Friday, August 02, 2013

The new ‘Safer Neighbourhood’ Board Game from Waddlingtons

Here’s the press release issued today, Friday 2nd August 2013, by the Greater London Assembly.

End confusion over Safer Neighbourhood Boards, Assembly tells Mayor

And here is a quote from Joanne McCartney, the Chair of the Police and Crime Committee which also includes our own Roger Evans, who we are pleased to see is still functional although his blog isn’t, and the newly elected peer Jenny Jones.
"Throughout its investigation the Committee heard of confusion and uncertainty that is jeopardising the good will of the very people who are most likely to help make new Safer Neighbourhood Boards a success."

And here is the relevant paragraph in the report
Safer Neighbourhood Boards are a unique proposal, and not without ambition. In our discussions, the Committee has heard that there is some merit in reforming current community engagement structures.

Unfortunately, it appears this promise risks being compromised by poor planning, confused communication and inadequate funding. With less than a year to go, MOPAC cannot say with any clarity what role it expects Boards to play, who should sit on them and how it will ensure their effectiveness.

This report highlights fundamental questions that MOPAC need to address to ensure that the network which replaces CPEGs is fit for purpose. The Mayor must demonstrate that he understands the value of community engagement by providing clearer and more detailed guidance to partners and ensure that they are funded adequately.
And here’s the unofficial press release…

This is what happens when you make an election manifesto commitment that is written on the back of a fag packet and without putting any thought into what you actually want to achieve and how you can make it work. Here in Redbridge the CPEG and its predecessor the PCCG have been a complete waste of time and taxpayers’ money. The new Safer Neighbourhood Board is destined to follow suit but will just cost less. The same goes for Ward Panels – waste of bloody time.

You cannot achieve community engagement with an organisational structure designed by a very expensive consultant and modelled on some Management textbook. That’s not how it works. Engagement is a social process and it is organic.

Community engagement is about what you do and how you interact with the community on a day-to-day basis. It’s about accessibility, relationships, communication and above all an understanding of the background and issues facing that community. Just look at the way *some* of your local councillors engage with their local communities, you’ll know which ones they are.

When introduced the local ward based Safer Neighbourhood Teams were brilliant at this until …. Well until they succumbed to the “let’s move officers around every 5 minutes” policy. They have been ruined and they are due to be decimated even further when the new “Policing Model” is implemented here in Redbridge on 16th September 2013. I’d tell you about that model except it seems to change on a daily basis just like the one on page 3 of The Sun, as I am continually reminded by my feminist sisters (do not click on this link if you are offended by tits).

There is no continuity, no consistency, no hand over briefings, no succession planning, and frankly piss poor communications, not just from them to us and vice versa but within the Police Service itself - the left hand doesn't even know the right hand exists. When they address these issues they might just stand a chance, but until then we are on our own.

1 comment:

  1. I must say that the last Area 3 meeting was an eye-opener. When our Cllrs are lost for words because you should not shoot the 'messengers',...what can bog standard members of the public do?