by Nigel Bakhai on 24 August, 2012
Here is my report on a meeting of the Ealing Community and Police Consultative Group that I attended this week.
First of all, we had a report from acting Superintendent Simon Message on local policing over the last year including the recent shootings in June in Glenpark Court, Felix Road. Ealing Police have agreed new hours for the Safer Neighbourhood Teams starting after the Olympics in mid-September. The teams will now work new shift patterns up to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday, and to 2am from Thursday to Saturday. The Met Police are also in the process of recruiting more PCSOs to fill the gaps left in wards like Elthorne where PCSOs have qualified as PCs and left the team. However, many of their other plans to re-organise the local policing model are on hold. For example, no decision has been taken on whether they will be able to increase the numbers of police officers in each of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams, and there is no guarantee that they will be able to increase the number of sergeants so that each ward team will have their own sergeant. I raised the current staffing level of Elthorne Safer Neighbourhood Team which is down to a ward sergeant Sgt Fazal and just two PCSOs at the moment. PC Marek Kleiber is unfortunately on sick leave and restricted duties. However, the good news is that Ealing Police have found a replacement for PC John who left to join CID and will join the team when the new shift patterns start.
Acting Inspector Message also told the meeting that as yet no decision has been taken to close Ealing Police station although discussions have been taking place, including with Ealing Council, on any future police base in the area going forward and what services might be transferred to Acton Police station should the building be sold off. Furthermore, Ealing Police are having to undertake a rethink on their custody arrangements as the custody suite at Heathrow is no longer available and they may need to re-open the suite at Southall to cope with the overflow at Acton Police station. In addition, Ealing Police are looking at recruiting new Dedicated Detention Officers to work in the custody suites. Inspector Message concluded his report to the meeting by saying that across the Metropolitain Police there has been a focus on serious acquisitive crime such as robbery and residential burglary and the latest figures show that Ealing has seen a 1% reduction in burglary and 9% fall in robbery.
Finally, we had a report from Inspector Mick Gornall on Licensing in Ealing. The Ealing Police Licensing team is based in Perceval House along side the council’s Licensing team. There are currently around one thousand licensed premises in the borough including 9 night clubs, 90 betting shops and 156 pubs. Since April 2011, the Safer Ealing Partnership have introduced a points based risk approach to licensing similar to that adopted in Greater Manchester where they focus their attention on problem premises with a history of violence and disorder. The Police will award a set number of points for crimes committed in and around the premises such as 20 points for a murder or 10 points for GBH. Any premises can be reviewed where they may be sent warning letters and given an action plan to improve performance or risk prosecution but if somewhere scores more than 40 points they will designated as a “Red Risk” where their licence may be revoked. The success of the new arrangements has led to a few known trouble hotspots across the borough closing and also resulting in a 20% reduction in crime and 25% fall in assaults in licensed premises.1 Comment