March 2014 Mayor’s Question Time answers

Below are the answers to written questions submitted to the Mayor by Joanne in March 2014.

Water Cannon
Question No: 2014/1440
Joanne McCartney

Have you come to a decision about whether to fund water cannon for London?

Written response from the Mayor
Yes. I have carefully considered the responses to the consultation and extensive poll and have concluded that Londoners support the use of water cannon in limited situations of extreme public disorder.

The Commissioner has assured me that they will be rarely seen and rarely used and not routinely used to respond to public protest.

I have written to the Home Secretary setting out my support for the Commissioner’s position and it is now up to her to decide whether to agree with the police request to licence water cannon on the UK mainland.

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Legal Aid Reform
Question No: 2014/1441
Joanne McCartney

Are you aware of the growing crisis in London’s criminal justice system?

Written response from the Mayor
I am aware of reforms to the legal aid system and support the Government in its efforts to ensure that legal aid is available to those that need it most, that it is sustainable and that the burden of cost on the tax payer is reduced.

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Diving facilities in London
Question No: 2014/1534
Joanne McCartney

What are you doing to provide adequate provision and diving facilities across London, and how does this fit into the Olympic legacy in London?

Written response from the Mayor
The London Aquatics Centre opened to the public on 1 March. Members of the public are able to book a range of diving sessions, lessons and courses at this venue, in conjunction with British Diving.

The LLDC is supporting the Diving Community Engagement Legacy Programme, to be delivered alongside the FINA Diving Series, which will be held at the Aquatics Centre in April 2014.

Elsewhere in London, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre continues to offer a full range of diving facilities; diving facilities at St George’s pools in Tower Hamlets and Highgrove Leisure Centre in Hillingdon have recently undergone refurbishment; Waltham Forest Pool’s diving facilities are scheduled for refurbishment later this year; and interest in diving has grown in recent years at all other existing facilities, including Queen Mothers LC in Westminster, Morden Park Pools in Merton and Barnet Copthall LC in Barnet.

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Schools on Metropolitan Open Land
Question No: 2014/1535
Joanne McCartney

A constituent wrote to you about their concerns regarding building on Metropolitan Open Land following a planning application last year.  They were informed by your office in May 2013 that “On the wider issue of building schools on Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land, my officers will be arranging high level meetings with Councils regarding the need for additional school places and the protection of Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land”.  Can you inform me whether this meeting has taken place and if so, what were the outcomes of this meeting?

Written response from the Mayor
My officers have written to all of the local planning authorities in London acknowledging the urgent need for additional school places but highlighting the Green Belt/Metropolitan Open Land and open space/playing field protection policies and the need to consider alternative sites first.  This has also been raised at Planning Officers Society, London (Development Management) meetings and is planned to be a discussion topic at a future meeting in 2014. 

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Victim rights
Question No: 2014/1536
Joanne McCartney

If a decision is taken not to prosecute in certain specified cases, there is a procedure that gives the victim a right to review the decision. Do the Metropolitan police communicate this right to victims and all their families as a matter of course? If not, will you ensure this is done in the future and in a timely manner as there is a time limit within this process?

Written response from the Mayor

This is already done as a matter of course. Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, officers must notify a victim of the outcome of their case.  Where a decision not to prosecute has been made officers must also notify the victim of their right to have that decision reviewed through the Crown Prosecution Service’s Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) Scheme.

This activity is recorded on the CRIS (Crime Reporting Information System) report for the case. Officers must also record when the information was passed to the victim noting whether it was by letter, telephone, email or in person.

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Capital Call (1)
Question No: 2014/1537
Joanne McCartney

I have been contacted by a number of residents who are concerned at the consultation to close Capital Call. There are particular concerns regarding the lack of black cabs in Enfield and Haringey, the unreliability of Dial-A-Ride and they say that Capital Call vehicles are more reliable and better maintained. What are you doing to ensure that people with disabilities will be able to travel in London as it would seem removing Capital Call will make this harder?

Written response from the Mayor
Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

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Capital Call (2)
Question No: 2014/1538
Joanne McCartney

A local resident has asked if the money saved by TfL in the closure of Capital Call will be ring-fenced to provide better transport facilities for disabled people?

Written response from the Mayor
TfL has made no final decision on whether Capital Call should be closed or to what uses any subsequent savings should be put.  TfL is consulting users on Capital Call’s future and will make a final decision later this summer.

Cautions
Question No: 2014/1539
Joanne McCartney

Please list the number of cautions handed out in London in 2013, please break these figures down by crime type.

Please use the crime type definitions given by the crime reporting information system (CRIS).

Written response from the Mayor
Please see the table below for a breakdown of the 2013 figures by crime type, officers have handed out 431 less cautions in 2013 compared to 2012.

The Ministry of Justice undertook a review of the simple caution, which led to guidance being introduced, at the end of 2013 restricting the use for serious offences.

This has been followed by a wider consultation on the use of Out of Court disposals, at the start of 2014. MOPAC’s response set out my position that Out of Court Disposals should not, except in the most exceptional circumstances be used for serious offences, including violent and sexual offences or where a persistent offender repeatedly receives Out of Court Disposals.

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Screened Out Crimes
Question No: 2014/1540
Joanne McCartney

Please provide a breakdown of numbers of crimes and crime types that were screened out by month and by crime type in London from April 2013 to Dec 2013.

Please use the crime type definitions given by the crime reporting information system (CRIS).

Written response from the Mayor
All crime is subject to a primary investigation. Crime Screening is a long-standing national process that enables police forces to ensure that resources are efficiently and effectively deployed for the investigation of crime. The screening policy is not driven by resources but by the availability of usable evidence of a crime. Where good leads and available forensic evidence is at hand the investigation moves from the initial stage to a secondary investigation so suspects can be identified and charged.

The decision to refer a crime to secondary investigation is now taken centrally by the Crime Recording and Investigation Bureau (CRIB). Although boroughs retain small Case Management Units to ensure crimes are allocated to the correct teams and to carry out administrative functions.

The attached table in Appendix 3 shows the number of crimes not referred to secondary investigation by the MPS between April 2013 to December 2013 summarised by month and crime type.

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Contact Points
Question No: 2014/1541
Joanne McCartney

In your Policing London Public Access Plan published in March 2013 you said “In addition to the 94 sites we have already committed to, we are exploring around 30 further sites where offers have been made for co-location that we want to pursue.” Please of these 30 offers of co-location referred to how many have been converted to contact points? Please list the specific contact points that have resulted from these 30 offers.

http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Policing%26PublicAccess%20UPLOAD.pdf

Written response from the Mayor
An additional 22 contact points over and above the 94 committed to in the Police and Crime Plan have been opened so far. These sites are set out in the table attached. 

Borough Contact Point
CAMDEN Old Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill NW3 4QP
CAMDEN West Hampstead Police Station
ENFIELD Morrisons, Aldermans Hill, N13 4YD *
ENFIELD North Middlesex Hospital, Sterling Way, N18 1QX *
GREENWICH Mobile Police Station
HAMMERSMITH Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, London, Greater London W12 7GF ‎*
HOUNSLOW Cornish House, Green Dragon Lane, TW8 0DF *
HOUNSLOW Heston Library, New Heston Road, Hounslow, TW5 0LW *
ISLINGTON Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenuse, N19 5NF *
REDBRIDGE Elder House Community Centre, 616B Green Lane, Ilford IG3 9SE
REDBRIDGE Wanstead House 21 The Green, Wanstead E11 2NT
RICHMOND SNT base, 14 Ashburnham Road, Ham, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7NF
RICHMOND SNT base, Tangley Park Road, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 3YL
RICHMOND St Mary’s University College, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 4SX *
LEWISHAM Blackheath, BR Station, SE13 *
LEWISHAM Post Office, 189-193 Torridon Road, Lewisham, SE6 1RF *
LEWISHAM Sainsbury’s, Southend Lane, SE26 4PU *
LEWISHAM Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ *
SOUTHWARK Canada Water Library, 21 Surrey Quays Road, SE16 7AR *
SOUTHWARK Dulwich Library, 368 Lordship Lane, SE22 8NB *
WESTMINSTER Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL *
WESTMINSTER St John’s Wood Library, 20 Circus Rd, St John’s Wood, *

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Contact Point Review
Question No: 2014/1542
Joanne McCartney

You undertook a review of contact points in January 2014.

i)              What form did this review take?

ii)              What public forums and formats did you use to inform the public of the review?

iii)              When did the review period formally open and when did it finish?

iv)              How many responses have you had from members of the public regarding the review?

v)              When will you publish the findings of the review?

Written response from the Mayor
The review took place over a 4 week period between the 20th January and 16th February and included data capture and a customer survey, with the public being informed of the survey upon attendance at contact points and via facebook and twitter accounts. In addition feedback was sought from Local Authorities via the London Heads of Community Safety forum.

The final report is currently being drafted and is due to be published by summer 2014.

Local Policing Model
Question No: 2014/1543
Joanne McCartney

In February last year Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told the Police and Crime Committee that he would be ‘reviewing’ the number of police constables and PCSOs allocated per ward at Christmas 2014, has this review gone ahead? What conclusions have been drawn from this review?

Written response from the Mayor
A full evaluation is currently underway.  This will be ready to publish later this year once all boroughs have been operating the LPM for one full year.

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