Friday, 18 February 2011

Super Cap Meeting Q & A's

Here follows Chief Inspector Simon Causer's brief and informative summary of the questions and answers that were discussed at the Super Cap* meeting which took place on 3rd Feb 2011.
*CAP = Community Action Panel; Super Cap is a meeting help between Chairmen of CAPs around the borough.
Super CAP Meeting:
Simpson Hall lecture Theatre
Date: Thursday 3rd Feb 2011 1900 - 2130.
Item 1 and 2 on the agenda were presentations about the neighbourhood policing review project and the burglary picture in Barnet. During the discussion that followed a number of issues were discussed. Below is a brief summary of the main issues that were raised.
Qu 1: Why haven’t PCSOs been given more powers such as dealing with abandoned cars?
Ans: PCSOs are the eyes and ears of the ward. 70% of all our intelligence comes from PCSOs who are asked to go out and talk to people and learn about problems on their ward. Extra powers are available by deference through the local authority. At a recent Barnet Council cabinet meeting, additional powers were requested but not granted. CAP members may wish to take this matter up with their local councillor.
Qu 2: Will the change in resources reflect the changing population dynamics that will be evident in the forthcoming census?
Ans: The flexibility that we are seeking in our review of neighbourhood policing will put us in a far better picture to respond to local issues such as the building of a new housing estate.
Qu 3: Will there be staff reductions on wards?
Ans: There is a proposal to look at the way teams are currently supervised and whether we have got the management ratio right. This may lead to a reduction in the current number of sergeants.
Qu 4: If a year later, crime gets worse; will it all go back to how it was with 1:2:6 ratio in every ward?
Ans: The Metropolitan Police needs to make savings and it is only right that we look at how we currently deliver our policing services and whether we can be more efficient. We need to ensure that we meet the service demand and balance our resources accordingly. What any new model will give is flexibility to change; this will make it far easier to respond to emerging crime pictures. What we will do is keep the structure under constant review and if there is a sound argument to change then we will do so.
Qu 5: How do the PCSOs feel about the change?
Ans: Most of the PCSOs are happy to move across ward boundaries as this opportunity will broaden their skill base as they move to different parts of borough to deal with issues that have an impact on their own ward. PCSOs do a fantastic job and they all want to continue delivering that level of service where ever they work.
Qu 6: Is funding secured for the Safer Neighbourhoods Teams?
Ans: Safer Neighbourhood policing is the bedrock of the MPS response to dealing with crime and disorder in the local community. As such the MPS is committed to maintaining a safer neighbourhood team in every ward.
Qu 9: In the current economic climate, does the MPS have a way of preventing the older experienced officers from leaving?
Ans: The situation with retirement in the MPS has not changed, unlike some other forces the MPS has no plans to insist that an officer retires once they have reached 30 years service. In this way there will be no exodus of skill and experience.
Qu 10: Do you encourage ‘have a go hero’s’?
Ans: We would want members of the public to act in a safe and appropriate manner in response to a situation as they see it. As part of this we would encourage interaction with their local safer neighbourhood teams and be part of Borough Watch. One of the most important things that the public can do is be a good neighbour and keep an eye on each others property, reporting anything they consider as suspicious to the police.
Qu 11: Is there any information that suggests criminals in Barnet track where police officers are in order to commit crime?
Ans: No
Qu 12: If PCSOs leave their SNT to become PCs, will there be a backfill?
Ans: There are PCSOs that are not in the Safer Neighbourhoods teams. It is likely that they will be used to backfill those PCSOs who leave a SNT for a career elsewhere.
Qu 13: How do we increase our borough watch and help the Police?
Ans: The borough watch coordinators need to be known to their Ward Panel and Safer Neighbourhood Team. Through communication, we can identify those streets where representation is low and then actively market Borough watch in these locations. Working with Borough Watch your local team will be doing just that.
Qu 14: Can we have a series of regular meetings with our Borough Watch, local police and local council?
Ans: Yes - If we have it ward specific, the Safer Neighbourhoods teams can facilitate.
Qu 15: Can we get regular updates on crimes that occur on our ward and ward specific news?
Ans: The Safer Neighbourhoods teams should be feeding you regular updates via email. A Newsletter for each ward has been sent to the printers and will be delivered to every home by April of this year.
If you want regular updates, and are not getting them, in the first instance speak to your local SNT. If you are dissatisfied with the response please email

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