Public meeting

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We are planning to hold our first public meeting in April 2021. Hoping that the social distancing won’t prevent it, we invited all the people who care for our communities.

People who already pledged to come are

  • Mayor John Biggs
  • Leader of the Conservative Group, Island Gardens Councillor Peter Golds
  • Cycling and Pedestrian Champion Kyrsten Perry, Canary Wharf Councillor

We have a broadly appealing agenda, which covers many interesting matters.

Because the Mayor’s attendance will attract a large amount of interest, we may have to restrict access, depending on social distancing at the time. We will give first come first serve access, so please pledge your attendance in advance.

The meeting will be held at The Glasshouse Community Centre, 161 Old Ford Road, London E2 9QB.
Start 18:00 til 20:00, date 12. April 2021

We will add the names of public figures who pledge attendance here on an ongoing basis.

Crime reporting made easy

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The online crime reporting for crimes, which are not currently taking place, saves time and people do not have to go and attend a police station at all for this.

Simple go online and report either on the Met Police website from the home page or go to your local area and report on your SNT team page. You can find direct links to your local SNT area on our website here.

With both methods you get a printable crime report document, which can also be saved onto your computer/tablet/phone, that contains a crime reference number.

This should be useful for nuisance call report, insurance claims etc. and all non-urgent crime reports.

Especially since most of our police stations have closed, we need to rely on the online crime reporting more. We are however, concerned how this affects people without Internet access as the 101 system may be over-loaded and shall raise that issue at our next Association meeting in April.

Houseboats

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Houseboats double parked in Regent Canal

There are a lot of canals in Tower Hamlets and there is an ever increasing houseboat people who have to pay licenses to moor their boats but get little done in respect of safety, hygiene and provision of power.

Cars are not meant to leave their engines running but boats can and they can also burn coal, which often results in strong carbon emissions going into nearby residential areas.

We have involved our MP Rushanara Ali about this and she contacted the Chief Executive of the ‘Canals & Rivers Trust’ Mr Richard Parry about the issue. I quote the full reply of Mr Parry here:

Thank you for your recent email regarding correspondence from Johanna
Kaschke concerning smoke from boats on the Regents Canal near to Victoria
Park.

For many boating customers, solid fuel stoves are their only form of
heating, and understandably, during colder months they are more reliant on
these to stay warm. The use of solid fuel stoves in boats is not illegal,
however, we promote heavily to boaters that the fuels they use should be
smoke-less or fully dried wood to minimise the emissions from their stoves.
We also remind boaters that engines and generators should only be run
between the hours of 8am and 8pm. The Trust regularly contacts boaters who
we see or who are reported to us for creating a noise and / or smoke
nuisance. However, the enforcement powers for noise and smoke pollution in
a conservation/residential area sits with the local authority, and we
support them in taking action against any boats that are proven to be
causing a statutory nuisance with smoke pollution, though – as boats move
from place to place every few weeks – there are some challenges in
progressing such action.

As part of our own efforts to support cleaner, greener boating, we have
been developing a pilot eco-mooring zone in Islington which will include
electric charging points and limits on the use of solid fuels while boats
are moored at this location to help reduce emissions from boats. The
Islington eco-mooring scheme has been developed in partnership with the
local authority and is part-funded through a Defra grant. We are also
working with LB Camden on a second eco-mooring (electric bollard) scheme
east of Kings Cross. Subject to the evaluation of the pilot schemes, we
would be happy to discuss possible options for funding additional
electrical charging points along the canal within LB Tower Hamlets to help
reduce dependence on solid fuels for boaters in this area.

As Neighbourhood Watch Association we do not want to villify houseboat owners, who have a right to safety and security and quality of life just as everybody else.

It is difficult to have Boat watch schemes or the like as houseboats are constantly on the move but we would consider enabling schemes that centre around the safety and security of houseboats on stretches of the canals within the LB Tower Hamlets.

With respect of the communication received from Mr. Parry, we have furthermore written to Rushanara Ali, asking her to pursue the matter with LB Tower Hamlets with respect of the Eco-mooring zones and electric bollard scheme. We also consider that toilet facilities need to be better.

We know that police divers do search the canals to keep the under-water areas safe.

Police Divers Unit parked near Regents Canal to search the canal bed for dangerous items.

Can you be a local Coordinator please

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We are currently recruiting people to become local Neighbourhood Watch coordinators where they live. Being local, knowing neighbours, building communications relationships is what matters to us.

Strenghten your community by talking, staying informed, noticing, notifying and appreciating that your local community is as strong and resilient as you make it.

We accept any shape or form of Neighbourhood Watch group and would like to encourage you to register your group with us, the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association, even if you are not online or use various platforms for your communications.

Ideally we’d like you to consider registering yourself on the Ourwatch Website as coordinator for your local area and invite your neighbours to join you and use that excellent and safe tool. Membership of Ourwatch opens your world of crime prevention notifications from local and national sources.

You can use the Ourwatch group tool to send emails to your local members safely.

All we ask is, that if you are a registered coordinator on the Ourwatch website, that you use that tool and respond to enquiries from the public, those who enquire about membership. You can mark the area you want to be responsible for yourself. An area can be as small as one housing block or as big as a housing estate. You choose, how many people you want to communicate with.

If someone from outside of your area applies to join your group, you have the ability to let them know that the person is outside of your catchment area and you advise them to start their own group within their neighbourhood.

Don’t worry whether you live in a small house or a tower block, run a shop or walk your dog, any area, that you consider your watch area is what you can take social responsibility for.

For those not using Ourwatch we have paper registration forms, enabling group coordinators to mark the area, they want to be active within. Please enquire.

The power of Hello

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Helps make your Neighbourhood a better place.

Saying Hello to people helps in a variety of ways

  • You can evaluate an individual or groups and see how they react
    • Observe
    • Initiate a Hello
    • Navigate the Risk
    • Obtain Help
  • A person wanting to burgle for example will realise they are noticed and have lost their anonymity
  • Anybody progressing a theft would run off when approached
  • Saying Hello takes the pressure off and relaxes the person spoken to as well as yourself
  • Brings you and your neighbours together

This strategy was first adopted by the Cyber Security Agency. It is also very helpful in day-to-day situations around our neighbourhoods.

There is a #World Hello Day on November 21 and we all can practise our Hellos till then and then join in with making the Friendship Bench not just an instrument of communication in schools for pupils but a tool for neighbours.

If you approach an individual not aggressively but friendly with a simple hello, it will help to avoid a violent outcome of a situation where a resident may be concerned about someone in their neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood Watch is about engaging with Neighbours with smiles, hellos and conversations, to build up confidence and well-being. People become more resiliant to being approached by criminals and more likely to report problems.

Once you are talking, encourage your friends to form a Neighbourhood Watch group and register with Ourwatch, which gives you all the tools you need to continue the Conversation.

Registration is as simple as 1-2-3

Nitrous Oxide public spaces protection order (PSPO) consultation

We are consulting on proposals to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle the issue of antisocial behaviour linked to the use of the psychoactive substance, nitrous oxide (NO2).

A PSPO is an order that:

  • specifies a public place
  • prohibits people from doing certain things or carrying out specified activities in that area
  • stops activity such as persistent and continued antisocial behaviour

Read more about the existing PSPOs in place in Tower Hamlets.

We want to hear what you think about our proposal. To have your say, complete our online consultation survey. This will be the best way for the council to fully understand the views of residents and other interested parties, which will be presented to the Mayor and Cabinet.

If you would like support or more information in a different format, please email saferneighbourhoods@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

The consultation will run from Monday 4 January 2020 to Monday 15 February 2021. More information and details specific to this PSPO proposal and antisocial behaviour linked to nitrous oxide use can be found in the accompanying information pack.

Covid Vaccination scam alert

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COVID-19 vaccination scam alert

See pdf version above for download


Some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination. In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill.
In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details.

Like other scams, the same rules apply;

  • Don’t click on links or attachments in unexpected texts, emails or instant messages.
  • Challenge every request for your personal details.
  • It doesn’t matter what they say or what they know about you, don’t respond to unexpected phone calls, hang up, take five then verify their claims via a trusted method. (such as the usual website or official phone number)

The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. At present, appointments are only being offered to members of the public over 80 years old.

The NHS will:

  • NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
  • NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.


If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, you should report this directly to Action Fraud either online; https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or via phone
0300 123 2040
Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to the MPS online or by calling 101.

Please see our article on Ourwatch website: 

https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/news/fake-text-identifying-you-eligible-covid-19-vaccine

Information and engagement

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strongly recommend that everybody signs up for Neighbourhood Alert, the excellent national alert system, which gives the most up-to-date crime prevention alerts to all within England and Wales. You can sign up for Neighbourhood Alert if you sign up to Ourwatch or you can just sign up for Neighbourhood Alert.

Even if you are registered with OWL or a watch coordinator, you will need to subscribe to Neighbourhood Alert to get those messages to your inbox.

There is an option to follow the anti-crime campaigns on Twitter and Facebook from Ourwatch but Neighbourhood Alert sends them straight to your inbox, if they get generated there.

When you sign up to Neighbourhood Alert, you can tick service options and if you subscribe to Neighbourhood Watch, then you will be dealt with by a designated Tower Hamlets Multi-scheme administrator who oversees watch creation and continued membership.

You will not get the same amount of quality messages through OWL, which mainly sends out local policing messages with the exception of very few council run health campaigns to do with Covid-19. As previoulsy mentioned OWL does not do any data-sharing with others, so you will not get the same messages on OWL as you get them from Neighbourhood Alert.

Also any people registered on OWL who are not also registered with us, are not recognised by us as members of the Association. It is very easy to register with us, we accept any functioning watch group, which acts within all national and local by-laws.

Being subscribed to Neighbourhood Watch on Ourwatch or from any other website, which gives you the option will put you on mailing lists for watch coordinators in Tower Hamlets.

Ourwatch membership expects community engagement from members because there is little point in signing up if you do not want to connect with your neighbours.

As the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch Association, we are only able to give direct specific advise to those registered as members of Neighbourhood Watches who are registered with us. If you are a Neighbourhood Watch group and not yet listed on the Ourwatch system please contact us and complete a membership form to make you eligible. Alternatively just register with Ourwatch and you save yourselve having to fill in a paperform.

All those not members of watch groups, will have to make do with the free advice we publish on this website for all to use.

Don’t complain about emails

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In my experience those complaining the most about emails from Neighbourhood Watch are those who are not active as Watch coordinators but registered on the system.

Those using company email addresses switch their emails to holiday mode most often too. Please refer to my other post about creating an email address for watch purposes.

Please do not complain about emails from fellow watch members. Email is often the only way of communicating these days and hearing from your neighbours is stimulating and positive. We are very much trying to get more people to use email rather than less.

Unless emails are of an unwelcome personal nature, please do not complain. If emails are intimitaing make a formal complaint to the police about stalking or harrassment.

If things get too much for you, please just cancel your membership or registration. We need people who are active in their community, want to listen to others and welcome positive contributions.

I have had emails from people who are no longer living in the UK, being registered on the English system, and having failed to cancel their membership complain about too many emails. Others are registered but don’t really want to get involved with Neighbourhood Watch.

Please also log into your account and change your address if you move. Your registration will automatically be changed to your new area.

If you do not want to get involved, don’t register. Just press the unsubscribe button on Alert messages, or log into your Ourwatch account and delete your membership instead of complaining that you do not enjoy being involved.

You can put yourself on the OWL mailing list, where you get occasional police messages but also can only communicate with them at the SNT panel meetings, which are by invitation only. You cannot create a watch group on OWL but that may be the best place for all who just want to get occasionally newsletters from the police.

You can follow this blog to hear about this area or you can follow the many Twitter and Facebook messages that the Ourwatch network puts out on a daily basis for crime-prevention purposes.

We also have a Twitter account.