Date: Wednesday 13th January 2016
Venue: The RoOM, 62 Allen Road
Bron, Rachel, Christophe, Ken, Phil, Maggie, Erayna, Liz, Isabella,
Tora, Jawad, Silvia, Vivienne, Sophie Cameron (Clissold ward
councillor), PC Ali Dag, PCSO Balkar Bains (Clissold Safer
Neighbourhoods Team, MET)
Minutes of November meeting
The November meeting minutes were approved (many thanks to Bron!)
Discussion about community safety with representatives from the Clissold Safer Neighbourhood Team
We welcomed PC Ali Dag and PCSO Balkar Bains to the meeting and thanked them for taking the time to join us. They described their team setup and the work they do in the Clissold area:
- There has been some restructuring of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, and each ward now has a Dedicated Ward Officer and Police Community Support Officer.
- One of the key priorities in the past months has been to tackle prostitution in various different areas of the ward. A targeted approach and cooperation with the Shacklewell ward has resulted in multiple arrests.
- Burglaries remain common, and PC Ali Dag reiterated that it is very important to keep doors double locked not only at night, but at all times. Given the changing demographics of the ward, and the increase in property values, this is an area which is particularly targeted.
- A number of drug dealing arrests have been made, some as a result of members of the public alerting the team to suspicious activity outside of their homes. PC Ali Dag encouraged everyone who notices anything of this kind to get in touch with the Safer Neighbourhoods Team (numbers detailed below).
- While cuts are making it difficult, the aim is to patrol the area as much as possible as it was agreed among all that police presence is of crucial importance to deter criminal and antisocial behavior.
The following points were raised by members of the meeting:
- Rachel highlighted the issues that have been raised in connection to the shop(s) on Albion Parade and residents at nearby St Mungo’s. These include reports of shop workers lending money to the vulnerable women at high interest or against favours. PC Ali Dag confirmed that they are aware of these reports and that they are looking into it.
- Christophe asked that the police address the problems with drug dealers around the Howard Road Resource Centre. He explained that this is a very commonly observed occurrence around the centre and that he regularly finds drugs paraphernalia in the area. This is not only unpleasant but sometimes also a danger to all who live or work or pass by the area. PC Ali Dag confirmed that they are aware of these problems being reported, and that the area is due to be redeveloped, which may address some of these issues, however in the meantime he promised to look into how the team can do more to prevent this.
- Sophie Cameron raised some recently reported incidents in the area, such as repeated physical abuse of women on Stoke Newington Church Street. PC Ali Dag confirmed that the responsible individual had been identified.
The below contact details were circulated to the full membership list for future reference:
Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team
t: 020 8721 2923 (not 24/7)
t: 020 8356 2140
Annie told the meeting that she had drawn up new beds along the eastern end of the park, which had immediately been dug up and prepared for planting by the parks team. This quick response was greatly appreciated. The woodland area has been prepared for planting which will be carried out by volunteers. Russell will be pruning some of the orchard trees on the 2nd of February.
Spring event planning
We decided to postpone the events planning for next month’s meeting
Christophe had nothing new to report on the finances
The question was raised of what is happening to the Letterbox Library site, supposedly taken over by Luminary Bakery. We have not heard from them since our emails before Christmas and they do not appear to have moved in to the site yet. Jawad confirmed that he had checked with Hackney Council that they are still on track, which they have confirmed. It was agreed that Tora would email Alice to ask for updates.