Councillors hope to see the relationship between communities and the police improve following a “constant point of tension” in recent months.

It comes after a report into tackling knife crime was presented to a Brent Council resources and public realm scrutiny committee yesterday (Monday, May 10).

Cllr Sandra Kabir (Lab, Queensbury) suggested poor community relations with the Metropolitan Police could impact on the borough’s strategy when it comes to addressing this issue.

The councillor responsible for community safety and engagement, Cllr Promise Knight (Lab, Stonebridge), acknowledged this was an area of concern – describing it as a “constant point of tension” – but said it is being worked on.

Cllr Knight said: “The relationship between the Met and communities continues to be a concern.

“It’s a pan-London issue that the mayor’s office is dealing with and strategies have been put in place.

“We are continuing to do all we can to ensure that anything [the police] do in Brent, and any levels of communication or engagement, is working with the community.”

It comes following a year featuring accusations of institutional racism in public bodies, the continued debate around stop and search tactics, and the death of Sarah Everard.

According to a Brent Council report, the implications of stop and search are consistently discussed at Police Independent Advisory Group meetings.

“Further community action and initiatives are also being developed and supported by the Met, such as the innovation hubs to try to improve policing relationships and trial new approaches to problem solving,” it added.

The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) ‘public voice dashboard’, shows the public’s perception of police performance has generally worsened over the past seven years.

In December 2020, just 68 per cent of Brent residents surveyed by MOPAC felt the police ‘can be relied upon when needed’ – in December 2014, this figure stood at 78 per cent.

Similarly, when asked if the police ‘do a good job in the area’, satisfaction levels in Brent dropped from 66 per cent to 57 per cent across the same period.

However, on the subjects of fairness and listening to people’s needs, respondents’ views have remained fairly consistent, with around 77 per cent of people agreeing in both cases.