What: Launch of reducing fear of crime campaign involving Councillor Samantha George, front line council staff and Safer Neighbourhoods officers.

When: Tuesday 10 April at 10am.

Where: High Path Estate, junction of Hayward Close and Stane Close, SW19.

At a time when the safety of London’s streets is dominating headlines, Merton Council and Merton Police are demonstrating how a positive partnership approach can reassure local residents about crime.

Merton is currently the fourth safest borough in London, and has maintained this over a number of years. This position is testament to the excellent partnership work in place between the council and local police.

Latest figures show that crime overall is down 8.7% in Merton since March 2006. Other notable reductions include a 13.5% reduction for common assault, 12.2% reduction for theft from the person and a 22.2% fall in race crime.

The reducing fear of crime campaign, which will be launched next Tuesday, aims to heighten awareness of the fact that tackling crime and reducing the fear of crime in Merton is a collaborative effort between the council and police. The campaign artwork will be displayed on advertising sites across Merton and feature council workers such as Park Wardens, Neighbourhood Wardens and Merton Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Fear of crime is often higher in areas when it has poor lighting, dirty streets or graffiti. Merton Council alleviates this through its robust approach to each of these issues. This was evident in the recent Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) survey results, which showed improved satisfaction ratings in Merton’s street scene.

Deputy Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Samantha George, said:

“Reducing the fear of crime is a massive priority for Merton Council and Merton Police. The message that we want to get out to residents is that that Merton is a safe place.

“But, we do understand that the fear of crime in Merton is not proportionate to the actual crime statistics in the borough. The purpose of this campaign is to illustrate the partnership approach, and how street sweepers, park wardens and graffiti operatives all play an instrumental role in helping the police drive down the fear of crime in our various communities.”

Superintendent Graeme Thomson of Merton Police said:

“Merton is a great place in which to live work and socialise. However, we recognise that some residents have a disproportionate fear of crime despite the relatively low crime figures.

“Through the police Safer Neighbourhoods teams, we a