· The Commissioner clarified that Operation Tamar was the pan-London police response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There had been a recent slight increase in the daytime working population of the City, to 9,000 persons. This group was composed primarily of building staff, and construction site workers. The Force was holding weekly calls with major businesses to discuss any issues arising during this time. Broadly speaking there were lower levels of crime within the City at present.
· As noted, the Force had issued 20 COVID-19 FPNs within the City and the overall Force approach to enforcing lockdown was a ‘Engage, Explain, Educate, Enforce’ approach, with a recent shift from querying why a person was out in public, to ensuring a person out in public was mixing appropriately with fellow members of the public.
· The Force had reviewed the BAME breakdown of the COVID-19 FPNs issued within the City. Half of the FPNs (10) had been issued to persons of BAME background which was a high percentage. Nevertheless, 7 of those 10 FPNs were the result of 3 interactions that involved vehicles with multiple occupants who were not from the same household. The remaining 3 FPNs involved persons who had given false names/addresses or refused to give their details. 1 of the 10 FPN interactions had led to an arrest.
· Force sickness rate stood at 2%, with senior staff reviewing how many staff could return to work safely. To date the Force had incurred £305k of COVID-related expenditure.
· In response to a question regarding the Force’s transportation response particularly with regards to likely increased interaction between cyclists and pedestrians, the Commissioner reiterated that the Force’s approach would be to engage and education, with enforcement as a last resort. The current low daytime population of the City eased the pressure of use of the City’s many narrow streets.
· The Commander (Operations and Security) noted that the Force was working with the Department of the Built Environment regarding proposed street changes, particularly with regards to counter-terror measures and any changes to hotspots for overcrowding. The impact on road safety would only become evident after new measures had been in operation for some time.
· A Member commented that the City Streets Transportation Response (Phase 2) which was being considered at other City of London Corporation Committees referenced the Force’s commitment to engaging with partner departments within the Corporation.
· In response to a question, the Commissioner agreed to provide a breakdown of the 52 COVID-19 FPNs issued outside the City. Of the 10 non-BAME FPNs issued inside the City, these related to two separate incidents of (a) two women travelling into the City from the east of England via Liverpool Street Stations and refusing to return home; and (b) a small group of persons seeking to make a music video within the Barbican.
· The Commissioner added that of the 52 FPNs issued within the Metropolitan Police area, 60% of those had been issued to persons of BAME background. Whilst this was a high percentage, for context Members were asked to note that the Force had been tasked with combating gang related violence, which involved specific deployments into specific communities. The Chairman and Commissioner agreed that this issue should be scrutinised in more detail by the IASG and the Performance and Resource Management Committee.