Responding to concerns over rising levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, Nickie Aiken, Member of Parliament for the Cities of London & Westminster, launched her Policing and Crime Survey to hear directly from local people about their experiences of crime and what their priorities for the police are.
Answering those concerns, Nickie has announced her Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Plan for Westminster, delivering the first stage of her Five-Point Plan to make the Two Cities a safer and more pleasant place to live, work and visit.
Nickie will shortly be announcing her plan to make the City of London safer. Help shape Nickie’s plan by responding to her survey here, and encourage your family, friends and neighbours to do so as well.
Nickie’s Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour Plan for Westminster is as follows:
- Increase police presence
- Re-introduce estate wardens to tackle anti-social behaviour
- Enforce a zero-tolerance policy on cannabis smoking in public spaces
- Re-establish the Integrated Street Engagement Unit
- Create a single Borough Commander for Westminster
To deliver this plan, Nickie is working with Westminster City Council and police officials to crack down on the issues so many local people are concerned by.
From stories of unscrupulous drug-taking with the pungent smell seeping through into neighbouring properties or communal parts of buildings, brazen drug dealing taking place at all times of day and night, and unacceptable behaviour such as street drinking and defecating in public from a minority of the street population who refuse all help. Local people are rightly fed up with anti-social behaviour taking place in their neighbourhoods.
Not only this, but statistics from the Metropolitan Police show that across Westminster in the 12 months to February 2023, knife crime rose by 21%, shoplifting increased by 26%, and drug trafficking rocketed by 64%. Despite these appalling statistics, the Mayor of London, who is in charge of Westminster’s police, claims our streets are safer. This is clearly not the case and it is not the experience of so many people who have contacted Nickie.
Nickie has listened to local people. Now she is acting.
Read Nickie’s Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Plan for Westminster in full below. And if you live in the City of London, respond to Nickie’s Policing and Crime survey so she can work on your priorities. Take the survey here.
Nickie’s Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour Plan for Westminster
You said you don’t feel safe on our streets.
Nickie’s Plan is to increase police visibility, especially at night.
The Government has recruited an additional 3,666 police officers across London, but we need the Mayor, who is in charge of the Metropolitan Police Service, to ensure they are on our streets and especially step up night-time police patrols in our neighbourhoods. Nickie will also lobby the Home Office for the Two Cities’ fair share of police officers as it continues to recruit 20,000 additional police officers across the country.
You said the police and council aren’t dealing with petty crime and anti-social behaviour.
Nickie’s Plan is to re-introduce estate wardens.
Nickie is calling on Westminster City Council to reintroduce the estate wardens we previously had on our estates. Not only can they patrol estates and local streets looking for fly-tipping, graffiti etc, but they can also work with council officials and the police to gather intelligence and evidence from locals and act as professional witnesses on criminal activity.
You said our streets and estates are being overpowered by the smell of marijuana.
Nickie’s Plan is for the police and council to take a zero-tolerance approach.
Marijuana smoking across Westminster is prolific. It’s illegal and local people have had enough, particularly when people smoke the drug in their flats and the pungent smell seeps through to neighbouring flats and communal parts. Nickie is calling on the police and council to work together and crack down on this type of anti-social behaviour. Local people must be able to breathe clean, fresh air in their home.
You said you’ve seen an increase in anti-social behaviour and begging on our streets.
Nickie’s Plan is to lobby the council to re-establish the Integrated Streets Engagement Unit (ISEU).
Outreach teams do so much to support the most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods. But there is a minority of the street population who refuse all help and often beg and undertake unacceptable behaviour such as street drinking, defecating and urinating in public. Nickie is calling for Westminster City Council to re-establish the special ISEU which brings together council services with the police, and local charities to provide coordinated and comprehensive support for the daytime street population. It proved very successful before and Nickie is sure it could be again.
You said the police aren’t focused on our local neighbourhoods.
Nickie’s Plan is for a single Borough Commander for Westminster.
Our police resources being stretched across three boroughs is not working for local people. Westminster is the capital of our capital with all the extra policing work that entails. We need our Borough Commander to be laser-focused on tackling crime here, the busiest crime Borough in London, rather than having to juggle their responsibilities covering Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham. That’s why Nickie is calling for Westminster to return to a single borough commander.