Coronavirus cases in Richmond upon Thames are rising, with infection rates at 306 new cases and 154.5 cases per 100,000 people in the borough, according to the latest weekly Public Health England figures. Friday’s PHE update showed figures for the seven days to Monday 19 October based on tests carried out in laboratories and in the wider community. Kingston upon Thames had the highest infection rate in south west London.
Be Richmond (Richmond Business Improvement District representing 350 firms) is commissioning security patrols in its area - the town centre, the Green, Riverside pubs and up the Hill to the hotels. They will be provided by Parkguard, which is accredited by Richmond Council and Police, and will operate from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm from Thursdays to Saturdays.
Richmond Police and Council have spoken to a private security company that has been canvassing residents.
“These companies have been given no accreditation by police and are not endorsed by the local authority, the Safer Neighbourhood Board or the Metropolitan Police,” Inspector Rebecca Robinson said in a statement. Residents should assure themselves the services they sign up for are lawful and provide a service that is right for their communities. The MPS will continue to work with our colleagues from the local authority and SNB to deal with local concerns promptly and correctly.”
Council Leader Gareth Roberts said: “This is a very worrying development and the council has the strongest reservations not only about the rise of private policing in the borough but also about the way in which multiple firms are communicating with residents. One firm has written to residents claiming they have ‘engaged with the Metropolitan Police and Richmond Council with the objective of introducing patrols in Richmond Town and, if there is sufficient demand, the surrounding area’. This gives the wholly false impression that this activity is endorsed and accredited by the Police and by the Council. It is not.”
The full Council statement is here.
Robberies have been one of the priority crime types in Richmond over the last 12 months. Since the second half of 2019 robberies across the borough and in South Richmond ward, which includes the town centre, accounted for almost a quarter of all robberies in the borough. Motor vehicle offences peaked in January and then fell for the next 3 months. They have since begun to rise again.
Two Public Space Protection Orders aimed at anti-social activity in Richmond have been renewed following a public consultation. Introduced three years ago to tackle persistent problems in parks and public spaces, one addresses excessive consumption of alcohol, public urination and defecation, and damage to land, and the other focuses on responsibilities relating to dogs, including the number that can be walked at a time by one person.
The Council is to survey Richmond residents about crime and anti-social behaviour during the Summer.
The Richmond Society urged Richmond Council to remove the red-and-white water-filled social distancing barriers installed as a temporary measure at critical pinch points in George Street, Richmond in May. The extra footpath width is seldom used, the difference in levels between pavement and road create a trip hazard, and cyclists are forced to move into the traffic stream. Alongside the large number of shops that have closed they add to a growing sense of abandonment and neglect. The Council said they would be removed at the end of this month. A disabled parking bay and suspended bus stop will be reinstated.
Richmond Business Improvement District, which operates as Be Richmond, is producing displays to cover some of the town’s empty shop fronts. They will highlight local historic houses and poetry.
The annual Thames Draw-Off, when the weirs at Richmond Lock are lifted to allow the Port of London Authority to carry out essential maintenance works to the lock, weirs and sluices, runs from about 9:45 am on Monday 9 November to about 2:50 pm on Friday 27 November. The river between Richmond Lock and Teddington Lock will drain down to its natural level at low water on each tide and the riverbed is likely to be exposed.
RICHMOND LITERATURE FESTIVAL
The 2020 festival runs from Friday 6 November to Friday 27 November. Programme and booking details here.
Nominations for Richmond Council’s Community Heroes Awards close at 10:00 pm on Monday 9 November. Details here.
Richmond Council is holding an online conversation on community safety with councillors, police, residents and businesses in the North and South Richmond Wards on Monday 23 November at 6:30 pm. Register here to take part.
The Richmond Society needs more volunteers to help keep Richmond special and play a part in organising events. Please contact us here.