Drug and crime related ASB meeting

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.

 

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Free women’s self-defence classes

Free Women’s Self Defence Classes

man couple people woman

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

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

Safety recommendation

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.

Beware of nuisance callers

At the last area Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting, it was mentioned that some home-less groups are now using high-viz vests and wear them on a regular basis. There is a high concentration near Stepney Green Station and around the Sainsbury’s there.

I do not want to vilify the homeless, however if behaviour becomes concerning in that somebody, wearing a high-viz vest to pretend being an official from a housing organisation and attempts to enter resident’s flats using that pretence it becomes a worry.

Yesterday, a man, wearing a high-viz vest, knocked on my door, handed me a cooking thermometer and asked me to hold it under my bathroom sink for 10 minutes to give him a reading.

He pretended to be from Tower Hamlets Homes. THH thinks it is a bogus caller.  I do remember a THH letter going round, saying, that they do not check the water on resident’s taps regularly.

Many couriers and work personnel also wear high-viz, it is hard to distinguish them and the ID that man yesterday took out of his pocket, was quickly put away, before I could even see it.

It makes a resident weary to even open the door to a caller because if everybody now wears high-viz, good and bad, there is no longer any proof that a caller, who visibly wears a high-viz and can be seen through the spyhole can be trusted.

How are residents supposed to be happily opening the doors to delivery couriers if the person outside could easily be a potential criminal also?

We do not have any entry system in Rosebery House, couriers may find it hard to even place one of those new delivery box systems into our block.

Fire safety advice

From Tower Hamlets Homes

We thought it would be useful and timely to share some information with you regarding a recent spate of fires that have occurred both London wide and locally in Tower Hamlets.
The London Fire Brigade have recently advised us that there have been seven fires across London in the last three weeks started by discarded cigarette butts. We have recently had three fires in and around Tower Hamlets’ properties caused by accidental/avoidable circumstances (one was caused by a candle and the other two from discarded cigarettes, possibly thrown from a flat above and blown onto a balcony and shed below). With the the hot weather forecast to last at least for another month, I thought it was timely I contacted you to ask for your help to keep residents alert to fire safety in the home and hopefully avoid further fires occurring.
The following advice is from the London Fire Brigade and reflects the causes of fires occurring recently in London:
 make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home
 keep balconies free from clutter
 please don’t leave rubbish or bikes in communal areas or obstruct escape routes
 make sure you are familiar with your building and know your nearest exit in case you need to leave the building (note that your block is a ‘Stay Put’ block and therefore doesn’t have sounding fire alarms)
 if you are a smoker please do not smoke in common areas of the block as this is dangerous and against the law too
 always fully extinguish cigarettes smoked in your home and dispose of them carefully and safely*
Detailed fire safety advice is available at thh.org.uk including videos on fire safety which I’d be happy to make available to be shown at TRA meetings.
Next week we will be writing to all THH residents with this advice. We’ll also be reminding them about smoke alarms.
 If they are a THH tenant and you do not have a smoke alarm please order one at My.THH.org.uk or call our Housing Service Centre on 020 7364 5015.
 If they are a leaseholder, we strongly encourage you to fit smoke alarms. If they rent their property out, they must follow safety regulations which include gas and electrical tests, fitting smoke alarms and following all fire safety regulations. More information can be found at gov.uk/privaterenting. And alerting them to the LFB providing free smoke detectors.

* Putting cigarette butts into dried out flower pots without extinguishing them can cause a fire that can spread to neighbouring properties.

Also recommend not to have barbeques on balconies.