Safer Neighbourhood Boards
 

Mayor's Duty to Engage with the Public

The Mayor (as the Police and Crime Commissioner for London) has legislative responsibilities which are derived from Section 96 of Police Act 2006 - as amended by Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. This requires the Mayor to make arrangements for obtaining the views of people about matters concerning the Metropolitan Police, and gaining their co-operation with the police in preventing crime and anti social behaviour in that area, and for obtaining the views of victims of crime about matters concerning the policing. To undertake these responsibilities at a borough level, in 2012,  the Mayor committed himself to establishing local Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNBs); as a way to achieve his statutory functions and duties for crime and policing community engagement and accountability, at borough level.

"It is important the police focus on the priorities of local communities, and one of the clearest ways of achieving this is to enable neighbourhoods to set policing priorities. I have already made the police more accountable to communities, by introducing crime mapping – publishing detailed information on crimes at street level, opening up local policing to residents, and transforming the accountability of the Met. This means that every Londoner can now easily find information about crime in their neighbourhood online. " ***

Safer Neighbourhood Boards (SNBs) and Ward Panels

Guidance - front page

SNBs currently function in all of the 32 boroughs of the Greater London. 

MOPAC has produced a small series of useful guidance notes to support the establishment and development of SNBs. These are:
  1. Safer Neighbourhood Board Guidance - issued by MOPAC October 2013 is "... MOPAC’s response to those requests [by borough partners for a more detailed guidance about setting up Safer Neighbourhood Boards]....", "...Additionally MOPAC officers will continue to provide advice and support as partners begin setting up boards." MOPAC’s SNB Guidance is about ensuring that, under the management of various authorities, the Mayor’s local police engagement and accountability functions are undertaken as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
  2. Supplementary Guidance (issued in April 2014)
  3. The MOPAC SNB Training Offer (issued April 2014)
  4. Data Guidance (issued April 2014)
  5. Data Pack (issued April 2014)

The Safer Neighbourhood structure is concerned primarily with the efficient management of local resources rather than achieving the aims of the Scarman Community and Police Consultation Forums.

As part of the restructuring of community and police consultation and accountability MOPAC transferred the control of borough based community consultation and engagement to Metropolitan Police organised Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panels; whose key function is to advise Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams to decide promises for them to work on within an agreed structure of 'promises and priorities' to which each Safer Neighbourhood Team is committed. These panels should be monitored and report to Safer Neighbourhood Boards.

Contact with Borough Safer Neighbourhood Boards can be made through the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime: enquiries@mopac.london.gov.uk

Scrutiny of Safer Neighbourhood Boards

The  London Assembly Police and Crime Committee continues to scrutinise the development and implementation of SNBs. As a result of their investigations they published a scrutiny report (Safer Neighbourhood Boards published August 2013) which called for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to provide clearer guidance for people looking to set up Safer Neighbourhood Boards which are intended to give local Londoners and victims a greater voice in the policing of their communities. A full response to this scrutiny report was sent by the Mayor of London to Joanne McCartney AM  - the then Chair of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee - on the 31 October 2013 and this can be seen here.

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*** Fighting Crime in London - Boris Johnson's 2012 Crime Manifesto - Page 15

Page Updated March 2017