Our latest campaign asks you to become an active bystander when you feel safe to do so.
Street harassment is on the rise and is often not an isolated incident. We know the long-term impact can harm mental health and change people’s behaviour. Victims often feel guilty, ashamed, and blame themselves.
Witnessing street harassmentand not safely intervening sends the message to those experiencing it that it’s okay and society normalises it. Ongoing acceptance of street harassment contributes to a toxic culture. We want to change this, butwe need your help.
Our campaign targets bystanders (those who witness street harassment), be those Neighbourhood Watch members or not.
The campaign encourages those who see someone being harassed in public to ask the victim if they are okay when they feel safe doing so. Those three little words let them know that they stand by them and that street harassment is never okay.
‘This simple action is a delay technique and part of the 5Ds of bystander intervention developed by Right to Be. By asking, ‘Are you okay?’ we become active bystandersand send the message that harassment is not okay. There are further actions that people can take, but our campaign focuses on the simplest step everyone can take.’ Deborah Waller, Head of Communications and Digital, Neighbourhood Watch Network
We’ve had numerous enquiries from members and non-members about patrolling, speed watch and community activities.
To carry out any type of patrolling you need permission to do so and very few organisations have those. These include
THH ASB patrols
Shomrin have permission from the Commissioner of the police to do their patrols. Putting up such schemes is expensive, needs a lot of training, equipment and time.
Most of our members have ordinary working lives. As Neighbourhood Watch members we help co-ordinators with activities like litter picks, leafletting, meetings, a list can be seen on the Ourwatch website. We promote and support the active Bystander role, see details here. You can get involved. The Ourwatch section on Best Practise recommends activities. All Ourwatch registered members can get training with our Knowledge Hub. Council also trains people to become Hate crime champions.
We recommend to register as Community Volunteer with the Met Police to get police approved training, directly from Police and to get involved with Community based activities throughout Greater London. Also register with Ourwatch as Neighbourhood Watch members, so that your skills can be transferred. How much is done within Tower Hamlets is dependent on how many events Tower Hamlets Police runs, which requires volunteers.
But once you are accepted as Community based volunteer, and we have a few trained ones, we can let Tower Hamlets Police know and ask for more community based activities.
As Community based volunteer you can also take part in training for MO19 or other specialist services like British Transport Police or medic training.
You will get an insight how police works and create a rapport with officers around Greater London and you can then transfer that skill to Tower Hamlets. The more volunteers we can get to register in the borough the greater is our skills base going to be.
Tower Hamlets Council kindly agreed to pay for Neighbourhood Watch signs in the borough. Signs will be given to existing Neighbourhood Watch schemes, where there is a verified co-ordinator. Please see the slides from the events.
is very important. We have given the Community Bus new watch stickers and leaflets to distribute.
We have recommended using the Safeland system whereby individual users connect their alarms through the Safeland App to alert each other in case of emergency. Many buildings have/had waking watches to constantly patrol blocks. In the case of Meath Crescent the Waking Watch was replaced with an alarm system, which failed. a fire broke out recently see pics below.
Letter from our chair
Dear Mayor Lufur Rahman, Cabinet Members Kabir Ahmed & Ohid Ahmed, Councillors Sirajul Islam, Ahmodul Kabir & Rebaka Sultana, Inspector Ashley Rose, PCSO John Murphy & Officer Aminul Islam, EH employees David Tolley & Francis Mendi and LFB employees Dean Wilkinson & Tracey Beardall,
I write to you on behalf of many concerned residents at Meath Crescent. They have all been copied on this email.
As you may be aware, one of our blocks was on fire on Saturday early evening. The balcony of an unoccupied flat (at the time) on the 4th floor of Leamore Court caught fire in between 6-6.30pm. A blaze that went up 3 floors was quickly underway.
8 appliances from the London Fire Brigade attended and put out the fire with the upmost speed and professionalism. No harm to life happened.
In the aftermath of the incident, we have some questions that we hope you can help us clarify in order to put our minds somewhat at ease.
1.- Earlier this month we said goodbye to the Waking Watch as our newly integrated fire detection system and alarm was approved. A fire that caused the flat in question (208) to be smoke logged should have triggered its fire detectors and by default a full building evacuation with notification to the London Fire Brigade of an emergency for attendance.
The fire alarms went off in the flat 3 floors above but not in flat 208 and the rest of the building thus not triggering a full evacuation nor alerting the London Fire Brigade for attendance.
One of our neighbours, Bini Parekh (in copy) and her partner discovered the fire as they were returning to the building, rang the London Fire Brigade and started alerting residents so they could evacuate.
Had the incident developed further than it did, those minutes provided by the correct function of the detection, alarm and alert systems would have proved vital to preserve life from harm.
How could this happen?
2.- I was alerted of the fire by my neighbour knocking on my door. We live 4 blocks away from Leamore Court and he could smell the smoke from the fire in his home.
My home is situated at the front and top of Rathnew Court with unobstructed views of Warley Street, the entrance gates and the drive up Meath Crescent.
Upon exiting it I witnessed the struggle the first London fire appliances had to access Meath Crescent through a broken set of gates (half closed) and the cars parked outside the L&Q blocks.
The gates have been broken since the 24th of June and the development has had a constant loosing fight with L&Q (and previously East Homes) for as long as we can remember regarding the unauthorised parking of residents and visitors of the two Housing provider’s tenants. Many residents have brought this issue of access to the attention of the London Fire Brigade.
5 appliances somehow got through but 3 were blocked from reaching further than Rathnew Court as two cars drove in and then proceeded to block the drive.
How could the same access problems faced by the London Fire Brigade time and time again on many visits be allowed to continue?
3.- 2 Met Police patrol cars attended.
Residents were informed that an arrest of an individual was made in connection with the fire incident.
We understand that this may still be under Police investigation and therefore the information you can provide may be limited.
Was there truly an arrest made in connection with the fire? What crime was the arrest made for?
4.- I had the honour of meeting Dean Wilkinson, the Commander in attendance as Fire Safety from the London Fire Brigade.
I approached him to express my concern with the fire and how Fire Safety (as much as Health and Safety) has neither been a priority nor handled compliantly for the last 15 years by our Landlord, the RTM Company or any of the Managing Agents we have had. This has allowed residents to live under constant possible threat to their life was there to be an emergency.
I explained the composition of our external wall and the repair we are set to have on it to achieve compliance under the new Building Safety Act 2022. The repair focuses on the cladding aspect of the external wall whilst maintaining the most dangerous part of the wall, a highly combustible PIR called Panoblok.
I shared with him the initial findings of an expert witness (Chris Easton – Eastonbevins) during his visit to commission a Civil Procedures Rules Report Part 35 Expert Witness Report. His findings state the development’s biggest problems aren’t the external wall but internal compartmentation breaches.
We both went into the electrical intake cupboard on the 4th floor, which had been broken into, and personally saw those breaches in compartmentation. I must state here that our ACM Cladding, missing cavity barriers and internal compartmentation breaches are not the only building construction defects we have been subjected to as collapsing communal walkways, terraces, floor joist structures, drainage and affluence or faulty plumbing also form part of them.
Under the humanitarian nature of my queries, I asked Dean if he could devote some time to assess how Panoblock performed under fire and also be aware of the issues with internal compartmentation during his investigation.
Has a Fire Safety findings report and recommendations been compiled yet? Are you able to share it with us or at lease give us a summary of it and plan of action for rectification?
Many of you have heard from us before highlighting these problems and the inability of our Right to Manage Company to address them appropriately.
Therefore, you can surely understand how uneasy we feel about this situation and hope you can help us with it.
Thanks to all who joined Neighbourhood Watch. Still we get reports from people who fell victims to crime in situations, which could have been prevented with sensible crime prevention advise.
We come across quite a lot of people who think registration and reading advise emails will be enough, but it won’t.
Victim blaming is never OK but if we can adjust our behaviour to avoid bigger loss or injury, that would help us all. The ideal way to get this is to come to Neighbourhood Watch meetings, coffee mornings and talk about your situation.
We know what is the issue in our area and we can give down to earth practical advise on how to prevent becoming victim. Unfortunately some people, who register and still fall victim to crime then are ashamed to talk to us about being a victim.
Help is at hand, talking about it always helps. We can advise you whether it would be a good idea for a small person to walk around with an unmarked expensive bicycle in an area that is plagued by motorcycle thieves who target small people with expensive bikes and simply snatch them in the street. We could have told them that holding on to the bike then will lead to extensive injuries to the person.
There are many other incidences of crime prevention, which is really important to know for your particular situation.
Many people read crime prevention advise and simply feel invincible or happy to have read what can happen. Some feel nothing is going to happen me.