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.
A simple stall with leaflets focussing on green achievements in Nottingham – bio-fuel buses, energy investment homes, better and accredited public parks, Robin Hood Energy – all by Labour. With visits from Paddy Tipping (Police Commissioner) and Leonie (former Parliamentary Candidate in Sherwood), as well as colleagues Glyn and John.Some city centre casework, and a big thumbs up from a Clifton North resident who’s saving £12 a month and more having switched to Robin Hood Energy.
Eighty people marching from Nottingham Midland railway station to the city centre, demanding justice for those members of the Windrush generation who suffered from the “hostile environment”.
An amazing slogan on one t-shirt – “More blacks, more dogs, more Irish”.
Paddy Tipping, PCC, Cllr Merlita Bryan and I joined the march.
(one typo to fix.) Photos available.
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.
Please join Lilian Greenwood MP at a public meeting at 6pm on Friday 1st June in the Concert Hall at Queens Walk Community Centre.
Lilian says – “This meeting has been arranged at short notice in response to recent events to provide an opportunity for me to hear from local residents and to provide updates on community safety, improvements to parks and open spaces and other local issues.”
Notts Police Commissioner Paddy \Tipping
Meadows Police Inspector James Walker;
– opening remarks from Lilian;
a. community safety
(tackling use of knives and drug dealing; improved cameras);
b. parks, play and open spaces
(repairs, security and promoting usage; VE and QWRec; In Bloom);
(Meadows residents permits phase 2; RINGGO for shopping centre);
Part B – if there’s time
d. housing developments
(off Crocus Street, Sheriff’s Way and Traffic Street; new housing in the south-west);
e. street scene (tree pruning, grass cutting);
f. events (city wide and local);
g. other (health, schools, Brexit);- conclusion (7:15pm)
Kinda bizarre that anyone should try to launch a “hate a Muslim” day.
So “love a Muslim” was the message promoted at a rally beneath the Brian Clough statue.
With one speaker reminding us of Martin Luther King’s “Mountain Top” speech, 50 years ago to the day.
I spoke on Nottingham standing together, against Islamophobia and against anti-Semitism.