Croydon Local Independent Review Panel report published

The report from the Croydon Local Independent Review Panel has just been published (Tuesday 28th February). Click here to access a copy from the Croydon Online website.

Some of the findings have already been said before or known for a while (something which the report acknowledges). In connection with London Road and West/North West Croydon it says:

“The issue of protectionism was raised with regard to shops on London Road by a number of people who met with the Panel. This issue was also raised with the Metropolitan Police Service and there was an acknowledgement that this was happening. The Panel heard of specific efforts made by Croydon Police to tackle this issue and difficulties that had been encountered when doing so.

“Other longstanding issues of crime and disorder were repeatedly raised to the Panel regarding North West Croydon, including drug and alcohol crime, gang crime including gangs based on ethnicity, street crime and fear of reporting crime and reprisals.

“The Panel is aware that both the Police and other agencies are already familiar with these issues and indeed heard of efforts that had been made to tackle some of them.”

When it comes to its effect or influence, though, will it have teeth? There are 24 recommendations, covering a wide range of issues. However, most of the recommendations are for the authorities (the Council, the Metropolitan Police, community organisations etc) to ‘give consideration’ to implementing changes and improvements, or ‘be encouraged’ to work with others – for example:

~ Recommendation 19
That the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust be encouraged to work with other agencies and the local community to bring the vacant Croydon General Hospital site back into use as soon as possible.

The dead space of the old General Hospital site has been an ongoing blight on London Road for many years, but with suggested schemes and land use coming to nothing, more than ‘encouragement’ is likely to be needed….

~ Recommendation 21
That the Metropolitan Police Service gives consideration as to how a more visible policing presence can be provided in the North West Croydon area including London Road.

That considering process has been going on for a while with few effective solutions. Traders still complain about the low-level but regular aggressive pilfering which goes on from their shops.

The report gives a somewhat stronger recommendation regarding the issue of trust between the police and young people:

~ Recommendation 24
That the Metropolitan Police Service prioritises the rebuilding of trust and understanding between itself and young people and young adults in Croydon.

Three of the report’s recommendations specifically call for action:

~ Recommendation 4
That the Government reform the processes by which payments are currently made under the Riot Damages Act in order to achieve quicker payments for persons claiming under that Act.

~ Recommendation 5
That the local Community Safety Partnership undertakes detailed analysis of the profiles of persons convicted of rioting in Croydon to provide further understanding of who rioted in Croydon and why.

~ Recommendation 9
That the Council’s policy of promoting internal shop shutters be implemented.

Let’s hope that London Road does benefit from all this in the future, anyway – somehow…

Coverage of the LIRP report in local media:
~ Croydon Guardian
~ Croydon Advertiser

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BBC report on money pledged for riot aid

This report from Andrew Bomford from BBC Radio 4’s PM Programme makes depressing reading:
Riot aid left unclaimed while another fund fails to pay

“Most of the government money pledged to help small businesses after the riots is unlikely to be paid out, according to a BBC assessment of claims.

“Some £20m was allocated to the High Street Support Scheme, but businesses have been slow to claim the money through local authorities.

“Separately, the BBC has learnt that a government fund has paid out a tiny fraction of the £250m allocated. [read more]

Bomford also reports that “There has also been a low take-up in other riot hit areas. Croydon Council has paid out £882,000 from a possible £2m.”

Read the report in full here.

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Croydon’s Local Independent Review Panel

Croydon has set up a Local Independent Review Panel to look into the riots in Croydon on 8th August.

The panel of five people is being chaired by William Barnett QC and will submit its findings to the national Riots Communities and Victims Panel.

Anyone can contact the Croydon Panel to contribute – the terms of reference are as follows:
1. To contribute local evidence to the National Communities and Victims Panel.
2. To examine why the civil disturbances/riots took place in Croydon, to record and place on the record what happened and how the various regional and local agencies responded.
3. To assemble written and oral information, review and sift relevant data.
4. To provide a summary of lessons to be learnt for the avoidance of a recurrence.
5. To make public the findings of the review and any recommendations.
6. The time frame for completion of the work of the Panel is up to five months.

Email: localreview@croydon.gov.uk
or send your letter to The Secretary, Croydon Independent Local Review Panel, 5th floor, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 3BT

Submissions must arrive by Monday, 10 October, 2011, in order to be considered by the Panel.

You can also submit your evidence and views direct to the National Communities and Victims Panel – click here for details.

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Croydon Open Assembly, 25th September

The Weatherill Society, Croydon Communities Consortium and Croydon Minster are holding a Croydon Open Assembly at Croydon Minster on Sunday 25th September.

The aim is to focus on the future: “What do we, as Croydon people, need to do to make our town a better, safer and prouder place and reduce the likelihood of future disturbance?”

Date/time: Sunday 25th September, 3pm – 5pm
Venue: Croydon Minster, Church Street, Croydon CR0 1RN

All are welcome – let’s make sure that London Road residents, traders and businesses are well represented.

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Riots Communities and Victims Panel calls for evidence

The Riots Communities and Victims Panel has set up its website and put out a ‘national call for evidence’ to help understand the causes of the riots in August.

From week beginning the 19th September, the panel will travel around the country to meet people and hear their views face to face. Letters are being sent to communities and organisations across the country to ask people to come forward with their views.

But you don’t have to wait to be invited: you can email or write and post your views directly to the Panel. Darra Singh, Chair of the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, said: “We want to talk to the residents, shop keepers, parents, young people, council workers, youth leaders, faith organisations, ‘riot wombles’ – this is a panel for the people. So today we’re making a national call for evidence. We want people to write, email and talk directly to us so that everyone has the chance to have their voice heard.”

Send your views by email to: riotspanel@communities.gsi.gov.uk
or by post to: Riots Panel, 6th Floor, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU.

Let us know if you are invited to a face to face meeting with the Panel – we will also put an update on this website once we know the Panel’s schedule.

Topics to be looked at by the Panel:
~ the motivation for a small minority of people to take part in riots;
~ why the riots happened in some areas and not others;
~ how key public services engaged with communities before, during and after the riots;
~ what motivated local people to come together to take civic action to resist riots in their area or to clean up after riots had taken place;
~ how communities can be made more socially and economically resilient in the future, in order to prevent future problems; and
~ what they think could have been done differently to prevent or manage the riots.

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Grassroots Communities and Victims Panel

The Grassroots Communities and Victims Panel has been created by the Deputy Prime Minister to listen to the views of those affected by the recent riots – residents, shopkeepers, parents, young people and others.

The terms of reference state that “the Panel will give those affected the opportunity to voice their opinions on the factors which communities believe led to the loss of public order and rioting in their areas”.

The topics listed are as follows:
~ why the riots happened in some areas and not others,
~ what drove a small minority to take part in the riots, and their individual and collective motivations and characteristics,
~ why most people did not take part,
~ how key public services engaged with communities before, during and after the riots,
~ what motivated local people to come together to take civic action to resist riots in their area or to clean up after riots had taken place,
~ how communities can be made more socially and economically resilient in the future, in order to prevent these occurrences happening again, and
~ what they think could have been done differently to prevent or manage the riots

The terms of reference state that “The panel will identify and manage a process for engaging with communities and victims at the grassroots level to ensure that they are given a chance to have their say on their experiences before, during, and after the riots.”

If you want to put forward your views or suggestions on any of the points listed, get in touch with your local community group, Croydon Council or Croydon Voluntary Action as soon as possible. Click here for links to their websites.

You can also get in touch with us.

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Your Croydon Your Say: Supporting Croydon’s Recovery

Your Croydon Your Say: Supporting Croydon’s Recovery
A series of “Question Time” meetings for anyone affected by the riots, organised by Croydon Council and the Police where people can talk about the disturbances, and about working together on Croydon’s recovery.

Meetings will take place across the borough in September and October. There are two meetings near London Road:

Thurs 8th September – 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Croydon and District Masonic Hall, 73 Oakfield Road, Croydon CR0 2UX

Tues 11th October – 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Christ Church, Sumner Road, Croydon CR0 3LJ
NB: this is one of the wider Question Time meetings already scheduled

If you can’t get to those above, there are other meetings (in Norbury, Thornton Heath, Purley, South Croydon etc). See the full list on the poster (right).

For more information, see here and here on the Council website.

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