Agenda item

Motion on the theme

The Cabinet Member for Community Safety to present the theme for the meeting.


Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, cabinet member for community safety, presented the motion in the themed debate.


Councillor Irina von Wiese, the opposition spokesperson, responded to the motion and proposed Amendment A.


Following debate (Councillors Evelyn Akoto, Ellie Cumbo, Maria Linforth-Hall, Reginald Popoola, Jasmine Ali, Jon Hartley, Jane Salmon, Ketzia Harper, Sunny Lambe, Portia Mwangangye, Andy Simmons and Kieron Williams) Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle responded to the debate.


Amendment A was put to the vote and declared to be Lost.


The motion was put to the vote and declared to be Carried.




Safer Southwark Communities


1.  This council notes:


a.  That Southwark Council thanks Baroness Casey for her independent review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service (‘the Met’).


b.  Southwark residents and all Londoners expect and deserve a police service they can trust, not fear, which responds to the needs of the communities it serves and is accountable to the community for the decisions it makes. The fundamental principle of policing by consent requires the Met to both earn and maintain this public trust in everything it does.


c.  We are therefore appalled by the findings of the review, including the finding of institutional racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia in the Met and the failure to implement much needed operational, cultural and systemic change, despite numerous opportunities to do so over several decades.


d.  Our community have been let down by a longstanding failure within the Met to fully accept that policing can also attract predators and bullies. The Met needs to be alive to this very serious risk. It needs to keep them out when they try to get in, to root them out where they exist, and to guard against the corrosive effects that their actions have on trust, confidence and the fundamental Peelian principles of policing by consent.


e.  We are deeply concerned that our residents’ trust and confidence in the Met has fallen even more than in other areas of London. Trust and confidence in the Met fell by 10% in Southwark in the last year alone. Less than half of Southwark residents feel the Met is doing a “good job”. Our borough had the lowest number of residents in London who felt well informed about the activity of their local police. People from Black and mixed ethnic groups have the lowest trust and confidence in the Met of all racial groups.


f.  We welcome the fact that the new Met Commissioner has committed to major reform of the Met and to rebuild Londoners’ confidence in their Police Service.


g.  However to rebuild trust and confidence in the police the Metropolitan Police Service must go further and must follow the full recommendations of the Casey report and work with our communities and the council in a genuine and meaningful way to deliver them. 


h.  Southwark Council has written to Sir Mark Rowley, to seek a joint meeting with our basic command unit (BCU) partners, Lambeth Council, to discuss how these vital changes can best be taken forward in our two boroughs. 


i.  The failures highlighted in the Casey review are overwhelmingly due to a longstanding failure of culture within the force. However, the review also highlights that government cuts to funding for the Met have exacerbated some problems, putting children and women in particular at greater risk and leading to a situation where London no longer has a functioning neighbourhood policing service.


2.  This council resolves to:


a.  Send a joint letter from all Southwark councillors calling on the Met to fully implement the recommendations Baroness Casey has set out in her report


b.  Ask the Leader and Cabinet to:


  i.  Consistently and constructively challenge the Met to work with our community and especially women, Black, Asian, minority ethnic, young people and LGBTQ+ residents to restore trust and confidence in policing


  ii.  Maintain and strengthen the work of the Youth Independent Advisory Group – young people who train Met officers on the fair and respectful use of stop and search – and the work of our pilot Police Encounter Panels, who review body worn video footage.


  iii.  Build on the work of the Youth Independent Advisory Group, to create the opportunity for other groups to review and challenge policing practices constructively including work with our women and our Black, Asian, minority ethnic and LGBTQ+ communities.


  iv.  Write to the Home Secretary asking her to urgently take action to amend the law so that failing police officers can be dismissed where needed.


  v.  Work with colleagues in London Councils, as well as with our local London Assembly Member, Marina Ahmad, to challenge and support the Met to deliver these vital reforms. 


c.  Request that the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Housing and Community Safety Scrutiny commission consider how they can proactively work with our community to hold the Met to account for their progress against Baroness Casey’s recommendations, and use the full powers of Southwark's Overview and Scrutiny function to summon relevant senior members of the Metropolitan Police Service to give regular updates on progress made in relation to implementing the recommendations of Baroness Casey's report.


d.  Campaign with other local authorities and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to fully reverse the government's damaging police cuts.

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