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Police Connect Report A report looking into the relationship between Young People and the Police in the London Borough of Bexley. Bexley Youth Council Crime & Justice Sub-Group - September 2011


Police Connect Report

Table of Contents Introduction

1

Robert Smith Chairman of the Crime & Justice Sub-Group 2010-2011

1

Joe McLynn Chairman of Bexley Youth Council

1

Police Connect Questionnaire

2

What is the questionnaire for?

2

How was the questionnaire conducted and how many people took part?

2

What do we hope to achieve from the questionnaire?

2

Results

3

Analysis of results

9

Police Connect Conference

10

Background Information

10

Workshops

10

Question Time Panel

10


Police Connect Report

1

Introduction

Robert Smith Chairman of the Crime & Justice Sub-Group 2010-2011

The idea for the Crime & Justice Sub-Group to work on the relationship between young people and

the Police in Bexley has been in the pipeline for quite a while. Thankfully this year, after a difficult 2010

for the Bexley Youth Council, we were able to concentrate and focus as a group on producing this

project which we decided to call the ‘Police Connect Report’. The aim of the project was to look

further into the relationship which young people have with the Police in Bexley, and importantly to try

and find areas of improvement which could be given as constructive feedback. One thing that

became clear during the work of the group over the past year is that while the Police will never be able

to have a perfect reputation in the eyes of everyone, but they are always trying to do the best job

possible, and that beyond doubt they are there for the benefit of every young person in Bexley.

Hopefully the contents of this report will be read by as many people who are responsible for operating

public services in Bexley as possible. Finally, I would like to wish the best of luck to whoever who is

elected as the new Chairperson of the Crime & Justice Sub-Group in September.

Joe McLynn Chairman of Bexley Youth Council

As an introduction to the Bexley Youth Council I’d just like to speak firstly of the aim of this report. The

aim being to try and ensure the Police and young people have a relationship where young people feel

unthreatened by the Police, and to try and make a reliable link between the youth and police. As a

whole, the Bexley Youth Council has undergone drastic changes over the past couple of years, and

we are now on the verge of a new era; an era in which we hope to become a extremely productive

and positive group in which the borough can lay its complete trust in to help the young people of

Bexley. In BYC we have two sub-groups; consisting of Crime & Justice and Community & Events.

Both of which are a vital part to the community itself. The achievements that have come from either

sub-group are outstanding and we can only hope to keep contributing to those.

Crime & Justice Sub-Group: Robert Smith, Jonathan Gillespie, Joe McLynn, Isobel Thomas, Charlotte Lock, Dominic Pimlott, Chris Lee, Matthew Smith / Report Compilation, Words & Design: Robert Smith / Images: Chris Lee & Matthew Smith


Police Connect Report

2

Police Connect Questionnaire What is the questionnaire for? This Police Connect Questionnaire is an important part of the Police Connect Report. It aims to look into the relationship between young people and the Police in Bexley; looking at what is good, what is bad, and what could be improved.

How was the questionnaire conducted and how many people took part? The questionnaire was conducted using two different methods. Firstly, 45 young people took the questionnaire at the Police Connect Conference using clickable voting remotes. Secondly, the questionnaire was filled out online by 55 young people. Overall 100 young people, aged between 11-19 and living in Bexley, took the questionnaire.

What do we hope to achieve from the questionnaire? We hope that Bexley Police and Bexley Council will value the opinions of young people in the Borough by looking into the results of the questionnaire. Hopefully this will provide them with information on areas in which the Police are successful, and most importantly, areas in which the Police could improve.

Please find detailed results and an analysis of the results of the questionnaire overleaf.


Police Connect Report

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Results Question 1 - Please provide your age Number of People 20

15

10

5

0

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

18+

Question 2 - Please provide which school you attend (results in order from highest to lowest) Bexley Grammar School

25

St Columbus School for Boys

02

Townley Grammar School

21

Cleve Park School

02

Erith School

11

Blackfen School

01

Beths Grammar School

08

Bexley Business Academy

01

Oakwood School

05

Harris Academy

01

Trinity School

04

Hurstmere School

01

St Catherines

03

Bexleyheath School

00

Christ The King

03

University/Working

03

Welling School

02

Outside Bexley Borough

01

Chistlehurst & Sidcup Grammar 02

None

06

02


Police Connect Report

Question 3 - Please provide which area of Bexley you live in (chloropleth map shows higher results in darker colour)

Question 4 - What areas in Bexley do you think are most dangerous in terms of crime? (chloropleth map shows higher results in darker colour)

4


Police Connect Report

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Question 5 - What do you think is the most problematic crime in Bexley? Number of People Knife Crime Gun Crime Racial Graffiti Bullying Theft Arson Homophobic Cyber Financial Hate Assault Drugs 0

25

50

75

100

Question 6 - Which of the following experiences have you had with the Police? Percentage of People

Reported Crime

Stop and search

Talks/presentations

Arrest

Caution 0

20

40

60

80


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Question 7 - If you answered Yes to any of the above, how would you rate the way you were dealt with? (10 being the best score) Number of People 15

11.25

7.5

3.75

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Question 8 - How would you rate the level of Police presence in Bexley? (10 being the best score) Number of People 20

15

10

5

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10


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A PCSO is a Police Community Support Officer.

Question 9 - Did you know what a PCSO was before you read this? Yes

No

28%

72%

Question 10 - How much safer would the presence of the following types of Police Officer make you feel when you are out and about? (Result expressed in Number of People) Yes, a lot safer

Yes, a little safer

No, not at all safer

PCSO

Full Police Officer

0

17.5

35

52.5

70


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Question 11 - Would you like PCSOs to have more powers to deal with crime? Yes

No

19%

81%

Question 12 - How could the Police improve the way they deal with Young People? The following suggestions were provided. Suggestions which were made many times are printed in larger text.

Treat them with more respect but be stricter and tougher

Talk to them more like an adult, avoid being patronising

Less time in meetings, more time on the beat Give young people stern talks and make offenders do community service

Communicate with more respect Be less lenient because people think they can get away with crimes

Not be quite so rough

Give PCSOs more powers to deal with crime Interact on an informal basis more regularly so that Young People are used to Police presence and are confident in confiding with them More PCSOs on the top decks of buses

Don’t come across too serious. Be friendly, approachable and willing to talk Attending youth clubs and getting involved with activities to build a bond

Explain things fully and correctly


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Analysis of results Question 4 - What areas in Bexley do you think are the most dangerous in terms of crime? This question aims to find out the geographical areas which young people in Bexley perceive to be the most dangerous. By far, young people considered Thamesmead and Welling to be the most dangerous areas with 29% and 24% of all answers mentioning the two areas respectively. The high result for Welling may have been influenced by the recent tragic incident which took place near the high street. Crayford was considered to be the safest area in Bexley, with not one of the 100 young people mentioning it for this question. Similarly, Upper Belvedere, Sidcup, Barnehurst, Albany Park and Foots Cray were only mentioned by one single person as being considered dangerous. Bexleyheath and Erith were the third and fourth most mentioned areas for this question; it should be noted that they both contain shopping centres and are therefore more liable to be hotspots for crime.

Question 5 - What do you think is the most problematic crime in Bexley? Graffiti was considered to be by far the most problematic crime. Racial, bullying, theft, arson and hate crimes also received high scores. Serious crimes like gun and knife crimes featured but were thankfully not considered to be the most problematic. Young people clearly felt that Bexley did not have a substantial problem with the use of drugs.

Question 6 - Which of the following experiences have you had with the Police? A large percentage of the young people (76%) had experienced a talk or presentation held by the police which was promising. Only 25% of the young people had ever been stopped and searched, which is interesting considering the level of debate there is regarding the stop and search procedure and young people. Only 27% said they had ever reported crime.

Question 7 - How would you rate the way you were dealt with? Twelve young people answering this question were clearly unhappy with the way they were dealt with and therefore gave an answer of 0. However, more promisingly the majority of answers ranked between 5 and 9, with the most popular answer being 8. This can be said to be a fairly satisfactory rating of the way the young people felt they were dealt with by the police.

Question 8 - How would you rate the level of Police presence in Bexley? Once again there was a satisfactory conclusion to this question, with the majority of answers grouping around the mode result of 6. The lack of results between 7 and 9 may be a concern however. The answers to this question suggest a fairly visible police presence, but not an entirely perfect one. 14 young people were impressed with the level of police in Bexley and therefore gave a rating of 10.

Question 9 - Did you know what a PCSO was before you read this? The vast majority, almost three quarters, of the people questioned knew what a PCSO was prior to filling out the questionnaire. This suggests that they have come across PCSOs either in the street or during a talk or presentation.

Question 10 - How much safer would the presence of the following types of Police Officer make you feel when you are out and about? The clear result here is that while PCSOs make young people feel safer, they do not make them feel safe to the same extent as they would if a full police officer was present. Almost two thirds of the young people questioned did reply that a PCSO made them feel safer out and about however, which is promising. Over two thirds replied that the presence of a full police officer made them feel “a lot� safer.

Question 11 - Would you like PCSOs to have more powers to deal with crime? A clear majority of young people, by over 4 to 1, would like to see PCSOs have more powers to deal with crime. This is a telling result considering dealing with young people forms a key part of the workload of a PCSO.


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Police Connect Conference Background Information The Police Connect Conference was an event held by the Bexley Youth Council on Friday 15th July 2011 to bridge the gap between young people in the Borough and the Police. The event was hosted in the Council Chamber at the Bexley Civic Offices, and was attended by over 50 Young People from schools in Bexley. During the event there were three different workshops relating to the work of the Police and to finish a Question Time style panel was held which gave the

Cllr John Fuller welcomes people to the conference

chance for attendees to question a number of high-profile panelists in regards to the work of the Police in the Borough.

Workshops The following 45 minute workshops were held by members of the Bexley Police. Gang Law - the Trident team from the Police delivered a visual and interactive workshop, which explained how to maintain safety on the streets. Anti-Social Behaviour - this workshop gave information on the consequences of Anti-Social Behaviour. Serious Crime & Consequences - there was a presentation and a chance to have a look around a Police CCTV van.

One of the workshops taking place

Question Time Panel The following people took part in the hour Q&A session. James Cleverly AM Conservative London Assembly Member for Bexley & Bromley Chief Superintendent David Stringer Bexley Police Borough Commander Charlotte Shrimption Bexley Youth Offending Team Manager PC Jeff Moorely Bexley Police Constable Robert Smith

James Cleverly answers a question during the Police

Chair, BYC Crime & Justice Sub-Group

Q&A Panel session


Police Connect Report