|Dear members and supporters,|
Reporting fatigue is what happens when people keep complaining about crime, nothing much is done by the authorities and so everyone gives up – only for the police to claim the problem’s gone away. If there is no data, they say that they cannot spend any time or money on the issue.Lots of community representatives have been raising this phenomenon lately with me. Of course it would be preferable if the police were fully aware of all crime and anti-social behaviour without us having to do anything – but it is no good wringing hands. We have to take some responsibility for tackling the problem.
So we do need to keep on reporting when crime and anti-social behaviour take place, even if there is no immediate police response. As most of us are aware, you don’t have to call 999 unless it’s serious, someone’s at risk of harm or the suspect is at the scene. Instead you can phone 101, with as many details and descriptions as you can, go to https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ or anonymously to crimestoppers-uk.org, a charity which will keep your personal information private if that is what you prefer. It is still worth doing this the following morning, if you don’t want to do it at night time, when most disturbances happen.
The cumulative effect of more reporting should be that more officer time is allocated to tasks like going through CCTV footage for evidence and to patrolling the areas concerned. Without such reporting, our London Assembly member Cllr Tony Devenish warns that it is easy for our area to miss out on the increased number of police who have been recruited and trained over the last couple of years.
Another useful number is that of the Marble Arch Street Team, the security patrols which are paid for by Marble Arch businesses, and are sometimes able to respond to reports of aggressive begging and rough sleeping: 07825 750777. Try putting it into your contacts.
For noise, litter, missed bin collections, flytipping, broken paving stones and the like, the council’s Report-It function https://www.westminster.gov.uk/report-it is the place to go, and is easy to use, with the ability to send in photographs.
The council has recently restructured its City Inspector teams, which aim to tackle flytipping, licensing breaches and some anti-social behavour. In principle an Inspector should be on duty from 7 am to 7pm Monday to Friday, with a limited 24-7 service available at other times. Amenity societies will be watching closely as to whether this approach brings any improvement.If you are affected by noise, litter or crime around pubs and restaurants, including take-aways like those on Edgware Road, take a moment to contribute to the Cumulative Impact Assessment. The deadline has been extended to November 12th.
This is a formal exercise that feeds into the vital business of determining whether an area has so many licensed premises that no more, or no more extended hours, should be allowed. At a recent briefing session at Westminster City Hall, we learned that although Edgware Road does not have that Cumulative Impact Zone status, as most conventional shops continue to struggle in the face of online competition, it is likely that more food and beverage outlets will take their places. The licences concerned may well be for more takeaways, with everything which that means for nighttime noise and litter in the surrounding streets. Affected residents should have their say as part of the After Dark consultation. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/news/we-want-hear-your-views-about-westminsters-evening-and-night-time-environment The crime and ambulance call-out data used for the Assessment inevitably drives attention to the crime problems of the West End, and tends to minimise the admittedly less severe litter, theft and noise problems that we face in Praed Street and Edgware Road.
I suspect that reporting fatigue means much less noise and aggressive begging is reported than actually occurs. Of course, Paddington and Edgware Road are far less affected by crime than the West End, and are on a level with Mayfair and Victoria. However, while some noise is part of city life, there is no point in having a thriving night-time economy if an area deteriorates for the people who live there.
Elsewhere, I discovered from the Westminster Amenity Societies Forum that the documents filed with planning applications should now include details of the discussions that took place between council officers and the applicant during the planning process. This should help residents understand the developer’s intentions and help committees to understand whether applicants have made genuine attempts to render their proposals acceptable, or whether they have made no concessions and are aiming for the maximum they think they can get away with.
Finally, for anyone interested in the new proposals for the Baltic Wharf student housing block at the Travis Perkins site by the Harrow Road roundabout, the developer has organised information sessions between 6th and 17th November. Tickets can be obtained via this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/baltic-wharf-design-workshop-tickets-745074256157?aff=oddtdtcreator or via this website: https://www.balticwharfpaddington.com/
Members might also be interested in a charity initiative involving Chestertons, the estate agent. Every year, Calling London collects winter coats and jackets and then distributes them to over 30 charitable organisations – helping the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, those living in poverty, the elderly, refugees and children. The charity has been collecting coats on behalf of Calling London since 2013 and now more than ever they need our help.
Until 20th November, all of Chestertons London branches, including the one in Connaught Street, become donation points for the public to drop off their unwanted coats and jackets. You can read more here: http://www.chestertons.co.uk/chestertons-coat-drive
I look forward to seeing many members at our AGM and Christmas party on December 11th at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. Our GLA representative Tony Devenish AM, councillors, Business Improvement District representatives and others from the community will be there. Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.
See you there!