MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Meeting with Haringey’s police commander, Steven Bloomfield. Lots on the menu to discuss. First and foremost – the re-opening of Muswell Hill police station front counter. At last, the Volunteer Coordinator is employed and getting feet under the table. I have written to her to suggest we meet up as I have a lot more people who have volunteered since the original ones I collected over a year ago and of whom, many filled in the Met application form (not easy – Met forms are a nightmare and enough to put off any but the keenest at the first hurdle). Sir John Stevens (Met Police Commissioner who has expressed a desire to open the front counter with me as soon as possible) and I am anxious to comply. Yes, Sir! Hopefully, it will open in July – or thereabouts.
Then we discuss the police kiosk in Wood Green. Given the constant refusal to reopen Highgate police station, I have been nagging for some permanent base for police here – to no avail. A kiosk might be the answer. Steven says that the main problem is because it only opens certain hours, people complain that it is always closed. He says they never write in to say how wonderful it is – when it is open. Of course, there is an answer – open it longer hours. That battle goes on.
We have our usual skirmish over my work and any adverse publicity it has brought to his door. Recently, my work on unreported crime which was based on a crime survey distributed to every household in Hornsey & Wood Green found that out of 1119 people who had been a victim of or witness to a crime 421 did not report it. I presented this at the last full meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority and it found support from Sir John Stevens amongst others. The work will now continue to make this a performance indicator for the Met. However, Steven was cross because although it was bad – it was better than the year before and coincided timewise with an improvement in crime detection in Haringey. Well – we all have our jobs to do – and mine is to improve matters where people tell me they need improving. Police resources are targetted where crime is reported – which would explain why it is important for people to feel that it is worthwhile to report crime, however minor, to the police. The vast majority of people who did not report a crime did not do so because they either thought the police would do nothing (often true) or they couldn’t get through to their local police station!
We then meandered over my work on Stop & Search and a variety of individual cases that obviously, I am not going to discuss here. I like Steven and I think the police in Haringey do a really good job over all – but there are still huge unmet needs across the borough – so no doubt our future meetings will continue to be interesting.