Attendance at policing meeting not encouraging
Following your article covering the Muswell Hill & Fortis Green Association s public meeting on Policing in Muswell Hill on November 18, first of all may I say what a good and accurate report it was (Protect us from riotous clubbers, H&H Broadway Novemb
Following your article covering the Muswell Hill & Fortis Green Association's public meeting on Policing in Muswell Hill on November 18, first of all may I say what a good and accurate report it was (Protect us from riotous clubbers, H&H Broadway November 16). There are, however, some issues which need following up.
I would like it recorded that it was a major achievement to get a Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector, an Inspector and three Sergeants, two local councillors, our MP, the council's licensing lead officer, our neighbourhood manager and the two directors of The Hill nightclub all to take time out to come to this meeting, which was very much appreciated.
We publicised this event in our newsletter, which is circulated to over 600 people, on our website, on our notice board in Muswell Hill Broadway, by leafleting houses in and around Dukes Avenue, in several side streets and many shops, the two local libraries, and finally by a follow-up e-mail to our members. The meeting was also mentioned in both your newspaper and the Muswell Hill Journal a week before the meeting.
We had 64 people at the meeting, which normally would be considered a good turnout but in the circumstances was extremely disappointing. Where were all the people who have complained about night time problems, CCTV, the police, safety and crime (such as burglary) in the past months?
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What an opportunity this would have been for residents and shopkeepers to meet their local safer neighbourhood officers, listen to them, talk to them and advise them of their concerns.
Our association made every effort to organise a meeting with a topical, local subject which should be of great interest to everybody. Does this mean that people are not interested, not bothered, apathetic or, just maybe, satisfied with local policing and have no concerns?
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We are fortunate to have three excellent safer neighbourhood teams in Muswell Hill, Fortis Green and Alexandra wards. They are visible, approachable and contactable by mobile phone at all times. In addition, there are regular night operations near the roundabout. What we need is better night time public transport and a bona fide cab company to help speed people on their way home when they come out of the clubs.
I would also like to repeat what I said in my concluding remarks at the meeting: I believe that this was exactly the kind of meeting which helps to bring about and encourage two-way communication between us, the residents, and the police.
The police will have a better idea of what our concerns are and we have a better insight into what the police are doing for our community.
Chair, Muswell Hill and
Fortis Green Association