60 attended a meeting which I expected to be a rigorous grilling and relentless lashing of those with power and responsibility because of the crime associated with the drug dealing.
Bit of a surprise then when a victim of a stabbing, a young man, called for more to be done to help victims and offer hope for those who see no alternative.
People were queueing up to shake the guy’s hand afterwards.
Paddy Tipping PCC addresses the public meeting convened by Lilian Greenwood MP, to discuss community safety and developing parks.
I circulated a 3 page progress report. The meeting began with something like 45 minutes of contributions from the floor before the panel started making contributions. Many of the contributions emphasised the importance of community and youth services to mitigate criminal activity.
I spoke at the end, and the points for me are –
– there was a tendency from one or two to represent individual special interests; and some of the old stories about people running The Meadows down when for example, Paddy Tipping had said the exact opposite; (Paddy dealt with that challenge);
– the emphasis on youth services was as if the criminal activity is from teenagers when the perpetrators are probably a bit older; I did take the opportunity to stress the important of more jobs, and secure and regular jobs that supported stronger family life;
– I don’t think the assertion that the dealers are not from The Meadows is entirely correct;
– The Police Inspector reported arrests of dealers carrying wraps of drugs, but may not have been heard very clearly; catching the dealers red-headed has to be a key element of any fight back for community safety;
– a repeated call for the BT phones boxes (that seem only to serve the drug trade) to be removed (Lilian had already been chasing, and been refused once);
– temporary and movable 3G cameras have had an impact, but they’re moved on.
The meeting was intense at times, but quite thoughtful and reflective.
Parks and open spaces didn’t really come up, save some complaints about grass-cutting and litter generally.
Some points afterwards about not having more yellow lines on the junctions in the Old Meadows.
Some requests for another meeting to be held.
TO BE REVIEWED