Successful council and police joint action to keep Merton’s streets safe

Merton Council CCTV operators alerted police to three incidences across the borough in two days, leading to the arrests of suspected burglars and the removal of dangerous weapons from the streets. The successful action is a great example of the benefits the council’s strong partnership work with the Met Police can bring, to keep Merton a safe place for people to live and work.

In the early hours of Friday 27 November one of the council’s CCTV operators spotted a van on camera believed to be involved in a burglary. The operator speedily informed the Met Police, via two-way radio, and shared details of the van’s location and direction of travel. Police officers were able to stop the van and arrest three men, who were subsequently charged with burglary.

In a separate incident that evening a council CCTV operator, spotted 2 men acting in a threatening manner. The operator was able to relay what they had seen to the police and guided officers to the location. As the police arrived the men ran off, but they were quickly apprehended and a search was carried out. Two large knives were found at the scene and both men were arrested on suspicion of carrying offensive weapons.

The following day one of council’s CCTV operators saw three men acting suspiciously behind some properties in Morden. The operator quickly sent through images of the incident to the Met Police and gave a running commentary to guide officers to the location. The men ran off when the police arrived but they were soon apprehended, and one was arrested.

The CCTV Control room has also recorded images of people fly-tipping across the borough, and in the last year more than 100 items of footage have been passed to the council’s enforcement team. Subsequent investigations have resulted in fines being issued to offenders, and the seizure of vehicles involved in this criminal activity.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Partnerships, Public Safety and Tackling Crime, Councillor Agatha Mary Akyigyina OBE, said: “This is a great example of how our strong working relationship with the police is helping to keep Merton safe. Our CCTV operators do great work to help combat crime and anti-social behaviour, and residents will be happy to see this joint action leading to arrests for suspected burglary and violence and the removal of dangerous weapons from the streets.”

“I’m very grateful to our staff. Thanks to their efforts, Merton is one of the safest London boroughs and it’s good to see our tough action leading to positive results. We will continue to work in partnership with the police to do all we can to keep the borough safe and a great place for people to live, visit and work.”

The Metropolitan Police South West Basic Command Unit Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Nicholas Hackett-Peacock, said: “Thanks to the work we’ve been able to do with Merton Council the borough continues to be a safe place to live and work. CCTV can play an important part in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. This can be whether it’s used for prevention or crime, alerting nearby police officers to a situation which might develop or gathering evidence for an investigation. Tackling violent crime is our top priority, and as these incidents show it can play an important part in stopping crime such as burglary and knife crime.”

The council’s public protection surveillance camera system is one of the tools used support the response to crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough. The council’s CCTV operators proactively monitor all  210 cameras across the borough, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.  Our experienced operators remain in contact with the police using the two-way police radio, direct emergency services and council officers to incidents as well as record evidence for the police and council to use in investigations.