Lynne Featherstone joins local police on neighbourhood walk

Lynne Featherstone MP and local neighbourhood watch joins local policemen on a walk-about in Crouch End

Lynne Featherstone MP joined two policemen and a neighbourhood watch representative on a local walk in Crouch End.

They discussed tackling burglary and vehicle crime in the local area, as well as preventative measures to deter anti-social behaviour and crimes against the person.

Crime in Haringey has fallen in the last five years. Crime across the country has also dropped drastically – last year reaching its lowest level in 33 years.

New police recruits are also due to come to Haringey as part of a mentoring programme.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The fall in crime in Haringey and across the UK is really welcome news – but there is still much more to be done, particularly on violent crimes and crimes against the person.

“The local police do a fantastic job around here. It was great to join them on the walk-about and see them in action.”

Haringey Borough Commander ‘fully behind’ Special Constable campaign

Lynne Featherstone MP and local campaigners celebrate the new campaign with local residents.Haringey Borough Commander, Victor Olisa, has backed the local Liberal Democrat campaign for a 50% Council Tax discount for Special Constables.

The Commander, who confirmed his support during a meeting with Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone, joins the hundreds of residents who have already signed up to show their support.

The proposal would see every Special Constable in Haringey receive a 50% Council Tax discount. Campaigners say this will reward existing Special Constables, as well as encouraging other local residents to volunteer and help the police fight crime.

Labour-run Haringey Council will make the decision on whether to adopt the proposal at a Council meeting on the 26th February.

Special Constables have the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers, and spend up to 16 hours a month volunteering with the police – all without pay – in order to help make our community safer.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It is great to secure the support of the Borough Commander on this campaign to reward and encourage our hardworking special constables.

“Hundreds of residents have already registered their support for our campaign. If you haven’t yet – please do sign up – the more signatures, the more chance we have of making this happen!”

“The Haringey Lib Dems and I are working hard to help fight crime in the borough – on this campaign and others – including our campaign for a replacement police base in Muswell Hill and for better street lighting.”

Haringey Borough Commander, Victor Olisa, said:

“I am fully behind the proposal to give our Special Constables a 50% Council Tax discount. I think it would be a good reward for the current Specials, and it would encourage more people to sign up and volunteer to fight crime in Haringey.”

 

Volunteering to fight crime could really pay off!

Here’s my latest Ham and High column on the new Lib Dem campaign for a council tax discount for special constables:

Crime unfortunately affects the vast majority of people at some point in life. When I’m out on the doorsteps or at my local constituency surgery – I often hear awful stories from people who have been victims of burglary or fraud, for instance.

On the whole, crime is currently falling – but we must remain vigilant. Figures recently revealed the Muswell Hill area to be in the top 10 UK ‘burglary hotspots’ – and other types of crime in the Wood Green area remain a concern to local residents.

The Haringey Liberal Democrats and I have a long history of working closely with our local police to tackle crime and to reassure residents about police action.

We opposed the Conservative Mayor of London’s changes to policing in the Capital, which saw Muswell Hill police front counter closed and Hornsey downgraded.  Now – we’re still campaigning for a replacement police base and front counter in Muswell Hill and for better street lighting in the Borough – in our bid to tackle crime.

In addition, we’ve just launched a campaign to give local Special Constables a 50% discount on their Council Tax.

special constables 2

Special Constables have the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers, and spend up to 16 hours a month volunteering with the police – all without pay – in order to help make our community safer.

We think these volunteers deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and assistance in tackling crime. And, if the Council Tax discount helps encourage more people to become Special Constables – all the better!

An increase in volunteer Special Constables will help support the local police in the borough – and make residents feel safer, too. In Haringey we only have 62 volunteer Special Constables – way behind other London boroughs like Barnet (who have 233) and Enfield (180).

Some other Councils in the UK are already awarding the volunteers. In Hull, for example, Special Constables are already able to claim a 50% discount on their Council Tax. It should be the same in Haringey, too!

We’re encouraging local residents to get involved in this campaign by signing a petition and registering their support. Residents can sign up here.

Later in the month, the Haringey Liberal Democrats will be presenting the petition and the proposal to Haringey Council – who will take the decision on whether to adopt it.

The more signatures we have, the more chance we have of convincing the Council and being able to reward our hard working police volunteers!

Support the campaign to give special constables a Council Tax discount

Lynne Featherstone MP and local campaigners (Michael Tiritas, Dave Beacham, Cara Jenkinson and Thomas Southern) discuss the new campaign with local residentsLynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats have today launched a campaign to give local special constables a 50% discount on their Council Tax.

The campaigners say this will reward existing special constables, as well as encouraging other local residents to volunteer and help the police fight crime.

The Haringey Liberal Democrats are looking to collect as many signatures as possible to support the campaign – which has been successfully implemented in other Council’s in the UK. Haringey Council will make a decision on whether to adopt the Liberal Democrat’s proposal later in the month.

Special constables have the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers, and spend up to 16 hours a month volunteering with the police – all without pay – in order to help make our community safer.

Haringey Liberal Democrat crime spokesperson, Cllr Martin Newton, said:

“Our campaign to give Special Constables a 50% reduction in Council Tax will increase the number of these volunteers across the borough. This will give the local police extra help, and make residents feel safer, too.

“Although crime is generally falling, we have seen some shocking burglary figures in parts of Haringey recently. This campaign is just one step in our bid to tackle crime. We’re also campaigning for a replacement police base and front counter in the Muswell Hill area and for better street lighting across the borough.”

Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone MP, commented:

“When I’m out on the doorsteps, residents regularly speak to me about crime, or fear of crime. It’s an issue that affects all of us at some point in life.

“So, it’s vital that we give reward and incentivise Special Constables, who give up their own time to fight crime for free. And under our proposal – volunteering to fight crime really would pay off!

“Haringey Council will be voting on 26 February on whether to adopt this policy, so please add your voice to our campaign today.”

 

Call for meeting with Borough Commander following shocking burglary figures

Lynne Featherstone MP discusses crime with local residents outside Hornsey Police stationLynne Featherstone MP has today requested a meeting with Haringey Borough Commander Victor Olisa, following recent news about burglary figures in N10 and N2.

The figures, based on the number of people who have made insurance claims for burglary, place N10 and N2 in the top twenty burglary hotspots by postcode in the UK.

The Liberal Democrat MP and the Haringey Lib Dems have also renewed their call for a replacement Safer Neighbourhood Team base and Police Front Counter in the N10 area. Muswell Hill police station and front counter was closed earlier this year, as part of the Conservative Mayor of London’s changes to policing in the capital.

The N10 and N2 postcodes encompass Muswell Hill, Fortis Green and Alexandra wards within the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone commented:

“It’s very worrying to see our local area so high in this list of burglary hotspots. I have requested an urgent meeting with the Borough Commander to see what he thinks of these figures, and ask whether his crime statistics match up.

“In the meantime, our call for a replacement police base and front counter in the Muswell Hill area continues.”

Fortis Green Councillor and Haringey Lib Dem crime spokesperson Martin Newton commented:

“We are still waiting for a proper Police Contact Point in the Muswell Hill area following the closure of Muswell Hill police station.  It’s vital that the public have easy access to our hard working and vigilant Safer Neighbourhood Team, if they need to report a crime or raise concerns.

“These figures, if representative of the crime statistics, are a shock to local residents. I am interested to hear the Borough Commander’s opinion on them, and to find out what action he will take now.”

Save Muswell Hill Front Counter!

Here’s my most recent Ham and High Column on Policing in Haringey

Policing in Haringey is undergoing major changes. This all started last year, when the Conservative Mayor of London announced that changes would be made to policing in Haringey and across the city.

In the current economic climate, changes have to be made to make policing more efficient and cost effective. But from day one, the Lib Dems were clear that any changes should not have a negative impact on public access to the police.

Police front counters, for instance, are vital local services – allowing victims to go and report crimes face to face, in a safe and secure environment. We all hope that we will never have to visit one, but it is certainly reassuring to know they’re there.

So, when the Mayor mentioned that front counters might be closed and replaced with contact points, we started expressing our concern and asking questions.

Straight away, Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon asked the Mayor for a guarantee that there would be no time gap between a front counter closing and new contact point opening.

The Mayor gave this guarantee, and went on to say that no front counter would be lost without an ‘equivalent or indeed better’ replacement – open for the same number of hours.

During the consultation period, the Haringey Lib Dems and I called on the Mayor to keep to his word.

You can imagine our disappointment and anger when the Mayor announced his final plans, which include the closure of Muswell Hill volunteer counter. This would leave a huge chunk of the borough without proper access to front counter services.

Yes – changes had to be made, but not like this.

In response, I have launched a petition, calling on the Mayor to retain a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.

Hundreds have signed already, and residents can add their names here: http://bit.ly/MuswellHillPolice

After launching the petition, I met with Haringey’s new Borough Commander – Victor Olisa. I was very pleased to hear that he had contacted the volunteers and is keen to keep a police presence in Muswell Hill. But Haringey Police need help finding a new location for the service – as the Met will be selling the building it currently operates from.

So, Haringey Police are willing to keep the volunteer counter service, but only if a suitable location can be found. Please contact me if you have any ideas for a suitable location for a front counter service in or around Muswell Hill.

We also saved this very front counter once before. With enough support from residents and Haringey Police, we can do the same again.

Lynne Featherstone MP takes step towards saving Muswell Hill’s police front counter

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton at Muswell Hill Police front counterLynne Featherstone MP has taken a step forward in her campaign to save Muswell Hill’s volunteer police front counter, following a meeting with Haringey’s new Borough Commander, Dr Victor Olisa.

The front counter – which is run by volunteers – was earmarked for closure by the London Mayor as part of his ‘Crime Plan for Haringey.’

The Liberal Democrat MP launched a petition last week, calling on the Conservative Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police to maintain a front counter service and police base in Muswell Hill.

During the meeting, the Borough Commander said he had spoken to the 70 volunteers who staff the front counter. He affirmed his commitment to keeping the volunteers and a contact point, despite the Mayor’s decision to sell the building that the counter currently operates in.

The Borough Commander further confirmed that Haringey Police are looking for a suitable replacement premises in Muswell Hill. In the mean time, the volunteers will operate from the safer neighbourhood team base in East Finchley.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was fantastic to see the Borough Commander’s enthusiasm for keeping a police contact point staffed by volunteers in Muswell Hill.

“This is a vital local service and it would be such a shame to lose it. Residents should always have access to a local and safe place, where they can report crimes face to face.

“All we need now is a suitable premises for the front counter. It must be fully accessible and have at least two rooms. If anyone has any suggestions, please do let me know so I can pass these on to the police.”