The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs has announced extra funding for Community Safety in his budget proposals for 2022–23 as part of his pledge for a cleaner, safer and fairer borough. £675,000 will be used to provide a range of additional resources to boost community safety, including additional CCTV resources, more funding to tackle violence against women and girls, and new knife bins.
Community safety is a key priority for Tower Hamlets Council and residents, but 10 years of austerity from the Conservative Government has had a devastating impact. The decimation of neighbourhood policing is being felt across the country, with police visibility at an all-time low – the number of people never seeing an officer on patrol has doubled since 2010, and only 400 of the first 6,000 new officers announced by the Government went into neighbourhood roles.
In Tower Hamlets, the Labour-run Council has done a lot of work with its partners in the Metropolitan Police Service and other local agencies to ensure that residents are protected from the worst effects of Tory austerity on community safety.
The council continues to provide council-funded police officers, known as the Partnership Task Force (PTF). Since April 2021 the PTF has undertaken more than 9,000 hours of uniformed patrols, issued nearly 200 antisocial behaviour warnings, conducted 376 stop and searches and made 53 detections for possession of drugs or possession with intent to supply.
The council’s award-winning Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) team continues to offer support for victims of domestic abuse and improve women’s safety, offering training sessions to encourage male allyship and reporting of abuse, and the new budget proposals include additional investment in this area.
The council is also working to deliver its CCTV Transformation Programme, a £3.1million investment to upgrade the whole CCTV network to new digital technology, which will increase visibility and allow the council to better support the police and tackle crime.
Tower Hamlets Labour have acted to add to the on-going success the Council has achieved in Community Safety by proposing £675,000 to tackle ASB and crime in the borough, which includes the following:
- Community Safety Engagement and Enforcement Hubs across the borough sited in high priority ASB and crime locations
- 6 relocatable CCTV cameras with Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) capability
- 1 overt CCTV control van
- 5 knife bins
- 2 Young Person and Violence Against Women and Girls focussed enforcement officers
- Provision of infrastructure to support future CCTV expansion
The Budget will be debated at Full Council on Wednesday 2nd March 2021. The proposals can be viewed here.
Councillor Sirajul Islam, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said:
“We know crime and Anti-Social Behaviour is a top concern for residents in the borough, and we are working hard with our partners to protect Tower Hamlets residents. But we know we can always do more.
“This proposal will provide a boost to tackling crime in our borough, with additional CCTV and enforcement hubs in the pipeline, and shows the important work a Labour Council can do to protect local residents.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:
“We take our responsibility to help create a safe environment very seriously, and we have strong partnerships with the police, local organisations, and others in order to target serious crime in the borough.
“This extra funding will be invested in key measures to deter ASB and crime and protect funding for council-funded police officers, so residents see more bobbies on the beat.’’