Times’ letters: Policing and planning

The Met intend to ensure 40 per cent of new recruits are from BAME backgrounds by 2022. Picture: Met Police

The Met intend to ensure 40 per cent of new recruits are from BAME backgrounds by 2022. Picture: Met Police - Credit: MPS

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Met’s plan for diversity

Navin Shah, London Assembly member, Brent and Harrow, writes:

The mayor and the London Assembly are committed to tackling all forms of crime, and as Londoners, we all must play our part in this. Underpinning this is the fact that the police must have the trust and confidence of the communities they serve to protect.

A continuing key concern revolves around the disproportionate use of policing powers against BAME Londoners. Increasingly, where some powers have been used, it has been found that no crime had been committed.

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Stop and search is an important tool in the fight against violent crime, but it needs to be carried out properly and appropriately if it’s to be effective.

Our police officers work extremely hard and put themselves in the face of danger every day to keep Londoners safe. Sometimes, the police do things wrong and need to be held to account when this happens. It has been encouraging to see the mayor recently publish an Action Plan which seeks to comprehensively address these issues.

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Central to the plan is a new target to ensure 40 per cent of new recruits to the force are from BAME backgrounds by 2022, backed by increased investment in officer training.

Communities across London will also be given a more significant role in working alongside the Met in examining the use of police powers and tactics. Over the coming months, I will continue to monitor the Metropolitan Police’s progress on implementing this plan.

‘Too tall’ for Wembley Park

Philip Grant, address provided, writes:

This evening (Thursday, November 26) Brent’s planning committee will consider an application for a tall building, with five tall towers, to be built on the narrow Wembley Park station car park site, between the railway lines and Brook Avenue.

Brent’s own planning policies, adopted by the council after consultation with residents, say that this site is “inappropriate for tall buildings”.

A tall building is one that is more than 30 metres (ten storeys) high.

Yet these proposals have blocks ranging from 13 to 21 storeys high, more than twice the permitted height!

Brent has to provide many more homes, and this scheme offers 454 of them, but only 152 of those would be “affordable”.

More than half of those would not be for rent - instead they would be of the discredited “shared ownership” type.

In Brent’s draft local plan, designed to meet housing targets for the next twenty years, this site is identified as having the potential to provide 300 new homes.

It could do that by keeping to the promise in that plan: “Up to ten storeys will be considered acceptable to the western side of the site, stepping up slightly directly adjacent to the station.”

Yet Brent’s Planning Officers are recommending that the application should be accepted, despite the harm it would do to the quality of life of existing local residents, and the fact that it is a massive breach of the council’s own planning policies.


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