Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Two for One Police Offer – A Redbridge Sham

In late February the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced a two-for-one offer for London Councils: for those Councils who pay for one extra Police Officer he will fund an additional one from City Hall. The scheme took effect on April 1st and I thought it was a joke, but it ain’t and Redbridge Council are apparently taking up the offer in typical hypocritical Redbridge style.

In February, Keith Prince the Council Leader is reported to have said “Crime is the number one concern of most people in the capital. Even in Redbridge where crime is relatively low, anti-social behaviour can ruin people’s lives. This scheme will make a real difference to the safety and wellbeing of our residents. The extra police presence will mean we can really target crime hot spots.”

Oh really?

In a confidential leaked report going to Cabinet on May 3rd it is proposed to pay for 1 extra Sergeant and 6 extra Police Constables meaning that with Boris’ contribution we will have 2 extra Sergeants and 12 extra PCs. At least that’s the way the Council will report it in Redbridge Life - no doubt.

In reality, the funding to pay for the “new” Sgt and 6 PCs is being regained by dispensing with the Parks Police who last year numbered…. You guessed it 2 Sgts and 12 PCs. True, with the budget cuts one of the Sgts has gone and is not being replaced and 2 PCs are due for the chop shortly with a further two after the Olympics. That would leave their number down to 1 Sgt and 8 PCs.

The plan is to have half the “new” intake allocated to Policing the Parks, but that would be 1 and 6 immediately instead of 1 and 8 after 2012. What is not clear is the remit of these new Policemen and their command and control structure. Presumably they will come under the operational command of the Borough Commander whereas the Parks Police are Council employees, with full Police powers of arrest etc, under the control of our elected Councillors and dedicated to Policing the Parks.


See e-Petition


  1. If this is true (it is a leaked report) then I think our council leader has lost the plot.

    It reminds me of a police confidence trick perpetrated many years ago. It was when they introduced "traffic wardens" with the remit for enforcing on-street parking restrictions. At first they did just that, but were gradually pulled back to take over various police roles, like "point duty" controlling traffic in places that lacked traffic llights, or major junctions/cross roads where lights had failed. Consequently there was little or no parking enforcement. but local councils (ie rate-payers) were still charged by the police for "enforcement" services. That is what led to the enforcement powers being given to local authorities and their own staff/contractors.

    This reported move is another instance of the "three card trick". The council will sign up to a service level, but may or may not receive it due to alleged police "priorities".

    The Parks Police has been one of the most important and successful developments in Redbridge in the last 6 years, contributing significantly to the feeling of "well-being" in our parks as well as to huge reductions in anti-social behaviour and vandalism. The status quo of 2/12 should be retained, and Boris instructed to engage in sex and travel (or words to that effect).

  2. I think the council leader would make a great astronaut.. because he is definately not on this planet!

  3. This isn't just a numbers game. Whilst I probably shouldn't comment on a leaked paper, it's probably worth noting that if there is any truth in the report then it would deliver:

    a) real police, with the full range of powers both within and beyond parks, in place of the existing council-employed parks police

    b) an additional police team who could be deployed by the Council to deal with local crime concerns including those raised by residents, Area Committees and local NHWs

    c) extra park rangers to supplement the existing team of park-keepers

  4. I sincerely hope they dont change; Parkwatch would never be the same without them! I was at the Town Hall when Parks Police were first sworn in; the difference they have all made is amazing."

  5. Peeps may wish to note the statement by the Council Leader on the Redbridge-i Forum here.

    And the replies by Weggis and Morris Hickey.

  6. TAKEN FROM THE YELLOW ADVERTISER THIS WEEK.......REDBRIDGE has the best green spaces in London - with the highest number anywhere to receive Mayor London Boris Johnson’s Safer Parks Award.
    The award shows reduced levels of anti-social behaviour and crime.
    Valentines Park, Ilford, achieved a silver award and Elmhurst Gardens, South Woodford, Ilford War Memorial Gardens, Ilford, and South Park, Ilford, were awarded bronze.
    Council figures show that crime in Redbridge parks was reduced by 30 per cent in 2010, compared to 2009.

  7. Yes, anonymous @ 17.28 - and our barmy coalition council wants to jeopardise this success by abandoning the dedicated police team under its direct control.

    Roll on 1 May 2014.

  8. The yellow advertiser report suggests the successes and reductions in crime in parks are down to the community and friends groups in the borough.
    These awards are recognition to local people power not an invisible force . The focus on the hard work by local and voluntary groups should not be lost in this debate.

  9. When people talk of Police with FULL powers, don't they realise the implications. The main difference between Parks Police and Met Police is the Stop and Search. Parks Police have made arrests and put forward numerous prosecutions through Redbridge Magistrates Ct, with a 100% conviction rate, this is for Criminal offences as well as Byelaw offences. Take into account also that the Parks Police Service has 4 Retired Met PCs, 3 did 30yrs, 2 ex dog handlers, over 20yrs each as dog handlers, 2 ex Met Specials, and 2 ex Essex Specials and 2 ex PCSOs, so all in all these officers have got a bit of an idea about what they are doing, and they all joined a service specifically to work within the parks and open spaces, by the way will the Met Officers be trained and supplied with off road motorcycles which have been very effective for the Parks Police??????..Also remember the PC with full powers, that 's applicable OUTSIDE the park as well as inside,so when duty calls where will the Borough Commander deploy them, or will the council control them????, also bear in mind when a PC makes an arrest he/she will be in custody for virtually a whole tour of duty, whereas the Parks Police will only be out the loop for about an hour and a half, because they are not permitted to do interviews, fingerprinting etc, etc, but thats different for the PC with full powers, they have to do the lot, and believe me there is alot to do.
    Just a thought for people to consider.

  10. All the above is correct, not only do the Parks Police have a 100% conviction rate, with fines of up to £800 being dished out, but at the moment, the fines paid go straight back into the council, where as if this goes ahead, the Metropolitan Police will take all the money from fines and tickets.

    The full powers argument is a farce, the Parks Police have the full powers of a Police Officer within the parks, which is where we need them. Not on the street like the Met. The only power they do not have is stop and search, and they seem to be doing fine as it is without that in my opinion.

  11. Here's an appropriately timed observation from an 18 year old ...
    08 April, 2011 11:28

    Does this not indicate a service that is not working if it was that would not have been posted surely?
    Parks police only have powers to enforce by-laws nothing more!half a millon a year to pay for someone to fine litter droppers or people that dont pick up their dog poo...good value

  12. Jean - Ray park coordinator10:03 pm, April 08, 2011

    I hope that Redbridge do not make the same mistake that Barking and Dagenham did by axing their parks police. I advise the councellors to think very carefully before using the look after the parks. The system does not work and since disbanding the parks police force from Barking and Dagenham, the crime rates have soared in the parks. Ray Park has seen a sharp decline in crime during the time the Parks Police have been patrolling and they can be contacted very quickly in an emergency. All the officers have had years of experience in the police force and are professional in their work. If the Metropolitan Police are to take over the security of our parks, we need to be sure that we will actually see the officers patrolling every day on a reegular basis. The best security force is in operation already and if it works, why change the system?

  13. A reply to anonymous on 8 April @ 20.11.

    You are evidently a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. That you make such comments under the cloak of anonymity suggests to me that you are either a councillor or somebody very closely associated with one.

  14. Another reply to anonymous on 8 April @ 20.11

    I am very closely associated with the Parks Police, and I regret to inform you that your knowledge is rather lax. The Parks Police were introduced to tackle byelaws, yes, but they are sworn constables, by a magistrate and given all powers associated with the office of Constable.

    Within the Parks then have he FULL power of a Metropolitan Police Ofiicer apart from stop and search, plus the added bonus of all bylaw powers. I have seen the training manual they were given, they are trained by serving Metropolitan Police officers, some of very high rank, trained to do the job they do and not street enforcement.
    I have seen the officers arresting persons for a variety of offences, they have the power of arrest and take them to the police station like a normal Police Officer.

    As well as all that, there response time is better, they always come when you call, there polite, professional and know the parks inside out.

    I suggest before you post such comments you investigate what your actually saying.

  15. Thanks Parky, Annonymous (8th April) is yet another person who has been sady misinformed, or cannot be bothered to find out what Parks Police actually do. If he were to read the Ilford Recorder or Wanstead and Woodford Guardian as I do, then he would see that Parks Police have made arrests for criminal matters not just byelaws both in the parks and sometimes beyond. So anonymous, it is better to keep your views to yorself and let people think you are stupid, than to air them in public and prove them right!

  16. if they are making arrests of criminal or civil offences then they are breaking the law... by laws only i am afraid

  17. i have walked my dog in numerous parks over many years as a redbridge resident.
    i do not think i have ever seen a parks police patrol a park on foot or in a vehicle?

  18. the closure of the parks police will allow alsorts to go on in parks and in the public toilets.
    this would be a terrible shame or would it be an advantage to some of the more salubrious people in the borough?

  19. On 07 April, 2011 18:20 Anonymous said...
    The yellow advertiser report suggests the successes and reductions in crime in parks are down to the community and friends groups in the borough.
    They have helped as a visible deterrant and eyes and ears, BUT....
    did the friends groups carry out the arrests and prosecutions for the council in relation to crimes committed... I think not !

  20. Dear All,

    I am not going to comment on the general position in relation to this thread.(at present). However I am concerned that someone under the cloak of anonimity is putting alleged information into the mix that is false, inaccurate and misleading. The Parks Police powers CAN extend beyond the Parks. They can also make arrests for indictable offences anywhere but when those offences in the Park occur I expect them to make arrests as they have for example for Robbery, Theft, Sexual Offences, Drugs etc etc. Not there principle role but one that as a public servant they would be expected to deal with. The MPS as a partner benefit from this work as it contributes toward their crime clear up rates. As a non home office service the Parks Police are not required to keep their own figures although we do.

    John Boylin

  21. To anon at 20.04.

    I am a serving Parks Police Constable in Redbridge.

    There seems to be some confusion around our powers, so let me clear thins up.

    Within a park, we are a council official, as soon as a bye-law is broken, we step up to a constable, it can be any bye-law causing annoyance to having a BBQ, it makes no difference, when we have stepped up we have the full powers of a constable, except stop and search, we can arrest for criminal offences, if someone refuses to give us there details, we have the power of arrest to accertain who they are.

    We have arrested for a variety of criminal offences including robbery, theft, criminal damage even entering the country illegally. We have arrested for more serious crimes than these, but it's just an example.

    The difference between us and the Met is that our powers are confined to the park, outside the Park there have been times where we have ran into situations, and we are lucky enough to have the full support of Mr Boylin and the Metropolitan Police to arrest and detain suspects for serious incidents under s.24 of the police and criminal evidence act.

    Within a park if there has been or is currently a crime being committed, we can deal with it the same as the Met can and would, the difference is that our paperwork isn't as much, so were back out quicker.

    We have a lot of respect from the Met at Ilford, and they send us to incidents that involve us, they have also at times called us to help with urgent assistance or "officer in distress"calls where there officers need help, we help them and they help us.

    The problem lies now, that if the Met take over the parks, they will be used as a tasking unit, I know this because I worked for the Metropolitan Police for many years, meaning if they need people quickly, and don't have the resources, in the same way they do with the safer neighborhood teams, the parks team will be taken from the park to deal with other things within the borough, this will be almost daily.

    So in summary, yes we have powers, we are all sworn as constables. We can arrest for offences and we can report people to the courts for bye laws. We have a lot of experience, we know the parks and we are in there every day, we also lock the parks of an evening... Will the Met do that? I think not...

    If there are any issues regarding the powers we have or anything else, please feel free to come to our base at wash lodge, valentines park and talk to the officers there who do the job, we all love our job and will talk about it until the cows come home.

    Thanks everyone for the support given to us.

  22. As an ex Met Police officer I feel I should comment on the proposed disbandment of the Parks Police service in Redbridge.

    I am finding it hard to understand the reasoning of the council that the role of 1 sergeant, 1 acting sergeant and 11 constables will be better performed by 1 Met sergeant and 6 constables.

    At present half the parks police officers are working every day while the other half have days off and rotating on a four days on, four days off basis. Is the Met suggesting that their officers will work 7 days a week, every week, with no days off or will some of this team be off, therefore reducing the team by at least two officers? Are they suggesting that four officers will perform the same duties as a team of seven?

    Have some arrangements been made for these officers to visit all the parks in the borough in designated Met Police vehicles or will this new team have their own fleet?Who will pay for that if not the council rate payers of Redbridge?

    At present, Parks Police constables do not get paid overtime, so will Met officers have the same restrictions or will they continue to get paid at time and third like all Met officers for overtime performed?

    Will these Met officers be exempt from court appearances, training courses, sickness, annual leave, time off, dealing with their own prisoners at Ilford police station or the other stations they get sent to as the custody is full?

    In 2012, when the Olympics roadshow hits town, will the Met allow 1 sergeant and 6 constables to patrol the parks in Redbridge dealing with people lighting barbecues, dogs fouling the play areas, drunks urinating in the bushes, youngsters riding motorbikes, gangs fighting outside the cafes, instead of dealing with between 1 and 2 million people at the Olympic village with a heightened terrorist threat level?

    If you seriously think that the Met will perform this role better than the current officers then you are deluding yourselves, the ratepayers of Redbridge, the decent people who use the parks on a regular basis, the children of the borough and surrounding boroughs whose parents refuse to take them to the park fearing for their safety, the dog walkers, joggers, sportsmen and women who play in the parks, the people who live near to or adjacent to the parks and people who just like to sit in the park enjoying the sunshine and spare time of their lunchbreaks.

    If this is such a great idea then why were the parks police formed in the first place or does my memory of my police service fail me when we never went into the parks and tended to shepherd the troublemakers into the parks and off the streets, out of sight out of mind?

    If this is such a great idea then why isn't it out in the public domain, in the Ilford Recorder, leaflets through doors, signs in the park or put before a full council meeting instead of before a small committee hoping no-one will know about it before it's too late?

    All I can say is good luck to all you parkusers in the future because I won't be one of you!

  23. This is by no means a done deal, even if the council looks as if it is going ahead without considering the comments of its residents. The intention of Boris Johnson was to put more Met Police on the streets, not to disband existing specialised police groups. The Council's proposition will not only sack a very hardworking and specialised group of Parks Police officers but it will not add police to our streets. Yes the council say they will put some of the new officers in the parks, but under the terms of Boris's offer that can only be for three years. What happens then? And let's remember Met police officers can be taken from their duties for special happenings for example Royal Weddings Terrorist attacks Protests etc, Several independent studies have been put forward by residents and residents' groups showing that the Council's figures are very poorly thought out but these are being ignored in the rush to grab the money. Many of us do not support this idea and feel that, as usual, we are not being listened to.
    The Parks Police are an asset to the Borough and Redbridge Council needs to listen to it's residents.

  24. Thank you to B21 for providing us with factual information on massively important issues.
    Could this be found anywhere else?
    Of course B21 is trusted to preserve anonymity and it's a sad state of affairs that some of us need to remain anonymous. Not the retired mob, we don't!
    vive la freedom of information on here!

  25. I should like to pay tribute to those police officers, retired and serving, and John Boylin for their factual contributions dispelling some of the myths on this subject. We should thank them for putting the facts before us, and hope that this wretched coalition mob at the Town Hall will take note and reach a SENSIBLE decision. [What was that pink quadruped that just flew past?].

  26. NeighbourhoodWatcher1:02 pm, April 11, 2011

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."

    Lewis Carroll

  27. In the proposals specified on 6 April by "Ian" he says that the proposals would "deliver" (jargon) 3 additionalpark rangers.

    For the information of the unaware, Ian is Councillor Ian Bond, Deputy Leader of the Council. The information about 3 additional park rangers needs to be seen in context - the context of the 2011 budget proposals abolishing 4 park ranger posts. So the 3 "additional" ones are no more than part reinstatement of those cut in the budget.

    A year or more ago, in his role as Leader of an opposition group, Councillor Bond would have been at the forefront of crticising (quite rightly) such underhand "smoke and mirrors" tactics. Now, with a position that is the closest he will get to one of power, he appears to be party to a disgraceful scheme designed to demolish a highly dedicated and successful body of people whose replacement will be very thinly spread and over whom the council will have little or no control. It is claimed that the operations will be covered by an agreement. Well, in 1938 Neville Chamberlin returned from Munich with one of those.

    The council should reject the part of the plan that would abolish the parks police and leave them to get on with their jobs.

  28. Morris - the budget options reduced staffing across a wide range of services, as you know, and we needed to do this in order to reduce our spending in line with reductions in government grant. Therefore these are now the "base" or starting point for any future changes.

    The Mayor of London's police offer came along after the budget was settled, and quite rightly we are considering the difference it would make to the already agreed level of staffing.

  29. Someone has been trawling my archives. See the comments.

  30. Words like "deckchairs", "Titanic" and "rearranging" spring to my mind.



  32. London City Airport is not policed by the Redbridge Parks Police - nor is it in Redbridge. Why not turn the same argument on Spanish-owned Heathrow, which probably costs Londoners a lot more?

    The fact is that both airports are within the Metropolitan Police District, are clearly potential targets for terrorism and other crime, and have to be policed. Both airports will pay the relevant sum of national non-domestic rate (NNDR) for which they have an entitlement to certain services.

  33. But the debt.

    We can't afford Police, the NHS, Schools, Public Toilets, Libraries, Social Services...

  34. Why try and fix something if it's not broken?The Parks Police have made a significant difference to the Boroughs Parks and open spaces,Valentines Park is a pleasure to visit now and i can remember before the Parks Police Started it was full of Gangs of youths street drinkers,And now you don't see all of that,Roding Valley Country Park was used by off road bikes terrifying Dog Walkers and Park Users and now it's safe place to walk through,Other Parks have seen a decrease in Anti Social Behaiviour,A number of Dangerous Dogs Have been seized,And What what do the Parks Police get "Thank You Very Much But Your Services Are No Longer Required"
    Redbridge Council Wake Up,I think The Leader Of The Council Should Go Out With The Parks Police and see for himself what a difference the parks police make to the Borough.

  35. Join the club. Wandsworth has done exactly the same, with no public consultation, just some rather gungho press releases giving the impression that it is a done deal, which it isn't. Residents are furious. We cannot believe that Boris's intention was to sack a group of dedicated, specialised and respected officers in order to replace them with a few Met freebies. And what happens after 3 years? This little wheeze is not only badly thought out, it is also rather dishonest.

  36. More to the point, what happens after 1 year if Boris is not re-elected?

  37. Susan, get the parks police to fight it all the way, and the residents. Redbridge is doing so and will hopefully have a petition big enough to give to cabinet members to take the fight all the way to a full council meeting. This is the only time when anybody can stand up and say what THEY, the residents and staff of the borough want, and not what one person and a sneakily produced and submitted report feels will be best in the interests of the public. If the comments on here and Redbridge-i are anything to go by, the council WILL see sense and NOT disband the Parks Police service

  38. Diane,
    Please send me a Petition sheet I can print off with details to whom it should be returned and by when. Email top right of page.

  39. We are all working at present to an allegedly "leaked" report - the thrust of which has not been denied by the Deputy Leader of the Council.

    By my reckoning the agenda for the Cabinet meeting of 3 May is due to be published next Tuesday, 19 April. When it is, it will be interesting to see what advice, if any, has been given by the Head of the Parks Police (himself a very senior former police officer), or, indeed, whether he was even consulted in the matter.

  40. Oh yes all those Bank Holidays brings forward the 5 "working days"..... well spotted, Morris.

  41. Thanks, Diane C. The residents may be allowed to fight it, but the Parks Police are not. They are not allowed to thank people publicly for supporting them, and they may not even answer emailed enquiries about the proposed disbanding. As a secretary for a ward SNT, I have this information at first hand. It's a disgrace.

  42. On Wednesday 13th April, Parks Police arrested three teens in Ray Park who were in possesion of a stolen motorbike, and they were conveyed to Ilford PS, and these are people who can't do anything.!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. If any member of the Council's cabinet should have the utter temerity to praise the Parks Police then I hope that person will choke on his or her own words. To abandon this highly efficient and effective front-line service would be an hypocritical betrayal of the residents of Redbridge.

  44. Redbridge Resident11:36 pm, April 15, 2011

    Boris needs to be introduced to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  45. Reply to Susan 15/04 @21:09
    The parks police in Wandsworth may not be able to do anthing themseles, but, here in Redbridge I was stopped in my local park by a lady and asked to sign LBR Parks Police petition against their closure. She is the wife of one of the serving officers and along with the mjority of the people I have spoken to, feel the sevice should continue. Should give you some idea of the possible way forward for Wandsworth PP.
    Aonymous 15/04 @ 22:21 Thanks for this information. You have summed up what the Parks Police are here for in three lines.Very well said.

  46. It is suspected that the purpose of the Mayors policy is to replace civilian type officers with police officers, the aim being to compensate for the budget cuts and have more police officers at the end of his term than the start. A similar apporach has been taken with replacing traffic warden supervisors with police sergeants. There are less people doing the work as a result of this approach as police oficers are more expnsive, but the focus is very much on numbers.

  47. ...and of course Tory controlled councils like Wandsworth and Redbridge [are you listening Cllrs Bond and Patel] are going to play ball.

    The 2012 London elections start here.

  48. And so do the 2014 ones! People are simply not going to tolerate the 3-card trick wheresoever it may come.

  49. This is taken from the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and doctored to suit the situation.. Sorry Douglas.
    Look. This report has been on display at
    the town hall planning office now for a year.
    On display? I had to go down to a cellar!
    That's the display department.
    I eventually found them in the bottom of a
    locked filing cabinet in a disused
    lavatory with a sign on the door saying
    'beware of the leopard'.


  50. Not really. They wouldn't give you the information, they'd simply leave you to find out for yourself.

  51. Anonymous said...

    On Wednesday 13th April, Parks Police arrested three teens in Ray Park who were in possesion of a stolen motorbike, and they were conveyed to Ilford PS, and these are people who can't do anything.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 services for the same job hmm that makes sense
    sounds like a council job two men to change one light bulb...oh they do work for council! of course they do ..1 force 1 solution the only answer

  52. "2 services for the same job hmm that makes sense"

    hummf- 3 councillors for the same job - that makes sense

  53. Anonymous 18/04 19:52
    How can it be 2 men to do 1 job when you say "2 services for the same job"? It can't be both, surely they contradict each other, make your mind up. Unfortunately, having a motor vehicle in a place in the park it is not mean to be IS a byelaw offence (check them for yourself) which the P.P. deal with. The arrests for theft can be carred out by any M.O.P. YES, even you, and this occured when checks with the police national computer revealed that the bike had been stolen the night before. So,remember, brain first, then type, not the other way round please. The only sensible comment you make is one force one solution. This is exactly what you have in the parks already!
    B21, isn't it a shame that the anonymous slime trail author cannot be named....or can they???

  54. dopeyf, How righ you are, 1 councillor 1 job, that would save oooh, something like 42 salaries a year I would guess. 2 services for the same job, sounds like parks police do that already, bye laws and criminal laws. Now that DOES make sense!!
    Doesn't it give you real confidence in serving councillors when they stay anonymous to stir the muck and still get their commments all wrong and front to back (sorry, back to front!)

  55. Ha ha
    Right on the money - Dopeyf

  56. The report to the Cabinet meeting for 3 May is now available to read (link on right of this blog).

    In 24 years as a councillor I read quite a lot of crap, but little to surpass the report. And where are the views of the Parks Manager & Head of Parks Police? Is he so insignificant that the author of the officer report can ignore him?


  57. Clickable link direct to the Report.


    1.19 The main parks in the Borough are Valentine’s Park (the biggest), South Park, Ray Park, Goodmayes Park, Loxford Park, Clayhall Park and Barkingside Park.
    At present the Parks Police primarily patrol in these particular areas, as well as Churchfields, Christ Church Green and Ashton playing fields, where there has been regular anti-social behaviour.

    No mention of Hainault Country Park, Roding Valley Park, Claybury Park and Fairlop Waters. Is the Council Officer or the Cabinet Member aware that these places exist? Have they been included in the negotiations for the "contract"?

    1.1 The scheme is intended to be in addition to, and not to replace, existing local Police resource levels.

    But that is exactly what it is doing! The fact that Parks Police both here and in Wandsworth are not part of Boris' remit does not give him the electoral gimmick of saying that there are more Police than when he took office. This is a cycnical election manoeuvre for May 2012 and the LibDems should be ashamed of themselves for being suckered into it.

  58. Oh, and by the way, we do NOT get one "free". It will be paid for via the GLA precept by...... that's right... you and me, the Council Tax Payers.

  59. I notice the remark:'No mention of Hainault Country Park, Roding Valley Park, Claybury Park and Fairlop Waters. Is the Council Officer or the Cabinet Member aware that these places exist? Have they been included in the negotiations for the "contract"?'
    Can I say that anytime now, the Council Officers will not be Council Officers anymore but they will become employees of Vision (with some guarantees in line with their current contract of employment). The relevant Cabinet member will be automatically on the Board of Vision and the present Cabinet Member says that she will retain her links with the Parks Officers but, I cannot see how that is going to work because when the existing staff decide to move on they will be replaced by Vision Staff without the status attached to being a Council Officer of the highest status.
    This is to the best of my knowledge what we were told at the Allotment Forum last week.

  60. Please try and also read the "Going to the tip" topic which also mentions parks and open spaces and the disbandment of the parks police service.

  61. Dear Kathy Nixon,
    I would like to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. I have been an avid reader for more years than I care to remember and love the stories by the Brothes Grimm. Unfortunately, they have now been surpassed by an even greater author, who has taken to writing reports and publishing them on websites. I have now found a much better writer of GRIM Fairy Tales and shall be looking out for the next report with great interest and hope that it won't be as good so I can go back to my original choice of reading.
    P.S. very sorry but your figures do not add up Kathy. Your plan is as watertight as a colander

  62. In case some people can't get to a paper copy an electronic version of the petition has now been created. Please click the link below and publicise widely.

    Save Redbridge Parks Police Petition

  63. Always assuming Boris can still afford it after being whacked with a £300million fine....

    Bad Air Days in 2011 = 38, and it's not even May yet.

  64. I think this forum should support the disbandment!
    One the key focal points of the Barkingside21 is recycling and using old and out of date products to provide new and environmentally friendly ones.

    Sounds like this is the intention?

    perhaps some forum members dislike the Met Police due to their own salubrious activites.

    well its a cottage industry is it not?

  65. This site also has a theme of not replacing perfectly servicable items that WORK, with expensive new and over-designed items which break down after 5 minutes.......

  66. The gutless anonymous contributor is probably either a leading councillor (male cabinet member, perhaps) or a council officer, or one of their wannabe associates.

  67. Anonymous @13:57 says
    "perhaps some forum members dislike the Met Police due to their own salubrious activites"
    Perhaps if you spent some time readig the comments instead of blindly speaking s***, then you would see that members of the pp staff were met officers who retired after a long and industrious career. The number of ex-met officers on the team is 7 out of 13. Lets hope nothing happens to you in the parks. On second thoughts read the following article: and then tell me honestly that the met will do a better job than we have in place already. Shame this wasn't you.

  68. "One the key focal points of the Barkingside21 is recycling and using old and out of date products to provide new and environmentally friendly ones."

    this is one reason B21 supports, as old met policemen have been recycled and reused as Parks Police- cant get greener than that.
    Except possibly by sending a number of councillors to LandFill, I, for one, would willingly pay the Landfill Tax.

  69. Dopeyf!
    Just as well you wrote a little disclaimer when you specified 'a number' instead of 'all of them'!

  70. Sir,
    I am a regular user of Valentines Park and have always been impressed with the location and its facilities. I usually enter by Cranbrook Road and therefore pass the building where the Parks Police are. I see them frequently when I am walking my dog and have been impressed with their polite and friendly approach. Nothing seems too much for them and they seem to have a good rapport with everyone in the park. I read this forum frequently and it is a useful means of finding out about what is happening. I have taken time to consider if I want to respond to this theme but it seems that the Parks Police are a group of people worth supporting. I can't say whether the Met. will do a better job but what I can say is that the Parks are a wonderful place to visit and the placement of these officers in a major park was an excellent decision. Why replace something that people like. The report I have read doesn't inspire me with confidence. Next year is the Olympics so Metropolitan Officers will have their hands full. Our safety and leisure might be at risk. There will be lots more people about possibly people will be camping in the parks which we need supervision around the clock. The Parks Police seem ideal for that. The timing for this is awful and should be stopped and at the very least delayed until after the Olympics if at all.


  71. I think Dopeyf should check. It might be a criminal offence to put into landfill polluting material capable of emitting noxious vapours.

  72. On second thoughts read the following article: and then tell me honestly that the met will do a better job than we have in place already. Shame this wasn't you.

    where were the parks police there for his incident? nope!
    the met police if increased probably could have attended ...........justification for increasing their numbers?

    The gutless anonymous contributor is probably either a leading councillor (male cabinet member, perhaps) or a council officer, or one of their wannabe associates.

    Actually a serving police officer that thinks we should be increased not wanabees

  73. Dear PC Plod,
    If you read the Recorder piece carefully you will notice that the girls had their mobile phones taken from them, so the call to the Police must have occurred after the incident took place, not during. The Parks Police were not called, either by the victims or by the Police switchboard.

    According to Inspector Gadget, Police Officers spend most of their time either sitting behind desks, filling out forms, attending Diversity and Equality Training or fielding endless emails from ACPO about Political Correctness and from HR on how to keep their sandwiches fresh while on duty.

    The Parks Police suffer from none of these problems which means that even if they are "wannabes" they do get to provide a more efficient and cost-effective service focussed on their remit. Which is why they were formed in the first place.

  74. Is the "service" that will be given by the Met the same wonderful one that was given prior to the creation of the Parks Police 6 years ago? Did they attend every call from residents about motor cyclists in Roding Valley Park? Did they arrest every vandal in the parks? Did they appear within seconds shenever there were incidents of anti-social behaviour? Did they apprehend every litterlout, and every owner of a dog fouling the public areas? Did they take action against every dangeours cyclist in the parks?

    The short answer is almost certainly "none of the above". None of these things was sufficiently high on the Met's agenda then, and is unlikely to be so in the future. In any event, 6 "additional" officers will not even amount in practice to as many as 2 on duty at any one time.

    The report to next week's cabinet meeting is deficient in several respects. First, it gives no information whatsoever about either success or failure on the part of the Parks Pollice, nor of its performance statistics. There is no cost-benefit analysis for the money proposed to be given to the Met, nor is there the least suggestion that the Parks Police does not represent value for money. No views are quoted from the Head of Parks Police. Was his advice sought?

    THIS IS A STITCH-UP. The ConDem coalition in Redbridge is not listening to residents. LEAVE OUR PARKS POLICE ALONE.

  75. "Is the "service" that will be given by the Met the same wonderful one that was given prior to the creation of the Parks Police 6 years ago? Did they attend every call from residents about motor cyclists in Roding Valley Park? Did they arrest every vandal in the parks? Did they appear within seconds shenever there were incidents of anti-social behaviour? Did they apprehend every litterlout, and every owner of a dog fouling the public areas? Did they take action against every dangeours cyclist in the parks?"

    And there is a force that does this currently do you have evidence to support this ?

    i think not ..the only arrests we handle from this service is for minor drug makes so much difference to area,parks and fields.

    "THIS IS A STITCH-UP. The ConDem coalition in Redbridge is not listening to residents. LEAVE OUR PARKS POLICE ALONE."

    5 or so different voices posting on this forum hardly are the voices of fact the voices of Redbridge voted you out of the local government system perhaps you are not really in touch?
    "No views are quoted from the Head of Parks Police. Was his advice sought?"

    how do you know this? is it fact?

    we want rid of PCSO's and Parks police and leave the job to the professionals.

  76. Anon above @20:36

    In reverse order:

    we want rid of PCSO's and Parks police and leave the job to the professionals.

    Sounds like an old fashioned Trade Union punch up. We left the 1970s behind a long time ago.

    "No views are quoted from the Head of Parks Police. Was his advice sought?"
    how do you know this? is it fact?

    Read the report for yourself. If you really are a Police officer you should know how to compile evidence. Morris’ second sentence is a question, not a statement. One would expect a Police Officer to know the difference?

    in fact the voices of Redbridge voted you out of the local government system perhaps you are not really in touch?

    Mr Hickey stood as a “paper candidate” last year in a seat his party did not expect to win. He effectively stood down as a councillor for personal reasons. Had he wished to carry on he would, without any doubt at all, have been re-elected in Bridge ward.

    5 or so different voices posting on this forum hardly are the voices of Redbridge.

    As opposed to your one! There were several hundred voices screaming about motor cyclists in our parks and the Met did…….NOTHING. The petition presented to council by B21 wanted something done and the Council got off their backsides and did something. Those voices are now quiet, because the Parks Police did what they were hired to do.

    i think not ..the only arrests we handle from this service is for minor drug makes so much difference to area,parks and fields.

    This is at variance with the information I have received and is why Mr Hickey and others are asking for the Parks Police performance stats to be disclosed.

  77. B21 the ignoramus posting as anonymous is clearly too ignorant to be a genuine police officer. Impersonating one - even by electronic means - is a criminal offence.

    And, incidentally, it was in 2006 that I stood as a "paper" candidate.

  78. Morris,
    I stand corrected - doesn't time fly!

  79. Anonymous 25?04 @ 20:36 says
    "5 or so different voices posting on this forum hardly are the voices of fact the voices of Redbridge voted you out of the local government system perhaps you are not really in touch? No views are quoted from the Head of Parks Police. Was his advice sought? how do you know this? is it fact?
    we want rid of PCSO's and Parks police and leave the job to the professionals.

    In reply: there is a petition currently circulating which is in objection to the disbandment, On Monday 25th there were in excess of 1,500 names on the very long list.I think this is a bigger voice than you realise.
    The reason no views were quoted from the head of parks police is that he was, at no point involved in the compiling of the report. This I know for a fact as one of my good friends is the wife of a serving PP officer. Because the head of PP was not consulted at any time, no facts and figures have been relseased with reagrd to the work they carry out, but this will hopefully come to light at the full council meeting. I can understand the view of wanting rid of PCSO's although the parks police as it stands does do a very professional job and is highly thought of by the met officers and public alike.

  80. to anonymous 18.42 - are you really telling us that the Met will respond to all any calls in the period July/ August 2012- every policeman in london will volunteer for the olympics to stop touts. buskers, street traders and possibly terrorists. Nobody will get a policeman no matter what crime is being committed

  81. I think the proposed plan is just about saving money and has nothing to do with public safety. The Parks Police have provided us with an excellent service over the years and it is preposerous to think that you could disband them without any negative repercussions. The Parks police are a dedicated team who know the Parks well and can respond to a problem quickly and efficiently. This is a false savings because we will pay for it in the end with increased crime. The reputation for safety that Cllr Prince refers to is because of the Parks police. To imagine this same level of service will continue with some overstretched Met Police Officers for the whole borough is naive in the extreme.........

    Redbridge Council listen to your residents or don't we count.Surely you must realise how well the Parks Police do their job.

    Having recently read the report i can not believe that the council will pay a Met Police PC £51.000 and a Met Police Seargeant £65.000
    i mean where's the saving in that? An average salary of a PP Officer is far far less than that and a PP Seargeant far far less than £65.000.

    Trying to save money i don't think so.

    IT'S QUALITY THATS COUNTS NOT QUANTITY.Let the Met Police the streets and the PP the parks.

  82. Dear B21,
    I bow to your prescience.
    Your prediction of how this will be spun by the FibDems has come to pass.

    Cllr Shoaib Patel, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: “This is excellent news for Redbridge - we have increased the number of police without spending any extra money.

    “It will guarantee that there is always a police officer in each park and they will have more powers to tackle crime than the parks police have.”

    And the normally sane Cllr Hoskins:

    “The upshot is that we will have more police officers on the ground for no extra expenditure.

    “The police will have more powers than parks police and they will be more effective as a crime deterrent in tackling issues like anti-social behaviour which affect our area.”

    They obviously have not been reading the comments here. Shame on them.

  83. Dear PC Troll,
    I suppose you also want shot of the PLA Police and the River Police?
    And while we are about it why not get rid of those amateurs at RNLI and let the Coastguard professionals save people from drowning. Or better still let's hand it all over to those Donut eating plods......

  84. Jam - they've clearly been on a diet of magic mushrooms.

  85. Cllr Patel says “It will guarantee that there is always a police officer in each park and they will have more powers to tackle crime than the parks police have.”

    The above is somewhat of a scripted response and not thought through statement. A police officer in every park requires 49 officers. Not at all what the report says nor intended.

    Cllr Hoskins says “The upshot is that we will have more police officers on the ground for no extra expenditure. The police will have more powers than parks police and they will be more effective as a crime deterrent in tackling issues like anti-social behaviour which affect our area.”

    I used to have dreams like this but live in the real world. There are a number of things that could be commented on here but I will restrict to just two.
    1. Do either of the Councillors know what the powers of the Parks Police are because it appears clear that they do not. Otherwise their comments would be more factual and accurate (believable). They should both ask (especially the Cabinet Member) what the powers are and reflect on the results of the service over the last five years. The powers of the officers are sufficient to deal with the matters that they are concerned with. That's why they were formed in 2005 when the MPS didn't deal with the issues that were concerning the park users and community groups. (Could've bought officers then but didn't). I would suggest that both Councillors enquire as to what they do. Is Cllr Hoskins really saying that the Parks Police have failed to deal with anti social behaviour.
    2. How do you know that the MPS hasn't already got the officers and are just getting the Council to pay for them. Check the MPA website and look at what the Met have to lose over the next 3 years. No wonder they are looking to fund their operations which they are supposed to provide anyway. The Met are required to police the Borough, the Borough shouldn't have to pay additional money to get things done. When is a hotspot not a hotspot. Who knows apart from the criminal when he gets up in the morning. The criminal is still going to be around in 3 years will this agreement I think not.

    I have been a Parks Constable and know what happened in other places where the Met came along on their white chargers to the rescue. Sucking misinformed Councils into their bosoms.
    Then quickly realising that they had the money and ran. Leaving the poor Council's wondering 'if only we had thought about this properly'. Think on Councillors and look beneath the cloak of hype and spin.

  86. Could the parks police we have got become full police and transfer to the new full police ?
    this might be good for everyone and save money on training new would be better if they was run by the Met wouldnt it?or have you got a downer on them as well?

  87. Anon,
    The PP are mostly ex-Police officers.

  88. The whole point about the Parks Police (PP) is that they were established [I believe in 2006] to fill a gap - the gap left by the Metroplitan Police (MPS) who regularly failed to respond to reports of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the borough's parks and open spaces. Regular users of the facilities all speak very highly of the improvements in appearance, and feeling of well-being, that are so evident over the last 5 years.

    The officer report going to cabinet next week is heavy on words, but light on detail. It gives no statistical breakdown of the operational achievements of the PP, nor of the times that they have been called in as backup to the MPS. It has neither obtained nor printed any professional comments from the Head of PP - it has simply snubbed him as if he did not exist. It has failed to recognise the factor frequently quoted by senior officers of the MPS and by the Police Authority that it needs 8 officers on the establishment in order that the shift work pattern can have 2 on the streets at any one time. Mathematically, therefore, these 6 extra MPS officers will produce 1.5 at any one time for all our parks and open spaces, as well as the "hot spots" work on the streets. That is quite ridiculous. Moreover, the PP deployment and management is under the direct control of Redbridge council.The 6 additional MPS officers will have their deployment decided by the Borough Commander. She is called upon to send additional staff to central London for demonstrations, as well as to police events like football matches and - next year - the Olympics. Who will police the borough's parks and open spaces at those times? The 1.5 officers - or will they fill in gaps in the MPS "on the street" duties?

    The proposal going to the cabinet is fundamentally flawed and should be withdrawn now. IT'S SMOKE AND MIRRORS - A TOTAL STITCH-UP!!!

  89. On Redbridge-i, Morris Hickey wrote:

    I understand that the proposal was approved last night by the cabinet (no surprise there then!) but will have to be delayed for a petition exceeding 2,000 signatures to be considered by a full council meeting.


  90. We understand that the issue will be "debated" at full council this coming Thursday 19th May.

    Here is another Forum with some comments that certain cllrs *might* like to read.

  91. A FEW FACTS.... (not fctions)
    Since the parks police began in May 2006 they have dealt with, up until April 2011....

    10,015 incidents (all fully documented)
    4559 stop and acoounts completed (fully documented)
    547 Arrests for various offences, criminal as well as bye laws
    Sent 1561 warning letters in raltion to breach of bye laws, all of which could have resulted in prosecutions at court, but which would not have proved cost effective
    had 100 bye law prosecutions heard at court, with a 100% success rate, which range from fly tipping, air weapons and urinating in a public place to off road motorcylcing in country parks and other parks which, I hasten to add, the met will not have the vehicles or the inclination to deal with
    (see the previious comment dated 11 April, 2011 19:46 and click the my archives link)

    In 2010 alone the met control room at Ilford requested assistance from the parks police on 147 occasions for incidents which were not part of the parks police's usual remit. These varied from missing persons and deaing with traffic collisions to manning crime scenes.

    So now that you all have some actual facts and figures... tell me the met can cope and that the added responsibilities of the 49 parks and open spaces will be as well policed as they are currently.

  92. Full Council 19th May 2011
    "Tories spent most of the evening praising Parks Police before voting to scrap them. Why are they cutting success?" - Cllr Streeting

  93. Why? Because they're outrageous bloody hypocrites.

  94. Redbridge made the wrong decision on Thurs making 13 officers redundant,After they were praised for doing a really good job,Cllr Patel had the wrong information or maybe he was ill informed by saying that pp officer's can not arrest, but the fact of the matter is that they can and have done so since they started.infact Cllr Prince thanked 2 of the officers from parks police for doing an excellent job after they aprehended 3 robbers who stole a cash box from outside a bank.I thinks it's a disgrace to be led by a council who do not put their residents first.

  95. What force or guile could not subdue
    Through many wor-like ages
    Is rocked now by the coward few
    For hireling traitor's wages
    The Villain’s steel we could disdain
    Secure in valour's station
    But Boris gold has been oor bane
    Such a parcel o' rogues in a Council

    O would or I had seen the day
    That treason thus would sell us
    My old grey heid had lain in clay
    Wi' Morris and loyal Laurence
    But pith and power till my last hour
    I'll mak' this declaration
    We are bought and sold for Boris’ gold
    Such a parcel o' rogues in a Council

    With apologies to Robert Burns

  96. "Two for the Price of One" offers in supermarkets are not permanent, after a short while they are withdrawn, This pot of £42 million from which it is being paid will not last forever, then the offer will be withdrawn- another Boris gimmick will bite the dust, meanwhile all those boroughs who are stupid enough to believe the funding will last for ever will be left holding the cost, or sacking more Officers, so the Parks will yet again be left unprotected, in a fairly short time span.The Mayor, instead of reducing the Force last year, would have been better off using this £42 million to retain what Officers were already employed.

  97. Perfidious, treacherous betrayal by the ConLib coalition in Redbridge.

    Residents of Redbridge. Remember this action when you come to Thursday 1 May 2014, date of the next borough council elections.

  98. This Council, like many Political bodies throughout History, is engaging in "logical fallacies".[a.k.a. "Proof by Assertion"]

    The technique is described in a saying, often incorrectly attributed to Lenin without citation as "A lie told often enough becomes the truth".

    This was brilliantly described by Lewis Carroll in "The Hunting of the Snark" (1876) -

    "Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
    As he landed his crew with care;
    Supporting each man on the top of the tide
    By a finger entwined in his hair.

    "Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What I tell you three times is true."

  99. 2800 residents signed a petition saying they had genuine and real concerns about these plans, and the lib / tory administration treated them with complete contempt.

    They came across as totally arrogant and not prepared to listen to our serious concerns. Treating us like children who did not understand the plans.

    They talk about the big conversation, but then dont listen to their own residents across the borough.

    The buy one get one free scheme last for three years at most. What do this administration think will happen in 3 years when the funding runs out?

    They actually said its ok because if this doesnt work redbrige have the option to walk away. They have forgotten that by then they will have sacked our park police, and spent our money on all the redundancy costs.

    When Mr Hickey was a councillor the tory council actually listened to residents. Now its almost like they dont give a damb.

    If 2800 residents say we dont like this proposal then you should take our concerns on board, not treat us with contempt.

  100. It's not just the funding that might run out in 3 years' time. The number could be up for those councillors who do not listen to the public. The next full council elections are on 1 May 2014.