Before getting elected, I worked with the police, community leaders and businesses in Dalston to re-establish the Dalston Police Ward Forum. This Forum has allowed for residents, community members and local businesses to discuss what they need from the police to feel safe, and to address their distrust of police tactics and targeting. Ward Forums need to be strengthened as a place for the community to scrutinise the police and set appropriate priorities which are agreed with the community.

Classrooms should be safe, welcoming and nurturing environments. The organisation No Police in Schools has found that a police presence in schools makes young people feel unsafe and needlessly treat minor behavioural issues as criminal justice issues. I will work with schools to establish different ways of working with the police, to make sure staff are supported and young people are safe without the need for police to be present in schools.

Standing up against harmful policing

Zoë has a track record of standing up against harmful policing. Shortly after being elected as a councillor, Zoë challenged and publicly condemned over-policing and police violence against delivery riders in Dalston. She also challenged the response from the former Labour Mayor, who defended the police’s actions.

As Mayor of Hackney I will listen to residents and liaise with community groups, especially those representing communities disproportionately affected by policing. I commit to:

  • Hold the Met to account for policing in Hackney so that action is taken to improve practice and change happens.
  • Work to ensure that no-one is subjected to unsafe, harmful policing.
  • Protect and look to increase investment in preventive and protective provision like youth services.
  • Prioritise addressing violence against women and girls and road deaths.
  • Remove police from schools.

Suspected cannabis possession is too often used as an excuse by police in Hackney and elsewhere to target young Black people. For too long, people (predominantly from Black communities) have been criminalised for suspected possession of cannabis – a drug which is now legalised in many other countries – or have been subjected to traumatising stop and search procedures in relation to the drug. Police harassment and criminalisation have a devastating impact on young people’s lives and life chances.

In my role as a councillor and leader of the Green Group, I’ve challenged the over-policing of Black residents in relation to drugs. As Mayor, I will use my power to work with the police and campaign to:

  • Push to extend the Mayor of London’s diversion trial to Hackney.
  • Deprioritise the policing of cannabis possession, and instead work with partners to prioritise addressing violence against women and girls and road deaths.
  • Campaign to end stop-and-search for suspected drug possession.

Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in the borough, but this is currently not the case.

In order to make our streets safer I will:

  • Prioritise public safety on all new developments, especially in relation to street access and pedestrian lighting.
  • Lobby Transport for London (TfL) to implement new standards for bus stops, to boost public safety at all times of day and accessibility for all residents.
  • Keep our public and community spaces open to ensure people have places to meet together – because trusted relationships between and within communities keep everyone safe.

Anyone's Child

“Listening to the families and campaigners talk about the devastating impacts of our current drug laws, really drives home the need for change”

In June, I joined Anyone’s Child annual lobby to call for the legalisation and regulation of all drugs.

My Plan for a Fairer Greener Hackney