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Case Study – Leicester Square Underground Station – Problem Solving

The problem:

Community complaints were received by the Neighbourhood Coordinator from the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), businesses, residents and ward members, regarding eight entrenched rough sleepers at the entrance to Leicester Square tube station. Complaints included details of Class A drug use and aggressive harassment of the public for money. There was not enough information logged about the individuals involved to justify further enforcement action through the courts.

The approach:

Following a multi-agency case conference involving partners from British Transport Police (BTP), Metropolitan Police teams, Transport for London, London Fire Brigade, BIDs, council outreach services, crime design advisors and the freeholder of the premises, an action plan was formulated. Ward councillors were already in discussion about this issue with partners during the Neighbourhood Coordination meeting.

The plan included:

  • Two weeks of action to identify and disrupt the individuals and cleanse the area.
  • Immediate hoarding placement to block recesses utilised by the individuals.
  • An 18-month design plan devised by BTP to improve the entrance to the station.
  • Victim impact collation to support a location generic Community Protection Notice Zone.
  • BTP had not utilised Community Protection Notices (CPNs) before at this location and we determined that this location would become the pilot, adopting the Westminster City Council methodology of Location generic / person specific CPN application, using the multi-agency E-CINS platform for the first time.

A Location generic CPN zone was established and further deployments occurred involving council and BTP officers, serving warning CPNs across a two-month period.

During this period, seven written warnings were issued resulting in the departure of seven of the individuals. One of these individuals returned to their property through outreach intervention, leaving only one male on site. The male became the focus of a person specific CPN, resulting in breach of his CPN five times to produce the required level of evidence to justify a CBO application within the courts.

The success of this CPN pilot has realised a reduction of 29% in community complaints to BTP from February to date and the site remaining clear of all street population ASB since June 2019. BTP have now rolled out the Westminster City Council CPN methodology to all other stations within the Borough and are using the partnership ECINS platform to do this.

Our City Wide Operations team and Neighbourhood Coordinators in conjunction with Westminster BTP team were nominated and came 2nd in the nominations for the BTP ‘Make The Difference’ Award as well as runners up in the BTP category for the London Problem Solving Awards working awards.

The team and Neighbourhood Coordinators were nominated for the BTP partnership working award and reached the final two. This second place in the London Problem Solving Awards means an automatic entry into the National TILLEY Awards in 2020.

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