To receive an update from the Police on issues of safety and vandalism.
RECEIVED an update from Acting Chief Inspector Chris Byrne.
i) The report details the breakdown of crimes recorded within parks and green spaces in the Borough of Enfield from 01 January – 31 August 2019.
ii) The national crime recording standards are used in order to ensure accurate recording of offences whereby a victim has confirmed that a crime has occurred.
iii) Research has identified a variety of offences committed which include: Offences against the persons (assaults), thefts including robbery, possession of drugs, weapons, dangerous dogs, sexual offences and criminal damage.
iv) The data is broken down by park location and the number of crimes committed within the review period. These offences have been identified through investigations that have taken place in order to establish any opportunities to identify the suspects involved.
v) There have been 168 recorded crimes that have taken place within parks and the data has established that the majority of the offenders in the crimes committed are male.
vi) There was an increase in crime within the month of July whereby 43 crimes were recorded within parks in the Borough. This is believed to be linked to the increase in warm weather and in some cases, events taking place.
vii) Further details were provided on the parks within the Borough where the most offences had been recorded, namely; Broomfield Park, Ponders End Park, Pymmes Park and Trent Park.
viii) The majority of offences in Pymmes Park revolve around drug possession and dealing and within Ponders Park the offences vary from ABH, drugs, ASB and drugs stop and searches. Offences at Broomfield Park often involved youths coming into the area from across the borough.
ix) The offences in Trent Park are all attributed to private music events which occur annually; the 51st State Festival which occurred on the 3/8/19 and the Elrow Town Festival which occurred on the 17/8/19. These events are privately organised and involve the organisers renting out the park from Enfield Council and attract significantly large numbers of crowds in excess of 20,000 per event. Due to the significant large numbers of attendees it is believed that crime occurring is mainly opportunist.
Following Acting Chief Inspector Chris Byrne’s update, the following questions/comments were made:
· Councillor Anderson questioned the data and the different spelling of the same individual parks throughout the report. It was acknowledged that this was an error and apologies were given. He also drew attention the fact that in Broomfield Park three of the incidents appeared to have taken place on the same day and so suggest that the same culprit was responsible.
· The influx of youths coming into certain areas can be from across the Borough as well as out of Borough, with an increase in activity from 4pm-8pm. The Police work closely with their Safer School colleagues who, through their work with schools and Headteachers, can often provide the intel that the police are not able to obtain.
· Although most of the crimes in Trent Park are attributed to the festivals, some offences have also been reported in the surrounding roads.
· With regards to what is being done to alleviate residents’ fears regarding crime in our local parks and open spaces, Acting Chief Inspector Chris Byrne advised that as well as fighting crime, a lot of Police work is also spent addressing residents’ fear of crime. Regular CAPE meetings are held to engage with the public and listen to their questions and concerns around crime. ‘Boots on the ground’ are important as visible police presence provides reassurance for residents. Safer Neighbourhood Teams work closely with their wards to gain personal relationships in an attempt to find out what is happening in order to put patrols into the appropriate areas.
· In relation to the 51st State and Elrow Festivals held at Trent Park it was recognised that the crime rates recorded at these events were statistically extremely low (in comparison to the high numbers attending the events). However, it was acknowledged that Anti-Social Behaviour such as urinating in public roads would not be recorded and it is this sort of ASB in the surrounding roads that impacts on local residents, hence objections from residents’ associations to these events.
· Members noted that crime rates for open spaces (such as Forty Hall) and recreational areas in the Borough were not included in the report and therefore asked where these statistics were recorded? It was also felt that a more detailed report to accompany the figures would be useful, showing not just the recorded crimes but what is also happening in the surrounding areas as this is all part of a wider ward problem.
· Andrea Clemons, Head of Community Safety said that the report presented could be cross referenced with the Council’s list of parks and open spaces.
AGREED to cross reference any future reports on parks with the Council’s parks team to ensure that all crime recorded in the Borough’s 130 (approximately) parks and open spaces is incorporated in future reports, as well as including details on the surrounding areas/wider ward issues.
Action: Andrea Clemons/Police
The Chair thanked Acting Chief Inspector Chris Byrne for his interesting and informative update and, although there are obviously concerns, he looked forward to seeing progress in this area.