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Newham-Community-and-Police-Forum---30th-May-2002

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					NEWHAM COMMUNITY & POLICE FORUM
Minutes of a meeting held on 30th May 2002 at Newham Town Hall, E6 2RP Present: Jill Powell (Chair) (NHS Retirement Fellowship) Israel Massey (Vice-Chair) (REIN) Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Steve Graysmark Inspector Mike Holland London Borough of Newham Councillor Alan Griffiths Councillor Mary Skyers Victim Support Moses Tall Members representing the interests of women, young people, elderly people, disabled, lesbian and gay men David Clayton (Impstart Trust) Donna Keizar (Hibiscus Caribbean Elderly Association) Members representing the interests of various faith groups in Newham Mohammed Akram (Islamic Association East Ham) Members representing the interests of tenants and residents in Newham Phillip Blott (Newham Tenants & Residents' Federation) Members representing the interests of shopkeepers, retailers, Single Regeneration and Trade Unionists Tejan Savage (Black Business Development Association) Members representing other interested groups Mohammad Ashraf (Asian Association) Co-opted Members Paul Dowling and Mr. M. Gani (ALERT) Peter Kiu (Beckton Community Forum) Shaukat Pandor (S & A Store & Post Office) Council Officers Eltaz Bodalbhai Also present: Mark Baker and Councillor Christine Bowden. (Apologies for absence were received from Tony Banks M.P., Jim Fitzpatrick, M.P., Stephen Timms M.P., Chief Superintendent John Boylin, Councillors Vic Turner and Neil Wilson, Mr. Varu, Paul Ilott, Rama Veerasingham and Rita Aswani.) The meeting commenced at 7.43 p.m. and closed at 9.50 p.m. 1. CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS – The Chair reported that former Councillor Bill Brown had died on 27th May 2002 and that P.C. John Savage's father had died on 29th May. Subsequently a collection was made for a floral tribute for P.C. Savage's father. The meeting stood in silence as a mark of respect. 300502

In addition it was announced that Marjorie Frost, who had previously been a member of the Forum, had received a Civic Award for her service to her neighbourhood. 2. OPEN SESSION

(a) Questions from the Tamil community – A series of questions were asked from a representative of the Tamil community as follows: In answer to questions about incidents concerning the community Chief Inspector Graysmark reported that racial crimes had a high judicial disposal rate of 26%. As regards violence within the community that may not be reported to the police Chief Inspector Graysmark stated that he had tried to work with the community some time ago, in partnership with the Borough, where intelligence was requested. This was because any action would be intelligence led. He understood that there was progress and that a protocol was being written. Chief Inspector Graysmark welcomed the Tamil community becoming involved. (b) Muggings – The Forum was addressed by Mrs. Yusuf who reported that children were being mugged and asked the police what they were doing about this. Chief Inspector Graysmark replied that Newham was one of 15 Boroughs in the Metropolitan Police Area that had been allocated extra resources to deal with street robberies under the Safer Streets initiative. There had been an increase in April but the figures had since decreased. This was a national problem and it was hoped that, with the allocation of extra resources, the figures would be reducing. In answer to a question from the Chair it was reported that most of the victims came from the 21-35 age group. The over 60's and under 5's were least likely to be victims. School age children were also suffering but they did not always report these to the police. Many of the perpetrators relied on this and the fact that the victim would not go to court. Schools could do a lot to help this situation. It was pointed out that although over 65's were less likely to be victims a lot of the robberies carried out around lunchtime were against this age group. In addition mobile phones and laptops were often taken from school children when they were coming home from school. A question was asked as to how often CCTV was used and what the pattern of muggings was. It was stated that CCTV's were positioned at effective positions although a lot of muggings took place just out of reach of the camera. Chief Inspector Graysmark informed the Forum that it was intended that officers would be stationed at Folkestone Road Depot where they could keep a watch on the cameras and they would have a radio link to police officers. He went on to report that during the previous weekend there had only been 5 street robberies, which was a very small number. He went on to say that the duties of the additional members of staff would not just be confined to Folkestone Road and that they would be going around the Borough. (c) Response Times – Members raised a number of questions concerning the response that members received from the Police when they reported incidents. In particular they were concerned at instances where a crime number was required and a police officer had promised to get back in touch with the member but this had not happened. Chief Inspector Graysmark stated that he agreed that this was unacceptable and that checks were to be established to make sure that incidents did not re-occur. There were plans to re-organise the recording of telephone queries and it was anticipated that this would be in place by August/September 2004. 3. QUESTION FROM MR. MOHAMMAD ASHRAF – The following question was received from Mr Mohammad Ashraf, 148 Park Avenue, E6 2SR

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A gentleman was attacked on 10/04/02, at approximately 23:00 hours, in Burges Road E6, the Barking Road end. Following the attack, the Police brought him to his house, from where an ambulance was called. I would like to know the following questions: (i) (ii) (iii) Why didn't the Police take the gentleman directly to Hospital for medical attention? Is it their normal policy to take the injured home rather than a Hospital? Have the attackers been identified? if so, what next, if not, what have the Police done to track them down? If the attackers have not been tracked down, have the Police viewed the CCTV footage from within the vicinity?

(iv)

Inspector Mike Holland answered as follows: (i) He explained that officers dealing with this case had found the gentleman in the street and although they had asked him if he wished to go to hospital he had declined. Before they took him home they wished to search the area for assailants. When it became obvious that he was in increasing pain they took him to hospital from home. (ii) It was pointed out that it was not the usual practice for police officers to transport people to hospital, as there could be liability problems but to call an ambulance. (iii) The attackers had not been identified. No witnesses had been identified. The Investigating Officer was pursuing all avenues open to him. (iv) There had been extensive enquiries to find out if there was CCTV in the area. The only one in use in Burges Road was fixed towards East Ham Station. Inspector Holland stated that the matter was being dealt with as Actual Bodily Harm. 4. INCIDENT ON 22ND MAY 2002 – The Forum was addressed by a deputation regarding an incident that had happened on 22nd May 2002. Two members of the community had been accused of kidnapping. They had been travelling in their car in the Queen's Terrace area when a police car had stopped them. They had both been arrested and taken to separate police stations in the Borough. The woman had been taken to the cells and she had found it difficult as she suffered from asthma. She was not offered any food or water. When she was released at about 8.30 p.m. her 12 year old son was waiting for her at home and was very anxious. He had been left at their house. He had seen police at the house and wondered what had happened. He had been taken to a police van where he had sat from 3.40 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and had cried the whole time. The keys to the house had been given to their 17-year-old son. They had been accused of kidnapping and were eventually bailed at 8.30 p.m. and had not been given an apology or an explanation. They did not know who had given the police the information. They wished to know why they had been picked out and whether it was victimisation. They also wished to know under which section of the law the police had acted and how reliable the information had been that they received. In addition there had been a problem in getting the car back. This was in the police pound and they felt that if the police had finished with it they should return it to the owners.

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Chief Inspector Graysmark stated that he could not give a satisfactory answer, as he did not know all the details. He pointed out that an allegation of kidnap was one that the police took seriously. It would have been intelligence led. He apologised if they felt they were treated unfairly. It was reported that Detective Constable Walls had stated that it was a bad mistake. As the police had not had sufficient notice of the question they could not respond and it was agreed that they would do so at a future meeting. Decision That a fuller report be made to a future meeting of the Forum. 5. MINUTES – It was noted that the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March 2002 were not ready.

6. PRESENTATION ON METROPOLITAN POLICE PRIORITIES – The Metropolitan Police informed the Forum that their priorities for the year 2002/3 were: To increase the security of the capital against terrorism 1 To prevent and disrupt terrorist activity 2 To achieve an effective response to suspected and actual terrorist incidents To create safer communities for Londoners 3 To work with community safety partnerships to reduce the incidence of crime and disorder in the most troubled areas in each neighbourhood:  Crime reduction -defined by maximum numbers of crimes in respect of street crime, burglary and Autocrime (with some defined 'Hotspot' areas);  Judicial Disposal rate -defined by minimum numbers of ills in respect of street crime, burglary, Autocrime, drugs supply (class A) and possession of weapons (including firearms).  Reduce disorder in public places 4 To impact on the rise in violent armed criminality 5 To reduce the fear of crime 6 To increase the public's satisfaction with visible police presence To improve Response to vulnerable victims 7 To improve child protection procedures following recommendations from HMI and Ministerial Inquiries 8 To improve victim satisfaction with investigation of racist incidents and racist crimes 9 To improve the investigation of homophobic crimes 10. To improve the investigation of domestic violence 11. To improve victim care & investigation in cases of rape To tackle youth offending 12. To improve the diversion of youths away from crime, through enhanced multi-agency activity 13. To reduce re-offending by Persistent Young Offenders 300502

Members of the Forum expressed their dismay at the fact that the elderly were not mentioned in the priorities as many of them felt that no one cared about them. It was pointed out that work had been done in the Borough on elderly abuse and that the police were willing to listen. A discussion ensued concerning young people in the Borough where it was agreed that more resources needed to be put into the youth service. Councillor Christine Bowden announced that she had been appointed as a Mayoral Adviser and that included within her portfolio was young people and she would convey the comments of the meeting to the Mayor. The Chair reminded the Forum that there would be training days held and that a good subject for an early day would be young people. 7. ALLOCATED FUNDS FROM THE MPA – The Forum noted that £34,400 had been allocated to the Forum for 2002/3, which was an increase of £993 compared to the previous year. Decision Noted. 8. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Decision Agreed to note that the next meeting of the Forum is due to be held on Thursday 18 th July 2002 at 7.30 p.m. and that it would be the Annual General Meeting. 9. OTHER BUSINESS

(a) Membership – It was pointed out that there were a number of members of the Forum who had failed to attend for 3 consecutive meetings. According to the constitution a report should be presented to a future meeting suggesting that the terms of office of these members should be terminated. Decision Agreed that a report should be presented to a future meeting suggesting that the terms of office of those members who had not attended three consecutive meetings should be terminated. (b) Operation Trident – Inspector Holland reported that there would be roadblocks set up in the Borough as part of Operation Trident. This was an intelligence led operation that would be profiling young black males. Decision Noted. (c) Alert – Mohammed Ashraf thanked Alert for their action in evicting a family that was causing problems in the Park Avenue area. Decision Noted. (d) Visit to Lippiatts Hill – Donna Keizar thanked the police for organising the visit to Lippiatts Hill on 25th April 2002, which had been a great success. Decision 300502

Noted.

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