July 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 4, 2014
Theft and violent crime were among the main issues raised at Islington’s first ever crime summit.
Members of the public voiced their concerns with the borough’s top cop Det Ch Supt Gerry Campbell and town hall crime chief, Cllr Paul Convery, at Islington Assembly Hall in Upper Street.
The first four members of a 24 strong Safer Neighbourhoods Board (SNB), which will have real powers to hold police and the council to account over crime, were also elected at the meeting.
Cllr Convery said the summit was an important step in helping to building trust between police and the public.
He said: “One of the things that was most positive about the summit was that everybody got the chance to hear about what the police are doing.
“It’s about the public being confident that they can report crime to the police and provide information, trusting that they will be protected.
Trust in the council and police had been knocked when the council accidentally released the names of 51 residents to a gang of yobs they complained about on the Andover Estate but Cllr Convery said “people were continuing to report crimes such as anti-social behaviour to the police.”
Concerns were expressed at the meeting about the increase in thefts in recent years and the amount of violent crime.
“A few people said that crime was coming down, but that it didn’t feel like it and there were groups of young people committing crimes in their areas,” said Cllr Convery.
“We have a problem with theft of smart phones and this is connected to a lot of other types of crime.
“It’s only a small number of people committing these crimes but they are prolific and hard to catch.”
Among those at the summit was 23-year-old reformed drug dealer Daniel Sheehan, who spoke about going to prison and making a decision to “go straight”.
The first four members of the SNB were announced at the meeting as Derek Sawyer, Dominic Fenton, Hanna Khan and Sharon Jobe.
The four will be joined by a further 20 to form a panel of residents, councillors and public figures with a budget allocated by the town hall.