out of London

Just as the County Lines gangs have moved so much of their business out of London, politicians demand that more politics and business should be moved out of London too.

Obviously there cannot be a connection between the drugs business and the politics just as the deployment of soldiers into Afghanistan and the smuggling of Opium from Afghanistan are not connected.

County Lines gangs were always quite ahead, quick thinking and using latest technologies and exploited the situation.

They used

  • fake number plates and bogus car rentals companies
  • burner phones
  • bikes to move drugs before the national on our bike strategy came upon us
  • deployed expelled students in their drug trade

I think that the National Crime Agency must be sleeping with their eyes wide open.

When I sat on a local stop and search panel, I quite clearly pointed out that the statistics relating to drug dealing also related to stop and search results.

Overall the panel was dissolved, knife crime shot up and here we are. A big mess.

The American conundrum

It is absolutely terrible that the current problems with

  • Prince Andrew’s alleged association with convicted American Epstein
  • The Dunn family and the American Anne Sacoolas

could be compared.

I don’t want to get into the like-for-like comparison because there is so much human suffering through wrong-doing involved.

But I can’t help noticing how Prince Andrew is being urged to volunteer his evidence to the American investigators, from the highest level whilst Anne Sacoolas has the support of Dominic Raab to stay where she is and not come to the UK for assisting the criminal investigation.

There seems to be no proper understanding on both sides of the Atlantic that both countries need to work together and volunteer for individuals involved in investigations to assist.


Nobody knows anything

Perhaps the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is not so bad after all because it forces Northern Ireland business to fill in customs declarations about what they import or export. The case of the lorry cabin, belonging to a Northern Irish company, registered in Bulgaria, driving 39 people to their deaths, is a compelling case for it.

better coordination for fighting crime

Lets hope that Theresa May’s strategies work out and that the plans for the new National Crime Agency work out well. In the USA we have the FBI, Federal Bureau for Investigation and here we are going to have the NCA. From the outline it seems that the power to coordinate police work and identify national priorities, doesn’t look dissimilar to our local arrangements with the SNT whereby residents have a say in policing priorities.

It does make much sense to coordinate national priorities and therefore distribute precious resources sensibly. But that approach is just like the NHS started off, a national health organisation that did well on national resources but was then taken apart into single health authorities. I sincerely hope that the national approach at least works for policing when the government decided they did not want it for health. I think the financial principle would be the same really.

I cannot see how the SFO, Serious Fraud Office would need dismantling and re-integrated with the NCA because as the name implies it is also a national organisation already that just deals with serious fraud alone but already on a national basis. Since a similar command structure already works well in anti-terrorism work the police is bound to have developed a winning strategy against crime.

As Neighbourhood Watch coordinator I think that any national agency will compliment the existing Safer Neighbourhood Structure, which also sources from units who are flexible and used as needed in hotspots. It is excellent to have a thorough national infrastructure that is localised from region to region with fixed units in the region and flexible national units that can move from place to place as required.

Crime is really quite flexible and often uses the latest technology so a dual strategy of local and national policing is the correct way to deal with it. Thanks Theresa May, hope to compliment policing well from our little local area. The principle on which Mrs May relies is well titled in her paper Policing in the 21st Century, reconnecting police and the people. I just hope that this will result in better sourcing and support for Neighbourhood Watches in all areas of the UK. Especially here in Tower Hamlets the reconnecting police and the people are of immense importance when the borough officially stopped supporting Neighbourhood Watches around 8 years ago. But we are trying hard now to re-establish the scheme.

A very interesting consultation, currently carried out by the Met police asks residents and businesses, service users in general, how they perceive policing to be most effective, especially from the counter and direct customer contact point of view. I think there is something in the pipeline in that much contact probably will be made by phone rather than by counter in smaller stations.  Yet with policing it is another case rather than housing services because people just love to see those local coppers in uniform and police on patrol and popping into the station is rather lifting confidence and so an essential service. It is especially important for the older generation. I also belief that police officers themselves rather like to get a personal impression of a person than talking to them over the phone.


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