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"Law Enforcement Team" - Hammersmith and Fulham Council (London)


Wikicop20
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This is the new Hammersmith and Fulham Law Enforcement Team (LET).

 

 This article is from their website. I thought I would post it, as it is one of the largest non-warranted LA teams in Britain, it seems.

They are aiming to get CSAS accredited. Their current re-mit is local policing issues really:

Quote

The number one priority of the LET is to be the eyes and ears of the council keeping people safe.

The team seeks to drive down environmental crime and anti-social behaviour and be ambassadors for the council increasing community engagement. 

Dog-fouling, littering, ASB, etc.

They actually dis-banded and absorbed the former H&F Parks Constabulary into this, thereby losing their constable (and baton & cuffs) status.

There are 72 officers across the Borough.

Their uniform is a mixture of a CEO or City of London Police:

Image 1

 

Full article: https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/crime/law-enforcement-team 

*

I thought this is quite a new development. I know we have had similar councils (Newham Law Enforcement, Bristol litter enforcement), but this has gone up a notch I think, as they provide a 24/7 service and moved all the council teams that dealt with this sort of stuff, into this one. 

Really, it seems to be (or want to be) a local police force in all but name and powers, similar to the continent. I for one would be in favour of legislating to give these guys constable powers, keep them under their council and keep them with just dealing with these type of offences in this area and leave everything else to the HO force.

I'd be interested to hear other's views.

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Ultimately they'll encounter the same issues every other non-warranted form of 'law enforcement' (**cringe**) role has encountered in Britain over the years, be it PCSOs, litter wardens, traffic wardens, enforcement officers etc if they have no bite behind what they're trying to get done, what is the point when they encounter a person that ultimately will need dealing with but will just elect to either ignore them or abuse them?

They'll limply state "We'll call the police" the Met may well get to them at some point in the next week or so, meanwhile the offender is laughing themselves silly as they walk away. 

What's the point? 

Rinse and repeat ad infinitum. 

I mean look at the uniform this lot are wearing... A jumbled mix of corproate nightmare, public relations ambassador and parking attendant, who designed them? It'll be someone in a back office who doesn't have to wear it. Does it instill any sense of importance, confidence or presence in the officer? Does it look smart? In my opinion no, not when you compare it to the old H&F Parks Constabulary uniform. 

My opinion is well known, I believe in the concept of local authority controlled constables to replace lower tiered wardens, PCSOs and the like to help bridge the gap between the modern county police forces swamped dealing with safe guarding, domestics and serious crime to ever look into these more community low level orientated issues is the best means forward from an operational point of view and value for money. 

I believe in both the public and political mindset however there is so much confusion surrounding the terms "office of constable" and what we know in modern to be "police" to ever separate the two from one another, people will always see constables as police and bar some extremely rare surviving historical examples it will be difficult to change minds. 

As for remaining Parks Police you only have:

Wandsworth (active) 

Hampstead Heath (active) 

Havering (seemingly inactive) 

Kensington & Chelsea (active) 

Kew Constabulary (Ceremonial) 

Epping Forest Keepers (active but limited in scope.)

Edited by Radman
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IMHO, anything done by any local authority that involves enforcement is based less on local safety and more on creating revenue, regardless of the fluffy words around it.  Bet their training will be less about being “eyes and ears”  but more “pens and tickets”.

as a quick and current example, one of the N London boroughs in the news about using ANPR to enforce low traffic zone, budgeting that drivers will ignore or miss the miss the signs rather than being compliant.  

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16 minutes ago, BlueBob said:

IMHO, anything done by any local authority that involves enforcement is based less on local safety and more on creating revenue, regardless of the fluffy words around it.  Bet their training will be less about being “eyes and ears”  but more “pens and tickets”.

That is also a problem, up my way it isnt so much traffic enforcement (although apparently my local council is trigger happy with the bus gate cameras even on vehicles/residents permitted to go through them.) 

I have encountered litter wardens who are contracted out by the council to a private company who's job it is to simply issue tickets to people, the officers themselves are paid commission on top of their wage for every ticket they have issued - how is that legal? How does that fit in the basic concept of common law judicial process or the spirit of discretion? 

It doesn't and the company has got into hot water near me for issuing tickets to people feeding ducks and all sorts. 

These same wardens will also ignore anything and everything else happening around them, reluctant to provide statements, reluctant to intervene in disorder or utilise their any person powers to help in situations in which they really could assist in. Yet they dress like local cops wearing black combat trousers, black tops and black stabvests from head to toe. 

As far as I'm aware Parks plod for councils didnt behave in such a manner because the office of constable ensures that they must be fair and impartial, they certainly couldnt profit from tickets. 

16 minutes ago, BlueBob said:

as a quick and current example, one of the N London boroughs in the news about using ANPR to enforce low traffic zone, budgeting that drivers will ignore or miss the miss the signs rather than being compliant.  

Massive money spinner for them though isn't it. 

I read somewhere that a yellow box junction in London brings in a substantial chunk of cash for one particular authority. 

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I agree with the comments above. It does seem far too limp and lacking teeth.

They should just warrant them all, put them back into the Parks Police uniform, stop any excess revenue making and treat as a proper police force.

Or, scrap it and get the Met to do proper local policing, 24/7, not just the odd beat surgery on a Saturday afternoon.

* I also cannot stand those yellow vests, so many things wrong with them!

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3 minutes ago, Wikicop20 said:

I agree with the comments above. It does seem far too limp and lacking teeth.

They should just warrant them all, put them back into the Parks Police uniform, stop any excess revenue making and treat as a proper police force.

Or, scrap it and get the Met to do proper local policing, 24/7, not just the odd beat surgery on a Saturday afternoon.

* I also cannot stand those yellow vests, so many things wrong with them!

I dont understand why to my knowledge no London council that manages it's own parks police has ever approached parliament asking for an amendment to legislation granting authority to extend their park constable appointment powers to other matters that local authorities take control of such as flytipping or street nuisance. 

Newham effectively decided to just break the remit its officers had and just enforce law and order outside of parks/open spaces without any agreement from the Met or legislative power and it blew up in their faces, rightly so. 

I also find it strange no Association exists to protect parks officers interests or advance the use of them is in place. 

Cathedral Constable Association (CCA) exists. 

Port Police Chief Association also exists. 

Yet nothing for parks plod. 

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3 minutes ago, Radman said:

I dont understand why to my knowledge no London council that manages it's own parks police has ever approached parliament asking for an amendment to legislation granting authority to extend their park constable appointment powers to other matters that local authorities take control of such as flytipping or street nuisance. 

Newham effectively decided to just break the remit its officers had and just enforce law and order outside of parks/open spaces without any agreement from the Met or legislative power and it blew up in their faces, rightly so. 

I also find it strange no Association exists to protect parks officers interests or advance the use of them is in place. 

Cathedral Constable Association (CCA) exists. 

Port Police Chief Association also exists. 

Yet nothing for parks plod. 

Yes it is strange. I suppose as they are part of local authorities, perhaps they have their own associations etc?

Newham was a mess in how they did it, but I think the idea is good. 

 

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13 hours ago, Radman said:

Havering (seemingly inactive) 

Are they no longer active? I thought fairly recently (four five years or so) they were re-vamped and warranted etc.

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8 minutes ago, Wikicop20 said:

Are they no longer active? I thought fairly recently (four five years or so) they were re-vamped and warranted etc.

I spoke to them fairly recently from my understanding alot of the 'officers' in place now are unwarranted with only a small number of remaining constables. 

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4 minutes ago, Radman said:

I spoke to them fairly recently from my understanding alot of the 'officers' in place now are unwarranted with only a small number of remaining constables. 

Oh dear, looks like they'll be on the way out too.

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12 hours ago, Radman said:

I dont understand why to my knowledge no London council that manages it's own parks police has ever approached parliament asking for an amendment to legislation granting authority to extend their park constable appointment powers to other matters that local authorities take control of such as flytipping or street nuisance. 

Spreading out who can or should do the enforcement typically dilutes effectiveness rather than enhance it  for example, fly tipping is, AFAIR, a DEFRA / environment agency matter that is also shared to the LA’s.  Now, the perception is, that  neither of them are really interested in doing too much, with each expecting the other will deal with it.  
Fudging another entity to do it as well just gets messy.  Taking it a logical step further, the likes of SIA licenced staff, could of perhaps even better placed to deal with some of the crimes they encounter.  However, doubt the companies, their clients or police would be too keen, each for different reasons😳

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11 hours ago, BlueBob said:

Spreading out who can or should do the enforcement typically dilutes effectiveness rather than enhance it  for example, fly tipping is, AFAIR, a DEFRA / environment agency matter that is also shared to the LA’s.  

Up where I am I've only ever really had LAs handle flytipping investigations bar railway incidents which have fallen into my queue to investigate. 

Enviro agency I've known chase down dody scrap yards and larger scale industrial polluters. 

11 hours ago, BlueBob said:

 

Now, the perception is, that  neither of them are really interested in doing too much, with each expecting the other will deal with it. 

Fudging another entity to do it as well just gets messy.  Taking it a logical step further, the likes of SIA licenced staff, could of perhaps even better placed to deal with some of the crimes they encounter.  However, doubt the companies, their clients or police would be too keen, each for different reasons😳

I dunno I think councils should utilise their byelaw making/PSPO powers more surrounding open spaces especially and go to work with them in problem areas, targetting the RIGHT type of offender though who needs bringing before the court rather than an old dear putting a cigarette end on the floor outside of a train station. 

That takes both imagination and work though. 😂🤷‍♂️

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On 25/10/2021 at 22:54, BlueBob said:

Spreading out who can or should do the enforcement typically dilutes effectiveness rather than enhance it  for example, fly tipping is, AFAIR, a DEFRA / environment agency matter that is also shared to the LA’s.  Now, the perception is, that  neither of them are really interested in doing too much, with each expecting the other will deal with it.  
Fudging another entity to do it as well just gets messy.  Taking it a logical step further, the likes of SIA licenced staff, could of perhaps even better placed to deal with some of the crimes they encounter.  However, doubt the companies, their clients or police would be too keen, each for different reasons😳

Sorry, do you mean that it is better to have one agency to deal with those types of issues and they should have more powers?

 

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1 hour ago, Wikicop20 said:

Sorry, do you mean that it is better to have one agency to deal with those types of issues and they should have more powers?

 

Sometimes one or a few.  we each have our own views on how things have transformed when local authorities took on parking enforcement and then certain road traffic offences such as bus lanes, box junctions etc, with the legal framework it seems each has its own agendas and systems - almost mini-police type entities.  And on the back of that, how often do police get calls about the likes of parking, low level traffic offences, such as box junction.  Often not because they are expected too do anything about it, but the agency (LA) responsible are a challenge to communicate with.  
In terms of providing more powers, perhaps we'll repeat my last comment.  That is SIA companies are often so close to criminal activity, such as at events, door staff etc that the see and engage with offenders, is there really a reason why they must pass it to police, and is there a reason they cannot complete the who justice process through to the court.  If the likes of a local authority can be given powers to enforce, and they then delegate and out-source it to money making companies, why shouldn't the likes of SIA's follow suit and be given such enforcement powers?
 

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