Oct 22 2012

HPCCG October 2012 Meeting Outcome

The HPCCG held their October 2012 meeting earlier this evening. Off to a poor start, with insufficient printed minutes and agendas, and an absence of an attendees’ list for the previous meeting, you’d be expecting it not to get worse. You’d be wrong.

With constant talking-over other people, an agenda which was more-or-less ignored, and public questions blunty cut short, it wasn’t a surprise to hear one member of the public comment that “They [the HPCCG] couldn’t run a bath!”

It was amusing to see the Chair read out the HPCCG’s ‘code of conduct’ – which basically expects all present to apply common courtesy to the discussions – only to find our favourite vice-chair, Edward Rudolph, snap at one questioner when asked a pointed question.

The meeting lost it’s focus shortly after Borough Command Dal Babu, and Chief Inspector Russell Hughes departed for another engagement, the HPCCG having set a meeting date that managed to clash with a important Hindu celebration date, and by the time we approach – I assumed, at the time, given the random order of the agenda – the Ward Panel reports, about half the original 60+ attendees had drifted away. If this meeting was a horse, you’d have shot it by now.

Nonetheless, there were some very interesting points to note about the new policing model, and Harrow’s focus on low-level drug dealers and those causing anti-social behaviour. In other good news, robbery is down 4.8% for the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year, and residential burglary is down almost 13%. Motor vehicle crime is up about half a percentage point. However, no explanation was given as to why just three categories of crime were reported on: no mention was made of violent crime, drugs, criminal damage, shoplifting or anti-social behaviour. We’re sure that this is just an oversight, and indeed, one other attendee also raised the point.

Much more discussion was made about the lack of funding (and in a master-class of muddying the waters, the reasons are still unclear, or, at least, depend who you ask). The HPCCG are keen to draw a line under this, and wouldn’t entertain any discussion about it – just about the only time they did manage to reign in the questions – other than to say that there was no ‘inappropriate expenditure’ – which is odd, because nobody, as far as we can tell, has ever accused them of that.

That said, it’s important that somebody holds the police to account, although I’m not sure that this is the group to do it. The committee have got to be applauded for volunteering their time, although let’s not forget – this is the same group of people, in the main, who collapsed the last incarnation of the HPCCG.

The next meeting is in January – date to be confirmed once they’ve checked kitchen calendars.

Updated 22.10.2012 at 21:21 to correct mis-attributed quote.


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