THE borough's top police officer has called on residents to 'reclaim the streets'.
During a question-and-answer event on policing for people in the south of the borough, Chief Superintendent Julian Worker (pictured) declared: "What remains important is that you engage with your police teams.
"The reality is that we can never deal with crime on our own, without reports and witnesses. We need your help."
The meeting was organised by the Hillingdon Community and Police Consultative Group (CPCG), and was the first of its kind to be staged in the borough.
More than 50 residents, young and old, showed up.
Audience members submitted questions to be answered in open forum on borough-wide policing issues, plus more localised concerns. Fear of crime, anti-social behaviour and imminent public spending cuts all sparked a lot of debate.
Speaking about the future strain on resources caused by limited access to the public purse, the Hillingdon police borough commander said his team would have to 'work smarter' but vowed not to let standards slip as a result.
"The truth of matter is that I have already been making cuts, and in an ideal world I would have more people and resources at my disposal," Mr Worker told the meeting.
One group of teenagers from the Botwell ward argued that dispersal orders in place across Hayes simply acted to demonise young people.
Hillingdon Council's cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Douglas Mills (Con, Manor), conceded that they were a 'blunt tool' and added: "We don't just want to play ping-pong with troublemakers - we need a total solution, and it needs to be enforced proportionately.
"Youth services go a long way in providing somewhere for these
young people to be, and Hillingdon Council have always been committed to this."
**Did you attend the meeting? What did you think of it, and what needs to be done in your area? Email jack firstname.lastname@example.org.