Agenda and minutes

Safer Neighbourhood Board - Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Cliona May
020 8726 6000  Email:

No. Item


Apologies of Absence


Apologies were received from Anne Giles and Andrew Brown.


Minutes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2018 (copy attached).


The following amendments to the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2018 had been received by a Safer Neighbourhood Board Member –


·       The record of attendance should not state “Also Present:” for the Safer Neighbourhood Board Members who were not Councillors. The Democratic Services Officer noted that all those present at the meetings would be recorded together until the new Terms of Reference for the Board was agreed and the membership established.

·       To receive further information regarding the tri-borough agreement and encourage the Safer Neighbourhood Boards to work collaboratively and share information.” to be reworded to “new condensed Basic Command Unit (BCUs)”.

·       To amend the spelling of “focusing” in the minutes.

·       To add “and invited guests” to the following sentences:

-       The Chair requested that the Safer Neighbourhood Board Members and invited guests present introduced themselves and explained their role within the community and what they would like to achieve as a Board going forward.

-       The Chair thanked the Safer Neighbourhood Board and invited guests for their contributions and explained that she agreed with what had been said.


RESOLVED – That the Board agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 5 September 2018, subject to the above amendments, as an accurate record.


Presentation from the Director of the Lioness Sexual Abuse Project

The Chair will invite the Director of the Lioness Sexual Abuse Project to speak to the Board.


The Director of the Lioness Sexual Abuse Project introduced herself and explained about the organisation. She noted that there were weekly “lioness circle” woman’s group, regular one-to-one sessions and multiple activities were held throughout the year.


The Director outlined a case study of an unemployed single mother of two children who suffered from PTSD, regular panic attacks and anxiety. She joined the group and attended 90% of the lioness weekly sessions. The organisation referred her to free therapy where she was supported and developed tools to help deal with the triggers through the day-to-day chores.


In response to queries raised by the Board the Director of the Lioness Sexual Abuse Project clarified the following:


·       The group met in Thornton Heath.

·       Safer Neighbourhood Board members could contact her for a referral form for any residents who would benefit from the project.

·       The Director confirmed she had completed the training for volunteering at the Family Justice Centre, which had been extremely useful, and she would continue to volunteer to help victims within the community.

·       Being a survivor of domestic abuse she explained that women found her warm and open to talk to. She noted that due to her experience of abuse she fully understood the situations, meaning the victims did not have to over explain, and the victims did not feel judged.

·       It was a non-profit organisation and there was an independent Board to make decisions and agree suitable policies.

·       Funding had been received by Croydon Council in the past and the organisation was currently looking for other funding options.

·       There were annual “self-love retreats” where the Lioness Sexual Abuse Project would organise a weekend break away from London for the women. They stayed in a retreat centre, attend workshops and have a party at the end of the break. It was explained that it was important for the women to take time out from their day-to-day activities and focus on themselves.


Introductions from the Ward Panel Chairs

The Chair will invite the Ward Panel Chairs present to introduce themselves and the work of the Ward Panels.


The Vice-Chair explained that Mr James Stremes, Chair of the South Croydon Ward Panel, was not able to attend due to a prior commitment; however, the Vice-Chair read the following update on his behalf to the Board –


South Croydon Ward Panel met recently (on 16 November 2018) and we have the following promises:


·       Total Victim Care (focus on property protection/burglary)

·       Motor Vehicle Issues (focus on motor vehicle crime and motor vehicle ASB)

·       Open Spaces (focus on general safety and misuse)


We are still getting settled after the ward changes and getting an established team.  However, we are now receiving a very good weekly summary of crime on the Ward as well as a full review of activity at the quarterly meetings.  Through communications and weekly ‘meets’ on the Ward the team are trying to encourage greater participation, but this remains an issue.  We have not particularly interacted with other panels.”


The Vice-Chair noted that Mr Tomas Howard-Jones, the Chair of the Addiscombe West Ward Panel, was also unable to attend and read the following update on his behalf –


The Ward Panels’ priorities are:

-       Burglaries

-       Theft from Motor Vehicles

-       Alcohol related problems including ASB


The Panel aspires to achieve the following:

-       Reformation following the New ward boundaries (losing 2 key committee panellists),

-       Understanding better from the SNT some of nature/scale of dealing with highest categories of crime beyond the daily SNT priorities,

-       Improving means to track increasing online theft/fraud.


The attendance to our meetings are –

-       Excluding the SNT police, and the 3 ward councillors (of whom 2 regularly attend), the number of panellists currently stands at 14.

-       Rarely are there more than 2 absences, and such absences have apologies given in advance for non-attendance.


-       Our meetings are Quarterly, agreed with the SNT to be on a Thursday around the middle of January, April, July and October.

-       An AGM is usually held in the April meeting.

-       A written constitution is in place for guidance on procedures and management of the ward panel.


Interaction with other Ward Panels in the Borough

-       Attempts to liaise with the new Addiscombe East ward panel, which has formed around the old Ashburton ward panel.

-       There were hopes that our 2 former committee members who live in the new Addiscombe East ward would join the Ashburton panel and help foster relations with that panel.


Unfortunately, this has so far been unsuccessful, as the Addiscombe East SNT informed them that they liaised directly with the local Resident Associations in Ashburton and so there was no independent Addiscombe East ward panel from Ashburton.”


The Chair of Purley & Woodcote Ward Panel, Tony Smith, explained that he had moved to Purley a few years ago and had attended the meetings as a local resident. The Chair has resigned and Mr Smith became Chair in October 2018 so was new to the role; however, he had previously been Chair of the Sutton South Ward Panel.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Any Other Business


The Board discussed the ongoing problems with fly-tipping within the Borough and the need for more CCTV in the hotspots.


Chief Inspector Craig Knight gave an update to the Board and outlined the current crime figures. He also highlighted the following:


·         The current 32 borough model would be condensed to 12 Basic Command Units (BCU). The local BCU would include three boroughs, Croydon, Bromley and Sutton, from 7 February 2019; this was due to the savings the Met Police needed to make by 2021. The response units would continue running from the three sites; however, there had been closures of local police stations and the Sutton custody site would be closed in February 2019.

·         There was a lack of Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) in the Borough and had been noted as a risk for Croydon.

·         Ward Panel attendance would be improved with a greater social media presence to reach the communities in a different way. He explained that he would like to reintroduce cluster meetings for Ward Panel Chairs and have the police presence at these.


In response to queries raised by the Board the Chief Inspector stated the following:


·         Crime could be reported on the Met Police website.

·         In most circumstances an update would not be received from reporting scam emails; however, he urged residents to continue reporting them.

·         There was a struggle with retaining Dedicated Ward Officers (DWO).