That the presentations be noted and the Borough Commander, Lewisham, LFB and the Commander, SE BCU, Metropolitan Police, be thanked for attending.
4.1 Lloyd Palmer, Borough Commander Lewisham, London Fire Brigade gave a presentation to the Committee, a copy of which is included in the agenda documentation. During the subsequent discussion, the following key points were raised:
· Similarly to other public sector organisations across the Country, recruitment had lessened over recent years. A programme of plans, however, was now in place to start recruiting. Getting the right level of qualifications across the Brigade was being prioritised. The Borough Commander would provide information to members of the Committee on the comparison to previous years in terms of resources of fire-fighters and vehicles.
· Whilst some deviations and spikes may have been seen, there had been no significant increase or changing trend in the number of call-outs due to Covid.
· The primary reason for false call-outs was the actuation of fire alarms. There were now more processes in place to reduce these such as appropriate “call challenge” where certain categories of buildings check alarms before calling out the Fire Service. However alarms at some categories of buildings such as sleeping accommodation always needed to be responded to. In these cases work was on-going in increasing awareness to reduce the risk of false alarms.
· Members of the Committee thanked Lloyd and his teams for the excellent work they were doing.
4.2 Trevor Lawry, Commander South-East Borough Command Unit (BCU), Metropolitan Police, gave a presentation to the Committee, a copy of which is included in the agenda documentation. During the subsequent discussion, the following key points were raised:
· Uniformed officers who undertook stop and search routinely wore body-cams but in certain circumstances such as for plain clothes officers body-cams were not worn.
· The new Town Centre team in Lewisham including 21 constables and 4 PCSOs were new posts as part of the officer upgrade work.
· Members of the Committee were pleased to hear that the BCU Commander was committed to staying in post for a number of years and also for the emphasis he gave on the importance of ensuring a focus on treating people with politeness and respect.
· Disproportionality in the prison system could be a result of disproportionality in stop and search.
· Members of the public got involved in Police panels such as the Public Encounter Panels and the Stop and Search Scrutiny Panels for different reasons. Often it was as a result of being part of an existing group or through presentations to the community. It was a challenge to get the right balance of people and to ensure there were voices that would act as critical friends. The BCU Commander hoped that they would be able to recruit more young black males to the panels. A member of the Committee commented that working with the Council’s Young Mayor’s Team and Young Advisors Panel might be beneficial.
· It could be helpful to have Police recruits from other areas and from outside the Metropolitan Police to have different views and approaches but it was essential that they understood the community within which they were working.
· In response to a question on what action would be taken on those speeding on scooters, the committee heard that it was a tricky area as it could disproportionally target young people and greener methods of travel did need to be supported. Distinguishing between those using scooters dangerously and antisocially and those just using them to get about needed to be balanced and there also would need to be appropriate legislation in place.
· Following a question regarding a possible pilot scheme on drugs diversion, the committee were informed that it would be a matter for the Commissioner and the Management Board to sign up to through MOPAC should they choose to do so.
That the presentations be noted and the Borough Commander, Lewisham, LFB and the Commander, SE BCU, Metropolitan Police, be thanked for attending and for their work.