Live Facial Recognition

We have lifted this article about a new “tool” available to our Police, from an MP’s website. SPRA is a non-(party) political body and has no association with the MP in question

I am delighted to report that multiple arrests were made in Croydon town centre [in late January] following the experimental deployment of Live Facial Recognition (LFR).  This is something I am pushing for nationally in my role as Policing Minister, and I am glad that the Met accepted my suggestion to further trial LFR in Croydon

LFR starts with a “watchlist” of images of people who are wanted for serious offences or who are wanted by the Court for failing to attend a criminal hearing.  A camera is then set up by Police in a location with high footfall, and advanced facial recognition software is used to see if anyone walking past matches one of the images on the watchlist.  Is there is a match, the officers running the system are alerted and they intervene to see if the person is indeed the one wanted.  The matching software is now incredibly accurate and advanced.

This has been deployed in Croydon town centre several times recently, on London Road and North End, and on the junction with Church Street. Arrests for the following offences were made in a matter of just a few hours:

  • Possession of firearm
  • GBH
  • Failure to appear in court for theft
  • Failure to appear in court for GBH
  • Failure to appear in court for assault on an emergency worker
  • Possession of a weapon with point or blade, drugs and burglary
  • Breach of non-molestation order
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH on police and drugs offences
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH
  • Fraud by misrepresentation
  • Failure to appear in court for theft
  • Failure to appear in court for GBH
  • Failure to appear in court for assault on an emergency worker
  • Possession of a weapon with point or blade, drugs and burglary
  • Breach of non-molestation order
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH on police and drugs offences
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH
  • Fraud by misrepresentation
  • Failure to appear in court for theft
  • Failure to appear in court for assault on an emergency worker
  • Failure to appear in court for drunk and disorderly behaviour
  • Breach of tag conditions by a convicted drug supplier

This deployment took 14 potentially dangerous people off the streets (SPRA note – as there are more than 14 offences listed, it is clear that at least one of the 14 persons had committed more than one of these offences).  The identity of the people stopped was verified separately from the facial recognition system, and no false alerts were generated.
 
There are safeguards around privacy and accuracy.  Any passer-by who is scanned and who is not on the watchlist is immediately and automatically deleted. The system is governed by detailed rules set out by the College of Policing, and there is case law setting out the legal requirements of the system.  This includes accuracy and no bias. The system has been tested by the National Physical Laboratory and at the setting used meets the legal requirements (it delivers no bias and a 1/6000 accuracy rate). There are also signs displayed that LFR is being used.
 
I am delighted that these potentially dangerous people have been taken off the street.  There are further LFR deployments planned in Croydon in the near future and I am pushing for this technology to be rolled out nationally, within the rules and guidelines to safeguard privacy. This technology has the potential to ensure that huge numbers of wanted criminals are caught.

2024 kerbside waste collection dates

If you want to check your dates, here is the link on the Council’s website, to the new refuse/recycling dates from the start of December, to download and print off. Just enter the address, or postcode on this link;

https://service.croydon.gov.uk/wasteservices/w/webpage/bin-day-enter-address

This is the link to the revised Christmas/New Year refuse and recycling days;

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/rubbish-and-recycling/christmas-and-new-year-waste-and-recycling-collections

As you may know, the Council no longer delivery the leaflets to households.

NHS advice in cold weather

With the drop in temperature this week, there are a few simple steps people can take to keep themselves and others safe and well during colder temperatures. Help us reach your friends, families and local community by sharing our cold weather advice.

Key messages:

  • Keep in contact with older or vulnerable family and neighbours. Take a few minutes to ask if they need any shopping or medicines and make sure they are warm and comfortable and can make all the difference.
  • These are challenging times with cost of living concerns, but Simple Energy Advice provides free advice and many organisations are opening their doors and offering ‘warm spaces’ to help keep you warm this winter.
  • Remember that cold weather makes us all more vulnerable to a range of winter illnesses such as flu, coughs, and colds, so please get your free flu jab and Covid-19 seasonal vaccine.

Top tips for keeping well during the cold snap:

  • Check on family, friends and neighbours who may be at higher risk of becoming unwell, and if you are at higher risk, ask them to do the same for you.
  • Check the weather forecast and the news.
  • Make sure you have sufficient food and medicine.
  • Take simple measures to reduce draughts at home.
  • Heat rooms you spend most time in, to 18C if you can.
  • Keep bedroom windows closed.
  • Wear multiple layers of thinner of clothing
  • If you’re eligible, get vaccinated against flu and Covid-19
  • Get help if needed. Call NHS 111 or in an emergency 999.

You can find more information on our website: www.southwestlondon.icb.nhs.uk/news/staying-safe-and-well-in-wintry-weather/

As part of the new Weather-Health Alerting System the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency has issued a specific health alert for London.

The system aims to provide an early warning when temperatures are likely to impact on the health and wellbeing of the population.

The ‘yellow Cold Health Alert’ is in place until midday on Tuesday 5 December and we are sharing advice on how people can stay safe and well during colder weather over the weekend.

Template posts and copy you can share on your social channels are below. Or if it’s easier you can reshare our posts – you can find us on XFacebook and Instagram.

Most important posts to share

Looking after others In this #ColdWeather, don’t forget to look out for anyone close to you who might struggle with the drop in temperature.   Find out how to stay safe and well in wintery weather: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (icb.nhs.uk)
Looking after others Caring for a vulnerable or older person this winter? Here are some tips to help them stay safe and well through the colder months: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (icb.nhs.uk)
Looking after yourself During winter, the cold and damp weather, ice and snow can all make existing health problems worse. Follow our steps to stay well and be #WeatherReady. Learn more: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (icb.nhs.uk)
If a yellow alert is issued Together the @metoffice, @UKHSA have issued a yellow cold-health alert for London.   Read more about to stay safe and well in wintery weather: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (icb.nhs.uk)
 

For more information go to: www.southwestlondon.icb.nhs.uk/news/staying-safe-and-well-in-wintry-weather/

Let’s dispel a false rumour about pill blister packs

Members may know that Terracycle is a company which has a way of splitting the plastic and foil elements of blister packs so that each can be recycled separately. Not only does this create new raw material for use, it cuts down the landfill into which these packs would otherwise go.

You may also know that Superdrug has been acting as a “clearing house” through which residents can send their packs to Terracycle, who organise the recycling of them. This has not always worked as well as it might – both Superdrug and Terracycle have been surprised at the supply generated by the public – but Superdrug do still take them.

We have been advised that the rumour, that both Boots and Lakewood Pharmacy, in West Wickham, also take them IS WRONG. Both stores will take them but only for the purpose of putting them in their own bin – a landfill bin – which isn’t the idea. Terracycle supply dedicated bins to Superdrug stores, and regularly collect their contents for splitting and recycling.

We have been asked to “spread the message” that neither Boots nor Lakewood have Terracycle boxes and to request members not to take packs there.

Please spread around your social media the FACT THAT ONLY SUPERDRUG SUBSCRIBE TO THE TERRACYCLE SCHEME AND NOT TO TAKE BLISTER PACKS TO ANY OTHER PHARMACY.

Many thanks

Anyone for tennis? Good news and bad …

News has reached us as follows …

Excellent-ish news for recreational tennis players in Shirley. The courts at the Rec in Shirley, along with many others are about to be refurbished. Follow the link below for more details:
Croydon’s tennis courts to get makeover – Newsroom

Dates of the work (resulting in the closure of the courts)are 16 October – 27 November, depending on weather holdups. However we are told the line marking cannot take place until the spring, owing to the drying needed.

We are led to believe, however, that it will be neccesary to book the courts and to pay a fee for the privilege of using them; details to follow when we know them

Grants from the Community Engagement Fund

Members may wish to take advantage of the following, as received from Croydon Council

Please see details below, for the Communities Engagement Fund (Windrush) – I have blind copied our database of local partners/organisations that may wish to apply.

On the 2nd August, the Home Office has launched the Community Engagement Fund (CEF), a £150,000 fund to support grassroots and community groups. The purpose of the fund is to:

·         raise awareness of, and address any misinformation about, the Windrush Compensation Scheme and Windrush Scheme·         build on the insights and learning taken from the existing work on Windrush to understand why individuals are not applying for the Windrush Compensation Scheme and the Windrush Scheme·         how to encourage eligible individuals to apply to the schemes mentioned above

To apply, organisations will need to register an interest in the fund using the ‘Find a grant’ portal or by email to: CommunityEngagementFundCompetition@homeoffice.gov.uk

The closing date to submit an application is 4:00pm on 30 August. Information sessions will be held for community and grassroots organisations who are interested to learn more about the fund and how to submit an application. The sessions will be held from 2:00pm to 3:30pm on 8 August and from 11:00am to 12:30pm on 10 August. Organisations interested in joining a session should email: CommunityEngagementFundCompetition@homeoffice.gov.uk

Shirley South Ward Panel

The Shirley South Ward Panel has recently been reconstituted under new leadership and is now looking to recruit some new members to represent the local community to determine how the Shirley South Ward is policed. 

The Ward Panel webpage: https://www.springparkra.co.uk/shirley-south-ward-panel/ is being hosted on the SPRA website with full details on the role of the Ward Panel, how to make contact, together with the current priorities that have been agreed with the Shirley South SNT.

Room(s) wanted

We have been asked by a resident to help with accommodation in today’s unusual circumstances.

Do you have two rooms (or possibly one large one) that you would consider renting out?

Sasha and her daughter Liza (6) are from Ukraine and looking for accommodation in Shirley / West Wickham, ideally walking distance or a bus ride from Oak Lodge primary school.

Sasha does not drink or smoke and speaks very good English. Liza’s spoken English is improving daily.

The room(s) could either be through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which offers £350 a month support payment and ongoing assistance, or a private lodging agreement, paid for by housing assistance until Sasha has found a job.  She is a trained counsellor / therapist.

All the immigration paperwork and documentation has been sorted already – the girls just need their next UK home while Sasha sorts out a job in order for them to become fully independent and safe all the time Vladimir Putin continues to destroy their homeland.

If you might be able to help, please call or message Julian Roberts on 07802 463 817

Thank you very much!

A Police warning

Following a recent incident of a resident being violently assaulted in the nearby Park Hill Ward when confronting men stealing catalytic converters, police are advising the public to ring 999 immediately and not to approach or confront anyone they suspect is stealing a catalytic converter. If possible try and note their car number plate and only if it is safe to do so try and take a picture of the suspects and their car.