MORE OF YOUR LETTERS ON HAVERSTOCK COMMUNITY POLICING CONTROVERSY

Chief Inspector Paul Morris s letter is deeply disappointing (Trust is essential in policing panels, H&H letters, September 20.) Concerned local people had reposed great hope that the new Chief Inspector would address the Safer Neighbourhood problems, esp

Chief Inspector Paul Morris's letter is deeply disappointing (Trust is essential in policing panels, H&H letters, September 20.) Concerned local people had reposed great hope that the new Chief Inspector would address the Safer Neighbourhood problems, especially in Haverstock.

But we now realise that all we seem to get is spin.

Beverly Gardner was expelled from her Safer Neighbourhood for speaking out against crime (Gagged for taking stand against crime, H&H, September 13). Her co vice-chair Yasmin Allen was demoted for the same reason.

After a two year stint in Gospel Oak and Haverstock wards, Peter Cuming, invited by the police to be the panel's first chair, subsequently had his resignation sought by the same police after insisting on results from his local Safer Neighbourhood team.


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I too was treated in a similar manner. Having served as Secretary of the Safer Neighbourhood panels in Gospel Oak and Haverstock wards for some two years, I was summarily informed by the police that they would take over the minutes. My crime? I and my fellow officers refused to 'adjust' the minutes to suit the police's agenda.

That agenda being to hide the fact that they had failed to tackle any of the priorities set out by the panel. The sergeant involved referred to the minutes as containing 'inaccuracies', but would not - could not - elaborate.

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In contrast, the civilian panel consistently agreed that my minutes were accurate and reflected precisely the meeting they had attended.

When I stepped down as secretary for the Haverstock ward panel in June 2006, a police constable was assigned to take the minutes from thereon.

Police acceptance of civilian direction has been extraordinarily reluctant in Haverstock. Any criticism of the police has been described as a 'personality clash' or an example of 'political bias'. The word 'inaccuracy' crops up any time the police are confronted with adverse comments. Attempts to discover what those inaccuracies are, results in obfuscation.

The culling of volunteers has lost and/or alienated the goodwill of dedicated members of the public.

Celine La Freniere

Talacre Road, NW5

My husband and I are grateful that Beverly Gardner and Peter Cuming spoke out about youth problems in Haverstock (Gagged for taking stand against crime, H&H, September 13).

We in Hampstead have had a taste of what it might be like for the poor residents of Haverstock, especially those in the Malden Road area. Recently, Haverstock youths decided to expand their territory. They take the 46 bus to Hampstead. We have had a nightmarish time with cars and property vandalised, and youths causing mayhem on our street. If this is only a sample of what goes on day after day in Haverstock, then the residents there have our sympathy.

Dr Hanka Kawecka-Lee

Flask Walk, NW3I have read and re-read the letters by Chief Inspector Paul Morris and Chair of Camden Community Police and Consultative Group Janine Griffis about what Safer Neighbourhood policing is supposed to be about (H&H letters, September 20).

I have a university degree and speak three languages but try as I may, I still could not understand any of it.

How are the police going to attract the average citizen to this initiative if they cannot communicate clearly and simply what they stand for?

Does one require a membership of Mensa to join, or is all the mumbo jumbo jargon a clever way for the police to get out of a tight spot?

Haverstock panel chairman Simon Horvat-Marcovic's statement was even more alarming (Why they're keeping quiet about crime in Haverstock, H&H September 20).

His meek excuse as to why the police meet with a select group to discuss crime behind closed doors rather than in a public forum is puzzling when the police keep telling us their goal is to involve the community at large.

It is worrying to realise that the fate and security of our community and the performance of our local police is such a confused issue.

JOHN HIDE

Savernake Road, NW3

I have read and re-read the letters by Chief Inspector Paul Morris and Chair of Camden Community Police and Consultative Group Janine Griffis about what Safer Neighbourhood policing is supposed to be about (H&H letters, September 20).

I have a university degree and speak three languages but try as I may, I still could not understand any of it.

How are the police going to attract the average citizen to this initiative if they cannot communicate clearly and simply what they stand for?

Does one require a membership of Mensa to join, or is all the mumbo jumbo jargon a clever way for the police to get out of a tight spot?

Haverstock panel chairman Simon Horvat-Marcovic's statement was even more alarming (Why they're keeping quiet about crime in Haverstock, H&H September 20).

His meek excuse as to why the police meet with a select group to discuss crime behind closed doors rather than in a public forum is puzzling when the police keep telling us their goal is to involve the community at large.

It is worrying to realise that the fate and security of our community and the performance of our local police is such a confused issue.

JOHN HIDE

Savernake Road, NW3

THE main political parties have spelt out how they intend to crack down on gang violence and the large numbers of guns and knives on London's streets.

While politicians have a vital role to play, we will never be able to stamp out this blight in our neighbourhoods by acting alone. The only people who truly understand their communities are the people who live in them.

Readers will have their own ideas on what should be done to create a greater sense of responsibility among young people.

If you have a view on what politicians should be doing to help your community tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, please email me at syed@syedkamall.com.

We can all help each other retake the streets for the law-abiding majority.

SYED KAMALL

Conservative MEP for London

THE main political parties have spelt out how they intend to crack down on gang violence and the large numbers of guns and knives on London's streets.

While politicians have a vital role to play, we will never be able to stamp out this blight in our neighbourhoods by acting alone. The only people who truly understand their communities are the people who live in them.

Readers will have their own ideas on what should be done to create a greater sense of responsibility among young people.

If you have a view on what politicians should be doing to help your community tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, please email me at syed@syedkamall.com.

We can all help each other retake the streets for the law-abiding majority.

SYED KAMALL

Conservative MEP for London

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