Last night the Police and Community Safety Board held its first Resident's Question Time event. Abu Sufian had done a fantastic job organising, and residents were able to hold to account members from the Council (officers and councillors) as well as the Fire Service, NHS Tower Hamlets, and Police.
The event allowed residents to see some of the Third Sector organisations helping out with key issues such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol addictions, as well as LIFE (the Fire Brigade leadership programme).
The evening was split into four sections: youth engagement, women and crime, drug use and supply and anti-social behaviour.
It is clear that the Police are working hard in the local area, but they need the support of residents to bring issues to their Safer Neighbourhood Teams, reporting crime and anti-social behaviour. However there is a need for shift patterns to reflect the needs of local residents. Paul Ricketts (the Borough Commander) assured us that this was starting to happen.
I raised a question about whether the powers that be had any idea how many youths were victims of crime. With the largest youth population amongst London Boroughs, it is vital that we protect our youths. Whilst there are a small number of young girls and guys that cause trouble on the streets, the vast proportion of our youths are much more likely to be the victim of crime than the perpetrator.
Other key issues that came out of the event were:
* The oversaturation of licensed premises - despite the comments of the Labour councillor that he is against licensed premises; the number of premises that can sell alcohol has been steadily increasing in Tower Hamlets
* There is a significant amount of CCTV coverage across the Boroguh
* The Police and Fire Brigade continue their investigation into the fire at the Gurdwara, but cannot release any information at the moment.
* There is still not good enough communication of what is being done.
* ASB is a blight for many local residents, and more needs to be done to solve this.