Merton gets safer

The Safer Neighbourhood initiative is to be rolled out further across the borough.

For the first time, every ward in Wimbledon and Morden will soon have a team of at least six police staff dedicated to providing solutions to local crime and anti-social behaviour problems.

The aim of Safer Neighbourhoods is to give the local community an opportunity to say what affects their daily life and feelings of security. The neighbourhood-based policing teams will then work towards finding solutions to the area’s main priorities while maintaining a focus on reducing priority crime.

Merton already has 10 successful Safer Neighbourhood teams in and around Mitcham and by the 3 April 2006, another 10 teams will ensure every ward in Wimbledon and Morden is covered.

Each ward will next month start with a permanently based policing team of one sergeant, one police constable and two police community support officers (PCSO’s) but this will be increased by two more officers by April 2007.

The teams will publicise their mobile telephone numbers so residents can phone directly to report problems. Feedback will also be supplied on how their team is doing in resolving these problems and residents will offer their views on whether the teams should continue their work or divert their attention to new and emerging problems.

Richard Rawes, Merton Council’s Director of Environment and Regeneration, said:

“The new Safer Neighbourhood teams will make a real difference to the quality of life of people in Wimbledon and Morden and I applaud the Met Police for their commitment to making Merton safer.”

Superintendent Pete Dobson of Merton Police said:

‘Merton Police are absolutely committed to this new style of ‘reassurance’ policing that we call Safer Neighbourhoods. We have lobbied hard to secure the extra funding that has allowed us to accelerate the rollout one year ahead of schedule.

“In the coming months the residents in Wimbledon and Morden areas will see the real and tangible difference these teams make. It does however depend greatly on the co-operation of local people.”