Harrow police and community consultative group holds last meeting

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Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A police community consultative group which has served Harrow for 30 years held its last meeting yesterday evening.

The Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group met for its final meeting at Harrow Borough Council last night for an update on policing in the borough.

From April the group will be replaced by the Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board.

Chairman of last night’s meeting Subhasg V Sampat said: “I would like to thank all those who have helped the group.

“I am very proud of the work of the Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group over the last 30 years.

“We do have some concerns about the new Safer Neighbourhood Board but we have to recognise there has to be changes.

“What is important is that the public are able to hold the police to account and we hope they will be able to under the new board."

Committee member Sonoo Malkani said: “We should be a concerned friend of the police to give constructing criticism.

“I think we understand time have to change and it is important we are patient with the new system and we give it a chance.

“We want to be part of the process and I am sure we will be.”

The new Safer Neighbourhood Boards are being introduced in all boroughs across the capital by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Harrow Council will be conducting interviews with potential board members who have applied during the past three months.

It will include 12 members of the public, two councillors, two representatives from the youth parliament and member of staff from Victim Support.

It will be responsible for monitoring performance of the police, support the council's neighbourhood Champions scheme and raise crime problems with police.

Comments (1)

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6:17pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Thanks to all of those who managed to join us for our very last meeting of the HPCCG. We realise that many Councillors were at a special Council, meeting and could not be with us but thank them all the same for their attendance and support over the years.

In particular,it was very kind of the Leader of the Council,Cllr Hall and the Deputy Mayor of Harrow,Cllr Camilla Bath to take the time and make the effort to pop in towards the latter half of the meeting,after they had concluded work for the Council.

Mike Howes gave us an understanding of what the Safer Neighbourhood Board would be expected to deliver and its workings which would in essence be different to how our Community Engagement Groups worked all round London ,including the HPCCG.

Some expressed concerns about the inability to interact directly at our four public meetings to be held each year and only have the chance to be interactive at the AGM ---a public meeting where the public would speak their minds.They were re-assured that they could channel their concerns via pre-existing mechanisms such as our Safer Neighbourhood panels,Neighbourhood Champions and others .Mike Howes is looking into ways to inform the public how they may feed their concerns to the Police.

The Borough Commander,Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens clearly stated he was happy to be questioned and made accountable.He gave us a very useful and encouraging set of performance statistics of the seven priority crimes listed by MOPAC (the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime).He is fully signed up to getting us to be the safest London borough over a period of three years.We are sixth safest at present in the 32 London Boroughs and moving steadily upwards.

Both Mike Howes and Simon Ovens were quizzed at length and gave information which was appreciated by the questioners and attendees.

As the Publicity Officer of this group I humbly urged that we all move forward and co-operate with the new style of Policing as set out by the Mayor of London 's office and try our best to make our Safer Neighbourhood Board as efficient as possible,once it is up and running.

We hope to have our very first Safer Neighbourhood Board meeting some time in June.I am confident if we all keep attending and seeing how it works we will be able to give valuable feed-back to those in charge so we can fine tune it to the needs of our local citizens.This is a new concept and
teething problems must be expected but we should not be afraid to move ahead and give it a fair chance to succeed.

We must continue to be "critical friends" of the Metropolitan Service ---giving praise where it is due and voicing our concerns when necessary.I have every faith in the people of Harrow that they will rise up to the occasion and make sure we have a Safer Neighbourhood Board that is fit for purpose and one they can have confidence in.
Thanks to all of those who managed to join us for our very last meeting of the HPCCG. We realise that many Councillors were at a special Council, meeting and could not be with us but thank them all the same for their attendance and support over the years. In particular,it was very kind of the Leader of the Council,Cllr Hall and the Deputy Mayor of Harrow,Cllr Camilla Bath to take the time and make the effort to pop in towards the latter half of the meeting,after they had concluded work for the Council. Mike Howes gave us an understanding of what the Safer Neighbourhood Board would be expected to deliver and its workings which would in essence be different to how our Community Engagement Groups worked all round London ,including the HPCCG. Some expressed concerns about the inability to interact directly at our four public meetings to be held each year and only have the chance to be interactive at the AGM ---a public meeting where the public would speak their minds.They were re-assured that they could channel their concerns via pre-existing mechanisms such as our Safer Neighbourhood panels,Neighbourhood Champions and others .Mike Howes is looking into ways to inform the public how they may feed their concerns to the Police. The Borough Commander,Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens clearly stated he was happy to be questioned and made accountable.He gave us a very useful and encouraging set of performance statistics of the seven priority crimes listed by MOPAC (the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime).He is fully signed up to getting us to be the safest London borough over a period of three years.We are sixth safest at present in the 32 London Boroughs and moving steadily upwards. Both Mike Howes and Simon Ovens were quizzed at length and gave information which was appreciated by the questioners and attendees. As the Publicity Officer of this group I humbly urged that we all move forward and co-operate with the new style of Policing as set out by the Mayor of London 's office and try our best to make our Safer Neighbourhood Board as efficient as possible,once it is up and running. We hope to have our very first Safer Neighbourhood Board meeting some time in June.I am confident if we all keep attending and seeing how it works we will be able to give valuable feed-back to those in charge so we can fine tune it to the needs of our local citizens.This is a new concept and teething problems must be expected but we should not be afraid to move ahead and give it a fair chance to succeed. We must continue to be "critical friends" of the Metropolitan Service ---giving praise where it is due and voicing our concerns when necessary.I have every faith in the people of Harrow that they will rise up to the occasion and make sure we have a Safer Neighbourhood Board that is fit for purpose and one they can have confidence in. Sonoo Malkani
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