Monday, September 13, 2010

The Fourth Southwark Labour Party Conference 2010

Southwark Labour Party Conference
Saturday 11th September 2010 at the Beomund Centre


Crime and the fear of crime constantly appears in any Southwark resident survey near the top of their concerns even although crime overall is at it’s lowest reported levels for over 25 years in Southwark. London and the UK as a whole largely due to the work of the Labour Government since 1997. There have been very large reduction is burglaries, car theft and street robberies but violent crime, although low in number, remains a significant problem in Southwark and a real cause of public anxiety so we need to tackle it at it’s route causes as well as of course with the perpetrators. Low level anti social behaviour, “neighbours from hell” etc. can and do make people’s lives a misery so we need to deal with that as well, including the scourge of dangerous dogs.
I am concerned that the savage cuts proposed by the CON DEM Coalition Government will make this harder and may actually reverse some of the recent success and that is why we need to work as smartly as we can, work with our neighbours, focus on what works and what gives us the greatest return from our investment and empower people to take action locally to make there homes safer.
Below is a brief update on progress to date:

Violent Crime Strategy

We are now at the stage of having a final draft for consultation of this key strategy which formally began on the 1st September and will conclude in late October for consideration be the Cabinet.We will be having a Cabinet Briefing next week as it has many cross cutting themes and have already met with Catherine and Ian to discuss community safety issues and will be meeting with other cabinet Members soon to discuss how we can work together on some of the issues raised by this document.
There is a lot of detail in the document on the range of violent crime where it is being committed and by whom and also analysis by case study of how young people get drawn into drug dealing, gang membership, serious violent crime and ending up as a perpetrator or victim and how and when we can intervene so I hope you will help me get it right as it will shape our approach over this entire Administration.

We have won the London Region of the Tiller Award for our work in Gang dispruption and are nominated for the National Award and have had great success with our Diamond Project aimed at preventing reoffending and have Channel 4 News and Panorama making films on the work.

Extending CCTV in Southwark
CCTV works as a deterrent, public reassurenace and it catches criminals and the public like it so we are committed to extending CCTV where we can and have already made significant progress already with our deal with Transport fro London to have access to over 70 of there cameras operating on the main routes through Southwark. By upgrading our Control Room and working with our neighbouring boroughs we can further extend coverage and have access to better clearer pictures by being able to link with other existing systems. This is a very cost effective and efficient way to meet our Manifesto Commitment

Dog Control Policy
We are working on a Borough Wide Policy to deal with dangerous dogs and again will be consulting on this in the Autumn so again your comments will be valuable.Kit Malthouse is very supportive of such initiatives and lobbying the Government for legislation on this.

Residents Safety on Estates
I was involved in some radio and press media in August with the story of plans to set up a Residents Security Team on an Estate in Lane Ward.I met the Organiser and am working with him to try to deal with some of the issues on the Estate and also to discuss perhaps a new model for cooperation between residents, police and the Council working together on Estates to improve community safety.
I also met with Silla Carron, a tenants rep on a Camden Estate who has been features by the BBC recently on her work turning around a crime ridden Estate and I hope to work with her in the future to provide some guidance for T&RA’s on how to do the same.

Cooperation with Counterparts in Lambeth and Lewisham
I am developing a very good working relationship with our colleagues in Lambeth and Lewisham and plan regular meetings in rotation between Tooley Street and Brixton and Lewisham Town Hall. One of the first areas is the Purple Flag Scheme for nightime economy areas. It is being trialled in Brixton and hopefully we can develop something in Herne Hill and Camberwell over the next year!

Air Monitoring Stations
Two new high tech Air Quality Monitoring Stations are now in operation at either end of the Old Kent Road and hopefully more will follow.
Community Safety Campaign
The Comms Team are working on a high profile Campiagn around community safety including posters and Bus Stop Ad Shells so this should be visible in the Autumn

CCTV Article in October's Southwark Life
We are working on a significant article for October's Southwark Life on community safety focusing on our Manifesto commitment to extend CCTV coverage highlighting success stories showing how it does and has worked and how it remains an important part of our community safety strategy.

Back to the Floor
Along with my cabinet colleagues I will be going “back to the floor” next week and for me going out on Noise Patrol really will be a return journey as I last did it in 1989 so am looking forward to going back! I also plan to go out with the wardens, EHO’s and trading Standards officers in the months ahead to give me a clearer idea on what is going on “on the ground”!!

Southwark Youth Council "Crystal Clear" Event at South Bank University
I attended this excellent event with other Labour Cabinet and Labour Group Members with over 100 young people for Political Speed Dating and a Question Time Session. It was a really positive event and I am looking forward to doing more in the future!

Councillor John J. Friary
Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Labour Ward Councillor for Brunswick Park Ward