Minutes from LAT meeting 9th January 2018
Special meeting with guest speaker Katy Bourne (Police Crime Commissioner)
Welcome and introductions and apologies
Suresh Patel, Kalpana Patel, Janice Becket , Andy Winter, Audrey Smith, Katie Blood, Penny Morley, Cllr Pete West, Annie Morris, Theresa Kelly, Saul Smoth, G Apsion, Louise Jennett, Martin Dunleavy, Tom Walby, Kristina Pelakova, Greg Headley, Tony Firmin, Mike Hedgethorne, Alex Lee, Diana Chandler, Kirsty Munro, Andy Keeffe, Andy Roberts.
+ Chief Inspector Chris Veale, and PCC Katy Bourne
Philip Wells, Lucy Walker, Nick Ford (photography), Mohammed Asaduzzaman
Minutes and date of next meeting
13th February 2018
All business was to be held over to the next meeting as guest speaker Katy Bourne to take questions.
They are seeking permission to consult on gate in the alleyway. There have been no objections to this.
Pete West stated that there is a ward budget that he is willing to go into, to help with this issue. He will take £1,000 from this budget.
Policing- Katy Bourne (PCC)
- Lucy Dunlevy read a letter that Philip Wells chair has sent to the Chris Veale on 2/1/18 (Police Chief Inspector), the letter is on the LAT website, together with his written response
Chris Veale attended the meeting and gave a response to the letter:
There is a breakdown in crime and there is no difference between increase and decrease in crime. (?? not sure what this means!)
- The incident numbers are quite small. 7/8 crimes over a year of this 3 or 4 are ongoing incidents.
- There is a spike in crimes that are centred around a particular date, these were targeted assaults against known individuals, general public are not at risk. He also stated that the crime level is no different to any other area.
- The crime data that the police are getting shows there is an increase in correctly recorded crime and correctly converting calls into crime.
- There are more resources even though the budget for policing has been cut.
- The format has changed since November last year. There is now a greater number of PCSOs, Police Officers and Police Enforcement Officers working together. There are several ops running in this area at the moment.
- With regard to drug dealing – The drugs are coming from larger urban areas, such as London. This is known as ‘County Lines’ where a drugs gang from for example London, sells within a different area, such as Brighton.
- There is now a big use of what is known as ‘cuckooing’, which is where vulnerable people are targeted, at particularly fast food outlets and areas such as the Level. The dealers then use the vulnerable individual’s home to work from. Any reports of a premises suspected in use for this reason from the public are dealt with very quickly by the Police, usually a 12 hour turnaround.
- Operation Bolero is a police operation that focuses arrests on and around the Level. The police are plain clothed and gain video evidence from their body cameras.
- Pete West, read out a report that is different from the statement given by Chris Veale. Pete’s report is from B&H as a whole, not just this ward. (from Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities (NICE) BHCC Committee 9th October 2017)
- The statics that were read out were as follows:
- 9.2 % increase in crime within the last 12 months
- 18% increase in violent crime within the last 12 months
- Hate crime
- Sex crime all increased
Katy Bourne- spoke on topics that were raised by residents
Katy Bourne replied to the statement read out by Pete West
- The crime recording statics Katy Bourne knows about, and said that violent crime is up 14%.
- ‘Violent crime’ now encompasses ‘violent crime without injury’, ie harassment by social media, which gives the appearance of an increase in the statistics.
- This hidden crime has seen an increase in reporting, this takes up a lot of demand on police time
- There have been changes in practices and the amount of leg work the police does.
- The funding is the same as last year Following her recent survey which was in favour, the taxpayer is to be asked to pay an extra £12 per household per year , which will help police funding . She understands it will be hard for some members of the public to accept this increase.
- She has assured that there will be no further cuts in the number of police officers, 480 posts are being maintained, but is unable to increase the numbers of officers.
- Katy does acknowledge that the reduction in local policing had been a mistake.
- Katy will be putting this funding proposal to a panel next Friday 16th January and hopefully will start on 1st April to release funds
- The formula that the government uses is not really fair, but this is the next big push.
- Katy is very grateful to the people of Sussex for the support she is getting from the public with this.
- The amount in the police budget is £260,000 , and combining the £12 increase, it would be a yearly increase of £80,000 (???) (V.C says, “with the £12 increases, £8 million jotted down, per annum for policing I think!”)
- Internet crime is especially high in the over 75 year olds, some of whom are losing over £70,000 (?)
[Note from PCC’s September 2017 Finance report: The council tax for Sussex was still the fifth lowest of policing bodies during 2017/18 at £153.91 per annum for Band D properties. This contrasts with neighbouring Surrey at £224.57]
Cllr Pete West and others pointed out the very special and fragile circumstances of London Road and Level area. He echoed public calls for a more visible presence on street, and responsiveness to crime reports, and specifically for police attendance at some of the London Road LAT meetings. Pete requested police presence every 2-3 months.
Cllr West also asked for a Police contribution to the gating of Oxford Court alleyway
PCSO attending LAT meetings
- The LAT have pleaded on several occasions, including this meeting that they have a PCSO come on a regular basis, e.g once a month. Chris had reservations towards this as he could not promise this, but did reassure the meeting that he would try his best for a police representative to be at the meeting at least twice or three times a year. The LAT could form the agenda to allow for the PCSO to attend for the first half hour only.
- The LAT know that the police do not have numbers to attend as they previously did but would appreciate communications to be kept going.
- There was a question and discussion on how to go forward with this, but C.I. Chris Veale did agree to make this issue aware to everyone in the force.
- There is also a issue with the public not knowing where to send questions. The public should keep reporting incidents on the Sussex police website, or 101. This at least provides a disruption to drug dealers. They however can not be stopped as it is like ‘trying to plug a leaking dam’, if one is taken out, they are immediately replaced by another.
Action: Katy will try and find a way to get around this issue. (?) Philip to talk to Chris Veale, about PCSO’s, attending future meetings and Chris Veale to look into this.
- There has been a increase in round the roads policing, which means being on the look out for people using mobile phones and devices in their cars.
- The Level has had an increase in the use of technology to tackle the issues that it has. It is called MDT. (mobile data terminal)
- An example of this type of police work, where it has working in controlling crime is in Lewes.
- Social media including Facebook and Twitter is being used widely across Sussex police.
- The police do not have the technology and software yet to report back to individuals who use 101
- There has been an increase in communications with schools, as there are new Youth Engagement teams going into school. At present it is only in secondary schools, not in primary schools .
- Katie Blood (Head teacher at St Bartholomew’s school), remarked that there has been no contact with her school regarding the youth engagement, which she would like to get involved in. She made the point it is better to catch vulnerable children early.
- Young offenders. The police don’t want to criminalise young people. The police aren’t always telling the children’s parents, but there is safeguarding form.
- A way to report drug crime is called Hubs, which is a place where the public can post drug dealing etc. This is being used in 3 out of 5 sections across the force.
- There are also teams across the force that are there to identify vulnerable people, and set up so that the public can report crimes, as long as they are posted on the Hub page before 12:30pm.
Action: Katy Bourne to be in touch with Katie Blood regarding contact details
Sussex wide spread of resources
- There is work being done across the whole of Sussex. Some of the operations Katy mentioned were:
- Operation Peel this is a national operations, in Sussex this focuses on Lewes Bonfire and football matches etc.
- Operates 14 nights across the country
- There is a budget in place and planning in place to cover these events.
Francis street issue- graffiti and drugs
- There are delivery drivers stopping outside the shop and are dealing drugs from their bikes C.I.Veale might have been previously unaware of this specific issue.
- The issue of Graffiti, needs to be caught in the act, by the residents can do this (CCTV etc)
- This has been reported and Katy will look into this.
- Please report these incidents by email and on the Sussex police website, with photos and name and residence address.
Reporting and Requests
- There is a pattern to reporting, which is once a crime has been reported and stopped and dealt with, it may seem to have stopped for a period of time, but the public should not stop reporting crimes, when they spring up again. Otherwise there will be a never-ending cycle of repeated offences.
- There has been a request for late-night patrols around the areas of focus, this is ongoing and will be looked into.
- Owners of the Clyde Road newsagents have requested the removal of the phone booth as it is being used for drug dealing behaviour They are concerned about this activity as its putting off young people coming to the shop as this happens during the day.
It was a pleasure to have Katy attend the meeting and it would be a pleasure to welcome her back in the future.
Action: Katy has very kindly offered to arrange a visit to the communications centre to see how the busy 101 policing works in and around Sussex.