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Ealing and Northfield Policing

Safer Neighbourhoods? Not yet

Ealing’s Borough Commander, Collette Paul, wasted the opportunity to give us some facts this morning. She got a letter published in the Ealing & Acton Gazette’s “Letter of the week” spot. In it she claimed she wanted to clarify the position on Safer Neighbourhoods. The only fact she offered was that there have only been 8 wards in Ealing with Safer Neighbourhood Teams up until recently. After that the facts dried up because they do not look pretty. Apparently she is going to launch the new teams on 3rd April at the Town Hall. She did not say when so I guess that we are not invited.

I wrote to her on 3rd February to get the facts regarding Elthorne, Northfield and Walpole and their teams. After a second letter I got a call from an Inspector Elbourne on 27th February. He assured me that there would be teams of four in place in each of these three wards by 27th March. Checking the Met website today it appears that although the Walpole team seems to be fully staffed the Elthorne team is short two PCSOs and Northfield is short one. It is not that these teams are not welcome. They are. But a promise is a promise.

The GLA precept has gone up 175% since 1999. The Met Police are spending £300,000 advertising these teams right now. So we are paying for these teams, we are being told that they are here but they are not in place. It is even worse in other boroughs. Paul was planning to bring these teams in early so we are not as badly off as some. Chatting to a couple of PCSOs in Hammersmith this week they related that there were four wards with nothing at all in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Categories
Communications disease Ealing and Northfield Ex-Mayor Livingstone Policing

Met still over-claiming and under-delivering

I think that the Met may have some problems with the Advertising Standards Authority. In today’s Ealing & Acton Gazette there was an ad from Safer Ealing Partnership pointing to the Safer Neighbourhoods part of the Met Police website. There was also a full page Safer Neighbourhoods ad from the Met and the Mayor (part of a £300K campaign). Unfortunately the website shows 11 out of 23 wards without the promised teams of four. The Mayor and the Met have been quick to advertise these teams before they are in place (this is the 5th full page ad I have seen in the Gazette). They are not so quick to deliver the service. The Mayor is now taking 2.75 times as much from us compared to before he came to power. Shame he is not delivering the service promised. A commercial organisation would pretty quickly be told by the ASA that they should stop their adverts until the service was available as advertised.

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Communications disease Ex-Mayor Livingstone Policing

It all ads up to a lot of cash

I got two replies today as a result of enquiries into spending on ad campaigns.

LSCP Ad.jpgThe London Speed Camera Partnership is spending £800,000 on its current campaign. Louise Harrison explains that the objective of the campaign is “to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of speeding and encourage males aged 17-24 to slow down on London’s roads”. All good stuff but it sounds to me like surpluses from speed cameras being spent on expensive adverts rather than being handed back to the Treasury. It took Louise 13 days to respond by e-mail. Pretty good.

Met SN Ad.jpgMeanwhile Commander Alfred Hitchcock at the Met is spending £300,000 on advertising the Safer Neighbourhood teams. I got his second class letter today, 33 days since I wrote. This is the “total media spend” which I suspect does not include a lot of the campaign costs let alone the devolved budgets in the boroughs for leaflets, etc.

Categories
Ex-Mayor Livingstone Policing

More police promises

Londoner March 2006.gifThe Mayor’s £3 million a year freesheet, The Londoner, arrived on my doormat this morning. This was the so-called March 2006 edition. The front page lead story promised: “All London wards will have own police teams in place within weeks”. It went on to say: “Every neighbourhood in London will have its own dedicated police team by the beginning of next month”. This means our Borough Commander has to have 60 new officers in place in just 6 weeks. Four officers promised in the 15 out 23 Ealing wards that still have no team.

I have seen no announcements of detail in local press and there are no notices up at Ealing Police Station. On the other hand this is the third week running that the Ealing & Acton Gazette has run a full page ad puffing the Safer Neighbourhoods initiative. Maybe the Mayor’s £3 billion a year is getting spent on adverts and The Londoner rather than your actual police!

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Ealing Police show their usual flair for customer service

I naively thought that I might hand deliver a letter to Borough Commander, Collette Paul, this afternoon. I am keen to chase her up and find out what is happening to these Safer Neighbourhood teams that are being widely advertised but don’t seem to be here yet. There was another full page in last week’s Gazette.

How silly of me! There is no letterbox at the Police station. No opportunity to communicate with the Police there. Clearly they think that broadcasting ads is all they need to do to keep us sweet. I thought about waiting to hand the letter in to the desk officer. There was already a queue of six in front of me at 13:45pm today. I did not fancy waiting for an hour or so in the very unpleasant waiting area before being allowed behind the security doors. I went off to the Post Office and put a stamp on the envelope – much quicker. Clearly Commander Paul would rather keep her parking place in front of the station rather then using the space for a reception suite that allows more than one desk officer at a time to deal with the public.

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Progress on Met Safer Neighbourhoods?

I notice this evening that the Ealing page of the Safer Neighbourhoods portion of the Met website has bee updated. Instead of showing that there are only 8 teams in place there is now a list of the 23 wards in Ealing. Unfortunately 15 out of 23 wards are “Team not yet in place”. I guess you might call this progress. At least they are showing intent. Only 10 weeks to go before they have to be in place to meet Ken’s commitment.

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Police blow their trumpet before they deliver

Today the Ealing & Acton Gazette published a full page ad from the Metropolitan Police and Mayor of London promoting Safer Neighbourhoods. This is part of a wider campaign.

In Ealing we still only have 8 of 23 wards covered by these teams (see MPS site). It seems a little early to be be advertising these teams before they are all in place.

Furthermore both the ad in the Gazette and the radio ad show two policemen on the beat together. It seems that London’s streets are so dangerous that they cannot patrol alone.

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Coppers need to do it on their own

Simon Jenkins lays into the Met in the Evening Standard tonight. He simply asks why policemen go around in pairs in London and suggests that it is the Police Federation and the Health and Safety Executive who dictate that policemen cannot go alone although most Londoners have to. Down by the river in Hammersmith I often see police horses going two at a time down Lower Mall. Now that is about £300,000 per annum of police resources strolling along having a nice chat by the river. Even the Safer Neighbourhoods ads feature two policemen!

It seems to me that two policemen patrolling together will spend most of their time chatting and miss a lot. Anyone who has travelled on their own will tell you that you meet loads more people on your own than you do as a couple. Two policemen, one each side of a busy road, will provide two sets of eyes and many more positive interactions with the public than two on the same side of the road. It is not hard. Next time you see a couple of coppers walking down the road why don’t you suggest they each walk down one side?

Categories
Ex-Mayor Livingstone Policing

Met Safer Neighbourhoods teams come early

The Evening Standard today covered the announcement by the Mayor that all wards in London will have Safer Neighbourhoods teams in place by the end of April (see MPS and Mayor‘s press releases).

In Ealing we still only have 8 of 23 wards covered by these teams (see MPS site). It seems the Mayor is doing his best to bolster Labour’s chances in the forthcoming local elections by timing the in service date of these teams to precede the elections by a few days. It will be interesting to see how we will get from 8 to 23 teams in Ealing in only a few months.