The London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee held its first meeting this morning.
The Committee has been established to scrutinise the new Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and to investigate issues of concern and importance related to reducing crime.
At its first meeting the Committee heard from from expert witnesses about the scale of gang culture and the difficulties young people face in exiting a gang.
Rob Owen, Chief Executive of the St Giles Trust which works with ex-offenders, warned that a current economic and social conditions could produce a ‘toxic potential’ for gang activity to grow unless young people are provided with alternatives.
Committee Chair Joanne McCartney AM said the new panel “faces a challenge to ensure that policing priorities in London are truly accountable to the people the Met serves and that the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime sets those priorities in a truly transparent and accountable fashion. It is a challenge which we are determined to meet.
“As the subject for today’s meeting shows, we recognise that making Londoner a safer place to live is not simply the responsibility of the police.
“We all have a part to play in tackling problems like gangs that can have such a devastating impact on communities. The Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee is determined to play its part in addressing the challenge of reducing crime in London.”
Next week the Committee will question Deputy Mayor for Policing Kit Malthouse and Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
Among the issues being discussed are the Met’s policing priorities and MOPC’s response to recent reports about the civil disturbances in August 2011.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, 2 February from 2pm in the Chamber at City Hall.