The Police Panel scrutinises the Police Commissioner, Paddy Tipping, and this was its AGM, electing Gedling Labour Councillor David Ellis as its vice-chair. My points – * Safer Meadows – surprised by the N Post calm and Paddy reported that the stats had come for a slightly strange interpretation of a Police UK web-site; nevertheless, there has been progress after the 3 month spate of stabbings last year; * part of the reason for progress in The Meadows has been the removal of a BT phone box from Bridgeway Shopping Centre; but this has brought pressure on other sties in The Meadows including on Risley Drive; BT resist disabling parts of the service provided that triggers the drug trade; and the sites has become the focus of rough living; so I asked for help with BT from Paddy Tipping and the Chief Constable; * other businesses need to take more responsibility too; NCP car parks are vulnerable to false alarms being triggered, but despite charging £4 an hour, and suffering 2 significant fires at Stoney Street (albeit from car electrical failures), they don’t staff car parks and take too long to reset alarm systems; * problems with the licensing of taxis by neighbouring boroughs, to passenger safety and organisation were rehearsed; * Paddy Tipping announced that the enforcement of the peace around the fracking test site in the North of Nottinghamshire has cost Notts Police £900,000; whilst a lot, the style of policing meant the costs had been lower there than elsewhere and there had been no arrests; one wonders when the fracking companies will acknowledge how more difficult fracking is with Britain’s geology?; * given the new emphasis on tackling climate change, I asked what the Police commitment was; answer is vehicle choice is still too difficult; but ground source (water from abandoned mines) heating was being planned for the extension to Sherwood Lodge;.
Other points – * Police slightly overspent last year; a cross-authority initiative to save money had failed; and the need to improve 101 services and staffing had prompted over-spends that many savings elsewhere; spending overall remains under-control; The Police are using the extra precept levied to pay for 40 extra officers – 33 for serving neighbourhoods and. 7 for tackling robberies; the Police are still having to make £3 million of cuts; * 101 service has improved (disconnections down by 60%)cos of higher recruitment; note, the free is to be made free again next year; * latest inspection. of Notts Police has improved to “good” from “requiring improvement”, partly cos of extra dedicated spend; * knife crime is a concern- 8-9% increase in Notts., c.f. 11% increase nationally; Notts is receiving £1.5m and is hoping for 2 more awards.
The drug dealing had been blatant, a phone box (now removed) had become a focus to the trade and there was spate of stabbings between what appeared to be the dealings. The stabbings have stopped since June – after the public meeting we’d called – and it has felt better. But we are still concerned about the health and welfare of people on the street.
49 killed. – Came home, just, to hear the tail-end of a pundit on BBC News tv saying Muslims can do more to tackle the aspects of their beliefs that lead to terrorism. Well maybe, maybe not. – But imagine my surprise when the news explains the culprit was a white Australian right-winger. – So some focus please. – And arrests for those sharing the videos and those publishing comments supporting the killing. – and I’ve just been told by a journalist “we’ve got to change our behaviour”. No, we’ve got to prosecute those who’ve done it and encouraged it.
Now, no doubt there are things for social media suppliers to tackle. But they should not be the focus. It’s those that did and those that encouraged it who should be prioritised. – The BBC are not helping by dumbing down their output. This morning’s explanation of Parliament not being able to reach a resolution is an example of that. – And yesterday morning’s chat show finished with a man repeatedly shouting down the line that those who were supporting Remain were guilty of treachery. The media wind people up and then let the hatred spread. – So enough of the we care line from them. Please, a focus showing people at our best, and being at their best even when they disagree. – But that’s for after those who encouraged the massacre are found.
The graphic exaggerates to make the point, but the point needs making. BBC tv, who I don’t take to be biased between left and right, but did have this hand-wringing stuff suggesting we were all at fault for this one; and we are not. So yeah, if the culprit is charged, and his helpers, then prosecute all those who liked the transmissions and egged the murderer on as well.
The one power the Police & Crime panel has over the Commissioner (our own Paddy Tipping) is to veto the first version of the budget. Something that 10 members of the Notts panel have to vote for. So if you really mean to veto, it takes some organising and serious application. One Conservative County Councillor said the 12.2% increase was a bit much – half guiltily cos the Conservative County Council increase in cash terms will be much higher than £1.50 per month. Then came the Ashfield District Leader who accused Paddy of doing the Govt’s work for them and of having been lazy in not looking for savings. Paddy has had to oversee £60m of cuts – 30% of the budget, but was prepared to consider all proposals presented. No alternatives were presented, and the Conservative and Ashfield Independent had not been busy enough to find any alternatives – but given the deadline of the next day for any veto, they were prepared to stay overnight to find some. Meanwhile, the Ashfield Independent lost it – berating an officer for conferring with a colleague whilst representatives were speaking. “Notts Police was failing.” Labour Councillors, Independents and 2 of the 3 Conservatives supported the budget, which had included savings so as to show that all the extra cash being raised was to be spent on extra policing. This included an extra 3 Police Officers for Neighbourhood Policing per Inspector, and given the year we’ve had on weapons enhanced violence (stabbings) in The Meadows, I wanted to support. Remember the “capital rich, revenue poor” said a Conservative County Councillor from Newark. Remember the “capital poor, revenue poor” I explained, facing pressures of domestic violence, drug dealing and overcrowded homes (sofa surfing). Poverty is causing problems and more things to Police; we need the extra protection.
Lots to talk about. Parks: A bid for £55,000 for a £67,000 upgrade of Queens Walk Rec. has been successful. A new multi-use games area will got on the carpark, an outdoor keep fit gym will be installed where the current half-sized area area exists, the equipment from which we want to move to Arkwright Walk. Works will start in January and the Rec. will be upgraded by Easter. Meanwhile, we are seeking to get a play area for the residents of the Narrow Marsh into the plans of the college development, using money from developments in the city centre to cover the cost. Parking: most of the works for the new safety measures along Robin Hood Way and Old Meadows are done, with new residents’ parking permits to be issued soon. Policing: the required comms for the the Police room in the London Road fire station are going in today. Priority in The Meadows is drugs and a recent raid has captured cannabis worth £45,000. A behaviour order has been placed on a man causing nuisance around Bridgeway Shopping Centre. I’ve raised a query about how to get effective and consistent action on obstruction by cars parked on pavement and even across doorways. Disappointed to hear that The Meadows loses a sergeant, to be replaced with one covering The Meadows and Sneinton. Nottingham City Homes: environmental works have begun; Bruce Close has recently been finished. Waterside development: strategic plans were presented; we should be looking for a new bus service running down Meadow Lane running into Arkwright Walk. Meanwhile, NCT are to reduce the frequency of the No.3 to half-hourly, with no service after 7pm and on Sundays. – After the meeting, I heard that the plan to makes a new centre out of Bridgeway Hall has fallen through.