Had meeting with Sir Ian Blair to discuss a number of issues around policing. The number one for us is the possibility that our police stations in Haringey may be ‘reorganised’ as they are not ‘fit for purpose’.
So I use the opportunity to get assurances that nothing will close (having spent so many years campaigning to get the front counter open at Muswell Hill) before equal or better alternatives are put in place.
Sir Ian said he would like to know what people think – so I am doing my best to find out for him! I suggested a survey – and he immediately suggested a meeting between myself, himself, our local Commander Simon O’Brian and someone from Met Estates to establish their ‘vision’ first.
Of course “equal or better alternative” can mean a lot of different things to different people; for example, if someone believes in heavily centralised services a few super-police stations, they could say that means axing the local stations is ok as the alternative is – they would say – better. Now, that’s not a view I’d agree with – policing works best when it is based in the local community. So – we need to keep the pressure up despite this assurance. “Equal or better” must mean local policing, locally delivered. So – that means a petition amongst other things. (You can get a petition form from my main website).
I also tackled him about the police kiosk in Wood Green which was a great idea putting police on the street right at the crucial spot – but it was hardly ever open. And unless it was manned, and reliable – people would never feel confident to rely on it. Now it faces being demolished. It would be much better to keep it – and put it to full use. Sir Ian didn’t know about it but has promised to investigate. (More details on that on my main website too).
And some good news on another subject – I have been nominated for a New Statesman 2006 New Media Award in the “Elected representative” category.