What follows is an edited summary of the Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting in September. The Safer Neighbourhood Team will be at the local assembly on November 26 to answer questions and give an update.
Police Ward Crime Report by PC Andrew Dobson Burglaries are down on last year. But robberies are up. Thefts of and from vehicles are very much less than last year. The safer neighbourhood team are now in the process of arranging more walk-abouts in conjunction with local Housing Associations.
They have also arranged local meet-ups where they would be available for community members in a local cafe, just to engage with whoever wished to turn up. Police efforts were praised despite so many cut backs. A few years ago there was a team of eight for Ladywell. Now it is just the two.
PCSO Karen Creech introduced the Smart Water pens where valuables can be marked and logged onto the system.
She told the panel that where this has been rolled out in an area, burglaries have been reduced by as much as 80 per cent. If you smart water your valuables you can put a sign in the window. She also said that school children are being encouraged to register their phones with tracking and marking systems.
Community concerns: Anti social behaviour on Elswick Road involving drug dealing has been going on for seven years.
The SNP, councillors, the police and Lewisham council have now joined forces to tackle the drug dealing problems. CCTV has now been installed on the road.
Residents said the drug dealing has continued 24 hours a day despite the police action a few months back. The dealers themselves don’t interfere with residents but their customers cause distress “by hanging about, blocking entrances, peeing in the street and playing loud music”, say residents. One said: “I want to be able to go home at 10.00pm at night without intimidation”.
Elswick residents said police patrols would really help stop activity. Even if look-outs were placed by the dealers, the net effect was that activity halted.
PC Dobson said he would contact the Inspector to arrange a joint effort with other teams, possibly using stop and search and dispersal orders.
Flytipping in Elswick Road continues to be a disgrace and encourages more anti-social behaviour, with shops not looking after their waste disposal and Lewisham council not doing anything about the state of the street. Weekly sweeps in Elswick and other roads had been stopped as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
Local residents discussed the possibility of community activities, eg street parties, to bring the street together. There is also to be a local website for community info.
In Greenbanks Close some residents have been having parties and celebrations, mainly in the summer time, with very loud music lasting into the small hours and this was causing other local residents great distress. Complaints had been made to Peabody. Peabody was asked to identify with residents particular events they want to celebrate, and to make sure they are approved. It would also be helpful to let non-Greenbanks residents know when these events are going to take place.
Flytipping in Bertrand Street with residents continuing to complain. Council urged to put fine amounts on no flytipping notices.
Review of policing priorities: PC Dobson suggested keeping the same priorities but that vehicle theft could be put further down the list. Although Anti-social behaviour is not a priority for which they can gather figures, it was agreed that this should be the panel’s main priority for the next few months. ASB is the key to many of the problems discussed at the SNP meetings.