RIOT COMPENSATION BILL BECOMES LAW / “NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING SHOULD NOT BE SOFTER SIDE OF POLICING” – HELEN HAYES MP
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has welcomed the introduction of the new Riot Compensation Act.
The Act updates the existing 1886 riot compensation laws which were found to be woefully out of date following the 2011 riots during which areas of Croydon were hit particularly hard.
One of Steve Reed’s aims in his role as MP for Croydon North has been to raise the issue of support for riot victims, noting in his maiden speech that ‘the help and investment promised after last year’s riots have not come through’.
Mr Reed served on the committee which scrutinised the proposals before becoming law. The committee amended the legislation to clarify compensation timescales and allow for consequential losses to be claimed if the claimant could not return to their home immediately.
Commenting on the new laws, Steve Reed MP said: “Croydon businesses and residents suffered terrible losses in the 2011 riots which hit our community very hard.
“These new laws are a welcome step forward to ensure that if the worst happens again, there will be a better system in place to deal with compensation.
“But there is lots to be done to ensure that people are treated more fairly if there were to be a repeat.
“I’ll continue to argue for a stronger voice for communities in overseeing compensation, and seek assurances that generous public donations are not deducted from official compensation.” – See more at: http://www.stevereedmp.co.uk/riot-compensation-bill-passes/#sthash.Bc7tTAkS.dpuf (Source: Steve Reed MP’s website)
NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING SHOULD NOT BE SOFTER SIDE OF POLICING” – HELEN HAYES MP
Neighbourhood policing should not be regarded as the softer side of policing. says Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood.
“It should be regarded not as a luxury to be cut in a time of austerity, but as a vital relationship-building bridge between the police and the communities that they serve, and as the key to resolving and preventing many of the serious crimes that can threaten the security and stability of our communities.
“While I welcome the change in recruitment policy by the Metropolitan police to recruit only Londoners, the cuts are clearly limiting the progress that this policy has the potential to make in terms of black and minority ethnic representation in the Met, which still stands at only 11.5%.
“Much of the reduction in officer numbers is being achieved by not replacing retiring officers. “Without new recruitment, the diversity of the Met will continue to lag behind that of the population it serves.
“The devastating cuts have had a major impact. “Every police officer I speak to is stretched more than they can ever recall having been in their working lives. “Violent crime is going up.
“Of all the reforms that former Mayor Boris Johnson made, the reorganisation of safer neighbourhood policing into the local policing model is the most damaging.
“Through that reform, the police are losing visibility, vital sources of intelligence and the ability to address minor problems before they escalate.
“The Dulwich area of my constituency was recently dubbed the UK’s burglary hotspot on the basis of data from insurance claims relating to burglary. “I have spoken to many residents who have been the victim of that horrible crime in recent months.
“Many have had windows and doors smashed in during broad daylight. “In one shocking attack, a resident had the contents of a petrol canister poured over him.
“In that context, our local police have been forced to be reactive instead of proactive, visiting the victims after the crimes had taken place and responding to emergency call-outs.
“But a proactive approach, through neighbourhood policing, is vital to addressing some of the most serious and pressing challenges that we face, such as gun and youth crime, sexual exploitation, radicalisation and terrorism, forced marriage and honour-based violence.
“To investigate and prevent those crimes, the police require a depth of knowledge and relationship with the communities that they serve, which cannot be fabricated in the heat of a rapid response once a crime has been committed.
“One community activist in Brixton, who has engaged with the police for many years, said at a Mayor’s office for policing and crime roadshow meeting that the erosion of safer neighbourhood teams had ‘taken the heart out of policing’.
“When communities know their officers and officers know their patch, the police have a public face at a local level.
“When that is taken away, public confidence all too often depends on headlines, high-profile cases and the individual experiences of people who have, sadly, already been the victims of crime.”