Hate crime is the initial focus of a new series of public meetings which aim to tackle difficult issues in our community.
Taking place on 21 July, the hate crime event is part of the Council’s wider ‘It’s Time to Talk’ campaign which aims to empower residents and community leaders to talk about difficult issues and work together with the authorities to tackle them. Important challenges such as hate crime, child sexual exploitation, extremism, gang culture, domestic abuse and harmful practices are all expected to be discussed at separate events throughout the year.
The event on 21 July has a number of high-profile speakers attending, including Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy – Centre for Hate Studies, Stephen Brooks MBE – Coordinator of the Disabled Hate Crime Network and special guest keynote speaker – creative pioneer Samuell Benta. Topics such as what exactly a hate crime is, how big the problem is in Brent and the role of social media in the context of hate crime, will be discussed.
In light of recent events in Paris, Brent Neighbourhood Watch in partnership with the Police are holding the following Counter Terrorism event next week. The seminar will be conducted by the police in collaboration with Brent Community Area Watch.
A joined-up operation between Brent Council, the Police, Veolia and Ashford Place, the homeless charity in Cricklewood, will see the first night operation taking place at Gladstone Park from tonight. The aim of the operation is to decrease anti-social behaviour and remove any tents and structures that may be up in the park. There has been a reported increase of people sleeping in the park using tents and other bedding and this contravenes park bye-laws.
The majority of those sleeping in the parks have come from Romania to seek work in the UK and send money home. We understand they are trying to avoid accommodation costs by sleeping in the park. Whilst sympathetic to these individuals, Brent Council’s primary concern is the safety of its residents.
Signs are already up at the park in both English and in Romanian.
Brent Council has been made aware that many of these people are also seeking employment at the informal labour market in Chichele Road, Cricklewood. The Metropolitan Police have implemented a dispersal zone to deal with this problem, and any employers hiring staff this way will be questioned by the Police. We would also discourage residents from hiring them for casual labour, as we believe this is exacerbating the problem in the parks. If you are not sure of someone’s status, ask for an NI number when hiring them, so you can be sure they have a residential address and paying taxes in the UK.
Brent Council is also working with the HMRC and UKBA to establish the immigration status of these sleepers.
Victim Support in partnership with Brent Council are holding a crime prevention stall at the park to address concerns from residents about safety at the park. The stall will be located near Anson Road.
Police will also be available to talk about crime issues.
You can talk to us and your local crime and community organisations about crime prevention and personal safety at Gladstone Park. Victim Support can also offer you support if you have been affected by crime.
Even if you have no concerns, come and pick up your free personal alarms and security items from our stall.
The Brent and Kilburn Times website is warning Asian residents to be wary of jewellery thieves LINK
The individuals are known to be patrolling around in a car and approaching Asians.
One of my constituents was lured at the Neasden Shopping Centre by being asked directions to the temple as a conversation starter. Thankfully she was having none of it and went away!
I have raised the issue with the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team who are on the lookout for these criminals. It is important that all incidents are reported to 999 in an emergency and 101 in non emergency situations.
After intense pressure from the Dudden Hill Labour team, Brent Police and Brent Council are introducing a Dispersal Zone in Neasden. This is after a number of complaints received from residents and local businesses regarding the persistent anti-social / nuisance behaviour being caused by groups of males whom are gathering in and around Neasden Parade (Shopping Centre) and its surrounding roads.
A number of reports have been received from residents and local businesses which have highlighted the following issues / problems:
• Groups of males causing ASB during the day.
• Drug dealing and using.
• Loitering in entrances to local shops / businesses & residential properties.
• Intimidation / harassment of local business.
• Using threatening language /verbal abuse.
• Fighting / Threats / Acts of violence.
The dispersal order will be enforced from 12:00hrs on 7th May 2014 and will be in operation until 6th November 2014. This will be for six (6) months. It will cover the roads / streets that are within the red boundary as highlighted in the map. Which are as follows : Neasden Lane bordering the A406 on the West side running between A4088 on the South and Chartley Ave on the North including both sides of Chartley Ave. Stopping at Neasden Circle roundabout on the East side including the roundabout. Along Tanfield Ave on the South East side, including both sides of Tanfield Ave. This also includes Birse Crescent and Cairnfield Ave, all other roads, streets, open areas, communal spaces and car parks within the mapped area outlined in red.
Groups of individuals causing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) or acting in a manner that is causing or is likely cause alarm, harassment or distress can now be dispersed by Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). Individuals that have been instructed to leave the area will not be allowed to return to the area for a period of 24hrs. If they return and continue to cause problems, they can / will be arrested.
Anyone found guilty of contravening a direction under a dispersal order can face up to three (3) months imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,500.
The Dudden Hill SNT will regularly police the dispersal zone throughout the period of the dispersal notice.
Maps of the dispersal zone will be displayed throughout the designated zone during the allocated time period, this is to encourage victims and witnesses to report Anti-Social Behaviour as and when it may occur.
Plans for selective licensing for properties in Brent have been revised to consider the inclusion of Dudden Hill Ward and Mapesbury Ward. Original plans suggested Wembley Central, Harlesden and Willesden Green for piloting.
As part of Tuesday night’s decision, additional licensing will be rolled out across the entire borough.
Currently, all local authorities are obliged to run a licensing scheme covering Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more people. A scheme has been in operation in Brent since 2006.
We will roll out additional licensing in the whole Borough from 1st January 2015. This will cover HMOs not covered by mandatory licensing; defined as properties containing 3 or more separate households in a property of no more than 2 floors.
The third type of license is selective licensing and that will focus on improving the management of privately rented properties accommodating single households as well as HMOs. This is for consultation in the five wards mentioned above.
There is now more private rented housing in Brent than Council Social Housing. It is a highly unregulated market which is causing problems of anti-social behaviour in Brent. Especially in relation to fly-tipping, street drinking and poor upkeep of properties. It really leads to eyesores to many quiet residential roads.
The scheme was attacked by Lib Dem Councillors on the night who showed themselves to be on the wrong side of the argument on this issue. They have failed to grasp the issues in Brent revolving around the private rented sector.
Many of the flytipping issues and waste from overflowing bins can be attributed to private rented properties and rogue landlords. The Brent Labour Group is the only party hat is addressing the root cause of the problem. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have gained a notorious reputation of blaming Labour cuts to streetcare for fly tipping from individuals (quite ironic after their party are cutting Council funding around the country by 50% in some cases).
They then go on to blame the Council as if it is the Council that is physically putting the rubbish out on the streets. With this sort of attitude, they will always lack the ideas, creativity and energy needed to make fundamental long term changes that we need.
It is a massive innovative step in the right direction to drive up standards for all residents and tackle issues of anti-social behaviour.
I’ve had a few residents contact me living around Dollis Hill tube station and in the Neasden area who have told me about their recent experiences being a victim of gold chain snatching.
I am urging residents who are victim of this crime to first of all make sure the any incident or even attempted incident is reported. This will give the police the intelligence they need to make sure they are patrolling the right areas at the right time.
In the past, such an approach has led to success in actually catching the culprits LINK . However, Police for now rely on greater information and intelligence as there is less of them in the Dudden Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team.
I have raised the matter with the local Ward sergeant and I have visibly already seen Police around patrolling at times that people told me these incidents happened in one of the locations at least.