Frequently asked questions

Safer Neighbourhoods member helping a member of the public

Safer Neighbourhoods teams are dedicated to making your local community safer.

This page outlines a selection of FAQs about Safer Neighbourhoods.

What is Safer Neighbourhoods?

A truly local policing style: local people working with local police and partners to identify and tackle issues of concern in their neighbourhood.

Why do we need the Safer Neighbourhoods programme?

London is becoming safer: crime is decreasing, more crimes are being detected and more offenders are being brought to justice. But despite this, Londoners tell us they continue to feel insecure.
That's why, for the first time, the Metropolitan Police is committed to a new kind of policing - the concept of Safer Neighbourhoods:

  • A team of officers dedicated to every London neighbourhood
  • A more accessible, more visible, more accountable policing presence
  • Local communities getting a real say in deciding the priorities for the area in which they live, allowing the police to provide long-term, local solutions to local problems while maintaining a focus on reducing priority crime

How many officers are in each Safer Neighbourhoods team?

Each ward will have a dedicated, named police officer and a dedicated police community support officer. Additional police constables, police community support officers, special constables and volunteers will also work across a ward providing extra support in addressing local concerns. However these officers, unlike the dedicated officers, will, when required, work across other neighbouring wards on the borough.

Where are Safer Neighbourhoods teams based?

Sometimes teams are based at local police stations. Others work from kiosks, partnership offices, schools and hospitals - even places of worship.

How does Safer Neighbourhoods work?

Safer Neighbourhoods teams are dedicated to the needs of each specific neighbourhood, with the policing priorities for that area decided in partnership with local stakeholders - the public, crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRPs), local authorities and other local organisations.

Officers are trained to communicate with a wide range of people, communities and partners, to tackle and solve community problems. Experience suggests these are most likely to be quality-of-life issues, such as anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, abandoned cars and graffiti.

How can you guarantee these officers won't be taken away to deal with other duties?

The Metropolitan Police has tried to develop community policing before, but competing demands meant officers were often used in other areas of London, to help police larger scale events like football matches or demonstrations.

Safer Neighbourhoods teams are different because the Service has specific guidelines about where officers can and can't be used. This means that except for the most catastrophic or terrorist-related event, Safer Neighbourhoods officers will stay where the public needs them most - in the heart of their dedicated neighbourhood.

The Safer Neighbourhoods programme is provided in addition to London's other policing teams and specialist units.

How do we know Safer Neighbourhoods is effective?

The Metropolitan Police are monitoring the impact of introducing Safer Neighbourhoods teams. This includes tracking Londoners' views on crime and policing.