In July 2011, I was appointed by the LCPCG to represent Lewisham at community briefing meetings on the upcoming Notting Hill Carnival at New Scotland Yard. The presentations covered a review of the policing at the 2010 carnival, as well an outline of plans made to ensure safety this year, such as CCTV, high levels of policing, weapons sweeps, and close monitoring for potential difficulties such as theft, gangs and dangerous dogs. In my role I was responsible for providing community input and asked to prepare a full report to the strategy group of the LCPCG, which was also distributed to the LCPCG’s mailing list. I was also asked to attend the carnival to assess the implementation of the strategies discussed during the briefing meetings. To my surprise I was highly impressed with the general conduct of police as I made effort to engage with as many as I could. There were huge numbers of police on duty at the Notting Hill Carnival. They were so polite, helpful, friendly and professional. As a result of this the Carnival was very peaceful despite the huge number of attendees. After the August disturbances
I was also asked to represent Lewisham alongside LCPCG Strategy Group members, Tayo Disu and Mahad Abdullahi, at a series of Community Engagement Board meetings at the New Scotland Yard. Initially this involved attending daily meetings before it gradually changed to fortnightly and later monthly meetings. This has afforded World of Hope the opportunity to be more effective in engaging with local businesses and the young people in the borough of Lewisham, Southwark and Greenwich. There were periods where World of Hope workers made regular visits on the streets and to the business owners as a means of monitoring the situation and giving feedback to the New Scotland Yard Community Engagement Board also to the LCPCG. This has enabled me to demonstrate the community skills and leadership within, and where, at a respective level, I can say I am grateful for this great opportunity. I would also like to encourage other LCPCG member groups to be involved. My sincere gratitude to all workers at World of Hope, as well as LCPCG Chair (Jackie Addison), Deputy Chair (Tayo Disu), Lewisham’s Borough Commander Jeremy Burton and Chief Inspector Shaun Willshire for their ongoing support for World of Hope in Lewisham Borough.