Urban Regeneration and Designing Out Crime

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This week saw the launch of the Rupert Street Food Union market on Fridays and Saturdays.

Street Food Union was created in 2013 by three traders keen to champion the best up and coming talent on the street food scene and offer fresh, exciting and above all delicious products.

The founders of Street Food Union wanted to create a food market with a cool, community vibe and so they hand-picked the very best traders and scouted for the very best chefs and encouraged them to become street food traders. Through their support and assistance many first-time traders have brought their products into the Street Food Union and built a lively, diverse food market.

Westminster council provided the site on Rupert Street, with the aim of encouraging more people to come from Shaftesbury Avenue, through Soho and up to Oxford Street.

Rupert Street is in a corner of Soho best known for bars and clubs, and has seen a 40-fold increase in the number of people visiting Rupert Street on days the market is trading*, accompanied by a significant reduction in crime.

The new market is a great success story and I would encourage you to pay it a visit.

Crossrail - Works on Regent Street

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Please see below for information regarding 4-5 days work to remove monitoring equipment in the northbound carriageway of Regent Street near Oxford Circus.


Dean Street – Crossrail Welfare Cabins

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Crossrail is working on a very tight site at the top of Dean Street and have proposed the creation of additional facilities to be placed on a high level gantry at the top end of Dean Street. This proposal caused great concern to the long suffering nearby residents and businesses who would effectively lost daylight, visibility, access and the ability to undertake their business had the proposal proceeded.

Through the Community Liaison Panel, which I Chair, these expressions of concern were made clear to Crossrail who have now come up with an alternative proposal to include increased on site provision (within their existing perimeter hoarding) and an alternative arrangement meaning that the proposal will not now proceed.

We all understand that Crossrail have a difficult and complex job in delivering the railway by the due date of 2018 and on budget. However, this is a great example of where that imperative needs to be tempered by the needs and requirements of local residents and businesses and this alternative solution has now been found allowing the railway to proceed and residents and businesses to continue to enjoy their premises.

Fitzroy Place Redevelopment

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Please see attached this month's Fitzroy Place newsletter for the latest works and information on this development:


MOPAC Update: New Met recruits to come exclusively from London

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Focused on the needs of victims

At the 7/7 memorial event last month, I witnessed the devastating effects of crime and terrorism, and the steely resolve of victims to rebuild their lives. Our victim services review, led by Baroness Newlove, found gaps where the criminal justice system needs to do more, but as we spend time with family and friends this summer, we mustn't lose sight of all that the police and others do to keep Londoners safe and prevent victimisation.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime


Mayor secures extra £2.4m for London crime victims

MOPAC has secured an additional £2.36 million to fund improvements to victims services in London, bringing the total to £6.7 million for the period from October 2014 to March 2015. This will allow MOPAC to plug the gaps in provision identified in a major review led by Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove.

New Met recruits to come exclusively from London

Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Mayor Boris Johnson have announced that the MPS will recruit exclusively from Londoners to fill the ranks of new police constables. From August 1 new criteria for applicants will help ensure the force is more resilient and more reflective of the city it serves.

Compulsory sobriety launch

Launching the first compulsory sobriety scheme in the UK Boris Johnson said: 'I pledged to tackle this booze culture [and] this is an approach that has seen impressive results in the US, steering binge drinkers away from repeated criminal behaviour.'

Mayor welcomes big crime drop

Official crime figures demonstrate the clear progress being made by the Metropolitan Police compared to the rest of England and Wales.  London saw a total of 698,729 offences in 2013/14 - down by over 70,000 offences in a single year.

Get involved

MOPAC Challenge - Sept 23

You are invited to attend MOPAC Challenge, where our panel will be joined by partners and experts to consider how we can reduce youth reoffending in London.

Volunteering with MOPAC

We are looking for volunteers to join our dedicated team of Independent Custody Visitors, who check the welfare of those in custody, and our Stop and Search Community Monitoring Groups.


Business Crime Strategy

MOPAC's Business Crime Strategy, endorsed by the Metropolitan Police Service, the National Crime Agency, and the City of London Police, outlines how London will tackle fraud and economic crimes against businesses.

Review of Victim Services

Baroness Newlove has completed a major review into the treatment of victims and witnesses of crime in London, which comes ahead of MOPAC taking on responsibility for the funding of victim services in the capital from October 2014.

WATCH: New BBC series on Crossrail

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The BBC has aired two episodes of a new series on the ongoing Crossrail project which will run through the heart of London. The series takes an up-close look at the project and the 10,000 strong team of engineers working on the project which will connect East and West London through Bond Street in the West End.

The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway, 1. Urban Heart Surgery: http://bbc.in/1jR1M3L
The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway, 2. Tunnels Under the Thames: http://bbc.in/1nVLQbk

Crossrail - Hanover Square Ticket Hall Excavation Update

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Please see below the latest information sheet, which provides an update about the excavation works at the eastern ticket hall on Hanover Square.


Fitzroy Place Newsletter

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Please see the latest newsletter below for further information on the project:


Soho Square General Practice

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NHS England will be holding two drop-in sessions on 22nd July 2014. This is a great opportunity to voice your concerns and thoughts as this will provide feedback on the options for the future of the GP services you currently receive at this practice.

Please see the poster below for further information on the drop-in sessions.

Bond Street Station Western Ticket Hall and Tunnelling Update

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Please see the latest information sheet below which provides an update about the works at the western ticket hall on Davies Street and the upcoming tunneling works for the escalator barrel and cross passages.


FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum Meeting Tonight

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The Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum Meeting meeting takes place tonight and discussion topics will include the following

  • Pressure for Development in the area, including Crossrail.
  • The Local Economy, including the role of small businesses in the area.
  • Environmental Issues, including air quality, noise, street maintenance and refuse.
  • The Local Environment, including open space, leisure facilities and greening issues. 
  • Traffic and Transport, including Tottenham Court Road.
  • Residential Issues, including cost and provision of housing.
  • Licencing and the night time economy.
  • Approaches to the development of the Neighbourhood Plan, including consultation with Forum members. 
The meeting starts at 6:30pm and is being held at 115 New Cavendish Street. this is a great opportunity to come along and give us your views.

Crossrail - Emergency Repair Works

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As part of the work to build Crossrail's new Tottenham Court Road station, it has become necessary to allow UK Power Network (UKPN) to carry out some emergency repair work to replace their faulty cables at the western ticket hall site.

Please see the Information Sheet below for further details:


MOPAC Update: Mayor hosts summit as London turns a corner on gangs

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Freedom to love, not to hate

I am proud to say that our capital is home to one of the largest and most visible LGBT populations in the world, and this month I had the honour of speaking at Pride in London and unveiling our first rainbow crossing on behalf of the Mayor.
However, some people are still targeted by criminals just because of who they are. It's wrong, and that's why MOPAC is consulting on a new Hate Crime Reduction Strategy.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime


Mayor hosts summit as London turns a corner on gangs

London is a safe city, and is getting safer. At a major international summit at City Hall the Mayor said: 'London has turned a corner with gang crime and serious youth violence down in the capital but I recognise we have more to do. This is about taking a nose to tail approach... working to ensure they are not drawn into gang culture in the first place'.

£125 million raised from Met estate sales to reinvest in policing

The sale of 32 buildings that were no longer operationally required raised £124.5m against an original target of £40 million and delivered full year savings of £12.5m in running costs -- enough to pay for the employment of over 200 police officers annually. 700 residential units have been created on former police sites, supporting over 2,000 jobs.

Get involved

MOPAC Challenge - 14 July

You are invited to attend MOPAC Challenge, where our panel will be joined by partners and experts to consider how the Metropolitan Police Service's recruitment practices can be improved to build a force that looks more like London.

Hate Crime Reduction Strategy

That London is one of the most diverse cities in the world is cause for great celebration, and we must continue to confront discrimination head on. MOPAC is consulting on a new Hate Crime Reduction Strategy, to stop further victimisation.


MOPAC Annual Report 2013/14

With 120 fewer victims of crime every day and savings made of £240 million in 2013/14, we have laid the foundations to reduce crime and boost confidence, whilst cutting costs. MOPAC's annual report outlines the progress we have made to date.

Speech: 'Principles for Policing'

Speaking at the ACPO conference on 18th June, Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing And Crime, outlined how the police can adapt to the  new challenges they face, setting out five 'Principles for Policing in Austerity'.

Liberalising short term rentals risks a housing time bomb

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Back in February the DCLG put proposals out to consultation to remove the restrictions on London property owners wishing to rent a home on short lets (90 days or less) from doing so without planning permission. This week the House of Commons backed a change to the Deregulation Bill and gave it its third reading.
The DCLG proposal has good intent but risks further overheating and distorting the central London property market. These plans have been drawn with a view to liberalising short-term rentals and giving freedom to property owners to make the most of websites which help holiday makers find alternatives to hotel accommodation in the Capital. But these plans have potentially dangerous side effects.
First, by removing planning restrictions on short terms lets the investment yield on a property balloons exponentially. Take a typical one bed flat in the West End, which might rent on the open market on a normal Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for £500pw. The very same property listed as a short term/holiday rental can reach £500 + a night.
Instantly the property has gone from a rental return of 3% to a potential 15 %+ (even allowing for vacant periods, and additional management costs). This hugely increases the value of the investment return of such properties and will inevitably lead to a further substantial increase in the capital value of the asset, further inflating London property prices that are already at record highs.
Second, by increasing the return available to landlords, the incentive to replace stable ASTs with more lucrative nightly lets will be irresistible to many. This will serve further to hollow out communities in Central London and flood neighbourhoods with a transient population who have little or no interest in the community.
A report by Westminster City Council found that where rules are already being abused to facilitate short-term lets the impact on local communities is overwhelmingly negative.
The effects, particularly on mansion blocks, of having daily or weekly changes of occupier will be felt most closely by those who remain living in such properties as their homes. They will be faced with increased service charges for the wear and tear on lifts, corridors and common parts. They will face the noise and disturbance from those who are holidaying rather than working and it is they who will have to deal with consequences if such flats are being used as pop-up brothels, venues for sex parties and other anti-social behaviour as has already been experienced where regulations have been relaxed.
Third, as more landlords chase a return and opt for nightly lets rather than stable tenancies, the number of AST rental properties available is reduced, yet with demand remaining high rental prices inevitably rise, pushing up costs for regular residents and working families.
DCLG Ministers point to the way the internet has changed our lives since the introduction of the rules in 1970s, but the truth is that while the internet has made it easier to find a short-term tenant and therefore created greater demand for short-term lets in London, this is even more reason for keeping the rules to protect communities, not abolishing them.
This week ministers conceded this was a sensitive issue, but still chose to push ahead. Responding to concerns raised by London MPs the Solicitor-General said “…London is a super-city: it is an enormous city and it does have unique circumstances. The Government recognise the necessity of working with the London boroughs to design the provision to ensure we achieve the right balance between increasing the freedoms for Londoners and protecting London’s housing supply. We would not want that to be undermined. We are trying to ensure that speculators are not able to buy homes meant for Londoners and rent them permanently as short-term lets.”
Rightly so, at a time of great housing pressure in the UK, where we are still not building enough new homes to meet demand, adding additional pressure by removing existing homes from the rental market will only serve to add to the problem Londoners face.
If these proposals go ahead without adequate safeguards, renters will lose in higher rents; buyers will lose as prices are pushed even higher and communities will lose as they are hollowed out.
What is trumpeted as a desirable liberalisation of rules which will allow homeowners to make a little extra cash, could in fact be an ill-conceived housing time bomb. The Government has said “measures will be put in place to prevent abuse of such reforms or the permanent loss of residential accommodation” but they have yet to demonstrate how this will be achieved.