Tuesday 2 February 2016

Helen Carr speaks out against 'draconian' PSPO extension in Chichele Road

A proposal to extend the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Chichele Road and the surrounding area in Mapesbury ward has drawn opposition from Brent's lone Liberal Democrat councillor,  Helen Carr.

The PSPO makes it an offence for any resident or small business to pick up casual labourers within the restricted area, and aims to remove the need for people to congregate outside B&Q and similar areas.

The Community Safety Team are looking to extend the PSPO which expires on March 20th to December 20th 'to allow us to continue enforcement'.

 A 6 week consultation began on January 28th. 

More information can be found HERE and the consultation can be found HERE 

Helen Carr wrote:
I oppose this extension on the following grounds: 

This is a draconian measure not originally intended as a response to the complaints of, what I understand it, are a handful of people, albeit they have clocked up more than 400 complaints in a year. This does not mean people should not complain - I myself continually alert the Transport police to Romanian beggars on the underground (a losing battle ..) who when challenged in Romanian, can become aggressive. 

The measure was not successful: at 7am, when I usually set out for work and pass through the Broadway, it did not take long for the small groups of men hoping to gain casual labour, had resumed unchallenged. The measure ensured they congregated elsewhere and in cafes etc. As I understand it, this is an historical issue and originates long before the arrival of Romanians, who are, as I understand it, the new Irish in terms of no skilled and low skilled casual labour. 

I appreciate and agree with residents who claim the police are unable to implement the measure - they have more serious issues to attend to. But this sets a very bad precedent. In the UK, policing is by consent. Servants not masters. In Romania, as in other new democracies of E&C Europe  I have lived and worked in which are only recently free of totalitarian rule, the police are a generally viewed as bodies to be feared. They operate by  a mixture of dazzle, bribery and intimidation: coercion not persuasion and consensus. We need to use these measures sparingly if the tolerance and co operation of our own police are not to be considered weaknesses and vulnerabilities to be exploited. 

Would we be quite so happy to introduce these measures if we called these men 'blacks' not 'migrants'? I think not. 
Many of these men are exploited physically and financially, and to be pitied, not despised.  

Cllr Dr Helen Carr

1 comment:

Nan. said...

Totally off the point, I know, however it's good to see that Councillor Dr Helen Carr BA (Hons); M Phil (Oxon); Cert TEFL; Dip; DPhil appears now to grasp the master servant principle vis a vis the public service in relation to the people it serves.

Councillor Dr Helen Carr BA (Hons); M Phil (Oxon); Cert TEFL; Dip; DPhil also seems to be in favour of people complaining - another welcome improvement.

I leave it to those less qualified than the good Cllr Dr Helen etc... to decide whether she will ever live down her absymal behaviour in the council chamber towards Philip Grant who I know, has since charitably overlooked her ill-mannered, public rant.