Supporting and Working with the Police
I was invited to Dagenham Police station for a briefing to deal with knife crime and drug issues and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. I was met by Sargent Ian Handley who was leading the operation in conjunction with local Police Officers, British Transport Police and two Police Dog Handlers with their dogs, plus Senior Officers who are all taking this issue very seriously. A briefing was conducted explaining what the targets were; to be visual, to be proactive and to send out a message we will not tolerate knife crime or any drugs. Officers were then deployed to all underground stations between Barking and Upminster. I went to Barking Station and observed officers in action. I must express satisfaction that all officers conducted themselves in a highly professional manner and dealt with all incidents very well, addressing all the issues that arrived. After Barking it was a visit to Upminster where the same routine stop and search was carried out using the dogs. Then to Elm Park and as one of the Councillors for this Ward I was pleased to see the team here. However, I want to protect not only Elm Park, but all of Havering. There will be people who say yeah PR exercise, sorry it’s not and I have been assured it will happen again and again. Lots of criticism is aimed at the Police, but they are dealing with limited resources. We could blame the Tories or Labour. Yes both to blame, but now let’s work together for the better. We will continue to support the Police but also hold them to account.