A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wayne Mawson

I'm not very impressed by Haringey copper, Supt Wayne Mawson, who "has admitted that he was forced to move house by youths hanging around outside his home."

According to The Torygraph he "decided to leave because he did not want to confront the teenagers sitting on the wall of his property in Hackney".

For a start off most of the constituents I represent in my Hackney council ward don't have Supt Mawson's option of moving away when they suffer from anti-social behaviour, because they are council or housing association tenants rather than owner-occupiers. They rightly expect that the police and local authority will do something about it, not decamp to leafy Crouch End.

Secondly it's not remotely clear where on the spectrum of "teenagers sitting on the wall" Supt Mawson's visitors were.

If on the one hand they were genuinely threatening or engaged in criminal behaviour surely he as a policeman has a duty to his neighbours, the kids involved and future residents of his street to get his Hackney colleagues to sort the problem out.

If on the other hand they were just kids sitting around being loud but harmless, well that kind of comes with the territory of living in an inner-city area where not everyone has a garden and most people have small flats so their kids socialise outside when it gets hot. I've got a low front wall to my house. In the summer local kids sit on it and the neighbouring wall most nights. Occasionally the neighbours have an impromptu street party with a sound system that seems to take in my front wall as seating. This freaks out visiting relatives from rural Kent but to my mind is part of the deal of living in an area with a huge population density - added to which they were probably here and sat on the wall a long time before I arrived in Hackney.

Supt Mawson has the right to live where he wants but his remarks haven't helped Hackney and I doubt they have impressed more junior colleagues who are out patrolling the streets he has moved away from.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Rich said...

Send 3CDO down to Kent they'll sort it out.

11:20 pm, February 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our local KLabour councillor in Islington Paul Convery expressed similar views to yours concerning youths pelting eggs at passers-by in Thornhill Square.

He thought he would impress the misled youth with the power of his argument, the finesse of his language, the familiarity with street ...

Alas, the poor useless bastard got pelted with eggs and was lucky to escape a good kicking courtesy of his bike.

You talk shite.

11:52 pm, February 22, 2008

 
Anonymous Zokko said...

Rather than ban the Mosquito device, we should make it more easily available. Never mind the rights of these yobs, what about the rights of those who want a quiet life?

8:12 am, February 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I think this says something about some of our police officers and the powers we give them.

It takes a very special type person to be a good police officer. Too much of the force are now made up of pen pushers and graduates.

I'm not saying graduates don't make good coppers, I'm saying having a degree isn't the only attribute you need for the force.

I watched a YouTube video the other week dealing with mouthy kids on skate boards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GgWrV8TcUc

This copper, very obviously ex military, put a very mouthy kid in his place. Some may think the copper was a bully and out of order but it worked and they use the same technique in the armed forces. It teaches children about etiquette and how to address those in official jobs. When was the last time you called your boss dude or man. If you watch the full video you will see how the police officer turns soft once he has the attention of the child in question...classic submission and that child has learnt a useful lesson.

Personally I think we need to be tough on poor manners in this country. English by definition should mean good manners, it's what makes us English. Teaching kids that how to address an Police officer surely is a good thing...even if it means shouting at them.

We are getting too soft in this country. I can remember getting the cane at school and being taught how to address teachers.

12:48 pm, February 23, 2008

 
Anonymous jdc said...

We have lost control of law and order. If he confronted them off-duty, he'd probably find himself arrested for threatening behaviour. If he confronted them on-duty, they'd track him down off-duty and attack him, his home, and his family.

Best case scenario, they get taken to court. Then what? Jack Straw has said not to send people to prison any more. The political class systematically underestimate the extent to which we have an epidemic of crime and anti-social behaviour. It is ignored at best, and rewarded at worst, in the education and criminal justice systems.

I know you know this, but blaming individual police staff isn't the way forward. It's a system problem.

3:41 pm, February 23, 2008

 
Anonymous Haggerston Harry said...

Luke writes:

"Occasionally the neighbours have an impromptu street party with a sound system that seems to take in my front wall as seating. This freaks out visiting relatives from rural Kent but to my mind is part of the deal of living in an area with a huge population density ..."


Yes, and your local MP, Ms Abbott, states in interviews that she relaxes by playing loud music. Looks like you are two peas in a pod.

No wonder Hackney is one of the unlucky inner-city local authorities that does not have a 24-hour noise service. It is probably nothing to do with saving money, just apathy.

Do Linda and Augustus feel the same way when, at 3am on a work day morning, the low bass notes of a neighbouring party's sound system continue to penetrate their ear-drums, I wonder?

Will you ever realise that you are part of the problem - not the solution?

7:53 am, February 24, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The noise service in Hackney has these hours (plus normal office hours):

Thursday evening, 6.30pm to 2am Friday morning
Friday night, 9pm to 5am Saturday morning
Saturday night, 9pm to 5am Sunday morning
Sunday evening, 6.30pm to 2am Monday morning

This is for the simple reason that when the Lib Dems ran Hackney and had a 24/7 noise service it wasted council tax payers money because there were virtually no cases outside these times that weren't connected to the cases inside those times.

12:53 pm, February 24, 2008

 
Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

This is a very good point.

I'm sick of hearing people complaining about 'teenagers hanging around'. Sometimes behaviour might be anti social, but people should avoid complaining and treading on the liberty of others when behaviour is social and nothing more. Teenagers have to exist somewhere.

3:17 pm, February 24, 2008

 
Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

To add to the comments above, it's the same Lib Dems who want to legalise cannabis and lower the drinking age, as well as having opposed ASBOs and gang dispersal powers.

They should be ashamed to even talk about anti social behaviour.

3:22 pm, February 24, 2008

 
OpenID thisisstokenewington said...

ha,hah, ha: Are you suggesting he just "dial 999"?!!

Maybe he did try to engage Hackney colleagues- and got nowhere.

Much like the rest of us.

4:46 pm, February 24, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

No it shouldn't work that way. We all accept that kids play in the street...they alawys have. What has changed though is the abuse you get when you tell kids to move on because of noise late at night or because they are causing damage.

I recently had to tell a bunch of teenagers to get off my car, they were sitting on the bonnet. A real clever dick thought it would be funny to offer me outside...he soon changed his tune when I broke his nose.

I believe in zero tolerance, I would not want my kids doing the same and they would get the belt from me if I found out they were.

Labour are too soft, too politically correct. Give our police some powers.

5:41 pm, February 24, 2008

 
Anonymous jdc said...

Miller - if firm action were taken on those teenage gangs who cause problems, people would be less frightened of those who are 'just hanging around'. As it is, you can't tell until it's too late.

6:41 pm, February 24, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

JDC
Actually the best of the local police ward teams get to know the groups of youths in the ward they cover and know exactly which ones are gang-related and which ones are harmless - the police team in my council ward certainly know which are which.

6:58 pm, February 24, 2008

 
Anonymous Haggerston Harry said...

"This is for the simple reason that when the Lib Dems ran Hackney and had a 24/7 noise service it wasted council tax payers money because there were virtually no cases outside these times that weren't connected to the cases inside those times."

I don't care a toss which political party was in power when we had a 24-hour noise service, it was not a waste of money. [Actually, I'd prefer a Labour-run council, but not the crowd of corrupt toss-pots we've got at the moment].

"Virtually no cases outside these times ..."? I think you are telling porkies again! And your empty words are not of much comfort to those victims of noise pollution, are they?

Do Linda and Augustus feel the same way as you when, at 3am on a Sunday night/Monday morning, the low bass notes of a neighbouring party's sound system continues to penetrate their ear-drums, I wonder? Hackney police will (rightly) say: "It's not our problem, call the council".

So, Luke, where do you suggest we should we go? (It is no wonder this issue leads to violent attacks on noisy neighbours, excessive noise can make you feel absolutely crazy, especially when you have no outlet, such as the police or a properly-run council noise service).

Perhaps, next time I am plagued by a noisy party going on - and I can't sleep because there is no noise service to fall back on - I should drive up to 8 Beatty Road, London, N16 and play my sound system so others can share in the delights of being awake in the early hours of the morning.

Like I said before: Will you ever realise that you are part of the problem - not the solution?

5:26 am, February 25, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I didn't say there were no cases - I said that the ones outside the service's operating hours are almost all caused by the same people causing the incidents inside the operating hours.

You should contact the noise service and they give you reporting sheets where you record incidents that happen outside of their operating hours (I am assuming one property is causing the disturbance on multiple occasions). If the noise service aren't being helpful ask your ward councillors to get involved. If you want to email me details of the case I will happily pass them on to the Director of Neighbourhoods & Regeneration.

7:53 am, February 25, 2008

 
Anonymous jdc said...

Sure - great. It's not just about the police knowing which are which though, I meant frightened local residents knowing which are which.

Until then, it's logical to be frightened of all of them.

9:07 am, February 25, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

"I don't care a toss which political party was in power when we had a 24-hour noise service, it was not a waste of money. [Actually, I'd prefer a Labour-run council, but not the crowd of corrupt toss-pots we've got at the moment]."

This isn't a Labour government and never has been. How many of the cabinet have actually worked in industry? They are so detached from reality and this is why they have lost the working class vote.

Career politicians, they know nothing but politics.

9:55 am, February 25, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Word of caution here Luke. In Scotland we have just had a highly controversial case where a resident his family and nieghbours were suffering long-running low intensity property vandalism and petty violence from a particular group being 'led off' by a local family.

Residents tried as best they could to accept it as something like 'part of the deal'. Things got worse. Eventually one resident 'lost it' (his own words) when faced by one of the family attacking him and his family in their car outside the house. He was being taunted to come out and face the guy (a locally infamous drug user). He did 'come out' and whacked the guy with something or other to hand.

The result? The resident has been convicted and jailed for assault of the local malcontent. The matter is now the subject of a public petition and campaign.

I know you do say nthat it depends on what the group was like etc., but who in their right mind in todays society is going to try to 'confront' a group of youths loitering about their garden wall? - especially if you are a policeman; put as much as a finger out of joint and you would find the local malcontents and the so-called justice system jumping on you like a ton of bricks.

2:36 pm, February 25, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I specifically didn't suggest the Supt or any member of the public should ever confront people in this kind of situation.

If there was criminal activity or ASB involved then the police and council should deal with it. If they aren't capable of doing this because of will or resources then we need to tackle that as politicians.

If there wasn't criminal activity or ASB involved I don't understand why the Supt drew attention to it.

3:28 pm, February 25, 2008

 
Anonymous Haggerston Harry said...

Luke writes: "the ones outside the service's operating hours are almost all caused by the same people causing the incidents inside the operating hours."

That is rubbish! Where I live there are lots of short-term lets and the noisy parties tend to be one-offs, in flats without repeat offenders, because tenants aren't there long enough.

The fact that it is a one-off party is of no comfort to me when I have got to go to work in four or five hours time - I've had no sleep - and the noise service is not working.

You can't help - if you refuse to bring back the 24/7 noise service!

12:38 am, February 26, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Well I wouldn't worry the latest reliable poll shows Labour are on spent time.

ComRes

This poll reflects voting intentions and is a true reflection of how people are going to vote.

The conservatives are now 11 points ahead of Labour which will give the conservatives a working majority. I expect this to increase towards 2009 and will probably leave Labour fighting with the lib dems for just a few seats.

3:22 pm, February 26, 2008

 
Anonymous VcB said...

Last two posts have been unusually left-wing, Luke.
What's going on?

5:27 pm, February 26, 2008

 
Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

This all reminds me of when my neighbours were throwing fireworks at each other last November.

I called the Police and was told that (despite the imminent threat of bodily injury to both themselves and passers by) it was a noise nuisance, not a police matter.

I called Noise Control and they told me it was too dangerous for them to approach people throwing fireworks and to phone the police.

In the end a well positioned bucket of water out the window dealt with the issue, but I was petrified I'd get done for assault.

The whole system stinks and Labour have no answers. The "hang em from the trees" brigade would have you believe that we need to punish these teenagers. What we really need to do is give them something constructive to do with their time.

Hackney Council are perpetuating the cycle of petty (and serious) trouble in the borough by failing to tackle the problem at source. We need to make serious (not tokenistic) investment in youth clubs, activities and outreach workers so we can get to these kids before it's too late and they move from firework throwing to stabbings, shootings and muggings.

8:44 pm, February 26, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

A well timed call, Lord London Fields Lido.

On Wednesday night we will be considering the Budget at Full Council. The Labour Group is proposing inveting an extra £200,000 in the budget for youth provision on estates.

9:16 pm, February 26, 2008

 
Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

Wasn't that in last year's Lib Dem budget that you voted against?

And even so, two hundred grand is what, about £10 a kid? We're going to provide great services at 20p a week per teenager.

10:09 pm, February 26, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

"The Labour Group is proposing inveting an extra £200,000 in the budget for youth provision on estates."

And how will that be spent I wonder.

Another Labour opportunity to throw money at a problem.

11:50 pm, February 26, 2008

 
Anonymous Shackers said...

And what ever happened to that few hundred grand Jules Pipes famously got from Nike for them using the Hackney logo Max Caller said they could. Has this money actually been used?? Does it exsist?

There are yoth clubs all over the borough, Pedro Club, Frampton Park, Milton Gardens to name a few but they are not used. Kids would rather stuff their faces in front of the TV or Playstation. There are parks all over the borough not being used. It is a symptom of todays society sadly

8:22 am, February 27, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Shaters you are so sad and out of touch:

"Kids would rather stuff their faces in front of the TV or Playstation."

Actually, if only.... then we might not have half the problems we have.

Instead of being so pent-up and so anti-kids, you should get out at nights more. But there again, you would probably too be scared to go out into the streets because of all these kids who should be inside watching tv :)

9:29 pm, February 27, 2008

 
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