Policing in your neighbourhood

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3 weeks ago (12:21 PM)
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Comments:

antio

While I believe most Police officers are great, the system stops them from doing their best. I'd really like to see Police actively deal with anti-social behaviour: the "small" things that they now wouldn't even bother looking at. If having to stop and fine someone for anti-social behaviour means spending 5 hours filling in forms and reports, then Police won't do it. Give them body cams (already proven to change people's behaviour for the better when interacting with Police) and simplify their work.

Make tackling low-level crime and anti-social behaviour a priority. Take an example from how NY dealt with and reduced their crime rates. If you teach people they can get away with the small things, they'll soon think they can get away with anything.

We need more of a zero-tolerance approach - just my 2 cents,

mcornish1

Wholeheartedly agree with this post! Zero-tolerance is the way forward...

Fitness4London

Agreed, it would create a culture of expecting higher standards from people, and intervene with young people who might otherwise go on to more serious crime.

ldefraeye

Completely agree - NY dealt with it perfectly, so why couldn't we do it?

clhopf

I too agree with this post! My building literally backs on to the local police station, yet for at least three years I have been battling a scourge of anti-social behaviour in the form of groups of young men who gather beneath my window and make noise all hours of the night, often every day of the week. I have made so many calls to 101, I've been in touch with my SNT, but was finally essentially told by one of the officers that there was no point, there were hundreds of similar calls in the borough at that moment. I gave up. The boys still gather. The police cars drive right past them on their way in and out of the station.

Chiara Ermini

I agree 100%, I recently had big issue with anti social behavior in the estate where I live. Police, I am sorry to say was useless. I just had to put with these people until they stopped. Unfortunately something can happen again at anytime and the luck of support from local police worries me a lot.

kenju1

well send all your details to this address & your complaint & i'll pass it to someone that will help you if it should happen again

ohnoes

I live in a very poor and deprived area of North London.

We used to have a safer neighbourhood team office on the high street where I live.
This was closed down and the nearest police station is now almost a mile away/20 mins walk - the safer neighbourhood team is now harder to contact and they have to spend more time actually getting to the area they are responsible for.

There is no easy way for us to 'pop in' and talk to them. It almost feels like a kick in the teeth when I visit more affluent areas of London and see that they still have some local safer neighbourhood offices open. The only real option we have is to email them with our concerns which feels very impersonal and means we have no guarantee when we'll get a response.

I haven't seen any officers from my SNT in months- through no fault of their own. They're overstretched and do not have the resources to police the visible policing issues that matter to us residents. I've previously asked them for details on when they'd be out and about in the ward and they declined to reveal that so we have no idea when they're actually out on the ward.

I often find it difficult to get a police response in my local area- again through no fault of their own. They're a busy borough and my 'ward' is at the outer edge of this borough. I believe the police response and resourcing suffers as a result and there simply aren't enough officers for the amount of crime on the borough.

I once called police to report that a man was walking down the high street trying to sell a stolen phone, nobody was able to come and he got away despite being in the area for over 15 minutes and offering me a brand new smartphone for £20.

I called police on another day to report that a man was aggressively begging and harassing women, despite having an ASBO/CBO prohibiting him from doing just that. Nobody came in time and he got away.

A neighbour had a pint glass thrown at him by a drunk football fan, it smashed a window. Nobody came in time despite the man being seen at a pub across the road after the incident.

All these things reduce our confidence in our local police and enbolden criminals to carry on offending as the chances of getting caught are slim.

Another example I'll give you regarding the failure of the SNT model. It sounds good on paper but very often has little impact in practice:

We have ongoing issues with the same prostitutes openly trading on street corners and people kerb crawling. As a group of residents in a new block of flats we've tried to engage with our local officers over the past year by email (as that seems to be the only way to get through to them) and only been met with half hearted promises of work to be done, and offers of face to face meetings with the SNT that never materialised. Some improvements have been made (such as police working with the council to fence off areas used for sex work) and the odd arrest or caution, but we aren't really kept up to date with what is happening and it feels like our concerns are simply a burden on the SNT and local police rather than an issue we can work towards solving with them. We have no visibility on the actual work going on behind the scenes and feel badly informed.

Calls to 101 to report the prostitution simply get filed away with no action being taken- call handlers admitting it simply generates a log but no response as it isn't considered a serious enough of a crime to warrant a response especially when the SNT aren’t working. This despite the effects of prostitution on the local community- women who live in our building being harassed and cat called by punters looking for sex workers, empty condom wrappers and body fluids left strewn across the ground and kerb crawlers outside most nights and the unsavoury characters and additional ASB that organised prostitution brings (including violent and dangerous pimps who circle the area in fancy cars to collect cash and protect their business). Sometimes it feels like it isn't worth bothering- the police called me back one day to tell me that I should call less frequently (as I was calling 101 daily regarding the prostitutes stood outside my home). The caller was sympathetic, but suggested calling once a week with details of when I had observed the prostitutes instead of as it happens as my calls were simply generating additional admin and putting me on a list of ‘frequent callers to police’ that somehow had to be managed.
Reading the local newspapers was even more sobering as it turns out that this area has suffered from prostitution since at least 2013.
Clearly the SNT model isn't working in our area and something has to change. We need more police officers empowered to deal with local issues affecting us, regardless of their severity, rather than efforts to only tackle the headline 'MOPAC 7' crimes or drugs which they seem to be obsessed at reducing to make their statistics look good.

Having a dedicated SNT for each ward seems like a great idea, until you realise that certain wards in London have much higher crime rates than others which need more resources to tackle. We can't use the same blueprint for local policing in a leafy, well to do area and a deprived, crime ridden area.

Bottom line is- we need to adequately staff and resource SNTs depending on the local demand, even if it means some areas require more resources than others.
We need to make sure officers are given bases to work from in the area they police, and empower them to effectively deal with crime that is affecting and important to LOCAL people, even if it isn't a headline/serious crime.
We need to ringfence these officers from being pulled into other work so that they can focus on tackling issues on their wards.
We also need to make SNTs accountable to the communities they police- agree timelines and deliverables with the local community and assess the progress that has been made in line with them, as it often takes months/years to get any meaningful progress in our situation as it stands.

Sorry for the long rant- just wanted to get some thoughts and ideas off my chest.

Fitness4London

I think the police are massively underfunded, and that this is a false economy.

Like you, I've had similar lack of response from the police on certain issues. For instance, there's been a rise in people cycling fast on the pavement (including after dark without lights), but my online message to the local police on this issue was not answered.

kenju1

yes you are right there is there was better funding for them they would not have a problem delivering on services . As its often because of the lack of funds they cant do as much as they desire because most things cost money

Garry Clayton

I live in pimlico and do take a zero tolerance to anti social behaviour. I challenge teenagers and adults. I phone 101 and my local Estate anti social officer. You can't change anything by apathy. It's not always easy challenging people. I've had good and bad response's.
What's the worst that can happen? It might just get a whole lot better.

Lara

Hi all,
Strongly agree with the suggestions above.
Garry, I also live in Pimlico and although I feel it is a safe area, I do not know how to approach our local estate social officer or local police office. I feel there is not enough information provided.
How can I access this?
Thanks.

ohnoes

Pop your postcode into https://www.police.uk/ and you should get an email and/or phone number for your local team.

Lara

Many thanks for your reply, I will do it.

Wayne1411B

No Guarantee that the local team will contact you though. My SNT seems to have vanished.

SuzanneE17

I live in East London. Only seen ONE Police Officer around here in the past few weeks, even months. I had phoned the police about a dangerous damaged car parked outside my house which children were climbing into. They gave me a crime number and asked me to phone the local council - who came to collect the car that same afternoon. The police - well ONE week afterwards a policeman knocked to ask where the damaged car was??????. A nearby house was burgled, did the Police knock to give us details, NO, it was all the neighbours who got together, we now supervise each others houses. The Police? They sent us leaflets....to be careful ?!?
We need a visible Police presence every day.
We need more street lighting at night.
We need Police on the tube, train and bus late at night.
London is not safe.

Wayne1411B

You said it Suzanne, I hope the Mayor reads your comments, but I won't hold my breath!

kscterry

Likewise to Suzanne's comments I saw some suspicious behaviour in Bromley Town Centre a few weeks ago I felt necessary to let the police know about. I rang 101 and after waiting more than 10 minutes simply gave up as I didn't have the time to hold any more. Surely even the call centre should have the staff levels to help people?

Fitness4London

Safeguarding the rule of law in this country is such a low priority, which is a great shame and a totally false economy.

It would be fantastic to see a government some time in the future which promotes law and order, as well as showing more active concern for the rehabilitation of prisoners and helping drug/alcohol addicts come off drugs/alcohol for good. But I've seen little sign of this commitment from any UK government to date,

kscterry

I live in the London Borough of Bromley. I NEVER see police officers around in my area. My nearest police station is in Bromley Town Centre which is a three-four mile journey. Bromley is badly under-policed. I go to other areas, including Islington, Brent, and Lewisham and see loads of police. Why is there such a lack of equality in terms of police staff numbers?

Wayne1411B

You will find more Police Officers posted to Brent Cross Shopping Centre (Private Premises) than you will find patrolling the Streets of Barnet. Police Officers are not normally supposed to patrol Private Premises! Brent Cross Shopping Centre have their own Police Team. How Crass is that.

Thingy

Also live in Bromley borough. Orpington police station now closed. West Wickham has a police office: why not one in Orpington? Occasionally see PSOs patrolling High Street but never a PC.

abrewer

I appear to live on the boundary of a number of policing neighbourhoods, as a consequence it seems that crimes and anti-social behaviour that do have a direct impact on our street just aren't dealt with.
Over the past year or so there have been increasing numbers of groups of men and teenagers loitering on street corners, which I have reported but to no response and I no longer feel safe to walk home from the tube station alone.
The illegal workers hanging around outside the DIY stores at the end of my road are a problem too, but it seems all the police can do is round them up on occasion and send them away with a warning. Instead they should be targetting the unscrupulous businesses that are picking up these workers.
I've lived in Queensbury, Harrow for 20 years and it previously felt like a safe residential suburb, sadly not any more. I feel more unsafe here than I do in Central London.

Wayne1411B

Police need to be more visible to the Public they serve, the areas they work are far too big for them to patrol on foot. The removal of most of the Police Stations in London has made it impossible to have a visible presence. We will never get back what we had. I believe that the young men and women in our Police Service are just as dedicated as those in 60's and 70's, however they have not been helped by the errors made by successive governments.

Wayne1411B

Having had a chance to read some of the comments, many refer to the lack of Police Officers on our streets. The main reason for this will be the 'Hair-brained' scheme of removing most of the Police Stations in London. I hope the Mayor reads some of the comments which have been posted or this is a waste of time. With the sale of so many Police properties, where has all the money gone? Where have all the Police Officers gone? Let the Mayor give us the answers!

Wayne1411B

I hope the Talk London Administrator who posted the article on Safer Neighbourhoods programme is reading the comments posted below, he will then realise that the system he has mentioned is obviously not working. Visible Police on a beat was a far more effective method of Policing and worked, Closing so many Police Stations may have saved money, but it has alienated the Police from the Public!

Fitness4London

Totally agree. Closing police stations shows that the government has very little ambition to make our streets safer.

kscterry

I think the general message here is there is a lack of police presence, especially in Outer London Boroughs. I can't see Sadiq lifting a finger when the majority of people that put him in office last May live in Islington/Hackney/Lambeth/Newham boroughs and so on and as such there simply won't be the political will to help us in Outer London.

There is easily money around to pay for more police. We simply don't pay our police officers enough for this not to be the case. Only this week I opened the Metro and saw an advert from TFL with a family in saying something to the tune of 'we love the traffic changes at Archway/Elephant and Castle'. I don't like what TFL has done at either but more to the point how much did it cost TFL to put that advert there and who did it benefit? Why is taxpayers money not going in to something that people actually want to see? Sadiq is also trying to bring in 'London Borough of culture' for every year - fine when there's plenty of money about but in my opinion splashing out when other priorities exist.

I wish people saw our police forces with similar value to for instance the NHS where the smallest of changes causes huge uproar. Money exists but it isn't used properly

abrewer

I am really hoping that Sadiq will recognise those of us who live in the outer boroughs, given that our last two mayors didn't seem to think London existed outside of zone 2. This opportunity to address our concerns is a good start, just hope that somebody is listening.

christopher

The only time you see a Police Officer on my Estate is when they are going to Cafe or Shops

kscterry

That's A LOT more than you see in Bromley!

jessy

In my daily life I travel from end of my Borough to the other. Where I live is a more rundown part which has a lot of daily anti social behaviour happening and you never see a policeman on foot walking around whereas when I am the posher end of my Borough you see loads of them! Also it would be nice to see the odd police car cruise around my area during the day time as dodgy people come around my area during the day time looking for empty houses to rob. No policemen but plenty of traffic wardens around here!

Talk London

Thank you for all your comments so far. Some of you have mentioned the visibility of officers in your local area. While some Londoners feel safer seeing officers in their local area, others can feel unsettled by the presence of officers suggested that a crime has been committed or is imminent. What do you think? Would you like to see more ‘bobbies on the beat’ specifically in your local area as a general principle, or should resources be concentrated elsewhere, or be flexibly deployed across London?

While Safer Neighbourhood Teams are based in a specific area permanently, they are often supported by additional officers who work over a larger area. Outer Londoners, how visible or accessible is your local neighbourhood policing team?

SuzanneE17

Definately more policemen visible on our streets here in East London. We NEVER see any. I emailed our Neighbourhood Team a week ago. Having used the link another reader gave, I saw that our local team organise meet and greet sessions?!? Where are these advertised? None of my neighbours are aware. So I emailed the team a week ago. NO reply. Lack of communication is awful.

antio

"others can feel unsettled by the presence of officers suggested that a crime has been committed or is imminent. "

Where did that come from?! Since when do bobbies on the beat suggest a crime is imminent? We are not talking about officers with firearms in groups of 50. We are talking about a couple of officers patrolling the streets and actually TACKLING anti-social behaviour (not just walking around). Like they used to do, you know?

Fitness4London

Criminals would probably feel unsettled by the presence of police officers. I've never known any law abiding citizen say that they feel unsettled by the presence of police.

kscterry

We URGENTLY need more in Bromley
I NEVER see any police officers in Bromley, Chislehurst or Orpington.
When out and about in boroughs such as Newham, Hackney and Haringey I see a lot, both on high streets and on residential roads. We need more in Bromley to deter criminals from carrying out their activities.
Does Chislehurst even have a safer neighbourhoods team? I've never seen their base or any police officers on Chislehurst High Street
I cannot understand why people would panic if more police were around. Maybe to begin with this would cause slight concern to a handful but after a short amount of time seeing police regularly that would go away. I think far more people would be reassured and this would significantly outweigh any concerns. Besides, police on the streets talking to people in the community about why they are there etc - ie the communication - would surely combat this?

AmyA

Almost the only time I see 'bobbies on the beat' is when they park their police van on double yellow lines in my (quiet) street, then all pile out and go to the McDonalds two streets away, then come back in pairs with their bags of food and sit in the van parked on the double yellow lines, eating their food while waiting for their other pairs of colleagues to return. This all takes around 20 minutes, then the van drives off.
They know they're breaking the law parking on double yellow lines unless it's an emergency, but they keep doing it. There's a public underground car park right next to my street, too...

kscterry

With regards to my point above on increases in Council Tax to fund police - I would insist this was collected individually by boroughs with each council having the decisions alongside the local police teams as to where officers are deployed. I would not trust the GLA to do the right thing for Outer London Boroughs which would fund the extra tax collected (Outer London Boroughs have higher council tax revenues as houses are generally in higher council tax bands) and would expect them to divert most money in to Islington and Hackney etc on demand, whereas boroughs such as Bexley or Greenwich with areas of significant deprivation eg Thamesmead will as usual be forgotten about. I would not support increases in tax to fund these boroughs as it so often does

eidoseidos

The Mayor talks about safer neighbourhoods but overall he wants to water it down with fewer officers basically making it less effective.

kscterry

I never normally say this but I would be happy to pay a surcharge on council tax to see more police where I am, and also to be able to have police ready to investigate crimes when reported. Often reported crimes are just let go.
I would expect reassurances - to see a minimal police cover that will not be cut back in future before I pay a single penny extra

ldefraeye

I would also be happy about paying a surcharge (up to £100) to ensure the police budget is properly funded and allows for a bigger presence in the streets.

Fitness4London

Some of the most expensive streets in St John's Wood have private security patrols, as they know that the police provide inadequate protection. This is surely a sign that we need more police, and better trained police too, who are really dedicated to protecting the public.

Ruthgalgut

Since the closure of the police station in Muswell Hill, I've noticed a huge increase in graffiti which makes me very nervous. I am unhappy that two police stations in one area (Muswell Hill and Highgate) have been closed.

donagga

I live in Islington. I agree with other posts that I would like to see more on-street police presence, and I believe that it's possibly true that the police are insufficiently funded to provide this.
However, almost every night I am disturbed by police helicopters flying overhead at all times of the night/early hours of the morning. This seems like a preposterous waste of police resources; it's difficult to get hold of any evidence of any significant reduction in crime rates that result from this, although I could give plenty of evidence of disturbed sleep for myself and other residents.
If helicopters were called upon in response to a specific incident, then I could understand it, but to aimlessly fly around disturbing residents to act as some form of alleged deterrent just seems like a complete waste of time and money.

HuwC

Zero tolerance on minor issues that affect neighbourhoods. When I call as chavs are riding scooters / pit bikes in the park don't ask me lots of questions about their ethnic group, come and sort it out.

tonyc

I live on a main arterial road in a in a residential area of Camden NW1 and have lived here for almost 16 years.
I cannot recall the last time that I saw a police officer on foot patrol ,they just race by with sirens screaming and blue lights flashing.
Whatever happened to boots on the ground ?
It is all very well talking about dedicated neighbourhood police officers but where are they ?

Julia1656

We need more foot officers in our area .we have many problems with gangs and untill the government made cuts to the forces the police had control of the problem. Boris made the biggest cock up by make in cuts to the police and fire brigade
We had the best now we have .well I'm not sure what we have .

Pops50

I also live on the edge of a borough, miles away from the now only police station in the entire borough, where I have been told that if there are 14 police officers on duty per shift, they are doing well, 14 it is disgusting , the borough has a population of nearly 300,000 people, how do we expect to get a response, all SNT ,s lie closed. The police stations we used to have are restaurants, flats, being knocked down, or worse been boarded up eyesores for years. The police are, damned if they do and damned if they don,t. My friends daughter wanted to join, but has to pay for herself to do a policing certificate at college, and they are talking about needing a degree, why? Hendon us being knocked down and they are building, oh yes MORE flats, who will keep ALL of these people safe. I did this survey against my better judgement, and it focuses on fgm, hate crime and terrorism, yes all important, but if we do not police asb, where it all starts with young people, what about burglary, robbery, knife crime, driving uninsured cars with no driving licences, should this not be priority too, surely if you top down, nothing will ever get done. Why would anyone want yo join today's police, rubbish wages, continual criticism, being threatened and assaulted for doing your job. Never getting a day off, being kept on for hours, while idiots in mask run amok around London, openly threatening to hurt Poluce?. We can spend billions on HS2 and cycle "superhighways" while hardly having any police available or visible on the streets of London. We need to get our priorities right, and Sadiq actually keep us safe instead of just procrastinating about it. Rant over

Fatimak

I live in East London near Whitechapel. I don't feel safe at around my area as there are no police around. There needs to be police patrolling more as there is no CCTV cameras only one police station that I know which is Limehouse. Neighbourhood policing would definitely benefit around my area as alot of dealing, stealing harassment goes on without no one coming forward.

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