To receive an update from the London Fire Brigade on the work they are doing to reduce crime.
Carl Cooper from the London Fire Brigade provided a brief overview on the various initiatives currently being undertaken by the LFB in an attempt to reduce crime. He state that they work closely with all their blue light partners and the Local Authority and detailed information was provided on the five schemes currently in place. These are:
· LIFE- Local Intervention Fire Education
This is an intensive four-day course facilitated by Fire and Rescue staff and firefighters at fire stations for young people between the ages of 14 and 17. The course is based on the role of the firefighter and participants take part in a range of activities. The programme also offers the opportunity to develop a range of skills which include leadership, social skills, communication and team work. The aim of the course is to develop skills and experience to deter young people from anti-social behaviour, as well as learn skills to enable them to succeed and live safe and healthy lives.
Since 1st April 2019, 3 LIFE courses have been held at Tottenham Fire Station covering the boroughs of Enfield and Haringey.
· Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme (JFIS)
This education-based programme works with the child and their family to address fire-setting behaviour through identifying its cause, looking at the consequences of such actions and providing one to one, tailored fire safety education and advice. This scheme is targeted to potential arsonists or those children showing that tendency. The team are currently working with four young children in Enfield.
· Safe Drive, Stay Alive (SDSA)
SDSA is an annual road safety theatre production education initiative. The main method for safety message delivery is through five speakers who share stories of personal experiences with road traffic collisions. It is aimed at young people (aged 17-25 inclusive) pre-learner, learner, newly qualified drivers and their passengers. This initiative seeks to influence young peoples’ attitudes and behaviours toward five risk-relevant driving practices. The London Borough of Enfield have been a long-time deliverer of SDSA in partnership with LFB, LAS and the Met.
· Visual Audits
The Brigade has a continued focus on reducing the number of deliberate fires in London. In order to achieve even further reductions, staff will carry out regular visual audits to areas where communities have suffered a high number of deliberate fires. The aim of visual audits is to protect people (both the public and fire-fighters), property and the environment from harm by using statutory responsibility to prevent fires.
· Junior Citizens Events (JC)
These events are multi-agency run by the Police and/or Local Authority. The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been participating at borough level in JC events for many years. The events target schoolchildren between 9-11 years and take them through interactive scenarios from which they learn important safety information.
Carl then went on to provide information on the upcoming work taking place. This included:
· The first Enfield Fire Cadet Unit for 14-17-year olds will open in early 2020 at a fire station to be confirmed. The year long course which will have inputs on crime prevention, impact of gangs, knife crime etc will be attended by 15 fire cadets and supporting volunteers.
· LFB, Met Police and LAS are also launching a joint project in 2020 (date TBC) called ‘Safety First’ which will offer a free one day visit to secondary schools (year 8s) in Enfield on consequences covering topics such as arson, PREVENT, gangs, knifes and gun crime etc.
In conclusion Carl said that most of these schemes are run by firefighters who give up their own time to deliver these various projects.
Andrea said that the Community Safety Team work closely with the LFB and witness first-hand the great work they do. She was therefore very pleased that the work of the LFB was now being recognised by the Crime Scrutiny Panel.
Members were most encouraged by the information Carl had provided and were hopefully that these ongoing schemes would result in some positive outcomes. It was suggested that it would be good practice and most useful for this briefing to go to all Councillors.
Following Carl’s update, the following comments/Questions were raised:
Q. Are high-rise inspections up to date?
A. This is on-going work which is always evolving. A risk data base is in place to grade the priorities and the LFB are working closely with all partners to resolve the high-rise situation.
Q. What can be done about fire safety concerns in houses of multiple occupancy (HMO)?
A. Houses of Multiple Occupancy are appearing all over the Borough but unfortunately the LFB are not always aware of these. Where the LFB are informed of an HMO they respond immediately as it is a priority. It should also be remembered that fire risks do not only apply to HMO’s and newbuilds but are also an issue where renovations/change of structure have taken place at a property.
The Chair thanked Carl for his update and expressed his thanks to all the professionals for attending the meeting and for the work they do to keep our Borough safe. Although the Crime Scrutiny committee are here to challenge, question and scrutinise services, the work taking place is recognised and fully appreciated.