Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

Bad news: Hammersmith & Fulham Parks Constabulary disbanded (2021)


Recommended Posts

Wilts20

 

Bad news -  it seems H&F Parks Constabulary is no more. It was disbanded a couple of weeks ago and the Council have now one "enforcement team" that do all the otudoor enforcement. They have lost their status & constables and their associated equipment. 

From British Police History website:

Quote

Further change for the Constabulary was foreshadowed in 2020. Acting on recommendation from the
Borough resident-led Policing and Crime Commission report of September, 2020, the Borough has organised a new enforcement unit. As part of this reorganisation, the Hammersmith and Fulham Parks
Constabulary were disbanded on 31 March 2021.


Along with the Borough Neighbourhood Wardens, Street Environment Services, Highways Enforcement and
Market Inspectors, the Hammersmith and Fulham Parks Constabulary were merged into a new single community warden service titled the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team (NET) on 1 April 2021.

The 39 individuals undertaking the various previous roles are to be expanded to a team of 72 ward officers who will patrol the entire Borough nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The team will be one of the largest of its
kind in the United Kingdom when it becomes fully operational in May of 2021.

These ward officers are not attested as Constables but are issued with their own uniform and PPE to include bodycams, radios, handheld
computers and vests. They carry out Borough-wide patrols including parks and housing estates and have powers within the parks to enforce the bye-laws.

With this change, another of the United Kingdom's parks
police services is lost - their numbers ever dwindling.

https://british-police-history.uk/f/hammersmith-and-fulham

 

From Council website:

 

Quote
Quote

hat is the Neighbourhood Enforcement team?

We are launching the Neighbourhood Enforcement team in April 2021.

This brand new service is an exciting opportunity to expand existing council enforcement teams to form a new team of 72 uniformed staff. Teams will be geographically based, divided into north, central and south teams, with dedicated neighbourhood enforcement officers for every ward in the borough.

Officers will have a broad range of enforcement powers and will patrol the borough nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The team will be one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

Why is the Neighbourhood Enforcement team being set up?

Our number one priority is keeping people safe.

Our residents are clear. They want a borough:

  • that is clean and tidy
  • where they can feel safe, day and night
  • where they can see the council protecting the law-abiding and enforcing against those who are not.

Our neighbourhood enforcement officers will be our eyes and ears, acting as ambassadors for the council as we seek to drive down environmental crime and anti-social behaviour.

https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/crime/neighbourhood-enforcement-team

For those interested in the more niche areas of policing, this will come as a blow, especially at a time when London certainly doesn't need more "enforcement types", but without that protection and equipment of a constable.

I wonder what was behind the change?

(This was the constabulary that was merged in 2013 with Royal Borough of Kensignton & Chelsea Parks Constabulary to for the Parks Police Service (2013-2019), but then de-merged again in 2019. RBKC still maintain their own Parks Constabulary )

Side Note

I also think this strikes a bigger point, if H&F Council want to police the whole borough properly (see above), then why doesn't each local authority just create a "Council Constabulary" etc, that does all the borough/unitary/county etc? They're paying (or will do) for this new NET, it just seems so bizzare that unlike Europe we have these large-ish groups of wardens, who can't really deal with that much (even CSAS), and who people don't really understand/respect anyway. Rather than a proper local force (which seems to be the intent here, ironic that they will no longer have the parks constables or their powers...)

 

Wilts20

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 31
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Radman

    12

  • Wilts20

    8

  • BlueBob

    6

  • Dave SYP

    3

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Perhaps the local police model you seem to favour is not a viable business option.   

It would be BlueBob but the problem is a lack of legislative investment/expansion over the years.  If the Council could attest officers to enforce the same low level offences/byelaws throughout i

No, what I'm suggesting is a classic model return where the "Office of Constable" is used more broadly for specialist fields or pieces of specific legislation.  A Constable is NOT and has never b

BlueBob

Perhaps the local police model you seem to favour is not a viable business option.   

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave SYP

Is it my cynicism or could it all be a money saving exercise under the disguise of merging and modernising services, I wonder? Another step closer to having less and less constabularies.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Radman
5 hours ago, BlueBob said:

Perhaps the local police model you seem to favour is not a viable business option.   

It would be BlueBob but the problem is a lack of legislative investment/expansion over the years. 

If the Council could attest officers to enforce the same low level offences/byelaws throughout its area rather than just within parks/open spaces relying on legislation that restricts said powers to parks only the public would see an immensely improved service all around, the political appetite isn't there amongst HO forces (as I'm slowly discovering) mainly due to a unwillingness to accept more specialised constabularies... Most cops seem to be obsessed with the idea of more mergers, more centralisation when arguably it is that centralisation that has taken policing to where it is today. 

Enforcement officers do not work well and any front line officer will have knowledge of this because the actual villains of society just opt out of dealing with them, nothing they can do, cops generally don't want to know and won't deal with low level offending and that's even if people can be deployed from the local HO force. 

We'll just carry on moving more and more away from front line, community engagement, sidelining these roles to PCSOs, wardens etc who can effectively do little when it actually matters. 

Edited by Radman
  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
BlueBob

I think what you are suggesting is that local authorities have police officers to cover their council area.  That to me sounds like a multi tiered police force. 
for me, having seen how things like parking enforcement was passed to LA’s and grossly abused for the financial benefits as an example, would be enough for me to be fearful that a warranted LA police force would,not provide the policing that would be anything like a reliable balanced and fair system.   
if people are opposed to PCCs because of the mix of politics and policing then imagine the scene within a local council🙈

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Radman
1 hour ago, BlueBob said:

I think what you are suggesting is that local authorities have police officers to cover their council area.

No, what I'm suggesting is a classic model return where the "Office of Constable" is used more broadly for specialist fields or pieces of specific legislation. 

A Constable is NOT and has never been solely a "Police Officer." 

In the case of councils/local authorities they should have the ability to effectively enforce low level byelaws/nuisance legislation - which already exists, the current legislation however limits that appointment to Parks/Open Spaces... I'm stating that limit to open spaces/parks should be removed and low level nuisance, byelaws etc that exist outside of that within a council area also fall under the local authorities 'constable' control. 

With some quality of life additions such as the ability to arrest persons wanted on warrant or arrest for suspected, on-going criminal offences where the prisoner is handed over to local force for process. 

Quote

 That to me sounds like a multi tiered police force. 

Which is something we historically had and to a large extent arguably have in the UK now already. 

The Home Office is not the only type of police or constable office holders within a county, BTP exist, Parks plod exist in London, Ports Police, Tunnels up in Merseyside and even Minster cops (who seem to work extremely well with North York.) 

Quote


for me, having seen how things like parking enforcement was passed to LA’s and grossly abused for the financial benefits as an example, would be enough for me to be fearful that a warranted LA police force would,not provide the policing that would be anything like a reliable balanced and fair system.   

It would professionalise the system, currently the reason why these warden types are so profit driven is due to private companies being able to take on Enforcement contracts and run purely for profit, the parks police in London that still exist do not run such a model as they are attested officers that work to a code of ethics not driven for profit. 

Quote


if people are opposed to PCCs because of the mix of politics and policing then imagine the scene within a local council🙈

In relation to low level ASB and nuisance? If they want to get political about that it'd be ideal, the sad fact is I've attended numerous council meetings now (at various levels) where the same old story is put forward, desperate communities pleading with local police to tackle all sorts of issues impacting their community, be it begging, drinking, drug misuse, ASB kids, off road bikes, bin fires, damage, graffiti, littering etc. 

Yet none of this can be effectively tackled by the local police because the resources do not exist and in the priority of crime these issues often aren't even recorded as crime (let's all be open and honest about that, they often aren't even recorded.) 

What do we have now instead? A Councillor will finally get the idea that they have to do something so will turn to an established security firm (pick your poison) and hire in wardens, enforcement officers or whatever flavour of the month title they've opted for to come in and issue tickets to smokers stood outside a retail outlet or train station, rather than tackling the real problems head on within their community. These guards are focused on issuing fines, nothing else and will inevitably get the backs of the local cops up because they'll call officers to people littering who've refused details/abused them etc unable to deal with these low level matters effectively themselves... Without actually solving any problems. 

Rinse and repeat. 

Keep the HO in place, keep them doing what they do but give the councils the tools to expand out on what they already can legally do with their constables and get them tackling the issues which aren't a policing priority, we would see a huge change in our communities over night for the better. 

Edited by Radman
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Zulu 22

The last thing that anyone would need would be for "Little Hitler's" employed by the Council and jokingly called Constables. There are so many reports of Council "Jobsworth's" who seem incapable of exercising any form of Common Sense.  It would just mean a different uniform for the Council enforcement officers.  

Parks and such are public places and, as such, should be Policed but by the H.O. Forces in whose are they are.  You quote other Police Forces. This is not meant as any insult but you would just have to scrutinise the BTP.  They do many good things because they have unique legislation giving all sorts of powers on the railway property. They also have failings has has shown up in the enquiry into the Manchester Arena  Bombing.  Yes I know that there were many other failings in  that, such as the Fire Service being sent to a holding area some 20 minutes away from the scene, and failure by the Ambulance Service also being held back.

I have known many times when Council enforcement have had to be ask for assistance from the Police because some offender has just told them to "Do One" and walked off.  Council Police controlled would be a disaster for so many reasons, especially Political persuasion. I can just see it in place like Haringey, and Brent.

Edited by Zulu 22
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave SYP

It would be difficult to list all the departments within our City Council who have civil enforcement responsibilities. I bet they each have a tiered management and administration system. One stroke of a pen would save a fortune in management and administration costs alone. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
BlueBob
1 hour ago, Dave SYP said:

It would be difficult to list all the departments within our City Council who have civil enforcement responsibilities. I bet they each have a tiered management and administration system. One stroke of a pen would save a fortune in management and administration costs alone. 

@Dave SYP +I can see your fundamental error here, using words like Council snd paperwork of administration.  They thrive on it and would simple shrivel up without it🙈

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Radman
3 hours ago, Dave SYP said:

It would be difficult to list all the departments within our City Council who have civil enforcement responsibilities. I bet they each have a tiered management and administration system. One stroke of a pen would save a fortune in management and administration costs alone. 

That's been part of the problem I've encountered when trying to link in with different departments to tackle different issues. 

Every type of enforcement be it parking or refuse has a totally different manager at the helm with staff under them who focus on very specific issues rather than having staff in place who can tackle numerous problems that they may encounter. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
BlueBob
4 hours ago, Radman said:

That's been part of the problem I've encountered when trying to link in with different departments to tackle different issues. 

Every type of enforcement be it parking or refuse has a totally different manager at the helm with staff under them who focus on very specific issues rather than having staff in place who can tackle numerous problems that they may encounter. 

And that is surely why policing by whatever name under a council would be draconian and yet ineffectual at the same time🙈

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Radman
2 hours ago, BlueBob said:

And that is surely why policing by whatever name under a council would be draconian and yet ineffectual at the same time🙈

You're deliberately ignoring the points. 

It'd be under one department for a start, that would ensure various issues could be tackled instead of having indivual departments all having specific areas of enforcement.

As for draconian that's a direct result of the incentive to target 'easy marks' as the wardens not only recieve a 'bounty' for every ticket issued and paid but the companies they work for operate totally for profit, they're third party firms being drafted in to run the contracts... They don't care if its Mrs Miggins dropping a tab end on the floor, they'd sooner their warden issue 20 tickets to law abiding people than one person flytipping. 

Having constables in house would ensure they're directly employed by the LA, far more accoubtable and undertake far higher standard of training and overall have more accountability. 

 It's a far superior system to what we have now... It's simply better value for money. 

 

Edited by Radman
Link to post
Share on other sites
Radman
11 hours ago, Zulu 22 said:

 

Edit

Edited by Radman
Link to post
Share on other sites
Wilts20
On 23/04/2021 at 13:42, BlueBob said:

Perhaps the local police model you seem to favour is not a viable business option.   

Yes, quite possibly. However, it may also be a lack of interest and determination to go that extra mile. I think the main problem (on the local police model matter) is lack of legislation and the creative willpower needed! I just note that it is odd that they disband their constabulary and have 70+ non-warranted people, effecitvey doing local police work, but not actually being 'police'. My two cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wilts20
12 hours ago, Radman said:

Keep the HO in place, keep them doing what they do but give the councils the tools to expand out on what they already can legally do with their constables and get them tackling the issues which aren't a policing priority, we would see a huge change in our communities over night for the better. 

I think (speaking as a public and not as police etc) this is key and would really help, certainly even in my area. It's a bit wearing having only police vehicles drive through the place and not really patrol the town effectively, deal with the ASB, graffiti and illegal parking. If local constables (under LA direction), not private guards, could just do that, even just at peak times it would be so much better.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Police Community is a forum that is supported financially through advertisements. It is a breach of our standard use policy to use Adblock plugins/software on our site. 

In order to continue using our site you will need to disable Adblock across our site. Alternatively you can purchase a membership package from our online store to remove adverts as part of the membership subscription. 

https://police.community/remove-adverts/

Thank you for your support.

I have disabled Adblock