Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Open Area, Lampton Park Conference Centre (Civic Centre), Lampton Road, Hounslow

Contact: Frances Nwanodi by phone on 020 8583 2064 or by email at  frances.nwanodi@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

43.

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Chair, Mohammad Chaudhury, welcomed members to the meeting, in particular P C Chris Gould who was delivering a presentation about the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Air Support Unit to the Group.

 

Apologies for absences were noted.

 

44.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 24th September and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24th September 2012 were reviewed.  There were no amendments and the minutes were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

 

The following matters arising were discussed:

 

Minute 30:  MPS Presentation on Tackling Drugs

It was noted that there had been a swift clear up of waste from a cannabis factory that had been closed down.

 

Minute 32:  Police Progress Update

C I Rob Wilson confirmed that the gun enabled crime and knife enabled crime statistics had been incorrect and that the mobile CCTV unit had been deployed to Chiswick to assist with tackling theft from motor vehicle.

 

Minute 33:  Public Community Consultation – Open Questions and Discussion (Group)

It was confirmed that Cllr Collins had been sent responses to the questions submitted on behalf of the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum.

 

Minute 41:  Date and Venue of Next Meeting

Cllr Mayne explained that due to the nature of the Lampton Park Conference Centre there was a policy to charge for its use however Group meetings could be held in Committee Rooms 1 and 2 free of charge.  Mohammad Chaudhury conveyed the Group’s thanks for the Council providing the Group with the use of its meetings’ facilities free of charge.  The Group meetings might have to return to Committee Rooms 1 and 2 in the future.

 

Minute 42:  Any Other Business

Residents of the Heston Area had appreciated the efforts by the UK Boarder Agency, the Council and Hounslow Police to secure the area under the M4 bridge.

 

 

45.

Hounslow Independent Custody Visiting Scheme 2011 Report pdf icon PDF 512 KB

Minutes:

Vivienne Cox referred members to the Hounslow Independent Custody Visiting Scheme (ICVS) 2011 Report (agenda pack pages 8 to 9), highlighting the pie chart on page 2 that illustrated concerns raised during Independent Custody Visitors visits to custody suites in the borough:

·        77% - no concerns

·        12% - environmental

·        9% - individual

·        2% - access

 

Visits had been carried out at least once a week and there was a target to increase the frequency of visits.  There was a continuing recruitment drive.  Relations with Hounslow Police continued to be good.

 

The following information arose out of questions and answers:

 

It had been difficult for ICVS members to visit custody suites in the evenings partly because members were volunteers and they found it difficult to organise night-time visits.  However night-time visits also had drawbacks as it was not a productive time to visit detainees.

 

Recruitment of ICVS members was handled centrally by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPaC).  A member who had recently been recruited to the Hounslow ICVS had had to resign due to a change in personal circumstances.  The current members of the Hounslow ICVS were long serving but they had commitments abroad that meant there were parts of the year when they were not available for visits.  Before the recruitment process had been centralised, there had been leaflets that were distributed locally within the community to attract new recruits.  The Hounslow ICVS needed to recruit approximately 4 more people depending on whether or not some existing members retired.

 

There had been 81 visits to Custody Suites in 2011.  Compared to other ICVS across London, the Hounslow ICVS was reliable and regular.

 

There was no longer a rule that restricted ICVS membership to two terms.

 

It was suggested that the Hounslow ICVS considered working with the Hounslow Volunteer Centre to find new recruits.

 

Mohammad Chaudhury congratulated the Hounslow ICVS for its work and thanked its members for their efforts.

 

46.

MPS Presentation: Air Support Unit

Minutes:

PC Chris Gould delivered a presentation to the Group about the work of the MPS Air Support Unit which was formerly known as CO11.

 

The Air Support Unit supported the mounted branch during public disorder incidents; the marine unit when searching the waterways and the police dogs by providing top cover whilst the dogs were searching for suspects.  The Air Support Unit primarily worked within the M25 area but occasionally helped neighbouring counties.

 

The Air Support Unit had three EC145 helicopters that were made in Germany to the MPS’ specifications.  Each helicopter had a crew of three pilots who were all ex-military who were able to support the police officers on board whilst flying the aircraft.  There were three MPS officers on a helicopter.  Observer 1 was responsible for navigating and working the on board cameras to record evidence whilst Observer 2 was the tactical commander who decided which jobs were taken and how long the team stayed on a job.

 

The EC145 was equipped with a ‘Nitesun’, a powerful light; a downlink antenna that sent the camera view to officers on the ground; three cameras which recorded the evidence needed for arrests and prosecutions.  The camera was able to provide both a wide view and a zoon view and it used infrared imaging.  There was also a mapping system.  The ‘quad’ screen combined the views from the three cameras and mapping system.  The EC145 also had four police radios for communicating with the borough the helicopter was working in; different parts of London and the Control Station which assigned jobs.  There were also two air traffic control radios for communicating with all the airports, both commercial and military, in and around London.  There was also an encrypted radio.

 

The operation of the EC145 could be restricted by weather, manmade obstructions and Air Traffic Control.  Lasers also caused serious problems to aircrafts and two new offences had been introduced to combat this problem which could result in a custodial sentence depending on the gravity of the situation and the age of the perpetrator.

 

The Air Support Unit had three large helicopters that could carry between six to eight people.  The Unit was beginning to train with fire arms and dogs units.  It was also being used to assist with getting officers to hard to reach locations, for example roof tops or areas where traffic was blocked.

 

An EC145 flew approximately 3,300 hours a year and attended 10,000 tasks.

 

The following information arose out of questions and answers:

 

The lifespan of an EC145 was approximately 10 years because of its constant use.

 

The Air Support Unit could be requested by an Officer on the street.  Typically the unit was called to support a search for a missing vulnerable person at night or where there was a suspect hiding in a rear garden.  It was up to the Air Support Unit’s control room to assess whether or not a task was suitable for the unit to respond to.  If  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

MOPaC Update: Tamsin Kelland

Minutes:

Tamsin Kelland (Borough Information and Engagement Officer, MOPaC) explained to the Group that the MOPaC was in the early stages of developing Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNBs) and it was in the process of considering how SNBs would be managed, who would sit on them and how to recruit to the SNBs.  MOPaC would consult on its proposals for SNBs in April or May 2013 with the intention of introducing SNBs in 2014.

 

The following points about SNBs were clear:

·        Have a clear set of duties which CPCG did not have

·        Monitor complaints about police / from victims of crime

·        Establish borough wide policing priorities

·        Monitor crime and police performance

·        Oversee ICVS

·        Oversee Community pay back

·        Bid for funds from a £1,000,000.00 crime reduction fund to deliver local projects to solve or tackle emerging issues

 

MOPaC acknowledged that there might be different structures for SNBs across London, for example cross borough or a number of SNBs linked to wards within the same borough.

 

The following information arose out of questions and answers:

The SNB consultation had been pushed back to Spring 2013 as there would be consultations on the Policing Plan in January and February 2013.

 

MOPaC was committed to Safer Neighbourhood Panels (SNPs) although the Local Policing Model that was being introduced might see Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) span ward boundaries.  Where SNTs did span boundaries local people would still have access to SNPs and SNTs.

 

The future of CPCGs was uncertain.  They were independent organisations but they would no longer be able to bid for funding from MOPaC from 2014 onwards.  CPCGs could source funding elsewhere.  Some members of CPCGs could become involved in SNBs.  It was important to keep the local knowledge and community contacts that had been developed over the years.

 

There was concern that there would be a delay in the consultation relating to SNTs / SNPs however this would form part of the Police Plan consultation taking place in at the beginning of 2013. 

 

The Chair commented that the Commissioner of Police, Borough Commander and MOPaC had all stated their commitment to SNPs and SNTs.  The future would see increased flexibility in how SNTs operated, allowing them to react to need and demand.  Officer levels would not necessarily be consistent across all SNTs.

 

Det Ch Supt Bussey confirmed that SNTs remained the building block of the police services and SNT officer numbers would form part of the consultation process. 

 

Action:

        i.            Tamsin Kelland to circulate a briefing paper on the Local Policing Model to members via Frances Nwanodi

 

48.

Police Progress Update pdf icon PDF 88 KB

  • Safer Neighbourhood Team Reports
  • Crime Maps
  • Stop & Search Data

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Seema Malhotra MP thanked the Chair and Group Secretary for their work in keeping people informed and engaged on the work of the Group and local issues.  She valued engaging with local organisations and members of her constituency and was happy to raise questions in parliament where a response from a government department was needed.  She was sitting on the Justice Committee and was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Yvette Cooper.  Both Seema Malhotra MP and Mary Macleod MP were happy to work together on local issues.

 

C I Rob Wilson explained that following comments from September’s Group meeting he was giving members a view of a different format for police progress updates so that members could decide which format they preferred.

 

CI Rob Wilson used line graphs which compared the current year’s crime statistics with the previous year’s crime statistics.  The line graph for residential burglary showed the correlation between peaks and troughs of incidents for both time periods.  For the year to date there had been a 3.6% reduction in residential burglary offences and the detection rate was at 8.3%, up from 4.7% for the previous year.  Hounslow Police were aiming to reach a target detection rate of 12%.  Partnership working should make this achievable and Hounslow Police were reviewing incidents of residential burglary on a daily basis, deploying resources accordingly.

 

In relation to robbery, there had been an increase in incidents at the beginning of the year however this had been followed by a general downward trend with a recent peak in crimes occurring due to one robber’s activities.  For the year to date incidents of robbery were up by 7.5%.  The detection rate was up from 13.5% for the previous year to 20.5% for this year.  The Town Centre team had been established and it was expected that its impact on robbery would be reflected in crime statistics over the coming months.

 

For the year to date there had been a 3.3% reduction in motor vehicle crime and the detection rate stood at 7.8% compared to this time last year.  The Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit was ensuring that when offenders were arrested time was taken to ensure that all the crimes that they had committed were attributed to them.

 

Members discussed whether or not they preferred the line graph format to the bar chart format.  It was AGREED by a show of hands that the police statistics should be presented using the line graphs with two distinct colours.

 

CI Rob Wilson referred members to the Hounslow Borough Performance Overview tables (agenda pack pages 40 and 41).  In relation to reported crimes there had been reductions in incidents of assault with injury, knife enabled crime, residential burglary, theft from and theft of motor vehicles; and victim based crime.  There had been increases in gun enabled crime and robbery.  It was noted that the use of air guns which could cause serious damage at close range was a factor behind the increase in gun enabled crime statistics.  It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Brigading

Minutes:

Det Ch Supt Carl Bussey explained that the MPS was looking to save over £500,000,000.00. Part of this was being achieved through reductions in buildings costs.  Another way of achieving savings was through a reduction in Senior Officer posts which could be achieved through brigading – sharing of Senior Officers across boroughs.  There had been discussions about introducing brigading across London borough of Hounslow and Hillingon however this suggestion was no longer an option as it had been acknowledged that there were few similarities between the two boroughs.  Criminal activity in the London borough of Hounslow was more closely influenced by Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Twickenham.

 

50.

Police Community Consultation - Open Questions and Discussion (Group)

Minutes:

These were noted as they occurred during the course of the meeting.

 

51.

Police Community Consultation - Open Questions and Discussion (Public)

Members of the Group or members of the public may raise matters regarding local policing. A more effective response can be provided if advance notice is given to the Secretary before 1pm on the day of the meeting. A question paper is enclosed with the agenda.

Minutes:

These were noted as they occurred during the course of the meeting.

 

52.

Hounslow CPCG Small Grants for approval pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Minutes:

IllyasKwaja queried whether or not a bid from the Hounslow Pension Forum had been received.  Frances Nwanodi replied that it had not.

 

Members AGREED to accept the Hounslow Executive Member’s recommendations in relation to the small grants bids as follows (agenda pack pages 80 and 81):

Small grants bids APPROVED – CAIA £250.00 and Victim Support £500.00

Small grants bid REJECTED – Community Safety Team

Small grants bids to submit further information – Working Together Group and No Limits Community Group

 

Action:

        i.            Frances Nwanod to process successful small grants bids

 

53.

London Wide Update (including minutes where available)

Minutes:

Mohammad Chaudhury updated members on discussions at November’s Commissioner’s Meeting.  The issue of brigading had been discussed as a means to helping the MPS achieve its £500,000,000.00 savings.  Also, the MPS was selling its Scotland Yard building as it was difficult to maintain and modernising it would be costly.  In addition, the MPS was exploring options to decrease the number of Senior Officers and increasing the number of Police Constables (PCs) on the street.  At present the MPS’s ration of PCs to Sergeants was 4:1 compared to other forces that were 6:1.  The hierarchy of Senior Officers was complex.  Although there were still Chief Superintendents in post the rank had been abolished some time ago.

 

From a Hounslow perspective it was very likely that Brentford Police Station would close. 

 

There was still a commitment to SNTs although they would probably have to work more flexibly.  Det Ch Supt Bussey was thanked for his continued support for SNTs which had been reflected in his allocation of Detectives to each ward.

 

Responding to a question from a member of the public, Tamsin Kelland explained that there were Public Question time sessions during which members of the public could ask questions of the Mayor and other City Hall members.

 

54.

MOPaC Newsletters (where available)

Upcoming MOPaC Challenge Meetings:

  • 28th November 2012, 10am, The Chamber, City Hall
    Topic: Tackling gangs and serious youth violence
  • 14th December 2012, 10am, Committee Room 4, City Hall
    Topic: Maintaining public order

 

Minutes:

There were not newsletters available.

 

55.

Date and Venue of Next Meeting: 7pm on 21st January 2012 in the Open Area, Lampton Park Conference Centre

Minutes:

The date and venue of the next meeting was noted.

 

56.

Any Other Business pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes:

There was no such business.