Safer Neighbourhoods mark 3 year milestone

03 April 2007

Officer engaging with member of the public

Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and Mayor Ken Livingstone visited the Stonebridge Estate in Harlesden, today to mark the third anniversary of the programme to deliver Safer Neighbourhoods teams across London.

A community meeting attended by the Prime Minister on 5 April 2004 marked the official launch of the programme to give London 630 ward-based teams dedicated to problem solving community based policing.

"It was important for me to mark the anniversary on the ward where the Safer Neighbourhoods programme was officially launched."

Three years on Mayor Ken Livingstone and Sir Ian Blair are visiting Stonebridge ward to meet the current team and local residents to hear first hand about the impact of the Safer Neighbourhoods programme and how community policing on the estate can be further improved in the future.

Safer Neighbourhoods is the Met's community-based policing programme established to identify and tackle crime and events that disproportionately impact on the quality of life and feeling of insecurity of London's citizens. The teams are made up of police officers and community support officers with a minimum of one police sergeant, two police constables and three police community support officers. The full roll-out across London was completed, ahead of schedule, in April 2006, with all the teams at the minimum 1-2-3 model by the end of December last year.

The teams have had a major impact on crime and Londoners' confidence in police and figures for Stonebridge show criminal damage offences down 40%, burglary down 23% and violence against the person down 15% (April 04 to Feb 05 compared to the same period this financial year). The crime category on the ward that continues to cause concern is robbery. There were 192 offences compared to 115 three years ago, figures that reflect trends in some other parts of London, and the MPS is committed to tackling this crime through a range of intelligence-led and high visibility operations.

Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said:

"It was important for me to mark the anniversary on the ward where the Safer Neighbourhoods programme was officially launched. Since that milestone in community policing who would believe that in less than three years we have completed the roll-out of neighbourhood policing across every ward in London.

'Listening to the views and concerns of local residents is fundamental to the success of this style of policing. We know that the teams are now having a significant impact and I've heard first hand accounts from people in London about the very real differences that have been made to their lives."

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said:

"Nothing better expresses the changes that London has undergone over the last few years than the huge shift towards beat policing, with a dedicated police team now located in every single neighbourhood in the capital.

'London has turned the corner from a period in the 1990s when police numbers fell - the Met now has record numbers of police, and a full-strength police team in every single neighbourhood in the capital. A neighbourhood police team out on the streets in every part of London is a transformation in the way our communities are protected and reassured.

Reshard Auladin, Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), said:

"The MPA was instrumental in securing the support and financial backing that ensured the successful deployment of Safer Neighbourhoods teams. Londoners had made it clear to us they wanted a dedicated, local police response to the issues that affected them regularly and made them feel insecure in their own communities. The Authority believes that as the teams become even more established within their neighbourhoods we will see increasingly good results, to the benefit of the entire capital.?