Met Police’s Town Centre Team has started its new beat

Visible presence: the new officers for Croydon’s Town Centre Team started work today

Extra police officers were out on the streets of central Croydon today, as the Metropolitan Police launched the first set of “Town Centre Teams” to try to reduce levels of crime.

The Croydon team comprises of one inspector, two sergeants and 21 constables, part of a  total of an additional 650 police officers who, the Met has said, “will work solely in busy public places and other areas, including those where women and girls often feel unsafe”.

Croydon is one of the first areas of London to receive its dedicated Town Centre Team, which are being placed in areas considered by the public to need a greater, more visible police presence. The Met themselves have referred to “Beat Bobbies”, referencing the more visible style of community policing that was familiar last century.

The additional officers will patrol busy places at times when they will have the greatest impact on crime and public safety.

Lewisham, Brixton and Kingston also saw their Town Centre Teams for the first time today. Bromley’s team will be operational from February.

In total 500 officers will make up the Town Centre Teams in the capital, while a further 150 officers will join London’s dedicated ward officers who are already working in communities in an effort to reduce crime and resolve local issues.

Reporting for duty: the Croydon Town Centre Team on parade this morning

In a statement issued from Scotland Yard today, the Met said it “has spoken to local authorities about where the new teams and officers will be located”.

They said, “Decisions about where to allocate the teams have been based on data and intelligence that highlights the areas where there is the most policing demand, areas with higher crime levels or where confidence in police is low.”

On the beat: the new officers have spent the day introducing themselves to residents

According to the statement, “Once in place, local police leaders will have the discretion to increase the size of the teams as required.”

Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, the Borough Commander for Croydon, Bromley and Sutton, said: “Today is a really good day.

“We’ve got 26 officers whose job will be to make the town centre safer, reassure our local community, and look after our residents, visitors and business owners.

“Our officers will be supporting our Safer Neighbourhoods Team in suppressing violent crime, and using data gathered from our SaferStreets reporting mechanism to address areas in Croydon where people feel that police presence is needed.

“I started my career as a PC on a Town Centre Team 28 years ago. I think these officers will love their time on their team as much as I did.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Met Police’s Town Centre Team has started its new beat

  1. Lewis White says:

    That is very good news. A visible “non emergency” regular uniformed Police team walking the town centre and engaging with the community must be a good thing for residents, shoppers and businesses. Reassuring. Builds positive feelings, by and large.

    Policing by Police who arrive in cars to an incident and then disappear back into their cars might be understandable in view of financial restraints, and highly appropriate in many cases, but if that is the only form of policing, it is not surprising if Police end up beeing seen as remote from the community.

    I sincerely hope that this positive improvement is not “cut” in a year or two, as past initiatives of this kind like “Home Beat” and “Neighbourhood Policing” have eventually been starved of staff resources.

    In our local sub town centres, policing hours must surely be reduced as a result of the local officers having to clock in at New Addington before making their way down to places such as Coulsdon. It seems crazy.

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