13th October 2016
Dear Cllr Pierce
The Community Trigger Panel met on 29th September 2016 to discuss the case requested by you on 31st May 2016 on behalf of residents in Bacon and Chilton Street. The case was discussed in detail and included all actions and activity undertaken by the Police and council prior to and after the original report to address resident concerns. Information was requested from the Police and council to show the levels of reported ASB and criminal offending for this location since the original referral as well as subsequently along with actions undertaken across the partnership to helps address these complaints. The following is a summary of activity showing the activities undertaken prior to and following the Community Trigger submission. 25th January 2016 The Council conducted a walkabout to address community concerns in Weavers ward in Chilton Street and surrounding roads to discuss a range of issues including drug dealing. All actions discussed at this walkabout were subsequently completed before end May 2016 (Appendix 3) and previously forwarded. 31st May 2016 Community trigger submitted (Appendix 1) this provided twelve (12) CAD reference numbers from residents regarding complaints of drug using and dealing to the Police. 7th July 2016 Response received from Police (Appendix 2) which identifies complaints from one address. The policing outcomes from the calls identified:1. No trace of perpetrators on attendance, 2. Insufficient information provided to deal with allegations and 3. Stops and searches made on individuals and vehicles with no drugs being found. 12th July 2016 A further site visit was conducted where a significant number of attendees from Police and Council teams along with Councillors and residents agreed a significant number of actions to improve the locality. (Appendix 3 - 4) and previously forwarded.
Limited funding was secured from Highways department given the current financial situation to undertake work to address environmental concerns. Residents also requested bollards to be installed at Chilton Street /Bacon Street to help prevent offenders attending in vehicles and engage in drug supply/use, this is not yet possible and may prove to be impossible to deliver by Highways for the following reasons:
The closure of Chilton St and Kerbela St at their junction of Cheshire St is not be considered at present until we have completed our borough survey of traffic following the 20 mph speed limits The closure of these junctions would require agreement from all emergency services and our own refuse contractor, as they would create an enclosed estate with access only onto brick lane. We still await responses to such an agreement which Highways directorate lead on. The presence of the market on Sundays would also cause a major traffic problem for this area and considerations for managing this locality would be required.
Highways will review the request for bollards to be installed once they have up dated traffic information to inform their traffic survey. Tower Hamlets Homes At the walkabout on 12th July it was suggested the vehicle gate/ barrier at Chilton St j/w Granby Street be secured. Consultation with affected residents are ongoing and subject to a favourable outcome the gate post will be reinstated and keys distributed, this should be concluded by end November 2016. Police activity The Neighbourhood Policing Team under leadership of Inspector Paul Crosby have undertaken a significant amount of work in Weavers of which Chilton Street is one area. Inspector Crosby provided a summary of the work being undertaken in this area to Cllr Pierce and stated the issues cannot be dealt with on a street by street basis. Analysis shows
Increased enforcement on the Chicksand and Boundary Estates appears to have displaced some of the related drugs activity to the Bacon Street/Chilton Street/Granby Street area and highlights the very point that chasing drug dealing and ASB from street-to-street, or indeed estate-to-estate, appears to result in displacement of issues and increased complaints in nearby areas.
The dealing in question predominantly relates to class A drugs rather than cannabis, there is a large market for substances, is also very lucrative and people are 2
physically and psychologically addicted to. Therefore, dealing will take place in the area somewhere (usually in the west of our borough), unless more is done to address the underlying issues and the means by which drugs are supplied. Heavily policing a particular area will make the venue for drug dealing move. Removing a particular drug dealer (or even a drugs supply chain) will result in others moving in to take advantage of the gap in the market.
Whilst proactivity has a place in disrupting the dealers (here are a number of plain clothes drugs operations and drugs search warrants undertaken which relate to the Bacon Street and Chilton Street area it is not a solution and a number of activities have been / are being undertaken to assist policing of these crimes:
Hire Car Enforcement, to address issue of drugs being deal from vehicles • • • • •
Intelligence gathering in relation to vehicles, drivers and hire companies involved Information sharing (through an ISA) with the worst offending hire car firms Agreements between police and hire companies around what behaviour or scenarios of what will constitute a retrospective withdrawal of insurance cover or breach of hire agreement, allowing vehicles to be seized Agreements around the storage and sharing of a database of persistent ASB and drug offenders, respected by car hire firms and making it more difficult for drug dealers to source vehicles Looking at the routes/'rat runs' used by drug supply vehicles and whether bollards or gates could disrupt drug dealing. There is a long-standing action at ASB Ops relating to this. This originates from a Weavers ward walkabout completed in 2015 where a number of key locations were identified. One of these relates to a gate at Chilton Street/Granby Street (i.e. very close to the location above) which cannot currently be closed due to a missing bollard. Appendix 6
Drugs Intervention and Actions to support those Buying Drugs • Increased information sharing and mutual understanding between police and drugs intervention practitioners • Review of whether there is scope to improve intervention in key areas to provide additional support and rehabilitation for those buying and using drugs • The PTF are completing vice operations, usually covering the area between Vallance Road and Commercial Street. The links between vice and drug use are wellrecognised Hostels Partnership Working • Increased recognition that a small number of hostels in the Brick Lane provide a market for the supply of drugs (Booth House, Hopetown Hostel, Daniel Gilbert House and the Dellow Centre) • New information sharing agreement awaits final sign off but has buy-in from Paul Wishart and approx 16 hostels on the borough • Activity will focus on improved tenancy enforcement around drug use and ASB of residents 3
Problem-solving and CCTV enhancements around the worst offending hostel to reduce dealing in the vicinity Review of locations for these Hostels, may move offending to other localities
Proactive Operations • A recent multi-site high-visibility traffic operation has been completed, targeting drugs vehicles, with another to follow • Plain clothes operations targeting particular dealers or venues • Drugs warrants (recently executed and planned) TSG The above activities have led to a number of arrests over the ensuing period and of interest
2 individuals who constantly slept rough in Chilton Street area had injunctions served on them which they breached, they were subsequently arrested and taken to court which has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of calls from residents around drug taking and rough sleepers. A review of CAD reports show 13 reports in past 4 months (June – September) from 7 residents for drug related ASB and as in the earlier calls there are issues with the information provided to enable action to be taken, no personal descriptions, registration numbers etc. and of course one has to recognises neighbourhood policing teams and THEO’s have a larger area than this part of the ward to police / patrol and so cannot be in all places at all times to respond to such calls.
The Community Trigger Panel is meeting again on 26th October to discuss future considerations for this area and discuss improving the operation of the Trigger meeting to better serve complainants. This will ensure we provided a more timely response to complainants and provide a further response at the meetings conclusion.
Tony Gowen Enforcement Manager
Tower Hamlets Council response to Cllr John Pierce's community trigger request.