Agenda item

Safer Neighbourhoods Team - Overview of Service

Presentation by Sean Lynch, Chief Inspector Safer Neighbourhoods Team, on how the service operates and how councillors can get more involved:

·         an overview of the service

·         performance/targets/comparison with other similar London boroughs

·         contraints faced

·         any new initiatives or projects

·         short and long term plans for the service.


Andy Jones (Chief Inspector Partnership) gave apologies on behalf of Sean Lynch and gave the committee an overview of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Members were updated on how successful the recent ‘week of action’ in Harlesden had been. It was explained that ‘the week of action’ was a multi-agency, high impact form of policing in the community and had been used very successfully in other boroughs. If it was deemed to be a success then it would be rolled out to other parts of the Borough.


Members were then given an update on the current use of dispersal orders in the borough. Firstly the police had used dispersal powers very successfully at the Ace Café in Harlesden on Friday and Saturday nights and there had been a number of arrests. They had also been used successfully in Wembley central area to close a couple of brothels and in Chichelle Road to stop street drinking. Members were also advised about the Tri borough dispersal order that was in place between Brent, Barnet and Camden. It was in operation at the Old Hendon football Club as a tented community had been erected there. Dispersal orders had also been used successfully in and around Wembley stadium on match days to tackle anti-social behaviour and it was hoped this would continue in the new season.


Andy Jones informed members about the recent work that they had been doing with registered landlords on how to deal with problematic tenants. The re-launched crime housing focus group had devised a toolbox of strategies for landlords to use. Members were advised about two potential evictions in Stonebridge, where the Council had been working with Catalyst Housing to evict tenants who were subject to CASBOs.                                    


A member asked how many ASBOs were in operation in Brent at the moment and what the average age was of those subjected to them. Members also enquired whether most ASBOs were given for drug offences. Members sought further clarification about the new policing model being introduced and what this meant for community safety. They asked the police for more detail on the new model and whether it would mean more officers would be available for each ward compared to the safer neighbourhood teams currently in operation.


In response to the issues raised by members Kiran Vagarwal took the lead on answering about ASBOs. It was explained that a CRASBO was a criminally sought anti-social behaviour order and they were given after someone had been criminally convicted. She stated that Brent had a number of these in operation at the moment but not many ASBOs. She clarified that a high proportion of them were issued for drug offences however they could be given for a number of crimes. There were around 55 ASBOs in force and the age range of those subject to them varied significantly but generally they were between the ages of 16-40.


Nick Davies informed members that Brent was moving to a local policing model in September. Therefore the number of officers in each of the wards would increase quite substantially. For example Wembley would have 47 officers and Kilburn would have 40. There would be a named officer and Sargent, who would remain in each of the wards and they would not be diverted away from that ward.  There would also be two PCSO per ward, with one remaining in the ward at all times and one that would be able to be moved if necessary. Members were also informed that there had been a refocus of CID squads so that there would be dedicated CID officers to investigate serious crimes. Also those officers who responded to 999 calls would only respond to those calls and would not be involved in other police matters. The overall number of officers in Brent would rise from 658 to 660. Although this was a minimal rise in officers, due to other changes taking place such as sharing custody facilities and certain units being centralised it would actually mean there would be more officers on the streets.