police had a statutory obligation to ensure that child was looked after and would be asked for their details and then returned to the address that they provided.  Inspector Walton then explained that the Police needed to keep a record of all stops and searches and confirmed that details would go onto a database as routine.  Mr Dundon said that the Police would need to keep records as they were held to account.  He said that if there was no  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

BODY WORN CAMERA FOOTAGE - FEEDBACK

Minutes:

The Chair provided feedback on behalf of Ms Farquhar who was absent from the meeting.  Ms Farquhar’s feedback stated that Ms Farquhar and herself had attended the following viewings:

·         Attended on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 and reported that there were generally good interactions, however she did confirm that a training need was highlighted to ensure completeness.

·         Attended on Monday 30th September 2019 and raised concerns over a male taken to be stripped searched after a small (2.5”) knife was found on this keyring which was not concealed. Other searches provided some examples of good practice with only one comment made by an officer raised as unhelpful and feedback to the officer has been requested.

 

The Chair then added that in one viewing there was an arrest where a man was handcuffed immediately and then in another arrest, there was a five-minute conversation and then the perpetrator was handcuffed.  The Chair expressed concerns at the speed of the first arrest.  The Chair also referred to a viewing where an officer had said that he saw two black men in a car and that they must be holding drugs and consequently stopped the car.  The Chair said that she felt that the officer’s comments were inappropriate.

 

The Chair confirmed that a third viewing had been arranged.  She also said that the officer arranging the viewings was very helpful and on point. 

 

 

 

8.

TSG RIDE-ALONG - FEEDBACK

Minutes:

The Chair provided the following feedback from the absent Ms Farquhar who had attended a ride along with TSG on 13 July 2019:

 

I went out with TSG on Saturday 13th July. The team picked me up in Leyton but due to a knife attack in Newham we spent most of the shift there. The response to the knifing situation was professional – we searched the local area and provided that heightened level of policing that many expect in these circumstances. Following that, we stopped at a group of young males sitting on phone connections box. As we started to exit the van one ran and this led to the whole group being searched. 2 x 16 year olds were arrested as they had cannabis on them and this took the unit out of operation for the rest of the night.

I found the unit defensive when I was talking to them about their roles and wondered how this comes across to the general public. I have fed this back to the Commander and will make sure that I provide better briefings about why I am there and set up feedback channels prior to any visit.

The Group noted Ms Farquhar’s comments. 

 

 

9.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE STOP AND SEARCH GROUP pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

The Group noted that the Police required named members of the YIAG in order for them to be able to attend body worn camera viewings. 

 

The Chair confirmed that she would be attending the Stop and Search Central Monitoring Network and would get confirmation on exactly who could attend body worn camera viewings. 

 

Mr Dundon suggested that school 6th forms are approached as potential members for te Group as many would be entering apprenticeships or higher education and it was important for the Group to get representation from people under the age of 25.  Ms Brueseke gave the view that young representation was not a major issue as members of the YIAG sat on the Group. 

 

It was noted that Kamahl Sami-Miller was named as a YIAG member to enable him to view body worn camera footage.