Skip to main content

Meetings

Meeting Details

Ealing Safer Neighbourhood Board
24 Mar 2021 - 19:00 to 21:00
Occurred
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

Blank
Standard Items
1 Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
To note any apologies for absence and substitutions.

Gerry Barwick substituted for Andrew Rolling (Ealing Business Improvement District)

Cllr Camadoo-Rothwell provided apologies for absence.

Kiran Gupta (Independent Custody Visitor’s Panel) provided apologies for lateness.

2 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2021.

Resolved that: the Chair welcomed the members of the public.

3 Welcome from the Chair


Resolved that: the Chair welcomed the members of the public.

4 Introductions


Resolved that: members of the Board introduced themselves to the members of the public that attended the meeting.

5 Jess Murray - Annual Scrutiny, SEP Meeting Announcement


Jess Murray, Ealing Council, Safer Communities informed the Board and members of the public that there would be a virtual scrutiny meeting for Safer Ealing Partnership on 25th March 2021, starting at 19:00 hours. The Officer encouraged everyone to attend this meeting. It was explained that the Scrutiny Panel would hear about all the work carried out by the Safer Ealing Partnership to keep the borough safe.

Resolved that: the Board noted the announcement.

6 COVID Update
To receive a verbal update from the police.

Richard Watkinson, West Area BCU Lead provided the update. The Chief Inspector reported that most staff were back at work and police abstraction rates were much lower now – it had risen to 10% a few months ago. They received a reduced number of calls relating to breaches of Covid-19 rules compared to during the summer. Ealing was one of the best boroughs in the Met for enforcing Covid-19 compliance. The police were working in conjunction with the Council to address non-compliance with Covid-19 rules, for example they recently stopped a rave in Southall.

Resolved that: the Board noted the update.

7 General Police Report


Richard Watkinson, reported that crime across the Met had dropped, especially in this borough. Crime decreased by 20% nationally and decreased by 30% in Ealing borough.

The Chief Inspector further reported that:

• Robbery decreased by 35%;
• Knife crime decreased by 26% and knife crime in the under 25 age group decreased by 38%;
• Domestic assault increased by 9% - however, the Community Safety Unit and Outreach Partners carried out a lot of work to reach and help vulnerable people;
• Sexual offences remained steady – it neither increased nor decreased;
• Drug related crimes had increased as it was easier to spot people during lockdown, whilst most were at home, making it easier to pursue drug related crimes;
• The Met did not want crime levels to rise above the levels seen in 2019; and
• Antisocial behaviour had increased by 53% in Ealing and increased by 81% across the Met. Most were in relation to calls for Covid-19. Non-Covid-19 related calls for antisocial behaviour had remained steady throughout the year. At the start of the pandemic, the Met did not have a system to record Covid-19 instances separately.

Resolved that: the Board noted the update.

8 Stop and Search Report


Resolved that: a Stop and Search Report was not provided.

9 Questions to the Police from the Public and Board


In response to question by Board Members and the public, police representatives stated that:

• The police did patrol at night, generally up until 1:00 hours. The Response Team generally dealt with crimes occurring after this time. Per ward, there were 2 dedicated police officers (DWO) and 1 PSCO that patrolled the ward.

• The police were aware that there was an increase in theft of motor vehicles and theft of catalytic converters. The police were working hard to prevent such theft. They communicated with some manufacturers of catalytic converters to change the design to make it harder to steal.

• LTNs was not a police issue. They had not seen increased crime in LTN areas and these areas did not impede response times to calls.

• Assault on females by strangers were uncommon in Ealing and across London as almost 80% of sexual assaults occured in familiar environments. It was explained that the police also treat such crimes seriously. Last year, there were a series of sexual assaults taking place around Acton Town Tube Station and the police flooded the area and arrested the man involved. Additionally, there was recently an internal review to determine if there were any vulnerabilities to how police handle sexual assault cases. At the moment, there were only a few outstanding sexual offenders, with most offenders arrested. The police accepted that people feel unsafe and therefore they were pushing to get as many police officers, CCTVs and Council wardens in different areas.

Jess Murray stated that the Council reviewed crime statistics every year to decide where to improve street lighting and place CCTV to make the area more visible and help people feel safer. The Council will also update their Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy this year to make the borough as safe as possible.

• The police did have the power to control and move traffic, even in LTN areas in the same way they can direct drivers to use bus lanes. Richard Watkinson advised that these powers were used as part of their response to road traffic incidents or other emergencies and were hence rarely used.

• Leigh Ballard explained that as part of his work in the Safer Neighbourhood Team, he managed the 23 wards in this borough. He had been in regular communication with all Safer Communities Officers to plan how to facilitate removal of lockdown in a way that kept crime levels down. They planned to work together with the Council, add additional patrols for all green areas within Ealing to prevent crime and utilise the many resources such as Neighbourhood Tasking Team and Violence Suppression Units.

• There was a dedicated Traffic Unit (RPTC) and Neighbourhood Officers that dealt with moped delivery drivers acting contrary to traffic regulations on main routes. The relevant officers ticketed people acting outside traffic regulations. The Council also had the power to issue fines, tickets and deal with any traffic crimes.

John Martin, Vice Chair and Projects Co-Ordinator stated that he was also Chair of The London Borough Of Ealing High Street’s Task Force Team. The taskforce had many meetings with the Council’s Highway Team to discuss setting up a bay along the high street for deliver companies to their park mopeds. He informed the Board that he was waiting to hear back from the Highways Team as to when that would be in place.

• Acton Police Station was being refurbished and therefore the custody suite in this station had been temporarily closed. Prisoners were being sent to Heathrow Polar Park Station and Hounslow Police Station. However, Met Detention decided two weeks ago, with very little consultation, that prisoners would go to either Hammersmith Police Station or Heathrow Polar Park Station.

• Intelligence Analysts looked at crime sharing apps such as the Nextdoor App. However, Leigh Ballard reiterated that people must report crime directly to the police as the police did not go out to search for information for legal reasons. They were prevented from searching social media for crime due to rules on evidence and disclosure. People can report crime online on the police website, by calling 101 or by speaking to their Ward Officer.

• Resident would be able to help in missing person cases with permission from the next of kin. If no next of kin exists and the case is serious, the police will publicise the missing person case on various media such as OWL and Facebook. The police Media and Communications Team guides them on what they can or cannot say about the missing person.

• In terms of the stop and search rate in Ealing, the positive outcomes was 35% on the day of the meeting. This was an extremely high percentage. It had been 23% previously but the rate increased due to Operation Magnitude, which was organised by Richard Watkinson and had been running since October last year. As a result of this operation, there were 932 stops and 431 searches. The searches resulted in 149 arrests and the recovery of 26 knives, 5 offensive weapons and 6 firearms.

• Members of the public that have a problem with a particular business illegally parking their mopeds should speak to a Safer Neighbourhood Officer. The Officer will speak to the business and if the problem persists then action will be taken.

• During lockdown the value of jointly working with the Council had been demonstrated in a number of ways. For example, there was a fatal stabbing at Wilesden last year involving children attending school in the borders of Northolt. There were concerns that there would be retaliation. However, the police and Council worked together to quickly identify the children at risk and divert them from crime by providing them with mentors. There were police patrolling the streets to ensure that there would be no retaliatory stabbing. There were no further offences related to this incident and the children involved were still safe.

• The rise in domestic abuse was not as big as they feared it would be. The police also recognised an increase in reporting for domestic abuse demonstrated an increase in confidence. During lockdown officers telephoned known victims to provide reassurance and helped them feel safe to report any issues. Community Officers also visited known sexual offenders to check on them and make sure that they know the police were still monitoring domestic abuse during lockdown. The police had also focussed on arresting outstanding named suspects.

• E-scooters can travel up to 35 mph and were classed as motor vehicles and therefore the user must make sure they have everything that is required to drive a car to be able to drive an e-scooter on the road, including a license, insurance and MOT. Private e-scooters were illegal to use on any public land, including on highways, pavements and any foot paths. They may be used on private land with the owner’s permission. The only legal way to use e-scooters on public land was through a hire company. Police gave warnings to people using e-scooters illegally in the first instance but if users continually used e-scooters illegally then they seized the vehicle and applied to the courts to fine the user and/or for disqualification from driving e-scooters.

• The police had done a lot of work to reduce robberies. They had problems in Pitshanger Lane. However, the police invested a lot of resources in the area and plain-clothed officers caught the 2 suspects committing robberies in Pitshanger Lane. The total robberies decreased by 36.5%, compared to last year.

Jess Murray explained that the Council did a lot of work to reduce robberies in parks. The Council funded a park patrol that engaged with people, carried out weapon sweeps and liaised with police where necessary. He further explained that the police had more power, under PSPO, around particular offences and police can issue FPNs specifically around Ealing’s parks.

• There were fewer gang related crimes compared to last year. Police officers had been placed in the right places and worked to shut down venues used by gangs illegally. In November 2020 a gang unit was raided and a few days ago Leigh Ballard’s team raided a gang member’s home. Officers will continue to work on reducing gang related crime.

• The police Safeguarding Team worked closely with the Council to help victims of domestic abuse. Leigh Ballard commented that male victims were more common than people realised and they were treated in the same way as female victims.

Jess Murray explained that the Council funded organisations that provided independent advisors to support victims of domestic abuse. Advance Minerva was one of the programmes funded by the Council which accepted referrals from victims of all backgrounds, including males. The Council had a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategic Group consisting of council and police officers. The Council also held regular meetings (DV MARAC) with the police to discuss and create action plans for all serious cases of domestic violence.

• They cannot comment on changes to the legislation governing the right to protest. The police must comply with legislation introduced by elected representatives.

• They carried out a lot of work in schools, such as the Your Life You Choose programme, where officers talked about knife crime in classes. The police tried to prevent and support children as a first step.

• There was a 30% reduction in burglaries in dwellings; 20% reduction in burglaries in other buildings; and 5% reduction of burglaries in February 2021 (compared to January 2021).

• The police relied on the public to report people for smoking cannabis. Officers stopped and searched suspects if they had the grounds to do this. Approximately 2/3 of the stop and searches were related to drugs, either Class A or cannabis. Police body cameras recorded the stop and searches.

The public and police representatives exited the meeting at this point whilst Board Members remained.

Resolved that: the Board noted the responded provided by the police.

10 Report on Race Equality Commission


Resolved that: Councillor Camadoo-Rothwell was not present to provide a report on this item.

11 Any Other Business


The Chair explained that this year there may be less funding for projects and she will provide an update when she had more information.

John Martin informed the Board that he received applications for 4 projects already and he will receive 2 more applications. He explained that the deadline for applications was June 2021 but he would prefer to receive applications by May 2021 for administrative reasons.

James Guest, Ealing Ward Panels Representative suggested that the public could attend autumn meetings (usually held in October) in addition to the spring meetings (usually held in March). He stated that it could be a virtual meeting to allow as many people as possible to attend. Wendie Starkie agreed and stated that holding virtual meetings allowed people with disabilities to attend the meetings.

Resolved that: the Board noted the project update and suggestion.

12 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 10 May 2021.

The next meeting will be held on 10 May 2021.

This meeting concluded at 20:53 hours.

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending Apology
Councillor Joanna Camadoo-Rothwell 
Mr Andrew RollingsGerry Barwick (Ealing Business Improvement District) substituted for Andrew Rolling (Ealing Business Improvement District)

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting