Jul 29, 2013 — Dear Petitioner
Disciplinary action against Chief Inspector John Fish
Thank you for your email to the Mayor of London regarding your petition on the police operation in Redbridge. As the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime I have been asked to respond.
I am sorry to hear that you and your signatories are not satisfied with the standard of service from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in this instance. I would like to assure you that the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) believes that building and maintaining public trust and confidence in the police is key to delivering an effective police service in London. We regularly challenge the MPS to make sure they do their very best to deliver the supportive and professional service that Londoners would expect. However, the role of MOPAC is to have strategic oversight of the MPS and the Mayor cannot get involved in individual complaint cases.
The MPS receives numerous complaints from concerned members of the public regarding anti-social behaviour caused by rough sleepers. The MPS response is balanced with the need to treat rough sleepers with dignity and respect and afford them appropriate support where necessary.
The police play a vital role in addressing rough sleeping in London. They work closely with local authorities and outreach services and through these partnerships have developed local approaches to meet the needs of this vulnerable group. The MPS were represented on the Mayor's London Delivery Board and attended the most recent meeting of its successor body - the Mayor's Rough Sleeping Group. We are working with all partners, including the MPS, to ensure no one arriving new to the streets will sleep out for a second night and that no-one should live on the capital's streets.
On the specific issue addressed by your petition, the Borough Commander in Redbridge has assured the public that police did not take food or sleeping bags from members of the homeless community. I have been advised that the following actions took place. On 15 May at the request of police, local authority staff from StreetScene attended to remove discarded, soiled items which were a danger to health.
A local school, which had raised concerns for their pupils, allowed police access to a disused swimming pool to remove trespassers. Police spoke with two people they found there and they left with their sleeping bags and personal possessions. No items were seized by police. Local authority staff then cleared up drug paraphernalia, a soiled gym mattress, rotting food and other rubbish from the location.
Police and Council staff then went to a cemetery where they spoke to a rough sleeper who removed his tent and left after he was asked to. An unoccupied tent with a sleeping bag inside was found on a gravestone, a note was left for the owner to remove it within one week. StreetScene staff assisted in the removal of rubbish from the bushes, including two soiled sleeping bags. These abandoned items, which were considered a health hazard, were removed together with rubbish.
Complaints about police officers below the rank of Commissioner are the responsibility of the police service. The MPS has a Professional Standards Department which is responsible for considering complaints and conduct matters involving police officers and police staff within their force. You can contact this department in writing at:
Complaints Support Team
Directorate of Professional Standards
Metropolitan Police Service
London, SW6 1TL
If you wish to make a complaint via telephone, please call the non-emergency number 101.
If you wish to make a complaint online you can do so at: https://secure.met.police.uk/complaints/index.php
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime