Merton has been named as one of only six boroughs in London to see significant reductions in both anti-social behaviour and firework misuse over the Halloween and fireworks period last year.
Statistics from a report gathered after the Halloween and fireworks season in 2007 show that all but seven London boroughs recorded increases for fireworks reports but Merton was among the boroughs that bucked the trend noting a 29% reduction.
The report by the London Anti-Social Behaviour Board and joint Action Group also placed Merton in the top five boroughs for the greatest reduction in rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour, close to a 30% reduction from the previous year.
The Safer Merton partnership, which brings together the London Borough of Merton council, the Metropolitan Police and other relevant agencies to maintain the low levels of crime, drugs, resident safety and anti-social behaviour in the area, took a number of measures in the weeks building up to these events to try to keep communities as safe as possible.
These included the police being out in the borough visiting vulnerable residents, to offer reassurance and advice. Also in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour caused by some trick-or-treaters Safer Merton worked with local shops asking them to remove egg and flour from their shelves during the week of Halloween.
To combat fears and tackle anti-social behaviour further Police Safer Neighbourhood teams were out on patrol, working later during the two weeks to reassure residents who had concerns.
Police Superintendent Graeme Thomson, Merton police says:
” Merton is one of the safest places in London, but that isn’t just down to luck. We understand that some members of the community get particularly scared around Halloween and Bonfire night and so we addressed this by going direct to the residents to reassure them and also by putting our teams out on patrol for longer.”
Councillor David Simpson, Cabinet Member for Partnership and Community Safety for Merton Council comments:
“This is excellent news for Merton and proves how well our partnerships are working together. Merton is the fourth safest borough in London but we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to work hard to ensure we can put the residents’ needs and safety concerns first.”