The date when the London Borough of Hackney and Tower Hamlets formally joined in a common policing administration, incidentally also was a date of a multi-SNT panel meeting at the Glasshouse. The three wards of Bethnal Green, St. Peters and Weavers were represented. A further meeting is planned in 3 months time.
The meeting was very well attended and the hall was filled to the brim. In attendance were non other than Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs and our local councillor and Deputy Mayor Sirajul Islam, Cllr Eve McQuillan, Cllr. John Pierce, Cllr. Asma Islam with support from London Assembly member Unmesh Desai. Further representatives of our local SNT team were present as well as officers from local housing providers.
The discussion ranged around budget pressures for the police, Anti-social behaviour and what can be done about it.
The minutes of the meeting were sent to the representatives of our Residents Association if anyone has an interest in seeing them.
There is a strong desire to rid the borough of drug dealing and related crimes, which is often expressed in gang related activity, also rough sleeping is attributed to drug related behaviour.
The main emphasis conveyed to the general public was collect evidence, forward it to Tower Hamlets Homes ASB team, your local SNT team or 101. Of course when a crime is in process always call 999.
So far, through “Operation Continuum” which was carried out in waves of house searches throughout the borough, 160 people have been arrested and around 60 have been given jail sentences.
In 2017 Faith Regen Foundation partnered with the Council and the Maryam Centre to deliver free self-defence classes to any woman who wants to improve their awareness of personal safety both at home and on the streets.
As well as learning to protect against physical attacks students are also introduced to fear management and confidence building techniques. The classes also raise awareness of Domestic Violence (DV) and other Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strands, students are given information on local support services where they can access confidential help including FRF’s women’s project.
The 6 hour self-defence course is delivered over 2 weeks, in the Maryam Centre the East London Mosque’s women only building (please note, the course is open to anyone who identifies as female, irrespective of faith). Courses run every three months until the summer of 2019, to find out more please email Julia@thefrf.org or call 0207 650 3043
Because the spy-hole system is not reliably telling a resident that a caller outside is safe for opening the door to, I recommend that residents when ordering online for home-delivery use companies, whose delivery is being made by a courier that allows tracking to the address online or have their items delivered to a store pick up point for collection.
A life-tracking service allows us to follow the courier path and shows us when he is near our address and about to deliver to our address.
Many residents, even if they have a door entry system cannot rely on callers wearing high-viz vests having honest intentions. Through a door spy hole all residents can see is what a caller wears. It has also been reported that residents are afraid to turn others away who want to follow them into a block with door entry systems. It is not advised to start an argument with anybody wanting to get into a block. That may end in aggressive behaviour and further problems.
However, if a person, you do not trust, follows you to your door, do not open your door, but leave the area and call 999.
Housing inspections or repairs are announced via previously arranged appointments and so we at least know when to expect a caller. It is better not to widely announce when residents expect official visitors to others.
The network of permanently displaced people in Tower Hamlets is getting bigger and desperation and often drug addiction are a definite problem. Local housing shelters have closed.
We need to keep ourselves safe in our homes and whilst I thoroughly recommend charitable organisations and helping as volunteers for such, it is essential to keep our homes safe.