Neil Kinghan’s report in the looting at Clapham Junction (and elsewhere) was published today.

It is, by necessity, not an in-depth look into the riots, they causes and consequences, but instead a first look: trying to show what happened and draw out some key recommendations. And it is, by the nature of the process, a balanced report. Having undertaken similar sorts of work (although never into anything like August’s looting) I know exactly how hard it is to divine anything exhaustive or definitive when you are interviewing people on issues that will often are a matter of opinion and recollection and not hard fact.

Reading through the final report I can see where I probably complicated matters for Mr Kinghan, but, even so, other than small matters (for example, I recall seeing photos of a vandalised Starbucks fairly early on the evening of 8 August) there is nothing with which I particularly disagree and much with which I agree.

Communication comes across as one area that can be improved, in pretty much every direction. This even when Wandsworth, I think, has a pretty good track record in communication. The lesson, perhaps, is that it can always be improved.

One of the things that struck me soon after the 8 August, is how the public sector lagged far behind rioters and broom army when it came to communication. This is even despite similar tools already existing; I was Wandsworth’s sole Yammer (which is effectively a private Twitter) member for over two years until after the riots; since then membership has swollen to a mighty three users!

Business recovery is the area that most directly affects me, and we’re already looking at what we can do and the funds that are being made available. Here the trick is in successfully managing the transition from the immediate response – helping businesses recover from the aftermath – to a longer term plan that supports and develops local businesses.

It is very much a “watch this space” until plans are more fully developed.

The whole report is publicly available via the council’s website. It is not – and openly admits it isn’t – a conclusive or definitive report on the disorder, and many questions remain unanswered, but a fascinating first look at the issues around 8 August.

Battersea Buzz: Community and improvised flip-charts came together

The riots sometimes seem such a long time ago, and it’s almost tempting to say that things are largely back to normal. Yes, there are a few scars remaining – perhaps most notably the boarded up Party Superstore – but most shops are fully restored and back in business.

But some scars will remain for a while, we will have to wait and see if there’s a long-term effect on trade in the area. It looks like a few stores will not re-open as a result. And the arguments about how those involved are dealt with looks like it will rage for a while yet.

Battersea Buzz, however, looks like it was a success. I’ve said from the start that it really was a means to an end, something to help the community come together and share their ideas. It cannot, therefore, take any credit for anything that happens. But I hope it played a part in what comes next.

And what is coming next?

Well, the Clapham Grand will be hosting a benefit called ‘Up The Junction’ on 8 September, featuring Chris Difford. This will raise money for Victim Support and St Marks.

There is an (unrelated) ‘Up The Junction’ Facebook group discussing a range of ideas to raise money and build the community.

Meanwhile a lot of people are looking at how they can get involved in mentoring – and James Mummery from Future Foundations is helping co-ordinate this.

Some events have already taken place: last Tuesday over 200 runners raised cash with the Clapham Pioneers running club, for example.

I’m sure there’s plenty else going on that I don’t know about (as well as plenty of ideas in their formative stage where we’re continuing to try to put the right people in touch with each other).

Counter-intuitively it seems that the overall effect of the disorder will be to have created a stronger Clapham Junction. The tragedy is that the foundations include so many tales of irreparable loss.

The third, and final, part of my Face The Public presentation. Again, at 9 minutes it isn’t short, but it is annotated so you can jump right to the bit you want.

A few things. First, I need to give a photo credit to diamond geezer for allowing me to use and adapt his photo of Wandsworth Prison.

Second, is that obviously the end is totally irrelevant to a YouTube viewer. You won’t be given a copy of the assessment when you leave the room, and you won’t have the opportunity to ask questions of the panel. However, you do have the opportunity to ask me questions or just let me have your thoughts. You can get in touch via any of the ways listed on my contact page.

Finally, if you want, the slides are available on SlideShare:

The second of my Face The Public presentation. OK, it’s a bit long, at nearly ten minutes, but the video is ‘annotated’ at the front so you can jump straight to individual sections.

This section contains a brief outline of the priority setting process, last year’s priorities, acquisitive crime, serious violent crime and community reassurance.

I should also give credit for the photo of the police helmet to the Metropolitan Police, via their metropolitanpolice flickr account.

Interested in crime in Wandsworth?

Well, you might be interested in the video. It’s the first part of my presentation to the ‘Face The Public’ meeting we are required to hold every year. Since we are meant to use the meeting to present our priorities for the year, but these are invariably so high level as to be meaningless. So I’ve tried to explain the reasoning behind them as well as using it as an opportunity to detail some of the work we do as part of them.

This video is the introduction, it sets the wider context and addresses some of the negative publicity we have had over the year. I’ll be editing together and uploading the remainder of the presentation over coming days (depending on time).