Agenda item

POLICE UPDATE

Minutes:

The police update was provided by Detective Superintendent Paul Warnett. 

 

It was noted that Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe would assume operational command of the tri-borough BCU (Basic Command Unit) from 19th March 2018. Five Superintendents would work underneath the Chief Superintendent and would be assigned their own portfolios that they could design and develop. The BCU would not go ‘live’ until November 2018. 

 

It was noted that although the overall number of non-domestic VWI (Violence with Injury) offences had decreased by 8%, the number of more serious VWI offences had increased. There was a concern that the number of injuries from knife related crime were disproportionate considering the demographics of the Borough. There seemed to be a concentration of gang and knife crime in the Penge area. The Committee noted that on 3rd March, a sub machine gun and a pistol had been recovered from the area. Bromley Police were working closely with officers from Trident, and an officer from Trident had been recruited as Bromley Police’s Gang Partnership Officer.   

 

Dealing with residential burglaries was a focus area for the Police as there had been an increase in the number of residential burglaries of 44% over the last 12 months. ASB figures had decreased but there was still a host of ongoing issues.

 

A Member who was not present at the previous meeting asked why Bromley Police had lost 5 cars. Mr Warnett explained that over the MET, it had been calculated that 170 cars were under-utilised. In Bromley, this equated to one area car and four administrative cars. There had been no decrease in performance. The Member expressed concerns over the loss of the area car, especially given Bromley’s demographics. Mr Warnett explained that Bromley Police still had an area car and a rapid response car. The vehicles that had been disposed of were under-utilised and therefore not cost effective.

 

A Member commented that his ward officers had to use buses and asked why they did not have access to a vehicle. Mr Warnett answered that Inspector Byfield decided where cars were allocated. 

 

The Committee was briefed on response rates to 999 calls.

 

Mr Warnett explained that there were two classifications of emergency response—these were ‘I Grade’ calls and ‘S’ grade calls. ‘I’ Grade calls required an immediate response with attendance within 15 minutes—the target for this is to respond to the calls in this timeframe in 90% of cases. During 2017-2018 Bromley Police had responded to ‘I’ Grade calls within the timescale in 89.1% of cases. 

 

‘S’Grade calls required a response within 1 hour—again the target was to achieve this response in 90% of cases. For 2017-2018 the response time was achieved in 84.5% of cases.

 

Mr Warnett updated the Committee regarding the ‘Stop and Search’ policy. Between January 2017 and January 2018, Bromley Police had recorded 3066 stop and searches. The majority of these were for drugs (1309), weapons (618), and stolen property (594). The primary demographic of those stopped were white males aged between 15 and 19. Of the total of the stop and searches, 24.2% achieved a positive outcome. 

 

A Member reminded the Committee that a meeting to do with ASB had been held on the Ramsden Estate on 20th December 2017. This had been in response to a petition signed by 400 people. The Member wished to express thanks to Inspectors Gary Byfield and Nick McLoughlin because two serial ASB offenders had been arrested the day subsequent to the residents’ meeting.

 

The Chairman raised the issue of the lowering of DWOs in the Shortlands Ward. This had been requested by Councillor Mary Cooke who had been unable to attend the meeting. Councillor Cooke stated that this was a clear breech of an undertaking given by the Mayor.  She asked why the Police had breached this assurance. The Chairman asked Mr Warnett if he knew when the Ward Constable number would be restored to two. Mr Warnett responded that he was not able to give a definite date when this would occur. Although it was the case that the Mayor had given this undertaking, he needed to manage the overall resourcing of the Borough, which included CID, Response and Neighbourhoods. At this time, due to a number of factors including sickness, injuries and suspensions, it was not possible to keep a full complement in the neighbourhoods and a needs assessment had been carried out. It should also be noted that Shortlands was the fifth safest ward in London.

 

A Member asked if Bromley Police were 30 officers down. Mr Warnett clarified that Bromley Police were short of 17 detectives. The Member also asked how many officers were currently on sick leave. This could not be clarified on the night, but Mr Warnett promised to find out.

 

A Member asked if Police officers on each Ward could now have the authority to deal with minor crimes.  Mr Warnett stated that the primary role of SNT officers was to problem-solve and that it may be entirely appropriate on some occasions for a neighbourhood officer to investigate a crime. However, it would not be the norm to allocate crimes for them to investigate as this would take them away from their core policing function.

 

A Member commented on the opposition that had been expressed in Bromley to the BCU. She asked if it was still possible to ask the MET Police Commissioner to reconsider. Mr Warnett responded that everything was signed and was going ahead; there was no chance of going back. 

 

RESOLVED that the Police update is noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED that the Police update is noted.

 

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