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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Holly Brogden-Knight, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4211 | Email: Holly.Brogden-Knight@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

7.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mitchell Goldie.  It was noted that Councillor Marion Fitzgerald was present as a substitute for Councillor Mitchell Goldie.

8.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

9.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD ON 27 JUNE 2018 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 June 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

10.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Minutes:

There was no public participation.

11.

BOROUGH COMMAND UNIT (BCU) pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Richard Tucker, the Borough Commander, gave a report to the Committee on the new North-East London Borough Command Unit (BCU) and its structure.  It was noted that the BCU, which involved the merger of the command units of Waltham Forest and Newham, was due to become operational on 17th October 2018.

 

Richard Tucker’s report also set out his response to the recent Gangs Review report.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Roy Berg relating to the ring-fenced staffing of the new Safer Neighbourhoods Teams under the new BCU arrangements, Richard Tucker stated that the Neighbourhood Strand would consist of 80 police constables, two per ward, along with 40 PCSOs and that beyond this there were other neighbourhood officers who were linked to a small unit which could be flexed across the whole of the command support for neighbourhoods.  He said that there may be occasions when, because of operational imperatives, where officers would need to be moved to support a particular operation.

 

Councillor Vicky te Velde referred to the desire to have police officers based at a local ward level and asked what was preventing this from happening and how it could be achieved.  Arising from this discussion took place on the existing police estate and the location of police stations and police bases, and opportunities and threats relating to their location.  Richard Tucker stated that he believed that the police estate was a corporate issue affecting the Metropolitan Police as a whole and therefore it should be for the Metropolitan Police centrally to make decisions on the matter.  With regard to the creation of a local hub he had asked for clarification from the Estates and District Policing command officers as to what it would look like.  His desire and expectation was that officers would still work and engage locally but it was necessary to identify premises where, amongst other things, their equipment could be stored securely and radios charged.  He undertook to raise the issue with Superintendent Waheed Khan, who had responsibility for neighbourhoods policing, and provide members of the Committee with a timeline regarding the creation of the local hub.

 

In response to a question from the Chair regarding the police using existing premises, such as offices within significant developments within wards, which the police could potentially use at low or no cost, Richard Tucker explained that any accommodation provision had to be at zero expense to the police.  He said that there were options available to overcome this obstacle such as the purchasing by the Council of premises, including that currently used by the police but marked for closure, and leasing the premises back to the police at a zero or low rate.  He said that this might be an option if the Council wished the police to have a base in the Walthamstow Market area.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Roy Berg, Richard Tucker informed the Committee of measures being taken regarding the recruitment and retention of female police officers and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

RESPONDING TO THE LSBU GANG REVIEW pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alastair Macorkindale, Head of Community Safety, introduced the report which provided an update on the response to the recently published LSBU review of Gangs and outlined the background, focus and components of the agreed response.  He referred to the fact that Cabinet, at its meeting in June, had agreed to accept the findings of the review and the associated proposals which had been put forward by SafetyNet partnership, based on and following wide consultation.  He drew attention to the fact that Cabinet had allocated further funding investment in the gangs programme over the lifetime of the current administration.   He said that the response to the Gang Review was framed by two main elements; the Council’s overarching strategy for Creating Futures and the Think Family 2010 framework.  Referring to the latter, he said that the Council were proposing new investment, from a separate source of funding to that agreed by Cabinet, in the early intervention and community resilience building areas of work.  He continued by saying that the new investment would be put into an exciting and well evaluated evidence-based ‘Botvin Life Skills Training’ programme run in partnership with Barnardos for children and that it would particularly focus on those of primary school age.  He said that up to 30 primary schools would be chosen to work with over a period of three years and currently 19 schools had indicated that they wished to take part in the programme.   He said that the programme was free for the schools to participate in and that based on the excellent outcomes predicted, it was anticipated that other schools in the borough would want to participate in the future.  He continued by saying that in addition to this programme the Council were intending to commission a community capacity building programme that built on the ‘Ask Me’ work in the domestic abuse field in order to develop community champions who could both understand more about the issues and the offer and could talk to people in their local communities through a variety of means including face-to-face contact and via social media, dependent on which was the most effective form of communication.

 

Alastair Macorkindale further reported that in the St James Street, Higham Hill and Wood Street areas the Council would be piloting hyper locally based area partnerships that would aim to identify earlier than at present the people and places associated with potential risk so that the partnership could then engage in problem-solving around the people and places identified with a view to stopping matters from escalating into crisis. 

 

Referring to measures around early intervention to prevent the escalation of difficulties Alastair Macorkindale informed the Committee that there was an existing training and consultation offer to schools which was being revised, refreshed and co-produced with schools and specific offers would be developed with the alternative education providers.  He said that the Council would aim to prevent as many school exclusions as it could.  The Chair asked how this would be achieved and then commented  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH TO REDUCING VIOLENT CRIME EXPLAINED pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Minutes:

Stella Bailey, Senior Public Health Strategist, introduced the report which she said defined what was meant when talking about a public health approach to violence reduction and prevention.  She referred to definitions of violence and said that gang and youth violence fell under the category of interpersonal violence, as defined by the World Health Organisation.  She continued by drawing attention to different public health approaches to violence prevention and then stressed the importance of structuring how prevention issued were addressed in a very systematic and scientific way.  This included defining and monitoring problems, identifying what the risks were, developing and testing the prevention strategies and ensuring that those methods which worked were rolled out and implemented across the borough.  She went on to say that in the public health approach to interpersonal violence was not just about the issue of violence experienced at the time of the incident but that it recognised the fact that there were long-term adverse health effects and also long-term mental health issues and not just for the victims but also their families and the wider communities.

 

Stella Bailey referred to the recent publication of the new Gangs Report which detailed changes in gang related activity and issues in recent years.  She stressed the importance in the public health approach of acknowledging the fact that the borough was evolving and that things were changing, not just in the borough, but also in London and society as a whole.  She continued by saying that the relevant issues were being identified, addressed and tested through a variety of means including the whole school approach which had been referred to earlier in the meeting.  In response to a question from the Chair, Stella Bailey said that the whole school approach was being tested in seven secondary schools in the borough until March 2020 when the project finished.

 

In response to a question from the Chair regarding work being done in children’s centres Stella Bailey said that in terms of universal work the centres were addressing the needs of young mothers as they arose and in terms of the wider determinants addressing the needs within the family and helping them with addressing social skills development with their young people, children and themselves and also providing assistance with speech and language skills.  Alastair Macorkindale stated that the Council had not historically carried out violence or gang related work with children’s centres but said that this was one of the gaps which would be addressed as part of building the Early Help capacity.  He went on to say that the Council’s Early Help Service was closely embedded and co-located with children and family centres.  As a consequence of this work had been carried out in scoping specific training, recruiting additional staff and also by the running, in the different children and family centres, of one stop shops that had a domestic abuse focus but which also dealt with other issues.  Alastair Macorkindale stated that the one stop shops had been run since  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER, FORWARD PLAN AND THEMED REVIEW SCOPING pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Karissa Singh, Policy Officer, stated that all items in the Action Tracker were of a green status and that everything had been completed.  The Chair asked for more detail on the items in question to be circulated to members of the Committee subsequent to the meeting.

 

Decision:

 

That the report be noted.

 

Action:

 

That subsequent to the meeting the Scrutiny Unit provide members of the Committee with a more detailed update as to progress relating to work contained in the Action Tracker.