Welcome to the third newsletter from the St. Katharine and Wapping Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel. We are a non-political voluntary Group working with the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), The London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) and Residents to make the Ward a Safer Place in which to live and work.
We would like to share some of the progress we have made since we last wrote to you in the autumn of last year.
1) Our new Website
Earlier this year we launched our new website: - www.skw-wardpanel.org which explains how we work and what we do. It also contains up to date links for the various reporting portals including LBTH and the Metropolitan Police for reporting ASB; and Streetlink for reporting the homeless and rough sleepers. The OWL, Online Watch Link page, enables residents to quickly sign up to this important community safety portal in which the Police are a partner.
There are also details about a new "Love Your Neighbourhood" app just launched by LBTH for reporting a variety of street and park-related concerns, including dog-fouling (users are advised to use the "other" category for dog-fouling reports).
Please continue to report. Only with consistent and disciplined reporting will resources be diverted to clamp down on the escalation of ASB related issues.
There is a “news” and “upcoming events” page and, for example, you can find information here about the current Wapping bus gate public consultation.
2) Wapping Bus Gate – Public Consultation - 27 February until 8 April 2019
You might remember that the Ward Panel made a comprehensive and compelling presentation, with photographic input from residents, to LBTH Highways Department in December 2017 evidencing dangerous driving and speeding cars, rush hour rat running and 32 tonne tipper trucks using our roads despite the 7.5 tonne limit. As a result, a full road traffic survey took place in February 2018. Since then we have been following the progress of the analysis and LBTH’s proposals to address these issues. Consultation Details can be found at:-www.pclconsult.co.uk/towerhamlets
Drop-In sessions on 23 March 2019 – have been arranged for businesses and residents at each of the proposed bus gate locations: East from 10 a.m. – 12 noon and West from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Council officials will have large scale drawings of the two proposals and will answer your questions and queries.
Please do ensure you respond to the survey, by 8 April 2019, either on-line or by post (you should by now have received a leaflet from LBTH). It will allow you to suggest and consider options other than those recommended by the LBTH. For example, allowing local residents to register their car registration number plates to ensure access through the bus gate at all times.
We urge you to “Have your Say” to reclaim our streets from the commuter traffic, lorries, vans and tipper trucks using Wapping as a short-cut off the congested Highway.
3) Residents Development Network (RDN)
We started the RDN in February 2018 and now have over 30 developments signed up. Our aim is to ensure conformity of approach with regards to dealing with ASB issues including reporting and security. We held our first meeting in January which was very well attended by chairs, boards and representatives from the developments. The Police SNT and Ward panel discussed issues of mutual concern with the RDN and it was agreed that a collaborative approach would undoubtedly be of great benefit in tackling the issues. For instance, information shared by the RDN regarding the recent spate of underground car park break-ins saved the Police SNT a lot of time, assisted with their enquiries and resulted in an arrest being made. If your development has not already signed up, and would like to do so, please contact us at: - email@example.com
4) Waterside Gardens (river-side park with the pagoda opposite Reardon Path)
This has now become the latest hotspot for ASB problems in Wapping including considerable late night drug-taking, excessive noise and littering. The local Police SNT now includes these gardens in their patrol and we have asked Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOs) to do likewise.
The Police SNT organised a Weapons Sweep on 16 February joined by local residents and members of the Ward panel.
We have a meeting with senior Council officials, later this month, to discuss the issues in this park and what can be done to address them. We hope to find a long-term solution to the problems but, in the meantime, will be discussing the placement of a new CCTV camera, as an initial deterrent.
5) Graffiti Clean Up
After the big clean-up of Shadwell Basin and the Ward generally in September 2018, we have continued our engagement with the LBTH Graffiti Team who are quick to act and remove graffiti as soon as reported. Graffiti and tagging (tagging is a form communication between street gangs and serves the purpose of marking territory) clearly has an adverse effect on our environment and invites more ASB behaviour. Please help us and report any graffiti/tagging you see to make our Ward a more pleasant place to live and work. https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/content_pages/online_services/Report_it/Report_a_waste_and_street_cleaning_problem.aspx
6) SmartWater event - a traceable liquid and forensic asset marking system
In conjunction with the Police SNT, we help mark residents’ motor bikes and scooters. At our two most recent events in December 2018 we marked 15 and in February 2019 we marked 10 in just one hour. Another free marking event will be scheduled in the next few months.
7) Public meeting
We plan to hold another public meeting this summer (details tbc) following the success of our first one last July. The unprecedented turnout (approximately 150 residents) demonstrated the strength of feeling within the Ward and gave the authorities a greater understanding of the problems that the Ward is facing with drugs, dangerous driving/speeding and general ASB (the three priorities residents voted for the Ward panel to focus on). It clearly has given us more leverage when trying to resolve issues with the relevant authorities.
8) Ward Panel Volunteer
We are looking to recruit a new member to the panel with specific input into and responsibility for our communication strategy together with assisting with its implementation. If you are interested please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Katharine and Wapping Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel March 2019
(a non-political Group of Volunteers, working with the Police, Local Authority and Residents to make the Ward a Safer
Place in which to live and work)