Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

11.

Welcome and Introduction/Apologies for absence

Decision:

The resignation of Earnest Cooper was considered and it was agreed that acceptance would be put on hold until further discussions could take place with Earnest Cooper.

 

Rob Weir agreed to authorise Communications to share any information the police shared with them with SNB in addition to Cllr Richard Foote who currently receives this information.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Kate Jabrocka, a representative of the Polish Community to the SNB.  Kate Jabrocka was introduced and vouched for by Rob Weir.  Kate Jabrocka had been responsible for the establishment of a Polish Credit Union in the borough and had strong links with the Polish Community in Hounslow.  Rachel Heydon and Flavia Beckwith welcomed Kate Jabrocka.

 

Apologies were accepted from Chris Boucher, Minoo Dhiri, David Hardman and Det. Ch. Supt. Carl Bussey (substituted by Ch. Supt Raj Kohli)

 

Rachel Heydon reported that Carl Bussey had resigned from his role and had left early due to leave owed.  She thanked Carl Bussey for his contribution to the Safer Neighbourhood Board and welcomed Ch. Supt Raj Kohli, Acting Borough Commander, to the SNB.  Raj Kohli apologised for the lack of communication regarding Carl Bussey’s resignations.  Rob Weir will authorise Communications to share any information given to them by the police with SNB.  Currently the information does go the Cllr Foote who will also need to talk to Communications to ensure that the communication pathway is in place.  

 

Rachel Heydon agreed that if Communications were able to share Police information this would be helpful.  Cllr Foote cautioned against the danger of the board getting too much information which could distract from the aims of the board.  Rachel Heydon reported that as a trusted partner of the police she was confident that SNB were able to filter information and ensure that it was shared correctly and sensitively.  Rob Weir agreed that Rachel’s help had been invaluable, in the past, in sharing information carefully among the local community.

 

A resignation letter was received from Ernest Cooper, acceptance of this was put on hold until further discussions could be held with Ernest Cooper.  The resignation followed what was felt to be a breakdown in communication with the police.  Rob Weir reported that there had been some difficulty in getting all 5 ward panels together and that Ernest Cooper had been omitted from the invitation to the ward panel meeting in error.  Raj Kohli suggested it might help attendance if the Ward Panel took the lead on setting a date for the joint meeting rather than the police doing so.  Rachel Heydon said that there was a need to improve communications from the police and suggested meeting outside the current meeting to discuss this further. 

 

The board agreed that Richard Eason would be invited to stand in for Ernest Cooper for the meeting.

 

Decisions and Actions:

 

The resignation of Earnest Cooper was considered and it was agreed that acceptance would be put on hold until further discussions could take place with Earnest Cooper.

 

Rob Weir agreed to authorise Communications to share any information the police shared with them with SNB in addition to Cllr Richard Foote who currently receives this information.

12.

Minutes of the meeting of the meeting held on 3 June 2015 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the 3 June 2015 were accepted with the following amendments and updates.

 

Cllr Foote was present.

 

Matters arising:

 

The information on the Rugby World Cup had been received and would be shared during the meeting.

 

13.

MOPAC Funding and Projects including Youth Crime Conference

Decision:

Nigel Farmer invited the members of the board to share any ideas for projects with him so that the available funding could be applied for and allocated before the financial year end (possible ideas around BME engagement and knife crime awareness).

 

 

 

Minutes:

7 bids had been submitted, 4 had been successful and 3 had not been approved although useful feedback had been received.  All projects would need to begin before the end of the financial year.  There was still £20 000.00 available to bid for this year.  Nigel Farmer will discuss the refused projects with Rachel Heydon in more detail.

 

The following were discussed:

 

·         Rachel Heydon suggested a project around youngsters setting fire to properties.

·         Rob Weir commended the local Police Youth Engagement team on an innovative project and suggested that this could be rolled out on a larger scale (Nigel Farmer and Rob Weir to discuss this with Steve Hutchinson to provide input).

·         Cllr Richard Foote suggested getting some ideas, such as a social club for new Polish migrants, from the Polish Community and welcomed Kate Jabrocko’s input as the SNB Polish representative.

·         Rachel Heydon said that she would be keen to get the local community to ask questions via twitter of the SNB.

·         Raj Kohli suggested a black minority ethnic (BME) community engagement project, to encourage a more diverse representation within different wards.  BME are currently under represented and there is a need to encourage greater involvement. Chris Benson reported that the problem was not confined to Hounslow and welcomed ideas.  Rachel Heydon said that an advert to recruit new members would go out by January 2016.  Richard Eason suggested that the board also consider the research (unpublished) which had been done on emerging communities, both locally and London wide.

·         Raj Kohli suggested that the Board consider supporting and engaging with activities planned during Black History Month (October).

·         Nigel Farmer and Steve Hutchinson provided a brief update on the Youth Crime Conference and Raj Kohli reported that the recent Junior Citizenship event had been successful.

 

Chris Benson asked that any proposals be sent to him and he would support the development of the bids where possible.

 

Decisions and Actions

 

Nigel Farmer invited the members of the board to share any ideas for projects with him so that the available funding could be applied for and allocated before the financial year end (possible ideas around BME engagement and knife crime awareness).

 

14.

Knife Crime

Decision:

Raj Kohli invited members of the board to go on a patrol to ‘get a feel’ for what takes place – he extended this invitation to SNB associated individuals.

Minutes:

Knife crime is still a concern although the bulk of knife crime appear to be criminal on criminal rather than against members of the public.  Incidents are also not purely gang related and may involve drugs.  It is rare that stabbing incidents take place.  Most incidents do not involve Hounslow residents and are only significant in that they take place within borough and are linked to the sale and passing of drugs.  Incidents were not purely gang related.

 

Rachel Heydon said that there was a particular concern from SNB that the message was not going out.  Raj Kohli reported that the message not to carry knives was going out although there some officers may be reluctant to challenge individuals due to concern around racial profiling issues.

 

Flavia Beckwith questioned what was being done about the drug problem near Clayponds.  Rob Weir reported that Operation Omega would see a reduction in figures relating to violence from October as a result a change in stats recording criteria.  He agreed that knives were carried and considered that this could sometimes be linked to cultural background and different customs being brought in from abroad.  Stephen Hutchinson reported that there appeared to be two kinds of young people who carry knives (1) Victims using knives for protection and (2) those using knives aggressively.  He asked whether it was known what proportion being stopped fell in each category.  Raj Kohli responded that it was important to avoid criminalising young people although it was difficult to determine who fell within each category.

 

Rob Weir asked whether knife crime would be featured within the Youth Crime Convention and Rachel Heydon confirmed that it would.

 

Raj Kohli suggested that there might be a possibility of doing a project on ancestral knife customs.  Chris Benson reported that MOPAC had funded this type of project before.

 

Taser Consultation

 

Raj Kohli reported that he would like to discuss the increase in taser use with SNB as the representatives of the local community.  He requested the agreement of the board to increase the number of tasers on duty from 4, at any one time, to a maximum of 6.  Flavia Beckwith questioned where these would be based.  Raj Kohli reported that they would be issued from the station the force paraded from – Feltham – and that they would be used by trained officers across the borough.  Raj Kohli said that the Local Authority would be informed when they increased tasers in use to 6.  He confirmed that there were always enough trained officers on duty, currently there were 60 taser trained officers in the borough.

 

Raj Kohli invited members of the SNB to go on a patrol with the police to get a ‘feel’ for the situation and extended the invitation to anyone not at the meeting.

 

Decisions and Actions

 

Raj Kohli invited members of the board to go on a patrol to ‘get a feel’ for what takes place – he extended this invitation to SNB associated individuals.

15.

Examination of Crime Statistics / (MOPAC data) pdf icon PDF 731 KB

Decision:

Chris Benson agreed to provide a breakdown showing how DV and DV with injury were recorded within different sub-categories and whether they were categorized separately.

Minutes:

The Crime Statistics were discussed.  Raj Kohli said that he felt that the figures did not accurately indicate the levels of hate crime although he was pleased to report that confidence in policing appeared to have improved.

The increased accuracy in recording methods now give a more accurate (although higher) figure for violent incidents.  Rob Weir said that the 20% increase in violent crime was linked to the change in reporting criteria, this figure would decrease the next month.

 

Cllr Foote expressed concern that it was difficult to get an accurate idea of what was happening with the constantly changing reporting criteria.  Domestic Violence was given as an example as it was difficult to see whether there had been an increase or decrease in incidents due to changing criteria.  Raj Kohli responded that there may be further changes following Home Office changes to the rules.  Domestic violence and domestic violence with injury are recorded together in the stats.  Domestic abuse included verbal as well as physical injury.  When completing the form the most serious offence is selected.  Youth violence is not necessarily separated out.

 

Richard Eason questioned whether crimes falling into more than one category were recorded within each category or only one.  Chris Benson agreed to confirm how these were recorded within the different sub-categories and whether they were categorised together or separately.

 

Debbie Brenner asked whether faith and religious hate crime were recorded differently.  Raj Kohli responded that in his view these were the same type of crime. 

 

Being in possession of an offensive weapon is considered a knife crime.

 

Rachel Heydon reported that it would be good to understand the actual numbers relating to crime and where crimes were recorded more than once.

 

Kate Jabrocka asked whether it was possible to have specific figures for the Polish community.  Raj Kohli responded that it was possible to look at separate communities, particularly the newer ones.

 

Decisions and Actions

 

Chris Benson agreed to provide a breakdown showing how DV and DV with injury were recorded within different sub-categories and whether they were categorized separately.

16.

Report on complaints against the Police

Decision:

Rob Weir has invited a member of the SNB to come to the Police Commendations Panel to contribute to the awards decision process allowing SNB to see the range of good work being done.  A member of SNB to be put forward.

 

Rob Weir is to invite PC Coffin and Cheryl Stafford from Eaves to come to an SNB meeting to share the good work being done on the Exiting Prostitution Project.

Minutes:

Hounslow shows a 36% reduction in complaints which is below average.  The most common complaints were of incivility and failure of duty.  Failure of duty complaints are set to increase following changes being made to public rights of access to information on cases.  Victims could now make complaints if their case collapsed in court.

 

The use of body video had lead to a drop in complaints with members of the public reconsidering their recollection of incidents when viewing the actual incident on video.

 

Incivility and neglect of duty were issues that had been flagged up across the force.  Although the numbers were not high and the majority were resolved following an apology from the officer involved.

 

Rob Weir reported that he had been humbled, at the recent Commendation ceremony, by the work of officers.  He invited a member of the SNB to come to the Police Commendations Panel to contribute to the awards decision process allowing SNB to see the range of good work being done.  It was agreed that a member of SNB will be put forward.

 

The board requested the regular inclusion of good news stories in the report.

 

Cllr Foote reported that he had attended the Community Safety Partnership Board where the work of the Exiting Prostitution project had been reported on.  He commended the police and Community Safety on the good work being done.

 

The Board agreed that the Exiting Prostitution project should be invited to attend the next SNB meeting.

 

Rob Weir is to invite PC Coffin and Cheryl Stafford from Eaves to come to an SNB meeting to share the good work being done on the Exiting Prostitution Project.

 

Debbie Brenner asked about the possibility of using body comms in situations of domestic violence.  Raj Kohli responded that this was not ideal as it could potentially put the victim in greater danger.

 

Decisions and Actions

 

Rob Weir has invited a member of the SNB to come to the Police Commendations Panel to contribute to the awards decision process allowing SNB to see the range of good work being done.  A member of SNB to be put forward.

 

Rob Weir is to invite PC Coffin and Cheryl Stafford from Eaves to come to an SNB meeting to share the good work being done on the Exiting Prostitution Project

17.

Reports from the associated groups: pdf icon PDF 138 KB

·         Independent Custody Visitors

·         Independent Advisory Group

·         Stop and Search Community Monitoring Group

Minutes:

Chris Benson reported that currently MOPAC attend meetings of the associated groups and provided updates.  Rachel Heydon confirmed that associated groups needed to submit reports direct to the Safer Neighbourhood Board. 

 

Independent Custody Visitors

 

No report was received. 

 

Flavia Beckwith questioned the low number of custody visitors and the issue of Chiswick volunteers not being willing to visit in other areas.  Chris Benson responded that ICV have come from different areas. The system for Custody Visitors was in the process of being streamlined and that he was positive that some improvement would be reported at the next meeting.

 

 

Stop and Search

 

The report was read.

18.

Rugby World Cup 2015 - implications

Minutes:

Rob Weir reported that the impact on Hounslow would be minimal.  Extra officers were on duty in the town centre on game evenings.  The main concerns were in the Isleworth area although he felt it was unlikely that the many people would come to Hounslow to celebrate.  Historically there had been no link between stadium events and violence in Hounslow.

 

Cllr Foote reported that while licensed premises in Twickenham and Richmond had agreed to close early, Hounslow premises had not.

 

Richard Eason added that the ban on entry into venues after 10pm was now being reconsidered on a case by case basis.  It was expected that the majority of fans would return to central London after the games.  He was positive about the way the event was being managed.

 

Rachel Heydon reported that local bed and Breakfast and hotels were full.

 

 

19.

Neighbourhood Community Safety Coordinator Feltham, Bedfont and Hanworth

Decision:

Rachel Heydon agreed to send a copy of the letter received from an external party regarding the loss of the Community Safety Officer posts to Chris Benson for his information.

 

Cllr Richard Foote agreed to update SNB on the emerging new Community Safety organisation when possible; once staff consultations had been completed.

 

Minutes:

Rachel Heydon asked that a correction to the Agenda be recorded, the item was about all Community Safety Co-ordinator posts, not only the Feltham one.

 

Rachel Heydon introduced a letter she had received about planned changes to the posts of the Community Safety Co-ordinators.   The content of the letter was discussed and it was concluded that the letter was inaccurate and malicious.  Consultations were still under way with staff involved in the restructuring and this could not be discussed further until the staff consultations had closed.  Cllr Foote agreed to bring a full report back to the board once it was available to share.

 

Raj Kohli reported that the Met were undergoing significant restructuring and that the post of Chief Superintendent could be lost as part of a cost saving exercise.  Various options were being considered and he was hopeful that they would have some idea by the end of the month and that a clear decision would take place within 3 or 4 months.

 

Cllr Foote questioned the numbers of PCSOs.  Rob Weir reported that there had been no recruitment of PCSOs over the last 3 years.

 

Richard Eason and David Blackett expressed concern at the cumulative impact of change on local knowledge and the loss of valued connections between the community and PCSOs.

 

Raj Kohli reported that this would improve as the position became more static and people stayed in roles for longer periods.

 

Cllr Foote reported that changes to current teams were based around area forums (5 teams).  These teams were being used in various ways to strengthen local policing.  Raj Kohli added that the Council had ‘bought’ 10 police officers for this.

 

Decisions and Actions:

 

Rachel Heydon agreed to send a copy of a letter regarding the loss of Community Officers posts to Chris Benson.

 

Cllr Richard Foote agreed to brief SNB on the status of Community Safety roles as soon as possible.

 

20.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

The advert for the recruitment of additional community representatives on the SNB will be placed on the Council website.  Raj Kohli offered to tweet these as well.  IAG does have the selection of a representative on their agenda.

21.

Dates of future meetings

Minutes:

The next meeting will be on 15 December 2015 with the following one on 22 March 2016:

 

15 December 2015  (Cllr Foote and Raj Kohli gave apologies for this meeting)