The Met has announced details of how town centres will be bolstered with hundreds of new police officers in local policing boost.
London will soon be getting an additional 650 police officers who will work solely in busy public places and other areas, including those where women and girls often feel unsafe.
Five hundred officers will form town centre teams across the capital and will be based permanently in busy neighbourhoods.
The public regularly ask for more visible policing presence in their local areas. Placing them in these locations is a really important part of how the Met is responding to helping communities feel and be safe. The extra officers will patrol at the times that will have the most impact on crime as well as on public safety, such as in the evenings.
A further 150 officers will join London’s dedicated ward officers – commonly referred to as ‘Bobbie’s on the beat’ – who are already based in communities and work with Londoners to drive down crime and problem solve local issues, including concerns raised by women about areas or individuals.
It is one of the ways the Met is investing the recent increase in police officer numbers, and tackling the things that most matter to Londoners – such as driving down all forms of violent crime, including domestic abuse and violence against women and girls.
The town centre teams follow the creation of 12 Predatory Offender Units in 2020, which to date have arrested more than 2,000 suspects for domestic abuse, sex offences and child abuse; and continue to focus on the most dangerous offenders who present the highest harm to women and girls.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave, said: “Our growth enables us to increase our presence in busy neighbourhoods and town centres and be even more focused on protecting people and solving the long-term crime and anti-social behaviour issues we know people care about most – like violent crime, and violence and harassment committed against women and girls.
“Local policing is at the heart of everything we do and we know that we are so much more effective if we are in communities and neighbourhoods, working side-by-side with all Londoners, listening and engaging with them, tackling the issues that make them feel unsafe.
“We want communities to regularly see and get to know their local officers, so that they trust and have confidence in them, knowing they are there to protect and keep them safe.”
The town centre teams will typically be made up of one Inspector, two sergeants and 21 police constables. Once in place local police leaders will have discretion to increase the size of the teams should that be required.
The Met is speaking to local authorities about where the new team and officers will be located. The decisions have been led by data and intelligence which considers locations that generates the most policing demand, areas with higher crime levels and/or areas where confidence in the police is low.
The London Borough of Westminster is one of three boroughs where extraordinary demand means there will be an enhanced or additional town centre teams.
The boroughs of Camden and Brent will have two teams whilst the West End will have a single but bigger team.
It is expected the first tranche of teams and officers will be in place by late 2021. All 19 teams are expected to be in place by spring 2022.
The list of London boroughs and the locations of town centre teams:
Westminster, West End.
Barking and Dagenham, Barking.
Camden, Camden Town and Euston.
Haringey, Wood Green.
Kingston Upon Thames, Kingston.
Brent, Wembley and Harlesden.