Way forward mapped out after Redbridge disorder and looting

“The public need to meet the police in the middle,” was the message from Supt Stan Greatrick during a meeting on last month’s looting and disorder.

Redbridge Community and Voluntary Sector (CVS) met last week to discuss how the borough should respond in the light of the disturbances.

Redbridge CVS operations manager Liz Pearce said: “There was a need for a community meeting because people needed the facts as the rumour mill went into overdrive and also a chance to put their opinions to the police.”

Mr Greatrick attended the meeting and took suggestions from Redbridge residents and talked about how the police force were working towards preventing similar disturbances again.

He said: “We can’t be too quick to jump to conclusions in situations like this as there was a lot of blame placed on young people and in the end 63 per cent of people that were arrested were over 18.”

Residents raised concern over stop and search monitoring groups within the police leaving members of the public feeling victimised.

Mr Greatrick said: “We must have reasonable grounds to stop someone and in the last 12 months I have received zero complaints about this.”

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He added: “Confidence in the police force is at a high of 69 per cent according to an independent survey.

“We have been trying to improve this and started with the safer neighbourhood teams who have been told to introduce themselves face-to-face rather than a leaflet through the door.”

Many residents at the meeting suggested a curfew should have been put in place during the disorder, however this is out of the police’s remit.

The force was criticised at the meeting for not publicising the new 101 number which could have been used for non emergency calls during the disorder.

Mr Greatrick added: “The police won’t rest until we bring everyone involved to justice and we want to reassure the community that it is now business as normal.”

Redbridge CVS will raise the issues outlined in the meeting with the Redbridge safer communities partnership board.