A safer Lambeth
Together we’ve worked with the community, the police, our partners and the Mayor of London to combat crime in Lambeth. For years we’ve seen crime fall and more young people prevented from falling into violent crime. Now all that work is being put at risk by the Conservative government’s deep cuts to the Metropolitan Police and the threat to effective neighbourhood policing.
We want the police to be properly funded so that they can keep our streets safe. As a Labour council we want the police to be able to do their job well, in a way which respects our local community and protects local people. We’ll always fight against the Tory government’s police cuts and will campaign for a Labour government which will properly fund our police and would recruit 10,000 more police officers to work on community beats.
To ensure that local residents have access to police officers in their neighbourhood, we will look to share premises such as public offices and housing offices on estates with Lambeth Police, as a response to the eight station closures forced on Lambeth by the Tory government.
Locally we have a strong partnership with the police, the fire service, NHS, probation service, voluntary and community sector through the Safer Lambeth Partnership. We will work to cut youth violence and knife crime using a ‘public health’, community-focused approach. We will work with youth groups, including the Young Lambeth Cooperative and community organisations such as Black Thrive, alongside other public services in Lambeth to combat violent youth crime. Our estate-based approach to tackling youth crime will bring together residents, the council’s housing management services, housing associations and community partners to develop a bespoke action plan for each estate where gang and youth violence has been identified as a concern.
We were one of the first councils in the UK to develop an integrated VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) strategy, bringing together all strands of violence that either only, or disproportionately, affect women under the same umbrella through our work with the Gaia centre. We will continue to lead London in our Violence Against Women and Girls work, maintaining the number of refuge beds. We will expand our work to address the rising rates of sexual violence reporting and support for survivors of sexual violence.
We have protected the number of refuge beds in Lambeth and have the highest number in London. But the government’s cuts to funding have seen the loss of hundreds of beds in other boroughs, meaning that women and girls face a postcode lottery of services that is unacceptable. A re-elected Labour council will also campaign for the government to have a ring-fenced, centralised funding pot for Violence Against Women and Girls services. A Labour Government would establish a National Refuge Fund and ensure stability for rape crisis centres. We will also continue our work with the Mayor of London to develop a pan-London strategy to tackle VAWG across the city.
We have also taken action to stop protests and harassment of women accessing abortion services in the borough by supporting a public space protection order (PSPO) to ban attempts to intimidate women at abortion clinics.
Our work with women who are at risk of, or who are affected by, the criminal justice system through the Beth Centre has recently been recognised by the Mayor of London so we will be able to increase the size and scope of the Beth Centre’s work, including reducing re-offending.
Lambeth’s diversity is at the heart of our identity as a community and as a place. Everyone needs to feel safe and protected on our streets. We’ll work together with the police, our community safety teams and others to fight racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and disability hate crime and harassment across the borough.
On our estates we will tackle persistent anti-social behaviour by introducing tougher sanctions for noisy and nuisance neighbours, including eviction where residents make their neighbours’ lives a misery. The police and the council’s noise team have been stretched thin by austerity. We recognise the need to improve the service and will work with the police on a simpler, more straightforward approach to anti-social noise nuisance.
We will deter crime by expanding CCTV in crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots on streets, estates and in town centres. We will expand our street enforcement team, issuing on-the-spot fines for anti-social behaviour including spitting and street urination.
Lambeth is a great place for a night out. We have fantastic pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants and people travel from all over to enjoy our nightlife. We will continue to work closely with businesses and the police to strike the right balance between the needs of local businesses and local residents. We introduced the Clapham Saturation Zone to put more control in the hands of local residents in resisting increases in the number of late-night bars and we are working closely with the Mayor’s Night Czar to protect long-standing and celebrated venues across Lambeth.