Narrowing The Gap

Problems and Processes

Community Engagement Pathfinder Programme


Bob McDonald Dr Clare Collins Yaser Mir Nicole Crompton

International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion University of Central Lancashire
Commissioned by Metropolitan Police Service


“We need to narrow the gap... get to know each other intimately, break those barriers and build trust and confidence so that we feel comfortable in each other’s company.”
(community respondent, Redbridge)

The authors gratefully thank all the individuals, who must remain anonymous and who gave their time to be interviewed, or participate in focus groups, from communities in Redbridge, Newham, Haringey, Tower Hamlets and Ealing. We especially commend and thank the five participating community organisations from the five Boroughs for their support, hard work and commitment throughout the Pathfinder programme’s first Phase; these are the League of British Muslims, Saiva Munetta Sangam, BRACE at College of North East London, Da’watul Islam and the Somali Youth Union. We thank senior police officers from the Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate of the Metropolitan Police Service and Borough Liaison Officers/Partnership Inspectors and colleagues from all the participating Boroughs. We also thank staff of local authorities, community safety partnerships, voluntary organisations and CDRP members for their supportive and constructive assistance, especially in the Exchange Forums.

The new International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion (ISCRI) is a new and dynamic body at UCLan and has absorbed the principal functions and expertise of the Centre for Ethnicity & Health (CEH). As such, the new School has taken oversight within the university of the MPS Community Engagement Pathfinder Programme. The School builds on the success and innovation demonstrated by CEH over the last decade in its extensive work with diverse groups who experience discrimination and/or disadvantage1 The guiding ethos that has underpinned CEH’s community-based research, now managed within ISCRI, is that the process should benefit those who are being researched. Through this approach, acclaimed models of community engagement and organisational change have been developed. The model of community engagement pioneered by CEH is distinguished by the way it dynamically engages community groups and individuals through their direct collaboration with a wide range of service providers and planners. This model has previously been implemented successfully across a wide variety of communities. These have represented some 35 different ethnic groups and nationalities with programme funding of over £12 million provided by central government, and regional and local agencies for engaging over 350 community groups. 2,500 individuals have been recruited, consulting and engaging over 50,000 community members. These programmes have been commissioned specifically to address recognised gaps in the engagement of marginalised and excluded communities in meaningful and sustained ways in the design, development and delivery of a range of public and voluntary sector services (eg policing, criminal justice, problematic drug use, mental health, regeneration, sexual health and education). CEH now finds a home within the new international school at UCLan which will dynamically develop its work in key areas. The new School combines four existing Centres with a number of subsidiary Institutes and programmes into a cohesive arrangement. These are: • CEH - the Community Engagement programme, Equality and Human Rights, the Institute for Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health, INCLUDE (the Social Inclusion Unit) and INSPIRE (the Institute for Health and Social Care Leadership and Innovation) • Centre for Professional Ethics (CPE) • Centre for Volunteering and Community Action (CVCA) • Islamic Studies. ISCRI has a newly established partnership with the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester bringing important networking opportunities for academic collaboration development in the Gulf and Middle East, in South Asia, and across the world. ISCRI’s focus also revolves around community action, social enterprise and with the strengths of CPE and IPDMH will create an international Institute of Mental Health.
1 These have included Black and minority ethnic communities; refugees and asylum seekers; offenders; people with disabilities; mental health service users; lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgendered people; older people; and young people at risk of developing health and social harms.



1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Rationale Objectives Participating Community Organisations Methods Emerging Lessons from the Process Priority Issues from Phase 1 1.6.1 Trust and Confidence in Policing 1.6.2 Violent Extremism 1.6.3 Gang Crime 1.6.4 Organised Crime and Gang Recruitment 1.6.5 Hidden Crimes 1.6.6 Exchange Forum Issues 1.7 Next Steps - Pathfinder Phase 2

4 4 4 4 4 5 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 10 11 12 13 10 10 10 14 15 16 16 17 17 18 19 20 20 22 22 22 22 24 24 25 26 26 27 28 29 30 30 31 33 34 34 36 37 38 39 41

2 3 4 5 6

6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 7.1 7.2 7.3 Foreword The Challenge Value of an Independent Facilitator Non Agenda-based Consultation Community-led Consultation Appropriate Locations Community Consultation Confidence Selection of Phase 2 Priorities Gathering Data from Consultation Developing Trust and Confidence through Engagement Impact on CEWs Involvement and Engagement with Stakeholders Community Perceptions of Stakeholder Behaviour Introduction Priority Issues Summary Trust and Confidence in Policing 7.3.1 Lack of Trust 7.3.2 Stop and Search & Unfair Treatment 7.3.3 Customer Service Concerns 7.3.4 Effect on Reporting Crime 7.3.5 Fear of Reprisals 7.3.6 Potential Solutions Violent Extremism 7.4.1 Religious/racial Harassment 7.4.2 Vulnerability to Recruitment and Radicalisation 7.4.3 Potential Solutions Gang Crime Organised Crime & Drugs – Gang Recruitment Hidden Crimes Issues for Exchange Forums



7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8

8 NEXT STEPS - PATHFINDER PHASE 2 9 REFERENCES APPENDIX A Black and Minority Ethnic – Faith Communities APPENDIX B ISCRI Model of Community Engagement APPENDIX C Literature Review on Community Engagement and Policing



• To increase understanding within the Pathfinder communities of the work, approach, priorities and perceptions of the police (and other relevant stakeholders) in relation to safety, crime and policing. It anticipates that this enhanced understanding will lead to greater trust and confidence in the police, which is seen as fundamental to effective service delivery and safer communities. From this it is anticipated that a number of benefits will flow, consistent with MPS priorities, contributing valuable learning on: • prevention work on violent extremism, counter-terrorism and serious and organised crime • the safety of a range of communities • community cohesion and integration. In doing so it will add value to the MPS’ strategic priorities, especially around Safer Neighbourhoods, Citizen Focus, Security, Protection and Counter Terrorism and Criminal Networks.

1.1 Rationale
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Community Engagement (CE) Programme has been developed and delivered by the Centre for Ethnicity and Health (CEH), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and now overseen by ISCRI. The Narrowing the Gap: Problems and Processes Report sets out the main findings of the engagement Programme up to the conclusion of its first Phase of delivery in autumn 2007 and progression into Phase 2. The focus of the Pathfinder concentrates on an examination of better engagement and understanding around issues broadly of community safety, crime and policing. It is one of a range of community engagement initiatives and approaches being pursued by the MPS. The Pathfinder has been running in five London Boroughs and communities, described as being ‘high risk/low engagement’, following a strategic threat assessment by MPS. The Boroughs and respective communities are: • • • • • Borough of Newham Tower Hamlets Redbridge Haringey Ealing – – – – – Tamil Sri Lankan Bangladeshi Pakistani Turkish/Kurdish2 Somali

1.3 Participating Community Organisations
UCLan’s model of engagement revolves around the active participation in the Pathfinder of five community organisations, one in each of the selected Boroughs. The organisations are: • League of British Muslims (Pakistani Community) – Redbridge • Saiva Munetta Sangam UK (Tamil Sri Lankan Community) – Newham • Da’watul Islam UK and Eire (Bangladeshi Community) – Tower Hamlets • Somali Youth Union in UK (Somali Community) – Ealing • BRACE, College of North East London (Kurdish/Turkish Community) – Haringey

In delivering the Pathfinder, UCLan reports to MPS Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate and the programme reflects the importance MPS invests in effective community engagement for achieving its strategic priorities and outcomes. This Problems and Processes Report may be read in conjunction with the Pathfinder’s Initial Report3, produced by UCLan in September 2007, which gave more details on origins and context, prior to the beginning of programme delivery on the ground.

1.2 Objectives
The Pathfinder was established to facilitate wider and deeper mutual understanding between police, stakeholders in community safety (e.g. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP)) members and the participant communities. It has two principal objectives: • To increase understanding within the police (and other relevant stakeholders) of the concerns, dynamics, pressures, priorities, needs and perceptions of the selected Pathfinder communities in relation to safety, crime and policing

1.4 Methods
The Pathfinder Programme’s delivery by ISCRI is based on CEH’s model of engagement (see Appendix B), developed over the last decade and adapted for use in this context. The model of engagement revolves around the central participation as principals of host community organisations to consult and raise awareness of key issues in their own communities, reaching beyond traditional community leaders, self-appointed spokespersons and those often with the loudest voices. The community organisations use the privileged access they enjoy with their communities to
2 The focus of the Pathfinder in Haringey was further refined in consultation in the early planning stages with the local Exchange Forum and host community organisation to include Turkish/Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot communities. 3 The

Pathfinder’s Initial Report contains further details on the CEH UCLan model of community engagement.


consult and gather information and perceptions on issues of concern that meet the objectives of the Pathfinder. ISCRI acts as the independent manager and facilitator of this process, supporting the community organisations with ongoing guidance on the ground, accredited training on policing, partnership working and consultation techniques, and distribution of financial support through a grant system to the community organisations. In each of the five Boroughs, ISCRI established an ‘Exchange Forum’ of local stakeholders [CDRP members and Community Safety stakeholder bodies] to act as a critical friend for local consultation projects and as a conduit for emerging findings to help sustainability. The Pathfinder has been developed for delivery in two phases. This [interim] report summarises the main features and findings of the first Phase which took place between April and September 2007. During Phase 1 the five community organisations consulted their respective communities on issues, concerns and priorities around three main categories of policing, community safety and crime. Consultations used both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. Within these categories none of the issues for consultation were pre-determined by any outside agency or by UCLan; nor were any of the community groups instructed to consult about any specific crime, concern or aspect of policing. This has been important. It has been crucial to the process and objective of increasing the understanding without external influence of the concerns, pressures, priorities, needs and perceptions of the selected Pathfinder communities themselves. This objective lies at the heart of the Pathfinder Programme and reinforces the community-led approach adopted in UCLan’s engagement model. In total, data in Phase 1 were collected from 855 individuals who were interviewed or took part in focus groups. There was a broadly equal gender split with circa 54% respondents being male and over 40% female. In three of the Boroughs circa 94% respondents were Muslim; in one Borough 68% respondents were Muslim; and in the fifth Borough circa 82% respondents were Hindu. On average each community organisation consulted over 170 individuals in their respective Boroughs.

commentary’: that is to say, a description through witness accounts and observations, derived from ‘blogs’ by those participating directly in the Pathfinder. These include community group members, stakeholders and UCLan team members. This provides important insights about how the engagement programme worked, the context and often difficult circumstances, particularly for community organisations, in which it has been carried out, and thereby provides a fuller picture of what was undertaken and how. Meaningful engagement was also difficult from the police’s perspective. The principal findings about the process at the end of Phase 1 were: • Experience confirmed the challenge defined in the initial assessment by MPS of the participating communities as being ‘low engaged’ with police and the need reflected in published literature4 for different methods to engage Black and minority ethnic communities • Lack of community trust in the police was a huge obstacle and led to reluctance to participate in a police-led project • The value of UCLan as an independent academic intermediary to broker engagement in the programme and facilitate constructive change and reveal learning came through clearly and was crucial to success • The provision of regular and sometimes intensive support and guidance by UCLan to community organisations from the start of the Programme was essential to build their capacity and enable them to participate meaningfully in the Programme. • The police acknowledged their awareness of particular communities and groups but also a lack of real understanding of and meaningful engagement with them • Allowing and enabling the community to explore and reveal issues from its own perspective within a broadly defined brief, on its own terms without pre-determined assumptions or agenda imposed externally by UCLan, police or stakeholders was vital to build meaningful understanding • The value and effectiveness of community-led consultation to achieve access to community views was evident

1.5 Emerging Lessons from the Process
A more complete understanding of community, police and stakeholder perceptions on policing, community safety and crime has been derived by inclusion of a ‘process


Appendix C


• It was important to use locations and venues for engagement, suitable, appropriate and effective for the purpose. Those locations varied according to the purpose • The scale of the difficulty and challenge for the community groups to undertake the project and succeed was apparent, given significant community sensitivities and suspicion, given the subject matter and circumstances – even with a community-led approach and its privileged access • Freedom and interest for the community groups to assess the most important issues of concern for further consideration by them alongside stakeholders was an important ingredient in building meaningful engagement, trust and confidence • Response and openess from community respondents was enhanced by facilitated consultation • Noticeable positive shifts in community attitude towards policing and related crime/safety issues took place as Phase 1 developed, alongside their awareness and understanding of the issues and police perspectives, approaches and dilemmas • Phasing the engagement between the community groups and the police so that it happened gradually was important. Trust and confidence visibly improved through this approach, facilitated by UCLan, as Phase 1 developed • Police were very receptive to learning about, participating in and contributing to the Pathfinder as a different approach to their engagement with communities • All parties – communities, police and stakeholders – recognised the importance of the programme and its objectives and were committed to making it work • There were noticeable improvements in understanding by community group members (Community Engagement Workers5 (CEWs)) of their own communities and of the police • Constructive and enthusiastic input from local police in the Boroughs into the Pathfinder has been especially valuable in many ways, together with important practical support and input from local authorities/community safety team staff

• Sometimes there was a gap between corporate policy and real life: community perceptions that stakeholder consultation frameworks/arrangements and efforts at engagement were not genuine and camouflaged their determination to control agendas • Community trust and confidence could be undermined by common personal experiences of police practice that was seen as being insensitive and discriminatory One of the most significant outcomes that emerged from reflections on the process and model adopted for the Pathfinder was this: from a low and fragile base, community awareness, trust and confidence in engaging with the police and stakeholders on very sensitive and controversial issues [for communities] gradually but significantly improved during Phase 1. In this way the model is not just a way of eliciting community views on particular issues; it is a way of improving engagement itself as part of the project by creating a framework in which the ‘parties’ can come together and learn from each other in a constructive environment where they can share problems, perspectives and dilemmas. Improving trust and confidence then flows. This process and outcomes have also demonstrated that the model’s application contributes to community cohesion imperatives around empowerment, involvement in decision-making, understanding of public services and of different communities, their meaningful interaction and bridging between communities. UCLan contends that this would not happen without the various elements of the engagement model being in place; the process commentary from Phase 1 demonstrated this. Collection of ‘blog’ evidence will continue to the end of the Pathfinder and will be included in the programme’s final report.

1.6 Priority Issues Arising from Phase 1 Consultations
In Phase 1 of the Pathfinder the five community organisations undertook consultations with their respective communities, inviting views on issues of concern around community safety, crime and policing. Evidence was both quantitative and qualitative and full details are available in five reports on the UCLan website for the respective Boroughs and communities. These reports were written by UCLan from evidence gathered by the community organisations and subsequently

5 The CEWs’ roles in the Pathfinder are to organise and facilitate the engagement and consultation work by their community organisations in their respective communities


reviewed with them, the police and stakeholders. The community groups confirmed that they were a true and accurate representation of their consultation work. The police in the five Boroughs confirmed the value of the content and appreciation of the work by the groups. As part of tri-partite discussions between each community organisation, the police and UCLan, the community group identified a small number of issues for further consultation by them for Phase 2. These represented the most important and pressing issues from community perspectives. The priority issues that emerged were as follows. 1.6.1 Trust and Confidence in Policing The need for greater trust and confidence in policing was identified unanimously as a priority issue for all five community groups. The main body of this report highlights the significance of this in the context for example of MPS priorities on community engagement and Safer Neighbourhoods. Evidence pointed to low levels of trust in the Somali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities. Perceptions persisted of the discriminatory exercise of ‘stop and search’, harassment and of generally unfair police treatment. For the Turkish speaking communities the key issue appeared to be less about feeling antagonised than about receiving a poor quality of service; indeed, customer service issues were raised by community members in all five Pathfinder Boroughs. For Tamil Sri Lankan respondents levels of trust appeared higher but confidence was undermined by perceptions of police leniency in addressing crime concerns. Willingness to report crime was affected by lack of confidence, which derived from poor quality of customer experience of police services and in some areas fear of reprisals. The latter was highlighted particularly in Newham [Tamil Sri Lankan community] and Haringey [Turkish speaking communities]. Respondents outlined suggestions to address their confidence in policing and these included addressing discriminatory behaviour, fairer treatment [e.g. in applying ‘stop and search’], politeness and respect in behaviour, greater understanding of the police and how it operates, better and more appropriate police-community inter-action, greater understanding and action on real community concerns and recruitment from the communities into the police. 1.6.2 Violent Extremism From Phase 1 the two community organisations in Redbridge and Ealing identified violent extremism as an issue that they felt important to examine further. In Ealing [Somali community] the prominence of violent extremism as an issue of community concern was more apparent

statistically from 34% responses compared with 17% in Redbridge [Pakistani community]. The community group in Redbridge felt that this reflected a degree of denial about the problem and/or a reluctance to discuss it openly. However, they felt that the vulnerability of community members to grooming and recruitment into violent extremism and the atmosphere of Islamophobia and hostility to the Muslim community were significant and needed further focused attention by them with their community as part of the Pathfinder. In Ealing racially or religiously motivated crime came through as a frequent, prominent and highly significant experience for the Somali community and the community group had been surprised by the level of harassment experienced by the community, particularly by women and children. The Somali Youth Union considered that such Islamophobia provided the pre-conditions for disaffection and the ‘hunting ground’ for violent extremists in their community. The performance by the police and authorities in dealing with hate crime and Islamophobia as a serious and painful community grievance was seen as essential to building community trust and confidence in policing, and a pre-requisite for the community to engage in addressing violent extremism. Respondents outlined initial suggestions to address the issue of violent extremism; these included the need for the community itself to engage with and empower its young people, the role of Mosque management committees, the influence of Imams, opportunities for young people to express and debate their views and greater educational opportunities. 1.6.3 Gang Crime Gang crime emerged as a significant issue in Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community], Ealing [Somali community] and Newham [Pakistani community] and will be pursued further in Phase 2 of the Pathfinder community groups in those Boroughs. It was the most frequently cited and witnessed crime by respondents in Newham; 75% of respondents cited it in Tower Hamlets and over 40% of respondents in Ealing. Views varied about the nature and causes of gang crime in their communities from the teaching of manners in schools, drugs and territorial disputes, the need for young people to defend themselves, poor social and housing conditions, intra-racial territorial animosity from groups within the same community. Some of the solutions from respondents included the mediation role that community organisations can play, the roles of parents and family, the deterrent effect of police presence and diversionary activities. 1.6.4 Organised Crime and Drugs – Gang Recruitment Drug crime was the most widely perceived problem in


Haringey [Turkish speaking communities] by 66% of respondents in Phase 1. Participants across focus groups and interviews cited drugs as the main crime of concern/contributing factor to criminal activity - eg drug dealing, gangs and theft. Some participants expressed frustration at the lack of effective solutions in this area and highlighted the impact on the community as a whole. Phase 1 findings illustrated views on the prevalence of crime in the local area – circa 50% of respondents had had direct personal experience of crime as a victim or witness – the relative prevalence of drug related crime and perhaps, above all, participants strong feelings of personal vulnerability to crime and a general feeling of fear in the community, especially of street gangs. In Phase 2 BRACE will concentrate its consultation on aspects of recruitment into organised [drug] gangs, the risk factors, circumstances of recruitment of young people into these gangs, issues of reporting and prevention measures. 1.6.5 Hidden Crimes The phenomenon of ‘hidden’ crimes was raised as a strong concern by women interviewed during the Phase1 consultation by the League of British Muslims in Redbridge [Pakistani community]. These referred to crimes that often took place within the family, including those described as so-called ‘honour killings’, marital rape, domestic violence and forced marriages. The female respondents stated that these often went unreported, in order to avoid bringing shame upon the family. Discussion with the community group, police and the local Exchange Forum, supporting the work of the project, indicated that the existing judicial system struggled to deal with such problems adequately. Hence, the group recognised that this was something which needed the community to address itself in the first instance and was valuable to explore further in Phase 2. 1.6.6 Issues for Exchange Forum Consideration All five community organisations also revealed a number of other issues from Phase 1 consultation. Details of these have been passed to the local Exchange Forums for their consideration. These issues were; • • • • Street Prostitution – Redbridge Environmental Improvements – Haringey Immigration Support – Newham Domestic Violence – Tower Hamlets

1.7 Next Steps - Pathfinder Phase 2
Phase 1 of the Pathfinder enabled the community groups to reveal any and all issues that their respective communities considered significant and of concern in connection to policing, crime and community safety. A better and more informed understanding of the communities concerned has emerged as a result. However, the depth to which the community groups were able to explore any of these issues was limited. The introduction of a second Phase of consultation allows the community groups to concentrate on fewer issues, in greater depth and with a greater solution focus. The issues for Phase 2 have been chosen by the community groups, as described previously. The groups’ understanding on these issues will be enhanced by provision of further capacity building by more engagement and discussion with police and stakeholders and by expert briefings to the groups from specialist police, civilian staff and community safety team officers on the specific topic areas. It is hoped that this will help further consultation work to raise awareness in communities of existing service provision and assumptions by stakeholders on these issues, and help add value and new learning from community perspectives. Planning for and co-ordination of this has been undertaken by UCLan as part of the exit from Phase 1. Details will be provided in the Pathfinder’s final report, Narrowing the Gap: Solutions following completion of Phase 2 consultations. The final report of the Pathfinder will include community solutions on completion of Phase 2.




The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) appointed the Centre for Ethnicity and Health (CEH), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to develop, manage and deliver a community engagement programme around issues of policing, crime and community safety, based on its proven model of community engagement, developed over the last decade. Oversight of the Pathfinder has been taken by ISCRI, UCLan. The Programme is called the MPS Community Engagement Pathfinder Programme. It is part of the overarching aim in policing London to meet the needs of individuals and diverse communities, and so make London a safer place. This Pathfinder is one of a range of community engagement initiatives and approaches being pursued by the MPS and currently being tested. The Pathfinder is being delivered through two interlinked phases of engagement activity on the ground in five London Boroughs. This Problems and Processes Report summarises progress of the Pathfinder Programme at its mid-way point of delivery, after completion of Phase 1 in 2007.



adopted in UCLan’s engagement model. The issues that have been revealed so far by the community consultation have been many and varied. However, there has also been a limit in Phase 1 to the depth to which each community group could reasonably explore those issues, given time and resources available. This is the rationale for incorporating a second Phase to the Pathfinder Programme. Based on consideration of their first Phase of consultation, the community groups then decided which issues should be the priority focus for future work in Phase 2. This Problems and Processes Report also sets out the decisions which flowed from Phase 1, identifying the issues that will be the focus of Phase 2 of the Programme and the subject of more in-depth preparation and detailed community consultation. All the issues raised by the community groups in Phase 1 will be addressed in the second Phase in two main ways by: • the community group itself focusing on a smaller number of issues (between 2 and 4) that it deems to be of priority in further detailed consultation with their local community in Phase 2 of their work; or • the local Exchange Forum (EF) set up to advise on the project taking the issue forward, and considering it as part of their own future planning and development of service provision. Typically the EF includes representatives of the local council and police (and in some cases other relevant local services in the statutory and voluntary sectors). Outcomes from the consultation work undertaken by the community groups in Phase 2 will be recorded in the final Solutions report of the Pathfinder Programme.

The Problems and Processes Report 6 sets out the main findings of the Phase 1 engagement activity of the Pathfinder Programme and summarises the main issues identified by the five community groups in their first Phase of community consultation work on crime, safety and policing. This has been undertaken through questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. The report also reflects on the main lessons learned so far from the process of undertaking community engagement work on these issues, drawing on testimony and reflections of those actually undertaking the Pathfinder work on the ground; this serves to illustrate some of the difficulties and challenges surrounding the Programme as witnessed by those taking part. The Problems and Processes Report is itself a summary, distilled from five separate and detailed working reports, from engagement activity undertaken in each of the participating London Boroughs. These working reports set out the main findings from the consultation work undertaken by each of the five community organisations on the Programme between April and September 2007. During this period (Phase 1) the community organisations produced a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data through the privileged access they enjoy to their communities. The data revealed community concerns, issues and perspectives in three main areas: crime, community safety and policing. The Pathfinder Programme as a whole is based on the engagement work taking place in 2 phases. In Phase 1, though retaining a focus on the broad categories of crime, community safety and policing, the community groups had license to explore and reveal any and all issues from a community perspective that community respondents themselves considered important and relevant. None of the issues for consultation were pre-determined by any outside agency or by UCLan; nor were any of the community groups instructed to consult about any specific crime, concern or aspect of policing. This has been important. It has been crucial to the process and objective of increasing the understanding of the concerns, pressures, priorities, needs and perceptions of the selected Pathfinder communities themselves. This objective lies at the heart of the Pathfinder Programme and reinforces the community-led approach

Problems and Processes Report follows the Initial Report, produced by UCLan in September 2007. The latter is available on the UCLan website, and explained the origins of the Pathfinder Programme, its aims and objectives and described the key elements of the community engagement model being used, as developed by UCLan. It also introduced the five community organisations taking part in, and whose work is at the heart of this Programme. It presented the initial views and perspectives on crime, community safety and policing of those community members who came forward to act as ‘Community Engagement Workers’ in their respective community organisations: as such, it described the starting point of the Pathfinder Programme, before community engagement activities began in earnest on the ground in the five London Boroughs, participating in the Programme.

6 The



From improved mutual understanding, it is anticipated that a number of benefits will flow. These are all consistent with and have the potential to impact on the MPS priorities and will contribute to: • prevention work on violent extremism, counter-terrorism and serious and organised crime • the safety of a range of communities • community cohesion and integration. In doing so it will add value to the MPS’s strategic priorities, especially around: • • • • Safer Neighbourhoods Citizen Focus Security, Protection and Counter Terrorism Criminal Networks

The Programme was established to facilitate wider and deeper mutual understanding between police, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) stakeholders and five selected Pathfinder Boroughs and communities. It anticipates that this better understanding will provide for greater trust and confidence, which is seen as fundamental to effective policing and safer communities in the capital. Fundamentally, the Programme seeks to understand the participating communities better. The Pathfinder Programme is centred on activity with communities and Boroughs assessed as being of ‘high risk/low engagement’. The overarching focus of the programme is to understand better the nature of that risk and lack of engagement by intensive work with the chosen communities, enabling them in various ways to reveal from their own perspectives the issues and dynamics within their communities which influence these factors in relation to community safety, crime and policing. Equally, that understanding needs to be mutual: the Programme also seeks to help communities to understand the concerns, approaches and often uncertainties and dilemmas faced by the police and relevant stakeholders in their communities around these issues. Hence, the aims of the Pathfinder Community Engagement Programme are to increase understanding: • within the police (and other relevant stakeholders) of the concerns, pressures, priorities, dynamics, needs and perceptions of the selected Pathfinder communities in relation to safety, crime and policing • within the Pathfinder communities of the work, approach, priorities and perceptions of the police (and other relevant stakeholders) in relation to safety, crime and policing.

The next section outlines the Boroughs, communities and community organisations around which the Pathfinder Programme has been developed.



• Publish a quarterly magazine in both English and Tamil. Tower Hamlets (Bangladeshi community): Da’watul Islam UK and Eire Da’watul Islam is a registered charity established in 1978 working whose aims are to work within Tower Hamlets, particularly the Shadwell Ward, in order to: • • • • Relieve poverty Advance education Promote inter-faith understanding Improve social welfare of residents

Following a strategic threat assessment by MPS, the following London Boroughs and communities, described as being of ‘high risk/low engagement’, were prioritised for the Pathfinder Programme: • • • • • Borough of Newham Tower Hamlets Redbridge Haringey Ealing – – – – – Tamil Sri Lankan Bangladeshi Pakistani Turkish/Kurdish7 Somali

The model of engagement employs and supports the participation of community groups in these areas, supported by UCLan. Selection of community groups was based on a number of key factors: • Lack of understanding and/or engagement by communities with services including the police • Ethnic background • Geographical location • Risk, anxieties, fears and experiences of crime at different levels • Seldom heard communities • Need to add value to existing engagement activities Five community groups successfully applied to take part in the Pathfinder Programme. Brief details of each group are given below. Redbridge (Pakistani community): League of British Muslims. The League is a registered charity formed in 1969 by Muslims of Pakistani origin in Barking and Redbridge to: • Provide information and advice to communities • Facilitate interface between the community and key local institutions • Work closely with institutions to present the communities’ concerns, anxieties and key issues • Assist and empower communities • Disseminate information to enhance cultural understanding and good community relations. Newham (Tamil Sri Lankan community): Saiva Munnetta Sangam (UK). Saiva Munnetta Sangam is a registered charity formed by people of Hindu Tamil origin to: • Teach the Tamil language and Sri Lankan arts to children • Provide a drop in centre for older people of Sri Lankan Tamil origin • Teach yoga under spiritual supervision

Its site also contains an independent Muslim boy’s secondary school established in 1997. The group has initiated community outreach projects including women’s and girls’ projects, an advice service, youth club, study support, crèche, training, volunteering and anti-crime projects. Ealing (Somali community): Somali Youth Union in UK SYUINUK is a registered charity formed in 2002 by the Somali community in Ealing, Hounslow and Hillingdon to: • Provide training and improve skills of community members • Raise awareness of unmet needs • Facilitate community development and empowerment • Advocate for health, welfare, educational and employment opportunities • Promote sports and leisure activities for young people to enhance self-esteem and prevent violence and other crime Haringey (Kurdish/Turkish communities): BRACE (Building Relationships among Cultures Everywhere, College of North East London) BRACE is a working group of the Student Union of the College of North East London. It was formed in 2005 to tackle conflict between different cultures within the College, following a violent incident when a young man nearly died: • BRACE is actively involved in project activity within the college and the community • Improve understanding between cultures of particularly young people in the student population. • Although a relatively new initiative, BRACE has been welcomed by the students participating and has made significant progress in addressing inter-community relations, particularly amongst young people. Its work on the Pathfinder with the Kurdish Turkish community complements these activities and others being taken forward by stakeholders in Haringey with Turkish communities.

7 The focus of the Pathfinder in Haringey was further refined in consultation in the early planning stages with the local Exchange Forum and host community organisation to include Turkish/Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot communities.



6.2 The Challenge
It is worth re-iterating the objective of the Pathfinder and the reason behind the selection of the communities for the programme. These were identified by MPS, following a strategic threat assessment, as being ‘high risk/low engagement’ and about which it wanted through the Pathfinder to achieve better engagement and more understanding, as a means of developing and delivering more appropriate and better informed services, in line with policing objectives around ‘citizen focus’ and safer communities in London. All the communities chosen for the Pathfinder represent different Black and minority ethnic communities. The Initial Report included a brief review of published literature10 on the importance of community engagement in policing which highlighted the need for a variety of techniques to engage Black and minority ethnic communities and the weaknesses of traditional engagement and consultation techniques to attract representative audiences. UCLan’s model of engagement has been used in the Pathfinder as a different process of engagement. Experience to the mid-point of the programme appears to support the advantages of its constituent elements.

6.1 Foreword
Testimony from members of communities across the five London Boroughs is presented later in the main body of this report. This concentrates on observations and perspectives on the 3 key theme areas themselves of crime, community safety and policing, around which consultation had been concentrated8. However, the method by which this testimony has been achieved is also important. The Problems and Processes Report, therefore, provides an opportunity to comment on the impact and some of the significant learning outcomes which have emerged from the Pathfinder programme at its midway point of execution, particularly as a reflection upon the adopted method or process chosen for the Pathfinder, based on UCLan’s previously tested model of community engagement9, and how these have influenced the progress of activity on the programme so far. Evidence for this ‘process commentary’ is derived from observations, personal reflections and experiences by the 3 main parties to the Pathfinder programme that describe and explain more fully the context in which it happened. The 3 parties are the host community groups, the stakeholders (MPS and other organisations contributing to the programme, for example, via exchange fora) and UCLan team members themselves, acting as the programme’s facilitator and intermediary. This evidence has been recorded and supplied as ‘blogs’ on a voluntary basis and contemporaneously as the programme has developed on the ground by individuals and participant organisations. The evidence has been gathered and analysed by UCLan and treated anonymously. This is a valuable source of additional evidence and learning which would conventionally be lost from such a report, as it lies outside the usual remit of testimonygathering, interview transcription and analysis from what are usually the principal respondents [i.e. in this case, community residents]. However, the blogs provide important insights from those closest to the Pathfinder about how the programme works, the context and often difficult circumstances in which it has been carried out, and thereby provides a fuller picture of what was being undertaken and how.
8 Individual reports from each of the 5 community groups’ consultations from Phase 1 of the Pathfinder are available on the UCLan website 9 See Appendix 10 See Appendix

6.3 The Value of an Independent Facilitator/Intermediary
Though pleased to have been invited to take part in the Pathfinder, some of the community organisations made it clear to UCLan at the outset that their involvement in the programme was a huge challenge for them. This challenge was based on the fact that involvement in a project funded by the police would be viewed with huge suspicion by their community and would be a significant obstacle. In one case, the community organisation was reluctant to complete their necessary application proposal, as they found it hard to appreciate that their involvement was genuinely being invited from the MPS of whom their experience as a community had been substantially negative. Being perceived by their communities as in some way ‘agents of the police’ was a significant obstacle for the community organisations to overcome at the outset and has remained so in various degrees throughout the programme up to this point. This was illustrated in the very early planning stages of the programme in some areas where the local police and (then) Borough Liaison Officers/Partnership Inspectors

This section provides ‘the story behind the story’ so far of the Pathfinder – conveying what made it difficult, and what made it work. The collection of this form of ‘blog’ evidence will continue to the end of the Pathfinder.



offered and provided well-intentioned practical support in affecting community introductions and meeting arrangements for UCLan in their Boroughs to help get the projects ‘off the ground’. This immediately proved counter-productive when no community members at all attended pre-arranged meetings, because (UCLan learned) of community suspicion, reluctance and disinterest which derived from their concerns of police presence and involvement – even at local community venues. This seemed especially true for young people. “There is no doubt that once you are involved with the police, it is difficult to get away, so people don’t get involved” (CEW) Lack of community trust in the police was a huge obstacle. However, the community organisations recognised the value and importance of the programme, were determined to pursue it and take part. As one community group member commented: “Trust in the police….much needs to be done. But the police are an essential component of our community and we need to find ways how it can better serve.” (CEW) Initial (and continuing) obstacles were able to be overcome by the programme being organised, administered and run by an independent organisation in an intermediary position between the community groups and the police. This principal is fundamental to UCLan’s community engagement model. The intermediary being a University was a crucial factor in the communities’ perception of the programme, their willingness to take part in the programme, and its reception in the wider community(ies). Without this the resistance from some of the groups to become involved in a project that linked them in the eyes of their community with the police would have been insurmountable. “Actually, we wouldn’t have touched this project really…but the fact that it’s UCLan made the difference.” (CEW) “The University connection enabled professionals and students to relate to the project and gain their confidence – they came along to events.” (CEW) Connected to the independent credibility given by UCLan’s role as intermediary has been the understanding that the purpose of the programme is for the University to independently derive lessons and learning from the programme which will then be taken forward by the police and stakeholders.

The presentation, purpose and positioning of UCLan’s role helped groups overcome problems of low uptake and high suspicion at consultation events. Having an intermediary in the form of a University enabled them to contextualize the police as funders of their project, and to explain or persuade people that their contributions would lead to improvements in their community: “as soon as the police was mentioned, people didn’t want to give their views, full stop…putting the University at the forefront made our lives easier…we did mention that the information was going to be used to improve community relations” (CEW) Visual and verbal presentation of the project to the communities was key to gaining the involvement of and contributions from community members. The CEWs relied on techniques of persuasion, confirmation of confidentiality and anonymity. They used the UCLan logo on advertisements for consultation events to attract people and gain their trust. Reference to the police and MPS was made in this context and then proved more acceptable. UCLan has also received blog comments from CEWs that stated the value they felt in having the University ‘to fall back on’ for advice and support, as an independent resource in helping them run their own projects and events in the Pathfinder. This support to community groups began early in the Pathfinder with UCLan providing intensive support to help them interpret and structure their written applications11 for the Programme; this helped build their capacity so that they could participate meaningfully and align their consultation proposals to the objectives of the Pathfinder.

6.4 Community at the Centre of Consultations Non Agenda-based Consultation
The basis on which communities were engaged to explore their concerns was crucial for obtaining meaningful understanding and contact. The problem was acknowledged early in Phase 1 of the Pathfinder from different police sources. Familiarity with a community, even one long-established and resident in the local area, does not necessarily mean that links with the police and local stakeholders are securely and reliably based. “Yes, the xxx community has been here a long time, and we do know local groups and meet with them,

11 The five community organisations prepared a written application setting out their plans for undertaking consultation and engagement in the Pathfinder Programme, outlining their initial views, perspectives and methods.


but to be honest I can’t say that we really understand the community and we don’t find it easy to engage with them and get to know them.” (Safer Neighbourhoods Sergeant) Similarly, a senior officer at the Central London Training Centre contended that the foundation of Safer Neighbourhoods (as a core engagement mechanism) lay first in an accurate understanding of the local communities and their needs, but doubted the extent to which this was actually achieved. He suggested that if this first ‘step’ was incorrect [in a seven step training/delivery model] then subsequent service planning, priorities setting and delivery could well be flawed. In the Pathfinder the first step has been to ensure that the communities have been at the centre of the programme in such a way that they are able to reveal issues which matter to them, their own perceptions, perspectives, dynamics, concerns and needs. Engagement to achieve proper understanding of communities in the Pathfinder depended at the outset on involving community groups without an imposed, pre-determined agenda or set of received assumptions imposed externally by UCLan, MPS or other stakeholders. Within the broad parameters of ‘crime, community safety and policing’, the groups were given the freedom in their Phase 1 consultation to explore and reveal any and all issues which community members considered important or significant. Their brief for consultation was broadly defined, thereby allowing the community groups to reveal learning about the community from the community’s own perspectives on any/all issues which it felt affected its safety. “If you want to really understand our community, there’s no point in doing it any other way. We wouldn’t have wanted to be involved if it wasn’t done like this.” (CEW) UCLan took cognisance of both local police perceptions and crime/safety/policing concerns – as it did of local community safety partnership perspectives – which were very valuable to understand. However, specific stakeholder issues were not allowed to pre-determine specific foci of the initial consultation Phase. Freedom to consult on such a basis has allowed for a genuine understanding to emerge of the communities participating in the Pathfinder with each community group revealing the initial catalogue of issues and views, as set out in their 5 local, individual reports and summarised later in this report.

6.5 Community-led Consultation
The use of host community organisations to lead the consultation activity locally worked effectively, addressing problems of access which may otherwise have been encountered. The organisations recruited members of their own community to act as ‘Community Engagement Workers’ (CEWs) to consult with local residents of their own ethnicity. Being known to their own community helped in several ways, significantly in the privileged access these CEWs enjoyed. “They understood they could trust us and we were a bridge to the police. We had their trust because they knew us.” (CEW) “Using personal contacts…made our lives easier”. (CEW) “People want to be heard, and they prefer to interact with community based organisation with whom they have trust rather than authorities” (CEW) “We do not have problems attracting respondents as we have a captive audience of those who come into our community centre.” (CEW) Knowing where and when to access their own community provided many advantages to the CEWs that simply would not have been available to academic researchers or anyone else from outside that community. The CEWs where able to go beyond the traditional access points open to others with some going into cafes (Turkish speaking), sporting events (Tamil Sri Lankan), cultural events (Bangladeshi) to access respondents or promote their consultations. “We targeted a school sports event on a sunny day, pulling out people attending it to participate in focus groups… (people) were persuaded to co-operate by emphasising that solutions would be led by the community” (CEW) The community-led approach facilitated engagement from women, young people of different ages, of different language and dialects. It allowed for the understanding and use of technical arrangements to help the engagement process. For example: • Single sex focus groups were reported to gain the best results; CEWs noted that men and women, even those living in the same house, often had different views which were most effectively revealed in single sex groups.


• Having CEWs of a similar age group as the respondents. One group found that in a group of young men under 24 that they needed narrower age ranges as the younger (under 20 years old) respondents did not feel they could contribute in a group with older males. • 4 of the 5 groups where targeting a single ethnic group which they found beneficial in overcoming many barriers. Equally, the Turkish speaking group found those of Turkish Cypriot descent were more easily accessed by those of the same ethnicity. The same was true of the Kurdish and Turkish respondents. • The ability to have that discussion in a mother tongue encouraged some to contribute who would otherwise not. Using this model meant that often dialects were easily accommodated. • It is important not to compromise the community-led approach to consultation: some community groups may out of politeness and fear of causing offence not object to the presence of ‘external’ observers (e.g. University staff) at a consultation event they are running. This is more likely to occur at the early stage of a project when the community group is still developing its own confidence, but if not heeded, it can inhibit community members’ responses or distort them. This is true not only where ethnicity and/or religion is not shared by the potential external observer and the group, but also where there is, for example, an age-gap between participants from the same community

around 25 CEWs from the community organisations attended a detailed information and briefing session at MPS New Scotland Yard in central London. This half-day event was organised to provide briefings and presentations by senior MPS officers and civilian staff on issues which the community groups were keen and needed to learn more about for their Phase 2 consultations. “I’ve been in England for 20 years and I never thought I’d be able to go to a place like this [New Scotland Yard].” (CEW) This venue was perfectly acceptable for this training purpose. Indeed, some CEWs commented that they felt privileged to be at such an iconic venue - but they doubted that the venue would have been appropriate for community consultation purposes out of concerns/ perceptions that proceedings might have been recorded secretly (‘bugged’) by the police and personal anonymity compromised.

6.7 Community Consultation Confidence
Even though the consultation had been community-led by well-known and respected local community organisations, those same organisations experienced very real difficulties in obtaining data during the Pathfinder’s Phase 1. They have acknowledged this to UCLan: indeed, some stressed the importance of this being included in UCLan’s official reporting of the programme. “This has been really difficult for us…and we want people to know that we’ve had to overcome some real issues and problems to get this material…but we’ve done it, ‘cos it was important” (CEW) Much of the difficulty has revolved around the subject matter itself of the Pathfinder – crime and policing – community suspicion about the use to which the data would be put, and concerns about personal anonymity. CEWs reported that they were trying to conduct their consultation against an impending backdrop of fear by community respondents that their involvement as individuals would be notified to security or intelligence services and their contributions would not be treated in confidence. Such fears persisted in a climate in [especially Muslim] communities where perception of contact and harassment by secret intelligence services had become an increasingly common experience and community members were

6.6 Appropriate Locations
The use of the appropriate locations and venues for the relevant engagement purpose was vital. The use of familiar community venues, such as the host community organisation’s community centre, for conducting consultations was important. The use of a familiar venue proved beneficial and is worth stressing. This is not a startling or new learning point; its significance lies in the confirmation of communities’ lack of confidence felt about ‘official’ public office venues which they find off-putting and of the need for engagement between community members and public authorities to take place in locations that are accessible and comfortable. This was particularly true for consultations with community members/residents. This issue and particularly where and how the police can best engage and consult with communities, will be developed further in the Pathfinder’s Solutions Report. Alternatively, an ‘official’ venue did prove acceptable when the purpose was appropriate. At the end of Phase 1


acutely suspicious of participating in projects which involve the police or policing issues. A number of illustrations describe these difficulties: “I was doing a quite straightforward questionnaire with a couple in a household that I actually personally knew. It should have taken me about 15 minutes max…it actually took me nearly an hour and most of my time was at the start cos’ as soon as I mentioned the police etc, they didn’t want to know and I had to try and get over this and explain it was for the University and what it was really about” (CEW) Some communities may not have been strongly engaged or take part in consultative forums by the police or local authority, nor may they take part in politics themselves, but they are very politically aware: their behaviour and attitudes can be affected immediately and directly by national political events and statements. For one group these lessons were emphasized immediately when a press statement during July 2007 from the Parliamentary Under Secretary in the Home Office with responsibility for Security, Admiral Sir Alan West, declared that in relation to the Government’s counter-terrorism efforts, British citizens needed to be prepared to inform on neighbours, friends and family about related suspicious behaviour to the authorities. “Almost instantly we [CEWs] had a shut down from the community in reaction to this statement. No-one was willing to take part. With suspicions raised some wouldn’t do focus groups even in the community centre as they suspected it might be bugged.” (CEW) In some cases community members approached the community organisations directly and suggested that their Pathfinder project work cease. “Our trustees were contacted by community members who questioned why the group was at all involved in such a project as the Pathfinder and asked for it to stop. As a community organisation we had to think about our standing in our community, which we’ve built up over decades of hard work – the trust and confidence of us in our own community was at risk.” (CEW) The group’s determination, diplomacy and ability to explain the context and purpose of the Pathfinder helped reassure the community. They managed to complete Phase 1 of the Pathfinder, collecting over 200 questionnaires and completing 2 focus groups.

Such experience in Phase 1 emphasised the fundamental difficulties and sensitivities around the subject area itself and reinforces both the value of the community-led approach with the University as the independent facilitator. “This approach has worked well, despite the difficulties – we’ve got views from people, [Muslim] women in our community, for example, they’ve spoken and they don’t even show their faces because they wear the niqab [face veil] and jilbab [full-length dress]).” (CEW) “The way the programme is done, it has an informal character, it consults the community properly and involves them and they like the fluidity… but at the same time it’s formally controlled by UCLan in the background, providing us with a structure and organisation…but the community doesn’t see that.” (CEW)

6.8 Selection of Phase 2 Priorities
The inclusion of a second Phase of consultation allows the community groups to explore in greater depth some of those issues that emerged from their first Phase activities as being of most concern. It was important that these were the priorities of the communities and not just those of stakeholders and, indeed, the selection of issues was completed on this basis. This allowed the groups the prospect to further investigate and reveal community based characteristics and drivers behind these issues. It allows them to do so under circumstances which work well for the community and with which the group and community are comfortable and confident. In some cases, the group decided that community sensitivities around some issues were currently sufficiently great to inhibit their community engagement work and willingness of community members to contribute further to the Pathfinder as a whole: this was the case in one group’s assessment in relation to further exploring violent extremism. This decision was discussed and respected by UCLan as facilitators. All the issues of crime, community safety and policing to be pursued in Phase 2 are specified later in this report.

6.9 Gathering Data from Consultation
The five community groups used both quantitative and qualitative methods for gathering data from community members in their Phase 1 consultations. Both methods


generated valuable material and UCLan noted that response and openness from respondents was improved when conducted in a facilitated environment in which context, background information and purpose for the consultation exercise could be given, thereby also encouraging discussion. It is also worthwhile stressing that the views and opinions that were raised by communities at the moment of consultation represented a ‘snapshot in time’. For some respondents ‘stop and search’ or a ministerial announcement on counter terrorism, for example, may have been uppermost in their minds and influenced views accordingly; other issues might be more influential at other times. This reinforces the need for engagement to be a regular and ongoing process, rather than an infrequent ‘one-off’, so that better understanding and service response by stakeholders can be considered and developed.

communities and also the police; we create a way in which each has been able to convey its own problems and often dilemmas and so each ‘side’ can understand the other better. I’ve noticed how both police and communities have really appreciated it being done this way and you can see the changes in attitude even mid-way through the Pathfinder.” (UCLan team member) This has been achieved by UCLan organising contact between community groups and stakeholders on a phased basis. This has served to build community knowledge, understanding, skills and hence trust and confidence gradually through the project. At the early stages UCLan deliberately kept engagement between police and community groups to a minimum. “At an early training workshop for all 5 community groups we actually turned away some police officers who wanted to attend as observers. At that stage we felt that the community participants would have felt uneasy and intimidated by their presence, and that they might feel as though they were being assessed or judged in some sort of a way at a time when they were beginning their own learning and capacity building.” (UCLan team member) Community understanding and skills have also been built by regular support and mentoring by UCLan team members who have visited the community groups at their bases on a weekly/periodic basis. This has been by the UCLan senior support workers, research staff, teaching staff and programme manager with these face-to-face sessions used to help guide the group with consultation planning and preparation, events, training and any project ‘trouble-shooting’. The training programme provided to the community groups has also been important in developing their skills and knowledge base. The University-validated course in Policy and Participation has been tailored to the focus of the Pathfinder and helped build community capacity in interfacing with their own communities and understanding and engaging with local stakeholders involved in the policing, crime and community safety field. Similarly, the actual process and learning gained by the groups by their consultation activities themselves helped build their knowledge and confidence and begin to change attitudes to and perception of the police. Blogs reflected these changes, as misconceptions and “myths” about the police fell away and many of the CEWs expressed empathy for the difficult position and challenges of the police and PCSOs12, for example. Some younger CEWs quite early on in the programme even started to enquire about the police as a career option.

6.10 Developing Trust and Confidence through Engagement
The thrust of UCLan’s model and approach is not only to provide learning points and insights about how better to achieve engagement at the end of the programme: it is also a means of making actual progressive improvements in engagement itself which take place during the course of the programme. During Phase 1 of the Pathfinder this has been shown in different ways. Improved engagement has been dependent on generating greater trust and confidence by communities in the police and stakeholders. In turn the foundation for this has been incrementally to improve mutual understanding of and between the police and communities. The process of raising awareness, improving understanding, developing trust and better engagement relate directly to the objectives of the Pathfinder and this progression was seen gradually through Phase 1 itself as it happened. The Pathfinder provides a time limited framework, facilitated independently by UCLan, in which opportunities are created for the police to understand communities better; and for communities to understand the police better. Shared understanding and awareness of each other’s dynamics, pressures, problems, perspectives, responsibilities and dilemmas changes attitudes on both sides and provides the basis for better relationships and informed organisational responses. “The model of engagement is not just all about communities – it’s about interaction between

12 Police Community Support Officers


Many of the CEWs recognised that along with their newly acquired knowledge they were also acquiring new skills. Some CEWs spoke about how these skills allowed them to help their own community, a position they were enjoying. Others found these skills and the work they had undertaken had built their confidence. It has been noticeable from blogs that by the end of Phase 1 the attitude of CEWs had shifted. Their enhanced awareness and confidence enabled each community organisation to interact on a much more comfortable and confident basis with both the police and stakeholders. This is evidenced by their interest in requesting and hosting in their community centres and local venues many specialist briefing sessions on key issues which emerged from their community from Phase 1 which they will pursue in Phase 2. Prior to these the groups engagement with stakeholders had gradually been increased by their attendance at Exchange Forums in all 5 Boroughs to present, share and discuss their work with the police, local authorities and other stakeholder bodies and representatives. Their confidence had also reached a stage whereby they were able to talk more freely about their emerging findings with local police officers and with the MPS Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate. They arranged special sessions in their community centres for this purpose. The ‘distance travelled’ by the community groups by the end of Phase 1 was significant. “From a starting point where some groups had been reluctant to participate in the Pathfinder at all and had expressed deep-seated reservations about involvement in a subject which was very contentious in their communities, here they were sitting round a table with police officers, calmly and with pride and some confidence, sharing their concerns from the evidence that they had gathered from their community consultation projects and constructively discussing ways forward.” (UCLan team member) This type of engagement was reinforced by the briefing session at New Scotland Yard, attended by all five community groups, and delivered by senior MPS officers and civilian staff. This process and outcomes have also demonstrated that the model’s application contributes to community cohesion imperatives around empowerment, involvement in decision-making, understanding of public services and of different communities, their meaningful interaction and bridging between communities.

6.11 Impact on CEWs
This section illustrates particularly the perceived impact on the CEWs taking part in the Pathfinder, in terms both of their understanding of their own communities and of the police. Those directly involved in the Pathfinder program often report an impact on their knowledge, understanding or perspective starting very early on in their involvement in the program. Some reported increased awareness of crimes and willingness to report crimes; others spoke of an increased awareness of their own community and their problems. “I have learnt how PCSOs work and police work around crime” (CEW) “Learnt more about the problems within my community there is not trust between the police and my community and people want to help.” (CEW) “It is good to know the suffering of others so that you can help” (CEW blog in response to hearing about Islamophobic attacks on women in his community) “Before the project I was opinionated stereotypical optimistic person, this project has taught me new things and to question things. I did not know how little trust there was in our community about the police” (CEW) “In my time I did not know much about the police and how they work but in my research I learn a lot of things and the problem which my community face… I have learned how to collect information or take notice if for example some one is being interviewed” (CEW) “I was not aware of the local issues but as people told me their experiences I was shocked. Now that I know and when I see people that need help on the road because of factors like language barriers, I will be able to assist them because I don’t want them to go through what other participants had been through.” (CEW) “I have a deeper understanding of the level of fear and paranoia within the community. Understanding suspicion of people, wanting to assist the authorities with regard to further understanding the British Muslim Community” (CEW)


For some CEWS working on this programme, it had opened up sections of the community that they would not usually interact with on a day to day basis; in some cases this instigated revelations which were a surprise and new to them; and for others they got to appreciate sections of the population that they had previously dismissed. “This raised my awareness of women being racially targeted by other members of the public” (CEW) “I learned that people in my community were quite open when you talk to them for the purpose of your research. You have to earn their trust and because we help them on a day to day basis they were happy to participate. I learned a lot from this experience.” (CEW) “Have learnt a great deal about community issues to do with crime, safety and policing” (CEW) “When I was doing the focus group, I was shocked and impressed by the fact that the Somali women were so open and sincere.” (CEW) This model has worked hard to reach those who otherwise are not consulted and to include in a more active role those who might not typically find themselves with an opportunity to take part. CEWs have come from many different backgrounds to this project and without any specific pre-qualifications; we have seen those often otherwise excluded re-integrated through the Pathfinder. For example one CEW, an ex-gang member, at risk of being excluded from his college but allowed to participate on the Pathfinder, has now found enthusiasm and inclusion from this project. Similarly, on the first day of training for the Pathfinder a young man from one of the community groups attended, but body language alone gave the impression of someone disinterested in proceedings. On the second day’s training, he turned up smartly dressed, on time and keen to join in, demonstrating more real interest in the project as it had been presented to him the previous day.

conduits for sustainability for the engagement projects by the community groups. Support and guidance centrally from MPS Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate has been ongoing throughout Phase 1 and the programme as a whole. Similarly, UCLan has received continuous encouragement and help from all 5 local Borough Operational Command Units (BOCUs) in the participating Boroughs. This has been provided by local Borough Liaison Officers/Partnership Inspectors who have given their time enthusiastically and unstintingly, lending crucial practical support with local Exchange Forums, signposting the involvement of additional bodies, contributing to contacts with local groups and providing and/or arranging expert briefing sessions for the community groups. From engagement with the police on the Pathfinder, some community group members have started to attend ward panels, consultative forums and consultation events on policing in the local areas. From a stakeholder perspective, some services [e.g. Fire and Rescue Service] have already started to provide regular information sessions in community centres in east London, building on the links with the community group in the Pathfinder. In the 5 Pathfinder areas we have seen constructive input and enthusiasm from different Local Authority departments and services, typically from Community Safety teams. This has been provided irrespective of the fact that the Pathfinder is not a local authority commissioned initiative and has added in some measure to their workload. Often these departments see a value to their involvement in the privileged access they gain to communities with whom they have often struggled to engage. Many are happy to sit on Exchange Forums and contribute to capacity building CEWs, in response to the needs of the community group and the community they represent, thereby providing a resource and conduit for learning and findings coming out of the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder has provided a framework or ‘space’ in which the police and stakeholders have had an opportunity to share their own perspectives, objectives, initiatives and dilemmas with the community groups, and vice versa.

6.12 Involvement and Engagement with Stakeholders
The principal stakeholders for the Pathfinder have been the MPS, as commissioners of the project, and local authorities and their public sector partners with cohesion and community safety remits in the 5 London Boroughs. The latter with the police have formed an Exchange Forum in each Borough to act as critical friends and

6.13 Community Perceptions of Stakeholder Behaviour
Dialogue and contact by police and other stakeholders with the community groups has been perceived by the latter as helpful and constructive. This was especially true of the expert briefings held in community venues.


However, this perception requires qualification. On one occasion it was the community group’s perception that “the authorities” were more interested in retaining power and control of the agenda, than in understanding and responding to their needs, concerns and issues. Blogs on this issue reflected genuine and deeply ingrained community frustration with perceptions, especially of the local authority, of what was described as a bureaucratic and robotic approach which conveyed the message to the community group that they had to “fit in” to the council’s agenda, timetable and priorities for its views to be considered. The group commented that they had expected a more sensitive and constructive response. “They just seemed turned off about what we had to show them…and they haven’t actually solved the problems we told them about, have they? This just confirms why our community doesn’t really bother to engage with the local authority if this is how you are received.” (CEW) Similar perceptions emerged in one case on local partnership planning meetings on crime/safety issues. “It’s just pseudo citizen participation and not real. They’ve already decided on the issues and priorities – it’s tokenistic. You feel ‘what’s the point’ in getting involved” (CEW) The desire for control was also evidenced by anecdotal comments relayed to UCLan about how a senior police officer (who had no direct involvement in the Pathfinder) in one Borough, after learning about the Phase 1 work, suggested to his colleagues that they should see if they can “influence” Phase 2 to suit their interests. Such observations would no doubt be challenged by the authorities (both police and council) and that they did not reflect official policy and that their intention and practice is to achieve genuine engagement with communities as a foundation for service planning and delivery. However, we would argue that “perception is reality” and the above reflected genuine community frustration at how they saw service delivery being designed and developed. Certainly, engagement practices which generate community disaffection in this way militate against efforts by authorities properly to understand communities from their own perspectives and to engage them effectively in their processes. Such perceptions are not experiences isolated to these examples and often suggest a gap between corporate public policy and real life. The Problems and Processes

Report includes a short review of recent published literature on community engagement and policing, highlighting issues for effective engagement and with minority communities. Such concerns are not limited to policing and can be found in other public sector institutions. For example, in its recent formal investigation of local authority regeneration practice in England, Scotland and Wales [Regeneration and the Race Equality Duty], the Commission for Racial Equality found: in general, people from ethnic minorities, some of whom already felt marginalised or excluded, appeared to experience this more intensely. One of the reasons for the frustration and disillusionment we encountered was lack of trust; too many attempts appeared to have been made at consultation that had resulted in people feeling that they had not been properly involved and their views were not taken on board. (CRE, 2007: 7) It is intended that Phase 2 will reveal community based views about how engagement can be achieved more effectively and appropriately. Also, the appetite of community members for engagement, their trust and confidence, though built up through the Pathfinder, alongside growing understanding of the police and their objectives, could be damaged by negative personal experiences of contact with the police away from the project. This was revealed by several of the community groups and is highlighted by the story of one young man who is a CEW on the Pathfinder: “During one night I finished work at X, I saw 3 young men using heroin in school premises, I have told them they need to move from the spot so I have reported it to the police and as a result they were moved…Having helped the police in their duties I myself became a victim the next morning. Myself and 2 of my colleagues were driving towards a (work) session when 7 police men in a van stopped us, they were being extremely aggressive, abusive and discriminating against us, e.g. the first question they asked us was “Are you Muslim?... I have learned that regardless of our efforts (on this project) we are still regarded as troublemakers and extremists. I have learned that even if I am putting something back to the community I am still a black Muslim who is labelled as a terrorist, troublemaker and looked down on.” (CEW) Efforts at building trust and confidence and at achieving effective engagement can clearly be undermined by such alleged discriminatory and insensitive police practice.



important and of greatest priority for further consideration and action within the Pathfinder programme. The issues and concerns that were raised represented the views of respondents in the five communities at the moments of consultation, reflecting the factors which most affected opinion at the time. These issues are now to be examined further in Phase 2 of the Pathfinder. This will be done either by the community group undertaking more detailed consultation with local communities on the issue; or, where this is considered to be a more appropriate and/or effective course of action, the issue being passed to the local Exchange Forum (EF) established to support the project. The EF will then advise and/or take action on the issue and feedback to the community group. The priority issues, and the subsequent course of action decided upon, are summarised in the table on the opposite page. This is followed by a discussion of each issue. Further details if desired may be found in the five individual reports on each project, available separately.

7.1 Introduction
During Phase 1 the community groups gathered information from their respective communities on a wide range of issues that fell within three main categories. These were issues around: • Policing • Community safety • Crime UCLan has produced five individual reports (see UCLan website), specific to each Borough and community, based on the evidence gathered from quantitative and qualitative consultations that were conducted by the participating community organisations between April and July 2007. Each of these reports provides detailed information and issues arising in the aforementioned categories; they present issues of concern from community perspectives without influence, direction or imposed assumptions by UCLan as facilitator and manager of the Pathfinder programme, or by stakeholder organisations, including the MPS, local BOCUs13, local authorities or partnerships. These provide the initial evidence base for fulfilling the Pathfinder programme’s core objectives of raising mutual awareness and understanding by communities and stakeholders around issues of policing, crime and safety. The issues raised and revealed during Phase 1 reflect closely those which the participating community organisations anticipated were likely to emerge during consultation proper, given their own community perceptions and understanding. These were recorded in the Pathfinder Initial Report which is also available on the UCLan website. In total, data were collected from 855 individuals who were interviewed or took part in focus groups. There was a broadly equal gender split with circa 54% respondents male and over 40% female. In 3 of Boroughs circa 94% respondents were Muslim; in one Borough 68% respondents were Muslim; and in the fifth Borough circa 82% respondents were Hindu. On average each community organisation consulted over 170 individuals in their respective Boroughs.

7.3 Trust and Confidence in Policing
The need for greater trust and confidence in policing was identified unanimously as a priority issue by all five community groups. This is highly significant, given that trust and confidence is seen as fundamental to effective policing and safer communities in the capital. It is reflected strongly in public policing policy and strategy, and operationally through the major neighbourhood policing reform programme, ‘Safer Neighbourhoods’. Public consent and informed understanding by all communities are dependent on it as a means of achieving policing that is considered appropriate, proportionate and effective. For example, the MPS objective in this regard is encapsulated in the ‘citizen focused policing programme’ “Citizen Focused Policing is about improving the way the MPS understands, communicates with and engages with its communities… It is a way of working that puts the requirements of citizens at the heart of decision making and is integral to everything we do.” (MPA/MPS Policing London Strategy for 2007-10: 35)
13 Borough Operational Command Units

7.2 Priority Issues Emerging - Summary
The purpose of this section is to set out those issues, arising from the consultations carried out in Phase 1, which the five community groups saw as the most


Pathfinder Programme: Phase 2 Priorities
Priority Issue/Concern
Trust and confidence in policing

Low levels of trust and confidence, concerns about police treatment, customer service and reporting. Focus and critique on Safer Neighbourhoods in Phase 2.

Ealing Redbridge Tower Hamlets Newham Haringey

Somali Pakistani Bangladeshi

Somali Youth Union League of British Muslims Da’watul Islam

Tamil Sri Lankan Kurdish Turkish Saiva Munetta Sangam BRACE

Violent extremism (including Islamophobia as a contributory factor)

Sensitive community concerns, experience of Islamophobia and racial - religiously motivated crime and harassment

Ealing Redbridge

Somali Pakistani

Somali Youth Union League of British Muslims

Gang crime

Frequently cited by respondents and witnesses. Will explore nature and causes further in Phase 2

Ealing Newham Tower Hamlets

Somali Tamil Sri Lankan Bangladeshi

Somali Youth Union Saiva Munetta Sangam Da’watul Islam

Organised crime and drugs – gang recruitment

Drug related gang crime prevalent and personal feelings of vulnerability and fear


Kurdish Turkish


Hidden Crimes

Under reported and difficulties for judicial system to deal effectively



League of British Muslims

Other priority issues arising from Phase 1, forwarded to local Exchange Forums for consideration
Street prostitution Redbridge Pakistani League of British Muslims Saiva Munetta Sangam BRACE

Immigration support


Tamil Sri Lankan

Environmental improvements (eg street lighting, CCTV)


Kurdish Turkish

Domestic violence

Tower Hamlets


Da’watul Islam


The Citizen Focus Programme demonstrates the MPS commitment to meeting one of the five key priorities from the 2005 – 08 National Policing Plan. “to provide a citizen-focused police service which responds to the needs of communities and individuals, especially victims and witnesses, and inspires public confidence in the police, particularly among minority ethnic communities.” (National Policing Plan 2005-08 Home Office 2004:12) The need for MPS to understand, communicate and engage with diverse communities has also been stressed by the Commissioner, for example, in his BBC Dimbleby lecture of 2005: The emergence of a substantial black and minority population in London proved a massive challenge for the Met….understanding different cultures is a straightforward business requirement if we are to succeed in policing London, now or in 2012…. (Blair, 2005) Safer Neighbourhoods is seen as the pivotal means by the police for achieving effective engagement and reassurance for all communities. Safer Neighbourhoods is a key initiative in the Policing London Strategy that will enable us to deliver our priorities and aims through engaging the support of Londoners and gaining their trust and confidence in policing.” (MPA/MPS Policing London Strategy for 2007-10: 11) The five community groups undertaking consultation in Phase 1 revealed different nuances around the issue of trust and confidence in policing: these are summarised in this section. Further detailed consultation is to be undertaken by all the community groups in Phase 2 of the Pathfinder, exploring this issue in greater depth, from positions of better understanding and greater information with the intention of providing constructive recommendations and improvements for change from community perspectives. In effect this will represent a community-based critique of the Safer Neighbourhoods Programme and other aspects of policing which impact on communities’ trust and confidence therein. 7.3.1 Lack of Trust We found that quantitative and qualitative evidence pointed to a low level of trust in the police among the

Somali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities in Ealing, Tower Hamlets and Redbridge respectively. Trust was particularly low within the Somali community. Half of questionnaire respondents stated that if they were to be a victim of or witness to a crime they would not report it, with the most common reason given for this answer being that they did not trust the police. The majority of respondents in Tower Hamlets and Redbridge stated that they would report a crime. However, lack of trust in the police was the most popular reason cited by those in Tower Hamlets who stated that they would not report a crime, and was the second most popular reason in Redbridge (the belief that the police ‘would not do anything about it’ was the most popular). Lack of trust in the police came through consistently in the qualitative work in all three areas. This was particularly the case in young people’s focus groups/interviews. The following sections outline some of the factors, derived from Phase 1 consultation, which appear to undermine the communities’ trust and confidence. 7.3.2 Stop and Search and Unfair Treatment Phase 1 revealed that perceptions persisted of the discriminatory exercise of ‘stop and search’ and of generally unfair police treatment. Many young male participants in Ealing expressed strong views, often based on personal experience, about stop and search and perceived racial/religious discrimination: “…most of the time we just get stopped and search just for no reason, just because we’re Somali, we’re Black and I have had a couple of nasty stop and searches and its not nice to get stop and searched in front of your mum, that’s not nice…” Young male participant, Ealing “When you are walking on the street and someone insults you because of your Islamic dress and the policeman is present, the policeman will look away and won’t help you. I believe therefore the police in the past used to be good but today the police are different, not helpful.” Female participant, Ealing (age not recorded) Such everyday experience heavily influenced the low level of regard and trust Somali participants had for the police. Stop and search was also a strong theme of both the young male and young female focus groups/interviews in Redbridge [Pakistani Community]. The subject attracted some strong views with several participants arguing that


the police had ‘gone into overdrive’ and were stopping people unnecessarily/unfairly/insensitively. Stop and search was specifically raised only infrequently by Haringey participants, but when raised a negative effect on community relationships with the police was usually highlighted. In Redbridge, both young men and young women were highly critical, with the latter recounting personal experiences of being stopped when driving. The men’s group in the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets was, as with the Somali community in Ealing, more critical of the police than the female group. This group focused less on stop and search and more on general allegations of unfair police treatment of the Bangladeshi community, and suspicion at, for example, the robustness of the intelligence leading to police raids. This suspicion had been exacerbated by a recent incident when the local Bangladeshi community had defended itself against racist aggression from outsiders looking for trouble: “…the police showed up, the white people they literally walked away, they didn’t run, they walked away from the incident and it was Asians that were basically held up and taken to the police station, where the White people just walked away…” Male respondent, Tower Hamlets (age not recorded) 7.3.3 Customer Service Concerns We found that perceptions of inadequate operational performance and ‘customer service’ had an important impact on the degrees of trust and confidence in which communities held the police. For some communities the issue was less to do with trust per se. For example, both quantitative and qualitative evidence actually pointed to a higher level of trust among respondents from the Sri Lankan community in Newham and the Turkish speaking communities in Haringey, particularly the former. Sri Lankan participants were fairly positive about the police; yet confidence was undermined by their perceptions of inappropriate police leniency with offenders. Here the main theme of discussions revolved around the need to strengthen both the law and the law enforcement regime which in the eyes of many (particularly older) participants was too ‘soft’ compared to that in other countries. However participants displayed a low understanding of and engagement with the police and the justice system. The general quality of the service provided by the police was the key issue for focus group/interview participants in

Haringey [Turkish speaking communities]. This reinforced the findings of the Haringey questionnaires - long response times, and the belief that the police ‘would not do anything about it’, scored highest as barriers to reporting crime. Low faith in the operational effectiveness of the police – particularly long response times and lack of follow up action/information for victims and witnesses - was a strong theme of focus group/interview discussions. This was frequently cited as a barrier to reporting crime and was often based either on personal experience or hearsay from family/friends/neighbours. “I have been beaten up and taken into intensive care – 2 hours later the police came, 2 hours later. …They’ve spent between £10-12m to recruit officers so you expect them to react promptly.” Young male participant, Haringey It should be emphasized however that such customer service issues were raised across focus groups/interviews in all five areas, often drawing on personal experience as a victim or witness, or that of family and friends. For example, disappointment at the operational competence of the police service was a stronger issue for both Bangladeshi and Somali female focus group participants (as opposed to men who focused more strongly on issues of discrimination); and experiences of slow response times were raised unprompted by participants in all focus groups/interviews in the Pakistani community in Redbridge. “When police are called, they usually either come hours later or never turn up.” Female participant, Ealing “[People] feel it’s a waste of time [going to the police] and if something’s going to happen and then it just gets prolonged up so much it’s just pointless. Nowadays that’s why you see a lot of trouble around obviously because people just turn around and say ‘look, let’s just handle it ourselves’ … because the police are not going to do anything about it.” Young male respondent, Redbridge A common complaint from participants across all projects who had reported crime was the fact that they had never heard from the police afterwards, while many expressed the view that the police were uninterested in certain crimes. “I won’t bother reporting anymore because you are trying to be a good citizen but you end up using your time to help, once you have made a statement you won’t hear from them again. We want to know if a crime has been solved or not.”


“[when the participant reported a theft he had suffered and questioned the response time] the police said that they had more serious crimes to deal with. Since then [the participant] doesn’t believe that the police are any good.” Male participants, Haringey Participants in several focus groups were asked about their views on Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). They were split between not knowing about them; finding them a reassuring presence, and sometimes more friendly than the police; and criticising them as lacking in power and authority. Some reported that they were mocked, sometimes openly, on the streets. Several participants called for PCSOs to be given more powers if they were to be able to be effective in deterring crime. 7.3.4 Effect on Reporting of Crime We found that perceptions of ineffective police performance affects the willingness to report crime. The questionnaire results suggest that the quality of the customer experience of police services (even over what might be perceived as a relatively minor incident) may affect an individual’s willingness to report crime in the future. Questionnaire respondents who had been a victim of or a witness to crime were asked whether they had been satisfied with their treatment by the police. They were also asked whether, if put in the same position in the future, they would report the crime again. All Haringey respondents [Turkish speaking communities] who reported that they were satisfied with their treatment by the police also stated that they would report a crime again if put in a similar situation. However the majority of those who reported dissatisfaction with their treatment stated that they would not report a crime in the future. In Redbridge [Pakistani community], all those who stated that they would not report a crime again in the future had also felt dissatisfied with their treatment by the police. In contrast, all those who had felt satisfied with their treatment by the police were still willing to report a crime again. In Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community], only one of the respondents who had been satisfied with their treatment by the police stated they would not report the crime again. In contrast, over half of those who were dissatisfied said they would not report again. This suggested relationship between past experience of police service and future willingness to report crime was strongly borne out in focus group/interview discussions. In many cases a poor customer service experience combined with already low levels of trust to undermine participants’ confidence in the usefulness/wisdom of

engaging with the police in the future. “If we ring the police station and speak in ‘broken English’ we know what the response will be. If the matter is not very serious the police will not take any notice and will not visit the scene of the crime for hours. Therefore we lose faith in the police and next time doesn’t bother ringing them.” Older participant, Redbridge (gender not recorded) The relationship between past experience of police service and willingness to report a crime also is linked to a perception that a crime may be felt important by a community member (as a victim or witness) but was not seen as an important priority by the police. 7.3.5 Fear of Reprisals Lack of confidence in the effectiveness of reporting crime is a particularly important factor given the fact that several participants highlighted that those who did so could face severe personal consequences, as well as being deterred by the general time and energy taken up by ‘becoming involved’. “There are several times that we come across incidents encountered by either our children or us and we say to ourselves if you report they [the police] will bother you too much. At times we feel so scared we don’t report it.” Female participant, Ealing (age not recorded) Participants in Haringey [Turkish speaking communities] and Newham [Sri Lankan community] particularly highlighted the strong fear of reprisals from gangs, meaning that much crime went unchallenged and unreported leaving the community vulnerable and unprotected. “We all know the biggest crime in this area is drug crime. The gangs are ruling the streets, the public in general know who they are but are afraid to report and give names because they feel they are putting themselves in danger. We are all desperate to end this problem.” “The community don’t trust the police, the gangs threaten them, leaving them nowhere to go.” Male participants, Haringey In both Newham and Haringey some participants emphasised the need for safe and confidential reporting mechanisms. “Police informants should be safeguarded. If not public is reluctant to give evidence. There was an


incident in front of Sri Lankan shop in High Street North, where the shop owner gave evidence. Later he was chased by the gangsters and beaten up. Nowadays public is reluctant to come forward for the witness or willing to help the police. Sometimes they like to mind their own business and leave the place.” Participant, Newham (age, gender not recorded) 7.3.6 Potential Solutions During Phase 1 all five community groups were encouraged where possible to gather suggestions for improvements, remedies or solutions from their respective consultation exercises about issues that were raised about how greater trust and confidence in policing could be achieved. Some of these are highlighted in this section and are to be explored in greater depth in Phase 2 of the Pathfinder programme. Two Haringey participants suggested that, as there were many non-English speakers in the area, a special police phone line for Turkish speakers needed to be advertised in the community, to enable people to report a crime in their own language. However, one stressed that the police should not then go to people’s homes to question them as this might endanger them. The need for fairer treatment of the Somali community featured heavily in discussions in both male and female focus groups in Ealing. “Yes, the police have got to improve. They shouldn’t discriminate anybody because of their poor English and the colour of your skin. They should treat people equally or else people won’t go to the police anymore.” Female respondent, Ealing The young male group in Ealing particularly called for greater fairness in applying stop and search, to end the perceived targeting of young Black African Muslim males. It was thought this would help reduce barriers between this community and the police. Many of the proposed solutions put by Redbridge participants [Pakistani community] around stop and search focused on better communication. “Ok as a police officer I look suspicious to you, so why do I look suspicious to you, explain yourself. A bit more clarity from the police would be good. …Make you feel comfortable that this is a procedure that we’re doing, we’re not just targeting you because you look a certain way.” Young male participant, Redbridge “They can do exactly the same thing but if they do it

in nicer level and if they’re really nice about it and friendlier and say ‘look, sorry I have to stop you but it is because of blah blah’ – be more open and honest.” Young female participant, Redbridge Similarly, a few Haringey [Turkish speaking communities] participants stated that the police needed to behave in a more friendly and respectful manner in their everyday dealings with the public, as they had personally witnessed disrespectful and arrogant behaviour. One female participant in Redbridge [Pakistani community] suggested more police engagement in general with the youth of the community would help relieve tensions around stop and search: “The police need to interact with their communities more frequently and not just with the older members of the community but also the younger members of the community so that they don’t feel that they are being targets of police harassments…” Young female participant, Redbridge Some participants in Ealing [Somali community] and Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community] also felt that if the police were proactively to open up more effective lines of communication, both in general and over specific incidents, relationships with the community would improve and they would be more willing to engage with the police. “The police should ask us about our problems because even though we see people selling drugs in our building, we are just too scared to come out and tell the police.” Female participant, Ealing Participants in Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community] also made some practical suggestions regarding how the police might build up trust within the community. One respondent had heard of a programme, working with the young people of a particular local community and the police, where young people were given some responsibility. This was seen to have an impact as the relationship between the police and the young people was a positive one, rather than characterised by negatives such as being reprimanded. The group agreed that police involvement with youth groups could see positive results, as long as the messages conveyed to young people were consistent and accurate. A female participant in Redbridge [Pakistani community] felt that the single most important thing for the police to improve relationships would be to engage with the


community to identify its key crime/safety concerns (in the case of Redbridge such as street prostitution and anti-social behaviour), and take appropriate action. “They need to take on board what is going on in their communities and tackle situations that communities feel are not being dealt with.” Young female participant, Redbridge Greater and better understanding of the police and how it operates would improve trust and confidence. “people don’t see much what the police do, people just don’t know how to go and complain, (they think) nothing will be done … everybody should have more information about how the police would do things.” Female participant, Tower Hamlets Similarly, several participants in Haringey emphasised the need to build up trust and to improve the police’s image within the community, so that the community would feel safer and better protected and thus in turn become more willing to engage with the police. Many stressed that the police needed to communicate better with the public and take more active steps to become involved with the community and to reassure and inform it about crime. A female participant suggested that talks in schools, and information updating people on what had happened following a crime, would gain the community’s trust. Another participant suggested regular public awareness days would help improve relationships; another that the police go into high crime areas to talk to the public to gain ideas about how to go about improving relations. One suggested it would be useful for the police to hold open days in the police station to enable the community to visit it and learn about the police. Some felt that increased awareness by the police of Turkish culture and way of life could improve relationships and make it easier for the police to solve crimes. Some suggested recruitment of more minority ethnic or Turkish speaking police officers as a potential solution. This would help build relationships and encourage people to come forward to report crime. Recruitment from the community into the police force was also suggested as a solution by participants in other projects, for example by the women’s focus groups in Ealing [Somali community] and by participants in Newham [Sri Lankan community] and Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community]. Some saw this as a means not only of improving the service offered by the police to the community, but also of increasing the police’s operational effectiveness.

“Should enrol some of our Sri Lankan boys into policing which would help to identify them [Tamil criminals] more easily.” Older participant, Newham

7.4 Violent Extremism
Violent extremism emerged as an important issue from Phase 1 consultations. This will be pursued in greater depth in Phase 2 as a priority concern by the League of British Muslims in Redbridge [Pakistani community], and the Somali Youth Union In UK in Ealing [Somali community] (the latter particularly focusing on Islamophobia as a contributory factor). Islamophobia was an issue which came through particularly strongly as a priority for Somali women. This will be explored in greater depth in Phase 2 by these two community organisations. The issue of violent extremism itself and Government and media responses and treatment of it are highly contentious and sensitive for many Muslim communities. These sensitivities link strongly with sometimes negative community perceptions of the police, security services and public authority in general. Commentary on how some of these issues have played out so far in the Pathfinder and impact on the ability to explore these issues inside communities themselves was provided earlier in this report under the section on process. Consideration of violent extremism will be reported comprehensively in the final Pathfinder Solutions Report, following further consultation activity by the community groups concerned. ‘Violent extremism’ as a subject area is a ‘syndrome’ rather than a single issue: it’s exploration throws up several features, characteristics, signs, indicators and phenomena which are part of the communities’ experiences and complex to recognise, acknowledge and unpack. The Phase 2 consultation work is intended to reveal much greater understanding of the community dynamics about violent extremism, the community contexts, inter-play with Islamophobia and hate-crime, experiences of harassment and fear, senses of insecurity and lack of safety, policing and Government policy and programmes, community cohesion and recommendations for addressing the associated problems. The choice of terminology to address and explore this issue can also be problematic. Commonly used terms include terrorism, radicalisation, extremism and violent extremism. Acceptability and preference of terminology may differ amongst distinct Muslim communities in different locations across the country. From Phase 1 the term ‘violent extremism’ has emerged so far as an


acceptable and useful term for discussion of this topic within the participant communities to the Pathfinder. Highlighted here at the interim stage of the Pathfinder are some illustrative features and perspectives about the issue of violent extremism from the League of British Muslims and Somali Youth Union. We found that participants in all focus groups in Redbridge, when questioned about this issue, expressed the view that extremist activity was a problem in other areas but not locally. This was backed up by the quantitative results, where only a handful of respondents identified illegal extremist activity as a community problem. The League of British Muslims felt that these results indicated a degree of denial within the community in relation to this problem and/or a reluctance to discuss it. 30 respondents (out of 87 valid responses) in Ealing identified illegal extremist activity as a crime that was a problem in their community – a significantly higher proportion than in Redbridge (8 out of 46 valid responses). The SYUINUK felt the quantitative and qualitative results provided evidence to show that violent extremism might be a significant future problem in their community. This was particularly the case given the strong findings about the high level of racial and religious harassment and Islamophobia suffered by the community, particularly by women and children. This, they felt, provided the pre-conditions for future as well as current disaffection. The community group felt that violent extremism and Islamophobia were ‘two sides of the same coin’ with the latter in effect ‘providing the hunting ground’ for the former and that both needed to be tackled as a priority in terms of both crime and safety. The extent and acuteness of discrimination felt by the Somali community was perceived by them to be a product of three factors; being Muslim, Black and ‘foreign’. They strongly perceived that their identification in these terms lay behind experiences both of being ‘stop and search’ targets by the police and also of harassment by those from other communities. Islamophobia rather than racism was the primary driver behind these experiences. As such, the performance by the police and authorities in dealing with hate crime as a serious and painful community grievance was seen as essential to building community trust and confidence in policing, and a pre-requisite for the community to engage in addressing violent extremism. The capacity and capability of the police to understand and deal with different community concerns and grievances (however ‘minor’ they may be seen outside the community) was seen as important for building consent and involvement

and thereby helping to address ‘more serious’ problems such as violent extremism. 7.4.1 Religious/racial Harassment Islamophobia and race-hate crime came through strongly from Phase 1. This comes at a time when there has been a re-assertion of faith in defining identity in the UK since 2001. Appendix A comments on this development in relation to the term ‘Black and minority ethnic groups/ communities, international events of September 11th 2001, the July 7th 2005 London bombings and introduction of religion as a category in the 2001 Census of Population. The prominence of faith as a community identifier has also in recent years seen expression sometimes in individuals’ greater visible assertion of their faith through their choice of dress code (so-called “dressing up”) or by greater visible concealment of their faith by “dressing down”. We found that respondents in Ealing [Somali community] identified racially or religiously motivated crime as a problem for their community. This was also the most frequently experienced crime by Ealing respondents, in terms both of being a victim or a witness – the only project out of the five where this was the case. 30 respondents reported having been a victim of this crime, while 41 had witnessed it. These results were strongly backed up by discussions in the Ealing focus groups, particularly by women participants. Several in both of the female focus groups spoke emotively and in detail about sometimes severe physical and/or verbal racial/religious harassment, and its impact on their and their children’s daily lives: “My children avoid going to the park. If they go they will be chased away by others. … I remain imprisoned in my house and only go out to take children to school or shopping.” “Children who were coming from the mosque told me that people threw stones on them while they were on the bus. They came home shaking with fear.” Female participants, Ealing Many linked the harassment they experienced to their wearing of traditional religious clothing, several reporting that as a result it was unsafe for them to go out, particularly at night. “My friend and me, we wanted to go out one night. She told me to remove the “hijab”. I refused to remove it because of my fear of God. She told me that this would put us in a high risk of being killed or


beaten. But we went out after I insisted. We were harassed and spit at but thank God we came back safely. Since then I never went out at night.” Female participant, Ealing Some women had complained to the police, while others had found this not to have helped. Many found harassment to be such a normal part of their everyday experience that they now did not complain about it to anyone. (The male SYUINUK community engagement workers were surprised at the level of the harassment suffered by the women and children in the Somali community – they had not been aware of this previously. In some instances the women commented that they were reluctant to reveal the fact and extent of this harassment to men in their families/ community as this they felt was likely to lead the latter taking direct retribution against the perpetrators.) Some women expressed the desire for an opportunity to help overcome some of the ignorance which they felt underlay the harassment that they suffered, and to inform other communities that they posed no threat to them. 7.4.2 Vulnerability to Recruitment and Radicalisation Participants across focus groups in Redbridge [Pakistani community] indirectly identified violent extremism as a major community safety problem in terms of the political/ media response to it, and increased hostility towards/police targeting of Muslims. “We fear that atmosphere is being created such that we might be forced to repatriate, uproot ourselves, and leave all the resources and facilities we have created for ourselves behind – our life long achievements. “ Older participant, Redbridge “Because some idiot has come out of the cave in Afghanistan says he’s going to blow everything in the name of God, which is not what is in Islam, we then as individuals feel the brunt of it.” Female participant, Redbridge The young male focus group in Ealing [Somali community] was asked about their experiences of coming into contact with illegal extremism and one participant gave an example of this: “I used to have a friend, … (an) Islamic group … just completely brain washed him into believing that he should go down to Palestine or Iraq to fight… he never really got the chance … now he’s back to his good old self.” Young male participant, Ealing

Attempts to radicalize local young people in Redbridge a couple of years previously were also described. One young man gave details of his personal experience of coming into contact with Al-Muhajiroun: “They showed their video and the guy’s going ‘oh it’s so beautiful to see this plane going towards a building’. Why would you say that, how does that make Muslims look in the eyes of other people?” Young male participant, Redbridge A young man described being invited by a friend to go to a talk in someone’s house: “They were very anti the political system in this country and you know voting is very bad and what not. But, I mean they want to stay here, on what grounds do they want to stay here and live off this country, enjoy all the other freedom it’s giving them, but you don’t want to get involved in the political system you think ‘that’s completely against our religion’. So on what grounds are you going to stay here and be part of a system?” Young male participant, Redbridge Participants in the young male group in Redbridge highlighted that many younger people did not speak Urdu or understand the Arabic teachings and as a result could not access guidance from the mosque. “Obviously they go to the mosque, they don’t know what’s going on [because they only speak English] and then they see all this on the news ‘ah Islam’s getting this, this and this’ and they just get angry – they don’t understand the concept of Islam properly.” Young male participant, Redbridge This left them vulnerable to more radical English-speaking outside influences such as those described above. 7.4.3 Potential Solutions During the Phase 1 consultation, participants were encouraged to offer suggestions to address some of the issues around violent extremism. These are summarised here. Young female participants in Redbridge [Pakistani community] felt the new generation of younger Imams were better at communicating with young people. Some in the older group felt that management committees needed to address the issues discussed in the consultations and that they rather than Imams should be the initial focus of attempts to achieve solutions.


Some participants in the older group in Redbridge emphasised that before engaging with the police, the community needed itself first to engage with and empower its ‘disaffected youth’. “We should invite them and discuss with them, explore with them, what are the problems? …We need to give them the leadership…” Older participant, Redbridge Some of the young male group expressed enthusiasm at the idea of young people being given greater opportunities to express their experiences and views. They expressed support for a participant who suggested that local young people form a group to access other young people’s views/experiences, and represent them to bodies such as the police. The importance of parental involvement, and the effect of the relative educational underachievement of Pakistani young people, were discussed by some participants in different groups in Redbridge, in relation to youth crime in general. Some in the young male group felt language barriers within the older generation were part of the problem. They felt these had led to lack of educational support for their children. “When our parents come to our open evenings at school because they can’t speak English we get away with murder, the teacher says one thing we translate it into something else.” Young male participant, Redbridge They felt this problem was exacerbated by parental denial that their own children might be involved in crime. These young male participants called for more parental support for their children’s education, and for parents to play a more active role in supervising their children’s activities outside the home. A young female participant called for increased support for Pakistani children within schools, to improve their educational achievement and encourage them to see themselves as having a future. Participants in the older group identified a need for more opportunities for older and younger people to get together socially, in order for the former to provide a positive influence; and for more facilities and provision (eg in community centres) of opportunities for young people to engage in activities of interest to them.

Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community] and Saiva Munetta Sangam in Newham [Tamil Sri Lankan community] and will be pursued in greater depth in Phase 2. Discussions between UCLan and all three community organisations on this issue have reinforced its importance as a major concern for the communities involved; some of the initial views and perspectives which emerged from the Phase 1 consultations are summarised in this section. From the testimony of community respondents gathered so far, clearly communities themselves perceive the gang issue itself as complex with differing causes, characteristics and remedies. At the midway point of the Pathfinder it is interesting to note that different opinions by the groups themselves have been mooted about the origins of gang behaviour: some maintain that gangs are a direct product of drug-related crime; others have suggested that their nature is more complex and originate first from a quasi-cultural glamour associated with being part of a gang whose activities begin with low level nuisance and anti-social behaviour and then escalate in seriousness of offending, size, organisation and use of violence. These and other aspects will be explored further in Phase 2, following expert briefings to the community groups by specialist MPS and Local Authority staff around the issue of gang crime. From Phase 1 consultations we found gang crime identified by 76 (out of 101) questionnaire respondents as a problem crime for the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets. 19 reported that they had witnessed it. It was the most frequently cited problem crime, and also the most frequently witnessed crime, by questionnaire respondents in the Newham Sri Lankan community. These findings were backed up by discussions in focus groups in both areas, where gang related crime featured heavily, with strong links made to drugs by participants in Tower Hamlets. Although gang crime came through less strongly in the questionnaire results in Ealing, it was nonetheless cited as a problem for the Somali community by 37 respondents (out of 85 valid responses), and 21 reported that they had witnessed gang crime. Further, it was the most discussed crime in the young male Somali focus group (but was less of a focus for female participants whose main preoccupation was the racial/religious harassment that they suffered). Women participants in Tower Hamlets linked the problem of gangs to the summer months, when they saw an increase in gang violence with the longer evenings. Fights could erupt over the simplest things, involving girls (of school age) as well as boys (of school age and older).

7.5 Gang Crime
This was identified as a priority issue by the Somali Youth Union UK in Ealing [Somali community], Da’watul Islam in


The use of knives and sticks was not uncommon. Some participants in the male focus group in Tower Hamlets thought that some gang related crime could be attributed simply to thrill seeking, while one cited the perceived failings of the education system. “I think gang culture and violent crime begins at school, from secondary school. I come from Bangladesh to the UK and there is a huge change between attitude towards school in Bangladesh and UK. The main thing I saw is the manners learnt in school, I think that there’s a huge fault in teaching manners in school in this country and I think that is why there are gangs getting together, not learning, not knowing what to do…” Male participant, 21 years, Tower Hamlets Others saw the gang culture as rooted in young men’s need to defend themselves: “…if they feel intimidated then they will attack, that’s all it is but because of the way that we live in housing estates we can see them sort of loitering in or congregating in different areas…” Male participant, age not recorded, Tower Hamlets Some participants felt that racist attacks, although still a problem in some areas and streets, were no longer the main factor, and had been overtaken by issues such as drugs and territorial disputes: “now what it is, it’s not really about racism, it’s more to do with drugs, it’s more to do with personal grudges…” “there is a lot of tension … within the community and gang fights within the community against different estates and it’s mainly to do with estates, territorialism.” Male participants, age not recorded, Tower Hamlets The young male group in Ealing also identified intra-racial territorial animosity as a key issue. Rivalry existed between Somalian groups from different areas in London, distinguished by accents or by recognition. This meant that they themselves might not feel safe outside their own local area, where they generally did feel safe. This was because while the groups of young men who congregated in local streets might be seen by the police to be gangs, they were in fact often just groups of close friends. Similarly, many participants in Newham made reference to a group of young people with little else to occupy them who regularly stood or sat in a certain place. Although they could be intimidating they were familiar, and usually

were not perceived as posing a threat, at least by the younger generation. Some referred however to anti-social group activity which had escalated into criminal activity, and represented a threat to passers by, and to those living or working in the area. Several Newham participants spoke of specific incidents where gangs had caused a problem: “…in Plashet Grove Park. Gangsters from Harrow, Wembley come here to fight. Lots of stabbing.” Young participant, gender not recorded, Newham One participant mentioned a gang calling itself the ‘Tamil Tigers’: “Most of the boys are Sri Lankans and Indians. …Their actions bring bad reputation for the genuine “Tamil Tigers”, who are fighting for our homeland, which we need. Not only that their behaviours/ actions ruin our reputation.” Gender/age not recorded, Newham Anecdotal comments were made to a member of the UCLan team about a “horrific cold blooded murder with a sword” perpetrated by a gang member. This had had a considerable impact on the community. Potential Solutions As part of the Phase 1 consultations, respondents were encouraged to offer remedies, suggestions and solutions to the problems and issues that they raised. The main observations that emerged at this stage are summarised here. These will be developed and explored further in Phase 2. The main strands revolved around the family, police and diversion. Some male participants in Tower Hamlets felt the Bangladeshi community had a role to play in solving these issues in their area, eg voluntary organisations could play a mediation role in fights. The female group emphasised the importance of the role of parents and the family. “Gang culture and gang fights … there’s a lot of broken families, these kids, if you do speak to them they’ve got so many issues happening inside their household that when they come out this is the only way to get the aggression out and parents don’t actually realise what they’re doing… this is the only way they can take out all that frustration by lashing out, because it makes them feel like they’ve got some control”. Female participant, age not recorded, Tower Hamlets


Some felt there was a lack of communication between parents and their children, with the former too busy working long hours outside the home; alternatively, women who stayed at home all day could be insufficiently aware of what was going on in the wider world to pick up on warning signs of their children’s problems. The role of parents was also mentioned by a participant in Newham [Tamil Sri Lankan community], but several placed strongest emphasis on the need for tougher laws, and for effective enforcement of those laws. Specific measures such as dispersal of people congregated in one place for a period of time were suggested. Some saw increased police presence and security as the key deterrent to crime, while one participant suggested that a safer process for reporting crime to the police would help. In contrast, the group of young Somali men [Ealing] emphasised the need for greater provision of diversionary activities, such as football or basketball. They felt these could help prevent susceptible young men being drawn into crime, and enable them to channel their energy and time in useful activities. “Because the more times these kids are spending on the street with no time to have to get into something bad …selling drugs, getting into fights or joining a gang or something.” Young male participant, Ealing The group supported a participant’s suggestion that a Somali youth club be established.

of concern/contributing factor to criminal activity - eg drug dealing, gangs and theft. Some participants expressed frustration at the lack of effective solutions in this area and highlighted the impact on the community as a whole. “I know 4 crack houses in my area, they’re trying to shut them down but they can’t.” Young male participant, Haringey “If a young person is arrested because of drugs it becomes a problem for the whole community in that road.” (Gender/age not recorded) A female participant cited targeted personal education as a potential solution to the problem, while some young men highlighted the importance of peer pressure and influential older youths: “Crimes are committed because of mates, when you see your mate doing it, you do it, particularly in Turkish communities. If the leader does it, the rest follows.” Young male participant, Haringey Some participants suggested that more local activities for young people – e.g. a youth centre - could help promote safety and prevent them being drawn into crime through boredom and/or peer pressure. Some felt parents should be encouraged to take more responsibility for the activities of their children. A few identified newly arrived young people with low education, skills (including language skills) and no employment, or those with parents who lacked the language skills to communicate with the authorities, as being at particular risk of being drawn in to crime, seen as a means of making ‘easy money’. “It is common knowledge in this area – if you want to make real money, you can make one drop off [delivering drugs] and make £20,000. People are doing this and are getting away with it and it seems it will never end. The criminals have it very easy.” (Gender/age not recorded) The focus on recruitment into [drug] gangs by BRACE in Phase 2 is especially important. Phase 1 findings have illustrated views on the prevalence of crime in the local area – circa 50% of respondents had had direct personal experience of crime as a victim or witness – the relative prevalence of drug related crime and perhaps, above all, participants strong feelings of personal vulnerability to crime and a general feeling of fear in the community, especially of street gangs.

7.6 Organised Crime and Drugs - Gang Recruitment
This was identified as a priority issue for Phase 2 by BRACE in Haringey [Turkish speaking communities]. It was clearly identified in both qualitative and quantitative Phase 1 consultations as the main preoccupation in terms of crime and safety. The focus of the group’s consultation in Phase 2 will be the phenomenon of recruitment into organised [drug] gangs, risk factors, recruitment, diversion, prevention and reporting. Drug crime was the most frequently cited crime experienced by questionnaire respondents as a witness (27 out of 102 respondents). It was also the crime most widely perceived by questionnaire respondents as a problem for the community (36 out of 54 valid responses identified drugs as a community problem). These findings were backed up by the fact that many participants across focus groups and interviews cited drugs as the main crime


7.7 Hidden Crimes
Hidden, and hence under- and un-reported, crimes were identified as a priority issue requiring further investigation by the League of British Muslims in Redbridge [Pakistani community]. Discussion with the community group and the local Exchange Forum, supporting the work of the project, indicated that the existing judicial system deals with such problems inadequately. Hence, the group recognised that this was something which needed the community to address itself in the first instance. This was raised as a strong concern by women interviewed during the Phase1 consultation. These highlighted ‘hidden crimes’ that took place within the family. For example, so-called ‘honour killings’, rape, domestic violence and forced marriages (cited as a strategy to deal with male and female children who were going ‘off the rails’ e.g. getting involved in drugs). The women stated that these often went unreported, in order to avoid bringing shame upon the family. One of the two women suggested the police should i) set up a confidential freephone helpline dedicated to Pakistani and Indian women, answered by people who could speak the women’s own language; and ii) instigate a poster campaign. This could both advertise the helpline and promote awareness of these issues in general. A participant in the older group expressed the view that the police were not the best people to deal with ‘domestic matters’ - unless physical violence had taken place and a criminal act committed - as police involvement polarized matters. This participant called for a more active role for communities in reconciliation in these matters, to avoid police involvement. The two women felt that the attitudes of the older generation within the community were part of the problem. They felt they generally tended to ‘brush under the carpet’ any crimes committed by family members whether inside or outside the home - to avoid family shame. “Whatever happens, domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment whatever … drugs misuse, alcohol misuse you know car jacking, fraud it stays within the four walls of that family … it doesn’t come out, they deal with it their own way, whether it’s brushing it underneath the carpet or taking their children back home … “ Young female participant, Redbridge The League of British Muslims felt such attitudes potentially constituted a barrier to successfully addressing

both hidden crimes and crime in general - including the other priority issue identified by the group, violent extremism – and so merited further investigation with and by the community. Given the nature of the issue as so far revealed, it will also represent an opportunity in Phase 2 of further exploring inter-generational engagement and solutions within the same community.

7.8 Phase 1 Issues for Exchange Forum Consideration
All 5 community groups also revealed a number of other issues from their Phase 1 consultation. These are important and have been presented to their respective Exchange Forums in their Boroughs for future consideration in policy and service development. However, given resource and time constraints these issues will not be pursued further by the community groups in the Pathfinder by additional community consultation work in Phase 2. Street Prostitution This was identified as a priority issue by the League of British Muslims in Redbridge [Pakistani community], after it was raised unprompted by participants in all focus groups during the Phase 1 consultations. Some, particularly in the young males group, expressed strong feelings on the subject. They felt this activity impacted directly on their everyday quality of life, for example embarrassing them when out with their families; and demonstrated disrespect for their community (a participant in the young male group mentioned that prostitutes gathered outside Barking Mosque). “it’s bad because you have to live in this area and when prostitution comes a lot of violent crime and drugs come and is that the kind of stuff we want, no.” Young male participant, Redbridge Participants in different groups cited this (and other issues such as anti-social behaviour and drug dealing) as examples of activity that had a direct impact on the quality of life of the local community, but were in their view going unchallenged by the local police. This issue has been brought to the attention of the Pathfinder’s local Exchange Forum by the League of British Muslims. Environmental Improvements This was identified as a priority safety issue by BRACE in Haringey [Turkish speaking communities]. Participants across several focus groups in Phase 1 identified the need for improvements to the local built environment to


increase the level of safety and reassurance felt by residents - eg street lighting and CCTV provision. Some highlighted the need to target such measures at particular ‘hotspot’ areas - eg outside shops, in schools and colleges, at children’s play areas or in streets where drug dealing took place, or at particular times of day – eg in the evening/night time. “We don’t see much police in our area, the light-posts do not work at nights, these things need to change.” “The gangs are always in big numbers so they are not scared of anybody. We definitely need more policing and CCTV cameras.” Young male participants, Haringey This issue has been brought to the attention of the Pathfinder’s local Exchange Forum by BRACE. Immigration Support Several participants in focus groups [Tamil Sri Lankan community, Newham] felt that the education and information given to people newly arriving into the country was somewhat lacking. This led in their view to new migrants being unsure of what they could and could not do, and of the consequences of their actions. Lack of information and support to new arrivees left them vulnerable to involvement in criminal activity. “Councils should educate the youngsters. 80% of displaced people do not know the rules and regulations.” (Gender/age not recorded) Participants felt this could be addressed with better information and education given to new migrants. “When a newcomer arrives in Newham, he should be given a welcome pack, which states the whereabouts of job centre, career advice, benefits, housing etc., Likewise it should clearly state that any one involved in any type of crime will be deported. Then they will think twice … Say for an example a newcomer comes to this area, looking for a room, could get involved with wrong crowd, start to do petty crimes unknowingly. End up as gangster. Or he may realise and would like to change, it may be too late and forced to stay in.” (Gender/age not recorded) This issue has been brought to the attention of the Pathfinder’s local Exchange Forum by Saiva Munetta Sangam for their attention.

Domestic Violence Domestic violence was raised as a concern by participants in the Tower Hamlets women’s focus group. They felt that it was a big but hidden issue, because women, particularly in the older generation, did not feel comfortable asking for help from the police or other organisations. “…they think it’s quite embarrassing …like if they do anything they’re gonna get people laugh at them…” Female participant, Tower Hamlets Some thought that some women of the older generation did not recognise what they were suffering as ‘domestic violence’. The women reported that victims of domestic violence would often move away as their only option. However the stigma attached to reporting assaults still prevented them from so doing even after they had moved. They felt that community based services might be of benefit, with information provided in different media such as newspapers. Women needed a place where they could confidently report the problem, and need help to overcome the barriers of embarrassment and stigma. This was identified as a priority issue by Da’watul Islam in Tower Hamlets [Bangladeshi community], to be taken forward by the local Exchange Forum.




Phase 1 of the Pathfinder enabled the community groups to reveal any and all issues that their respective communities considered significant and of concern in connection to policing, crime and community safety. A better and more informed understanding of the communities concerned has emerged as a result. However, the depth to which the community groups were able to explore any of these issues was limited. The introduction of a second phase of consultation allows the community groups to concentrate on fewer issues, in greater depth and with a greater solution focus. The issues for Phase 2 have been chosen by the community groups, as described previously. The groups’ understanding on these issues will be enhanced by provision of further capacity building, by more engagement and discussion with police and stakeholders and by expert briefings to the groups from specialist police, civilian staff and community safety team officers on the specific topic areas. It is hoped that this will help further consultation work to raise awareness in communities of existing service provision and assumptions by stakeholders on these issues, and help add value and new learning from community perspectives. Planning for and co-ordination of this has been undertaken by UCLan as part of the exit from Phase 1. Details will be provided in the Pathfinder’s final report, Narrowing the Gap: Solutions, following completion of Phase 2 consultations. The final report of the Pathfinder will include community based solutions on completion of Phase 2.




Beckford et al (2006) Review of the Evidence Baseon Faith Communities Blair, Sir Ian, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, cited in Dimbleby Lecture, BBC1, 16 November 2005. Commission for Race Equality (2007) Regeneration and the Race Equality Duty Larsen, C. S. (2005) Facilitating community involvement: practical guidance for practitioners and policy makers. London: Home Office MPA (2007) Counter Terrorism: The London Debate. London: Metropolitan Police Authority MPA/MPS Community Engagement Strategy (2006-09): Metropolitan Police Authority/Met Metropolitan Police Service MPA/MPS Policing London Strategy for 2007-10 and Policing Plan for 2007-08 National Policing Plan 2005-8 (Safer, Stronger Communities, 2004) London: Home Office 2004 Myhill, A (2005) Community engagement in policing: Lessons from the literature Myhill, A., Millin, C., & Eagle, T. (2006) The future role of police authorities in community engagement: learning from three demonstration projects Myhill, A. & Rudat, K (2006) Community Engagement Policing: Case study evaluation of a demonstration project in Cheshire Myhill, A., Yarrow, S., Dalgleish, D. & Docking, M. (2006) The role of police authorities in public engagement (London: Home Office) Tuffin, R., Morris, J. & Poole, A. (2006) An evaluation of the impact of the National Reassurance Policing Programme. London: Home Office

Further Reading: Community engagement in policing website (2006) Guide to community engagement in policing Forrest Myhill & Tilly (2005) Practical lessons for involving the community in crime and disorder problem-solving. London: Home Office Myhill, A. & Cowley, C. (2006) Community engagement in policing: case-study evaluation of a demonstration project in Northumbria


Black and Minority Ethnic – Faith Communities
The authors are very conscious that various terms are used to refer to the many diverse communities in the UK. One of the terms we use is ‘Black and minority ethnic groups / communities.’ This reflects that our concern is not only with those for whom 'Black' is a political term, denoting those who identify around a basis of skin colour distinction or who may face discrimination because of this or their culture: 'Black and minority ethnic' also acknowledges the diversity that exists within these communities, and includes a wider range of those who may not consider their identity to be ‘Black,’ but who nevertheless constitute a distinct ethnic group. However, it is contended that the term Black and minority ethnic does not always describe fully and accurately the communities on the Pathfinder Programme. Hence the authors prefer to include the use of the term ‘faith communities/groups’ in addition to and even interchangeably with the term Black and minority ethnic. International events of September 11th 2001, for example, led to greater prominence in communities defined by ‘faith’ in the UK. There was a re-assertion of faith in defining identity, particularly amongst those often termed as Black and minority ethnic communities. There was a shift in self defining of identity, for example from South Asians or British Asians to British Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus. These minority communities increasingly pressed for the accommodation of religious customs and practices within the legal and economic system such as the recognition of dress codes, family practices and financial structures. In addition with the introduction of religion as a category in the 2001 Census of Population, comprehensive source of data on the ‘emergent’ religions in Britain was now available. More recently the 7/7 London bombings has sharpened the focus by academics, media, policy-makers and service providers on faith communities. Beckford et al (2006) highlighted this trend in a recent ‘Review of the Evidence Base on Faith Communities’: “Over the last fifty years, the discourse in Britain about ‘racialised minorities’ has mutated from ‘colour’ in the 1950s and 1960s (Banton, 1955; Rose, 1969) to ‘race’ in the 1960s, 70s and 80s (Rex and Moore, 1967; Smith, 1989) to ‘ethnicity’ in the 90s (Modood et al 1997) and to ‘religion’ in the present time.” (Beckford et al 2006: p.11)


ISCRI Model of Community Engagement
The Pathfinder Programme is informed by a proven model of community engagement which has been developed and used successfully by the Centre for Ethnicity and Health, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) across England, for central government and a range of regional and local partner agencies. ISCRI has now taken oversight of the model within UCLan. The key principles of the model are: • clear identification of the issue; • funded and focused work undertaken by a locally based host community group; • adequate resources; • on-going guidance, advice and support from a dedicated external facilitator; • the provision of accredited training; • stakeholder commitment from the outset and throughout the process; • a clear and specified timeframe; • capacity building for communities and stakeholders inherent in the process • organisational change process as a clearly identified outcome. This model is distinguished by the way it dynamically engages community groups and individuals through their direct collaboration with a wide range of service providers and planners. It has previously been implemented successfully by CEH across a wide variety of communities. These have represented some 35 different ethnic groups and nationalities with programme funding of over £12 million provided by central government, and regional and local agencies for engaging over 200 community groups. 1,500 individuals have been recruited, consulting and engaging over 40,000 community members. These programmes have been commissioned specifically to address recognised gaps in the engagement of marginalised and excluded communities in meaningful and sustained ways in the design, development and delivery of a range of public and voluntary sector services (eg criminal justice, problematic drug use, mental health, regeneration, sexual health and education). A significant amount of the funding of community engagement programmes is directly distributed to local established grassroots community groups to enable them to fund a number of their members to undertake engagement activities. Evidence has shown that where individuals receive some form of payment for the work they undertake the ownership, commitment and sense of being valued is greatly enhanced. In the Pathfinder Programme, funding has been provided by MPS managed by UCLan to five host community groups. This will be used to: • manage and administer the project, including financial accountability; • recruit up to 5 local community members who will act as Community Engagement Workers (CEW’s); • identify effective ways of engaging with their community via the CEW’s; • fulfill their duties in relation to the identified project i.e. attend exchange forum meetings, training events etc; • support all activities of the wider Programme including involvement in the evaluation; • present in late 2008 the findings of their engagement activities, with community based solutions. The CEWs as a group have been able to access several hundred people within their local areas, through interviews, group work sessions and a range of activities such as seminars and information raising events. Through such activities CEWs raised awareness about key issues, and elicited information from the community about a range of concerns and ideas – for example about how to improve relationships with local services. Through Exchange Forums of local stakeholders established to oversee each project, they have been able to work collaboratively with local agencies on identifying solutions to address these issues. The Exchange Forum is a key ingredient of the community engagement model. It is crucial that the work that is undertaken by host community groups is fed into local planning and delivery structures on an on-going basis in order to identify existing barriers, implement examples of good practice, and achieve long-term sustainability. The active involvement of agencies and community groups working together is also a key component of developing community reassurance that issues they have raised are being effectively listened to and addressed. UCLan assisted in establishing an appropriate Exchange Forum in each of the five Pathfinder Boroughs. Local Forum arrangements reflected local circumstances and key


players. However, typically they involved the MPS, local authority, voluntary sector agencies, local business, religious institutions and the range of agencies, partnerships and groups which drive activities across community safety, regeneration, religious organisations, young people, and community involvement. These Forum structures will form the beginning of a regular on-going exchange between the host community group and the local police after the Pathfinder Programme has finished Previous and on-going evaluation has cited that one of the main reasons for the success of the UCLan Community Engagement model is the facilitation role that it plays alongside the on-going support that it provides in the form of a senior member of staff from its national multi-ethnic, multi-faith and multi-lingual staff team. Each support worker has a multi-dimensional role which includes supporting the training, being an advisor to the CEW’s, providing a clear focus to each of the local projects, ensuring timescales and targets are met, monitoring and review of the work undertaken, linking the community groups into the Exchange Forums and supporting them to articulate their findings, acting as a mediator where necessary. Accredited Higher Education (HE) training was provided in order to assist local CEWs to undertake meaningful engagement activities and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge base. The accredited training also helped ensure that they where personally able to develop and progress their careers as part of the capacity building aspect of the projects. This training was delivered in local community venues by HE academic lecturers; all the CEWs had the opportunity to undertake a short practical assessment based on their work to enable them to achieve a recognised University qualification. MPS officers also in some instances worked alongside the academic lectures to provide training; with additional information briefings to the CEWs by Exchange Forum professionals. All the CEWs had access not only to the lecturers, academic tutors but to the whole range of support facilities afforded to all students within an HE academic setting. The training alongside the engagement activities not only equipped these individuals with knowledge and skills that enhanced their own personal career prospects, but also leaves behind a valuable resource within the community in which they live.


Literature Review on Community Engagement and Policing
1.1 Impact of Community Engagement in Policing on Policing 1.2 Impact of Community Engagement in Policing on Communities 1.3 Community Engagement in Policing with Black and Minority Ethnic Populations 1.4 Lessons Learned from Previous Community Engagement in Policing 1.5 Summary



The literature review is intended to offer a brief overview to the reader of community engagement initiatives within the field of policing in the UK in the recent past. Recent (2000 -2007) relevant literature has been reviewed to extract information over 4 thematic areas as described below. In recent years a significant proportion of the evidence of community engagement in policing comes from a small set of authors linked to a ‘demonstration project’ where over an 18 month period a community engagement initiative was piloted in 3 pathfinder areas: Merseyside, Cheshire and Northumbria. Each of these projects employed an individual to work in a community engagement role; each officer took a different approach to community engagement. The objective of this Community Engagement (CE) programme was to improve flow of information/intelligence between community and police force. It was intended to raise public awareness of the terrorist threat and help efforts to deal with it. This literature review relies heavily on the literature surrounding these projects as it represents the largest pool of direct literature on this subject within the UK and its objectives are somewhat similar to those hoped of the UCLan Pathfinder CE programme. Outputs from the project cover papers written prior to the project one which maps existing provision and a substantial literature review. Post project outputs include evaluations of each project and several documents that draw together many of the findings and lessons from all 3 projects. Within this brief review the decision was made to review several of the more useful of these papers but in order to avoid one project monopolising the findings they were not all used. However some sections are more heavily influenced by this project than others due to the dearth of other sources.

1.1 Impact of Community Engagement in Policing on Policing
This section reports on the impact of being involved in community engagement projects on those police authorities/services undertaking the engagement. 1.1.1 Safer Neighbourhood Teams From the three 18 month long demonstration projects undertaken in Merseyside, Cheshire and Northumbria several impacts on policing locally were noted. These included a positive impact seen on what was, at the time, a new initiative around policing, that of the Safer Neighbourhoods teams. “The roll-out of neighbourhood policing has been greatly strengthened by the community engagement activities undertaken as part of the demonstration project.” (Myhill & Rudat, 2006: p.15) “…the demonstration project in Cheshire led to a rapid increase in the joint community engagement capacity of the authority and the constabulary.” (Myhill & Rudat 2006 p.7) From these three projects Myhill & Rudat (2006) conclude that for the projects to continue to benefit the forces locally the posts must be made permanent: “If the constabulary wishes to embed community engagement within an organisational culture which is user- and community-focused, it needs to mainstream this capacity, leaving the authority’s permanent post to target the early phases of change” (Myhill & Rudat 2006 p.17) In a report for the Metropolitan Police Authority we can see support for permanence of community engagement work within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) by mainstreaming of capacity via Safer Neighbourhood teams (SNT):


“The best tool in the Metropolitan Police Service’s kit for community engagement is its Safer Neighbourhood teams.” (MPA, 2007: p.38) This report speaks of how Safer Neighbourhood teams in London are spending a lot of their engagement with the community fire fighting, instead of being able to proactively engage the community in a structured way. The report highlights several incidents where the actions of the police, in responding to potential terrorist threats or intelligence thought to be reliable, damaged their relationship with the community. The absence of explanations or apologies at the time seems to have compounded the damage: “The police, whilst conceding certain errors in the way that this operation and its community impact was handled, do not apologise for performing the raid.” (MPA, 2007: p.26) Thus much of the subsequent community engagement seems to be an attempt to repair that damage. (MPA, 2007: p.31-33) 1.1.2 Community Engagement and Communication Myhill & Rudat (2006) evaluating the 3 community engagement demonstration projects saw a positive impact on communication between the police and local communities. “(CE is an) effective mechanism of creating a two-way dialogue between the police and the public.” (Myhill & Rudat, 2006: p21) A mechanism which saw positive outcomes for both the police and the community as the projects allowed the force to hear more people’s views and consequently improve effectiveness of programmes like ‘Safer Communities’. 1.1.3 Organisational Change Myhill and Rudat (2006) report several improvements around organisational change within the police force linked to the Cheshire demonstration project which included a shift in the views of the utility of community engagement: “…(the) project widened the constabulary’s conceptualisation of community engagement;” (ibid;p.14) “The authority and constabulary recognised that community engagement will lead to changes in delivery and performance, and that performance management and measures will need to be adapted in order to measure impact, and recognise and reward effort.” (ibid; p.18)

1.1.4 Other Benefits of Community Engagement for the Police Services Involved In a literature review undertaken prior to these three demonstration projects (Myhill 2005) evidence was sought in literature sources for the success of Community Engagement (CE) in Policing. Unfortunately much of his evidence came from the US as the author could only source 2 examples from the UK. However, from the literature reviewed he concluded these benefits of community engagement: 1. There was weak positive evidence that CE reduced crime 2. There was fairly strong positive evidence that CE reduced anti social behaviour 3. There was fairly strong positive evidence that CE changed the attitudes and behaviour of officers 4. There was strong positive evidence that CE improved police community relations From the literature reviewed Myhill 2005 concluded that community engagement can work on three levels: “Community engagement can operate at three principal levels – the ‘democratic mandate’ level, which sets the dominant philosophy for policing; the neighbourhood level, which focuses on local priorities and problems; and an intermediate strategic level, focusing on wider force, regional and national issues and priorities. “ (Myhill 2005: p.iv) One of the later demonstration projects went some way to proving this: “…the demonstration project in Cheshire led to a rapid increase in the joint community engagement capacity of the authority and the constabulary.” (Myhill & Rudat 2006 p.7)

1.2 Impact of Community Engagement in Policing on Communities
This section reports on the impact that being involved in community engagement projects has on both community members and wider communities involved in them. 1.2.1 Communities Involved in Community Engagement Projects The three 18 month demonstration projects undertaken in Cheshire, Northumbria and Merseyside were seen to impact in different ways in the community including:


“There is clear evidence of increased involvement of local communities in the Safer Communities pilot sites.” (Myhill & Rudat 2006 p.25) This outcome had positive connotations for both the community and the police in the services they received and delivered respectively, as this project allowed the police force to hear more people’s views and improve effectiveness of programmes like ‘Safer Communities’. A similar finding is reported by Larson (2005) from a systematic review, commissioned by the Home office, of what works in community involvement in area-based initiatives: “…more positive than negative effects were obtained in improved public services and strategies” (ibid p.2) Myhill & Rudat (2006) report an impact of community engagement on certain attitudes and resulting behaviours of local people: “(community members)…more positive slant to local crime reporting as a result of attending” (ibid: p.24) This is supported by Myhill (2005) in his literature review of community engagement projects in the UK and US, which found there to be strong positive evidence that community engagement improved police community relations and community perceptions. An explanation might be found for this by a further finding from Myhill (2005) which reported fairly strong positive evidence that community engagement increased feelings of safety. From the demonstration project in Cheshire evaluated by Myhill and Rudat (2006) positive responses to the community engagement programme were seen from the views of a small number (32) of community members which they canvassed via questionnaires. From responses, satisfaction was noted from the reduction of youth nuisance and underage drinking in the area. This reduction no-doubt was of particular significance to this community as it had been voted as a priority area by the community and subsequently targeted by the local police force. (ibid: p26) 1.2.2 Community Members Involved in Community Engagement Larsen (2005) talks at length of the benefits of community involvement for community members who have been personally involved: “more positive than negative effects were obtained… in personal and community development and in a

greater sense of inclusion, self-respect and self-esteem among members of the local community…involving local people … by employing, training and supporting them can be especially effective in developing the local people’s skills, self-confidence and sense of self-esteem and may provide them with the skills to take up full-time employment… A sense of empowerment, a levelling of power between community representatives and other stakeholders, and a sense of inclusion were all reported in many studies.” (Larsen 2005, p.2 - p.10)

1.3 Community Engagement in Policing with Black and Minority Ethnic Populations
This section looks at engagement concerning Black and minority ethnic populations, and how this might differ from engagement with majority populations. Similar to many other public services attempting to engage with communities, many studies focusing on community engagement in policing did not monitor ethnicity or other minority characteristics. Those studies that took account of minority groups found that they were under-represented and described them as “hard to reach” or “hard to hear”. Larsen (2005) reports difficulties reaching many groups traditionally thought of as hard to reach; it seems that many historically under represented groups continued to be under-represented in many of the initiatives he reviewed. Larsen reports that people living with a disability are largely ignored because of the extra resources and skills required to reach individuals. This could also be true of minority ethnic groups. Myhill & Rudat (2006) did not manage to engage with minority ethnic populations during their evaluations but offers this advice: “…relations with communities that have traditionally not been engaged are best managed through inclusion in mainstream consultation activities or through specialist advisors such as Independent Advisory Groups.” (Myhill & Rudat, 2006; p.10) Further, Larsen (2005) offers his own guidance for reaching minority populations: “A variety of techniques, methods and support has to be adopted to ensure optimal conditions for community engagement.” (ibid; p.2)


Larsen (2005) reports, that whilst there is no one guaranteed method of accessing minority groups the value comes from engaging with the community in as much breadth and depth as possible: “…there is a direct link between greater community engagement and the success of an initiative.” (Larsen, 2005; p.10) Myhill et al. (2003), in mapping police authorities in the UK, reports that ethnic minority communities are considered a “hard to hear group”. At that time 28 of 35 authorities confirmed that they had made specific attempts to engage minority ethnic communities. From the case studies focused on in this report there were some indications of the impact of community engagement on specific groups: “Consultation was said to achieve better relations in a number of ways including reducing tensions – this included reducing tension between different sections of the public, such as young and older people, or different ethnic groups, as well as between police and public” (ibid: p.38) This reduction of tension between the police and the public through community engagement may have contributed in some areas to a positive impact on police recruitment. “In the Greater Manchester Police Authority and West Yorkshire, consultation was perceived to have helped with recruitment of minority ethnic groups to the police service.” (ibid:p.39) 1.3.1 Findings from Engagement with Black and Minority Ethnic Groups. A few of the papers reviewed offered some insights into the types of information received by those police authorities and forces that did engage successfully with Black and minority ethnic populations. Neither of the UK based studies reviewed by Myhill (2005) differentiated on the basis of ethnicity. He does, however, report on a US based study which did monitor ethnicity and found that where attempts have been made by the Police to engage ethnic minority groups these attempts have less favourable outcomes than for the majority populations. Myhill et al. (2003) made attempts in his mapping of community engagement in police authorities to account for the views of Black and minority ethnic groups in the focus groups undertaken to assess public awareness of mechanisms for participation and accountability in policing. From these focus groups he reports these findings:

“One subject on which all groups wanted information was the public's rights, most often in relation to being stopped by the police. People from black and minority ethnic groups thought that they were more likely to need this information as they were more likely to be stopped” (ibid; p.12)

1.4 Lessons Learned from Previous Community Engagement in Policing
This section brings together the messages of success in community engagement in policing to form an outline of good practice and success factors in this area. Myhil et al. (2003) looked at the community engagement exercises being undertaken in Police authority areas and their effectiveness. In doing so he uncovered some outdated practices: “It has long been recognised that the traditional consultation format, police community consultative groups (PCCGs) fail to attract a representative audience and to generate a meaningful output on strategic issues. About three-quarters of authorities still ran PCCG style meetings, despite none considering them very effective.” (ibid:p.4) In undertaking a literature review prior to the demonstration projects Myhill (2005) noted that the call to employ a program of community engagement was partially based on the reiteration of the ineffective nature of established consultation methods: “Traditional forms of strategic consultation – Police Community Consultation Groups – are widely regarded not to fulfil their aims” (ibid: p.v) In the mapping study undertaken by Myhill et al. in 2002/2003 there was recognition that a “coherent and strategic approach to consultation can ensure the best use of resource”. However at the time, speaking to all the police authorities in the country they found that “not all authorities have a strategy yet”. Very recent feedback on community engagement by the police received positive reviews: “The Londoners we listened to wholeheartedly endorsed this approach (CE) as legitimate police work…” (MPA, 2007: p.38)


1.4.1 The Stakeholders Here the term stakeholders is used as a generic term to describe the different parties involved in community engagement who are thought, by the literature reviewed, to contribute to a model of community engagement. In the 3 demonstration projects evaluated by Myhill, Millin & Eagle (2006) the existence of 3rd party operating between the police and the community was seen to have a positive impact on community engagement. In this case it was a civilian employed by the Police Authority. This person was able to instigate organisational change within the force and improve trust and transparency from the community. “A police authority employee from a non-policing background can help operational officers apply fresh thinking to community engagement. In Cheshire the post holder helped officers engage effectively with young people by making the process accessible and relevant to them. In Northumbria the post holder involved a wider range of partners in problemsolving, including organisations officers had not previously considered” (ibid: p.3) The mere existence of a person in post with a remit around engaging the community seemed to have benefits regardless of the tasks or approach the individual took. Myhill, Millin & Eagle (2006) reported that just having these officers in place opened up the channels of communications between the police and the community which “can foster positive community engagement.” (ibid: p.3) Larsen (2005) offers a strong academically sound argument for community engagement. In reviewing literature and past community engagement projects he devised a list of what he considers works well. In which he supports the existence of an intermediary between the community and the police. He goes on to suggest that a third party can be valuable in other roles: “…local university staff or similar can sometimes offer invaluable technical and research support to community representatives/residents…” (Larsen, 2005; p.5) Myhill et al (2003) found that at the time many authorities chose to use their own police force to engage with communities and found this useful. Other authorities took advantage of partnerships like CDRPs to facilitate community engagement. In many instances this was undertaken with the help of the voluntary sector in engagement for which this advice is offered:

“Advance timetables for consultation help voluntary organisations to mobilise their members.” (ibid, p.3) Myhill, Millin & Eagle (2006) moved this thought on with the confirmation of the value of partner agencies in engagement and the opportunity they provide to increase this value, implying that partner agencies should be involved in engagement at all stages but in somewhat of a different role. This would be where they can help address the variety of community issues and local problem solving that come out of engagement in response to information as it is generated. Myhill, Millin & Eagle (2006) found that without partner agencies in place to support the community engagement, the public were frustrated when they raised issues which could not be addressed because the right partner agency was not engaged. Myhill (2005) found there to be benefits from employing local residents and providing formal, locally delivered training. Further, Larsen (2005) thought it important to work with local residents to set priorities: “Successful community involvement seemed to be best achieved if agendas were not fixed in advance and could therefore be shaped by the partnerships’ consultation with a wide spectrum of community views encompassing excluded groups” (Larsen, 2005; p.6) Tuffin et al. (2005) also supports this premise as he saw local people as integral to shaping local police priorities. Further to this there is a call from Larsen (2005) to ensure those communities involved are kept in any loop of information: “All members of the community should be regularly updated on progress, so they understand the impact of their involvement or can be encouraged to get involved.” (ibid: p.5) 1.4.2 Tailoring Consultation Several authors speak of the importance of knowing the characteristics of the population you wish to engage prior to engagement in order to improve the success of that engagement. A tool which saw some success was the use of community profiling. This enabled authorities to identify communities they were not engaged with and tailor engagement accordingly. (Myhill, Millin & Eagle 2006). The use of this type of approach by some police authorities was reported by Myhill et al. (2003):


“In the case study sites, there could be different consultation arrangements in different districts. Sometimes, this was a result of tailoring methods to an area, but in others it was a result of a lack of involvement or initiative by members linked to those districts.” (ibid: p3) Myhill et al. (2003) considers the tailoring of engagement to be essential in the plight to reach under-represented groups and evidences some successes from the use of such methods: “The need to tailor consultation methods to specific groups applies particularly to traditionally ‘hard-tohear’ groups (for example, certain minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities), who are least likely to respond to traditional methods of engagement. There was evidence of successful engagement with hard-to-hear groups in some case study areas, though the survey indicated very mixed success within and between authorities. Some authorities had successfully engaged certain hard-tohear groups but not others. There was only limited evidence of a structured approach to this kind of engagement.” (ibid:p.5) In a recent study on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Authority the value of knowing ‘who your population is, who you are reaching and who you are not’ became apparent when the engagement of young men were considered “mission critical to counter terrorism” (MPA, 2007: p.39) but they were under-represented in community engagement. Other groups considered important to engage but under-represented were Muslims (ibid: p.39-40) and women. “Women are also under-represented, excluding 51% of the population is remiss, understanding their unique place in society is essential whilst not assuming the only contributions women can play is in the moulding of the next generation of terrorists.” (ibid: p.40) A rationale for the under-representation of one of these groups, Muslims, was the under-representation of Muslims in the police service and/or the under-developed cultural competence of the existing service: “The ethnic make-up of the police service does not accurately reflect the population of London. There needs to be more Muslims or at least people comfortable and familiar with multi-cultural environments.” (MPA, 2007: p.52-53)

1.4.3 The impact of Community Engagement Tuffin et al. (2006) report on a Home office evaluation which looked at the impact of outcomes achieved by the National Reassurance Policing Programme. This was a programme delivered in 16 sites throughout the UK which adopted “a package of local policing activities” using a seven step programme to improve local policing. The second step of this package was engagement with the community, which was used to create an ‘open dialogue with the community’ to enable stage 3; when they found out “public preferences on signal crimes & disorders and identify locations of insecurity”. (ibid: p.S5) This evaluation reported on the impact at 6 sites involved in the National Reassurance Policing Programme (NRPP) comparing them to their co-ordinating control sites. Assessing the sites against the original objectives of the programme Tuffin found: • A positive effect on perceptions of anti-social behaviour (ibid: p.40) • A positive effect on feelings of safety after dark (ibid: p.47) • A positive effect on public confidence in the police. (ibid: p.53) • A significant positive improvement in public perceptions of police engagement and in the impact of the engagement on public awareness (ibid: p.76) Interestingly, whilst this programme considered minority ethnic groups when matching the demography of the sites with control sites the evaluation did not consider any variation in experience between ethnic groups. Impacts of community engagement seen elsewhere included: “There were examples of consultation impacting on policing plans, quality of service (especially at a local level), and, in particular, on police-community relations and community cohesion. (Myhill et al., 2003; p.5) 1.4.4 Assessing the Impact of Community Engagement There is recognition by Myhill, Millin & Eagle (2006) for the need to assess the long term impact of community engagement and the limitations of trying to assess impact in the short term. “All stakeholders recognised that the complexity of community engagement meant that its impact may be slow to assess (because of time lags between


engagement and impact), difficult to measure (because engagement can raise issues which may not always be specific, or to which complex service changes are required), or unrealistic (because public expectations may exceed resources or remits).” (ibid:p.2) Indeed, Tuffin et al. (2005) were surprised to see an impact from engagement with the community within the 12 month evaluation period. 1.4.5 Barriers to Effective Engagement Myhill et al. (2003) reported several potential barriers to effective community engagement including “consultation fatigue”, local political factors and limited access to resources, with limited internal skills requiring expensive external sourcing of skills like research. There are criticisms in the use of the media by the Metropolitan Police Service for not using forms of media that get through to minority groups like Black and minority ethnic and people with disabilities or those without access to the internet. Criticisum was made of empowering appropriate staff to convey messages through the media, instead doing this centrally. (MPA, 2007: p.36-37) There is a perception that the police only talk to “self appointed ‘community leaders’ who had no real influence in their communities” (ibid: p.38-39). A problem also identified by Larsen (2005) who reports that many attempts to engage with the community end up relying on the views of ‘community activists’ (ibid: p3) The post 7/7 views of the population of London (1000 respondents) were canvassed by the MPA which generated some very specific recommendations for the police: taking account of such community views could help overcome some barriers to effective engagement: “If the police respond with visual presence, without the intimidating riot gear and guns it can be reassuring.” (ibid: p.28) “If situations are dealt with by local officers as opposed to centrally deployed forces it is less intimidating.” (ibid: p.29) “A visual presence that considers the above is preferable to covert operations. Transparency of operations contributes to the feeling of safety within organisations.” (ibid: p.30)

As a summary which succinctly suggests elements of community engagement which contribute to its success Myhill (2005) provides this list: “Mainstreaming, organisational commitment, Community participation in decisions, local flexibility, related national and local KPIs, Clearly defined roles and sufficient resources to fulfill role, confidence and trust, effective 2 way communication, partners.” (ibid: There is even within this small pool of reviewed literature a wide use of the term community engagement. In the context of Neighbourhood Policing and the National Reassurance Policing Project the term is used to describe the work of members of local Safer Neighbourhood teams like Police Community Support Officers and Police Constables. These are individuals who are out on the beat in local communities on a daily basis responsively interacting in an unsystematic way with local people, community groups and businesses. The advantage that this type of community engagement has over all the others is that it is now mainstreamed and not project based without the same finite resources of time and staffing attached to it. The disadvantage that could be assigned to this type of community engagement is in the management of the information they receive. Be it intelligence or knowledge on how best to police the community, this information is acquired on an ad hoc basis. And whilst there maybe formal routes for the utilisation of intelligence there may not be the opportunity offered by formal channels to share the knowledge they acquire of how to police their community. Other forms of community engagement have placed a third party in between the police and the community and have seen the benefit of this for the police and the community. Further benefits have been seen by the structured collection of information that is recorded in a format which is readily shared. The disadvantage has been when this has been project based and time limited; the benefits of the programme taper off as the project draws to a close.


Contact details Bob McDonald International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion University of Central Lancashire, PR1 2HE Tel: 01772 892780 Email:

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