Category: Patrols

Safer Neighbourhood Team 2022

Safer Neighbourhood Team 2022

The Metropolitan Police’s prestigious Safer Neighbourhood Team of the year award went to Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhoods in 2022.

Safer Neighbourhoods Tower Hamlets includes many agencies including

  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Tower Hamlets Homes ASB Team
  • Parkguard
  • Tower Hamlets Safer Neighbourhoods Policing Teams
  • Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association
  • All schools, landlords, agencies, who participated
See the exact wording written below

Safer Neighbourhoods Team of the Year Award

For those who make a significant and sustained contribution to policing in their local communities.

Tower Hamlets suffered an increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB) and drug offending, which had a negative impact on local communities. The team made it their mission to improve the situation and connect with those hard-to-teach communities, in the densely populated borough that is within five percent of the most deprived areas nationally.

In 2021, the Tower Hamlets Homes Policing Team developed and led on several operations including Operation Mizuna, which used data to identify hotspots and drive action. They chaired multi-agency partnership and residents’ meetings, initiated numerous diversionary schemes for young people with partners, and piloted modern technology to improve information sharing pathways.

With partners, the team provided housing for the homeless and support to drug addicts. Their efforts over six months saw 50% reduction in ASB and in 2021 they seized £108,000 total value of drugs and cash, obtained 12 civil inunctions, made 231 arrests and seized 80 offensive weapons. Their action improved public confidence and the quality of life for others.

Their methods are now being adopted across Hackney and Tower Hamlets and beyond!

For the general public the engagement bus is most prominent to see in Neighbourhoods.

Public engagement event at Cambridge Heath Road in the summer of 2022.

Neighbourhood Watch

is an important initiative, which enables Neigbhours to improve their feeling of owning their Neighbourhoods. Whilst making each other stronger through like-minded conversations, based around crime reduction and well-being, that feeling of always being victims of Anti-social behaviour or crime can be combatted by active neighbour collaborations.

The Met Business Plan 2020-23 mentions some initiatives like Street watch and School watch.

“Over the course of 2019/20, we promoted crime prevention by supporting numerous community initiatives. Street Watch involves local volunteers assisted on patrols, events and road closures, missing persons, weapons sweeps, days of action and leaflet drops. School Watch, a scheme initiated by Safer Schools officers, mobilises the school community (schools staff, parents, sixth formers, etc.) to promote safety and reassurance for children, providing visibility as pupils travel home from school, preventing anti-social behaviour and crime on that route.”

School watch is easily enabled with the presence of officers in schools who can attend assemblies and parents evenings.

Street watch is often enabled via the MET volunteer scheme, which can be attended by those not having to work at the time of the activity. As MET volunteer to get allocated a volunteer number and get regular invitations to participate.

Operation Venice was mentioned by one user on NextDoor today as a good way of making your phone theft part of this scheme, aimed at combatting Motor-cycle based crime.

“Crime prevention is embedded in all parts of our operational activity. Moped-enabled crime in London reduced by 42.5 per cent since the inception of Operation Venice. This activity was supported by two communication campaigns: Lock, Chain, Cover – prevention campaign aimed at promoting greater security for powered two-wheeler scooters and moped, and Look up. Look out – crime prevention campaign targeted at robbery utilising disruptive approaches such as mobile ads designed to pop up and encourage people distracted by their phones to be more aware of their surroundings and to keep valuables out of sight.”

For those who can attend regular meetings and who have an interest in helping police devise new strategies the Independent Advisory Groups IAGs are ideal.

“In efforts to improve confidence and satisfaction amongst some communities where it is lower, we implemented a number of changes. The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) set up a new Independent Advisory Group with a wide range of community members from across London to advise
on a range of challenging issues such as the manner in which the Met responds to public complaints and officer misconduct. The IAG members are also part of high profile operational Gold Groups to provide critical friend advice and guidance. We also launched our first cohort of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual plus (LGBT+) advisers who work proactively with partners and the public to increase community engagement, crime prevention and active citizenship in order to build trust and

We’d support all these schemes, but none can replace the residents led Neighbourhood Watch schemes because talking to your neighbours cannot be replaced by anything else.

All these schemes like

  • street watch
  • school watch
  • IAG
  • Gold groups

as mentioned above are police run schemes and rely on their management of it.

Neighbourhood Watch in contrast is perpetually run by Neighbours who organise themselves and are run by Neighbours themselves. Your police run scheme may become redundant after a couple of years but Neighbourhood Watch continues to exist, as it does already since 40 years. We do run Street parties for the Queen’s Jubilee or organise litter picks, food distribution in times of hardship and do many other activities like tree planting and keeping areas nice.

We need reliable, safety conscious individuals to set up and run schemes.

Love your Neighbourhood

Love your Neighbourhood

One of the Apps we recommend for versatile use in the borough of Tower Hamlets.

This App is run via Council services but would be ideal also for Neighbourhood Watch purposes to connect to Police, but it would need for the Police to adopt this as reporting method, which they currently do not do.

Love Your Neighbourhood is used by various local authorities and after you’ve downloaded it, you choose the borough you are in.

Then you get an amazing menu:

  • Report it
    • Fantastic reporting tool for a variety of issues and you get a lot of categories to report to. It’s best to scroll the menu and get used to the options as you use the App.
    • Main categories are
      • Cleansing
      • Highways
      • Parks
    • Describe the issue you want to report
    • Choose category
    • Take or use a photo already present
    • circle the area of concern on the photo before you safe it to the report
    • Mapping is automatic to the area you are in.
    • report with contact or anonymously
  • Love it
    • Describe
    • take photo
    • send report
  • Breathe Clean
    • provides an air quality forecast for 3 days
  • Waste & Recycling
    • Waste recycling schedule
    • Recycling banks map
    • bulky waste collection
  • What’s On
    • Social events in the borough for kids and adults
  • Road Notices
    • Road issues on a map
    • and on a list
  • Get Involved
    • Consultation suggestions opportunity
    • Volunteer sign-up
  • My Details reports
    • See list of all reports you submitted and their status
  • Follow us
    • Links to websites and social media platforms used by the council

This would be an ideal app to use for Neighbourhood Watchers to deal with council issues. I always recommend people to download this lovely tool.

As already stated, this could be adapted for police reporting use.

Networking event with Shomrim

Networking event with Shomrim

We are delighted to have Rabbi Gluck, OBE, President of Stamford Hill Shomrim and chair of the Arab/Jewish and Muslim/Jewish forums.

What an excellent opportunity to network with Hackney and Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch groups.

Bring and share food and drink but strictly non-alcoholic.

This event is ticketed. This event will be held on Zoom on Saturday 18. Dec 2021 from 18:15 – 19:15

Operation Sceptre

Operation Sceptre

Tower Hamlets Police have sent us an up-date on the result of operation sceptre, an initiative designed to ramp up activity to suppress knife crime and wider violence

Met Communication

A vast range of activity was carried out by officers across the Met, including targeted patrols in violence hotspots; warrants to target high harm offenders; and weapons sweeps in areas known for stashed weapons.
Officers also worked closely with British Transport Police during knife arch deployments at transport hubs, aimed at deterring people from carrying weapons and drugs on the train and tube network. Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology was also used by Met and City of London officers, targeting those carrying and supplying drugs on the roads in and out of London.
Crucially, there was also a focus on education, diversion and prevention, with officers engaging with 10,563 young people; community members and business owners.
While conducting community weapons sweeps, local officers worked side-by-side with community members, listening to their concerns and searching for hidden or discarded weapons. Officers, Met Special Constables and Volunteer Police Cadets also carried out 290 retailer visits to educate businesses and ensure they were not – and do not in the future – selling knives irresponsibly.
In total, the operation, which ran from Monday, 15 November to Sunday, 21 November 2021, resulted in (Met-Wide):
• 290 knives recovered;
• 937 arrests;
• 82 warrants executed;
• 186 community meetings and educational events, engaging with 1,206 individuals;
• 264 school presentations and engagements, involving 8,063 young people;
• 2,745 weapon sweeps.

We wanted to let you know our local results for this week of intensification, for Tower Hamlets and Hackney,
which are as follows:
137 weapon sweeps.
13 knives found.
51 arrests with 11 for weapon offences.
18 test purchases

We visited all of our Habitual Knife Carriers who were engaged with by our integrated gangs unit or Violence Suppression Unit.

Over 1200 children engaged with through schools presentations or the Junior Citizenship Programme.
Our local plan was led by our Violence Suppression Unit and supported by partners at both Tower Hamlets and Hackney local authorities. We send our gratitude to all of our partners who supported the initiatives across the week.

We all have a part to play in tackling violent crime, and we encourage you to share the following information amongst your organisation/teams:
Taking a stand can be as simple as giving information about crime or those who carry a weapon. Any information you give to Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families. Crimestoppers never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111. It could save a life

Please also note you are welcome to report anonymously to the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association directly using our online form.

Knife crime

Unfortunately the trend of knife attacks and violence blights our safety. Tower Hamlets Council has already carried out weapons sweeps on July and again carries out these sweeps in the coming weeks. 

But, why not give knife owners the chance to voluntarily deposit knives in save locations, knife bins, as they are used in a lot of boroughs in inner London. See locations

These bins help knife carriers to make a decision to safely dispose of their weapons instead of just keeping them at home or even dropping them into undergrowth to be found and to be dangerous to all. 

I will be forwarding this email to all councillors and those responsible for decision-making in Tower Hamlets for consideration, and ask you to discuss the issue with your local councillors and neighbours too. 

I have also completed the latest Home Office survey to request more action on combatting violence in the borough. The Home Office has already agreed to supply more Hot Spot policing, which is necessary as currently our SNT officers are used to make up numbers and therefore not available to deal with other crimes or patrolling our wards. 

Recent events have shown that we need to step up participation in Neighbourhood Watch. I have asked our new Inspector for Safer Neighbourhoods, Ashley Rose,  for a meeting in person in a police station in Tower Hamlets and will be inviting our members to attend. 

The latest statistics from the Probation Service show a clear correlation between offenders having violence as highest convicted offence and the number of offences committed being mostly violence. 

The new Ward Panel handbook of the Met Police states that one of the three Ward Priorities has to be violence combatting and can be set by the police. 

Ourwatch is listed as official Neighbourhood Watch partner in the Ward Panel Handbook on page 9, please share this email with your neighbours and invite them to register on Ourwatch. Follow us on Twitter

Please feel free to contact me with ideas and queries.

£1.20 per week for ASB patrols

£1.20 per week for ASB patrols

We fully support the extra charge of £1.20 per week of service charges for ASB patrols. The patrols are exactly what’s needed in known ASB hotspots. Report ASB to the council here.

Don’t become complacent Neighbourhood Watchers your reporting is vital for the safety and security of us all.

Use our reporting sheet for recurring events you are worried about.

There are few ASB hotspots but there are many other areas where the alertness of our volunteers helps to keep us safe.