Last month Barking and Dagenham Council hosted the first ever East BCU Serious Violence Summit. The East BCU is the tri-borough command unit which covers Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. The event was launched in response to the concerning rise in violent crime across the tri-borough area over the last 12 months.

Over 200 people attended the event from across boroughs including MPs, councillors, voluntary organisations, social workers, charities, and people from the education sector.

On Wednesday 16th January, Barking and Dagenham held the first ever East BCU (Borough Command Unit) Serious Violence Summit. The summit was attended by 240 people which included police officers, trauma surgeons, charity representatives, councillors from across the tri-borough area, victims of violent crime and many more.

Deputy Mayor of Policing and Crime Sophie Linden addressed the summit at the start of the day announcing a harrowing fact – Metropolitan Police numbers have fallen under 30,000 officers at a time when crime is rising.

Today the Offensive Weapons Bill was discussed in parliament. As part of a Serious Violence Strategy which includes the outlining of a number of new criminal offences such as;

The selling of certain corrosive substances to under-18s, and possessing a corrosive substance in a public place. Current legislation means that there is a defence for possessing a corrosive substance for good reason in a public place.

This week the Mayor of London has announced his plans to introduce a Violence Reduction Unit in London, a scheme piloted in Glasgow to reduce the number of violent crimes.

The scheme addresses violent crime as a public health issue and in doing so seeks to create a multi-agency approach that specialises in early intervention. The project has been launched with £500,000 worth of funding and will be working with schools, healthcare professionals, local councils and the police to try and divert young people from a life of crime, in particular violent crime.

This week Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced a welcome boost in the fight against violent crime in across London. 122 officers are being temporarily moved from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command to join the City Hall funded Violent Crime Taskforce.

This month MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas is launching a petition and campaign calling on the government for more investment in policing, and a new strategy/approach that takes account of and prioritises high crime areas in London.

This campaign comes as a response to rising violent crime across the Member of Parliaments’ constituency, with a focus on knife and moped related incidents over the past 12 months.

In April the Mayor of London held an emergency summit on violent crime, calling on people from across the political spectrum as well as the Police Commissioner to discuss ways that we can tackle violent crime, particularly youth crime.

This week Sadiq Khan has launched the Young Londoners Fund which has been created to support a range of education, sport, cultural and other activities for children aged 10 to 21 in response to rising violent crime in the capital.

The Council and the Police have been dealing with antisocial behaviour complaints in the area around the shops and station on Dagenham Heathway. Following these complaints, the Council is consulting the public on a proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for this area.

The Safer Neighbourhood Board was set up as a forum for the community to discuss key issues facing the local area such as knife crime, acid attacks, moped crime and car theft. The board is responsible for monitoring police performance.

The SNB is attended by the police Borough Commander alongside representatives from other agencies and organisations in the community.

These meetings are an excellent opportunity for residents to come along and raise any concerns directly with the Borough Commander, and with other residents in the area.

Issuing his draft budget last week for the entire Greater London Authority Group, Sadiq confirmed that a new additional £49m pot of funding will be made available to the Metropolitan Police over the next year.

Included will be £15m to combat knife crime, £20.1m will be allocated to cover the cost of a two per cent police pay increase in 2018/19. The remaining £13.9m will be made available to the Commissioner to invest in officer numbers and to step up the fight against crime this year and next.

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