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.
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.”
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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