I am very impressed with the police that work in Southwark, especially the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Camberwell Green had one of the first tema which has now been operational for about 2 years and now teams are established in every electoral ward in London. I also work with SNT's in Holloway and Whitechapel as part of my day job with the University and am likewise very impressed by the way they work and by the ability of the individual police officers and especially the Police Commuinity Support oficers who have really been the "real" success of the entire programme.I think that the setting up of the SNT Community Panels which identify the top priorities for the SNT has been a brilliant success and I am convinced that this initiative, based on Rudolph Juliani's programme in New York, I believe, has been very positive and contributed signmificantly top the reduction in reported crime in London, especially domestic burglaries, car theft and anti social behaviour. The key issue to tyackle however is serious violent crime including street robberies and the seenming increased availablity and use of knives and guns. I am staggered that you can still buy replica guns in Peckham shops and am seeking a change in By-Laws prohibiting replica weapon sale ahead of new Government Legislation to outlaw it! This was again reported in the South London Press
This is a map of Peckham identifying the murders involving guns since th tragic death of Damilola Taylor in 2000 and the local community have had enough! Possession of a gun, real or replica, will soon carry a 5 year minimum jail sentence for anyone over the age of 17 and in my view it cant come soon enough!!!It was really good to see my good friend and ex-councillor colleague Alfred Banya who has just been in Uganda invloved in some key mediation work. I cant think of anyone better to be involved in this important work. Alfred was always well liked and admired and is deeply missed from the Southwark Labour Group although I know that he is still very much involved in the party and especially with the local community, especially over the proposals for the Tram.
By the way HAPPY ST. PATRICK's DAY!!!!!!!