Merton Police Chief Backs Neighbourhood Shake-Up

Results of review of local policing

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The number of police sergeants covering the Safer Neighbourhoods scheme is set to be reduced following a review of neighbourhood policing.

The Met has decided that the Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs), introduced in 2006, will remain aligned to political ward boundaries, and will remain responsible for addressing local crime and safety concerns.

They will also remain under the operational control of the borough commander. There will be no reduction in the number of PCs and PCSOs within SNTs, so every ward will retain a dedicated team of at least two PC and three PCSOs.

However, sergeants may be responsible for more than one team and SNT resources will be used more flexibly to support other wards in a borough.

Another key proposal is to make reducing crime and anti-social behaviour explicit objectives of Safer Neighbourhoods activity in addition to the priorities of the community, which are through ward panels.

Chief Superintendent Dick Wolfenden, Merton borough commander, said: "I'm delighted to announce the MPS remains committed to neighbourhood policing. This means that under our proposals every ward in Merton will continue to have its own Safer Neighbourhoods team working with and for local people.

"We intend for our Safer Neighbourhoods teams, which have become familiar sights in local communities, to continue to do the things they have always done by supporting local communities and helping address their crime or safety concerns. And we propose to keep each team with at least two PCs and three PCSOs, which we intend to protect from any reductions.

"As borough commander for Merton I retain operational control of my SN teams and ensure they are being used in the right way, to work with local people to help keep communities safe. I'm pleased to reaffirm the Met's strong commitment to community policing.”

Proposals from the Met’s review of Safer Neighbourhoods are due to be discussed at the MPA Strategic and Operational Policing committee on 16 June.

June 10, 2011