Local residents had been expressing concern about crime and policing in Telegraph Hill Ward. In response to this, Telegraph Hill Centre, local people, the ward Councillors, the Police and our MP, Vicky Foxcroft, came together at the Telegraph Hill Assembly on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Telegraph Hill Centre to hear from local Police, discuss the issues, share ideas and try to find solutions to some of the concerns. The meeting was chaired by Councillor Joan Millbank and around 45 people attended with many asking questions and sharing their experience.
- A recap – Some brief notes of the meeting and discussion points added to the agenda for context
- You’ll also find useful contact details further down this post for the local Police Safer Neighbourhoods team and the Anti-Social Behaviour Team (including weekends)
Agenda & Outcomes
- Welcome and Introductions – Councillor Joan Millbank.
- Councillor Joan Millbank thanked everyone who had helped bring together and host the meeting and for flagging up the concerns expressed by the community. The meeting came about when local residents had tried and failed to reach the local Police’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team – this followed some reports of drug related crime, muggings at knife point and a general sense of unease about policing in the area.
- The collaboration between community representatives, Telegraph Hill Centre, local Councillors – Joan Millbank, Luke Sorba and Paul Bell – and our MP – Vicky Foxcroft – had been helpful in making this meeting come about.
- Police update on crime and related issues in the Ward – Jacqui Ward, Metropolitan Police.
- Sergeant Jacqui Ward and the Telegraph Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team reported that in the last month there has been an increase in vehicle crime, a decrease in burglaries and robbery, that drugs are driving criminal activity but that a lot of the drug suppliers have been taken off the streets and that there have been 33 arrests, 15 of which were drug related and 1 related to possession of a firearm.
- Local residents acknowledged and appreciated the presence of the presence of the Safer Neighbourhoods Team at the meeting as well as that of our Councillors and MP.
- Communication was flagged as an issue, it seemed that the contact details for the Safer Neighbourhoods Team were incorrect on the Metropolitan Police’s website and that this had led to a lack of communication by local police. This was acknowledged. There is going to be some work going forward on communication by local Police as well as centrally and invitations to Ward Panel meetings will be issued to Councillors and local people.
- Councillor Paul Bell re-iterated that communication is still an issue and that despite asking, no police officers or staff came to the last Somerville United TRA meeting. Again, this secured a commitment from local Police to improve communication with local Councillors and residents.
- Drakefell Road Action Group (DRAG) and Shelly Dorton (representing residents on Laussanne Road) both referred to recent accidents and the potential for serious traffic related incidents. Segeant Ward invited individual discussion of these issues at the end of the meeting.
- Councillor Millbank informed the meeting that the Safer Neighbourhoods team had been halved and now covered three Wards rather than one and that this was due to regrettable but unavoidable cuts in local services which the London Borough of Lewisham had been forced to implement as a result of deep cuts to its budget from central government.
- Community Safety Update – Denis Savin, Lewisham Community Safety Team.
- We heard about the approach and extensive scope of managing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in the area and across the Borough.
- The out of hours ASB service has partially resumed on Fridays and Saturdays – this has been in place since April 2018 but is not a full restoration due to the cuts following central government reductions in local authorities budgets.
- You can contact the ASB team here and for out of hours help can call 020 8314 7237.
- Community Solutions – Carrying Knives, Costs Lives.
- The Carrying Knives, Costs Lives project is running in local primary schools and is led by the New Cross Gate Trust – details here.
- There was a question from the floor about the age and appropriateness of targeting this group which was answered by Vicky Foxcroft MP who referred to the data and best practice models captured by the cross-party Youth Violence Commission whose research showed that early intervention was most effective.
- See the full findings of the Youth Violence Commission here.
- Community Solutions – Honor Oak Walking Bus.
- Councillor Millbank conveyed apologies from the Honor Oak Adventure Playground, Youth Club and Honor Oak Community Centre who were unable to attend due to a diary clash.
- Together the three organisations had developed the Honor Oak Walking Bus – a project which had helped revitalise the local Adventure Playground and made local people feel more secure.
- The Honor Oak Walking Bus involves youth workers and local parents working together to collect children from the school gates and walking with them to the Honor Oak Adventure Playground for supervised play and after school activities.
- The scheme came about following a stabbing in the area which increased concerns about the safety of young people in the area.
- The scheme’s success was clear and attendance to the Adventure Playground had increased by more than 50% in the last few months.
- Round Table Discussion – Community Solutions
- In addition to the Honor Oak Walking Bus and Carrying Knives, Costs Lives projects, residents from Jerningham Court (corner of Ommaney and Jerningham Roads) shared how they had created a Tenants and Residents Association to enable people living in the block to develop a shared voice on issues which affected them and provide support for individual queries or requests for help.
- Feedback, Summary and Close
- Councillor Millbank summarised the meeting and acknowledged that it had addressed multiple issues and was a good start, but that communication between residents and Lewisham council, Lewisham Homes, our local Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team and ASB team needed continued improvement and that Ward Assembly meetings were a good way to flag issues.
- Councillor Millbank also asked those present to bring forward any requests for Telegraph Hill Ward Assembly funding for local projects.
- The local Safer Neighbourhoods Team ensured that they were available to discuss individual issues after the meeting.
What are local assemblies?
Local assemblies are open meetings where you and others decide how to improve your area. The Telegraph Hill Assembly is your chance to:
- discuss and share what matters to you
- work with your Councillors and others to shape the future of your neighbourhood
- find out what is happening in your ward
- consider how funding available to your ward is spent.
You can get involved by coming along to your local assembly. Details of all meetings can be found on Lewisham Council’s website. For more information about the programme contact:
Sarah Lang, Telegraph Hill Local Assembly Coordinator
Phone: 020 8314 6306
Telegraph Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team (Metropolitan Police) – 020 8284 8587 or by email to TelegraphHill.SNT@met.police.uk
You can also call 101 and in an emergency always call 999
London Borough of Lewisham Anti-Social Behaviour Unit – contact the Anti Social Behaviour team here and for out of hours help call 020 8314 7237
Telegraph Hill Local Assembly Coordinator, Sarah Lang – 020 8314 6306 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org