Crime and Disorder committee meeting on 7th September, Chief Superintendent
Stringer, Bexley’s borough police commander, spoke up in favour of knife arches. To say
the idea went down like a lead balloon might be a slight exaggeration, but no
one spoke in favour, citing their deterrent effect on shoppers and potential for
increasing the fear of crime. The young people from the Youth Council said they
would have the same bad effect in schools.
Within the past eight days we have had two stabbings in Broadway, a fatality in Bexley, and two more stabbings a few hundred yards beyond the borough boundary in Abbey Wood. None would have been prevented by a knife arch.
The minutes of the 7th September meeting show that the police were going to deploy the knife arches whatever Bexley council thought. “Inspector Padfield reported that Bexley Police would be making use of weapon arches in hub areas such as Bexleyheath and within schools.” Councillor Craske’s only contribution to the meeting was to praise the usefulness of CCTV yet in last week’s Bexley Times he is quoted as welcoming knife arches, which is not what was said at the council meeting at all. Minutes of council meeting.
a pity that the Borough Commander doesn’t act independently of Bexley council
more often or he may have made more progress in investigating Bexley council’s hate crime,
their obscene blog. The
police claimed to have carried out some
investigations but their brief report made no technical sense and led to the
belief it simply wasn’t true. A Freedom of Information request seeking the
dates certain things were said to have been investigated was at first rejected and when that
problem was overcome the police set up their second line of defence. viz. that
they are refusing to answer the FOI or answer any questions as to why not.
The FOI request is now two weeks overdue. A report on the failure to comply with
the law has gone to the Information Commissioner.
It seems to me that Commander Stringer’s investigation has been either ineffective or corrupted by outside influences. Time will no doubt tell.