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Met Police chief talks Mark Duggan inquest, riots and khat ban at Redbridge meeting

Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe talks at Redbridge Town Hall. Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe talks at Redbridge Town Hall.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
4:33 PM

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, faced a barrage of questions at a meeting in Ilford yesterday evening.

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Crime in Redbridge: the facts

11% reduction in all offences (2582 less) compared to last year

Burglary down by 13% (347 offences) in a year

Small 0.4% increase in violence offences, which police say is a result of first time reporting of domestic violence

Redbridge has seen a 14% reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents (1718 calls)

31 uninsured vehicles seized so far this month

69 arrests made in December as part of drugs and prostitution operations – the highest number in London.

Here’s what he had to say about some of the topics that were most important to the audience.

Mark Duggan inquest
“Lawful killing was the verdict of a jury but I think it’s clear that his family and other people are confused. What we did wrong is not talking to them after Mark Duggan died or sending senior officers to speak to crowds.”

“There is never justification for violence – riots are terrifying things and as we saw in 2011, people lose their lives. I’m not complacent but I don’t think it’s likely at the moment.”

Water cannons
“Water cannons don’t kill people and I think they’re a reasonable tactic to use. It’s good to have them if we need them but I hope in 20 years they won’t have been used.”

Stop and search
“We are doing it less but we are doing it more effectively. Now if you’re Asian, you’re as likely to be stopped as if you’re white, but black people are still 2.4 times more likely to be stopped. It’s better than it was.”

“For me, burglary has always been a very serious crime and the numbers are reducing in Redbridge.”

Khat ban
“We know there are many people from some communities who have taken this substance for years and it’s been legal, so we can’t go from that to locking them up the next day.”

Ethnic minorities in the police
“We are getting more black and ethnic police officers joining the Met – they now make up 11 per cent. We want more people here now but I can’t click my fingers and change it.”

Public confidence
“Across the Met confidence is good but it’s flatlined in Redbridge. We want to improve contact with people affected by crime, improve satisfaction and make sure people know we’re doing what they ask us to.”

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