Community Crime Commission meeting - 13 September on Burglary and public confidence

To begin, commissioners took some time to discuss their recommendations from last week’s meeting on Anti-social behaviour.

The first of the evenings presentations was given by a senior police superintendent on burglary within Redbridge. A yearly comparison over the past 3 years regarding burglary was shown, including typical burglary spikes throughout the year. A heatmap showed the hotspots for burglary in the borough, Valentines, Wanstead Village, and Ilford Town being highest. The specific work being conducted by the various police teams within Redbridge were detailed. The officer also gave their opinion on what works well, including the fact that forensics plays a key role within burglary prosecutions. It was noted, the east area Basic Command Unit (BCU) is one of the few BCUs which lists burglary as a key area of focus. Areas where improvements could be made were explained, with commentary on issues at a local, London-wide, and national level.

Next a presentation was given by a detective who has undertaken an in-depth analysis of burglary enforcement within Redbridge. A detailed 3-month profile was presented with anecdotes from Met Police Officers. An analysis of the times and days when burglaries appear to happen was presented. Night-time, late afternoons, and Friday and Saturday’s seeing a slight increase over other times of the week. A profile of burglary methods was shared with commissioners, detailing how burglary occurs and the frequent methods burglars use to gain entry gain entry to a location. It was noted that 5% of burglaries are where the offender walks in and 5% are entries by deception, such as bogus callers. The research has shown that no age group or demographic is disproportionately affected.  The methods of gathering intelligence on burglary was examined, including the distribution of intelligence internally with police officers and also to external agencies including local authorities.  

Commissioners took time to question the police officers on their presentation, including a discussion around police ward panels and how they factor into the intelligence gathering framework. There was also a discussion on how much other crimes influence burglary rates.

Next was a presentation on the community voice panel and community confidence.  A recap of what the community voice panel aims to achieve was provided. Followed by feedback from these residents on public confidence. The community voice panel surveyed residents to see what recommendations and changes they would make. This information was presented to commissioners  – touching upon issues of how residents want to receive updates, what sort of information they want to know from the council, and what they expect of the police and council when crime is reported.

The police gave a presentation on their communications strategy, detailing how they engage with residents and share updates, especially with regards to major incidents and joint working initiatives, such as Redbridge Action Week. Areas of improvement were shared, including the need to learn more about which information the community would like to receive.

Lastly there was a presentation from the corporate communications team within Redbridge Council. The commissioners learned how the council aims to share their message with residents and engage with the community. The various methods the council uses to share information with residents and improve engagement were explained, including details around social media channels and physical publications such as Redbridge Life. A breakdown of previous campaigns was shared which highlighted the best ways of working to reach residents. A compilation of successful campaigns from other local authorities highlighted a wide range of methods of communication. Future plans for developments within the communications team and campaigns were shared along with new potential aims and avenues for engaging with residents.

To finish, commissioners quizzed the expert witnesses present. Questions included, asking the police about the process of legal enforcement for someone arrested of burglary. The commissioners engaged in a debate about the ultimate aims and objectives of communication and the best way to share messages with a community.