Met Commissioner at City: Live-Blog!
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And on that note, thanks for tuning in – that wraps up our coverage.
People are more dangerous than dogs. And dogs don’t usually have a motive.
Answer: No, the injuries are horrible but we survive by consent
Final question (Nick – I tried to ask a question throughout, but it wasn’t to be!): What happened to the dog who attacked the officers in East London? Was it destroyed?
Ideally, you avoid the riot with numbers and intelligence. We need to keep our options open.
Answer: yes we would and we always have been, we however would think hard about it . It’s a balance because of the risks and lives involved.
Answer: There are no attractive solutions.
Question: if the riots happened again, would you use water cannons (NB: not available, yet) & plastic bullets?
The value of dispersal zones, they can limit and disrupt anti social behaviour. It reduces the power of that particular group
Answer: I’ve not heard that point before, we have limited powers to deal with the problem
Question: Do you think a spread of betting shops (citing Haringey) can be linked to crime? And do anti-social dispersal zones actually force gangs closer to homes?
Answer:I’m not sure, would be useful, it would be useful to know. I’m not sure we’ve seen a boost in public confidence but it’s certainly popular because it’s used so much
Question: perceptions of crime – do the online street maps help or hinder?
Answer: it’s not part of the job, it’s relatively new and takes time to get used to it. But people notice when they aren’t there, they should be proud of what they do, they do a great job
Queston: a lot of PCSOs & SNTs feel disiliiusioned – targeted by media & others – what are you doing about it? Do you accept that?
Answer: It’s not going to be easy, we are going to have gaps but we will do our best to fill the gap
Question: You mentioned that you’re only hiring PCs from PCSOs & Safer Neighbourhood Teams in time – but won’t there be a crucial gap in knowledge & resource?
Answer: Evidence that boundaries are being re-set, deterrence works,
Answer: I’d be interested about that what worries you give me an example
Question: public perception for foreigners is that London is dangerous, but I haven’t had any bad experiences. I’m scared that the War on Terror will erode more of my freedoms than any terrorist. [Nick – none of us really know what he’s getting at]
Commissioner says ‘I’ve never heard of this task force’.
For six months the black market of stolen bikes was almost entirely stopped. It seems possible to contain, but there needs to be more focus!
Bike theft the bike was rescued but the cycle task force are impressive but small
Question about cycle task force – there’s about 6 of them all over London. They need more resources.
“Policing without powers”, says a uniformed member of the audience. “Police officers of tomorrow…better than me!”
Amazing community support officers who work without powers
Vacancies (in around 6 months time) will end up with CSOs, but it takes a while to level out.
The Met police will NOT see a drop in real police numbers, unlike other forces.
Answer: no they are attractive because they have a good relationship with local areas
But if we give them more powers they end up in the station more and aren’t talking to people and establishing good relations
More powers = more being bogged down with paperwork and not enough time walking & talking.
1 in 3 are from minority groups, 50% are women.
Question? Would you give Community Support Officers more powers? Answer: no.
Sometimes it’s a civil dispute rather than criminal so the police sometimes mistakes are made
Answer: Always try and get someone senior and you will get a better answer or write and complain officially
Question: Private letting for international students – responses to scams are often civil matters: why don’t the police intervene more rapidly?
As a result people assume its legal
‘[Some legal highs] are no different from having six pints, as far as I can see’
Answer: Bans make things valuable, education is the key , the police haven’t pushed to ban more because it doesn’t neccesarily help
Question: what are the police’s plans for legal highs? More blanket bans?
(That question was about LGBT* hate crime & sexual assault)
Answer: Attacks no where near the level we think, try and encourage recruitment of gay police officers, the police work with organsations like stonewall, they are challenging but willing
Reactionary culture can always be improved. Internal promotion and work with charities always helps.
Answer: Sexual offences are under-reported generally…domestic abuse or hate attacks. Officers are specialised in all offences and Gay Police Association is always recruiting.
Powers very limited for vehicle Policing
Accreditation schemes for vehicle policing, special security etc should be shown at all times (like SIA licenses). Devolved powers to local police forces.
Will private companies assist the met in the Olympics?
Answer: military will assist in the internal security
Answer: around the Olympics no one wants them to fail, maintain a balance of rights
Around the Olympics – no-one wants the Olympics to fail, but our strategy will not change. There is a right to protest, but not to break the law.
Answer: there’s a natural reaction to protest when there is economic depression. And that protest tends to manifest in capital cities.
Question: Civil liberties maybe limited as the result of olympics, is there any assurance you can give that liberties won’t be restricted?
Again it is apparently not about the olympics, lots of different people putting pressure on the police to focus on rickshaws
Rickshaws are unlicensed what are the police really doing?
It’s linked to keeping people safe, taxis and Westminister asking about safety
Answer :No relationship with the games, the big wing day, most recent one on licensing
Licensing a privilege – if you have a licence do you respect it,many rickshaws don’t have licences
Police create a safe environment
Question: crackdown on rickshaw drivers – what are the police doing & why? Is there a relationship to 2012?
The Met detects 93% of all high visibilty crimes-but but vehicle theft is a weak point (low-visibility).
‘We have to keep challenging ourselves…to give you the best’ from the Met commissioner
The importance of total victim care no matter what the situation from the Met commissioner
Hogan-Howe cites his experience on Merseyside – proudest of the complaints system.
‘We can be the best police force in the country. No-one else has the CCTV we have, or the underground intelligence we have…you don’t see this in Norfolk.’
The Met commissioner puts a firm focus on ‘hearing what people have to say’.
The challenge of meeting the needs of the people, meeting different groups in 3 different areas
Every 28 days, Commissioner Hogan-Howe goes out to a different borough.
The public paying for the police, how is that money spent ?
Chief Superintendent has 700-odd officers and 300 support staff dedicated to one borough. 32-38 territorial units.
We’re live! Commissioner Hogan Howe opens with 8 million people live in London, 53,000 people are employed by the Metropolitan police.