Advice to the community from the Community & Police Partnership

Every member of the community can assist the police in helping to bring the recent spate of serious disorder in London to an end. Neither police nor communities can resolve the situation on their own: it is essential that we work together.

PLEASE read this advice and take such action as is open to you to put it into effect and pass it on as widely as possible to all your contacts, community centres, businesses, youth organisations, faith groups and anywhere else you feel it will help.

C Keep Calm
A Keep Alert
P Keep a Protective watch over children and young people
I Give any Information you have to the police
T Keep in Touch with all members of your community

C Keep Calm:

Although it is important to be aware of what is happening, there is no reason why life should not continue as normal at present.

There are more police officers than normal working in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Your local Safer Neighbourhood Teams are working extended hours. There are arrangements in place for additional resources to be brought to the borough should it become necessary. A senior officer is on duty 24 hours a day for the foreseeable future.

The Community and Police partnership have held a meeting with the police, the council and the Community Safety Partnership to ensure that all possible contingency plans and arrangements are in place.

A Keep Alert:

Think about where you live or work. Are the premises a potential target based on what has happened elsewhere? Are they near such a potential target?

If so, stay particularly aware of what is happening in the vicinity and contact the police immediately if you see anything of concern (using the Safer Neighbourhood Team contact number (020 8721 2912 or 07879 432330) first, then 101 if no reply and 999 in an emergency situation). Such things may include people gathering, paying unusual attention to potential targets or gathering missiles such as stones or bottles.

Think through how you can prepare yourself to respond should problems arise. This is an area in which arrangements to provide mutual support with neighbours can be particularly helpful and reassuring.

P Keep a protective watch over children and young people:

Parents: Make sure you know where your children are and what they are doing at all times. Pay attention to who they are in communication with, associating with and how they are spending their time. Do NOT allow your children to travel to areas where disorder is reported just to watch what is happening.

Influencing young people: Whether you are a parent, a youth worker, a teacher or anyone else in contact with young people, PLEASE make sure that they are dissuaded from becoming involved in the disorder in ANY way. They should clearly understand the following messages:

What you are seeing and hearing about on TV and elsewhere is NOT people looting without consequence. Many people have already been arrested. Many more will be arrested subsequently in the long-term investigation which will follow.

The actions of the people you have seen on the TV amount to some of the most serious criminal offences which exist. Some carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. People convicted of these offences will undoubtedly be sent to prison for terms measured in many years.

If you are part of a group with a shared intention to loot a store or commit any other serious offence, YOU are equally guilty of any offences committed by other members of the group even if you yourself did not actually physically carry out the individual acts. (E.G. If you act as a lookout whilst others enter, loot and set fire to a store, you are equally as guilty of burglary and arson as they are.).

DO NOT simply go to see what is happening: police tactics in dealing with this level of disorder do not for differentiation between participants in disorder and crime and those simply watching. If you are there you are likely to be subjected to the lawful use of significant force by the police in clearing the area and may be arrested on suspicion of involvement. Simply do NOT go to areas where you think there is disorder just to watch what is happening.

These offences, even where the target is multinational company, are NOT “victimless” crimes. They destroy the homes, jobs, businesses and lives of ordinary people. Their irreplaceable personal belongings and pets are lost for ever.

I Give any information you have to the police:

Identify those responsible: if you know someone planning to get involved in more disorder, provide information to the police immediately. Use your Safer Neighbourhood Team’s number* in the first instance, or 101. If you prefer to remain anonymous, use Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If their plans involve immediate offences, dial 999.

If you know of someone who has already been involved, or you recognise someone on the footage shown on TV or other media, contact the police as soon as possible, using 101 or the Crimestoppers’ number 0800 555 111.

Try not to contact the police about any non-urgent matter which is unrelated to the current situation. They are at full stretch at the moment and will be for some time. Routine matters simply cannot be dealt with in the normal way.

You can also help the police by not inadvertently adding to the confusion in areas where there is disorder. Do NOT go to areas where disorder is reported just to watch. If you find yourself in an area where disorder is happening, get away as quickly as possible and allow the police to clearly identify those responsible for committing the offences.

T Keep in touch with all members of your community:

Support your neighbours and community: Speak to your neighbours and businesses in your community. Make sure they are aware of this advice. Share information with them and set up mutual support and self-help arrangements if you consider it necessary or helpful. Make you sure you know how to contact each other at all times. This is particularly important in relation to elderly, infirm or otherwise vulnerable people who are likely to be feeling especially worried at this time.

If so, stay particularly aware of what is happening in the vicinity and contact the police immediately if you see anything of concern (using the Safer Neighbourhood Team contact number (020 8721 2912 or 07879 432330) first, then 101 if no reply and 999 in an emergency situation). Such things may include people gathering, paying unusual attention to potential targets or gathering missiles such as stones or bottles.

Check the police and council websites for information updates and advice. The police website is www.met.police.uk.. The council website is www.richmond.gov.uk.. Updates are likely to be on the home page of those websites.

If you wish to offer your help in responding to the current situation in a practical way, please contact the Community Safety Partnership Team on 020 8891 7777 or by e-mail at community.safety@richmond.gov.uk.

— from the Community & Police Partnership