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Report from Herne Hill Forum meeting with the Police on 5 December

Public Meeting Minutes Wed 5 December

Policing in Herne Hill

Chief Supt John Sutherland (Southwark)

Supt David McLaren (Lambeth)

Crime update:

Herne Hill has one of the lowest crime rates in both boroughs and going even lower.

A suspect in a recent spate of car vandalisms has been arrested.

Nat West in W Norwood to close, reportedly because of the number of robberies. DM said that although it had suffered robberies, the number was not unusually high compared to others and suspected that other reasons were also a factor in its closure.

The Poets’ Corner Neighbourhood Watch is expanding to cover other areas in Herne Hill.


Residents asked for better communications between neighbourhood and police so that they could be informed of locally based crime immediately – and can go on to inform neighbours. The following was suggested:

Calling 101 (instead of 999) for non emergency situations, which is more effective than trying to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT)

Operation Promote – for anyone who needs a one to one with a police officer, can be scheduled at a convenient time for you.

Reporting crime to Herne Hill Forum website – will be tweeted immediately (+2000 followers) and if necesary included in newsletter (3,250 subscribers). Website can email residents in specific streets too so can be used to inform of very local crime issues.


Mobile phone street robberies:

JS admitted this was the biggest problem in Southwark, especially around schools. Residents asked if there could not be more policing around these areas, especially as both community wardens and park rangers gone. There are various strategies in place;

Youth panels

Schools having a ‘no phones’ policy

Schools with a reported problem having increased police presence

Improved lighting (esp North Dulwich station, contact Cllr Robin Taggert Parker)

‘find my iphone’ and similar apps that can be downloaded for free and use GPS to track the stolen phone (and its thief) to much good effect.

Combatting drug dealing etc (on Norwood Road especially);

Sept/Oct – a spike in crime and plain clothes police were deployed in area and arrests made

Use of both plain & uniformed officers both to catch and prevent criminals – traders requested this to be more frequent.

CCTV –is the Local Authority responsibility but capability improving as TfL cameras are going to be included in CCTV centre.

Proposed changes to Thameslink service through Blackfriars

Val Shawcross (London Assembly member)

Cllr Jeremy Clyne (Lib Dems, Streatham)

The extended consultation process ended in Sept 2012 – currently waiting for the results. VS urged people to continue to lobby their MPs on the matter. Although the major decision has been made and Wimbledon ‘loop’ trains passing through Herne Hill will all now stop at Blackfriars, she believed there may be a chance of some relenting and the possibility of two or three trains an hour being allowed to go through.

Since the West Coastline v Branson debacle, the government is reviewing all its rail franchising decisions – the Thameslink one is no 3 in the queue. No decision is immanent but lobbying continuing.

There are strong proposals that TfL should run the overground services in London. At the moment VS says there is “too much weight given to commuters rather than Londoners” on overground services and if TfL had had the franchise for the Thameslink service, Londoners would have had more of a voice.

VS suggested train users contact her, their MPs and rail users groups – concerns would be passed on to the Dept for Transport and National Rail.

JC suggested the same, as well as petitioning and forming campaign groups such as his, led by Sutton rail users. Said that senior officials at the DfT were taken aback by the sheer number of complaints and it is worth continuing the fight.

Residents asked for a central point of information. There will be a noticeboard on the station that is owned by the Herne Hill forum that can be used.

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