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Dec 05 2013

HPCCG Press Release and Chairs Report – December 3, 2013

hpccg_logoHPCCG’s Chair’s Report given on 3rd December, 2013 meeting at the Civic Centre.

I welcome you all to the meeting tonight.

I have to sadly inform you that the oldest supporter of HPCCG Mr. Harry Fridkin who would have been one hundred years old in January 2014 died last month. Harry Fridkin during the Second World War was a prisoner of war and he managed to escape and made his way safely home to Harrow. If you remember he attended our last meeting on 8 July even when he was frail. On behalf of you all I send our deepest condolences to his family. Will you all please stand up for one minute’s silence in his memory.

HPCCG have managed to survive against all odds since January 2012 as you all know our funds were withheld by MOPAC since April 2011. It was very difficult and at the same time challenging to run the Group without core funding and without admin and secretarial support. All the same, we managed to hold our quarterly public meetings regularly and continued to serve the community.

HPCCG has been in existence for over 30 years and rendered good service to the community. In fact it was considered to be the leading PCCG of London, and was a role model for other PCCGs till 2011. Our meetings were well attended and we had productive inter-action with the Police. Then from April 2011 the situation changed when MPA then MOPAC withheld our funding on the grounds that we had filled the funding application form incorrectly, even though there was no wrong doing done by HPCCG.

In the interest of Harrow residents and HPCCG’s membership our management committee kept the Group going by contributing towards the expenses of postage, stationery, admin and secretarial services, telephone, photocopying, printing and e-mails. Interestingly, the side effect of it was that MOPAC got free service from us and saved around £30,000.00 for financial year 2011/12 and £23,000.00 for the financial 2013/14. But the real beneficiaries were the people of Harrow whose voices were heard by the Police through the conduit of HPCCG in keeping Harrow safe and the Police accountable.

We worked closely with the Police to bring down crime and kept Harrow residents updated on the Police performance and crime statistics which were personally presented by our Borough Commanders who ever was in office.

As you all know that all CPEGS and PCCGs will be replaced by the new Safer Neighbourhood Boards from 1 April, 2014. This will happen across all the 32 boroughs of London. Hence HPCCG would officially cease to exist from 1 April, 2014.

I would like to congratulate our youth officer Tamim Rahman for winning the Harrow Heroes 2013 award of ’ Young Volunteer of the Year’. Also at the same time I would like to congratulate Quinton Stowell of Street Pastors for winning the Harrow Heroes 2013 Award of ‘Bringing People Together’

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the management committee, membership of HPCCG and Harrow residents for their support to keep HPCCG functioning. Also I would like to thank the Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens and all the members of his team for their co-operation and good working relations with HPCCG at all times. I commend Simon Ovens for his vision to make Harrow the Safest Borough in London, which we all also want. I am sure under his dynamic leadership he this will happen soon. The other person who ardently supported HPCCG during its difficult time was GLA member for Brent and Harrow Navin Shah, who took the case on our behalf for restoring the funding of HPCCG in the Assembly directly with the London Mayor Boris Johnson. The result was MOPAC were instructed by the London Mayor to look into Harrow’s funding but again bureaucracy came in the way kept the matter dragging on one pretext or the other in releasing funds.

Also thanks to the local press namely Harrow Observer, Harrow Times and iharrow for their support in publishing our notices and reporting on our meetings. I also acknowledge support given by Harrow Council.

This will be my last meeting as Chair of HPCCG, as I will be away in March 2014 when our next meeting will take place under the chairmanship of our vice-chair Subhash Sampat. I did what I could do in my limited way for HPCCG. I wish I do more.

I will end with a humorous Police story with the permission of Borough Commander:

HOW TO CALL THE POLICE WHEN YOU’RE OLD AND DON’T MOVE FAST ANYMORE.

George Phillips , an elderly man, from Loughton, Essex was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window.

George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.
He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?”

He said “No,” but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me. Then the police dispatcher said “All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available.”

George said, “Okay.”

He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again. “Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you  don’t have to worry about them now because I just shot them.” and he hung up.

Within five minutes, Six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips’ residence, and  caught the burglars red-handed. One of the Policemen said to George, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”

George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”

This does not apply to Harrow Police , they are very efficient and respond quickly to such calls.

Wish you all a Joyous Xmas and peaceful New Year.

Thank you.

Baldev Sharma

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1 comment

  1. sonoo malkani

    As former Chair of the Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group(HPCCG)for a decade,and Hon Director of LCP2(London Communities Policing Partnership),for a number of years,as Publicity Officer for HPCCG I would like to take this opportunity to thank our retiring Chair,Baldev Sharma for stepping in to hold fort,at a difficult time in our history.He has already voiced his feelings about his time as your Chair.On behalf of our management committee I would like to publicly add warm thanks for all his efforts and patient handling,especially when the policing landscape has been undergoing so much change.My humble thanks to all co-workers and committee members,past and present.

    I would be failing in my duty if I did not thank every single one of you—fellow citizens,colleagues,friends and “foes” alike,councillors,community safety managers,community leaders,partnership and Council workers,local residents.ward panel representatives,faith leaders,neighboourhood champions,our diverse communities and local groups, and a host of others,some working behind the scenes,Leaders of Harrow Council.Chief Executives of Harrow Council,a long list of Mayors,MPs MEPs and GLA members –all of whom have been brilliantly supportive.Above and beyond this grateful thanks to the METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE,all our Borough Commanders from Chief Superintendent Aitkinson to Simon Ovens who have been most supportive,engaging brilliantly and working as a close -knit team to deliver best outcomes for our borough’s safety.There’s no way we could have done this without YOU!!Also,thanks to the old MPA who were very appreciative of our works.There are so many I need to thank and hope you will accept a HUGE big “THANK YOU” and sincere apologies for not mentioning your name.

    I would also like to thank the wonderful staff at New Scotland Yard and the Home Office for all their co-operation.I had the privilege of working with Metropolitan Police Commissioner s
    Lord Stevens,Ian Blair and Bernard Hogan-Howe, each one with their own inimitable style of Policing.Their warmth and hospitable reception of all our Community Engagement Groups is highly commendable and has been key in helping our boroughs engage more effectively.Much has been achieved but so much more needs to be done.

    Last but not least thanks to many friends of the HPCCG who have called us to City Hall over many years and supported all we did.We work equally with all our London Mayors with one priority—to serve our local communities and borough to the best of our abilities.We are a NON-POLITICAL, VOLUNTARY ,organisation and know you value that very highly.

    I urge you all to please get behind us and help us in the formation of the SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD BOARD for Harrow.We are already in transition and will be holding our very last meeting probably towards the end of MARCH 2014.I will ensure we publicise this so you have an opportunity to say “AU REVOIR”.All are most welcome.The HPCCG will officially stop work on 31 March 2014.We need to see as many of you there as possible so you have the latest updates.

    The SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD BOARD will only be as good as YOU are.!It was very re-assuring to hear from the MOPAC and HARROW COUNCIL at the meeting held on October 28 that although we will be following a template set by MOPAC for ALL London Boroughs there is room for flexilibility.We had a taste of this when members of public at this meeting requested that we have FOUR Regular PUBLIC meetings of the SNB (plus,an annual one,possibly) so that we could hold them accountable for our safety and this was democratically agreed by everybody.

    Also,the same happened very readily when we insisted Harrow’s diverse population could only be properly represented if we had 12 LAY members not 4.This made us all feel respected and listened to.I am very confident if we keep our minds open and work hard as ONE BIG TEAM for the self-same goal—MAKING HARROW THE SAFEST LONDON BOROUGH—-we will manage to put together an SNB which is the envy of all London,.Harrovians have always piloted many initiatives and this is a challenge we can all take on.

    Realistically,it will NOT be like the HPCCG you have known,but we can manage to get to a place of much value with positive mind-sets.We owe it to ourselves!There is much scare-mongering about the SNB being a “Talking Shop”.Far from it!I re-iterate.YOUR Safer Neighbourhood Board will only be as good as YOU help make it.Translation.Keep attending the meetings publicly arranged.Make them robustly accountable but also be CRITICAL friends,with constructive suggestions and supportive views.Just be your usual,helpful selves!

    In short,choose to be mature and patient in the initial stages.Teething problems will inevitably occur.Help shape your SNB skilfully and expertly.Your Borough Commander is fully signed up to make us numero uno.Let’s give him a helping hand!

    Have a SAFE and HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a NEW YEAR FILLED WITH OPPORTUNITY.
    God bless us all.God Bless Harrow.

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