Hounslow Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Jane Medici 020 8583 2064 Email: jane.medici1@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item




Councillor Richard Foote welcomed everyone to the inaugural meeting of the Hounslow Safer Neighbourhood Board.  He said that most people present knew each other and that there were nameplates in front of everyone.


Election of Chair

In accordance with the terms of reference “Only voting members may occupy the post of Chair”


Flavia Beckwith nominated Rachel Heydon for the position of Chair and the nomination was seconded by Chris Boucher.  There were no further nominations and the Board unanimously approved the appointment.


At the request of members of the Board the position of the Vice-Chair was put forward for nomination.  Flavia Beckwith nominated Ernest Cooper for the position of Vice-Chair and the nomination was seconded by Chris Boucher.  There were no further nominations and the Board unanimously approved the appointment


Ernest Cooper said that he was happy to be Vice Chair but was concerned that he was only technically representing his ward and not the Area Panel.  He was also subject to being re-elected in January 2015.  Nigel Farmer understood his concerns but noted that other members were up for re-election in 2015 and could be in a similar position.


Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members


There were no apologies for absence or declarations of interest.


Mohammed Chaudhry complained that there were flaws in the process for establishing the Board.  The proposals put forward by the Community Police Consultative Group had been subsequently changed.  He questioned the authority of the Council, Police and MOPAC to do this without further consultation.  Carl Bussey stated the Police were subject to scrutiny by the Board and were not therefore part of the decision-making about its establishment.  Rachel Heydon reiterated that this matter should not be discussed at the meeting as this was a decision of the Mayor of London to form borough safer neighbourhood boards.  Mohammed Chaudhry responded that he felt that the Board was unconstitutional, left the room and took no further part in the meeting.


Chris Boucher said he was also the vice chair of the Hounslow Community Network and had been asked to represent them as well on the Board.  Nigel Farmer answered that he was unable to give a definite answer to this query as any future applications for membership was subject to the Board’s decision in consultation with MOPAC.  Chris Benson clarified that he would need to report back to the Board with a decision of future membership after looking at the terms of references and constitution of the Board.


Action:          Chris Benson


Explanation of the responsibilities of the Safer Neighbourhood Board pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:


Nigel Farmer reported that:

-          The primary functions of the Board were to deliver the aims as stated in paragraph 3 of the Terms of Reference.


-          The Board had up to £30,000 of funding to spend by the end of March on a community initiative (see Any Other Business item for more detailed discussion).


-          Community representatives still needed to be appointed through a formal application form process (through modifying the former Hounslow Community Police Consultative Group’s application form).


-          The Board needed to look at the policing priorities and adopt a new strategy.


Officers and Members made the following comments during the deliberation of the item:

-          The Board’s administration costs were subject to a service level agreement between the Council and MOPAC.


-          It would be helpful when looking at the policing priorities to make decisions that include the feedback from the public consultation.


It was requested that the service level agreement be emailed to the Chair.


Action:          Mike Smith


Examination of Crime Statistics/data pdf icon PDF 663 KB


Carl Bussey reported that the statistics were prepared by MOPAC and that any change in format needed to be fed through Chris Benson.  The statistics showed improvement in green and challenges in red.  He highlighted the following statistics:

-          Violence with Injury – there had been an increase in violence with injury across London and nationally with a change in the definition leading to this rise.  There seemed to be no concentration of violence with injury reports as there were no obvious hotspots in the Borough.  However, the Police were putting more resources for patrolling drinking zones as there was a link between drinking and violence.


-          Theft / Taking of MV Offences – these offences were mostly motorbikes and a particular type of automatic car.  There were hotspots in the Borough for offences involving Land Rovers (as reported in the national press) and Mercedes Sprinter vans.


-          Burglary (res) – the result of a reduction in residential burglary by 34% was the biggest drop in London and was due to the work of the Ward Panels, Neighbourhood Watch and the use of predictive computer analysis that sees officers deployed in a certain area where burglary was predicted.


-          Youth Violence / Serious Youth Violence / Gun Crime / Knife Crime / Serious Knife Crime – Operation Concordia had seen the Police working with the Probation Service and the Council on measures for deterring gang violence.


Rachel Heydon requested that the data be broken down through quarters so that members were able to see whether progress was constant.  Carl Bussey replied that these statistics were available and that he would send them to members.


Action:          Carl Bussey


Liz Gaffney was concerned that sexual offences and rapes had increased.  Carl Bussey replied this increase was partly due to the effect of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal that had led to more reporting of these crimes (and historic crimes).


Debbie Brenner felt that the figure for disability hate crime was far too low and that more should be done to encourage the reporting of this crime.  Carl Bussey agreed that the figure was far too low and that work was required to find out better ways to enable the disabled to report this type of crime.


Chris Boucher asked why homophobic crime was not a hate crime.  Carl Bussey replied that it was a hate crime as stated in the glossary to the statistics.


Debbie Brenner asked whether there were more Theft / Taking of MV Offences in W4 than other areas of the Borough.  Sally Benatar responded that there were 123 offences last year which was a 13.4% reduction on the previous year.  Carl Bussey reiterated that this area had the highest percentage of Theft / Taking of MV Offences in the Borough.


Report on complaints against the Police


Carl Bussey reported that it was important that the public shared its concerns or confidence in the Police and welcomed any feedback.  The statistics devised by the Mayor of London showed that:

-          Complaints had risen by 23% which could be accounted by the fact that recording of complaint was encouraged as this was seen as a feedback mechanism.


-          Failures in duty which related to breaches to the PACE code was the biggest complaint category (149 out of 347).


-          Only 2% of the outcomes of complaints had a case to answer with the majority (69%) having no case to answer.


In summing up, Carl Bussey felt that in his experience most complaints stemmed from a few officers who needed help and guidance to improve service conduct.


Update on current Police operations


Carl Bussey reported that:

-          Operation Bumblebee and Operation Equinox had changed the shifts to account for the early nightfall from the start of October.


-          Hounslow Metropolitan Police Service was working with neighbouring police services along the A4 corridor on a number of intelligence operations including counter terrorism.  From these operations it was imperative that following any raid activity that there was engagement with the local community so that there was no civil unrest or tensions.


-          The full scale of child sexual exploitation was unknown within the Borough and any suspicions, such as people hanging around schools, should be reported.  The Police need to raise awareness of the problem and required help from members of the public.


-          The statistics showed that crime was falling but criminal opportunists were moving into other areas such as cybercrime.  He advised that 80% of cybercrime could be prevented if members of the public were conscientious in keeping their internet security up-to-date.


-          A Polish twitter account had been devised to enable the local Polish community to contact the Police more easily.


Chris Boucher asked whether there were any statistics on Female Genital Mutilation.  Sally Benatar replied that the figures were available and would be emailed to members.


Action:          Sally Benatar / Carl Bussey


Rachel Heydon enquired into whether the Neighbourhood Inspectors could attend the meeting.  Rob Weir responded that they should attend so that local priorities could be agreed.


Action:          Rob Weir


At the request of Ernest Cooper, Rob Weir agreed to send by January 2015 the contact details of the local Ward Panel Chairs within the Hounslow and Isleworth Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel.


Action:          Rob Weir


Report from the Independent Custody Visitors


Chris Benson reported that more independent custody visitors were needed as there were only 4 current volunteers when there should be 18 for the two police stations.  It was difficult to attract and retain younger custody visitors but it would be an aim to recruit across the full age profile.


Report from the Independent Advisory Group


There was no report available at the meeting.


Report from the Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group


Sally Benatar reported that although the Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group was small in number, the group had a school teacher who gave particular expertise on the youth perspective on stop and search.  Meetings were held in local schools with the next meeting being held next week.


Dates of future meetings


The Board agreed that meetings would be held quarterly on Wednesdays at 7pm.  At the suggestion of Mike Smith, the Board agreed to have forthcoming meetings in March, June (annual meeting), September and December.  Mike Smith agreed to send to the Board the meeting dates once finalised.


Action:          Jonathan Regal


Any other business


(A)       Ideas for spending MOPAC funding

As previously stated the Board had up to £30,000 of funding to spend by the end of March on a community initiative.


Officers and Members made the following comments during the deliberation of the item:

-          Other boroughs had set up a small executive group to look at ways of spending the funds with many opting to have a relevant community conference.


-          Any expenditure of funding needed to be adequately audited and a Treasurer and payment authorisers needed to be appointed.


Liz Gaffney requested some advice on how to get an event approved by MOPAC.  Chris Benson replied that any proposed event needed to have a verified outcome at the end of the process such as a stop and search event could provide information to a number of youths.  Chris Benson offered to send to the Board examples of activities proposed by other Safer Neighbourhood Boards that had been approved.


Action:          Chris Benson


Debbie Brenner informed the Board that she would consult and feed back from Hounslow Friends of Faith about a potential youth participation event.  Chris Benson thought a youth conference was a good idea.  Rob Weir stated that there was a service gap within the Borough for a mentoring organisation for youths.


The Board, also, agreed that a Board community engagement event needed to be organised.  Nigel Farmer requested that members email him any ideas for spending the funding.


Action:          Board


B.        Chiswick Custody Suite

Carl Bussey informed members that the Chiswick Custody Suite was closing in January 2015.  The police station would remain open with some core functions such as domestic violence and hate crime operations moving to Hounslow.  Overall, the closure would help colleagues work more efficiently and provide better standards of operational service.


Rachel Heydon was disappointed that the Chiswick Custody Suite was closing as the Borough now only had the custody suite at Hounslow.


C.        Safer Neighbourhood Board representatives

Members requested that there should be BME representation on the Board.  Carl Bussey requested that the Youth Parliament needed representation too.


Action:          Nigel Farmer


D.        List of contact numbers

Ernest Cooper requested an up-to-date list of contact numbers.


Action:          Nigel Farmer / Jonathan Regal


E.        MOPAC Roadshow

Chris Benson tabled leaflets advertising the MOPAC Roadshow that would be held in the Lampton Park Conference Centre at 6.30pm on 13 November.  The roadshow would enable the public to address Stephen Greenhalgh (Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime), Assistant Commissioner Helen King and local Borough Commanders about policing matters.


Action:          Board