The borough’s new independent Policing and Crime Commission has begun its work looking at the root causes of crime and anti-social behaviour.
The chair, Adam Matan, and vice chair, Christina Smyth, have now appointed seven other members:
- Lorraine Ainscow-Searle – former lecturer in criminology
- Rosemary Barnett – former Special Constable and trustee-director of the Centre for Public Safety
- Gareth Dixon – Young H&F Foundation
- Maria Doulton – Neighbourhood Watch volunteer
- Patricia Mayhew OBE – eminent criminologist and winner of the Stockholm prize
- Charlie Rigby – founder of the Violence Intervention Project
- Francesca Taylor – worked with rape victims and is involved with Neighbourhood Watch
- Rosie Waite – School Governor.
Superintendent Helen Harper, of the Metropolitan Police, is acting as an ex-officio adviser to the Commission.
It will look at how communities and key partners can work better together to tackle rising concerns about crime, especially about more young people getting involved in violent crime. It will also advise on how to build better community resilience and ensure residents’ voices are heard by the police, the council and other agencies, including the voices of people who don’t usually get heard.
“One young person getting stabbed is one too many – and one young person getting involved in a gang is one too many,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council.
“We need new ideas and new approaches – simply carrying on with the same approach cannot be an option. We’re determined that all in our community will feel listened to and empowered.”
Have your say
The Commission held its first meeting on 27 November and has issued a call for written evidence to inform its discussions and deliberations.
If you’d like to submit evidence to the Commission, please email email@example.com or write to Monica Roucou, Room 102, Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London W6 9JU.
Leading the commission
The new commission’s chair is Adam Matan, founder of the Anti-Tribalism Movement based in Shepherds Bush. It’s a non-profit organisation that aims to tackle ‘tribalism and inequalities within communities’.
Adam – who also lives in Shepherds Bush – has a postgraduate degree from SOAS University of London in Law and Leadership and currently sits on the government’s Counter Terrorism Advisory Group.
“I am privileged and honoured to lead the council’s new Policing and Crime Commission,” Adam said. “I’d like to ensure the borough remains a safe and welcoming borough for its residents, visitors and businesses.
“The Commission hopes to lay the foundations for new, improved structures and initiatives which place local residents at the heart of achieving a safer H&F.”
Christina Smyth is a former civil servant who previously chaired the resident-led Poverty and Worklessness Commission.
More council-funded police
The Commission’s work will help the council in its on-going efforts to make local streets the safest in London.
Since last year, H&F has funded 44 police officers. As part of its commitment to local safety, the council helped recruit a new sergeant and a new constable, and provided funding to replace three constables with sergeants.
The council gained the money for extra policing having taken a tough approach with property developers – negotiating record amounts of new funds. It proposes to work with residents to deliver more and better anti-crime measures in all the neighbourhoods across our borough.
The council’s CCTV team have also recently helped local police put one of the borough’s most prolific moped-riding thieves behind bars.
Working with residents
The Policing and Crime Commission follows on from a number of similar council initiatives, since 2014, that have sought to better engage residents in the decision-making processes that affect them and rejuvenate civic life.
Those have included nine other independent resident-led commissions, public policy hearings, hackathons, public workshops and other measures.
More details on our recent commissions are here.