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Ealing and Northfield Policing

Wandsworth report shows that Clapham Junction riot was eerily similar Ealing Broadway riot

Today I have been reading the independent report by Neil Kinghan, a former Director General in the DCLG, into the rioting in Wandsworth this summer. See Wandsworth press release and full report.

The events in the vicinity of Clapham Junction railway station the same night as the events in the vicinity of Ealing Broadway railway station are stunningly similar, down to the bulk of the borough’s Level 2 (riot-trained) officers being pulled out of the borough early in the day.

The report is well worth a read. To my mind the main weakness of the report is that it fails to put into context the tiny number of officers on duty to deal with the events compared to the overall policing resources available in that borough. The police’s inability to flex to meet a dynamic threat is not seriously explored. In a new world of violent flash mobs we need always on, flash policing.

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Ealing and Northfield Policing

Police warning: Watch out for industrial dryer doorstep con

The Northfield Safer Neighbourhood have put out the following warning this morning:

Categories
Mayor Johnson Policing

The Met needs a huge kick up the backside

I don’t always agree with Guardian/Evening Standard columnist Simon Jenkins, but when he speaks about policing he is typically bang on. Today’s piece in the Evening Standard in support of the American police chief Bill Bratton excoriates the Met, as it should. The Met is hugely expensive, mired in operational failure and currently leaderless. I am very disappointed that Home Secretary Theresa May has vetoed the idea of including Bratton in the selection process. I am equally miserable that chief shop steward Sir Hugh Orde is in the selection process.

Categories
National politics Policing

Plastic policeman

Sir Hugh Orde earned the nation’s respect as the Chief Constable of the former Royal Ulster Constabulary but as the President of ACPO he is essentially the chief shop steward of our spectacularly failing police service. He is the face of police producer interest. His recent above-pay-grade performances rubbishing elected police commissioners and dissing politicians omitted to apologise for the complete failure of the senior police command structure that he represents.

Today’s hilarious Daily Mail story about his made up uniform shows him up as being unfit to be the next Met Commissioner. London does not need this strutting fool.

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Ealing and Northfield Policing

Labour won’t tell truth on policing

On Monday night and throughout Tuesday Ealing council leader Julian Bell did a very good job of leading the Borough in the face of the terrible Ealing riot of Monday night which saw the tragic death of Ealing resident Richard Mannington Bowes.

On Wednesday Bell decided to start the political mudslinging with a series of tweets, see here. In a piece for the Ealing & Acton Gazette yesterday he said:

I am also angry with those responsible for cutting Police numbers and resources as it was clear to me as I watched from the Town Hall steps a heroic thin blue line of local officers (including my own Ward Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant) attempt to secure the Town Centre from these thugs, that they were woefully under-resourced and lacking in sufficient numbers to do what was needed.

This statement is nonsense and the worst kind of political opportunism. Bell’s deputy and portfolio holder for community safety, Cllr Ranjit Dheer, got in on the act with a letter to the Gazette about police numbers.

Is the Tory government going soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime?

Dheer asks.

Nationally and locally Labour think that there is political advantage to be made out of this issue and have wasted no time in getting their blows in first.

Bell and Dheer are pretty brazen. Far from tinkering around the edges with police numbers they have presided over a 38% cash cut in the council’s contribution to policing which has resulted in a 58% reduction in headcount, see here.

The police like most other parts of the state will have to do more for less over the next few years, as has been acknowledged by senior Labour figures, for instance:

  • Labour’s last Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said he could not guarantee police officer numbers.
  • Ed Balls admitted Labour would have cut police staff.
  • Yvette Cooper admited that police funding would be cut by Labour and that Labour’s plans were to cut 12 per cent from police funding.

Ealing Labour hold firmly to the belief that if they consistently lie to Ealing residents they will convince them that black is white.

Categories
National politics Policing

Thin blue line – How thin?

A lot of nonsense is being talked by Labour figures on police cuts, led by Labour’s chief police nonsense spokesman, Yvette Cooper, and retweeted by Ealing council leader Julian Bell. Unfortunately London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has also strayed on to the wrong side of the argument.

We are all grateful to the police for their protection but we should also remember that we pick up the bills and most of us accept that savings have to be made. I am wary of being critical of the police at a time when officers are actively engaged in a difficult job but Cooper, Bell et al started it, so here we go …

In London we broadly have 32,000 warranted police officers. We heard from the news yesterday that on an average night the Met deploys 2,500 of them, a mere 8% or one in thirteen. So typically 12 coppers sleep soundly in their beds for every officer on the streets at night. That is why when you call at night someone far away takes a long time to answer and often no-one comes. Too many of our coppers work office hours in spite of having anti-social hours built into their pay structure.

We were told that there were only 6,000 officers on the streets on Monday. So less than 20% of London’s police were out leaving four officers in bed for every officer on the streets.

Finally, last night the Met got serious. Police leave was cancelled and officers were put on 12 hour shifts. This put 16,000 officers on the streets. London went quiet. It is not hard maths to work out that if you put people on 12 hours shifts and you have 32,000 then you can deploy 16,000. Sure this will be extremely costly in terms of overtime payments and is unsustainable for more than a day or two. I am sorry for policemen who have had their summer holidays disrupted but let me continue my argument. The numbers show us that our problem isn’t primarily police numbers and modest cuts in budgets that are a necessary consequence of years of Labour profligacy.

The largest part of our problems with policing is police work practices and terms and conditions. The Met’s last commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, added a million police patrols in London by making single patrolling the default position. Ordinary citizens have to walk alone and it has made a huge impact to London’s safety to simply ask the same of very expensive, well-trained, warranted officers who carry radios to call for back up and weapons such as telescopic batons and pepper spray. Look at the Winsor Report to understand how many £100 millions could be saved by putting the police Ts and Cs onto a 21st century footing. They currently date back to the 1970s. To give you one example the police have to give staff six months notice of a change in shift patterns. I am sorry, but this is an emergency service and this is not acceptable.

I am not citisicing police officers, I am criticising the system. We can have a cheaper and better police service. Sure the police unions will scream and Labour will equate less cash with less output but their confusion of inputs with outputs and spending with performance is the reason they failed in government. This government should not make the same mistake and Boris needs to get back on the right page.

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Bell has to take responsibility for his own decisions

Up until this morning I would have had no problem congratulating Ealing council leader and Labour group leader Julian Bell on his good, even very good, personal performance over the course of the previous 48 hours and his response to the riots that took everyone by surprise on Monday evening. Cllr Bell has led Ealing well. Well done.

Unfortunately, he did rather blow it this morning with a string of partisan tweets that attempt to shift the blame for events onto the government and away from the rioters themselves. As Bell has started pointing the finger allow me please to take my turn.

Last year the council spent £1 million jointly funding a team of 43 police officers (1 inspector, 2 sergeants and 40 PCSOs) and another £70K funding two officers to work on our housing estates. A total spend of £1.07 million to fund 45 police officers.

In the current financial year Labour under Julian Bell has decided to spend just £660K to fund 19 police officers (1 inspector, 9 PCs and 9 PCSOs). So the Labour council has cut its revenue spending on policing by 38% and reduced the headcount by 58%. This massive cut is way out of proportion to the 12.5% cut the council is having to deal with and ignores what the council already knows about residents’ concerns.

If you check out the residents survey, here, you will see that residents’ single biggest concern is “Crime: including anti-social behaviour and terrorism”. This is cited by 20% as a personal concern, top of the list with the next biggest concern being cited by 15%.

Labour are quite aware of this concern and even put crime in number one spot on their list of five key pledges in their manifesto:

There is no doubt that crime and public safety are going to be even more of a worry to people for a long time to come. Bell needs to take responsibility for his own decisions which have ignored public concerns.

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Last night in Ealing

I have spent the morning out in Ealing and West Ealing trying to understand what has been going on. Last night’s violence was truly appalling but I thought that it was worth recording my actual experience rather than merely sounding off. I do not want to minimise what happened last night in Ealing but I am keen to keep it in perspective. I would be very interested to hear your actual experiences.

The only building that has been set fire to is the one that houses the mini-supermarket opposite The Grove (the old Queen Vic) pub on Ealing Green.

There were a number of frankly hysterical reports of fires on Twitter last night and although fire is extremely dangerous and frightening it was only one building in all Ealing as far as I have been able to find out. I would guess the rebuild cost would be in the order of £1 million. I talked to and thanked the fire crew that were packing up. They had been there since 2am and I talked to them at 9.30am.

There were probably around ten vehicles set fire to, including a bus near Ealing Green and a van on Carlton Road. Many cars were damaged on Mattock Lane, around Ealing Green and up Madeley Road.

Walking from Ealing to Ealing Common and back to the end of the West Ealing paprade there were maybe 100 shops and businesses with windows put in. About five businesses were extensively looted and another five or so suffered substantial damage. I will post some further reports on these later.

My summary of the morning is as follows:

The council had 45 men out at 5am cleaning up and the police have 57 people in custody. About 100 volunteers turned up to help clean up at 10am in the town centre but in reality there was not much to do. There is one burnt building – about £1 million of rebuild I would say. Maybe 100 broken shop windows across Ealing. Say £100K. Ten vehicles including a bus and a van burnt, say £300K. Another 100 car windows, say £50K. Maybe five business broken into and looted. Maybe another £500K of looted and damaged stock. Total damage in the order of £2 million. It was probably caused by 150 odd mainly black, mainly teenage boys. Some older. Some younger. Some women.

Although our town was taken over by a hundred odd feral scumbags last night a good proportion of them ended up in cells overnight and the good people of Ealing in their many thousands are calmly getting on with their business and helping each other out. The council is doing a good job too. I am sure that we are all thankful that there have been no reported injuries.

Apparently the police advice is as follows: They would like shops to close by 5pm and residents to be off the streets by 7pm in case of further disorder.

There were 6,000 police on the streets of London last night. There are due to be 16,000 tonight. Police leave has been cancelled and they have been put on 12 hour shifts. Thank you guys.

Update: Yesterday I said: “I am sure that we are all thankful that there have been no reported injuries.” I was wrong.

On Monday night a man was severely injured trying to remonstrate with demonstrators on Springbridge Road. See here and here.

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

A message from the Police regarding firearms incidents last night

The following was received today from the Police for wider distribution:

Dear All,

Last night there were 4 separate incidents involving firearms on Ealing Borough.

I would like the following information to be passed out to our local communities, Councillors, partners and interested parties.

Firearms incidents on the Borough are not common and this is a very unusual number of events in a short space of time.

The details of the incidents;

1. 17.00 – Walpole Ward W13 – A loaded shotgun was recovered by police following information that a weapon was hidden at a particular location.
2. 21.12 – Elthorne Ward W13 – a shotgun was fired at the exterior of a house
3. 23.10 – Acton Central Ward W3 – A 16 year old male was shot in the lower leg. He is currently in hospital and his condition is ‘stable’ although his injuries may be life changing.
4. 23.26 – Cleveland Ward W13 – a shotgun was fired at the exterior of a house

All of these are being treated as separate incidents at this time and there is no reason or evidence to link them.

Specialist units from the firearms command have been called in to look and investigate all of the incidents.

We will be releasing more information as we have it and as the investigations unfold. At this time there is no known motive or reasons for any of these incidents.

Thanks

Simon

Simon Message
Chief Inspector Partnerships
Ealing Borough

Categories
Ealing and Northfield Policing

Bell doesn’t ring true

On Thursday night the council leader, Labour’s Julian Bell, was talking about policing. It is a real shame that he cannot use direct, honest language as understood by normal human beings. Using the Gordon Brown trick of calling revenue spending “investment” is the first clue. No normal person would call paying the gas bill or buying the weekly shop an investment. I do wish that Labour would stop messing with our language. It is just another form of lying.

More importantly Bell lies again by stating half the facts. Last year the council spent £1 million jointly funding a team of 43 police officers (1 inspector, 2 sergeants and 40 PCSOs) and another £70K funding two officers to work on our housing estates. A total spend of £1.07 million to fund 45 police officers.

In the current financial year Labour proposes to spend just £660K to fund 19 police officers (1 inspector, 9 PCs and 9 PCSOs). So in plain, honest English, using the maths of normal people, the Labour council has cut its revenue spending on policing by 38% and reduced the headcount by 58%. They will argue, rightly I think, that the PCs are more useful than PCSOs and that they plan to work more closely with the police which should partially counteract the impact of this massive change. But, this massive cut is way out of proportion to the 12.5% cut the council is having to deal with and ignores what the council already knows about residents’ concerns.

If you check out the residents survey, here, you will see that residents’ single biggest concern is “Crime: including anti-social behaviour and terrorism”. This is cited by 20% as a personal concern, top of the list with the next biggest concern being cited by 15%.

Labour are quite aware of this concern and even put crime in number one spot on their list of five key pledges in their manifesto:

Bell really does believe that if he keeps repeating a lie often enough he will be able to fool voters.