The police play a major role in society. For many, they help make our neighbourhoods feel more safe and secure. However, for others, they don't - Baroness Casey’s review of the Metropolitan Police this year found the service was not working as it should for all Londoners.
Waltham Forest Council wants to ensure that all its communities have a stronger voice in how local policing is delivered. This is why they are holding a citizens' assembly to hand power to a representative group of local people to deliberate and make recommendations on how neighbourhood policing can be improved. These recommendations will shape how the local police work in neighbourhoods in Waltham Forest. The council will also use the recommendations to improve their engagement with the police so that they can better support residents.
Londoners’ voices are missing from how London is policed.
The Assembly will take place across three weekends in February and March 2024. There will be 50 Assembly Members recruited through sortition to reflect the population of Waltham Forest in terms areas such as their age, gender, ethnicity, whether or not they have a disability, and where in the borough they live.
The council are working closely with the local Metropolitan Police, Involve and the Sortition Foundation to design and deliver the assembly, which will be shaped by communities. An Advisory Board made up of community leaders and national experts will meet regularly to input into the assembly plans, advising on areas such the topics the assembly will consider, what information is presented to the assembly by whom, and the engagement that takes place around the assembly.
Waltham Forest Council are also undertaking extensive engagement in the run-up the assembly to ensure that local communities play a key role in shaping the citizens’ assembly, in terms of the areas it looks at and the information given to it. Their plans include youth engagement, community conversations and focus groups to hear from communities across the borough.