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Kingston Safer Neighbourhood Board was formally launched on Wednesday 2 April 2014.  At the Launch event, as Chair of the former Kingston Community and Police Partnership (KCPP) and in the interests of providing continuity, John Azah volunteered to Chair the Kingston Safer Neighbourhood Board (KSNB) until 31 March 2015.

On Wednesday 23 July, the Kingston Safer Neighbourhood Board (KSNB) met for the first time. KSNB is an opportunity for all community members to get involved, helping to make Kingston a safer borough in which to live and work, whilst at the same time holding the Police to account.

John Azah, Interim Chair of Kingston Safer Neighbourhood Board, explained the process was set up not to try and change the way we work with the Metropolitan Police (the Met), but to do it better.

MOPAC (the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime) will supply up-to-date statistics in a ‘Data Pack’ prior to each meeting, which will be emailed to Board Members and which will also be available on the Council’s web-site and the Library Service will assist those without computer access.  

The way we work (our Terms of Reference) are in the process of being revised to reflect more accurately the operation of the Board and some of the issues which were raised at the first meeting about time-frames and membership.

Our membership

Groups represented on the Board at the July meeting were:
Independent Custody Visitors; Kingston Learning Disability Parliament; Neighbourhood Watch; the ‘Stop and Search’ Monitoring Group; Victim Support; one representative of the Ward Panels in the North of the Borough and one from the South; young people representing Kingston Youth Council; four members of the former Kingston Community & Police Partnership; MOPAC; Safer Kingston Partnership; and two Councillors, one of whom is the elected Member with responsibility for community safety; and the Police Borough Commander with his Senior Leadership Team.

(A record of Member's attendance will be kept separately.)

In due course the Board will be appointing several more Community Members – more information to follow.

The Board agreed that KSNB would be a work in progress. Local community representatives would want to be involved as much as possible.  Electing two vice chairs eventually, as well as forming a pool of people to share the work was discussed. All the Ward Panels were keen to take part to enable Ward priorities to be reflected in the work of the Board.

Ian Wilson, a former KCPP Executive was elected as Vice Chair of the KSNB.

Questions from the public

Three questions had been received from a resident who was unable to attend. Her questions were around:

Concerns around the lead-in time for accessing the agenda and ‘Data Pack’ and publicising the next meeting to allow attendance to be as inclusive as possible. 

It was explained that the late notification had been a feature of the initial ‘set-up’ of the Board and assurance was given that dates had now been published for the next two meetings although the date published for the March meeting is subject to change to accommodate a ‘Crime Summit’.

The abstraction of Dedicated Ward Officers to London for mutual aid requirements which, on one occasion, had resulted in members of a Ward panel being advised of the cancellation of their meeting on the day of the meeting.  The Police Borough Commander was asked to guarantee that dedicated ward officers would not be used for mutual aid requirements outside Kingston borough in future.

'You are absolutely right in that  a promise was made to communities with regard to Dedicated Ward Officers.  There was however a strong caveat around this in that in exceptional circumstances this promise would have to be broken.  There are two situations where this has happened.  The first is a local abstraction on club nights - those evenings where our resources need bolstering in Kingston Town Centre, often until 0500.  DWO's from quieter wards have on occasions been drafted in to help but this will only occur when they are not specifically needed on their own wards.  The second is where the demand is coming centrally. Examples of this would be when London is staging large events such as Trooping the Colour, Notting Hill Carnival or less predictable events such as the recent issues around Embassies in Central London due to the political situation in the Middle East.  Our promise remains firm in that we will do everything possible to keep our DWO's assigned to their respective wards but there will be occasions when for operational reasons we have to take them away.'

Clarification as to the usage of Police bikes, following funds which had been made available from the Maldens & Coombe Neighbourhood Committee for bike maintenance for local Police teams.

'The simple and short answer to this is that yes, funds were made available and yes, these funds were used on bike maintenance with a focus on those used in the Malden and Coombes are.  The funds came from the 2013 - 2014 pot and my understanding is that no funds have been bid for the current financial year.  Our Sergeant with this responsibility is currently on leave. I will ensure when he returns that he provides you with a more comprehensive answer.'

Future publicity

Suggestions for media channels to reach more people ranged from newsletters, Twitter, blogs or websites to include links to the agenda and ‘Data Pack’ as a departure from standard minutes. This would, it was hoped, encourage engagement with a broader range of people.
Key challenges identified for the police and the board 
These include:

Addressing perceptions of safety in the town centre at night, particularly from parents aged 40-55.

Re-investing in Neighbourhood Watch.

Increasing public confidence in Stop and Search within our communities.

Engaging with young people at Kingston College, Kingston University and secondary schools, including the independent sector, especially about Stop and Search.

Holding Police ‘drop in’ sessions at Sessions House to meet members of the Learning Disability Parliament.

Improving co-ordination of Business Watches between local communities and the Police.
Using the ‘Data Pack’ to help to agree policing priorities at Ward Panel meetings.

Using the 'Data Pack' to help Ward Panels come up with policing priorities.
What else did the board agree? 
John Azah (Chair) promised to consult and visit every ward panel by the end of March 2015.

MOPAC were asked to refine their ‘Data Pack’ to make it more ‘user-friendly’ and relevant to Kingston.

Kingston Business Support Team was asked to do some further work to ensure the presentation of information is more inclusive.

MOPAC were requested to provide their ‘Data Pack’  12 days before the quarterly meetings to allow for circulation and feedback from Ward Panels.
Do you have a bright idea? 
A MOPAC grant of almost £22,000 is being provided for project work. The money is to fund:

Issues and concerns identified by the local community, and which support delivery against MOPAC’s 7 neighbourhood crimes which are:

Burglary, criminal damage, robbery, theft from person, violence with injury, quality of life crimes such as anti-social behaviour.
  • Engagement and inclusion of those local communities not involved with crime and policing.
If you have any bright ideas for crime busting projects in your communities or how we can engage with communities not already involved, please let us know by emailing the Safer Neighbourhood Board inbox ( by no later than Friday 26 September 2014.

This will give us time to assess ideas against the MOPAC criteria and bring them to the next meeting. 

All projects will need to be completed by 31 March 2015.


Learn more about the board

Follow the link for more information: KSNB Board

How do I find out more about MOPAC's work?

Sign up for MOPAC updates here 

How do I ask the board to consider a topic?

Please let us know by sending your request to the Safer Neighbourhood inbox 

We are planning to send the agenda out two weeks before each meeting so we’ll need to hear from you no later than three weeks before the meeting date.


How else can I participate in the board's work?

Come to our meetings!

There will be 30 minutes public question time at the beginning of all meetings except the annual Crime Summit. There will also be 10 minutes for questions from our communities on the MOPAC ‘Data Pack’.

We’d like to be able to answer your questions at the meeting – so, if you have a question, please send it to the Safer Neighbourhood inbox as far in advance as you can – that way we’ll do our best to ensure there is an answer for you at the meeting.

Dates of future meetings

Thursday, 16 October 2014 – Council Chamber, Guildhall 

Special note – subject to change of date or venue-please watch for updates

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 - Council Chamber, Guildhall


MOPAC roadshow - meet the police and share your views

On Monday 8 September at 6pm, Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Helen King, Assistant Commissioner and the local Borough Commander will be hosting a public event in Kingston Guildhall. Come along to hear the views of local people on policing in the capital.

Crime in London is falling faster than the rest of the country - down by six percent across 2013 to 2014 – but many challenges remain. This event is an opportunity to look at some of the successes, to continue the conversation with Londoners and determine where further changes need to be made. 

Representatives from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Borough Commander will talk about the progress made against the Police and Crime Plan and listen to views from the audience to help shape the way London is policed in the future.

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